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Tharoor is the family name of a prominent Nair Tharavadu of Kerala, India. The name dates to antiquity, and historians record that the kingdom in and around the modern-day district of Palakkad was called Tharoor Swarupam in the 14th and 15th centuries.[1] The family appears to have lost kingly authority thereafter, before the attacks in the area by Tipu Sultan of Mysore, and well before the absorption of the territory by the British into the Madras Presidency in the early 19th century. For at least three hundred years the Tharoor Tharavadu has been centered in the village of Chittilanchery. (There is no confirmed connection between the present-day Tharoors of Chittilanchery and the village of Tharoor, also in Palakkad district).[2]

Well-known Tharoors include:

  • the author, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and former Minister of State for External Affairs, Govt of India, Shashi Tharoor (1956- ), who was India's candidate to succeed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan;
  • his father Chandran Tharoor (1929–93), newspaper executive and late President of the Advertising Club of Calcutta;
  • Tharoor Parameshwar (1917–2004), founding Managing Director of Reader's Digest India;
  • C.T. Balan (1925- ), former Finance Director of the Union Carbide Corporation;
  • Dr.T.Madhavi Amma(1915–1987,) renowned Doctor and Founder of Dr.T.Madhavi Amma Medical Trust, Palakkad;
  • Tharoor Bhaskaran (1935- ), former Chairman and Managing Director of Otto India.
  • Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post journalist

Prominent current generation Tharoors include three well-known journalists and writers, Ishaan Tharoor of the Washington Post (former Senior Editor of Time Magazine), novelist Kanishk Tharoor (formerly of OpenDemocracy), and Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, former editor of India Currents. Another prominent Tharoor of the present generation is Dr. Hema Tharoor, Psychiatrist at Manipal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A History of Kerala by K.P. Sreedhara Menon
  2. ^ Interview by Shashi Tharoor on Manorama News TV, 21 June 2009