Kanyakumari, is a city of the Kanyakumari district in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is the southernmost city of peninsular/contiguous India. Kanyakumari has been a city since the Sangam period, and is a popular tourist destination. The place derives its name from the goddess Devi Kanya Kumari, considered to be the sister of Krishna, a goddess is believed to remove the rigidity from the mind, to whom women pray for marriage. In 1656, the Dutch East India company conquered Portuguese Ceylon from the Portuguese, the name corrupted to "Comorin" and was called Cape Comorin during British rule in India; the city was renamed Kanyakumari by the Government of India and the Government of Madras. According to a Hindu legend, Kanya Devi, an avatar of Parvati, was to marry Shiva, who failed to show up on his wedding day. Rice and other grains meant for the wedding feast remained unused; as the legend goes, the uncooked grains turned into stones. Some believe that the small stones on the shore today, which look like rice, are indeed grains from the wedding, never solemnised.
Kanya Devi is now considered a virgin goddess who blesses tourists who flock the town. Her temple located in Kanyakumari is a holy shrine. According to another Hindu legend, Lord Hanuman dropped a piece of earth as he was carrying a mountain with his life-saving herb, Mrita Sanjivani, from the Himalayas to Lanka during the Rama-Ravana war; this chunk of earth is called Marunthuvazh Malai "hills where medicine lives". This is said to be the reason for the abundance of unique native medicinal plants in the area. Marunthuvazh Malai is located near Kottaram about 7 km from Kanyakumari town on the Kanyakumari-Nagercoil highway; the sage Agasthya, an expert in medicinal herbs, is believed to have lived around this site in ancient days. It is believed to be the reason. A nearby village is named Agastheeswaram after the sage. Today, there is a small ashram on the middle of the Maruthuvazh Malai hill, which tourists visit, both to visit the Ashram and to take a glimpse of the sea near Kanyakumari a few kilometres away, the greenery below.
As of the census of India 2001, Kanyakumari had a population of 19,739, comprising 9,884 males and 9,855 females, making the sex ratio of the town to 997. A total of 2,403 people were under six years of age and the child sex ratio stood at 1,024; the town had an average literacy of 88.62%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. There were a total of 4,236 households in the town; as of 2001, Kanyakumari had a total of 5,929 main workers: 11 cultivators, 78 agricultural labourers, 66 in household industries and 5,774 other workers. There were a total of 119 marginal workers: 4 marginal cultivators, 3 marginal agricultural labourers, 11 marginal workers in household industries and 101 other marginal workers. Kanyakumari is located at 8.08°N 77.57°E / 8.08. Kanyakumari lies at the meeting point of the Laccadive Sea and the Bay of Bengal, it is located at the confluence of the Western Coastal Plains and Eastern Coastal Plains. Kanyakumari is at the southern tip and is the southernmost point of the contiguous Indian Subcontinent.
However, the southernmost point of Republic of India is at Indira Point on Great Nicobar Island, at 6°45’10″N and 93°49’36″E. The nearest city is Thiruvananthapuram and the airport is Trivandrum International Airport, Trivandrum and the nearest town is Nagercoil, the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District is 22 km away; the Thiruvalluvar Statue has a height of 95 feet and stands upon a 38 foot rock that represents the 38 chapters of "virtue" in the Thirukkural. The statue standing on the rock represents "wealth" and "pleasures", signifying that wealth and love be earned and enjoyed on the foundation of solid virtue; the combined height of the statue and pedestal is 133 feet, denoting the 133 chapters in the Thirukkural. It has a total weight of 7000 tons; the statue, with its slight bend around the waist, is reminiscent of a dancing pose of the ancient Indian deities like Nataraja. It was sculpted by the Indian sculptor Dr V. Ganapati Sthapati, who created the Iraivan Temple. It's opening ceremony was on 1 January 2000.
The monument was hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004. But stood unaffected; the statue is designed to survive earthquakes of unexpected magnitudes, such as magnitude 6 on the Richter Scale occurring within 100 kilometers. This is far beyond that of any event recorded in the regional history. During maintenance work, as well as during rough sea, entry is restricted for tourists; the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a popular tourist monument in Vavathurai, India. The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 metres east of the mainland of Vavathurai, it was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda, said to have attained enlightenment on the rock. According to local legends, it was on this rock. A meditation hall is attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate; the design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses a statue of Vivekananda; the rocks are surrounded by the Laccadive Sea. The memorial consists of the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam.
The Gandhi Memorial Mandapam has been built on the spot where the urn containing the Mahatma's ashes
Kanyakumari district is the southernmost district in Tamil Nadu state and mainland India. It stands second in terms of population density among the districts of Tamil Nadu and next only to Chennai district, it is the richest district in Tamil Nadu in terms of per capita income, tops the state in Human Development Index and education. The district headquarters is Nagercoil. Kanyakumari district has a varied topography with sea on three sides and the mountains of the Western Ghats bordering the northern side. Geologically, the landmass of the district is much younger when compared to the rest of state - faulted as late as 2.5 million years during the Miocene, after which numerous transgression, as well as regression of sea, had shaped the western coast of the district. Nanjinad and Eda Nadu which rise the present Kanyakumari district, were ruled by various Tamil dynasties: the Venad Kingdom, Travancore Kingdom, the Cheras, the Cholas, the Ays and the Nayaks. A few artifacts were unearthed by archeological excavations in there.
It was part of the princely state of Travancore during the colonial times prior to India's independence. The Presidency was renamed Tamil Nadu and Kanyakumari, today, is one of the 33 districts of Tamil Nadu state. Many historical assumptions persist in the district and state, which associate sages such as Vyasa, Tolkappiyar and Thiruvalluvar to the district; the district is the birthplace of Ayyavazhi. The area that comprises the current Kanyakumari district was a part of the old Ay kingdom of the first and second Sangham ages. Following the decline of the Ay kingdoms, the area became Venad, with its capital Padmanabhapuram located north of Nagercoil; the wealth of the Nanjalnadu beckoned many invaded including the Nayaks and an Islamist army during the reign of Umayamma Rani. The Venad region was in anarchy before Marthanda Varma ascended the throne in 1729 AD. Before his reign the Samanthan Nairs ruled the province. Under their rule anarchy was dominant in Kanyakumari region. However, Marthanda Varma brought a sense of disorder under control by annexing the nearby territories, putting down the feudal lords and establishing the strong state of Travancore.
He had bought some portions of Kanyakumari from the viceroy making it the southern boundary. Under his rule, the district improved in a social context as well as economically; the famous battle of Colachel took place in the district. The maharajahs of Travancore built the forts at Aramboly to prevent any invasion from the Carnatic. Key elements of Velu Thampi Dalawa's revolt occurred in the area and the English East India company's army under Col. Leger broke through the fortifications and entered Travancore in 1810. In the year 1949, the area became a part of the reestablished Travancore Cochin state; the people of Agasteeswarem, Thovalai and Vilavancode taluks, which formed the southern divisions of the former district of Trivandrum, were predominantly Tamil speaking people. An extreme agitation by Tamil speaking residents under the leadership of Marshal Nesamony took place for including Kanyakumari within Tamil Nadu. Eventuallythe merger happened in 1956 based on language reorganization of states.
The district of Kanyakumari is the southernmost districts in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is situated between 8 ° 03' and 8 ° 35' north latitude; the district has borders with Tirunelveli district, the Gulf of Mannar, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Thiruvananthapuram District. Kanyakumari includes the special grade village of Chinnamuttom, located at the southernmost point of the Indian Subcontinent. Kanyakumari District is divided into two regions: Nanjinadu. Vilavancode and Kalkulam present in Edanadu region consisting of full stretched Western ghats. Thovalai and Agastheeswaram present in the Nanjinadu region. Aravalmozhi gap separates this two regions; the boundary of these regions is Velli hills. For administrative purposes, the district comprises four taluks: Thovalai, Agastheeswaram and Vilavancode, it has nine blocks — Agastheeswaram, Thovalai, Thuckalay, Thiruvattar, Killiyur and Melpuram — and four municipalities: Nagercoil, Padmanabhapuram and Kuzhithurai. At the lower levels of administration, there are 99 village panchayats and a further 56 special category village panchayats.
The major towns of the district include: Agastheeswaram taluk: Nagercoil, Agastheeswaram and Rajakkamangalam. Thovalai taluk: Thovalai and Boothapandi. Kalkulam taluk: Padmanabhapuram-Thuckalay, Kalkulam, Kurunthancode and Kulasekaram, ThingalNager. Vilavancode Taluk: Karungal, Kuzhithurai-Marthandam, Killiyur, Kollemcode, Manjalumoodu Arumanai and Melpuram. Tamil is the most spoken language in the district, though there are significant numbers of native Malayalam speakers. Tamil in Kanyakumari influences the mixture of Malayalam. According to 2011 census, Kanniyakumari district had a population of 1,870,374 with a sex-ratio of 1,019 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929. A total of 182,350 were under the age of six, constituting 89,515 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for.39 % of the population respectively. The district had a total of 483,539 households. There we
Suchindram is a panchayat town in Kanyakumari district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu with Indian postal code as 629704. It is the site of the famous Thanumalayan Temple. There is statue which stands at 22 feet and is carved of a single granite block, it is one of the tallest statues of its type in India. Suchindram is located at Kanyakumari District, it has an average elevation of 19 metres. Suchindram Suchindram is a temple town situated in the southernmost district of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu State, India, it is 11 km from Kanyakumari city and 7 km from Nagarcoil town 105 km from adjacent Tirunelveli district and 81 km from Trivandrum city. The town of Suchindrum is renowned for the Thanumalayan Temple and was an important citadel of Travancore. Suchindram temple is unique in the whole of India in that it is dedicated to three different deities represented by one image in the sanctum and is called Sthanumalayan kovil; the temple is rich in sculpture and architecture and a visitor to this temple is amply rewarded with the sight of such exquisite art of hundreds of years old Suchindram is about 11 km from Kanyakumari and about 7 km from Nagarkoil lying between these two towns.
Busses ply from Thirunelveli and Trivandram. The nearest railway station is Nagarkoil on the Trivandrum - Kanyakumari section of the Southern Railway; the entrance tower to this temple is visible from a distance. The face of the tower is covered with statues from Hindu mythology. There is a covered area in front of the main entrance and the entrance itself is about 24 feet high with a beautifully carved door. There is only one corridor running along the outer wall of the temple with many shrines and mandapams scattered in the inner area; this temple attracts both Saivites in large numbers. About 30 shrines to various deities within the temple complex, the large Lingam in the sanctum, the idol of Vishnu in the adjacent shrine and a large idol of Hanuman at the Eastern end of the Northern corridor represent all the deities of the Hindu pantheon. There are many legends associated with this temple. Anasuya, the wife of Atri Maharishi was famous for her chastity and her devotion to her husband - an embodiment of a Hindu wife.
She could perform miracles by sprinkling the'paatha theertham' to bring rain to a parched earth or to transform objects to her desire. When the three Devis, - Goddesses Lakshmi and Parvathy heard through Sage Naradha the powers of this earthly woman they wanted to test her chastity, they approached their husbands Lords Brahma and Shiva to test Anasuya's devotion to her husband. The three Moorthys transformed into three old mendicants and went to the hermitage where Anasuya was living and sought alms from her; when Anasuya was about to serve them food they told her that they had taken a vow whereby they could not accept alms from a person wearing clothes. As it was a sin to refuse alms to mendicants she prayed to her Lord and sprinkled a little'paatha theertham' on the three old beggars, they were all transformed into babies and throwing off her clothes she offered them food. The Goddesses learning what had happened pleaded with Anasuya to grant them'maankalya biksha' and to give them back their husbands.
Anasuya showed them the three babies. The Devis picked one baby each. Anasuya prayed to her Lord to restore them back to their original form. Lo and behold! Lord Sri Vishnu was in Siva in Parvathy's lap and Saraswathy with Brahma, they accepted. Thus the Thrimoorthy came to be represented by the Lingam at Suchindram. There is another lore associated with this temple. Once Indra was infatuated with the wife of Rishi Gautama. One night he came to the hermitage where Gautama was living and crowed like a cock indicating the approach of dawn. Rishi Gautama thinking that dawn was imminent awoke from his sleep and went to the river for his ablutions prior to commencing his prayers. Realising that it was too dark for dawn and too early for morning to break he returned to his hut. In the meantime Lord Indra took the physical appearance of Rishi Gautama, approached Ahalya and satisfied his desire. Rishi Gautama returning from the river was enraged when he saw his wife in another man´s embrace and cursed the man's entire body be covered with'yoni' and his wife Ahalya to become a statue of stone.
Lord Indra in order to get rid of this curse went to Gnanaranya and prayed to the Three Moorthys to rid him of this curse. When he was rid of his curse and transformed into his original form he built a temple and installed the Lingam to represent the three Moorthy - Thanu-Maal-Ayan, the name of the place came to be known as Suchi-Indran. There are one in Markazhi and the other in Chiththirai. During the Markazhi festival, on the 9th day the deities are taken out in procession around the streets on three festival cars. Visit: http://www.suchindrumfestival.com/ The temple has quite a few sculptures and art. In the'Alankara mandapam' adjacent to the Northern corridor there are four large pillars each formed by a group of smaller pillars all carved from a single stone. Two of these large pillars have the other two 25 each; these are the famous musical pillars. Each of these smaller pillars produce a different musical note. Unfortuna
Nagercoil is a city in the southernmost Indian district of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and a corporation. It is the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District in Tamil Nadu; the city, situated close to the tip of the Indian peninsula, lies in an undulating terrain between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The present city of Nagercoil grew around Kottar, a mercantile town that dates back to the Sangam period. Kottar is now a locality within the city limits. For 735 years it was a central part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom and Kerala State, till a decade after India's independence from Britain in 1947. In 1956, Kanyakumari District, along with the town, was merged with Tamil Nadu; the city is a centre for a range of economic activities in the small but densely-populated district, including tourism, wind energy, marine fish production and exports and cloves plantations, agro-crops, floral production, manufacture of fish nets, rubber products among other activities.‘Nagercoil Cloves’ is a distinct quality of dried cloves in the spices market, noted for its aroma.
Cloves and other spices are grown in estates in the Western Ghats, outside the city. Nagercoil is the nearest city corporation to the ISRO Propulsion Complex and the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant; the city, along with the district of Kanyakumari, stands at the top in many HDI parameters in Tamil Nadu state, including education, per capita income, health indices, etc. The municipality of Nagercoil was upgraded as a Municipal corporation on the eve of its 100th year as a city on February 14th 2019. Known as the Granary of Travancore, Nagercoil not only served as the food basket of Kerala, but was one among the important spice-trading centers in the kingdom of Travancore from the 14th century onward, maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era. Various Tamil and Kerala kings fought over this rich agricultural land. Various historians cite that the land's climate and diverse, luxuriant vegetation had no comparison anywhere else in Tamil Nadu. According to the 2011 census, Nagercoil had a population of 224,849 with a female-male sex ratio of 1.05, well above the national average of 0.929 females/male.
A total of 20,241 were under the age of six, constituting 10,122 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 0.17 % of the population respectively. The literacy rate of the city was 95.35%. The city had a total of 59,997 households. There were a total of 76,345 workers, comprising 244 cultivators, 1,155 main agricultural laborers, 2,271 in household industries, 67,050 other workers, 5,625 marginal workers, 110 marginal cultivators, 361 marginal agricultural laborers, 447 marginal workers in household industries and 4,707 other marginal workers; the major software companies present in Nagercoil are Hinduja Global Solutions, Navigant Consulting and American stock exchange NASDAQ. The city has small aerospace manufacturing plants and satellite fabricating firms serving the Indian Space Research Organisations facility in ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri; the Regional Academic Centre for Space by Indian Space Research Organisation, one among the only six incubation centers for Space Startups in India, is under construction in Nagercoil.
The Integral Coach Factory has small scale windmill unit. The export of 95 tons of fruits and vegetables to the Gulf Countries through the Thiruvananthapuram airports is a major source of revenue for the city, with food processing companies generating a daily revenue of 16.7 lakh rupees and an annual revenue of 6.1 billion rupees. The flower market of Thovalai exports 350 tons of Flowers to Kerala and Middle Eastern countries generating an annual revenue of Rs.250 crore. The major cottage industries like Fish-net manufacturing, Rubber industries, Jewellery manufacturing are industries serving the domestic and export markets; the minor cottage industries include Surgical Gloves, Coir-making, floral trade, handloom-weaving, cashew nut, food-processing units, lace-making. Nagercoil has the highest per capita income of Rs.276,454, making it among the richest small cities in India. The city has an installed windmill capacity of 1500 MW catering to 20% of the state's renewable electricity needs. Muppandhal has emerged as the wind power hub, with plant owners eager to cash in on the Rs 2.90 per unit purchase price being offered by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.
The architecture of Nagercoil consists of an eclectic combination of architectural styles, ranging from those that predate the creation of the town, from the early Dravidian architecture and Kerala Architecture, to English Gothic Revival, to the 21st century contemporary. Although there are prehistoric and classical structures in the city, the architectural history of Nagercoil begins with the first small settlements from 3 A. D; the Roman naturalist and writer Pliny the Elder mentions Nagercoil as a commercial metropolis, having trade links with his contemporaneous Roman merchants, who traded and stayed in unique rock-walled, clay-roofed structures. This legacy can be found in some of the town's old heritage structures like the Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil; the temple has two main deities and Nagaraja. The upadevathas are Shiva, Subrahmanya Swami, Ganesha and Dwarapalaka; as an ancient tradition the priests are Namboothiri Brahmins who are referred by the Pambumekkat mana in Thrissur, Kerala. The 14th century St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral, Kottar serves as a testimony to the mix of Roman and native architecture.
While Saint Xavier was doing missionary work at Kottar and its neighborhood, he averted an invasion of Padagas with the
Travancore royal family
The Travancore Royal Family was the ruling house of the Kingdom of Travancore. They lost their ruling rights in 1949 when Travancore merged with the Indian Union and their privileges were abolished by the Indian Union in 1971 by a constitutional amendment. Travancore and Kolathiri families are said to be those surviving among the original royal Nair Family's lineages, are both descendants of the Ay/Venad Family, Cheras and Cholas; the ruler in that bloodline was Maharaja Sree Moolam Thirunal, as the family of Maharaja Chithira Thirunal and successors. The Royal family is alternatively known as the Kupaka Swaroopam, Thripappur Swaroopam, Venad Swaroopam, Vanchi Swaroopam etc, it has its seat today at Thiruvananthapuram in India. The last ruling Maharajah of Travancore was Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, died on 20 July 1991 after a stroke. Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the younger brother of the last ruling monarch of the Kingdom of Travancore, Maharajah Chitra Thirunal Rama Varma, died at a private hospital in the early hours on 16 December 2013.
He was succeeded by Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, son of Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi and Lt. Col. Goda Varma G. V. Raja; the family descends from ancient Kings The first recorded inscription of the Venad chiefdom that became Travancore is in the copper-plate grants of land and privileges on Jewish & Christian tradesmen. The grants were made by the rulers of Kerala, the Perumal Viceroys of South Indian Kingdoms of the East Coast who were deputed to rule Kerala and witnessed by Chiefs including the Chief of Venad. In the beginning, when aristocratic lineages rose to power, as in the case of small group broken away from its earlier tharavad through conquest.. When they acquired office, these groups seem to have severed ties with their former lineages and clans and to have conferred on themselves,a higher ritual rank as independent castes; these myths are to have been created to add to the aura of the dynasty. According to existing myths, the founding members of the Travancore royal family are said to have come to Kerala, from the banks of the Narmada river.
Another claim is that Parashurama himself crowned the first official ruler in the dynasty although there is no evidence of this person historically. There is a claim that their history can be traced back to 820 C. E, based on the claim of descent from the Later Cheras of the three southern Indian Mandala Kingdoms namely Chera Mandalam, Pandya Mandalam and Chola Mandalam. According to another legend, a branch of the Chera family was sent to the extreme north of the Kerala region, where they settled and came to be known as the Mooshika Royal family, or the Kolathiris, while another branch was deputed to go south to grapple with the Pandyan invasions. One of the two branches of the Chera dynasty shifted to Venad/Quilon where it merged with the Ay kingdom. Sangramadhira Ravivarman Kulaśēkhara was the most famed ruler of this Chera Ay dynasty. Numerous places are named after this Chera-Ay dynasty. Ravi Varman invaded the territories of the Pandyas and Cholas and performed imperial coronations at Madurai and Kanchipuram and thus threw off the Pandyan hegemony in the region.
However his success was short lived and after him his successors could not hold on to these acquisitions of the Pandyas and Cholas. Sangramadhira Ravivarman Kulaśēkhara adopted two princesses from the related Kolathiri dynasty called Attingal and Kunnumel Ranis in 1305 C. E; the line of kings after Ravi Varman followed the Marumakkathayam law of matrilineal succession. The Royal family continued thus in the female line. Whenever there were no females to take forth the line, princesses were adopted from the Kolathiri family, the latest adoption being in 1994. Umayamma Rani who reigned towards the end of the 17th century was a prominent ruler. Marthanda Varma, the "maker of modern Travancore" and Dharma Raja were powerful rulers who re-established the power of monarchy in the state and destroyed that of the nobles. By the early 19th century the kingdom became a princely state under the British; the British government accorded the Maharajah of Travancore a high 19 gun salute outside Travancore, whereas locally and for all temple festivals, the highest salute of 21 guns were fired.
Swathi Thirunal was one of the most popular rulers of the 19th century. He made contributions both in the field of administration as well as music; the reign of Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma brought about revolutionary reforms like the Temple Entry Proclamation and Compulsory education for all etc. He was referred to as the Father of Travancore industrialization by A. Sreedhara Menon. V. P. Menon in his book stated that, under Chithira Thirunal's reign, Travancore had become the second most prosperous Princely State in the British Empire; the women of Travancore Royal Family were popularly referred to as Attingal Queens. Attingal was considered as the ancestral homes of Travancore royals. Historians like V. Nagam Ayya, A. Sreedhara Menon etc. say that Attingal was never a separate Kingdom but the estates and provinces given to the royal women by the male head of the family. AS the Kings of Travancore were the sons of Attingal Queens, the latter were held in high respect by the royal family as well as the public.
This respect and high status led to the wrong notion that Attingal Queens were once sovereigns, further compounded by the writings of many foreign historians and travellers. If they had any power, it was taken away by Maharajah Sree Anizham Thirunal Veerabaala Marthanda Varma. Many Attingal Queens misused their status and signed dangerous treaties with foreign forces, without consulting with the reigning Travancore Kings. Maharajah Sree Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, anticipating the threat to the Kingdom's s
Thiruvananthapuram known by its former name Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. It is the most populous city in Kerala with a population of 957,730 as of 2011; the encompassing urban agglomeration population is around 1.68 million. Located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland, Thiruvananthapuram is a major Information Technology hub in Kerala and contributes 55% of the state's software exports as of 2016. Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as the "Evergreen city of India", the city is characterised by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills; the Ays ruled the present region of Thiruvananthapuram until the 10th century. With their fall in the 10th century, the city was taken over by the Chera dynasty; the city was taken over by the Kingdom of Venad in the 12th century. In the 17th century the king Marthanda Varma expanded the territory and founded the princely state of Travancore and Thiruvananthapuram was made capital of Travancore. Following India's independence in 1947, Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Travancore-Cochin state and remained capital when the new Indian state of Kerala was formed in 1956.
Thiruvananthapuram is a notable academic and research hub and is home to the University of Kerala, Kerala Technological University the regional headquarters of Indira Gandhi National Open University, many other schools and colleges. Thiruvananthapuram is home to research centers such as the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Indian Space Research Organisation's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, a campus of the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research; the city is home to media institutions like Toonz India Ltd and Tata Elxsi Ltd, is home to Chitranjali Film Studio, one of the first film studios in Malayalam Cinema, Kinfra Film and Video Park at Kazhakoottom, India's first Infotainment Industrial park. Being India's largest city in the deep south, it is strategically prominent and hosts the Southern Air Command headquarters of the Indian Air Force, the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station and the upcoming Vizhinjam International Seaport.
Thiruvananthapuram is a major tourist centre, known for the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the beaches of Kovalam and Varkala, the backwaters of Poovar and Anchuthengu and its Western Ghats tracts of Ponmudi and the Agastyamala. In 2012, Thiruvananthapuram was named the best Kerala city to live in, by a field survey conducted by The Times of India. In 2013, the city was ranked the fifteenth best city to live in India, in a survey conducted by India Today; the city was selected as the best-governed city in India in the survey conducted by Janaagraha Centre for citizenship and democracy in 2017. The city takes its name from the Malayalam word thiru-anantha-puram IPA:, meaning "The City of Lord Ananta", referring to the deity of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple located in the city. Thiruvananthapuram is known in the literature, popular reference as Ananthapuri derived from the Sanskrit word Syanandurapuram, meaning "The City of Bliss" in Carnatic kirtanas composed by Swathi Thirunal, erstwhile Maharaja of Travancore.
The city was referred to as Trivandrum until 1991, when the government decided to reinstate the city's original name Thiruvananthapuram. Thiruvananthapuram is an ancient region with trading traditions dating back to 1000 BCE, it is believed that the ships of King Solomon landed in a port called Ophir in Thiruvananthapuram in 1036 BCE. The city was the trading post of spices and ivory. However, the ancient political and cultural history of the city was entirely independent from that of the rest of Kerala; the early rulers of the city were the Ays. Vizhinjam, now a region in the present-day Thiruvananthapuram, was the capital of Ay dynasty. Vizhinjam was an important port city from as early as 2nd century BC. During the Ay dynasty rule, Thiruvananthapuram witnessed many battles in which the Chola and Pandyan dynasties attempted to capture the port town. After the death of king Vikramaditya Varaguna in 925 AD, the glory of the Ays departed and all their territories became part of the Chera dynasty.
During the 10th century, the Cholas sacked Vizhinjam and surrounding regions. The port in Vizhinjam and the historic education center of Kanthalloor Sala was destroyed by Cholas during this period. A branch of the Ay family, controlling the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, merged with the Kingdom of Venad in the 12th century. In the late 17th century, Marthanda Varma who inherited the Kingdom of Venad expanded the kingdom by conquering kingdoms of Attingal, Kayamkulam, Kottayam, Meenachil and Ambalapuzha. In 1729, Marthanda Varma founded the princely state of Thiruvithamkoor and Thiruvananthapuram was made the capital in 1745 after shifting the capital from Padmanabhapuram in Kanyakumari district; the kingdom of Travancore was dedicated by Marthanda Varma to the deity Sri. Padmanabha; the rulers of Travancore ruled the kingdom as the servants of Sri. Padmanabha; the city developed into a significant artistic centre during this period. The golden age in the city's history was during the mid 19th century under the reign of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal.
This era saw the establishment of the first English school, the Observatory, the General Hospital, the Oriental Research Institute & Manuscripts Library and the University College. The first mental hospital in the state was started during the same period. Sanskrit College, Ayurveda Co
Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma
Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma is the current titular Maharajah of Travancore. He is the youngest of the four children of the former Titular Maharani of Travancore, H. H. Sree Padmanabhasevini Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi and her husband, Prince Consort Lt. Col. G. V. Raja of Poonjar Royal House. Rama Varma is the only nephew of the last reigning King of Travancore, Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma and succeeded the late Titular King of Travancore, H. H. Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, he is the Managing Director of the spice trading company, Aspinwall Ltd. As the head of the royal family, he along with his wife, moved to Thiruvananthapuram in 2013 and has settled down at Kowdiar, in order to keep up with the ritual duties of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. After the interim judgement by the Supreme Court on Padmanabhaswami Temple case, Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma remain the trustee of the temple and does the ritual duties as the Maharajah Of Travancore but has no administrative power regarding the temple management.
The Supreme court bench comprising justice R. M. Lodha and justice A. K. Patnaik ordered a temporary change in administration by forming a 5-member committee and appointing Vinod Rai as auditor; the committee will include Thiruvananthapuram District Sub Judge K. P. Indira and Nambi of the temple and two members to be decided in consultation with the Government of Kerala and the Travancore Royal Family. Additionally one Indian Administrative Service officer and a former administrator of the temple were appointed as executive officers. Rama Varma is the youngest son of H. H. Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore and her husband, Prince Consort Lt. Col. G. V. Raja, was born on 12 June 1949 in Thiru-Kochi, his siblings are the late Crown Prince Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Avittom Thirunal Rama Varma, Princess Pooyam Thirunal Gowri Parvathi Bayi and the writer, Princess Aswathi Thirunal Gowri Lakshmi Bayi. Like his father, Lt. Col. G. V. Raja, Rama Varma is an avid sports and book lover.
He was educated by selected tutors in various subjects. He graduated from Mar Evanios College, Thiruvananthapuram, with Physics as his selective subject, he moved to Kolkata and worked there for some years. He went to England to learn business management and worked there for a year. After finishing his higher education and working in England, Rama Varma returned to India in 1972 and, at his uncles' advise, joined the spice trading company Aspinwall Ltd in Mangalore. Rama Varma married Rema Varma in 1976, they were divorced in 2002. In the same year, he married Ammachi Panapillai Amma Srimathi Girija Thankachi of Vazhuthacadu, alias Dr. Girija Rama Varma, former radiologist based in London. After their 2002 wedding the couple lived in Mangalore till 2013. After Rama Varma assumed the Titular Maharajah's position, they moved to Kowdiar and settled down there. Rama Varma served as a consultant and in various executive positions like, Additional Director, Director of Planning, Executive Director Aspinwall & Co Travancore Ltd, Member of Aspinwall Promoter Group, Managing Director of Aspinwall and Co Ltd in Mangalore.
Rama Varma became the Elayarajah of Travancore when Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma died in 20 July 1991. And when Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma died on 16 December 2013, he became the Titular Maharajah Of Travancore, he was appointed after a function called Thirumudikalasam, as the head of the Travancore Royal Family on 3 January 2014, was held at Kalasamandapam near the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. After rituals and traditional procedures, Tharananalloor Parameswaran Namboodiripad, the temple Tantri, poured'punyajalam' over Rama Varma, making him the new head of the royal family; the anoinment function was a private affair and only the closest family members and priests took part in it. Rama Varma, as of now, is the Supreme Guardian or Custodian of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram. After his installation, he arrived at the Kulasekhara Mandapam of the temple where the Ettara Yogam presided over by the Pushpanjali Swamiyar held a meeting; the Yogam recognised Rama Varma as Chirava Mooppan and Thrippappoor Mooppan, the Swamiyar signed on the neettu.
His full title is: His Highness Sree Padmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharajah Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharajah of Travancore. G. V. Raja Travancore Royal Family Maharajah Thampi and Thankachi Panapillai Amma H. H Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma Reflections Lakshadeepam 2014 Youtube.com Moolam Thirunal anointed head of Travancore royal house Youtube.com