Travancore-Cochin


Travancore-Cochin or Tiru-Kocci (Malayalam: തിരു-കൊച്ചി) was a short lived former state of India (1949–1956). It was created on 1 July 1949 by the merger of two former Princely States, the kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin withTrivandrum as the capital. Parur T. K. Narayana Pillai, the Congress Prime Minister of Travancore, became the Chief Minister of Travancore-Cochin. First elections were held in 1951 and A. J. John, Anaparambil from Congress party was elected as the Chief Minister, ruling until 1954. The ruler of Travancore was appointed as the governor (known as "Rajpramukh") of Travancore-Cochin. The Maharajah of Cochin was offered to be addressed as Uparaja Pramukh, but he did not want any title after handing over the power. The Maharaja politely said that the eldest member of Cochin Royal Family should be called Valiya Thampuran and gave up royal powers unconditionally for the good of the people.  While Pattom A. Thanu Pillai was the Praja Socialist Party Chief minister in 1954, Travancore Tamil Nadu Congress launched a campaign for the merger of the Tamil-speaking regions of Southern Travancore with the neighbouring area of Madras state. The agitation took a violent turn and civilians and local police were killed at Marthandam and Puthukkada, irreparably alienating the entire Tamil-speaking population from merger into Travancore-Cochin.Under State Reorganisation Act of 1956, the four southern taluks of Travancore, namely Thovalai, Agasteeswaram, Kalkulam and Vilavancode and a part of the Chencotta Taluk was merged with Madras state. On 1 November 1956 Travancore-Cochin was joined with Malabar District of Madras state to form the new state of Kerala, with a governor, appointed by the President of India, as the head of the state instead of "Rajpramukh".
Chief MinisterTook officeLeft officeTermPartyRegion came from1Parur T. K. Narayana Pillai1 July 1949January, 19511Indian National CongressTravancore2C. KesavanJanuary, 195112 March 19521Indian National CongressTravancore3A. J. John, Anaparambil12 March 195216 March 19541Indian National CongressTravancore4Pattom A. Thanu Pillai16 March 195410 February 19551Praja Socialist PartyTravancore5Panampilly Govinda Menon10 February 195523 March 19561Indian National CongressCochinPresident's rule23 March 19565 April 1957


Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma (Malayalam: അനിഴം തിരുനാൾ മാര്‍ത്താണ്ഡ വര്‍മ്മ; 1706–1758) was king of Travancore (Trippappur Swaroopam) from 1729 till his death in 1758. He contributed substantially to the expansion of Travancore by annexing several neighboring states and unified the entire southern Kerala. Under his rule, Travancore rose to prominence as a powerful military state in southern India. He was succeeded by his nephewRama Varma ("Dharma Raja"). Marthanda Varma, in his early twenties, ascended the throne of Venadu in 1729.  He organized a substantialstanding army of about fifty thousand, reduced the power of the Nair aristocracy (on which rulers of Kerala had earlier been dependent militarily) and fortified the northern limits of his kingdom at the Travancore line. He crushed the Dutchexpansionist designs at the famous Battle of Kolachel in 1741. Marthanda Varma then adopted a European mode of martial discipline in his army and expanded the Venadu to north. His alliance in 1757 with the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin against the Zamorin of Calicut, enabled Cochin to survive. Travancore under Martanda Varma (and later under Rama Varma) was one of the few native kingdoms in India determined to consolidate their power by the use of maritime outlets. In the complex political context, the only route remaining for Indian kingdoms was to build an elaborate and well-organized war machine while keeping external supply lines open. The control of trade was also seen as crucial in the statecraft of the period. These principles were put into practice in Travancore by Marthanda Varma.  It was also the policy of Marthanda Varma to extend patronage to the Syrian Christians, the large trading community within his domains, as a means of limiting European involvement in trade. The key commodity was pepper, but other goods also came to be defined as royal monopoly items, requiring a license for trade. The city of Trivandrum became prominent under Marthanda Varma, who made it the capital of Travancore in 1745. These policies were continued in large measure by his successor, Rama Varma, who was able, moreover, to defend Travancore successfully against the Kingdom of Mysore.

Early life

Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma was born in 1706[3] to the Queen of Travancore adopted AD 1688 from Kolathiri family of malabar("Queen of Attingal").Travancore (Trippappur Swaroopam) was a small principality extending from Attingal in the north to Kanyakumari, the southern-most tip of the Indian sub continent. Within this small kingdom the power of the king was only nominal due to the power of the nobles known as Madampis, chief among them being the Ettuveetil Pillamar or the "Lords of the Eight Houses". The powers of the ruler were also to a great extent curbed by the power of the Ettara Yogam, the Managing committee of the great Pagoda of Padmanabhaswamy in Trivandrum. The Ettuveetil Pillamar and Ettara Yogam play an important role in the history of Travancore and were responsible, as per legend, for the murder of Rajah Aditya Varma in the previous century, the murder of five sons of Rani Umayamma and other similar crimes, all committed in a bid to extirpate the Travancore Royal House.It was into these conditions, where the sovereign was powerless under the refractory nobles of the state that Marthanda Varma was born in 1706.Marthanda Varma, from his formative years was an intelligent prince and it was on his advice in 1726 that Rajah Rama Varma signed a treaty with the MaduraiNayaks and secured a foreign force in the country to check the activities of the Ettuveetil Pillamar and other rebellious chieftains. Previously he had also signed a treaty with the English, styling himself as the "Prince of Neyatinkara" in 1723. This incurred the wrath of the Eight Lords and thus they bent upon murdering the prince. The result was that Marthanda Varma had to flee the capital for the safety of the northern states such as Kottarakara, Kayamkulam etc. where he lived in difficulty for many years, travelling from one place to another to escape his enemies.


Military careerMarthanda Varma was not only a shrewd tactician and king but an able general as well. In his military conquests he was ably assisted by Ramayyan Dalawa, later his Prime Minister. In 1731 Quilon or Kollam, which was ruled by a branch of the Venad family was defeated and the last King was made to sign a document allowing the annexation of his kingdom by Marthanda Varma after his death. Till then Quilon was to be a Venad tributary. Marthanda Varma next turned his attention towards Kayamkulam, which allying itself with the Quilon family tried to prevent the growth of Venad. In 1734, several battles were fought against Kayamkulam and Quilon without any decisive effect. In the final battle of that year the Rajah of Kayamkulam was killed and succeeded by his brother who soon sued for peace and hostilities were ended for the moment. Marthanda Varma then, in 1734, annexed the Elayadath Swaroopam or the Kottarakara kingdom, ruled by another related Queen who was pensioned off. In the same year,the Quilon Rajah died and Kayamkulam annexed the possessions of that king against the wishes of Marthanda Varma. The Kayamkulam Rajah had the support of the Rajah of Cochin and Dutch. The Dutch Governor of Ceylon, van Imhoff, asked the King to stop hostilities against Kayamkulam, to which Marthanda Varma remonstrated that the Governor need not interfere in affairs that did not concern him. In 1739 Van Imhoff arrived in Cochin and in 1740 espoused the cause of the Rani of Kottarakara and protested against the annexation of that kingdom by Marthanda Varma. On a subsequent interview with the Maharajah Marthanda Varma, the relations between the Dutch and Travancore became further strained. It is said that when the Dutch Governor threatened to invade the territories of Travancore the Maharaja gave an effective reply that he would invade Holland in case the Dutch misbehaved in Malabar. In 1741 the Dutch reinstated the Queen of Elayadath Swaroopam at Kottarakara against the wishes of Marthanda Varma who attacked the kingdom and completely routed the Dutch army and finally fully annexed Kottarakara to Travancore while the Queen fled to Cochin and received a pension from the Dutch.
Following this occurred the decisive Battle of Colachel, resulting in the complete eclipse of Dutch power in Kerala. Though the Battle of Colachel was fought in 1741 A.D. (10 to 14 August) peace with the Dutch was only concluded and ratified by the Batavian Government in October, 1753. More than twenty Dutch men were taken as prisoners in the Battle of Colachel. The prisoners were treated with kindness, so they were glad to take service under the Maharaja. Among them were Eustachius De Lannoy and Donadi, who attracted the maharaja's special notice. De Lannoy, commonly known in Travancore as the 'Valiya Kapithan' (Great Captain) was entrusted with the organization and drilling of a special Regiment, which he did to the entire satisfaction of the Maharaja. De Lannoy was raised to the rank of General and proved of considerable service to the Maharaja in the subsequent wars. Following the expulsion of the Dutch, the Maharajah now turned his attention once again towards Kayamkulam which continued seeking help from the Dutch. In 1742, the Travancore forces attacked the Kayamkulam possessions at Quilon and fought the Kayamkulam army led by its commander Achuta Warrier.In this battle Travancore was defeated. But reinforced with cavalry brought in from Tirunelveli, Marthanda Varma mounted an attack on Kayamkulam and finally defeated the kingdom.Ramayan Dhalawa Died near Panayannar Kavu Bhadrakali Temple Although this temple is one among the 108 Shivalayams, Bhadrakali is more famous than Shiva. Here Kali is called Panayannarkkavilamma.A treaty known as the Treaty of Mannar was signed, by which Kayamkulam became a tributary. However by 1746, the Kayamkulam Rajah once again started showing signs of rebellion and when his conspiracy with the kingdoms further north (such as Kottayam, Changanassery, Cochin and Ambalapuzha) came to the attention of Marthanda Varma, Kayamkulam was annexed by a final war in which the Rajah fled to the Kingdom of Cochin. Travancore now extended from Cape Comorin to Kayamkulam in the north. Following this, Ambalapuzha, Kottayam and Changanassery were also annexed to Travancore by 1753. The principality of Meenachil was also annexed. In 1753 the tributary states of Cochin collectively known as Karappuram and Alangad were ceded to Travancore. In 1755, the Zamorin of Calicut, the most powerful king in Northern Kerala was also defeated at a battle in Purakkad. He was supported by the armies of some other local kings also. This made almost all the Kings of Kerala prostrate before the power of Marthanda Varma.


Treaty of MavelikkaraTreaty of Peace and friendship concluded between Marthandavarma and The Dutch. According to this treaty both the parties agreed to live in friendship and peace. The treaty was signed on 15 August 1753. The treaty was signed at Mavelikkara.


Other reformsOne military commander of the Travancore forces was Eustachius De Lannoy, a prisoner of war from the Battle of Colachel. He modernised the Travancore forces and made it superior to those of the other Kings of Kerala, thus playing a major part in the military acquisitions of Marthanda Varma. Besides these, under ponpandidevar reforms were brought about in the revenue system, budgetary system and public works etc., of the state. The Padmanabhaswamy temple was renovated and new state ceremonies such Murajapam, Bhadra Deepam etc. were introduced by Marthanda Varma. Marthanda Varma also instituted a new knighthood for his loyal Nair officers known as Chempakaraman Pillai. The Kingdom of Travancore was dedicated to the Lord Sri Padmanabhaswamy in 1750 January 3 and after that he was called Sripadmanabha Vanchipala Marthandavarma Kulasekaraperumal and the Maharajah, taking the title of Padmanabha Dasaruled the kingdom as the servant of that deity. Travancore as a whole, thus became the property of Lord Sri Padmanabhaswamy, the deity of the Travancore Royal family or in other words "God's Own Country".Marthanda Varma paid special attention to improving agriculture in the kingdom. The southern-most district of present day Tamil Nadu, Kanyakumari was the southern-most part of Travancore. The portions of land lying east of Nagercoil town called Nanjil Nadu was considered the granary of Kerala due to the extensive cultivation of paddy there. The fertility of this area was only due to the irrigation facilities introduced by Marthanda Varma. His Edicts on the subject of irrigation issued between 1729 and 1758 A.D fill several pages in the Travancore Land Revenue Manual by R. Mahadeva Iyer. Only due to the digging of new canals for irrigation during His reign, the single-crop paddy fields of that area became double-crop fields, almost doubling their production. Pallikondan Dam,Chattuputhoor Dam, Sabari Dam,Kumari Dam and Chozhanthitta Dam, all on the River Pazhayaru in the vicinity of Nagercoil, were constructed by him and are still operational. Near Bhoothappandy, Chattuputhoor dam was constructed and a new channel named Puthanaaru was dug from it to irrigate the Thovala areas. Puthan Dam, built by him near Padmanabhapuram, provided drinking water to that area.


DemiseThe death of Ramayyan Dalawa in 1756 ( Puzhuthu Chathu at Panayannar Kavu Bhadrakali Temple is located on the bank of Pampa river near Mannar. Although this temple is one among the 108 Shivalayams, Bhadrakali is more famous than Shiva. Here Kali is called Panayannarkkavilamma.It was a Jain Temple famous for Ayurveda Treatment and the mode of death caused great pain to Marthanda Varma as the former was not only his minister but also his friend. The king's health started deteriorating since then till he died two years later in 1758 after a brilliant military career. He was succeeded in 1758 by his nephew Maharajah Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma Dharma Raja, who consolidated the kingdom further. Before his death, Marthanda Varma summoned his nephew and successor and gave his final instructions. The main instructions were concerning the maintenance of all the pujas, ceremonies etc. in the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple without attempts to meddle with them and to maintain above all the friendship existing between that Honourable Association (the British) and Travancore and to repose in them full confidence. They had proved more trustworthy of all the foreign forces. Another main instruction was that the expenses of the state should never exceed its revenue. No infighting in the royal family was to be ever allowed. Within a short time of these final instructions, the king gave up his life.

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