- Chithira Thirunal of Travancore
Sree Chithira Thirunal (born as Balarama Varma;
November 7, 1912– July 19, 1991) was the last ruling Maharajaof the princely stateof Travancorein India.
Balarama Varma was the eldest son of Sethu Parvati Bayi, Senior Rani of Attingal, by her consort, Ravi Varma of
Kilimanoor, a grand-nephew of the celebrated painter Raja Ravi Varma.Balarama Varma's mother was distantly related, by birth, to the royal house of Travancore in the direct female line. In 1900, following the absence of heirs in the Travancore royal family, she had been adopted by her maternal grand-aunt. Thus, upon the death of his adoptive maternal uncle, Sri Moolam ThirunalRamavarma, on August 7, 1924, Balarama Varma succeeded to the throne of Travancore under the Regency of his maternal aunt, the famous Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi[The Royal family of Travancore followed the " Marumakkathayam" system of matrilineal successionlike the Nairs of Kerala.] . As was customary, he took the regnal name 'Sree Chithira Thirunal,' as he was born under the "Chithira nakshatram" or star.
Maharaja of Travancore
Sree Chithira Thirunal reigned under the regency of his maternal aunt,
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, who was also his mother's first cousin. On November 6, 1931, upon his attaining majority, Sree Chithira Thirunal was invested with full ruling powers. He was instrumental in establishing the University of Travancore (now the University of Kerala) in 1937. He also had a beautiful palace built which is now a museum. He was able to secure the services of eminent statesmen such as C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar, who served as his chief minister for several years. The period of HH Sree Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma who took the reign of administration in 1931, witnessed many-sided progress. The promulgation of " Temple Entry Proclamation"(1936), was an act that underlined social emancipation. But the Punnapra - Vayalar massacre and the declaration of Independent Travancore were the black episodes of his life.
After India became independent in 1947, Sree Chithira Thirunal agreed to merge his state with India after some initial hesitation. Travancore was united with neighbouring Cochin state and Sree Chitira Tirunal served as
Rajpramukhof the Travancore-Cochin Unionfrom July 1, 1949 to October 31, 1956, which was the entire duration of the existence of that political entity. On November 1, 1956, the state of Keralawas created by uniting the Malayalam-speaking areas of the Travancore-Cochin Union with those of neighbouring Madras State, and Sree Chithira Thirunal demitted office. On December 28, 1971, Sree Chitira Thirunal lost his titles when the Indian government derecognized the rulers of the erstwhile princely states.
Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma died at the
Kowdiar Palace, Trivandrumin 1991, aged seventy-eight. He had ruled Travancore for 67 years and at his death, was one of the few surviving rulers of a first-class princely statein the old Indian Empire. He was also the last surviving Knight Grand Commander of both the Order of the Star of Indiaand of the Order of the Indian Empire. He was succeeded as head of the royal house of Travancore by his brother, Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma.
The government of India issued a stamp in 1991, commemorating the reforms that marked the rule of Sree Chithira Thirunal in Travancore. The
Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technologyand the Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineeringat Trivandrumwas named after him.
MaharajkumarBala Rama Varma III, Elaya Rajaof Travancore
His Highness SriPatmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan MaharajaRaja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharajaof Travancore
His Highness SriPatmanabha Dasa Vanchipala SirBala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan MaharajaRaja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharajaof Travancore, GCIE
Major His Highness SriPatmanabha Dasa Vanchipala SirBala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan MaharajaRaja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharajaof Travancore, GCIE
Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness SriPatmanabha Dasa Vanchipala SirBala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan MaharajaRaja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharajaof Travancore, GCIE
Colonel His Highness SriPatmanabha Dasa Vanchipala SirBala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan MaharajaRaja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharajaof Travancore, GCIE
Major-General His Highness SriPatmanabha Dasa Vanchipala SirBala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan MaharajaRaja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharajaof Travancore, GCSI, GCIE
King George V Silver Jubilee Medal-1935
Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire(GCIE)-1935
King George VI Coronation Medal-1937
Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India(GCSI)-1946
*Indian Independence Medal-1947
* [http://kamat.com/database/biographies/maharaja_of_travancore.htm Brief biography]
* [http://www.4dw.net/royalark/India/trava5.htm Brief biography and detailed genealogy]
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