Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma

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Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma
Titular Maharajah of Travancore (monarchy abolished)
Sree uthradom thirunal marthanda varma.jpg
Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma
Reign 1991-2013
Coronation 1991
Predecessor Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma[Monarch]
Successor Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma (titular)
Spouse Ammachi Panapillai Amma Srimathi Radhadevi Pandalai of Kayamkulam [1]
Issue Sri Ananthapadmanabhan Thampi and Srimathi Parvati Devi Thankachi[2]
Full name
Sree Padmanabhadasa Vanchipala Marthanda Varma, Kulasekhara Kiritapathi Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Titular Maharajah of Travancore
House Venad Swaroopam
Dynasty Kulasekhara
Father Ravi Varma Kochu Koil Thampuran
Mother Queen Mother' Moolam Thirunal Sethu Parvathi Bayi
Born (1922-03-22)22 March 1922
Died 16 December 2013(2013-12-16) (aged 91)
Thiruvananthapuram, India
Religion Hinduism
Kingdom of Travancore
Part of History of Kerala
Flag of Travancore
Travancore Kings
Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma 1729–1758
Dharma Raja 1758–1798
Avittam Thirunal 1798–1810
Gowri Lakshmi Bayi 1810–1815
Gowri Parvati Bayi 1815–1829
Swathi Thirunal 1813–1846
Uthram Thirunal 1846–1860
Ayilyam Thirunal 1860–1880
Visakham Thirunal 1880–1885
Moolam Thirunal 1885–1924
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi 1924–1931
Chithira Thirunal 1924–1991
(1971–1991 titular)
Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma 1991–2013 (Titular)
Moolam Thirunal Rama VarmaVI 2013–Present (Titular)
‡ Regent Queens
Padmanabhapuram 1729–1795
Thiruvananthapuram 1795–1947
Thevally Palace
Padmanabhapuram Palace
Kilimanoor palace
Kuthira Malika
Kowdiar Palace

Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma (22 March 1922 – 16 December 2013) was the titular[3] Maharaja of Travancore. He was the younger brother of the last ruling monarch of the Kingdom of Travancore, Maharajah Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma.

Named Heir Apparent from birth, as per the Travancore matrilineal law of succession, he joined the firm of Plymouth and Company at Bangalore in 1952, working there as a clerk and truck driver briefly to study the functioning of industries at a basic level. He was the Chief Scout of the regional Boy Scout troop, and is also a patron of local hospitals and charities.[4]

He married the daughter of Lt. Col. Krishnan Gopinathan Pandalai, the sometime Supt. of the Government General Hospital, Madras, namely Ammachi Panapillai Amma Shrimati Radhadevi Pandalai and has a son, Ananthapadmanabhan Thampi and a daughter, Parvathidevi Kochamma. He resided at Pattom Palace, Trivandrum till his death in 2013.[4]

Early life[edit]

Sree Uthradom Thirunal was the youngest son of H.H Queen Mother Sethu Parvathi Bayi of Travancore by her consort, Ravi Varma Kochu Koyi Thampuran of Kilimanoor Royal House, a Sanskrit scholar and the great-nephew of the celebrated painter, Raja Ravi Varma. He was born on March 22, 1922 in Travancore. His siblings were Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma and Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi. His mother, Sethu Parvathi Bayi, was distantly related, by birth, to the Travancore Royal Family in the direct female line. In 1900, following the absence of heirs in the Travancore Royal Family, she had been adopted by her maternal great-aunt, Maharani Lakshmi Bayi. According to the matrilineal traditions of the Travancore Royal Family, Sree Uthradom Thirunal, at the time of his birth, was proclaimed the Heir Apparent of Travancore with the title of : Sree Padmanabhadasa Maharajkumar Sree Marthanda Varma, Elaya Rajah (Crown Prince) of Travancore.

Sree Uthradom Thirunal was educated privately by a group of 14 tutors in various subjects. He later graduated from the then Travancore University with Economics, Politics and History as specialisations in 1943. He was the recipient of the Moncombu Aandi Iyer Gold Medal for the best student in Sanskrit from the varsity. He was respected for his erudition.[5]

Titular Maharajah of Travancore[edit]

Sree Uthradom Thirunal became head of the Travancore royal family after his elder brother and the last monarch of Travancore Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma died in 1991. As a titular Maharaja, Uthradom Thirunal had no real administrative power[6][7] but was a popular figure in Travancore, and had daily ceremonial engagements. He also maintained his ritual position at the Padmanabhaswamy Temple as the custodian of the temple, and was involved in events relating to this. On the discovery of the immense wealth in the vaults of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, the family shrine of Travancore royals, Uthradom Tirunal stated: "It has been in the temple vaults for centuries and the royal family has been well aware of that. It is the wealth of Lord Padmanabha and we have never ever felt any interest in it. It should be preserved as God's wealth in future also." Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma successor is Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma[8] his nephew and second son of Sree Padmanabhasevini Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore and her husband Lt. Col. G. V. Raja.[5]

Community involvement[edit]

  • Trustee and "Dasa" of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple[9]
  • Patron-in-Chief Thiruvananthapuram Kendra Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
  • Chief Scout Travancore Boy Scouts Assoc, Travancore-Cochin Boy Scouts Assoc and Kerala Boy Scouts Assoc.
  • Chief Patron Sneham Super Speciality Hospital Project
  • Patron Sri Swati Thirunal Sangita Sabha since 1991
  • Patron Shree Uthradom Tirunal Hospital (SUT)
  • Patron Muthalamada Sneham Charitable Trust
  • Patron Trivandrum Tennis Club (TTC) since 1938
  • Patron Trivandrum Club
  • Patron Trivandrum Friend-in-Need Soc
  • Patron Ananthapuram Non-Resident's Association (ANORA)

Personal life[edit]

The consort of Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma

Sree Uthradom Thirunal joined the firm of Plymouth and Company at Bangalore in 1952, working there and also studying the functioning of industries at a basic level. He was the Chief Scout of the regional Boy Scout troop, and was also a patron of local hospitals and charities. He married Ammachi Panapillai Amma Srimathi Radhadevi Pandalai of Kayamkulam,[1] daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Krishnan Gopinathan Pandalai. He has a son, Ananthapadmanabhan Thampi and a daughter, Parvathi Devi Thankachi. Uthradom Thirunal resided at Pattom Palace, Trivandrum. A vegetarian and teetotaller, he did not drink coffee or tea or smoke. He won several trophies as an amateur horse rider. He played tennis, hockey, golf, football and polo. He learned photography in 1934 when his brother Sree Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma Maharaja gave him a Rolleiflex camera, and built up a collection of about 5,000 negatives. He drove a lot,[10][11] and won several medals from the Benz company at Stuttgart.


Sree Uthradom Thirunal was hospitalised in early December 2013 following gastro-intestinal bleeding. He died of cardiac arrest at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on 16 December 2013. He died during the Murajapam Ceremony in the Padmanabhaswamy Temple which he had organised . The state government declared a public holiday on 16 December as a mark of respect to him.[12] Though Sree Uthradom Thirunal was the Titular Maharajah, the people called him 'Thampuran' and 'Thirumanassu' (lord or His Highness) with high esteem. Sree Uthradom Thirunal attended all cultural programmes in the Capital City of Thiruvananthapuram and escorted SreePadmanabha his family deity twice a year for Aarattu procession. His wife, Ammachi Panapillai Amma Srimathi Radhadevi Pandalai predeceased him in 1993. He is survived by his two children, Ananthapadmanabhan Thampi and Parvathidevi Kochamma.[2]


With the demise of Uthradom Thirunal, Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma became the titular Maharajah of Travancore and Revathi Thirunal Balagopal Varma, the titular Elayarajah.



Military Appointments[edit]


Mathrubhumi Books released a book named Thrippadi Daanam written by Uma Maheshwari featuring the biography of Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma. The book starts from the year 925 ME (1750 AD) when the Travancore King Anizham Thirunal Veerabaala Marthanda Varma surrendered his country to Sree Padmanabha through an act referred to as Thrippadi Daanam. The book also covers art- cultural lifestyle of Travancore rulers and gives a personal account about his elder brother & sovereign, Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The consort of the ruler was known as the Ammachi with the title of Panapillai Amma.
  2. ^ a b The male and female children born to the Maharajah were dignified with the honorific of Thampi and Thankachi respectively.
  3. ^ "Though by the 26th amendment to the Constitution, Article 363 was repealed whereby the rights and privileges of the rulers of Indian states were taken away, still the name and title of the rulers remained as such and unaffected in so far as names and titles were not contemplated as rights or privileges under the repealed Articles 291 and 362 of the Constitution."
  4. ^ a b "Travancore bids adieu to its maharaja". Times Of India. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  5. ^ a b Sheshagiri, Sangeetha (December 16, 2013). "Marthanda Varma, Titular Head of Travancore Royal Family, Passes Away". International Business Times India. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Haneef, Mahir (2013-12-17). "'His Highness' isn't unconstitutional: Kerala high court". THE TIMES OF INDIA. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  7. ^ "Though by the 26th amendment of the Constitution, Article 363 was repealed whereby the rights and privileges of the rulers of Indian States were taken away, still the name and title of the rulers remained as such and unaffected in so far as names and titles were not contemplated as rights or privileges under the repealed Articles 291 and 362 of the Constitution."
  8. ^ The Royal family of Travancore followed the Marumakkathayam system of matrilineal succession like the Nairs of Kerala,when a king died his sister's son would become the next ruler.
  9. ^ "Uthradom Tirunal passes away - The Hindu". December 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  10. ^ Telegraph, The (19 Dec 2013). "Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma - obituary". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  11. ^ INDIAN EXPRESS, THE NEW. "An Avid Shutterbug, Driving Enthusiast, Sanskrit Scholar" (THIRUVANANTHAPURAM). Express News Service. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  12. ^ Thousands pay their last tribute to Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma - THE TIMES OF INDIA, By Laxmi Ajai Prasanna, TNN | Dec 16, 2013 - "The state government declared a public holiday as a mark of respect to the late Maharajah. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who was in Delhi for official work has planned to cut short his trip to attend his funeral here at the palace in the afternoon, though delayed he is expected to take part in the cremation. "

External links[edit]

Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma
Born: 22 March 1922
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Chithira Thirunal
Maharaja of Travancore
Reason for succession failure:
Indian Independence
Succeeded by
Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma