Thiruvananthapuram

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Painting by Raja Ravi Varma depicting Richard Temple-Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos being greeted by Visakham Thirunal, with Ayilyam Thirunal of Travancore looking on, during Buckingham's visit to Trivandrum, Travancore in early 1880.

Thiruvananthapuram also known as Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala, and the most populous city corporation and the fifth largest urban agglomeration in Kerala.

Quotes[edit]

Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch in the Battle of Colachel [1741]. He captured the Dutch Admiral who was later on appointed as the Senior Admiral it was he who modernised the Travancore army by introducing firearms and artillery.
A. Srivathsan:...In 1949, Maharaja Chithira Thirunal Rama Varma came close to refusing the post of Rajpramukh because he could not “give oath to the Indian government.
View of Technopark
Kerala University administrative building
  • The southern most district and the capital of Kerala, God’s own country, one who visits Thiruvananthapuram, visits heaven experiencing the ecstasy of being here.
  • Thiruvananthapuram, which got this name from Anantha, the serpent king of Hindu mythology... traditional buildings and monuments stand as great examples of culture and overwhelming splendor.
    • Biju Mathew, in Pilgrimage to Temple Heritage, 2013. p. 49
  • Trivandrum, has been in commercial contact with many countries from ancient times. The people were of the Dravidic origin.
    • Selvister Ponnumuthan, in "The Spirituality of Basic Ecclesial Communities in the Socio-religious ..."
  • The history of Trivandrum or rather Travancore comes with the Sangam age which comprised the first five centuries of the Christian era. There was no caste distinction in the earlier period. Hinduism was the religion and Sri Padmanabha Temple marked the religious symbol of the people.
    • Selvister Ponnumuthan, in "The Spirituality of Basic Ecclesial Communities in the Socio-religious ..."
  • Towards the end of 12th century, Kersal became a full fledged feudal society with its peculiar socio-religious institutions, customs and usages. The spread of Christianity and Islam added many divisions in the society, though Trivandrum as such has never been under a foreign ruler.
    • Selvister Ponnumuthan, in "The Spirituality of Basic Ecclesial Communities in the Socio-religious ..."
  • King Marthanda Varma founder of Travancore, made Trivandrum his capital and even after his rule ended the city continued to be the capital of the State of Travancore. When Kerala was formed as a state in 1956 the city was unanimously chosen to continue as the capital continuing two centuries of tradition.... It is a small city compared to the other state capitals and thus retains its charm.
A. Srivathsan: The accession of Swati Thirunal ushered in an epoch of cultural progress and economic prosperity. The beginning of English education was made in 1834 by opening an English school at Thiruvananthapuram. In 1836, an observatory and a charity hospital were established.
  • Raja Ravi Varma, another member of the Travancore royal family and renowned painter, spent an important part of his lifetime in Trivandrum. While he painted many gods and even printed them as oleographs, he never painted Padmanabha or the temple.
    • A. Srivathsan, in "A kingdom and a temple, July 21, 2011"
  • The Travancore royal family took a different approach to ruling its territories and managing the properties of the State. The king served as Padmanabha Dasa — [who] ruled on behalf of god and swore allegiance only to god. In 1949, Maharaja Chithira Thirunal Rama Varma came close to refusing the post of Rajpramukh because he could not “give oath to the Indian government".
    • A. Srivathsan, in "A kingdom and a temple, July 21, 2011".
  • The city’s former name, Trivandrum, was given by the British and is a contraction of Thiruvananthapuram, its ancient name that was adopted again in the early 21st century. It is the site of the University of Kerala (1937) and its affiliated colleges and technical schools. It also has a museum, zoological gardens, an observatory, and an art gallery.
  • Thiruvananthapuram’s industries include mineral processing, sugar milling, textiles, and handicrafts. Rice and coconut cultivation and coastal fishing are economically important. It is a rail terminus and road hub and has an airport and a harbour.
  • I have fallen in love with the women of Kerala. I have been looking around for the last 10 minutes and have not spotted any colour. All of you are wearing white and it is spotlessly clean. I respect you and admire you.
  • Trivandrum is one of the nine Roman Catholic (Latin Catholic) dioceses of Kerala.
    • Selvister Ponnumuthan, in "The Spirituality of Basic Ecclesial Communities in the Socio-religious ...", p. 62

Padmanabha Swamy temple and its treasure trove[edit]

Biju Mathew:Padmanabha Swamy temple located inside the East Fort,...is a rare blend of Dravidian architecture and the Kerala style.
Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma:I cannot comment on what is happening there - the matter is sub-judice. But this much I will say. I have no problem with the inventory and additional security being provided by the state to the temple. But please don't remove those objects from the temple. They belong to nobody, certainly not to our family. They belong to god and our law permits that...
Biju Mathew:Attukal Bagavati temple, one of the ancient temples of South India, ...is venue of Pongala Mahotsvam... which is most important festival...is exclusively confined to women folk and the enormous crowd that gathers in Thiruvananthapuram on this auspicious day is reminiscent of the Kumbamel festival of North India.
  • The kingdom of Travancore was dedicated by Marthanda Varma to his deity Sri. Padmanabha (Lord Vishnu) and from then on the rulers of Travancore ruled the kingdom as the servants of Sri. Padmanabha (Padmnabhadasan).
  • There is a statue of Vishnu at the 2000 yaer old Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the heart of the city. This temple is located within the walls, or fort that encircles the town, and is the only temple in the state with a huge gopura which was so much part of the temple architecture in Tamil Nadu. This is an interesting temple but quite muted by Tamil Nadu standards and I think the six metre long reclining figure of Vishnu is probably the most striking aspect.
  • Padmanabhan believed that these riches were still hidden in the basement, uncounted and unguarded. Like many observant Hindus, Padmanabhan believes that a temple’s deity—in this case, the supreme god Vishnu—resides within the temple’s walls.
    • Jake Halpern, in "The Secret of The Temple:The discovery of treasure worth billions of dollars shakes southern India."
  • For centuries, the royal family’s management of the temple received little scrutiny. Nobody challenged the arrangement until 2007, when Padmanabhan brought a lawsuit against the temple administration, on behalf of two devotees. In the lawsuit, Padmanabhan alleged that a series of kallaras—treasure vaults—existed beneath the temple, and that they were being looted. Based on his research, Padmanabhan believed that there were at least six kallaras beneath the temple.
    • Jake Halpern, in "The Secret of The Temple:The discovery of treasure worth billions of dollars shakes southern India."
  • Early one morning in October, 2008, as the temple prepared to hold its biggest annual festival, Padmanabhan accompanied the two commissioners into a storage area behind the sanctum sanctorum. Confirming Padmanabhan’s suspicions, they found doors to six kallaras. They unlocked and entered the two kallaras containing the festival ornaments, which were later dubbed Vaults C and D. Inside, they found dazzling objects, including a golden bow and arrow, umbrellas made with gold rods, and a golden throne for the deity embedded with hundreds of precious gems. The items were probably worth millions of dollars.
    • Jake Halpern, in "The Secret of The Temple:The discovery of treasure worth billions of dollars shakes southern India."
  • After a series of appeals, the Supreme Court of India announced that before it ruled on the stewardship of the temple, a team of “observers” would inspect the remaining vaults that supposedly contained treasure. Vaults A and B, which had “reportedly not been opened for more than a century,” would be opened, inspected, then “closed and sealed again.
    • Jake Halpern, in "The Secret of The Temple:The discovery of treasure worth billions of dollars shakes southern India."
  • So far, no one has formally calculated the value of the treasure found in Vault A. But V. K. Harikumar, the temple’s executive—who has now seen the hoard on at least two occasions—has estimated that it is worth at least twenty billion dollars.
    • Jake Halpern, in "The Secret of The Temple:The discovery of treasure worth billions of dollars shakes southern India."
  • I cannot comment on what is happening there - the matter is sub-judice. But this much I will say. I have no problem with the inventory and additional security being provided by the state to the temple. But please don't remove those objects from the temple. They belong to nobody, certainly not to our family. They belong to god and our law permits that. All these debates swirling around the riches is unfortunate. That's all I can say - I have to listen to my doctor, lawyer and auditor. Our family has been donating objects to the temple for centuries. As chief patron of the temple, I go there every day. If I miss a day, I am fined Rs. 166.35 - an old Travancore tradition.
  • I have never been inside those cellars. Our philosophy has always been not to look at such objects and get tempted. But of course I know what is inside them.
    • Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma, in reply to the query whether the cellars in the temple contained gold statues studded with rubies and diamonds, saphhires, gold coins of the Napoleonic era and the East India Company, in "The riches belong to nobody, certainly not to our family".
  • Gooseflesh. Everything is surrendered. It is a great, elating feeling. My hair stands on end with joy. Each and every time.
    • Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma expressing his feelings during his daily visit to the Padmanabha shrine, in "The riches belong to nobody, certainly not to our family".
  • The Travancore State and the Padmanabhaswamy temple witnessed momentous changes during Maharaja Chithira Thirunal's time. In 1936, the Padmanabhaswamy temple was the first in India to proclaim temple entry for all, which made Gandhiji describe Chithira Thirunal as a ‘Modern Ashoka.' In 1949 the princely states were abolished and the temple administration changed. In 1971, the privy purse was abolished and grants given to erstwhile rulers were stopped. But Chithira Thirunal still managed to support the temple from his private funds.
  • In 1924, Mahatma Gandhi came [to Trivandrum] and at that time he [Maharaja Chithira Thirunal] was too young to rule. My aunt, his mother's elder sister, was the Regent. Gandhiji came and met her. ‘Is this the Maharani?' he enquired. He looked at her simple dress and asked: Where are the golden saris? Where are the jewels? He then asked her: ‘Is it not very unfair that around the temple in Vaikom, a dog, a cat, a cow, can walk, but a man cannot?' She said, yes. ‘Then why don't you do something about it?' he quizzed. ‘I am a Regent and only carrying on the administration till he grows up. Why don't you ask him [Chithira Thirunal]?' she urged. Gandhiji then asked him: ‘When you become the person in charge, will you allow everyone to enter temples?' As a young boy he said, ‘yes.' He took over in 1931 and granted temple entry in 1936. The remarkable thing was that there was no resistance [from the people who were associated with temple administration.
  • Attukal Bagavati temple, one of the ancient temples of South India, ...is venue of Pongala Mahotsvam... which is most important festival...is exclusively confined to women folk and the enormous crowd that gathers in Thiruvananthapuram on this auspicious day is reminiscent of the Kumbamel festival of North India.
    • Biju Mathew, in Pilgrimage to Temple Heritage, 2013, P.50

QUOTE from Native life in Travancore [by Rev. SAMUEL MATEER, F.L.S. of the London Missionary Society published in 1883 as mentioned in this link: A particular instance of fraud, which occurred a few years ago, may be mentioned. “A Pariah got a piece of jungle as mortgage from a Sudra, cleared and planted the land, so that it became worth about a hundred rupees. Then the Sudra called the man and told him to bring his document, along with sixty fanams, for which, he assured him, he should get the land registered in the man's name. The Sudra afterwards produced a new document, assuring the Pariah (who could not read) that it was the proper deed, and he received it with pleasure. But soon afterwards, the land he had cleared was registered in another person's name, and taken from the poor man, who was unable to obtain any redress. The Sudras in these parts, being connected with the police clerks, can get anything they like done against these poor people, who are easily cheated and oppressed." END of QUOTE

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