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FL 2JDI 2 

RtJBEL Asiatic Research Collection 


Fine Arts Library • Harvard University 





l^lio "Modol f*^tfi<€*^ of liifllft 




/{itthor ^f JnliU'p Leaves S^*r," ''Our Kiug-Empn^or 
Eihvard VIL (f BiograpJural Shtck'^ 

{C\q\i/ lUifhL) 





■ iISi, 3d-St<l 


The work now submitted to the public presents a vast 
variety of information that I have gathered during a long 
period of unremitting devotion to the study of the country, its 
people, its history and its Government. The following extract 
Irom the Madras Mail explains the scope and object of the 
book : — " The book begins by discussing the natural features 
and the topography of the State, and dwells on the special 
features of its fauna, and flora. Then the early races of Tra- 
vancore are traced to the various stages of their advent, and 
next come chapters devoted to the Nayars, the Numbudris and 
the Dravida Brahmins, which three classes comprise the mass 
of the population in the State... The Malayalam language and 
literature are lightly touched on in a short chapter, which is 
followed by an account of the principal religious temples and 
worship in vogue in the State, special mention being made of 
^e catholic spirit which dominates the Government of His 
Highness the Maharajah in all matters pertaining to religion. 
Under the Section " Progress " a historical retrospect is given 
of Travancore and its ruling House and a succinct account of 
the economic progress made by the State durinjj: the times of 
the earlier and the later Eajahs. The chapter on the " Poli- 
tical Relations " with the paramount power is a clear state- 
ment of the circumstances under which the ruling: House of 
Travancore came into relationship with the British. An ex- 
cellent account is given of the present system of Administration 
and of the reforms effected in several Departments of the State 
in recent years." 

In November 1900, when Lord Curzon honored the coun- 
try with the first Viceregal visit, I submitted to His Excellency 
several articles published by me from time to tima under the 
title of " Travancore Topics " and in kind appreciation of my 
proposal to work them out into a book of this kind, Mr. W» R. 
Lawrence, Private Secretary to H. B. wrote: — " The Viceroy 
wishes you every success in the proposed work. ' Encouraged 
thus, I have performed a task which, I know, requires far 
greater equipment and external aid than I can command. I 
have kept in view fu'ness, precision and conciseness so very 
essential to a Ivork which is the first of its kind. Nevertheless 
a few inaccuracies have crept in. I am very thankful to one 


\i my European well-wishers who, in virtue of his high oflBcial 
position and of hia special study of the countrj', can with autho- 
ity speak on the subject, for having pointed out them to me. 

On page 25, I should have said that Anjengo was made 
lUbordinate to the British Resident in 1810 when the post of 
]ommerd:il Resident was abolished. It is now a part of the 
dalabar DisE;rict. 

On the game page, the statement that Quilon was the seat 
>f the St. Thomas Christians is not quite accurate. It was. 
lOOO yeara ago the chief seat of only one portion of the St. 
Thomas Christians, There are few there now. 

I am in error when, on page 138, 1 state that Mar Diony- 
5ius and Mar Thoma have between them the whole of the 
Travancore Churches, for the fact is that the Eomo- Syrians and 
]he Latin Catholics have nothing to do with these two Bishops- 
By my remark on the same page that the two great Protestant 
Societies, the C. M. S. and the London Mission Society, owe 
their existence to Col. Munro and Veda Manikam, I mean of 
30urse that these persons brought the Societies into Travan- 

I shall be obliged to readers of my book if they will 
kindly communicate to me any errors that may still hav« 
escaped notice or any additional information on the topics treatf* 
ed of in it. 

I may add however that the most authentic materials at 
present available have, after considerable research and study, 
been obtained and utilised in the book. I have cited in the 
hody of the hook the authorities relied on by me. I regret 
I had not the advantage of reading the excellent Census 
Be port of 1901, since my work has been finished and sub- 
mitted to His Highness* Government early in January 1902. 
It is impossible to exaggerate the magnitude of the debt 
I owe to His Highness" Government for the substantial aid 
friven me in the publication of the work. I should fail in 
duty sind in justice to my feelings if I do not take this 
opportunity of expressing my acknowledgments to Dew^an 
Bahadur Krishnaswamy Eow, and the late Mr. Thanu Pillai 
for their kind permission to consult the Huzur Eecords and 
Library and for their unifoim kindness and advice. 

S. Eamanath Aiyar, 
























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North to South 




































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The country^ 

Chapter I. Physical aspects 1 — 18. 

Name: Situation, Boundaries, area and population, Re- 
latiou with foreign power, Mountaips, Rivers,^ Lake^, Canals, 
Roads, Road steads. 

Chapter II. Topo^apJiy IE* — 27^ 
. Ancient principalities. Divisions, Origin of Mandapa* 
thum Vathukkal, Subdivisions, Principal places, Archeolor 
gic£^l reeearchea 

Chapter III. Meteorology 28—33. . 

General, Causes, Winds, Temperature, Seasons, Diseases 

Chapter IV. Geology and Mineralogy 34 — 42 

Relation, General, Rocks, Soils Mud bank. Minerals. 

Chapter V. Flora 44—52. 

General, Forest limits, Forest regions. Floral varieties. 

Chapter VI. Fauna 54—57. 

General, Game limits, Close seasons, Gam^, WilS ani- 
mals, ^Domesticated animals, Amphibious animafe. flsho8». 
Birds, Insects, Reptiles. • » 

The people. 

Chapter I. Early races 58 — ^^65^. 
Aborigines, Kanies, Pallans, Malayadayars, Hill Panda- 
rams, KochuvalenS; UUadans, Mala Arayans, Pallyars 


Mannans, other tribes, Cherumar. Their disabilities, Immi- 
gration of Thiyas, their ^resenii condition. 

Chapter II. Thz Mxtr^^-^Y7. 

Their settlement, Serpent worship. Hereditary warrior- 
dom, Taravaud, Matriarchy, Misconceptions, Origi, Kklari, 
Logan's Testimony, Marriag^iidtesi, I'Ltesent State. 

. Chapter III. The Namburis or West coast 
Brahmins 78 — 85. 

Arrival, Oonstittitioti, Social peculiarities. 

Chapter IV. Drarnda Brahmins dV East t^o^st 

Brahmins 86—95. 

^Mvejit,. Division, HereiJitary culture, St'ag(^s of life 

Joint family^ Present creect Doiniiiant characteristics of the 
people. ' ' .; ♦ . . :.' 

Chapter V. Language and Literature 9^—167. 

Localisation,' Relation to Tamil and Sanstrit. Revival 
of letter^'. Archery, Medicine, Astronomy, lipics, tyrics, 
Pram^, Novel, Recent advance, Royal patronage. 

Reli^^n and caste. 

"'■■'■'-. ' " . ■ « .■ 

Chapter I. Sindusvm (sojoial) lfl8~121.j 
; Its Ihr^^d WQrk, Castei, Its univei^aality^ Cli^ifica- 
iiiOl3^, Bra^M^ti^, Tamil Bcahmine, SubdivlBiQns, Majiaratt^ 
Brahmins, Telegu Brahmins, Malabar Brahnrios^ Iniermedi- 
ate classes, Classes of !Nairs. 

Chapter II. H&^sim^v^ligious) 122 — 127. 

Classes of Temples, Nature of worship. Adaptability. 

Clxppterlll Budhi^m ns~lSl. 

Bjiddhist immigrants, Sasthra Kali, Brahmin Revival, 
'Bijdbie^ic temple -oit OhitraL 


Chapter IV. ilahvmedanisni 132— ISS. 

Classes of Malioraedans, Mosques in Travancore, Tlieir 
histoiy. * 

Chapter V. Chinstianity 134 — 140. 

Syi'ian HiissiOii, Anglican mission, London mission 
Church mission. 


Chapter I. A historical retrospect 142 — 157. 

Under the early Rajahs — Under Rama Varma the great 
— ^Under the Regency of Ranis — Under the later Rajahs — 
Under the Maha Rajaha 

Chapter II. Political Relat'ons 152—169 . 

Treaty of 1805— The Nair Brigade, Adoptions— Title 
of Maha Rajah — other events. 

Chapter III. Material Development 170 — 190. 

"ftoyal share of the administration, Land laws, Settle- 
ment. Land lords and tenants, Free labour, Kulacha Kudu- 
thai; Remission of taxes. Agricultural loans. Law & Justice. 
Jurisdiction over European British subjects, Legislative 
Council, Police, Prisons, Registration, General results. 

Chapter IV. Economic growth 191 — 260. 

S3^tem of accounts, Sources of Income, Forests, Caida- 
mom, and other goods. Salt, Tobacco, Abkari, Directionp of 
outlay, Medical relief, Sanitation, Public works, Irrigation 
Railway, Trade. 

Chapter V. Education^ Science and Art 207- 

Five periods of educational progress. New code of 
education, Female education^ Popular education, Museum, 


Public gardens, Ob3ervatoiy: Art, Ivory carving, Painting, 
Influence of Ravi Yarma, Art gallery. 

Chapter VI. Religious and charitable Luti- 
ti/iiOM5 226 — 242, , , 

Traditional charity of tlie Roy^l house, Assumption of 
charity endowments, Necessity of their preservation. 



Moolam Thirunal Maharajah of Travancore. 


Hinder the 3^^^^ it^}<^^^ 

Tbe Country. 


Travancore is a representative Native State in 
the extreme south of tne vast empire of continental 

Like India, it is a most lovely kingdom to which 
Nature has been boundlessly bountiful. The West- 
ern Ghats define and defend its eastern boundary, 
while the western side is washed by the Arabian 
^Sea. Between the lofty range of mountains and 
the extensive seaboard, the country opens out a 
panorama of perpetual verdure and luxuriant vege- 
tation, diversified by every variety of wood and 
dale, of mountain and river, of lake and forest 
and of extensive topes of cocoanut and areca palms 
or cultivated fields. It has, time and again, at- 
tracted the attention of travellers and great person- 
ages. Many a Governor of the Madras Presidency, 
under whose sympathetic eye the State has pros- 
pered, has extolled its picturesque scenery. Sir 
M. E. Grant Duff describes it as *'one of the fair- 
est and most interesting realms that Asia has to 
show. " Lord Connemora calls it **a fairy land." 
The talented pen of Mr. J. D. Rees has covered with 
additional charm its enchanting forest glades and 


JBora. No woiider, therefore, that an ardent admir- 
er of nature as Lord Curzon left the " city of pala- 
ces ^* to pay Ms first viceregal visit to this inte-^ 
resting country and admire ^' its exuberant na- 
tural beauties, itS: old-world simplicity and ita 
A^rcadian charm '\ 

Like India, the country with the influence of 
its situation near the equator^ of its vicinity to the 
Indian Ocean, of its elevations of every variety^ oi 
its extensive sea coasts, of the direction of ita 
mountain barrier and other circumstances that 
determine its climatic conditions, furnishes an inte* 
resting field for the study of its meteorology. 

Like India, the country is clothed in magnificent 
primeval forests under which, according to the 
official report, there is a larger percentage of the 
land of this State than any other European coun^ 
try or the United States. Countless species of 
noble trees, medicinal plants and economic pro- 
ducts abound with infinite attraction to the bot^ 

Like India, the country furnishes an infinite 
variety of game to the sportsman and the natura- 

Like India, the country opens a wide field of 
interest and attractiveness to the geologist whom 
the Quilon and Varkalai Beds, the Alleppey Mud 
Bank and the contortions of strata and embedded 
fossil woiild enable to discern its architectural 

designs and details aiid to boldly venture into the 
dark backward abysm of tibie ; similao^, the plum- 
bago mines now laid bare and busily Worked and 
the rich pi^ospect of mining it has initiated, will 
help the sturdy minerlaogist oilward to dig deep 
into the bai'riel's of the unknown^ 

Like India, NatUi^e has exercised a consider-^ 
^ble inftuence on the national history ahd charac- 
ter. The mountains have, in early timies, decreed 
in favour of the bi'eaking-up of the country into 
numerous petty states. The sheaves of plenty that 
Nature has freely bestowed upon the people also 
arrested their development into a healthy and 
tjompact nationality. The multitudinous popu- 
lation and their stratification into numerous castes 
and communities, their social condition^ their pecu^ 
liar manners, their diverse religious creed, influ-* 
enced by internal dissension and,, by intercourse 
tvith foreign nations, gives the ethnologist a wide 

jfield for study and reflection. 

Like India, the country has, from the ancient 
times, been known to the external world* The 
extensive sea-board affording many a^ safe road- 
stead for ships to anchor off and the immense na** 
tural wealth of the country have induced foreign 
nations to colonise it for purposes of trade from 
pre-historic times* 

Like India, from whose trade the brilliant 
medieval republic of Italy drew no small share of 

* THE couJ^titr. 

iier wealth, it is recorded by the late lamented Sii^» 
W. W. Hu^r that the pepper trade of Malabar 
and Travancore dates from far beyond the age of 
Sinbad the Sailor, and reaches back to Roman times 
^nA that philology proves that the precious cargoes 
of Solomon*s merchant ships came from the anci- 
ent western coast. 

Mr. Wigram, a distinguished member of the In- 
dian Civil Service, maintains, in his " Malabar Law 
andCustom" that, when commerce was almost in its 
infancy, a trade sprung up between the Mediterra- 
nean ports and the ports of the vz-est coast. The 
foreign intercourse resulted in the attainment, by 
the country, of historical importance and, by the 
people, of a higher civilization. 

In a word, like India, the country presents a 
rich variety of natural scen.ery ; of climatic condi- 
tions ; of social and racial peculiarities. The stu- 
dent of Nature, of society and of religion will have 
each a wide field for his favourite avocations, re- 
search and study. 

Name. — This interesting country was known 
under different names at different periods of its 
history. Vanchidesam or the land of treasure ; 
Dkarma JBhtimi or the land of charity ; Vanavav" 
nad, abridged into Venaiidy or the land of the 
celestials ; Tripapur or the land of the bearers of 
the sacred feet ; Rama Majyam or the kingdom of 
llama Raja and Kerala or the land of cocoanut 

palms, ate some of the names. Its present de- 
nomination is Travanco)*ey which is a form of the 
Sanskrit Srivardhanapw^i or the land where the 
Goddess of prosperity resides. 

Situation. — It is a tributary Native State situ- 
ated in the southwest extremity of the Madras 
Presidency, between Latitudes 8^ 4' and 10^ 22' 
]Sr. and between Longitudes 76^ 12\ and 77^ 38' E. 

Boundaries. — It is bounded on the North by 
the Cochin Sbate and the Coimbatore District ; on 
the Hast by the Madura and Tianevelly Districts ; 
and on the South and West by the Arabian Sea. 

Area and Population. — The extreme length 
from North to South is 172 miles and its extreme 
breadth is 76 miles, the total area is 6,370 Sq. 
miles. The population of Travancore according 
to the recent Census is 29,52,157. 

Relation with Foreign Power. — The State is 
in subsidiary alliance with the British Government to 
which it pays an annual tribute of 8 lakhs of Ru- 
pees. Mr<. Tupper calls the Ruler a *' Feudatory". 
According to Mr, Lee-Warner, he is a " Protected 
Prince" in subordinate alliance with Govern- 
mt^nt. To •' subordinate " Col. Mallison prefers 
"subsidiaiy ". Officially, however,- the State is 
" an ally under the suzerainity of His Majesty '\ 
This was settled by the Treaty of 1805 which has 
placed on a permanent basis of security, for all 
.time to come, the treity of perpetual friendship 

«ind alTiauce Ijetween thd Honourable East IridiA 
Oompany Bahadur and the Maharaja Bahadur^ 
concluded in 1795^. 

Mountains. — !th6 country is boimded and but- 
tressed on the east by a chain of mountains 200 
ttkiles long, generally spoken of as an uninterrupt- 
^d continuation of the Western Ghats. These are^ 
however, separated by the Palghat Valley which 
has proved a most useful feature in the Railway 
communication between the east and the west 
coast. The course of the mountains is very irre^ 
jgular. It breaks into hills of various heights. At 
several points, they rise to an elevation of over 
8000 feet above the sea. They slope in successive 
tiers towards the tableland, until it gently falls to 
the level of the sea. The average altitude of these 
summits is 4,000 feet. The mountain chain bears 
different names in different parts. The Northern 
J>ortion is known as the High Range or the Ana- 
malay. Its Sanskrit name is Gajasailam or the Ele- 
phant Hill. It has a remarkable rock, two miles 
long and one-foiu'th of a mile in breadth. This is 
supposed to represent the elephant sent by a king 
of the Chola country to devastate and destroy the 
beautiful city of Madura* There Is a ruined tem- 
ple hewn out of a side of the rock said to have 
been destroyed by Tippu Sultan. The chief sum* 
mit of the Anamalay Range is called Anamtidi. It 
is 8000 feet high, and has a climate similar to 
Ootacamuud. The plateau is often visited by ibex 


hunters. They obtain honey hy swinging them-^ 
selves over the precipice with long chains of ropea 
or rattans and sell the article to the people of the 
plains. Further south, are the Cardamom Hills and 
the Peermed plateau. . In the former, cardamoms 
which was till quite recently a State-monopoly, 
grows abundantly, and the latter is called after 
the Mahomedan Saint, Peer Mohamed, who is said 
to have resided there. It is the seat and centre of 
planting industries. It is largely resorted to by 
the Europeans who have largely taken up for the 
purpose. Camp Gorge, Ponmudi, Ashambu and 
other portions of the range. Beyond these, the 
range descends to the Shencotta pass. Here it ia 
only 800 feet high, bixt rises to 4000 leet further 
south and stretches for over 60 miles. Its termin- 
ation is Agastiakudom or the abode of Agastia, 
one of the seven sages who, having escaped at the 
flood of Manu, is supposed to have dwelt apart in 
proud isolation on the top of this peak where po-^ 
pular tradition considers him to reside even to 
this day. Its height is 9150 feet and on this was 
built, in 1854, an Observatory under the direction 
of Mr. Broun who recorded meteorological observ-« 
ations for a long time. The southern men t peak 
of the Travancore Ghats is Mahendragiri. This is 
the " MaUi qtiorum mons mullus " of Pliny, This js 
the hill from the summit of which Hanuman, the 
Monkey chief and confederate of the classic Bama, 
is said to have jumped to the beautiful Lanka, tha 


indderil Ceylon or the Golden isle. In the entire* 
range, the other peaks of note are Amarthamala, 
Kodayathur Mala, Nedumpara Mala, Papanasa 
Mala, Marithva Mala and the Peria Mala. 

Rivers. — Owing to its mountainous character, 
the country, like few provinces of similar extent, 
ia washed by very many large and fine rivers. 
They rise in the mountain slopes, take more or 
less a westerly or southerly direction and discharge 
themselves into the sea either directly or through 
the lagoons. The bed of the rivers is frequently 
rocky at the elevated parts but in most instances 
sandy, as they approach the plains. The banks 
are, near the Ghats, precipitous, but get lower and 
lower as they quit the elevated parts. They are . 
successively over-hung by verdant forests, groves 
of luxuriant vegetation or cultivated fields. The 
course of the rivers is winding, especially towards 
the coast and the depth is, on the average, from 
12 ft. to 15 ft., while the tides, whose vicissitudes 
are felt but slightly, rise about 3 ft. and are subject 
to diversity. With the beginning of the monsoon, 
the rivers rapidly swell and spread without control, 
rolling a full and copious tide, but they diminish 
with equal rapidity while the violence of the mon- 
soon draws to a close. By far, the largest is the 
Periyar, as its name signifies. It is unsurpassed in 
size, beauty and usefulness by any of the streams 
of the west coast. Messrs. Ward and Connor, in 
their geographical memoir of the State, describe 


the river thus:—** This noble river has its soitrce^ 
in the Alpine chain of the Peninsula, separating 
Tinnevelly from this State, and mingles its waters 
with the ocean at Pallipuram, near Eodang^^Ilur^ 
It forms many cascades in its eirlier course. In- 
numerable streams swell ita waters by the tribute 
of their copious tides. The whole of those streams 
pass through the wildest country possible, dashing: 
over their stony channels confined to a contracted 
breadth by the mountains on their borders or 
hurled in a succession of cascades; nor does the ad- 
vance of the parent stream proceed with less em- 
harassment, though its course is marked with more 
variety ; at intervals^ hurrying with resistless vio- 
lence over the asperities of its rugged and narrow 
bottom and dilating into placid ponds whose glassy 
surface reflects the dusky declivities that overhang 
its rocky margin-, or precipitated in cataracts as 
its impetuous tide dashes tumultuously over the 
rocks that intersect its progress, or struggling 
through the contracted channel to which they con- 
fine it. Such is the general character of the river 
before reaching Neriamangalam where, escaping 
from the winding depths through which it had 
been forcing a passage, it flows in a comparatively 
placid stream towards its embroohure. With the 
exception of the last 35 miles of its total length of 
142 miles, this fine stream passes through a com- 
plete wild. '* 



Its enormous volume of water i§ now diverted 
inta Madura by the Periyar water- works for which 
the Durbar has leased out to the Britiah Govern- 
ment over 8,000 acres of land above th6 river-lina 
for a consideration of 40,000 Rupees. It is worthy 
of note that Mr. Nelson records, in his. '' Madura 
Manual", that this project was under contemplation 
^' even during the days of the Madura Naicks". 

Proceeding South, the next is the Muvattu- 
puzhai river. It is swelled by the waters of sever-^ 
al tributary streams of which the largest flows into 
it near the place that gives the river its name- 
Then comes the Meenachil river which, formed by 
the confluence at Errattupettah of several streams 
that descend from Kodayattur and Kodamurutti 
hills, pours its waters into the Vembanad lake- 
which is the reservoir of the copious tribute of 
many large rivers. Then comes the Pamba or 
Banni river which is one of the finest streams of 
Travancore. It owes much of its waters to the 
confluence of the three large streams. — Kallar, Kak- 
kattar, and Pamba, which have their sources in the 
hilly tract above the Ranni. About 20 miles above 
the mouth it unites with the Achenkoil or Kula- 
kada river which issues from the foot of the pass 
of the same name. Five miles down, this rapid 
stream is joined by the Manimala river which 
proceeds from the Peermade plateau. Its wa- 
ters are much used for cultivation. Further 
south is the Kallada, the third largest river in 

tti6 cotmlry. It is swelled by the tribute of se- 
veral large streams that flow from the higher 
ghauts in a succession of cataracts. The largest 
and most remarkable of them is known as Meenmuttu 
It flows into the Ashtamudi lake by several mouths 
which, in some parts, ai'3 300 yards wide. The 
Ittikafai is a less important stream which flows 
into the Parur Lake, while farther south we have 
the Attangal river called also Bhavanipuram. We 
have again the Karamanal river and the Neyyar> 
both of which have their sources at the Agastya 
slopes, and discharge themselves into the sea — the 
one near Poonthura and the other near Poovar* 
The former has a bridge remarkable for its 
strength. It was opened on l7th December 1853. 
Its architecture is so perfect that it has never re- 
quired any beyond slight repairs. The river that 
next claims attention is the Thamravarni Which 
descends from the mountains north of the Mahendra- 
giri peak. Several dams divide and divert its waters 
for irrigation purposes. To it, Nanjanaud which 
is justly known as the granary of the South, owes 
inuch of its fertility. It forms several water-falls 
during its course. One of these falls is near Tri- 
parap, renowned for an old Siva shrine. It re- 
ceives the Kothai that comes down from the Mu- 
lanchi mountains. Project works are now going on 
to divert its waters for irrigation purposes. The 
execution of the project is calculated to confer 
fertility on a large tract of the south country. 
The Paralayar is the most southern of the rivers 


which though the last is not the least in value, ad 
that is the only river whose waters are wholly 
absorbed in irrigating a vast extent of land. 

Lakes — The lakes may next be viewed. It will be 
seen that a succession of lagoons or backwaters ex- 
tends along the coast and forms an important 
means of water communication. As observed by 
Lieutenants Ward and Connor, *' they enrich the 
neighbourhood, unite the dist mt parts and in- 
crease the value of natural productions by the 
facility they give to carriage. The whole traffic 
of th« western part oi the country is done by them.'' 
The large lakes are fed by the cojiious waters of 
innumerable rivers. The smaller ones are merely 
the expansion of the beds of rivers as they ap- 
proach their mouth. The most important of the 
lakes have outlets into the sea. These outlets are 
often closed by bars of sand. When the monsoon 
sets in, the water jumps impatiently from the beds 
of the lakes and either breaks through or flows 
over the bnrs, according to the fury with 
w hich the periodical ^ rains burst. It is then 
terrible to think of being caught in the grip of 
the enraged elements on the troubled waters, 
but it is a source of infinite consolation and comfort 
to contemplate til e weird vicAV of the lakes, when 
they resume calmness and the setting sun shines 
on tlje^ unlimited expanse of water through the 
beautiful groves of the cocoanut palms which skirt 
their margins or the smiling moon spreads her 

Bilver lustre amidst the solemn stillness of the 
tiight. The splendour is enhanced when beautiful 
boats provided ^vith numerous paddles, press their 
progress with singular rapidity. The lakes then pre* 
sent the appearance of a perpetual garden of last- 
ing dt^light. The Vembanad is the largest lake in 
Travancore, being 32 miles long. Its extreme 
breadth is 9 miles. Its waters are swelled by the 
copious tribute of several large rivers of which 
the Pamba^ the Manimala, the Meenachil and the 
]Vf uvattupuzha are the principal ones. This lake 
I^asses along 5 to 7 taluks of the country. In some 
parts, the soundings show considerable depth; in 
other parts, the lake is very shallow. It has 
a small island in the centre, known as the Patira-- 
manal or the 'mysterious mound of midnight. It 
is filled with cocoanut plantations or luxuriant ve- 
getation, and presents an infinitely charming apr 
pearance. It was, according to tradition, call- 
ed into existence by the piety of a Namburi Brah- 
min who, while, travelling in a country canoe 
jumped out there into the lake to perform his reli- 
gious rites at the appointed hour. The Kayan- 
kulam lake is 19 miles long and has wide expan- 
sions at both the extremities, into which the Co- 
chin Oanal from the north and the Quilon Canal 
from the south open. It has an outlet bar of the 
same name wliich admits small coasters from the 
Arabian sea. This made Kayankalam a place of 
considerable commercial importance during the 


days af Dutcli imfluence before the subversioti of 
the independent state of Quilon. The Ashtamudi 
or the lake of 8 creeks lies near historic Quilon 
and is swelled by the tribute of the Itallada river. 
It has also an out-let into the sea through the Nada* 
yara Bar. Among small lakes may be mentioned 
the Parmr lake which is a dangerous portion of the 
water communication owing to the strong action of the 
^nder-current work at the bar, when it is broken 
through dtiring the violence of the periodical 
rains; as also the Anjengo lake which takes its 
name from the town of which it lies along-side. 

Canals. — The water-ways of Travancoi^e, says Mr. 
Nicholson are specially from the centre to the Norths 
liighly ramified and already excellent /or all classes 
of country traffic. They might on main lines be de-* 
Velopod into trade r utes. The cost of travel and 
transport on Travanoore waters, he adds, is perhaps 
^ of ordinary cart charges, while transit is quite as 
speedy and far less risky for goods and far more 
comfortable for passengers. He thinks that for 
most of the water-ways, little or no maintenance 
is required for ordinary traffic, especially in the 
Northern Division where, as in Shertalai, the coun- 
try has vast areas of backwater or where, as in 
Changanacherry over large reclaimed areas, there 
can be no roads but only rivers and canals, so that 
travell.TS, even children, paddle rather than walk* 
One stretch of water extends along the entire 
length of the country from Trivandrum northwards* 

CANALS;. ir> 

It ijras; during the benevolent reign of Her High- 
ness Parvathi Eani, that most of the links of 
this uninterrupted line of communication were^ 
executed. The canal between the Trxvandrum 
Landing place and ;,Chanankarai, commenced in 
1823, was brought to a completion in 1826 at a 
cost of a lakh of Rs* The length of the canal is: 
llf miles exclusive of the lake it passes through. 
From Chanankarai to Kozhithottam there is a 
canal agun. The Varkalai Barrier canal, cut openj 
through two tunnels of about 15Q0 feet and 2500 
feet each, was opened for traffic in 1877. There- 
are a series of lakes from Nadavara to Pa- 
roor. The Paroor canal, connecting the Nada- 
yara lake and the Parur lake,, was completed in 
i820 at a cost of Es. 90,000. It is 6 miles long, 
'the Quilon canal which links the Parur lake 
with the Ashtamudi lake was also opened about 
the same time. There is then the Chavarai ca- 
i^al between the Ashtamudi lake and the Ponmana 
waters. This is followed by the " Ayiram Thengu '* 
back Water; then comes the Kayankulam lake. 
With it, the Tfipna^ithura back-water joins the 
Thottapalli Cherai, whence the Pamba river flowa 
into the Vembanad lake. There are several branch 
canals. The AUeppey canal communicating with 
the back-water is of commercial importance. It 
is a matter of interest to note that the great Anan- 
tha Victoria Marlhanda Canal, projected and 
commenced in 1860 for connecting Trivandrunx 


wiih Cape Comorin, has had to he ahaudoned, part- 
ly owing to the obstacles presented by the Covelam 
cliffs and the Midalam Barrier, and partly on ac- 
count of the pressing tunnel work at Var- 
kalai which drained off the work-men, the oflScers 
and the capital allotted to this scheme. The De- 
partment of Public Works maintains 152 miles of 
water-way and it has to be borne in mind that thi* 
is a trifle out of the actual water-ways. 

Roads — ^Of road communication there are threes 
groat trunks in the country. The great southern 
road runs from Trivandrum to Tinnevelly. It is per- 
haps the heaviest worked roa 1 out- side the Madras 
city and is, according to Mr. Nicholson, repaired 
like a high- way in Eagland. It has several tra- 
vellers' Bungalows interspersed at intervals of from 
8 to 12 miles. The great Northern road runs 
parallel to the water communication through the 
centre of Travancore to the northern frontiers, 
providing easy access to fertile forest tracts for 
cultivation. The great eastern road runs towards 
the British Districts of Madura and Tinnevelly 
northwards, and towards Palamcottah eastwards. 
The sketch will be incomplete, if we do not refer 
to the High range road which has opened up com- 
munication between the Ghauts and the low coun- 
try. It was for the benefit of the European 
planters. Carriages can now go almost to every 
part of their estates. A fresh impetus is thus 
given to develop the planting resources of the 


country. ' Besides these, there are several minor 
lines of roads. But it is of course impossible to" 
enumerate all the roads, great and small, and it is 
more-over foreign to the scope of this paper. Suf- 
fice it to say that there are 2,000 miles of cart 
road and about 900 miles of village road maintain- 
ed by Grovernment and more than 300 miles of 
new roads have been traced. 

Eoad-Stbads. — The Travancore coast is exten- 
sive. It begins at Cape Comorin and terminates 
about mid- way between AUeppy and Cochin. 
The coast is generally low and sandy, fringed with 
cocoanut palms. The sea-line is however inter- 
rupted by the precipitous rocks of Cape Comorin, 
the jutting promontories of Kadiapatanam, and 
Vilinjam, the rugged cliffs of Varkalai, the 
narrow reefs of Tangacherry and by the wide 
mouths of several rivers. The town of AUeppy 
is the principal sea-port of Travancore. It has the 
most remarkable haven of smooth-water available 
all the year round, called the " mud-bay " by the 
early navigators. It is a place of considerable 
foreign trade and Head-Quarters of the Commer- 
cial Agent to the Travancore Government. Bar- 
talomeo has put on record that AUeppy was open- 
ed to foreign trade in 1762 and mentions the canal 
which runs parallel to the coast and back-water. 
It has a light-house 100 feet above the sea-level, 
visible from all directions sea- wards for 15 miles* 



The next important port is Quilon. It is a place 
of great commercial activity and of considerable 
historical importance. Close by on the margin of 
the sea, lies the'small port and British possession 
of Tangacherry which has a flag-staff and a Mas- 
ter Attendant's house. Anjengo is another small 
port mid-way between Qtiilon and Trivandrum. 
It will be interesting to English readers to learn 
that it was the birth-place of the great historian 
Robert Ormes and the chief military depot during the 
wars of the country. It passed under the sway of 
the British in 1795 and still continues to be in 
their possession. Trivandrum, the present cipital 
of the state and the seat of the Residency, is the 
next place that affords a safe harbour. Further 
south is the small port of Colachel where the first 
British ship anchored off in 1871. The port has a 
flag-staff and a Master Attendant's house ; and last- 
ly there is Cape Comorin, the southern-most ex- 
tremity. It has a natural harbour which is a safe 
road-stead for ships to approach with the least ap- 
prehension during the monsoons. Steps are being 
taken to develop it into a flourishing commercial 



We have viewed the country from within asr 
well as from without. We have described its 
general characteristics, name and limits ; have no- 
ticed its relation with foreign power ; have dealt 
with its mountains and rivers ; lakes and canals ; 
roads and roadsteads. We shall now proceed to 
consider its territorial divisions and topography. 

The whole area of the state is represented by 
the following 31 taluqs: — Thovalai, Agasthiswa- 
ram, Eraniel, Kulkulam, Vilavancode, Neyyattin- 
karai, Trivandrum, Neduvangaud, Chirayinkil, 
Kotfcarakarai ; Pathanapuram ; Shenkottah; Qui- 
Iqn ; Kunnathur ; Karunagapalli ; Kartigapalli ; 
Mavelikarai ; Chengannur , Thiruvella ; Ambala- 
puzhai ; Shertalay ; Vycome ; Yettumanur : Kotta- 
yam ; Ohanganacherry ; Minachil ; Muvattupuzhai ; 
Todupuzhai ; Kunnathnaud ; Alengad and Parur. 
Of these, Thovalai and Agasthiswaram which form 
the regions of Nanjanad were formerly ruled by 
Korava. chiefs. The taluqs of Eraniel, Kalkulam, 
Vilavancode, Neyyattinkarai, Trivandrum, and 
Chirayinkil comprised the old limits of Travancore. 
Neduvangaud and Kottarakarai; called Yellevamad, 
was an independant principality ruled by chiefs 
whose race is now extinct. The districts of Quilon, 
Karunagapalli, Kartigapalli and Mavalikarai con- 
stituted the principality of Kayankulam, known as 
Oonad, while Ambalapuzhai and portions of Sher- 
talay and Vycome, which went under the name^ of 


Vembanaud, were ruled by the Chembakackerry 
Rajahs. The territory included by Muvattupuzhai 
and Etturaanur was held under sway by the Tek- 
kumkur and Vadakumkur Eajahs. The Taluqs 
of Minachil and Alengad were under tlie authority 
of a Samunder chief. Kunnathnad was the 
possession of the Edapalli Eaja and Parur had 
its own independant chief. These small states are 
now incorporated into the Travancore territory with 
the exception of the Attangal tract which is the 
hereditary possession of the Ranees of the Royal 
family; the Kiliipanur estate which constitutes 
the property of Koil Tampurans who are allied to 
the Royal house; the Vanjipuzhai estate belonging 
to a priest of some spiritual dignity: the Edapalli 
estate held by another chief of still higher spiri- 
tual rank; and few other tracts belonging to Pag- 
odas which are richly endowed. It may be noted 
however that the Criminal jurisdiction over these 
tracts vests in the Sircar. 

The country is, for administrative purposes, 
split up into the following divisions: — The Southern 
division embracing the first five districts; 
Trivandrum division consisting of the next four; 
Quilon division having the next seven and 
Kottayam division comprehending the last eleven 
districts. The districts are known as Manda* 
pathumvathukal, meaning the temple's front, be- 
cause in 1750 after the conquest and consolidation 
of the whole kingdom, the then reigning sovereign 

TOPOORAPflt. '21 

dedicated the country to Sri Padmanablia; managed 
the administration in the name of god-head and 
denominated all public servants to be Sri Pandara- 
jsaryam chaivargal or^ those who carry out the 
divine function of administration. The sub-divi- 
sions of these districts are diflterently known in 
diflFerent places. In some [districts (especially in 
the north) Proverti is the name. In others 
(mostly southern districts) they are called Kelvi. 
Maniyam is another name applied to them. It 
appears that tracts bearing the first name which 
means action, were acquired by conquest: that 
Maniyam lands were held by prerogative and that 
Kclvi areas were got by negotiations. . Judging 
^ from the nature of the acquisitions of the several 
taluqs in which they are situated, this explanation 
seems to have the support of the facts of history. 

We now pass on to notice the principal places 
of historical, archaeological and other allied and 
varied interest. We attempt to notice them in 
their natural order as one travels northward from 
Aramboly, the southernmost gate of the country, 
leading to the fertile flats of Tinnevelly. It had a 
military line now almost in ruins, of about seven- 
teen ^ miles in length, guarding the Southern 
frontier. It is the seat of the customs house to 
collect tolls on dutiable goods. We then pass on 
to Alagiapandipuram, or the beautiful city of the 
Pandian chiefs, which was the capital of the Nan- 
jakuravar chiefs who ruled Nanjanaud for a long 


time. Eight miles south is Boothapandy, an 
ancient town, also once in the possession of the Pan- 
dian Rajas. We then come to Nagercoil, once the 
seat of Government and now the seat and centre of 
the Christian Mission work, in south Travancore. 
We next reach Kottar— the Kottara of Pliny, men- 
tioned hy Ptolemy and also in the Pe7*iplm-the great- 
est commercial town in South Travancore. It has 
an ancient Pagoda with the inscriptions of Parakr- 
ama Pandian. It is also the seat of St Francis 
Xavier's Church. Near this is Vadiveeswaram, the 
chief hahitat of the Brahmins in South Travancore. 
Proceeding South, we get to Suchindrana, one of 
the largest places of Hindu worship in South Tra- 
vancore. It has a celebrated shrine sacred to Siva 
where, according to tradition, Indra, the god of the 
celestials, was absolved from the depravity of sin. 
We touch Myladi, or the place where the peacock 
plays, near the foot of the Southern hills, the cele- 
brated home-stead of tlie first Protestant missson- 
ary church in South Travancore. We gain Ooda- 
yagiri, or the hill of the dawn, which has a 
fort containing the tomb of captain D'Lanoy to 
whose military talents Travancore cannot be too 
thankful. Not far off is Padmanabhapuram the 
former seat of Government previous to its renloval 
to Trivandrum. It has a celebrated Palace, Pagoda 
and fortifications with bastions. There is a subter- 
ranean passage from the palace leading from the 
fort outside to the paddy flats of Charode. This was 

tOPOGlfAPHY. 23 

frequently resorted to during the early wars of 
tbe country. In its vicinity is Keralapuram, or the 
city built by Kerala Varma, one of the early sovereigns 
of the country. It has considerable historic associ- 
ations. Close to it is ThiruVancode which gives the 
country its name. It was the former residence of the 
Maha Rajahs. Adjoining it is Erkniel which was 
also once the residence of the Travancore Royal 
Family whence one of the kings suddenly dis- 
appeared, while sleeping in the palace. It is suggest- 
ed that Eraniel is derived from Era which, in Ta- 
mil, means king and, niel or disappearance, and the 
town therefore takes its name after the mysterious 
disappearance of the king. But as it appears to 
have existed and borne this name long before this 
incident, we think it is called so on account of the 
saltish nature of its soil, in that, Era in Sanscrit 
signifies salt soil. Turning eastwards, we come up- 
on Thiruvattar where the river Tamravarni 
winds round the ancient pagoda of which the de- 
sign is after that of the chief State Pagoda in the 
capital. Travelling south, the only place of histo- 
rical association is Balaramapuram in Neyyat- 
tinkarai. founded by Dewan Oomnithambi 
about 1808, and named after the then reigning 
sovereign. We are now at Trivandrum, or the city 
of the eternal one, the present capital of the state 
and the residence of the Maharajah. It has a temple 
of antique celebrity resorted to by a large con* 
course of |)ilgrims from the snowy heights of the 


Himalayas to the sunny vales of Cape Comorin. It 
has very many fine public buildings constructed 
more than half a century ago, where the principal 
offices of the state are accommodated. The most 
interesting edifice is the Musuem which was thrown 
open to the Public in 1857. Four miles south is 
Tiruvallara, or the land of the Holy Lord, which 
has a Pagoda, the only pagoda sacred to Brahma. 
It is considered as sacred ks Gaya in Northern 
India, and Sradhas and other ablutions to the manes 
are therefore performed here. Tradition says that 
Vishnu reclaims his head in this locality. We 
next discover ourselves at Thrippapur or the 
village of the sacred feet of God. This is the 
village from which the members of the Royal family 
of Travrancore derive their titular name of Thrip- 
papoor Swarupam. We have already refer- 
red to Neduvangaud or the country of the 
big forests, which was once ruled by a race 
of chiefs now totally extinct. Travelling north- 
wards, we make towards Attangal, the heredi- 
tary domain of the Ranees of the Royal house- 
To this place H. H. the Maharaja repairs at least 
once every year to worship the family Deity. In 
its vicinty is Kilimanoor or the city of parrots and 
deer, which is the home and property of Koil Tam- 
purans or local dukes who are allied to the Royal 
house by marriage and adoption. Travelling north, 
we pass the British possession of Anjengo, the 
birth-place of the great historian^ Robert Ormes. 


Here the first English factory was established ia 
1673. It marks the commencement, even so early, 
of the political relation between Travancore and 
the East India Company. The jurisdiction over 
the place which vested in the Commercial Resident 
appointed first in 1777, is now in the hands of the 
Political Resident in Travancore and Cochin. The 
place, abounding as it does with the tombs and 
memorials of several British officers and their 
families, cannot fail to be of considerable interest 
to English tourists. The next place of import- 
ance we reach is Varkalai. It is of much geological 
interest. It has two water-tunnels which connect 
together and throw open an uninterrupted course of 
water-communication from Trivandrum to the 
North. It has also an antique shrine of great sanc- 
tity. We next arrive at Quilon, the Coilam of 
Marcopolo ; the greatest port of Malabar in early 
times; the chief seat of the St. Thomas Christians; the 
Head-Quarters of the De^an and th^ Resident 
till 1829 and now the cantonment of the British 
subsidiary force. Reference has already been 
made to its independent existence prior to 1745, 
under the rule of the Rajas of Kottarakarai and 
Panthalara. To Dalava Rama Iyer is due the credit 
of having subdued and annexed it to Travancore. 
Kayankulam, the capital of the Quilon principality 
before its conquest, is the next place that claims 
our attention. It communicates by back-water 



with Cochin in the north and Quilon in the south 
and by road with Madura and Tinnevelly on the 
other side of the Ghauts. It was therefore a 
centre of trade during the early days of the Dutch 
influence. A Syrian Christian Church appears 
to have been founded here so early as 829 A. D. 
The historically-inclined traveller may next set 
his foot on the soil of Ambalapuzhai or the city of the 
celestial Ganges, which lies under water for part 
of the year. This was till 1754 the Head-Quarters 
of the Chempakacherry Rajahs who ruled part of 
the country. Alleppy which has been already 
•referred to as the chief port of Travancore is the 
seat of the Commercial Agent of the Travancore Go- 
vernment. It is well worth remembering that 
Bartalameo records that this port was opened to 
foreign trade in 1762 and mentions the canal 
which runs parallel to the coast and back-water. 
We next find ourselves in Kottayam, the chief 
home of the Syrian Christians and the Head- 
Quarters formerly of its independent native chiefs 
and now of the Church Mission Society since 1816. 
We now reach the northern frontiers of Travancore 
and the last place we shall make a halt at, is Eda- 
palli or the village of detached margin, which was 
the capital of the principality of the same name. 
Here lives the Numhuri Brahmin of rank who is 
tlie family priest of the Royal bouse of Travancore. 

It will be seen from the above what a wide 


fteld the ^country presents for making antiquarian 
and arcliseological researches. The establishment 
of an archaeological Department in 1071 '* with a 
view to the collection and investigation of the 
available data relating to the political and econo- 
mical history and ethnology of the country*' is a 
conspicuous proof of the interest that His High- 
ness the Maharajah takes in such fields of know- 
ledge. It is gratifying to find that the untiring re- 
searches of the late Professor Sundram Pillay have 
brought to light for the^r^^ time some 30 sover- 
eigns who had reigned over this ancient land of 
Venad. While in British India the fast dying in- 
scriptions declare ^^ observe now or never'' and the 
declarations are heeded with uncommon zeal and 
interest, and organisations started to decipher 
those inscriptions and furnish materials for what 
is known as the unwritten portion of history, and 
while such organisations are maintained even in 
countries where the results got at by investigation 
are yet disappointing^ too much stress cannot be 
laid on the necessity for the enlargement and en- 
couragement of an establishment which has yielded 
and would, under prop 3r supervision, yet yield good 
and substantial results. 



We have sketched the physical aspects of the 
country in our survey of it from within as well as 
from without. It is now proposed to deal with' 
topics of scientific interest relating to the country, 
such as its climatic conditions or meteorology ; 
its material frame-work or geology ; its vegetable 
products or flora; its animal wealth or fauna, 
and the like. We know each of these subjects, 
if adequately treated, would cover many volumes, 
and such an adequate treatment requires the 
help of a large body of specialists — a help which, 
however, we cannot lay claim to. Neverthe- 
less, it goes without saying that some account 
of them may be neither uninteresting nor un- 
useful to the general reader. We offer the 
following notes, therefore, not for the instruction 
of the specialists, but to the general reader who 
wishes to study the country in all its aspects. We 
may add, however, that these notes are based on 
official reports and other reliable documents, and 
are therefore far from inaccurate or unacceptable. 
These will suffice to introduce the subjects until 
they are fully and finally investigated. 

General. — Mr. V. Nagamiah says, in his last 
Census report, that the meteorological effects of the 
whole of India, if not of the whole world, are in a 
small compass presented to us in Travancore ; that 

tittE COUNTRY. ^§ 

bn some of* the peaks we have the pinching cold of 
the northern regions of Europe ; that lower down, 
on an elevation of between 2000 and 3000 feet one 
meets with the bracing temperature of England ; 
that an Italian sun, with its clear and cloudless 
sky and a genial warmth, is experienced all over the 
country for a few weeks after the cessation of the 
heavy monsoons and that from January to May 
which constitute the months of the hot season, there 
is an intense and oppressive heat which at times 
becomes so intolerable that some of the taluqs then 
present the aspect of a true equatorial region from 
which it is not far distant. 

Causes.— Among the chief of the different 
tjauses to which the peculiar characteristics of Tra^ 
vancore are ascribed, may be mentioned the follow- 
ing — (1) Its situation near the equator which 
makes it hotter than the countries interior. (2) 
Its vicinity to the Indian Ocean which prevents 
the air from becoming either too warm or too 
cold. (3) The influence of the mountain ranges 
which shut off the coujitry from the rest of India. 

It has been observed before that the mountains 
generally sink down from the western border till 
they fall to the level of the low country. In eflfect, 
the plentiful rainfall brought by the south-west 
monsoon is caught and deposited on the Travan- 
core side only. This begins about the middle of 
Edavam and ends in Kanny* The showers are 
heavy and frequent thunder and lightning prev^//. 


The quantity of rain is less in the southern part of 
the country and increases along the sea-line to the 
north. The north-eastern parts are supplied 
with rain by the eflfeets of the monsoon of that 
direction. It commences in the month of Thulam, 
The amount of rainfall is calculated for a number 
of years. It was in 1836 an observatory was esta- 
blished at Trivandrum. It is situated on a hill 
about 200 ft. above the level of the sea. The 
first meteorological observations were made by 
John \^aldecott, the first astronomer. General' 
CuUen, the British Resident had also caused obser- 
vations to be taken, ascertaining the rainfall from 
1852-56 at Cochin, Quilon, AUeppy, Cape Como i x 
and other places. In 1852 Mr. John Broun be- 
came the Government astronomer. It was during 
his time the most extensive observations were 
recorded. The Branch Observatory established 
by him on the Agasthya P^ak, however, fell to 
pieces during his absence and was finally abolished. 
The average amount of rainfall varies in dif- 
ferent places. Judging by the quantity of rain 
gauged in the several stations from 1882-91, it is 
observed that nearest the Cape it is only 58 inches, 
at Trivandrum it is 73, at Quilon even more — 94 
inches ; that the highest fall is in Peermaad 
where in 1057 it was so great as 297 inches and 
that during the same year the fall at Alleppy 
was 160 inches, Quilon 101 inches, Trivandrum 
81 inches and Padmanabapuram, 85 inches. Owing 


to this perennial moisture, Mr. BourdiUon thinks 
that probably nowhere in the world are the condi- 
tions of growth so favourable as in Travancore and 
consequently we find the ground completely 
covered with trees or shrubs wherever it is not 
cleared for cultivation. 

WCiDs. — The country has a constant flow of 
breeze. From Kumbham to Kanni it blows from 
the west or north-west ; during other months it 
takes a more northerly direction. TheKumbham- 
Kanni winds are laden with moisture and dissolve 
into rain, in a mountainous country like Travan- 
core. Mr. BourdiUon notes a peculiar case of 
saturation of air with moisture during the continu- 
ance of the rains. He says " at AUeppy I have 
frequently noticed a difference of only half a 
decree between the wet and dry bulb Thermo- 
meters. " The direction of the sea-breeze is said 
to be from north to west and ultimately to 
south-west, while that of the land winds is 
from north-east and east* The sea-breeze 
sets in violently at times and lasts through the 
year. The land wind blows after sun-set and con- 
tinues till next day noon. It blows rather violent- 
ly at the entrance of the mountain passes. Every 
travellw knows that through the Aramboly 
pass it rushes forth vehemently and upsets many a 
cart and traffic and even men. 

Temperatuee. — The temperature of the 
country is more or less uniform. Its proximity 


to the sea does not allow it to vary as it would in 
the interior regions. The temperature, however 
raries in proportion to the height of di^erent 
places above the level of the sea. In the plains 
it is said to range between 66^ and 95^ in 
the shade. In the Periyar valley it varies from 
45^ to 90^, At the higher elevations such as the 
High Range, it falls to 25^ at night and rises to 50^ 
or 60^ during the day. The highest tempera- 
ture of the air is said to take place in April, 
when it rises as high as 81^. In December 
it falls considerably and the lowest heat recorded 
seems to be 64P^ The mean temperature at Tri- 
vandrum is 78^. 

Sba.sons: — This more or less uniform chara- 
cter of the temperature is considerably influenced 
by the wet and dry weather which marks out the 
seasons. The dry season commences in January 
with the commencement of the New-year, 
It lasts till the end of April. The period of 
March-April is the hottest part of the year. 
The hottest portions of the country are in the 
extreme south and in Shencottah, as also along 
the ghaut-line. The wet weather begins in about 
the early part of June and heavy rains prevail till 
the close of August. The Hindus however, 
recognise six well-marked Rithus, or seasons, 
each covering a period of two months. They 
are: — Yasanta (Meenam and^ Medam); Grishma 



(Edavam and Mithunam); Varaha (Karkadagam 
and Chingam); Saral (Kanny and Thulam); 
Hemaiitha (Vrichigam and Dhanu); Sisira 
(Makaram and Kumbam). 

Diseases: — The sudden transition from the 
cold to the hot season causes, among other diseases 
fever that claims thQ largest number of victims. 
The feverish months are April, May, June, and 
October and December. The feverish parts are :— 
(1) the taluqs of Kalkulam, Vilavankode, Neyyat- 
tinkarai, Neduvengad, Kottarakarai, Shencottah, 
Todupuzhai and Minachil; (2) The valleys of the 
Periyar, Anjanadr, Kollasheri, and Idyara ; (3) other 
parts of forest and hilly tracts. The Sanitary 
Commissioner of Travancore says that fever, though 
not fatal, causes, in many instances, such an amount 
of devitalization that the individuals affected be- 
come prone to various intercurrent diseases, unfit- 
ting them for the active pursuits of life, if they dp 
not lead to premature decay and early death. 
Among other diseases prevalent in the country, he 
mentions cholera and small-pox among the epide- 
mics, and ulcers, anaemia, dropsy, diarrhoea, leprosy, 
elephantiasis, scabies, yaws or farang worms and 
dysentery among the sporadic kind. • 



We have seen that the country, with its ele- 
vations of every variety and extensive sea-coast, 
with its naked exposure to the violent winds and 
rain^ issuing out of the influence of the Arabian 
sea, furnishes an interesting field for the study of its 
meteorology. However interesting the study is, we 
have refrained from going into technical details. Wo 
have, for instance,. omitted to discuss the interesting 
topic of the minor influences that affect the climate, 
such as the direction of the mountain ranges, the slope 
of the ground, the nature of the soil, and the degree 
of cultivation. We have not discussed the relation 
of Barometric variations to the state of the wea- 
ther, nor explained why the seasons are reciprocal 
or of unequal length. We have advisedly left these 
things out of account, for as observed befo re we are 
concerned with only a general description of the 
aalienfc features of interest and usefulness to the 
general reader. The same course will be followed 
in 1 aspect of geology. There is an additional dif- 
ficulty that prevents this subject from a discussion 
of its technical details. The talented compiler of 
the ''Madras Manual'* rightly observes that the Euro- 
pean divisions of the chronological science of geo- 
logy are ill-adapted for the classification of Indian 
heds, and even the main names can with difficulty 
be made applicable. If, as we have seen before, 


geography describes the design and plan of ttie. 
world-house we live in, so far as completed, 
and meteorology records the diflferent process-^ 
es 'of water-supply and ventilation, geology 
discusses its architectural details. It deals with 
the materials and their arrangements. It is 
necessary to bear in mind that geologists give the 
general name of rocks to the several materials 
such as clay, limestone, chalk, sand, coal, gravel, 
peat &o., of which the earth-structure consists- 
The term rock is thus used in a sense ' wider than 
the ordinary. The geologists define it as "any 
mass of natural substance forming part of the 
earth's crust". The materials of which the ear^h 
is built up are called rocks ; and the materials, 
of which rocks are made up are called minerals. 
The one is geology and the other mineralogy. 
The two subjects are thus closely allied, and will 
therefore be dealt with together. 

General. — Th« geology of the country is more 
complex and less fully known. Nothing beyond a 
few scattered remarks is known regarding the 
state, and the following remarks are taken from 
the official report of the geological survey of Dr.^ 
King whose services were obtained from the British 
Government to study the geology of the country 
and examine the thin beds of quartz rocks in the 
hope that gold might be contained in them. "In 
the northern part of the country, the moun- 
tain mass is very broad, but just south of the 

Rocsa. 86 

Peermaad parallel^ the hilly backbone narrowa 
considerably and becomes a lengthened series of 
roore or less parallel ridges with lower intermediate 
valleys. These are striking with gneiss, or about 
west-north-west and east-south-east there Jbeing 
at the same time a line of higher masses and peaks 
culminating the main ridge, from which the ribs 
run away, as indicated, to the low country. This 
narrower and some-what higher land of the west 
coast presents also unmistakable traces of a plateau 
or terraced character which is best displayed about 
Trirandrum, and northwards past Cochin into the 
Malabar country. Northwards from Trivandrum 
there are narrow strips of absolutely low land 
that is on the sea-level, marked by sandy and allu- 
vial flats and long backwaters or lagoons. These 
widen out northwards from Qoilon, until at Allep- 
py (Aulapulay) there is a width of about twelve 
miles of such formations, with the very extensive 
back-water which stretches far past Cochin. " 

Rocks : — *^ The rock formations are first, and 
most prevalent and foundational, the gneiss series, 
and then on it, but only in a very small way, the 
Quilon beds, which are supposed to be of eocene 
age. These last are over-lapped by the Varkalai 
beds, which certainly appear to belong to a diflFer- 
ent series, and are thus perhaps of upper tertiary 
age ; they appear also to be equivalent to the Cud- 
dalore sand-stones of the Coromandel. Finally, 
there are the recent deposits. The gneisses are 

87 TaE COirNTRIf. 

generally of the massive grey section of the seriei9, 
that is, they are nearest to the rocks of the Mlgiris, 
though they differ from them in being coarse- 
grained or more largely crystallised, and in being 
generally quartzose rocks. The common gneisses 
are felspathic quartzose varieties of white or grey 
colours, very largely charged with garnets. A parti- 
cular form of them is an exceedingly tough, but 
largely crystallized, dark-grey or greenish fels- 
pathic rock. The next succeeding rock forma- 
tions, namely, the Quilon and Varkalai beds, 
occur as a very small patch on the coast be- 
tween the Quilon and Anjengo back-waters. They 
are said to be argillaceous lime-stones, or a 
kind of dolomite, in which a marine faunae of uni- 
valve shells, having an eocene facies^ was found, and 
they occur at about forty feet below the laterite of 
Quilon, which is really the upper part of the next 
group. The Varkalai beds, on the other hand, are 
clearly seen in the cliffs edging the sea-shore, some 
twelve miles south of Quilon, where they attain a 
thickness of about one hundred and eighty feet, and 
have the following suci^ession in descending order: ~- 
Laterite (with sand-stone masses) ; Sandy clays 
(or lithomarge) ; Alum clays ; Sandy clays (with 
sand-stone bands) ;- and Lignite beds (with logs of 
wood etc). The bottom liginite beds rest on 
loose white sand, and nothing is known of any 
lower strata. The recent deposits are the usual 
blown-sands and alluvial deposits of the low 

Soils &c. 38 

flats along the coasts ; an exceptional form 
occurs at Cape Comorin in the shape of a hard 
calcareous sand-stone, whic^i is crowded with 
true fossils and casts of the liying Helix vitata. 
It appears to be simply a blown-sand modified 
through the infiltration of calcareous waters* 
Loose blown -sands are heaped over it now in 
places, among which are again thousands and 
thousands of the dead shells of the past season. " 

Soils: — ^Mr. Logan, in his " District Manual of 
Malabar", referring to the above report, writes: — 
"The soils resulting from the geological formations 
which Mr. King thus describes have been roughly- 
grouped by the natives into three classes, namely: — 
Pasima (a rich, heavy, clayey, tenacious soil.) ; 
Pasima-rasi, (the ahove with an admixture of 
sand and of a loamy character.) ; and Rasi (sandy 
Boils), Each of these classes is again sub-divided into 
three, so that in reality there are nine classes of 
soils and this classification is used in determining 
the revenue assessments on rice lands to which in- 
deed this classification is alone applied. " 

We pass on to consic'er the remarkable 
mud-bank near AUeppy to which reference has 
been made when describing the coasts. The fol- 
lowing is the account given by Mr. Logan in his . 
^'Malabar Manual''. "The qrigin of the mud bays 
or mud banks, which exist at Northern KoUam, at 
Calicut, and at Narakal in the Cochin State, and at 
AUeppy in Travancore has never yet been satisfac- 


torily Bot at rest. The characteristic of the 
mud banks is that an uactuous mud rised from 
the bottom of the sea, becomes dispersed in 
the water and effectually stills the surf. That 
the mu4 is always more or less present at 
the places named is a fact, but the annual churn- 
ing up of this mud stratum hardly accounts 
for all that has been observed, and Mr. H. Crawford, 
the late Commercial Agent of the Travancore Sir- 
car at AUeppy, who has perhaps had better opport- 
unities of watching the phenomenon than any one 
else, came to the conclusion that subterranean pass-^ 
ages or streams communicating with some of the 
rivers and backwaters, *become more active after 
heavy rains, particularly at the commencement of 
the monsoon, and carry off the accumulating water 
and with it, vast quantities of soft mud.' In scanty 
monsoons, the mud banks are less effective as an- 
chorages. He also observed that at seven hundred 
yards east of the beach at Alleppy, pipes were be- 
ing sunk at a depth of fifty feet to sixty feet 
when the shafting ran suddenly down to eighty 
feet, and several buckets of mud horn this depth 
were brougt up, corresponding in every respect 
with the mud thrown up by bubbles which he had 
observed in the sea. A cone of mud, he said, at 
times appears above the water, the cone or bubble 
bursts, throwing up immense quantities of soft soapy 
mud and blue mud of considerable consistence in 
the form of boulders with fresh water, debris of 

MiyERALOOY. ' 40 

vegetable matter decayed, and is some instances 
fresh and green. Mr. Crawford's successor at 
AUeppy, Mr. Rhode, confirms the observation 
and states that he has seen mud volcanoes bursting 
up in the sea during the rainy seasons, to all ap- 
pearance 'as if a barrel of oil had been suddenly 
started below the surface/ He has come to the 
conclusion that the mud bank at that place, after 
being formed in the way above described, is gradu- 
ally floated away to the southward by the littoral 
current, and fresh mud banks are formed when- 
ever the hydraulic pressure of the inland back-water 
increases sufficiently to overcome the subterranean 
resistance offered by the stratum of fluid mud 
which exists at the spot described by Mr. Craw- 
ford. A further proof, he observes, of the truth of 
this is to be found in the fact that the extent of 
mud bank at Alleppy increases and diminishes 
as the level of the inland waters rises and falls, 
and this was most observable in the monsoon season 
of 1882." 

Mineralogy : — Travancore does not supply a 
good store of mineral wealth. As observed before, 
the quartz rocks were examined by Dr. King to 
ascertain if there is any prospect of gold occurring in 
paying quantities, though, in the neighbourhood 
of Mlappara, Konniyur and other localities in the 
hill plateau quartz is said to lie about abundantly 
in blocks. Dr. King positively reports there are 

41 THE COmrt-RT. 

practically no auriferous quartz-reefs, though ihe 
quartz itself gives very faintest traces of gold. 
Iron is abundant, and graphite, lignite, alum, and 
sulphur also exist. The following account of the 
graphite working is from the ** Madras Manual 
of the Administration/' 

^'The existence of graphite in Travancore waet 
discovered in 1845 in the gneiss south of Trivan- 
drum northwards as far as Cochin. Some samples 
forwarded from a locality south of Trivandrum, 
were considered to be too soft and scaly for the 
manufacture of pencils, that is to say, by the old 
method. The martin appears to be a psuedolaterite 
formed of decomposed gneiss in setin. Samples 
from this locality and Vizagapatam were exhibited 
in London at the Exhibition of 1861. An effort 
was afterwards made to open up one of the de- 
posits and prepare large samples for despatch to 
Jjondon. The situation ot this mine was near 
Ponalur, in the Oolamalcull proverty, about 10 
miles north-east of Trivandrum on the road to 
Arianaud. About 1 J tons of the stuff were extract- 
ed which yielded 1000 lbs., of pure graphite. In 
all these calculations the estimate of cost at 100 lbs 
per Rupee at Trivandrum or even less is fallacious* 
since, it does not appear that the pay for the superin- 
tendent of the operations was included in the actual 
expenditure incurred, nor does it follow that the cost 
of extracting the out-crop would not be exceeded^ 
when regular mining operations had to be com- 

meficed. In 1855 specimens from Travancore, 
which were lamellar, were described as being 
soft but brilliant* But the general opinion of ex- 
perts and manufacturers of pencils in England 
to whom samples were submitted, was that they were 
too gritty and impure to be of much yalue. Samp- 
les of a purer graphite have been obtained more 
recently from a deposit close to Vellanaud, near 
to Arianaud. The veins in which it occurs are 
«aid to cross the strike of the gneiss. Apparently 
this mode of occurrence, though somewhat un- 
accountable, has been observed in America also. 
It is to be noted that the smal lest particles of 
grit in graphite used for pencils is prejudicial, 
whilst for lubricating purposes, if it is not abso- 
lutely pure, it may be injurious to machinery. 
For the coarser purposes of making crucibles, 
the presence of iron would diminish the refractory 
properties of the material. '' j 

Some Mica mines hav^ been laid bare in South 
Travanoore, but none of them are now worked, 
for no prospect was found of its occuring any- 
where in large quantities. 


The flora of the state is exceedingly rich 
and interesting. This is owing to the abundance 
of hills and forests and to the variety of crops. 
The hills and forests yield the wild flora, and the 
cultivated crops contribute to the agricultural 
productions. We will consider the wild flora 

General. — Mr. J. * D. Kees hits ofl" most 
happily the lovely scenery of the Travancore 
forests which are unique in their own way. — '* If 
the night spent on the way recall the Inferno, 
the days are those of Paradise when once the 
bills are reached, and the traveller rides through 
shady forest under a leafy canopy, only admitting 
the sunshine by in-frequent shafts ; every support 
of the lofty roof a tall pillar tree with a green 
Corinthian capital festooned with vines and creep- 
ing plants, and the floor covered with an under- 
growth of tree-ferns, cycas and flowe;ing shrubs 
or the graceful cardamom whose smooth glisten- 
ing oblong leaves wave tremulously in light breezes, 
which hardly stir the firmer foliage of the trees. 
Above black monkeys leap joyously from tree to 
tree ; Malabar squirrels jump about, the yellow fur 
of their stomachs and the red fur of their backs 
gleaming in the sunshine which catches the 
taller trees ; wood pigeons flit through the sylvan 

45 TfiE COUNtltt. 

aisles ; jungle fowls cackle ; "woodpeckers tap tha 
tree trunks, and cicadas shrilly whistle ; and yet 
the general effect is one of silence. In the 
moraing hours one might well call these forests 
the mysterious temple of the dawn." 

Mr. Bourdillon, the Conservator of Forests 
considers that there is a larger per centage of the 
land of this state under forests than in any 
European country or in the United States and 
says that this peculiarity is undoubtedly due to 
the clinaatic conditions prevailing here, the abundant 
rainfall, the regular seasons, and the equable and 
high temperature. It is to his exceedingly inter- 
esting report which he has recently drawn up on 
the forest Administration of Travancore in pursu- 
ance of the recommendations made by tbe Commis- 
sion appointed in 1884, that we are indebted for the 
following paragraphs on the flora of the country. 
We should mention also his notes on some of the 
common trees of the state which are pre-eminent 
for their utility and scientific value. 

FoBBST Limits. — He describes the forest-line 
thus :— From Mahendragiri peak it runs east and 
then south, coinciding with the boundary l)etween 
Travancore and Tinnevelly. After travelling 
south for about ten miles, it leaves Tinnevelly and 
turns west and south-west, following for 5, or 6 miles 
the foot of the rocky hills north of Aramalay 
Pass. Still following the foot of this rocky spur it 


turns nortli-east and runs for about 5 miles until 
within a short distance of Anantapuram. From 
here it runs 4 or 5 miles from north-west, skirting 
the cultivation, and then 3 miles south-west to near 
ikielapputhur. From here it runs about 7 miles west 
slightly north, past Vadakur to near FonmanaL 
Thence it runs more to the north, and passes over 
the rocky ridge overhanging Kulshekarapuram 
(Molagaddy), and leaving Killyurkonam on the left, 
strikes the Kotha river a short distance above 
lilayilunni. From this point it follows the Kotba 
for two miles down to the Arianada dam. The 
line then turns north-west and runs direct for 
some 8 miles to ParathipuUi (Cocoodi), following 
the bandy road. Here it leaves the bandy road 
and keeping to the east of it crosses the Arinada 
river one mile above the town of that name. It 
then runs about 12 miles north-west passing 
Enathi at the distance of a mile and leaving it oa 
the left haul, it riins past Bombayikonum at the 
the distance of two miles, and then turning due 
north crosses the - Yamanapuram river 3 miles 
above the town. It then proceeds due nortli 
through Kummil and at a distance of 2 miles from 
Kodakkal, and to the east of it ; then crosses the 
Erur-Kulathuppura road, 2 miles east of the for- 
jner place ; then 5 miles north north-west to the 
Kulathuppura river, and then for two miles the 
river is the boundary. The line then turns 
north- west and Chalakara on the left, runs to 


Aunaaycolam, a place rather to the south of Kon- 
niyur. From here it goes north, and crosses the 
Acchankoil river above Kalleli, then north-west 5 
miles till it touches the Kallar river, which it 
follows down to its junction with Rani river at 
Kumararaperur. From here it goes 10 miles 
north-west to the Karuvalikkada hill near Alap- 
para and from here five miles almost due north to 
the Karupalli hill, and on to the Manimalay river. 
The line then follows the river up to Kannyiappalli. 
From this place to Erattupetta, the new cart road 
is the boundary. From Erattupetta, the direction 
is north north-west for 6 miles to Kayur, and 
thence north-west 9 miles to where the bandy 
road crosses the ridge dividing the Palayai and 
Thodupura valleys near Kilauthara. After cross- 
ing this ridge the line turns north-east and passing 
through Mrala (Mirthala), strikes Udumbannur 
at a distance of 11 miles, it then runs north-west 
for 10 miles, and crosses the Vadakkan Ar, 2 miles 
above its junction with the Shangarapillai thodu. 
Here the direction is north for 4 miles, the line 
cutting across the entrance of the Mullaringada 
valley. From this point, the forest-line runs 
west north-west for some 20 miles, parallel to the 
Periyar and at a distance of 4 miles from it, till it 
is within 3 miles south-east of Malayattur. It 
then turns north and crosses the Periyar 1 J miles 
above Malayattur, and proceeds up the Illi thodu, 


the boundary between Travancore and Cochin. 
It then follows the same boundary round to th& 
west for about 8 miles and then proceeds to the 
Kottassheri river, which it strikes at Erattomukkam 
on the Travancore and Cochin boundary, after fol- 
lowing a winding course for some miles. The nor- 
thern boundary of the forest area corresponds with 
the boundary between Travancore and Cochin, and 
Travancore and Coimbatore. Its eastern boundary 
is identical with that between Travancore and 
British Territory, except that a portion of the 
Shencottah Taluq is omitted as it contains no. forest 
land. The mountainous region enclosed within 
this boundary measures 3544 square miles and is 
watered by 18 rivers of different sizes. *' 

Forest Regions. — Mr. Bourdillon divides this re- 
gion into 4 classes according to their characters,name- 
ly — (1)*' heavy moist forests of evergreen trees. 
(2) Land originally covered with moist forest, but 
now overspread with trees of various ages. (3) Deci- 
deous forests with grass growing under the tree* 
and (4) Rock and land covered with short grass and 
useless for any purpose, except pasture." 

Flora of the Pimt Class. — '* The first class of 
forests at one time extended all over the low 
country of north Travancore^ but as it covered tho 
best soils it has been gradually cut down there and 
is now confined to the slopes of the hills and ta 
perhaps one- third of the upper hill-plateau. 


The trees compoBing it grow very close together 
and exhibit an extraordinary variety of species, and 
owing to the absence of grass and to the fact that 
the trees themselves are evergreen, forest fires do 
Very little harm here. In spite of the great choice 
of woods they offer, these forests are as a rule less 
valuable than the decideous forests of class III, 
the greater part of the timber being unknown/* 

Flora of the Second Class. — ^'The second class 
of forests contains no timber of any value, excepfc 
Vaga, as the bushes and scrub springing up after a 
burn are useless kind of trees. All of these bushes 
or small trees are short-lived and after growing for 
10 years give place to better kinds of trees. In this 
class are included all lands cleared for cultivation 
of any sort whether for coffee, tea, rice, ragi or 
other produce. " 

Flora of the third class. — **It consists chiefly 
of forest growing on poor land lying at the foot 
of the hills and is very abundant in South Travan- 
core. These grass forests are found also covering 
the ridges and higher ground where the soil is too 
dry for the moist forest to grow. A small part of 
the hill plateau also is covered with forest of this 
description. The decideous forests contain a much 
smaller number of species of trees than the moist 
forests, but their value is greater.'' 

The Flora of the Fourth Class. — "Is of course 
as ofose/ved before, worthless as far as the trees 
are concerned.'* 

In the floral belts described above, flourkh 
tbe aristocracy of noble trees which supply 
the most valuable timber, the best Indian fruity 
and other valuable products. Teak, the monarch 
of the woods, is found in abundance. It thrives 
best on the western slope oi the hills. About 8000 
logs are exported every year to countries beyond 
the confines of the Indian Empire. The beautiful 
Anjelly grows in open forests. The Cedar is found 
on the banks of rivers. The Cinnamon of which 
there are several varieties, is exceedingly con;- 
mon on hill slopes. The Ebony which is much 
used for fancy articles, is largely collected at the 
Shencottah Forest Depot. The Dammer and 
Nuxvomica which rapidly attain a great size and 
give a cool shade, are widely distributed. The 
Banyan runs wild in the country, and is much 
planted for avenues alpng-side of the great southern 
road. The beautiful Laurel and the graceful Peepul, 
both held in great veneration by the natives, are 
found everywhere. Tradition ascribes the abode 
of Brahma, the Creator, to the root of the Peepul ; 
of Vishnu, the Preserver, to the stem; and of Siva, the 
Destroyer to the branches. The Blackwood and 
the Persian Lilac, used much for furniture, rapidly 
grow up in the Ashambu Hills and the forest 
glades of Camp Gorge. Cotton occurs everywhere 
from the sea-level up to three thousand feet. Jack, 
which yields the most valuable timber, yields no 
less valuable fruits which are prized much by 

*1 tut 00tJK*Kir. 

princes and peasants alike. The Mango, tlie prince 
of Indian fruits, is very plentiful, though it is 
fcjupposed to have been introduced from Ceyloil. 
t'here are several varieties of which the best is en- 
grafted. The Gallnut and the Gooseberry are very 
common. Barring the timber trees and fruit trees, 
the Palm trees are the chief among the cultivated 
drops that contribute to the agricultural wealth Of 
the country. In the words of an eminent writer, 
•*Travancore yields palms sufficient to give man 
flour and sugar; milk and honey-like fluids; demul- 
cent drinks and fiery spirits; medicine and soap : 
fibre for cordage sails and clothing; leaves for thatch^ 
ing and platting, as well as wood for a variety of 
purposes. Next to the fruit trees and palm trees, 
rice forms the chief source of agricultural wealth. 
The rice produced is nx)t a fine variety except in 
Nanjinaud, justly known as the granary of the 
south; it is not sufficient to meet local consumption, 
-Next comes pepper, the vine of which grows round 
the jack and the mango and some of the palm trees 
which forra'the main-stay of the poor. It is well- 
known that the pepper trade of Travancore dates 
from far beyond the age of Sindbad, the Sailor, and 
reaches back to Roman times. Within the last few 
years, Tapiocachas been introduced and its cultivation 
is so extended that it Ims also become a staple 
article of food. In the hills, the cardamom which, 
was till quite recently a state monopoly, grows 
spontaneously in the deep $hade of the forests 


<3dffee lias been introduceji within the last two or 
three decades but it dues not prosper. Tea takei 
kindly to the soil. The European Planters make 
a fortune out of it. Among other productions that 
consitute the agricultural flora, may be named th« 
plantain, the pine-apple, lime, pomegranite, su* 
gar-cane, guava, nutmeg, cloves and other garden 
crops. It is not therefore too much to say that 
Travancore is the garden of India. 



The mountains and forests of Travancore afford 
iome of the best sport to be got anywhere in India, 
especially in the shape of " large game ". The Rev 
Mr. Mateer says that the sportsman and naturalist 
will find an endless variety in the fauna — elephants 
and tigers, for instance, so numerous in some parts 
that the hill-men are obliged to build their huts on 
tops of trees — wild oxen and deer, monkeys, cro- 
codiles, snakes, birds, fishes and insects. 

Game Limits. — Its northern boundary extends 
from Pyratumalai north-east along the boundary 
between Travancore and Coimbatore, as far as the 
main stream of Paumbar, where the boundary turns 
southwards. Its eastern boundary runs from the 
main stream of Paumbar along the boundary be- 
tween Travancore and British India southwards as 
far as the pass from Mlappara to Shivagiri, about 
10 miles south of Kothamalai. Its southern bound- 
ary starts from Shivagiri pass on the east, south- 
west to the southern-most point of the Paradise 
plateau. Its western boundary lies from north- 
ward along the edge of the cliffs to the Mount 
Plateau known as Nallathannipara plateau and 
round its western edge to the Mount Estate and so 
along the edge of the cliffs to the Granby Estate, 
the Arathu and the 42nd Milestone cutting on the 
Feermaad road: thence north and including 


Amarthainod: thence along the cliffs including Cola- 
halamed, and again northward along the edge of the 
plateau as far as Nagrampara, then eastward includ- 
ing Palculamed to the junction of the Mothirapara 
river with Periyar: thence to Munaar on the High 
Kange and thence including all land ahove 400 feet 
and running west of Anamudi along the western 
edge of Ilamilton's plateau and across the valley to 
Vyrathumalai.(Vide Govt, rules). 

*• Gamb'\ — Includes hison, sambhur, ibex, mouse- 
deer, hares, deer, jungle- fowl, peafowl, quail and 
such other birds. 

Close Season. — The Regulation for the preser- 
vation of games provides that it shall not be "law- 
ful for any person to shoot at, kill, capture, sell or 
pursue any of these animals during specified periods 
and any female or immature male of bison and ibex 
at any time except for the protection of life or of 
crops or produce." 

Other Wild Animals. — Elephants whose ivory 
16 a source of State Revenue, are numerous. Tigers, 
leopards, bears, horned antelopes, porcupines and 
monkeys of varied species are common. Elephants 
are abundant all along the Western Ghauts, especi- 
ally on the Anamalai Hills, named so from that 
circumstance. It is one of the oldest known of 
animals. At a very early period, elephants were 
used in war by the Indian nation. They are 
captured by Government establishment. Some are 
taken in pitfalls dug for the purpose. Some are 

'driven into large enclosures called Keddali^. They 
^re also captured by female decoys taken out for 
the purpose. A herd of elephants is always led by 
a female, never by a male. They are largely used 
for the transport of timber from forests to river- 
Ibanks. As a badge, the elephant represents the 
Chera and the Chola dynasties. It is the emblem of 
the Royal House of Travancore. 

DoMBsTiiJATfiD ANiMALs---Of thcs^, the cattlt© 
are the most important biit not peculiar to tlia 
country. The Vetchoor cows fiud much favour 
with the people and enjoy a high reputation for 
yielding maximum profit for minimum expense. 
Goats thrive well. Dogs and cats are reared in 

Amphibious Animals : — The most il^onspicuous 
among these are the crocodiles and alligators 
which infest, in large numbers, the lakes, canals 
and rivers. 

Fishes* — Different varieties of mackeral, perch, 
sardines, shark, herrings, sunfish &c abound in the 
backwaters and the sea. Eishing is carried on by 
nets, by hoops and by poison. 

Birds!— The stork, bittern, pelican, teal, and 
several species of aquatic birds are abundant. The 
peacock, quail and other birds haunting the 
woods, are unparallelled for the beauty of their plu- 
mage or the wonderful sweetness of their music. 


Insects. — They are i*epl*esented by different 
rarieties of beetles, bees, WaSps, ants, tooths, grass- 
hoppei*8 and locusts. 

KeWIleS: — Snakes of various species are abun- 
dant. The chameleon, the lizard, the flying dragon 
and others of the kind are also numerous. Of 
snakes, however, the country is the Seat and centre- 
They are hold in great veneration by the people. 
A corner of the compound of every wealthy Tatawad 
is set apart for the abode of snakes. These abodes are 
called Kavus or serpent-groves. There are thousands 
of such groves in the country* Idols of snakes are 
put up there on a stone-basement called Chitrakoo- 
dam. Periodical offerings are made and considered 
essential for the prosperity of the household. 

The People, 


Of the original inliabitants we know very little. 
They have to he looked for among the |Hill tribes 
wl^o are supposed to be the aborigines. They aro 
aboriginal in the sense that their settlement \fa3 
a-ntecedent to the ordinary population. They num- 
ber between 8,000 and 10,000 persons, and are split 
up into 12 or 14 tribes who dwell apart in isolated 
tracts. The Kanxe& inhabit the patches of forest 
about the basin of the Paralai, the Kothai, the 
Ney, the Vamanapuram and the Kalladai rive^rs. 
The Pallabs are found along the neighbouring 
woods of the Kulakada and the Atchencoil rivers. 
The Malayaiuyars; called also Mpodavanmars, 
frequent the hill-fastnesses of Nauattapara, Chenga- 
manad and Neriyan^ngalam. The Hill Panda- 
rams live in caves found along the mountain-course 
of the Pamba. The Kocuuvalens occupy the 
forest regious lying along-adde of the Ranni. The 
UlIiADANS tenant the elevations round which winds 
the Palayi river. Along the foot of the hills from 
the Periyar to Thodupuzhai,^ the Aratans (known 
also as Vailanmars and of ten called Mala-Arayans 
or Lords of the Hills) are scattered in numerous 
camps. They and the Uralies in large numbers 
wander over the Thodupuzliai Hills, and were at 
au early date the property of thQ Alwancherry 


Thambrakal, tlie pecognized chief of the later Num- 
boory immigrants. The Cardamom Hills near Ven- 
dametu form the habitat of the Palliyabs, The 
Mannans are most numerous on the hills east of 
the Periyar up to the foot of the Higb RangQ, 
while the slopes of the Hi^ Range contain? the 
bulk of the Muthuvans^ 

Of these tribes, the last three speak a languagja- 
more akin to Tamil than Malayalam, and freely 
inter-marry with the Tamils. They have,, therefore,, 
probably immigrated from the Tamil coiMitry. Mr. 
Munro states that Mannans are said to be descended 
from men of various trades in the Tamil country, 
and on certain days do Puja to the tools of their 
ancestors. They claim superiority over the other 
tribes and are tall, stur(fy and pleasarrt-looking: 
Formerly, they appear to have been numerous, but 
are now fast decreasing in strength. 

The other tribes have sprung from the original 
inhabitants of the country. They are dark-skimied, 
short-nosed^ thick-lipped, and^ possess the worst 
features of all. Their ancestors probably betook 
themselves to the forest to escape from the yoke of 
slavery under which their Pulaya congeners of the 
East Coast languish even to this day. They 
speak Malayalam and are braken [ up into nu- 
merous knots or Kudies. They do not inter- 
marry* Each village has its own headman. 
Among the Muthuvans; and the Mannans, the 


leadership is hereditary. The produce of the- 
wilderness and the spoils of the chase afford 
maintenance to the majority of them. Some, how- 
ever, own patches of cultivation and raise pbm* 
tains, tapioca, yams, chillies, etc. Tbey are excell- 
ent trackers^ expert in clearing paths and invalu- 
able as guides to travellers. They are employed ta 
gather honey, dammer, ivory, carc^imoms &c,, for* 
the forest Depot. They are demon-worshippers. 
They assign to every grotto a genius. In every leaf„ 
cabbage or herb, they fear injury is cancealed. They 
are afraid that thoso evil spirits may emerge out of 
darkness and swallow them up. On this ground, 
many pieces of forest are left uncultivated, while^ 
the land in the neighbourhood has been reclaimed. 
Besides the jungle tribes who wander over 
mountain fastnesses, those brought under predial 
bondage by the successive waves of immigration go 
under the generic title of Cherumar; This class ia 
represented by the Pulayas, the Pariahs^ the Yedana 
and the UUadars, each of whom, influenced by the 
prejudices of caste, is spilt up into distinct clans. 
Though the yoke of hereditary slavery has been re- 
moved, they, as a class, still remain in abject social 
degradation. They are distinctly Dravidian without 
fusion as the Hinduised castes are with fusion. They 
comprise about a tenth of the population and are 
probably one race of unmixed blood. They consti- 
tute a distinct ancient race which has its own suV 
divisions, its own traditions and its own jea- 


lou«y of ^ the encroachment of other low 
castes. They are by occupation tl.e servants 
of the Nair agriculturists. They aire settled in re- 
mote huts and left wholly to nature. They are 
very industrious and faithful to their masters. 
They gradually push their way to a better position. 
The Christian Missionaries admit them to equal 
rights and privileges in Mission Schools and Chur- 
ches. The hill men and the C hern mars represent 
the hunting and the pastural or agricultural tribes. 
They used to labor under many and vexatious dis- 
abilities and disadvantages which however haye 
gradually been removed. Grratuitous service of va- 
rious kinds used to be exacted from them. , They 
had to guard Sirkar properties, to work in Sirkar 
forests in cutting down or transporting timber, and 
to carry Sirkar things from place to place. Families 
of these low castes were even allotted to certain 
private individuals who were at liberty to obtain 
gratuitous service from such families^ Then again, 
there were many restrictions placed on their per- 
gonal liberty. A proportion of low castes was in-t 
deed sqbject to avowed slavery. As such they 
were attached to lands like chattels and were 
bought and sold. Their masters were authorised 
themselves to punish them for refractory con- 
(Juct, a pow^r which it may be imagined was fre- 
quently abused in no small degree. Even those that 
were not avowed slaves used to be treated almost 
as such? They were not at liberty to keep cows. 

low CAStfel^ 62 

^hey could nol use oil mills. They were iiiter- 
dicted from carrying on tfiade. They were debar-^ 
red tha Use of any but coarse cloihs. It is impi'o- 
per in them to wear any but the most ordinary 
pei'sonai ornaments whether males or femaleis. It 
was not open tb theni to decorate sheets etect^ 
6<1 on marriage occasions. They were restricted tb 
particular music. They were denied permission 
to move in conveyances. They coilld not even 
wear shoes ol" use umbrellas. It was Considered 
impWper to allow them to Use metallic utensils , 
They could not build substantial or tiled houses « 
Kof could they acquire landed property with impu- 
nity. In fact these unfortunate low castes used to 
be treated as ^uite an inferior order of creation 
and were endlessly oi? hopelessly exposed to mi- 
sery and degradation. 

Now all these things have been put an end to 
by Government notification or by being allowed to 
fall into deseutnde. They enjoy now the same 
Amount of personal liberty and protection as the 
high castes. The influence for good of th's fair 
treatment has been most marked. There are 
now 892 schools for the benefit of these classes 
and Government have established 170 scholarships 
to encourage learning among them. The policy of 
the Maharajah has been all along to deal equal 
mercy and equal justice to all. 

The first wave of immigration brought the 

Cultivators of the palm ti^ees. They beaf ditferent 
flames in different parts of the country. In South 
Travancore and on the other side of the Ghauts th^y 
go under the name of Sha.nars ; in Central Travan- 
core they are known as Ilavas ; iil North Travali- 
*core their designation is CHoaANMA.ES; in Malabar 
they are called Tiyas ; and in South CanaW, Bilwab is 
the name — a slightly modified form of the term Ila- 
vA. Their name i^ commonly derived from a root, 
meaning an island and the common tradition is that 
they immigrated into the West Coast from Ceylon. 
Mr. Stewart, the Superintendent of tlie Madrad 
'Census of 1891, thinks that probably tlie connecting 
link between the word *'Dweepam" and ''Tiya" sur- 
vives in the caste name ''Divas^', which is return- 
ed from South Canara, In support of this theory 
Bishop Caldwell, the great Missionary-Scholar o f 
South India, observes that the general and natural 
course of migration would doubtless J)e from the 
mainland to the island, but there may occasionally 
have been reflex Waves of migration even in the ear- 
liest times, as there were certainly later on, traces 
of which survive in the existence, in Tinnevelly 
iand the Western Coast, of castes whose traditions 
and even, in some instances, whose names connect 
them with Ceylon. They forced the earliest tribes 
to keep moving on, when they themselves came to 
be pushed from behind by fresh- comers. Their 
hereditary occupation is palm-cultivation and 



toddy-drawing. The majority of them confine 
themselves to the labour appointed to the race; but 
a considerable number has taken to agriculture or 
trade. They reduced to slavery the remnants of 
the vanquished aboriginal tribes. The Dravidian de- 
monolatory is retained by them. Of all the Indian 
tribes, they number most converts to Christianity. 
They are a hard-working and industrious people. 
In them is to be seen the best type of the peasant 
population. They have advanced at a pace which 
puts to shame their congeners of the East Coast. 
They now form a solid community which has by 
strenuous efforts been released from the bondage of 
<5enturies. Large numbers of them now represent 
fair culture. Some are authors; others take to 
medicine; some are editors and others again hold 
<jOvernment offices in the country. On every side 
there are signs of active advancement and no pains 
they spare to prove themselves eminently fitted to 
^njoy the rights and blessings of freedom and right 



The next wave of immigration brought the 
Nairs of whom Sir. W. W. Hunter records that 
for ages they were^Jhereditary warriors^and appear 
as a military nobility in the early Portuguese r^ 
cords of the 15th century,"and that they 4, are now 
distinguished alike for their success in^their intellect- 
ual professions as barristers, judges and adminis- 
trators and for their manly vigour in arms. They 
have always been essentially a martial people and 
form a distinct race of compact nationality, having 
in their manners and customs little or nothing in 
common with the Tamils of the Bast Coast. They 
appear to have entered Malabar from tho north 
and were probably the off-shoot of some colony in 
Konkhan or Deccan. The Tiyas who moved by 
the S. W. and the Nairs who have found their 
way by N, W. passes appear to have con- 
verged and crossed each other in Central 
Malabar, as the Dravidians and the Cola- 
rians and Tibeto-Burmans have done in 
Central India in the early movement of the Indian 
races. The Nairs who,^ like the Dravidians, proved 
the stronger, broke up the Tiyas and the mass of 
the earlier tribes whose scattered fragments, like 
those of the Colarians and Tibeto-Burmans, were 
thrust aside to mountains and pathless forests. 
Like the Dravidians, the Nairs rushed forward in 
a mighty body and formed a huge and permanent 


settlement. Though they were suhdued by the 
higher civilization of the later Brahmin immi- 
grants they were never broken up. They willingly 
associated themselves with the Brahmins. And 
this intermingling of the races has been felicitous 
in its results. 

The Nairs are serpent-worshippers; they hold 
serpents in great veneration, and a comer of the 
compound of every wealthy Taravaud is set 
apart for their abode. There are thousands of such 
groves or kavus in the country, and the worship of 
the serpent-gods, deemed necessary for the affluence 
and prosperity of the house-hold, obtains to the 
present day. Within the limits of this sacred 
grove, serpent-idols are put up on a stone basement 
called Chitrakudam built for the purpose. These 
idols are. propitiated with periodical offerings, by 
the eldf^st female member of the house, of Neeruat 
Paltjm, that is, an ambrosial compound made up of 
flour, milk, water of the tender cocoanut, fruit of 
the Kadali plantain, ghee and honey. On such 
occasions, the Valluvar or the kurup sings and 

The Nairs live in series of scattered home-steads 
or farms and are very religious. The heart leaps up 
when one passes by a picturesque Nair house at 
even-tide and hears the inmates utter ^'Rama, Rama,'* 
in pious devotion. 

They are hereditary warriors. Their warri- 
ordom is attested by their civil organisation. In 


former times each petty Bajali under ihe great 
Swarupam of Eajabs' ruled his own portion of terri- 
tory, designated a Naud,a^d was named Nauduvazhi. 
He was not considered a Nauduvazhi who had not 
^t least 100 Nairs under him. Next in rank were 
some other still smaller rulers called Desavazhi 
(the military chief of a Desam). 

The number of Nairs or [^fighting men'^attached 
to him was from 25 to 100. Subordiuate to the 
Desam came the Tara. Subdivisions of the Tara 
were Taweries. A Taravaud corresponds to^ 
what the Romans called a Gens, with this distin-^ 
ction that whereas in Eomejall the members of 
the Gens traced their descent from a common an- 
cestor, Jin Malabar the members of a Taravaud 
trace their descent from a common ancestress. The- 
large Taravauds set apart proper tyjor the common 
"Dse. Any number of private families may be com- 
prised in the Taravaud. Every member]of a Tara- 
vaud has an equal share in the common stock— the 
infant as much as the aged. No member can claim 
his share, but the Taravaud as a body can make 
such division as it pleases of the common stock. 
"When partition takes place, thej^Taravaud becomes 
cut up into as many Taravauds as the members^ 
may have settled to form among themselves. In 
the Taravaud the entire property is managed by its* 
aenior member or Karanavan tor the benefit of th^ 
whole family • 


He becomes head by birth and resembles ther 
father of a Brahmin family in respect of his rights 
and obligations. He has equal interest with other 
members and is the guardian and representative, 
for all purposes, of the property of every member 
within the Taravaud. He should decide what 
family ceremonies are necessary. He cannot re- 
nounce his rights and as the head of the family, 
has entire control over the property. He may 
assign it for maintenance. He may delegate and 
resume management. He may resume property allot- 
ted for maintenance or before proceeding otherwise 
he may narrow his rights. He can hold private 
property,, but is incompetent to alienate the Tara- 
vaud property, without the consent of the athe? 
members, except to supply its necessity or discharge 
its obligations or for its benefit. He is removeable 
for mismanagement, for extravagance, for disregard- 
ing family interests or for incapacity, but not for 
any single act of of misfeasance. It removed, he ia 
eligible for maintenance and cannot be replaced by 
a stranger. 

All Taravauds follow the Marumakkatha- 
yam law of inheritance by which though the 
property is held in theory to vest in the f emalea 
only, the males and females have equal right. 
Practically the males are co-sharers with the fe- 
males. Under this rule of nepotism a man's pro- 
perty goes to his sisters ; sister's sons ; sister's daught-* 
era; mother; mother's sisters; their children; 


iiiialernal grand-mother ; her sisters and their chil- 

The origin of this system has given rise to in- 
accurate notions and gross misconceptions. 

^he stupid notion gratuitously' sought to bo 
pitchforked into general currency is that in view 
to preserve the family property intact, and to let 
it descend undivided, the Namburies or the West 
Coast Brahmins permitted the eldest son alone in 
their family to marry ; that the remaining sons, if 
aiiy, were obliged to form temporary alliance with 
Hair Women ; that the children of these alliances 
being illegitimate the descensus a matrice or matri- 
archal system of inheritance came into vogue. But 
how ridiculously, absurd this notion is, will be abun- 
dantly manifest from the historical fact that]the ad- 
vent of the Namburies was long after -the settle- 
ment of the Nairs in the country, and that genera- 
tions and generations of Nairs must have inherited, 
acquired, enjoyed and passed property before. In- 
tense ignorance or melancholy malignity has gone 
even so far as to reproachingly ascribe this system of 
inheritance to uncertainty of parentage. These in 
the hands of unenquiring commentators has, in the 
words of Mr. Logan ** brought much obloquy on 
the morality of the people. The fact at any rate 
of recent years is that although the theory of 
law sanctions freedom in their marital • relations, 
conjugal fidelity is very general. No-where is the 
marriage tie, albeit informal, more rigidly observ- 

^l * THE :peo:ple, 

<ed or respected, nowhere is it more jealously guard- 
'ed or its neglect more savagely avenged. The 
absence of ceremonial has encouraged the popular 
impression, and the ceremonial like other conven- 
tionalities is an accident and Nair women are as 
<5liaste and faithful as their neighbours. " 

Let us investigate the subject impartially and 
dispassionately so lar as is within the scope of this 
chapter. As explained befc»re, the Nairs appear 
in early times as a military nobility. They were 
hereditary warriors and protectors of the realm. 
The system of Kalaii which was originally or- 
ganised to impart to every Nair inslructrons in the 
:art of warfare, continues here and there even to 
this day. According to this system every Nair of 
a certain age was, like the early Spartan youth, 
bound to undergo training in arms and serve as 
a soldier whenever wanted. The process of train- 
ing was known as adavu and each batch of the 
ADAVU class consisted of 200 men and more. Such 
batches were numerous. Experts among the train- 
ed men were put at the head of the Militia. The 
N^air lords and noblemen of those days correspond 
to the barons and knights of early England. The 
ViBUTHi system, abolished only within a few years 
of late, was little short of a Royal grant for the 
maintenance of the militia, since those were days 
marked by an ever- waxing, never-ending, clannish 
clique and struggle for power and supremacy, which 
constantly required the services of the military sons 


T)f the soil. The humiliating reluctance which the 
Nairs felt accordingly to leave theii property, in 
time of war, to the rude shock of continuous neglect 
or outside forces and influences, naturally induced 
them to have recourse to a judicious arrangement 
which made the descent to run in the female line. 
The daughters thus became the darlings of the 
race. This arrangement gave women considerable 
influence : admitted of their being, to some extent, 
liducated ; and saved them from the pressing pri- 
vations of Brahminical tyrannical widowhood. 
The matriarchal system of inheritance thus owes 
its origin among other things to the constitution 
and condition of the Nair society in the early times, 
the peculiar system of land tenure then in vogud 
and to 4;he genius of the Government of the ancient 
Rajahs. Mr. Logan, says that " this system was 
adopted to prevent alienation of property, as the 
earliest foreign observer Sheikzin-Ud-din himself 
sets forth." 

Certainly there is much to commend itself in 
the alienation of property which, no doubt, the 
system tended to prevent,, but that was only an 
cflfect that followed from a7id not the cause of the 
arrangement. Mr. Logan himself adds that** the 
system had also much to commend itself in a socie- 
ty organised, as it then was, when the nairs tcei^e 
'the Protectors of the state and could seldom 
eivcept in old fm/e, settle down to manage their 
totcn affair a J\ 


Thus it win be seen what michievous meddle- 
fiomeness and blatant blunder it is to connect the 
system of marriage with the system of inheritance 
and to make the one the inevitable incident of the 

It is this self-same blunder that has led to 
reflections on the morality of the people — ^reflec- 
tions based on inaccurate notions which the excus- 
able ignorance of early European travellers and 
writers, who have had neither a long stay in the 
country nor acquintance with the language of the 
people nor even, owing to caste-restrictions, free 
admisson into their society, has largely but 
wrongly ventilated. The magnitude of the mis- 
chief that such enormous statements are calcula- 
ted to bring upon the people, can be fully gauged 
when we reflect on the unfortunate circumstance 
that these erroneous statements have found favour 
with jurists and adminstrators of law. Neverthless 
it goes without saying that, if to err is human, it is 
man's privilege to correct the error. 

In a clear, careful and clever speech before the 
Travancore Legislative Council, in introducing a 
Bill relating to marriage among the followers of 
the matriarchical system of inheritance, the lata 
Mr. P. Thanu Pillay the learned mover of the 
measure, goes deep into the question of the 
essentials and accidentals of human marriage 
and comes to the conclusion that the good faith 
and the intention of the parties and not the form 


in which a marriage is celebrated, is the test of its 
validity ; that the existing social marriage among 
the Marumakkathayan Hindus is, in all essential 
respects, a valid marriage ; that only legal effect 
has to be given to what is already recognised as 
valid ; that a community should be judged by thip 
usages of the good men that compose it and not the 
waifs and strays in it, and that if one would cast off 
all prejudices an^ pre-conoeived notions and im- 
partially and dispassionately investigate the sub- 
ject, he will find the conjugal union known as 
local names, is not a casual or fugitive connection 
formed for the purpose of sexual gratification, but 
a serious and solemnalli ance, and that the inten- 
tion of the parties is to make the union a lif«-long 

Ceremony, publicity or solemnitv is not want- 
ing either. The noticeable features of a Nair mar- 
riage are the preparation of the Mukurtha-Gharthu 
and the formal settlement of the wedding day hj 
the ceremony known as Ashtamangalyam \ the fix- 
ing of the main pillar of the wedding hall and the 
putting up of the Kathir- Mandapam on an auspici- 
ous day ; the procession of the manalan or the 
bridegroom-elect who should be from well recog- 
nised families, called Machambimar and who, in 
the part of the country between Edavai and Padma- 
nabhapuram, were, for each Kara or village, 
appointed by royal writs ; the tying of the Tali 


amidst acclamations df approval, known ?A Kxiram, 
thef^ivinpf of Ayanioon and Boothakulam or Bum- 
per feasts to the bridegroom's party, a custom be- 
lieved to be a relic of the encampment of the Mo- 
hamedan army at Manakaud ; the Vathalthura 
Bongs and amusements ; the procession of mannu- 
neerkondimarica^ with pomp and music and the like. 
This is just like any wedding in Brahmin life and 
is, when the girl attains age, followed by JPudavai^ 
codukia — ^a ceremony analogous to the sacred Bithn- 
eanfhi of the Brahmins. For this also the caste- 
men and relations reassemble and the important 
thing is the gift of a cloth by the husband-elect to 
his lady-love, in token of their conjugal alliance. 
N'air-women giving birth before publicly and open- 
ly taking a husband in the manner above described 
are put out of caste and held in utter reprobation. 
In the face of these customs, exclaims Justice Ra- 
HAGHANDEA Iyar. ** How Can One say there is no 
marriage among the Nairs. There is no truth* in 
the general condemnation that the ties of marriage 
are not respected in Malabar. It may be observed 
that constancy of love and aftachments to one's 
husband are virtues as mtwh respected among 
Nairs as among any other community ". 

We have entered into the questson at this 
length, since it deals with a matter of unique social- 
ogical interest and in view to present a faithful 
picture of the civic life of a mufch-maligned but 
progressive South Indian Race. It is an encour- 


(From a picture by Mr, Ravi Varma). 


aging feature of this progressive Nair Society of 
to-day, that not-withstanding their sub-divisions 
into castes and sub-castes — such as the Cireathill 
Naib or the house steward who held, in times of yore, 
high offices in the Covil and military services of tha 
country the Illakkar or tenants attached to Brah- 
min Illoms J the Sorubhakah rendering feudal 
service in Kshatria families ; the Pabanair or the 
Warrior clan ; the Manavalan or the cultivating 
branch ; the Pallicbanaib or the bearers of the pa- 
lanquins of the prince and chiefs &c, &c., :— that 
not-withstanding such innumerable social and ra- 
cial barriers, the community, as a whole, is adapt*- 
ing itself, with remarkable alacrity, to the altered 
conditions engendered by contact with the prOgre»8*i 
ive civilization of the West. 



The Brahminis came next. They come under 
two broad sub-divisions namely, the Malabar Brah- 
mins or the Namburis and the East coast or Drav- 
Ida Brahmins. 

We shall deal with the Numburi Brahmins 
first. In simplicity of manners and general 
truthfulness of character, in reverence for time- 
honoured customs and unostentatious zeal for reli^ 
gious devotion, the Numburis are as a'rule scarcely 
excelled by any other class of Hindus. They are 
said to have been brought over and settled by Para- 
jsurama. The legend of Parasurama is not of any 
great historical significance except perhaps in two 
ways. In the first place, the people believed and 
largely used it in their literature. In the next 
place it is a fanciful version of dim memories cf 
the early settlement of the Brahmins and the civili- 
zation thay brought with them into the new land. 
The name of Parasurma is used to give a fanciful 
explanation of the way in which the greatest 
Aryan tribes reached their final home in Southern 
India. The Brahmins like the Dorians vrete 
much too proud a people to own the truth that 
they had been pushed southward from one halting 
place to another by the pressure of the stronger 
tribes in their rear* The Dorians preferred to 
call their arrival in Peleponnesus the return of the 
children of Heracles. Like- wise the Biahmina 


preferred to call their arrival in Malabar the re- 
turn of the darlings of Parasurama who had made 
a gift of the land to them, and to think that they 
were only called back to their rightful heritage., 
Thfiy soon founded villages and temples and beg in 
to exercise a powerful influence at the c >urt of the 
Malabar kings. In the early hisory of ihe Namburi 
castes we find a division into two parties namely 
the Punniyur congregation following the Vishnavite 
faith and the Chovur faction adopting that of 
Siva. The latter finally prevailed and has since 
been incorporated with the Vedanta Doctrine of 
Sankaracharya, himself believed to have been a 
Numburi. The organization of the Numburis is 
by> Gramas or Villages, as that of the Nairs- is by 
Taras or lands. The Numburi community of .the 
present day is split up into two religious factions 
nam6ly, the Tirunavai group and the Trichur league, 
each presided over by a Vadhyar or high priest. 
The highest order of the Numburis is called the 
Namburipad or one who has performed a public 
sacrifice. The ilhistrins house of Alvanchery 
Tamprakal stands foremost in rank and exercises to 
this day the right of ministration [on the corona- 
tion day of the rulers of Travancore and Cochin, 
Eight such families of religious reputation exist 
to this day under the name of AshtagrahatilAdhyar. 
These eight families are Poovalli ; Uzhappamun ; 
Varikkacherry ; Kadalur; Purayannur ; Oralacherry 
Mepad ; and Edamana. Besides these there ara 



certain classes of Numburies who have iovteitoA 
their original status on account of their havinjf 
pursued [callings independent of the study of the 
vedas. Such are the physician Namburies known 
as Ashtagraha Vaidyar or eight f amiles of physicians 
who having from ancient times devoted themselves 
to the study of medicine are refcognised and resort- 
ed to by the people as hereditary physicians. Such 
are again the soldier Namburies called Sasthranga- 
karswho constituted theancientmilitia of 36000 men 
named Rekshapurushas or protectors of the realm. 
The Sasthrakali or performance with swords and 
shields obtains to this day. Such are also the San- 
kethika Namburies who, not prepared for the initial 
troubles incidental to colonisation, went back to 
the land they came from, but returned when ordef 
was restored and peace began to reign. Under this 
class are included the Tiruvella Desis or those who 
betook themselves to the place of that name and 
and the Karnat an 1 Tulu Desis who immigrated to 
the southern districts. Such are some of the 
main divisions of the Namburi classes of to- 
day. Sir Seshia Sastri hits off most hap- 
pily the leading traits of this class of people 
when he writes. '^ The proud Namburi Brahmin 
land-lord who traces his ancestry and his tenure 
through several thousands of years and whose anxi- 
ety to preserve the dignity of the family is indicated 
by the strict law of entail by which the disintegra- 
tion of his property is prevented, is yet a victim o| 


inflebtedneBB caused chiefly aB elsewhere by the ran**** 
oufily expensive character of the marriage of his 
daughter and by his unbounded charity and hospi- 

The Namburis are extensive land-ownerft^ 
6ften -possessed of immense wealth. The family 
property is owned and enjoyed in common by all 
the members of family. Division of family proper- 
ty is forbidden. It is rarely or never practised. 
The law of inheritance is makkathayam by which 
the makkal or sons are the legal heirs of a man'^^ 
property. But the estate is cut oflF from a11 the 
ieirs-g *neral. The eldest son alone inherits his 
father's wealth. Others merely claim support from 
him. Those who can claim such support are the 
males of the family, their wives, their virgin daughn 
ters and widows while residing in the house.- 
Owing to the expensive character of marriagei 
which is due to the practice of making large endow* 
ments to the bridgegroom as well as to the anxi- 
ety to let the property pass undivided, the eWesfc 
son alone is allowed to marry. If he be without 
issue, he may marry one to two additional wives. 
If the eldest brother still have no children or 
die without issue the next in succession may marry 
and so on. When the family is in danger of 
extinction, it is the common practice to give the 
daughter of the house in marriage to a Namburi 
aucf'.to take him into the Illom which ia th^ 

SOCIAL ^ECtJtAllITlfiii. ^ 

lioUBe name of the Namburis. This is know n ^s 
*' Sarvasvadham " marriage according to whiqh 
the whole estate of the father-in- /aw passes aftei' 
tis death to the management of his son-in- 
law. He is moreover disentitled to property, if he 
fails to beget any issue. This is peculiar to Nam* 
burid- alone. Adoption is also made to perpetuate 
a Namburi family in the following three ways ; 1.^ 
** PatukayyiP' adoption or one in which five persong 
t^kepart. II. "Ohamathu" adoption in which a pan 
of sacred twigs of Ficus 7*eligiosa is burnt. 
111. *' Koodivachu " adoption in which a sur?* 
viviag widow or an old man adopts an heir by mere- 
ly taking him into the house. Mr. J. D. Mayne 
«aysthat ihe last form of adoption obtains in the 
jVIithula country under the name of krithrama adp- 
ption. The women of the Namburis are called 
antharjanams or inside folks. They are guarded 
with jealousy. The institution of caste investi- 
gation or a Court of enquiry in case of adultery ; 
the terrible method of pronouncing sentence 
against an adulteress, the disposal of children after 
guilty career ; the ordeal that suspected persons 
have to undergo ; their loss of caste and social po- 
sition ; all this unmistakebly proves thfe exalted 
importance with which chastity among other virtues 
is reckoned among them. 

Among other social peculiarties the following 
fere said to have been inculcated by Sankaracharya: — 
** It is declared that all unmarried women among the 

Q8 tHB fEOPl*. 

Antarjanams who die, are not to be burned vi ithottt 
the ceremony of the Talle which ceremony must 
be performed by hired Brahmans. Without this it 
will be an abomination. 

"In an lUara (or house of the Numburi) no 
Karmasare ceremonies are to be performed without 
the attendance of a Sudra ; therefore it is decreed 
that in all lUams Sudras must be employed as ser- 
vants to the Numburi. 

*'It is decreed that none but the genuine Brah- 
mans of Kerala alone are permitted to enter into 
the Ambalam of a Devasthanam where the Grod is 
placed. The An!;arjanams, Ambalawasi girls and 
Sudras only are to have access to the Sannidhi and 
all other inferior castes are strictly enjoined td 
sta^id without at certain distances according to their 
several distinctions of caste and profession. 

" It is decreed that lUams and barnams (the 
house of the Sudras) must not be constructed so as 
to form regular st eets and lanes but they are to 
be scattered and every individual is permitted to 
build at his own convenience and pleasure. 

Brahmans alone are permitted to sit on boards 
formed in the shape of a tortoise shell and it is de- 
creei tnat if any of the other castes are found to use 
such boards as seats, they will be liable to be capi- 
tally punished. 

'' It is t'^ecreed that Sudras in their barnams 
or houses who have a desire to keep their favourite 


deities as objects of their adoration must have Brah- 
mans at least once or twice in the year to perform 
certain ceremonies/'' 

With reference to the sixth law allowing the 
younger sons of an Illam to perform connection 
with Sudra women it is decreed that the latter are 
not considered pure* 

** It is decreed th^t Brahmans are prohibited 
from the observance of one of the six actions or 
Karmas called bhikshadanam by which they are re- 
stricted from the practice of receiving alms. 

'* It is decreed that the Rajastries of the Ksha* 
triya tribe or pure Brahmans alone may cohabit 
with them, and eating what is cooked by these wo- 
men in their house will not be considered an abo- 

" It is decreed that Brahmans have the right 
of preventing a Raja or prince of the country from 
putting any individual to death, and his right is de- 
rived from a pre-emiUenee of holding the birth* 
right inheritance as a gift from Parasurama." 

. " It is decreed that a Brahman must wear un- 
bleached cloths whilst performing the office 
of Karma among them ; otherwise it would be an 

**It is decreed that it is not considered a viola- 
tion of the law for a Brahmani woman to marry, 
after she attains the age of puberity.'* 

" It is not considered impure for a Brahman - 
not to clean his teeth or for him to let his nails grow 

tO; aprodigious len^h, nor is it uncomely for theja 
to shave every part of their body with^^t^ excep- 
tion of the hair on their head." sj^ 
, '*It is an not objectionable thing for a Brahmin 
Jtoeat of the pickle made by the Ambalavasi £ya4 
^udra castes, and the parpadas or light fired cakeii, 
made by Konkanies and Kshatriyas." 

i "Besides the Brahmans, all other castes of 

iw'hatever description, are expressly forbidden to 

«over- the upper part of their body above tbi 


. • ^-Brahmans, Sudras and other castes indiscrimi^ 

jiately are forbidden to wear a covering on theif 

head or a covering to the foot.*' 

* ' "It is decreed by these precepts that the regu* 
lations of the Brahmans are never to be altered;'^ 

These social rules and regulations of the Nam- 
fcuries distinctly mark them out from the Dravida 
JBrahmanSj who came next into the country. 




The Wast Coast Brahmins came next. The 
lovely aspect of the couutry , the humame 
Government of the Alaharajahs^ and the easy and- 
peaceful life of the people made Travancore highly 
inviting. Tha peace-loving Brahmins found in 
the happy valley of Travancore ample scope for 
sweet communion with the most High. Th^ 
liberal patronage which all branches of knowledge 
were sure to find in the Court of Travancore was 
not the least inviting. The unflinching liberality 
and the free feeding of the state give them 
complete relief from the worry and trouble of- 
life on the East Coast. The cheap living and the 
peculiar social customs of the people allureif- 
many into the country. The extensive tracts of lands 
which only waited to be touched by the hand of 
man to smile on him with plenty, the natural rich-, 
ness of the country and the never- failing mon-, 
scons also formed a powerful charm. As soon m 
peace was decl Ared from one end of the CK)untry to. 
the other and the charity the Maharajah made known 
by the opening of free feeding^hquses, a regular 
f xodus from the east began in right earnest. Th^ 
Brahmins who are unnecessarily stigmatised as am 
inordinately home-loving class, shook off all an- 
cestral considerations and impaired in large numbers* 
into Travancore. Since then, small colonies of 
Brahmins have been settling down about th^ 


Dharmaaalas, and many new villages tavefipruBgf 
into existence. A fresh impetus was given to the in- 
land trade with the East Coast. The ruined mer- 
chant, the impoverished land-lord, the hereaved 
widow, and the helpless orphan — all found in Travan* 
core their only hope and means of living. 

They are divided into : — 

Tamil Barhmins ; Telugu Brahminis ; Mahratta 
Brahmins; Kanarese, Brahmins, and so on 
according to the country they have come from 
and the language they speak. Each of these 
is split up into subdivisions according to their reli- 
gious faith. Of this we shall s^peak later on in 
the section treating of Hinduism. The Brahmins 
were hereditary priests. Learning was, as every- 
where in the early times, their monopoly. Tliey 
had absolute power in the promulgation and eluci- 
dation of ancient law. The Indian arts and scien- 
603 were the fruits of their sole devotion to the pro- 
gressive state of mankind. Religion, society and 
literature were the powerful manifestation of their 
extraordinary intellect and benevolent activity. 
They accomplished most of the purposes of writing 
by their remarkable memory which is now consid- 
ered one of the most wonderful feats of intellectual 
gymnastics. They were in brief Apostles of Hindu 
culture and Hindu progress. Of them, the late Sir. 
W. W. Hunter, the most historical voice of the Cen- 
tury, writes thus: — *• The Brahmins were a body 
of people who in an early stage of this world's his- 


torjr .lk»;id tiiasu2.'i^.7*s hj e rule of life, the essan- 
tiai praceptj ol w^icb .w3T3- ss^.f-culturo .and.self- 
res^iraint. As they ni?.":ied wiiMn thoir owm, caste, 
begot childfe'i only daring their- pr:mo, and ^wera 
noij lialJle to lose the finest of ineir yputh in war, 
they transmitted their best qualities in an ever- 
inc:rea8ing measure to their descendants.. The Brah- 
mins of the present day are the result of three 
thousand years of hereditary education and self , res- 
traint, and they have evloved a type of mankind 
quite distinct from the surrounding population. 
The Brahmin is an example of , a class becoming the 
ruling power in a country not by force of arms but 
by rigour of hereditary culture and temperance. 
One race has swept across India after another : dy- 
nasties have risen and fallen : religions have spread 
themselves over the land and disappeared. But 
since the dawn of history, the Brahmin has calmly 
ruled, swaying the minds and receiving the ho- 
mage of the people and accepted by foreign na- 
tions as the highest type of Indian mankind." 
Hence the potentialities of the new education will 
notfail to incline the modern reader with indul- 
gence towards the following exalted appeal 
which learning is said to make to the Brahmin : "I 
am thy precious gem ; preserve me with care : de- 
liver me not to a scorner and so preserved thou 
shalt become supremely strong.'^ (Chapter II 114), 
Cordially accepting the service which he was 
thought fit to own and discharge,y;he generous Brah- 


min set himself to the performance of his sacred 
trust and founded to the best of his opportunities, 
a glorious specimen for the collection and diflfuwon 
of the highest kind of knowledge. He distribu- 
ted life based on the elaborately organised system 
of rituals and ceremonials promulgated in the 
Vedas. Pour stages have to be gone through by 
erery Brahmin in his period of existence. The 
first which is always binding is • Brahma- 
charyam' — student life — ^for which all ages of civili- 
zation and progress are equally and eminently cons- 
picuous. The initiation is inaugurated with ela- 
borate religious ceremonials. The investiture of 
the sacrificial cord is considered one of the most 
essential of the purificatory rites to be gone 
through by the pupil before entrance into the 
regular course of vedic study. The investiture 
comes off between the 6th and 6th year of one'er 
age beyond which he is said to lose his position in 
life. By the performance of this ceremony known 
as * Upanayanam' he becomes twice-born and quali- 
fied for admission into the Hindu convents and 
sacred academic groves. The Vedic studies are 
pursued only for 6 months of the year. For reli- 
gious purposes the year is divided into two periods : 
— ^the * XJttarayanam ' period which is the half- 
year in which the sun moves from South to North 
(summer solstice). (2) and the * Dakshinayanam * 
period which is the halfg^ar in which the sun 
ijioves f rom(^u^s^t9/Norm^ (winter solstice. Of 

tliese the former is regarded as inauspicious for the 
utudy of the vedas- All Brahmins close their vedic 
studies on the first full moon day of the ** Uttaraya- 
nam " period and commence vedic studies. This is 
known as " Upakarma '' which obtains to the pre- 
sent day. The young men girt with the thread used 
to leave their houses and go oflF with their preceptor 
to live with him and learn the sacred scripture, by themselves to a regularcourse of discip- 
line. The first and the most important lesson impres- 
sed on them is the due recognition of the highest 
place in our nature which reverence most magesti- 
cally claims to occupy. Every Brahmin student is 
taught that " By honouring his mother he gains the 
terristrial world by honouring his father the inter- 
mediate or the ethereal world; and by assidious 
attention to his preceptor the celestial world of 
Brahma (Chapter VI 253) " To dismiss the mytho- 
logical figure, he is taught above all that reverence 
is the highest duty — a lesson of the highest nK>- 
ment and virtue. 

Having learnt the lessonsof the Vedas and thwi 
formed a high conception of duty, the Brahmin is 
naturally prepared to fight out what the late poet 
laureate Tennyson calls the healthy breezy battle 
of life. He enters on the stage of "Grahasta- 
sramam, or Married life and settles down as a citizen. 

What strikes at once even the most casual obser- 
ver is the absolute absence of the separation of 
families. All the members of what is known as a 

01 tflE MOPiiS. 

natural family., live in a common dwelling witli 
exclusive privileges and extensive powers, liable to 
the control of the pater^ familias. who is bound to 
maintain them all out of the family property under 
his control. Every son when he arrives at a 
marriable age and accepts a suit puts his claim to 
provision for his n^wly married wife as he does not, 
like his occidental brother generally go off and 
live in a house of his own. Every daughter, when 
she is given in marriage, stands and insists upon 
her rights to dowry from the common funds. 
After her marriage she becomes subject to the 
control of the family into which she is married. 

The whole family moves at the concert of the 
chief who keeps all the members under his rule 
and orders. He is the sole presiding agent of 
every detail of domestic duties from observance of 
daily rituals and the distribution of food to the 
discussion and solution of weighty problems aflfect- 
ing the weal of the whole family. He gives the 
finishing stroke on all occasions ot note 
and his authority is beyond question. He is 
the benign satrap «f each family and looked up 
to by every member of it with little short of rever- 
ence and awe. 

The reasQU for this is not far to seek. Look 
wbere we may in the annals of nations, we fitid 
everywhere that va^u authority and great dignity are 
placed in the noted wisdom and ripe experience of 
ago. The dangerous and designing Cassius who 


dreaded the powef of the eloquence of Cicero Was 
tongue-tied with the assurance by Decius Brutus' of 
the hope that his silver hairs would purchase him 
a good opinion and buy men's voices to cotnrnend 
his deeds. 

The eminent Sir Henry Maine, goes even so 
far as to think that ** there is s Survival of this 
idea in the minimum limit of ag^ which lias been 
made the condition of a sent in the artificial second 
chambers which have been constructed over rnb^s t 
of the civilized west as supposed counterparts of tlie 
Euglish House of Lords, While so how could nothsive 
the authority of age made itself the ruling authority 
in those days when the people had to seek ingenldus 
means to hand down to posterity the rich heritage 
of their traditions, for want of a common mediiim 
of lasting communication. 

Its application to the family seems further to 
be based on duo and clear recognition of the 
healthy principle of one supreme j.ower in a small 
group of individuals bound together by family ti^s. 
There is yet another and a stronger reason why the 
Aryan religious tenets favoured it. And that is the 
consideration for the helpless widows, the worn out 
old men, and the sportive and careless children to 
all of whom alike the conditions offered by the joint 
family system have been and are found indispen-* 
sable in ail stages of s )cial evolution. Thus grew 
amidst the Brahmin the system of joint family life 
jparipasu with married life or life of a citizen. Aftfer 


the accomplishment of wordly desires in the above 
order of life and consequent achievement of self 
control and S3lf discipline, he redeems himself 
from the domestic bondage and passes through the 
3rd order of an anchorite in the forest. 

Preparing himself thus for the 4th and the 
last order of ^'sanniasin" or asceticism, he relin- 
quishes everything worldly and consecrates him- 
8 )lf to purely religious musings for the attainment 
of heaven and happiness *'When thus he has re- 
linquished all forms, is intent on his own occupa- 
tion and free from other desires, when by devoting 
himself to God, he has effaced sin, he then attains 
the supreme path of glory.*' 

Such in brief is the fourfold basis of perfect 
life according to the conception of the Brahmins. 
Of these the first and second orders of life appear 
to wear on their faces unmistakeable marks bf time- 
proof durability. The confirmed craving for the 
growth of human intelligenoe has placed the 
working of the first on a vast and gigantic scale, 
and it is being sufficiently encouraged and developed 
to its full extent by the consecrated energy and enter 
prise of our Western friends and benefactors. The 
traditionary principle of the maintenance of the 
race has thrown the second order also terra Jirma 
as the first. The distinct maintenance by the high 
authority of Vasishta and Bond hay ana, of the op- 
tional tenor of tho four orders, coupled with pre- 
cedent and usage, not to speak of the claims and de- 


mauds of a later age, has resulted in the decay of 
the last two orders. The proportion of thv3 forest 
rechise and the ascetic is fast going down, al- 
though the spiritual tendency of the Brahmins 
generally still remains stationary. The present 
creed gives every Brahtuin the dignity of the unit. 
He has the glory to lake a road of his own. He 
may live out the life of a student and bring all the 
forces of his culture to bear upon the extension and 
ameliorate'on of his people or he may remain to the 
last a citizen enjoying the sweets of personal and 
social life or according as he likes may retire into 
proud and pious isolation or work out his spiri- 
tual benefit. 

This completes the circle of the leading Hindu 
sections of the population. We shall deal with the 
non-Hindu portion of the population in a separate 
chapter. We cannot bring this to a more fitting^ 
termination than with a few general observations 
on the dominant characteristics of the natives of 
this State. Without any the least fear of a ch argi 
of inordinate love of race we may call to witness 
Lord Connemora, a former governor of the South- 
ern Presidency of Madras who bears unmistakable 
testimony to the natural and high-bred courtesy 
which distinguishes the natives of this State. We 
may add from intimate personal knowledge^ 
that this courtesy is not of the formal kind. It 
readily and cheerfully responds to the call of help- 
Even the poorest Hindu tries to render what little 

95 THE PfiOPLE. 

help he can. He requires no concerts, no associa- 
tions, no subscription lists or anything of the kind 
in aid of charitable purposes. He dees not require 
the pai^f ul appeals of actual distress and suffering, 
buqH as are the direct incentives to action in ojtber 
countries. To him the begging Pandaram is no 
les^ an object of pity than the helpless widow and 
orphan The religion in which he livee, moves 
and has. his being enjoins on him to do deeds of 
charity fox its own saka. He plants trees by the 
roadside, builds wayside inns, sinks wells, digs tanks 
and affords very many facilities for the rest and 
refreshment of the way-worn traveller. In all 
seasons and at all times, he s^eks to mitigate the 
su^erings of his fellow man. In fact in no other 
country in the world can be beheld a similar spect- 
acle of private charity. We indulge in no langu- 
age of false patriotism or rhetorical flourish when 
we record the bare fact that the Maha Rajah is a 
worthy representative of his people, and deservedly 
bears the! glorious appellation of Dhar ma Rajah on 
ac^ui^t of his traditional benevolence and far fam- 
ed, ch?>i;ity.. 



An ethnological account of the people sholilcl 
not lose sight of their language and literature. 
Malayalam is the language of the people. This is- 
better localised than any of the languages of South 
India. It is spoken in the south of Ganara,: 
throughout Malabar, in Cochin, and inTraV^ancorer 
It is spoken hardly at all elsewhere. The Malaya- 
lam-speaking population amounts in all to four* 
millions in the Madras Presidency, including the 
native state of Travancore and Cochin. • Those who 
speak it are chiefly Hindus. It is also spoken by? 
the Jews, Mahomedans and Christians. The langu- 
age is peculiarly related to Tamil. Some scholars; 
think that it is an off-shoot of Tamil j others as- 
cribe to it a Sanskrit origin. There is yet another . 
school of opinion which holds that like Tamil it is 
an off-shoot from the original parent stock of Dra-^ 
vidian languages. However it be, there is no doubt, 
about its close affinity to both Tamil as well as, 
Sanskrit. It abounds in rich and elegant expres- 
sions from Sanskrit. Its idioms bear a close affi- 
nity to Tamil. The history of the Malayalam Ian-, 
guage begins with Ramacharitham, the oldest. 
Malayalam poem still in existence. Composed as 
it was before the introduction of the Sanskrit Al- 
phabet into the Malayalam Language, it deserves 
wall of the particular attention of scholars. 


Witb the arriyal of the Brahmins, the greafc 
ardour for literary pursuits began. As the Nairs 
formed the Military sons of the soil, the art of archery 
and swordsmanship was taught to erery Nair. 
Every Nair of a certain age was bound to undergo 
training in arms and serve as a soldier, whenever 
wanted. The process of training is called Adavu 
and each batch of the Adavu class consisted of 200 
men. Such batches were numerous. They were 
the guardiana of peace. There are several works 
on the subject. But the best that I have seen is a 
stout MS. copy secured in the Palace Grandha 
Library, Trivandrum. It gives an elaborate and 
vivid description of the use of arms, designs of for- 
tresses and bastions and carrying on of intricate 
and important military campaigns. 

Malayalam Medicine. The Travancorean^ 
developed also the science of medicine. It formed 
the special subject of study to the members of 
eight families of the Namburi immigrants. They 
are known as Ashta Vydiar. In some places they 
are called Njambian or Nambi. In other places 
they bear the name of " Moos ". Medicine like 
Astronomy was an independent development in the 
country. The Namburis explored and studied the 
original works in Sanskrit such as the "Nidanams '' 
of Madhavcahari, the " Ashtanghridaya" of Vak- 
bhatachari, the physiological works of the celebrat- 
ed Susrutha and the materia medica of the eminent 
Charaka. They became very skilful in medicine. 

.i]gtcHi6By AND mkdicinji. 98 

diagnosed aad treated diseases and performed sur- 
gical operations wonderfully well. In course of time 
they themselves produced original works in Sans- 
krit which can be had now. 

There is however no knowing when and by 
wbom they were composed. However, as will be 
seen later on, these works have been done into Ma- 
layalam. Although originally the study ot Medicine 
was prosecuted exclusively by the Namburis, the 
Ambalavasis, an intermediate class who were versed 
in Sanskrit, came to be initiated into it. They in 
turn taught the subject to the neglected Nairs. And 
since the language of tbe latter is solely Malayalam, 
the Sanskrit works written by the Namburis were 
first translated into Malayalam. Dr. Gundert ap- 
pears to have collected a good many of theni and 
used them largely in the compilation of his valuable 
and voluminous Lexicon. These prose renderings 
seem to have been put into verse by several scholars 
subsequently. Of the "Ashta Vaidyans", Kut- 
tanchery Moose was an eminent physician. In this 
family was found a malayalam translation of the 
great medical work known as " Sahasrayogam." Al- 
latur Nambi, another physician of repute is said to 
have written " Roganidanam ". The " Yogamritam'* 
which is said to be the work of a Numburi of Tripa- 
xayar, deals with the process of preparing drugs 
out of minerals and stones. "Vaidyamailka," is a very 
useful and important publication. It is a source of 
-considerable help to native medical practitioners 


!Malatalam AfiTRONOMY. Astronomy also formed n 
subject of special study and interest. Like Indian 
Astronomy it is the subject of admiration in res- 
pect of observations made. It is also the object of 
contempt in respect of its degeneration first into 
Astrology and then into the " Mantravadams '' o^ 

The exigencies of the national worship gave a 
great impulse to the Numburis to learn to calculate 
the solar year, the phases of the moon and the dis- 
position of the stars. They wrote original works 
based on the production of the Sanskrit Varahami- 
bira and Aryabhatta and otter writers on Indian 
Astronomy. One Namburi whose name is Unknown 
wrote the "Tantarsangraham"; another who is fami- 
Jiarly known as Vadacherry Namburi was the author 
of "Jatakapadhathi". A third has composed a gloss 
on the above. This is the beginning of Astrology. 
And in course of time the**Brahmajatakem"of Vara- 
hamira was translated; as also the "Lilavathi'' and 
'Trashnareethi". The last mentioned is the great 
work of Talaculathoo Battathiri. Several original 
works were also written in Malayalam. 

Malayalam Law also engaged their close at- 
tention. It has been rightly observed that the first 
«tep towards the state of a civilised society is the 
protection of the right and property of persons. 
It is very gratifying to find that this most import- 
ant measure has engaged the full attention of the 
original adminstrators of the realm. Major Walker, 


in his exhaustive report to the Madras Government 
on the land tenures of Malabar, puts on record 
" that in no country in the world is the nature and 
Bpecies of property better understood, or its 
right more tenaciously maintained than in Mala- 
bar. " This is quite as true in Travancore. In 
this country, as in Malabar, possession of land ori- 
ginally was unalienable, and confined to Namburi 
Brahmins* There are two treatises on Malabar law: 
(1) Vyavaharamala & (2) VivadaJRatnakarum based . 
more or less on the institutes of Manu. Dr, Gun- 
dert appears to have consulted the Malayalam ren- 
derings of these works. These works were pro>- 
bably written when the power of the Brahmins be^ 
gan to decline and the petty chiefs and the children 
of the soil commenced to rise to importance. 
Ankdm and chunkam were the two methods by 
which offenders in those days were punished. They 
deal with Criminal and Civil offences respectively. 
According to Ankam a person guilty of an offence 
18 branded with a mark of degradation and sent 
away. He would be an object of contempt and 
warning wherever he goes. And that was considered 
a severe and sufficient punishment in ancient times. 
The method of chunkam required that an offender 
should take an oath on a Palli Ambu or the bow of 
the Divine Rama. The bow would be planted on 
the ground and the person who has, for instance^ 
failed to pay a debtor or Government tax would 
ha^ve to swear by the holy bow that he would pay 

101 EXNGDAGE km> LlTEBlTtmiS. 

off tlie dues within a certain date. The faith of 
the people in the etil effects of an oath unfulfilled 
or broken was in those days as it is even now, so 
strong that the chunkam method bound them suf- 
ficently to discharge their obligation. 

MALA.TALAM Epics. The great bulk of Mala* 
lam literature consists of translation or adaptation 
of the great Indian Epics of the B»amayana and the 
Mahabaratha. Thunchathu Ezhuthachan who flouri- 
shed in the 17th century is the father of Malayalam 
literature. He was the first to introduce into the 
language its modern alphabet of the Grantha charac- 
ters. He wrote several works which are at this day 
read with pleasure and profit. He has impressed 
on them the forms of Kilipattu harmony — ^a 
species of composition supposed to be sung by a 
parrot. This literary artifice answers to Milton's 
** Sing, Heavenly Muse" or "Descend ye Nine." 
The Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Bhaga- 
vata of Ezhuthachan belong to this species of com- 
position. They are his best works. It is a mistake 
to suppose that his works are translations from the 
Sanskrit. No doubt he has drawn largely upon the 
rich lore of the great Indian Epics. But his con- 
summate judgment in the selection and arrange- 
ment of the materials, his original reflections, and 
his copious, pure and eloquent expressions have in- 
fused into his works a fresh soul of l^rmony. He 
is allowed the same rank among Malayalam 


poets as Virgil among the Roman and Homer 
among the Greek. 

Malatalam Lyrics. The first and the best of 
the Malay alam lyric poets is Kunjan Nambyar. 
Gifted with talents of a high order, he has invented 
a new type of National lyric, called '* Thullal " of 
which thesubtlity and pathos are eminently suited to 
the genius of the language. The merit of the Thul- 
lals lies in their simplicity of structure, in the de- 
lineation of character and in the fineness of senti- 
ments. Of this species of poems he has a large num- 
ber which will live and rouse up genuine interest ' 
as long as the language endures. The Thullal poems 
are more or less based on the incidents which fill 
the episodical portion of the Mahabharata, Another 
kind of poetical composition which has immortalize 
ed his name is Manipravala or poems in which the 
elegant pearls of the Sanskrit phraseology are inter- 
woven with gems of native expressions. Among 
recent original productions, *' Mayur Sandesa *' 
or the peacock messenger by that Sanskrit savant— 
the Valia Koil Tampuran is a rare ornament to 
this class of composition, 

Malatalam Drama. The spirit of the Malaya- 
lam drama is illustrated and summed up in what is 
known as "Katha kali." It has the nature of a pan- 
tomime but the actors never speak. The play is 
represented by mute action or dumb show, while 
the text will be vociferously sung by a party of 
musical experts. As the curtain rises, the several 


actors enter the stage and translate into the langu- 
age of finger-signs and other variety of show, the 
sense of the dramatic entertainment. The science 
of symbols has attainted to a high state of perfec- 
tion. The Maharajahs of this country used to take a 
special interest in Katha Kalis and have themselves 
composed several plays of this kind. The Maha- 
rajah who died in 973 M. E. and his brother As- 
wati Thirunal, the Kottayam Rajah and the Kot- 
tarakkara Eajah were poets of repute in this kind 
of composition. 

Of the new type of the drama, Kerala Varma 
Valia Koil Thampuran is a great ornament. This 
scholar of rare attainments and culture, to whose 
self-denying earnestness and unremitting labours, 
the Malayalam language owes so much, has given a 
turning point to the structure and history of the 
Malayalam drama by his first and unrivalled trans- 
lations of Kalidasa's matchless production of Sa- 
kuntala, Of this undisputed literary lord of the 
Malayalam country, Sir George Wolseley wrote 
thus in an issue of the Leisure Hour : — '* I found Mr* 
Kerala Varma, husband of H. H. the Maharajah's 
elder sister, a particularly interesting man to talk 
with. He is a Pellow of the Madras University 
and a Member of the Royal Asiatic Society^ well- 
informed, very intelligent and exceedingly cour^ 
teous in manner and address very like H. H. the 
Maharajah in that respect." The Sanskrit naodel 


Valiyakoil Tampuran. 


thus introduced was quickly followed. From this, 
time the art made great and rapid advancement* 

Latterly Justice Mr. Govinda Pillai has intro- 
duced to the Malayalam-speaking public the type 
of the English Drama by his translations of some 
of Shakespeare's immortal plays. The new turn of 
poetical composition he has contrived to employ 
is the first specimen of Malay alam blank verse 
which, at the touch of the magic wand of gifted 
genius, bids fair to become the ground- work for the 
noblest poetry of the Malayalam tongue. 

Malayalam Novel. This species of composition 
is of recent origin. The first Malayalam novel 
after the model of Sir Walter Scott is *-The Mar- 
thanda Varma." Its gifted author displays in this 
work a singular acuteness in penetrating into the 
secret springs of policy and motives of action. 
He has cleverly pieced together tke fast-dying frag- 
ments of legends that gathered about the revered 
name of Marthanda Varma who, in the early days 
of the baron's wars, had like Robinhood wandered 
incognito through the forest glades of south Travan- 
core. In "Akbar" by the Valia Koil Thampuran, we 
have specimens of the pathetic, the descriptive, the 
eloquent and even the sublime. The novels of Chandu 
Menon have decidedly a ring of Lord Lytton's won- 
derful works. '^Induleka^' which has the rare merit 
of being done into English by Mr. Dumergue is re- 
markable for the purity of its diction, tenderness 


of its sentiment and the light it throws on Malabar 
manners and customs. 

Malayalam Literature. Though the language is 
indebted to a foreigner for its first grammar and 
lexicon, the history of its literature is first pro- 
duced by a native to whose talents and persever- 
ance it bears unmistakeable testimony. 

Dazzled by the multiplicity of striking objects 
which actively shape and illumine contemporary 
literature, the pioneers of literary advancement in 
this country formed in 1891 a literary congress for 
the enrichment of Malayalam literature. With it 
new thoughts rose in the people's hearts. Every 
department of letters began to be actuated by a 
spirit of progressive activity. The variety and 
abundance of works produced in a few years are 
eminently marvellous, With the composition of 
the "Kerala Paniniyam" the language has received 
a new lease of life. The ''Bhasha Bhushan" by the 
same gifted writer is the first treatise on Malaya- 
lam rhetoric. The appearance of the Introductory 
and Chemistry- primers in Malayalam marks the be- 
ginning of scientific literature embodying modern 
science and modern thought. The translation of 
Dutt's ** Ancient India" and other publications point 
to the progresss in historical literature. The 
ennobling patriotic impulse and unwearied in- 
dustry of Scholars are fighting against all oddsi 
to enrich the Malayalam literature. We earnestly 
commend to their praiseworthy endeavours the 

ftEClilNt ADVANCES. 106 

iftecessifcy of Issuing a collected edition of the 
works of the leading poets of the land. We think 
this will receive the" willing patronage of His 
Highness the Maharajah whose greatest pleasure 
is to encourage learning in every possible way. It 
is well known that the Royal House of Travancore 
has all along been a Royal house of many literati. 
It is to this day remembered that the throne of 
Travancore was once graced by a sovereign whom 
the general consensus of the age regarded as a 
marvel of learning and who was therefore styled 
Sakala Kala Marthanda Varma or Marthanda 
Varma who is learned in all the arts and sciences. 
As Padmanabhapuram was the capital of the 
country, a shrine appears to have been erected there 
and dedicated to Divine Saraswati, the Goddess of 
learning. All the Maharajahs used to visit the fern* 
pie and do service every day. And since the Maha 
Rajah now holds court in Trivandram, the image 
of the Goddess is taken to ^Trivandram once every 
year and special pooja or worship is done on a 
grand scale. The literary eminence of the court 
is still maintained. 

Religion and Caste. 

The principal religion professed by the 
people are Hinduism, Mohamedanism, and Christi- 
anity. Budhism appears to have flourished for- 
merly in the country. 

Hinduism. The bulk of the people profess 
Hinduism which is the State Eeligion* Here too 
there was a memorable struggle for supremacy 
between the Church and the State. But things took 
a different course. While in Europe the StateJ;rium- 
phed, the Church in Travancore as in India acquir- 
ed a monopoly of influence. The dedication jof the 
whole state by the great Rama Varma in i@ M. E 
to Sree Padmanabha, the Guardian God of the 
land, and the assumption of sovereignty by him 
as Sree JPadmanabka Dasa or the vicegerent of 
the deity ( a title retained to the present day ) 
afford a striking proof of the State being absolutely 
subservient to the Church. In connection with the 
annual Oolsavam or festivity celebrated in that 
memorable shrine of national service, we have a 
symbolical and concrete illustration of the above, 
when H. H. the MahaB>ajah with the sword of 
fealty in hand leads the Aurat procession attended 
by the oflGlcers of State and the Knightly barons of 
the soil. Even today the popular belief is that a 
portion of the Vishnu Kalai or the halo of Divine 
Vishnu hedges round the king. With the acce^ 


sion of the church influence, the Brahmins became 
potent factors in the evolution of Hindu society. 
Their influence palpably coursed through the 
entire extent of the land. In the words of 
Mr R. C. Dutt it moved round in a series of con- 
centric ripplets on the placid surface of the society, 
expanding from the inmost circle of the Brahmins 
and gradually dyin^ away to the furthest extent. 
The diflfereat classes of the society thus live as 
though in the life of the Brahmins. Hence Mr. 
Nagam Aiyah is quite right when he wrote in 
the last Census Report that Hinduism is perfectly 
synonymous with Brahminism and means and in- 
cludes all the articles of faith of the orthodox 

Its three-fold work. In Travancore the work of 
Hinduism is threefold. Its religio-social influence 
has given rise to the caste organization of the peo- 
ple. The purely religious aspect of it deals with 
the maintenance of the State Church and attempts 
to solve the problem of death and afterwards. 
Under its socio-religious aspect it has organised a 
system of charity, private, state-aided as well as 
state-assumed and has so far successfully grappled 
with the problem of the poor — a problem which at 
all times, in all societies and under all Governments 
is a source of considerable trouble and trial to the 
State. We shall afterwards have occasion to notice 
this portion of the subject in connection with State 
Religion and State help. ,We would therefore turn 


tseee-pold woek. 1 no 

0\xt attention here to the first two aspects alone. 

Oastb. As a social organizer Hinduism recogi*- 
nises that in the social world, diffused power can- 
not be made to work. A head of water or a store 
of heat or electricity is more useful than a level 
ocean of water or diflfused heat of th^ earth. Hin- 
duism saw clearly that difference of level was as 
essential in the working of the social organiza- 
tion as in the physical world. It attempted to pre- 
serve the social vitality and found it necessary 
therefore to prevent the absorption of growing 
Aryan civilization from its less civilized non- Aryan 
surroundings. The irresistible ascendency of the 
Brahmins gave them a vantage ground which they 
were not slow to utilise. The result was that *' the 
several orders of an industrial society has got fos- 
silised in course of time into rigidly exclusive 
castes ''4 

Its Universality. Mr. Wilison says in his work on 
Indian castes " that the system of caste was not the 
growth of a single age or even of a few centuries" 
and adds *' pride of ancestry of family and personal 
position and occuption and of religious pre-emi- 
nence, which is the ground characteristic of caste 
is not peculiar to India. Nations and peoples as 
well as individuals have in all countries, in all ages 
and at all times, been prone to take exaggerated 
views of their own importance and to claim for them- 
selves a natural, and historical and social superiority 
to which they had no adequate title. '' In illustra- 



tion of such inequalities we may point to the arii^to- 
bracy of blood in England, the aristocracy of culture 
in Germany, the aristocracy of wealth in America. 
They demand an etiquette of difference between the 
varied communities of the world. They are found- 
ed on distinctions and differences caused by the 
conditions of social evolution — conditions which in 
our country grew up under the powerful and pervad- 
ing influence of religion — conditions whoS3 inviola- 
bility has been the. means of preserving to us intact 
for ages and ages together the indelible land-marks 
of our social architecture. Mr. W. S. Lilly re- 
marks : — "No doubt all members of the human race 
are equal as persons but with this equality co-exist 
vast inequalities arising from the degree of per- 
sonality and the conditions in which it exist." 
Dr. Lorimer in supporting a similar position asserts 
in his excellent work on " Studies in social Life *' 
"We cannot entirely destroy social inequalities 
even if we would. Their real foundation is not 
property but humanity. To abrogate them we must 
abrogate man and that is plainly inpossible ". We 
strongly deprecate therefore the uncharitable spirit 
not infrequently displayed by our critics whose com** 
ments tend to widen the gulf already existing be- 
tween class and class. We are not oblivious to the 
evils of the system but what we contend is that the 
eradication of ^ suck social barriers is a grand 
work of compromise and conciliation. 

Its Abrangement. A few of the divisions and 



* sub-divisions of the people have already been inci- 
dentalUy referred to in the preceding pages. Others 
of them will be here noticed. We arrange our notice 
of them in an order which is convenient for treat- 
ment but which has absolutely little to do with their 
social posit' on or precedent, our object being 
merely to give the reader a general idea of the ex- 
cessive complexity of the system and the principles 
of classification on which it is based. 




The Brahmins. As observed in a previous 
chapter, the Brahmins of Travancore come under 
two classes: — the Dravida Brahmins and the Mala- 
bar Brahmins. The Dravida Brahmins are divided 
into five classes. The Tamil Brahmins alone strict- 
ly belong to the Dravida group. They compre- 
hend the Smartas who follow the teachings of San- 
karacharya; the Vira Fishnavas who are follow- 
ers of Madwacharya ; the Sri Vaishnavas whose re- 
ligious leader was Ramanuja; the BhagavathM who 
with equal favour look upon the worship of both 
Siva as well as Vishnu; and the Sdkias who worship 
SaktL Turning to another principle of classification, 
the Tamil Brahmins are divided into the Fadamas^ 
or the north country Brahmins •; the Madht/amas^ 
or the middle country Brahmins; the Sanhethia or 
those who in ancient times formed a miscellanecR^, 
clique of their own and so on. Dr. Hunter says 
that the Dravidians have been settled in organised 
masses from the dawn of history down to the pre- 
sent day and the present Revenue system of India 
is still founded on the old Dravidian Revenue sys- 
tem which grew up thousands of years ago. 

The Mahbattas form the next group of the 
Dravidian Brahmins who have conie from the 
country of the Mahratti language and who have 
played a prominent part in the Political history of 
Travancore during the last century. When H. H 


the present Maharajah was presented with an ad- 
dress by the Members of the Madras Mabratta As- 
sociation early in December 1888, H. H. eloquently 
remarked in warm appreciation of their services : — 
'* Your kindly regard for the ancient principality 
which men of your nationality haye naturally helped 
to make it what it is, has again manifested itself 
by the cordial welcome you have given me on the 
happy occasion of my present visit to the city.'* 
They are divided into several Sub-castes such as the 
Desastas who count among them the greatest of 
the Marathi bards; the Konkanasthas or the chit pav- 
anas to whose ord^r belong the famous Peishwas ; 
the karhadas who are said to have been made by 
providentialParasuramaand who have produced the 
great Marathi poet Moropant ; the Kanwaa who re- 
present the '^first Sakha of the whole yajur Veda" 
and are numerous in Kolapur ; the Madhyandinas 
to whose community belong the family priests of 
the Raja of Kolapur ; the Padpas who are teachers 
of the trib'^s found in the highland above Konkan; 
the Patashas who are priests, physicians, astrologers; 
the Kirvantas who are cultivators said "to 
have sprung from twelve Brahmins" ; the Trigulas 
whose occupation is to plant the piper betel ; the 
Javalas who perform menial services connected with 
hearth of Brahmins ; the abhiras who " act as 
fjriests, herdsmen and cultivators" ; and others too 
numerous to men: ion. Thirdly there are the Andh- 
fasor Telinga Brahmins who speak the Telugu lan- 
guage known aa the Italian of the Bast, lleferring 


to the sweetness of their language, Dr. Wihon 
quotes a verse which runs as follows : — " The Ma- 
rathi is sand ; the Turuku (Hindi) is dust : the Ka- 
nadiismusk; the Tenugu f'Telugu) is honey ; the 
Oda (Odra) is strength". 

The Telugus are cut up into numerous castes. 
The Vaduasalus and the Kamamhulus belong to 
the Rig Vedic group. The' Mwukanadtis^ the 
N yogis and the Madhyandinas profess the Yajur 
Veda. The Madwacharyas and the Samantcjas follow 
the teaching of their respective religious leaders. 
And last not least we have the Karnataka Brahmins 
who have their own sub-divisions, and the Konkani 
Bramins who are scattered over the whole tract ex- 
tending from Goa to Cape Comorin. 

Malabar Brahmins. There are eight classes 
of them to whom reference in detail has already 
been made elsewiiere. The offsprings of Namburi 
Brahmins by Kshatriya women after the extirpa- 
tion of all the male members of the tshatrya 
community, are known as Koil Tampurans. Since 
they are allied to the Royal House, we shall have to 
advert to the subject again under that head. 

Besides those already mentioned there are se- 
veral intermediate classes : — 

(1) There are the AJikals. These are Worshippers 
of Bhadrakaii and exorcisers of spirits. They werr 
feacred thread. They follow be Nepotismal law of 
inheritance. Their women are known as Adiam- 
mamars. To them seclusion is unknown. Thetaluq 
of Thiruvalla is their chief habitat. 


(2) The PusApakan is another class whose oc- 
cupation is temple service. Some of them follow 
the patriarchal, while others the matriarchal system 
of inheritance. Among the former, the dowry of a 
woman goes to the family of the husband, if it is un- 
divided, and to her alone, if divided. The sons in- 
herit the property of both the mother as well as the 
father. In default of sons, the grandsons, if any, do. 
In default of them, the brothers and their heirs in- 
herit the property. Even amon^ Marumakkathayi 
Pushpakans, property is bequeathed only in the 
absence" of sons. 

{SJ. There are again the Nambis who are 
teachers in the art of Kallari or archery and swords- 

(4). The Plapallis are those who supply flow- 
ers to temples. These two classes are found in 23 

(5). The Psharadis are said to be descendants 
of the Brahmin who, while almost prepared to the 
order of asceticism, relinquished it, owing to the 
lifelong privation it entailed. As an indication of 
this, they bury their dead with salt — a practice 
common among sannyasis alone. They do not wear 
thread. Their occupation is service in the temple. 

(6). The Varyars are another class found 
everywhere except in the frontier taluqs of the South. 
and East. They are governed both by the mairi« 
archal and patriarchal system of inheritance* 
Among the former class, one distinguishing feature 
is that division of property is allowed. 


(7) The Chakyars or those who ehsini the. words 
of God are found in the weight taluqs north of Karu- 
nagapallL Their women are called Nungiars. They 
sound the cymbal when the chakyar performs his 
kooth — ^a kind of monodrama based on the Indian 
Epics. Their entertainments are held in sef^sons of 
temple festivity. Among them the nephew and not 
the son inherits property, 

(8) There arQ again the Nambiars who also take 
part in the performance of the chakyars. They 
beat the drum. They do not wear thread. They mar- 
ry Nangiar women and are governed by the des^ 
cenM8 a m&trice. It was the indignity cast on the 
Kambiar class which induced and inspired the great 
ll^iio^ poet of the country, himself a Nambiar, to 
4[K)mpose sk new species of dramatic entertainment 
known a^ Thu|lal. This has been already adverted 

(9) The Thiyatunnis form another class. They 
are exorcisors of spirits, worshippers of sylvan gods 
and oracles of their Divine Majesty, They in- 
herit both from father to son and from imcle to 
nephew. They wear thread. 

(10) The Kurukkals are seen everywhere. They 
are numerous in tbe north. They wear the ,sacred 
thread. They supply flowers &c. to temples. They 
inherit-from uncle to nephew. 

The Malayala Sudras go under the name of the 
Nairs— an indication of the military nobility to 
to which they belonged. They constitute the main 
portion of the population. The majority of them 


are agriculturists. They are tenants of Jenmis 
whom they treat as their liegelord. Among them 
there are 18 sub-divisions. 

(1) Kiriyathil Nair : — Tliese are known by tte 
names of Kuruppu, Nair, Kimal, Menon &c. They 
enjoy many privileges. They are great landlords 
They held in former times important places in the 
Government Service. They were ministers, com- 
manders of the army, chancellors, and Sthana- 

(2) Illkars. They bear the names of Tampi, 
Kurup &c. Originally they were tenants attached to 
the rich Namburi illams. 

(3) Suarupakars, They had in former times 
rendered feudal service to the several swarupams 
or Kshtria families of the Malabar Rajahs. 

(4) Padmangalams serve in the p-igoda. 

(5) Tamulpadoms follow a variety of oc- 
cupations. The social barrier among the above- 
^lentioned five classes is very light and being fast 
swept away. Any of these classes can by Ro«t 
yal Nit or by adoption become entitled to the privi- 
lege of the highest class. Only it has to pay Adiyara 
or Commission fee. The women of the family so 
raised in status may thereafter interdine and inter- 
marry with the members of the higher classes. 
With the advancement of civilization the 
adiyara restriction is fast dying away. 

(6) The Edacherry Nairs, called also Pandaris, 
are engaged in tending cows, selling ghee &c. 


(?) Marans are known by diflFerent names in 
different localities. They are known as Oachen, Ma- 
i^ayakurupu, Mangalyam &c. &c. They are employed 
in the pagodas. Their general occupation is beat- 
ing the drum. They are governed by the Marumak- 
kathayam law. They are found in almost every 
taluq. Large numbers of them live in Mavelikarai* 
(8) Karuvelattu Nairs are supposed to have been 
brought here from Kolattunad when a member of 
that family was taken to the Travanoore Royal 
House. They serve in the palace as custodians of 
the Maharajah's Jewels and valuables. They are 
found most in Kappiara and Thiruvattar. 

Besides those enumerated above, there are 
the Olattu Nair, Palliclian &c. &c. They are mer- 
chants, weavers, washermen and artisans* Among 
the artisans there are six classes: Asari (carpenter) 
andMusari (brazier), Kallasari (stone-mason), That- 
tan (goldsmith), KoUan (Blacksmith). Similarly 
amongthe lower classes there are several sub^divi- 
sions. The Paraya and the Pulaya are original races, 
peculiar to this coast. They are useful and hard- 
working. They work in the fields and are found in 
every Taluq. They number the largest converts to 
Christianity. Such are some of the several layers 
of which society in Travancore is constituted on 
the caste basis of Hinduism. 



Hinduism as observed before is a religious 
C0Ilf^deracy. It represents the coalition of the 
Vedic Brahmins with the ruder rites of the lower 
castes and tribes. It is a religious federation based 
on worship. As the race elements have been mould- 
ed into castes so the old beliefs and religious elements 
have been worked up into gods. Hence we find the 
pagodas in the country divided into two classes, 
those dedicated to superior Divinity and those de- 
dicated to inferior Divinity. There are 6159 
pagodas of the former kind and 3205 of the latter 
out of a total of 9364. The higher castes of the 
Hindus worship the higher Divinity. Of the 
temples some xre under Government management 
while the rest belong to corporations called Ooran- 
makars. These are of 4 classes : — (1) Ancient tem- 
ples said to have been founded by Parusurama 
(2) Temples founded by Rajas. (3) Temples found- 
ed by communities or leading individuals, 
(4) Temples founded by sannyasis or ascetics. 
The manager of a temple of the first two 
kinds is called Devaradi Ooralen or manager sub- 
ordinate to the Deity, while in the last two classes 
he is called Ooralaradi Devan. These are institutions 
of a by -gone age. Graem says that the general 
superintendence of all endowments vested in the 
sovereign and was termed Melkoimma whioh meant 
nothing more than the right of ruling power to ia- 


terfere in the case of disputes or fradulant practice* 
occurring and to remove and appoint trustees at hi» 
pleasure. The subjugated barons of Travanoore 
exercise such a right by the appointment of Koim- 

Ooralan is the name of the manager whether 

he is appointed by the king or the founder of the 

' institutioa or the founder himself constituting ttia 

manager. Tlie officers subordinate to an Ooralan 

are four in number: — 

(1) The samudayam or persons appointed by 
an Ooralan as his agent to manage the affairs of 
the temple. This office is hereditary and liable to 
be dismissed for misconduct (2) Santi is the person 
employed to perform puja or service in the tem- 
;ple. He is appointed for a certain term at the dis- 
cretion of the Ooralan. 

Kazhaham is the menial servant whose function 
is to keep the pagoda clean and supply flowers 
for daily worship. This office is generally appro- 
priated by the classes of Psharadi, Variar and Num- 

(4) Patiali or rent-collector is also a paid ser- 
vant of the Ooralen. 

Any servant of the temple who holds heredi- 
tary right for this office is called a Karalan and he 
is said to possess Karaima right. His office answers 
to that of a Mirasikarnam in a Zemindari. The 
Ooralers are the proper persons to sue an i be sued 
as representatives of the temple. They have a right 


to alienate trust property but they can create subor- 
dinate tenures. They have no power to alter the 
constitution of trust. Tlie number of Ooran- 
makars varies in different places. 

The Travancore temples are known for their 
antiquity, for their religious sanctity, for the excel- 
lent scenery of their sites and for their architectural 
beauty. It is unnecessary and cumbersome to 
give a detailed description, of the daily service, 
festivals &c in Hindu temples* The Hindus like 
other nations worshipped first as they feared, 
then as they admired and finally as they reasoned. 
Their earliest Vedic Gods were the stupendous phe- 
nomena of the visible world. The deities became 
divine heroes in the epic poems and legends 
and they were spiritualised into abstractions by the 
philosophical school. The world-renowned Sanka- 
racharya (himself born in Travancore) has 
moulded the later philosophy for us into its final 
form and popularized it as a national religion. In 
the words of a great native Scholar of Indian as 
well as European History, " from land's end to 
land's end he traversed the continent ; wherever 
there was an opponent, he was ready to meet him 
in argument he — the Aristotle of his age — brought 
all the forces of his masterly dialectics ^to bear on 
the subject, over-throwing all opposition and 
converting all to the cause of god and ot holy 
writ. '' He addressed himself to the high caste 
philosophers on the one hand and to the low- 

125 RELIGION AKD caste. 

caste multitude on the other. He has left behind 
him as a two-fold result of his life-work (1) a com^- 
pact Hindu sect and (2) a popular religion. Siva- 
worship he introduced as a link between the high- 
est and the lowest castes. Vishnu worship sup- 
plies a religion for the intermediate classes. Siva- 
worship combines the Brahminical doctrine of 
personal god with the Buddhistic principle of 
spiritual equality of man. These worships furnish 
a religious bond among the Hindus in the same 
way as caste supplies a social federation among 
them. In the words of the late Sir Monier Wil- 
liams *'itis a remarkable characteristic of Hinduism 
that it neither requires nor attempts to make con- 
verts; nor is it by any means at present diminishing 
in numbers , nor is it at present driven off the field as 
might be expected by being brougnt into contact 
with two such proselytising religions as Maho- 
medansim and Christianity. Another characteris- 
tic of Hinduism is that it is all receptive, all com- 
prehensive. It claims to be the one religion of 
humanity, of human nature, of Jthe whole world, 
Hinduism has something to offer which is suited 
to all minds. Its very strength lies in its infinite 
adaptability to the infininite diversity of human 
characters and human tendencies. It has its highly 
spiritual and abstract side suited to the philosophi- 
cal Brahmins; its practical and concrete side suited 
to the man of affairs and the man of the world ; 
its aesthetic and ceremonial side suited to the man 


of aesthetic feeling and imagination ; its quiescent 
and contemplative side suited to the man of peace 
and lover of seclusion. Nay, it holds out the right 
hand of brotherhood to fetish-worshippers, natute- 
worshippers, demon-worshippers, animal-worship- 
pers and tree-Worshippers." 



In its conflict with Hinduisn^, Budhism offers 
to the student of history a very complex but in- 
structive problem. Synchronous with the caste or- 
gaaisation of the country and the growth of the 
power and influence of the Brahmins, Budhist and 
Jain missionaries spread over this coast* Mr. Logan 
thinks that the flight of the 1st Brahmin immi- 
grants from the Gowxitvj for fear of serpents contsinB 
a reference to the Jaina immigrants whose symbol 
was a hooded snake. But he is in error when he 
conjectures that the Peruraauls were originally of 
Jaina pursuation. We find that the Perumal invit- 
ed six Brahmin apostles to meet the Jainas in ar- 
erument and to over-throw their influence and power. 
Bhattacharaya, Bhattabana, Bhattavijaya, Bhatta- 
mayukha, Bhattagopala and Bhattanarayana were 
the apostles and they brought all the forces of their 
dialectics to bear upon the subject and converted 
all to the cause of the Hindu Triad, Saathrahali 
or a species of worship peculiar to this country is 
the sole product of their triumphant compromise. 
The object of the worship is to seek protection from 
the attacks of the snakes. The Deity worshipped 
is Sastha^ the Divine offspring of Vishnu and of 
Siva. There were originally 18 congregations set 
apart for the worship. A lamp is lit up and four 
Numburi Brahmins are seated round. They tell 
Manihrams in praise of the Daity. This is followed 


by songs 6ome of which are a withering piece of 
satire directed towards the aggressive faith. Here 
Is the substance of one of the soogs : — ^^an an 
elephant be killed by bugs ? Can the mountains find 
wings to fly with? Can two rats plough the wide 
expanse of the world-encircling ocean ? Then can 
Hindusim be supplanted. *' 

The Brahmin apostles settled themselves per- 
manently in the country, The Perumal honoured 
them with large Kizi presents and made endow- 
ments of lands measuring to the extent of 5000 
Kalan seed-capacity. Their sandals were also pre- 
served as a mark of honour. Despite the iconoclas- 
tic work of the Brahmins to reinstate Hindu gods 
in the Budhistic temples, there are still relics of 
their being originally places of Budhistic worship. 
The temple at Chitral in South Travancore is one of 
the several instances in point. It was formerly a 
Buddhistic temple. The idols that we see both in 
and about the temple prominently suggest Budhis- 
tic sculpture. When the religion of Gautama pass- 
ed from its high meridian glory in India and hasten- 
ed towards dissolution, this shrine appears to have 
been converted into a place of Hindu worship. On 
the image of the 3 Rishis there, we fir/i marks of 
the holy ashes. But these images are old by thou- 
sands of years. There is a pretty legend in connec- 
tion Avith this temple. A pious Brahmin Poti had a 
dutiful wife. One morning he went to bathe 
and she boiled a small quantity of rice for offering 

BUDHISM. . 130 

to the deity. In his absence,, three pandarams beg- 
ged her rice, for meals. Finding nothing, she gave 
away the rice she boiled for her husband's puja. 
When the Poti returned and learned this, he got 
angry and beat her once. She ran on and finding 
a line of boiled rice lying on the ground before her, 
she followed that, which ultimately led her to the site 
of this shrine. Her husband also followed her and 
reached the same. The three pandarams, they say, re- 
present the Hindu Trinity. The Potis' wife was sud- 
denly metamorphosed into goddess Bhagavati. The 
Poti is said to stand before his wife saying that he 
beat her only once. In the temple there is only one 
Puja a day and five measures of rice are allowed — 
perhaps one for each. With rv^ference to this tem- 
ple H. H. the late Maharajah emphatically wrote : 
— *' The Brahmins have appropriated and adapt- 
ed to their purposes, this Budhistic temple." Thus 
it was, in the words of Logan, that "Vedic Brah- 
manism is believed to have finally supplanted Jai- 

He adds : — '*In |Malabar proper, the style] for 
architecture) is reserved almost if not altogether 
for religious edifices. In Travancore it is often to 
be seen in lay buildings... How the Mohamedans 
came to adopt this style for their mosques is to be 
accounted for by the tradition that some at least of 
the original mosques were built on the sites of 


TKe Maliomedans in this country are mostty 
Com^erts from Hindus. They seldom furnish con- 
verts to the Christian faith. They are found in all 
Talu qs. They number over one and half lacs. 
They are a strong and hardy race. They are 
divided into several classes. The chief sub divisions 
are (1) Sunnis and (2) Shias. The former is again 
cut up into Hanifee, Shafee, Malikee and Hambali. 
The latter consists of six groups. Each of these 
groups is sub^divided into 12 classes. Each of the 
two main classes regards the other as wanderers 
from the truth. Mahomedanism is known as the 
antagonistic creed. The Koran is the sacred scrip- 
ture of the Mahomedans. Mahomet is their 
prophet. Their doctrine is there is no god but 
god and Mahomet is his prophet. They conceive 
that there are seven hells and seven heavens. As 
observed by Sir Monier Williams : "The Moslems 
of India became partially Hinduised, and in lan- 
guage, habits and character, they took from the 
Hindus more than they imparted. Hence it happens 
that the lower orders of the Mahomedans observe 
distinctions of caste as strictly as the Hindus. ^ 
Many of them will eat and drink together but not 
intermarry. There are about 500 mosques in 
Travancore. The priests are called Thangals. 
There are 54 mosques in Trivandrum. This re- 
presents the highest number. Next comes Kal- 
culam, the former capital of the country. Even 


in the essentially Christian centre of Kottayam, 
there is one' mosque. 

The history of Mahomedanism is easily stated. 
Tradition ascribes its origin to a writ obtained by 
Shaik-ibn-Dinar and his family from the last 
Perumal. He and his family set out for Malabar 
bearing the Perumars letters. They delivered the 
letters to whom they were addressed. They obtain- 
ed ready acceptance and recognition at the hands 
of his chiefs whose territories they visited with a 
view to spread and propogate the faith of Islam. 
The Kodungalor chief was the first prince they 
visited. They were received hospitably and given 
lands to build mosques on. Malik-ibn- Dinar became 
the firt Kazi of the place. He sent to Travancore 
KoUam (Quilon) Malik-ibn-Habib with his wife 
and some of their children. The Travancore Maha- 
Kajah received them hospitably and gave also 
lands to build mosques on. The second great 
mosque was founded there by Hussain, one of the 
sons of Malik-ibn-Habib who became its Kazi. The 
last of the famons Malabar mosques was 
constructed at Quilon. All this took place about 
the first half of the twelth century which 
was an important era in the history of the Mala- 
bar coast. 



It is an interesting feature that Travancore 
has a larger Christian population than any other 
Native state, 20 p.c. of the people of the state being 
Christians. The proportion of Christians to other 
population is 29 times that of British India-^an un- 
mistakable proof of the wisdom and tolerance of the 
Maha Rajahs of this state from very early times. 
The history of Christian Mission in Travancore 
may be traced under two broad divisions namely, 
Syrian Mission (romprehending Catholic Mission) 
and Protestant Mission (including Church Mis- 
sion and London Mission). 

The Syrian Ilission. The earliest Christian 
Mission is ascribed by tradition to the advent 
of St. Thomas the apostle in the 1st century 
of the Christian era. It will be seen therefore 
that the history of Christianity in this country 
is a history of over 1800 years. St. Thomas 
worked well. He made numerous converts 
and built several Churches. But on his 
death there was a great relaxation. The enthusi- 
asm for the new creed became so much cooled 
down that after the lapse of two centuries there 
were only 8 families of Christians. However there 
arrived in 345 A. H., a large colony of Christians 
from Bagdad, Nineve, Jerusalam and other places 
under the guidance of Thomas Cana^ a merchant 
who was then trading in the Malabar (oast. They 
were largely patronised by the early Kings of 


Malabar. With their advent and under their in- 
fluence, the Syrians increased in number and power, 
Chaldean Bishops also came from Babylon, off and 
on. These Bishops governed the Churches until 
the arrival of the Portuguese in 1498 A. D. When 
the Portuguese Government grew in power, they 
began to bring the Syrians under the sway of the 
Portuguese prelates. In 1&81 a college appears to 
have been opened at Vaipicotta where they settled, 
to impart instruction in priesthood to the local 
Syrians. Mr. Mackenzie says in his work on Chris- 
tianity in Travancore that " in 1583 when 
Father Alex. Valignano returned from Japan, he 
found awaiting him his appointment as Provincial 
of the Jesuits and he at once set to work on the 
systematic instruction of the Thomas Christians. '* 
The Syrian Bishop at this time was Mar Joseph. 
He was'suspected of Nestorian heresy and in con- 
sequence was arrested and sent to Portugal and 
afterwards to Rome where " his piety and erudi- 
tion had aroused a feeling in his favour. " But 
he died there. In the mean time at the request of 
the Syrians, the Nestorian patriarch of Babylon 
sent Mar Abraham appointing him to be the Arch- 
Bishop of Angamali. He was arrested by the Por- 
tuguese and detained in the Dominican convent. 
But he escaped and came to Babylon where the Pa- 
triarch reoonferred on him the title of the Bishop of 
Malabar. He then proceeded to Rome and appeal- 
ed to the Pope. The Pope confirmed him in hia 


Supported thus by the Portuguese authorities 
as well as the Pope, Mar Abraham came. He held 
a Synod in 1583 at which he made a profession of 
the Catholic faith, and the Syrian missal was cor- 
rected. The Nestor ian patriarch of Babylon ques- 
tioned the conduct of Mar Abraham whose expla- 
nation only aggravated his offence. In 1592 he 
was excommunicated by the Council of Goa which 
he refused to attend. In 1595 Pope Clement Vlil 
dispatched to Meneze, the Archbishop of Goa^ a brief 
to enquire into the faith of Mar Abraham and of 
his followers. The synod of Diamper was held in 
1599 at which the faith of the Syrians was enuu- 
ciated. Ttie union of the churches continued from 
1596-1653 when it was dissolved. This was hast- 
ened by the fall of the Portuguese power in India. 
When the power of the Portuguese fell, the papal 
power was disowned. A division took place among 
the Syrians. Some rejected the power of the Por- 
tuguese prelates and declared themselves independ- 
ent. They formed a now sect, hence known as 
Pufchen'Kuttukars, while those who remained stead- 
fast to Rome were called Pazayakuttukars and they 
continued to remain under the European eccle- 
siasts. -The seceded Syrians wrote to several patri- 
archs in Asia to send a rightly consecrated Syrian 
Bishop. A Jacobite Bishop, Gregory, came and re- 
consecrated Mar Thomas I and henceforth a long 
succession of native matrons governed the Puthen- 
coor Syrians. "With the commencement of the 



Dutch power in India, new dissensions arose. But 
as remarked by Mr. Mackenzie in his exhaustive 
and excellent work on Christianity in Travancore, 
•* they seemed to have concerned themselves little 
about the Christians except from political reasons." 
The year 1806 is rendered memorable by the visit 
of Dr. Cladius Buchanan. He saw Colonel Mac- 
aulay, the British Resident in Travancore, and with 
him visited the Northern parts of the country. At 
Ankamale, he was presented with a copy of the 
old Syriac Bible which was in the possession of the 
Syrians for over 1000 years. It was taken to Eng- 
land and published there. The year 1816 opened 
a fresh chapter. It begins with the consecration 
of Mar I)ionysius III. Col. Munro was the Resi- 
dent at the time. He undertook to get out mis- 
sionaries from Europe. The Church Mission entered 
into friendly relation with the Syrians. Of the 
Church Mission itself, we shall speak later on. This 
relation did not last long. The last portion of the 
history of the Syrian church discloses how under 
Mar Dionysius IV it severed its connection with 
the Anglican missionaries ; how a special commis- 
sion sat to adjudicate the claims on the endowments 
of the Kottayam seminary ; how both the parties 
languished under 10 years of litigation and how in 
the end Mar Dionysius obtained a decree in his 
favour. Mar Dionysius the head of the non-refor- 
ming partyand Mar Thoma the head of the reform- 


in? party have between tliem the whole of the 
Travancore Churches. 

We have already remarked that the Church 
Missioa owed its existence to Col. Munro. He un- 
dertook to get out missionaries to train Syrian dea- 
cons to carry on parochial schools. Thomas Nor- 
ton arrived in 1816Jand he was followed by Mr. Bai- 
ley, in November of that year. Then came Messrs 
Baker and Penn. Mr. Fenn was put in charge 
of the Seminary. H. H's. Government endowed the 
institution with 20,000 Es. and a large estate at 
Kallada called, "Munro Island". More than 
this, the tolerant and liberal Government of His 
Highness helped Mr. Bailey in the translation and 
distribution of the Bible, with another gift of 
Ks. 8,000. Col. Munro got the Honourable East 
India Company to invest 3,000 Star pagodas in the 
name of the community for educational purposes* 
Col. Munro was the most earnest promoter of the 
Syrian Christian interests. There is an illustrious 
roll of Missionarif^s who have laboured in this mis- 
sion. It has several remarkable educational instil 
tutions and its principal station is Kottayam. 

London Mission : — This owed its early begin- 
nings to the enthusiastic efforts of its first convert 
Veda Manikam. At his instance, BiCv. Tobias Wil- 
lam Ringletaube came from Tranquebar in 1806, 
and built at Myladia Church in 1809 with the cour- 
teous consent of H. H. Lekshmi Rani. The con- 
struction of the Church was commanded to be su 


pervi^ed, by Tatsildar Munnen Annavi. The bene- 
volent Rani'endowed the Church with 100 cotas of 
of paddy ^land, of which the revenue is' now de- 
voted to the support of the Nagercoil Mission Col- 
lege. Rev. Ringletaube was succeeded by Mr. Mead 
who came in 1816. H. H. the Rani was pleased 
to place at his disposal a Sircar building with exten- 
sive premises and to make a grant of Rs, 5,000 to 
enable him to buy more lands for Mission purpose. 
The tax on the paddy lands was also reduced. These 
concessions are in keeping with the tolerance and 
magnanimity characteristic of the Royal, House of 
Travancore, so evident from the following pregnant 
utterance of H. H, the Maharajah : — "The aid given 
to the Schools and other institutions established by 
the good missionaries who labour so disinterestedly 
is no more than the assistance they have a right tc 
expect, who help us so materially in promot- 
ing the intellectual and moral advancement of our 
people.'' Mr. Mead was joined by Mr. Knill, and 
other missionaries. In 1819 Mr. Knill laid the 
foundation of the Nagercoil chapel. The London 
mission Society has stations at (1) Nagercoil where 
Mission work began in 1818. (2) Neyyor where 
Mission work commenced in 1827 (3) Parasala 
where Mission work was started in 1845. {4J Tri- 
vandrum where it was set on foot in 1837 and (5) 
Quilon where it was organized in 1821. It is now 96 
years since the work of Christian mission was start- 
ed in South Travancore and under Rev. Mr. Duthie 
the present energetic and enthusisastic leader of it. 


the mission has progressed and prospered consi- 

These are some of the several religions creeds 
and social castes in this ancient land of an ancient 
people. LordCurzonis perfectly right when he 
observes: — ''In one respect His Highness enjoys a 
peculiar position of responsibility, for he is the Ruler 
of a community that is stamped by wide racial dif- 
ferences and represv-nts a curious motley of reli- 
gions." The continuous prevalence of peace 
among them is an unerring proof of the fact that 
the Maharajah has "no higher ambition than to 
show consideration to the low and equity und toler- 
ance to all." 




Travancore and its Royal House are of very 
ancient existence. Both are mentioned in the 
edicts of Asoka. Recent epigraphicai and archaeo- 
logical researches show that the kingdom of 
Travancore embraced a considerably larger area of 
territory than is included within its present bound- 
aries. There is no doubfc that the Travancore 
Royal Pamily is the modern representative of 
the Chera djTiasty which exercised sovereignty 
from very early times. In the report on Epigra- 
phy for the last year embodied in the Madras G. O. 
No. 855 dated 22nd August, it is said that in his 
letter Francis Xavier, the Portuguese missionary 
mentions the great king of Travancore and speaks 
of him as '* having authority over all south India '* 
It is also said that ** early in the 14th century, 
a king of Travancore appears to hava made the 
Pandiyas and the Cholas subject to the Keralas '\ 
But in the wars*that followed, Travancore lost its 
possession beyond the ghauts. Like Kolathunaud, 
Yerunaud and Perumpadappu. it formed one of the 
four principalities into which Kerala or ancient 
Malabar was divided. These principalities owned 
at first the supremacy of the Chera kings. The 
first Cheraman Perumal was installed in 344 a, i>. 
The period of the Perumals came to a close with the 
disappearance of the^last of them. Some writers^ 


think that he was expelled by popular revolt 
Others are of opinion that he went away to embrace 
a new religion — some say the faith of Islam 
and others, Christianity. There is another class yet 
who believe that he became a Budhist. Be this 
ipvhat it may, his disappearance was the immedi- 
ate signal for the local B/njahs to assume leader- 
ship. Accordingly, the Kolath Swarupam of the 
Kolathuaud Rajah, the Nidiyirip Swarupam of the 
Yernaud Raja, the Perumpadappu Swarupam of the 
Cochin Rajah, and the Tripapur Swarupam of the 
Travancore Rajah asserted their independence. 
These events took place in the 9th century. 

In 824 A. D. Udaya Marthanda Varma fo unded 
the KoUam era now obtaining in Malabar. There 
are two well-known places called Kollam. One is 
in North Malabar : the other in Travancore. The 
Northern Kollam era commences on 1st Kanni 
(September), The Southern Kollam era commences 
on 1st Chingam, the Jodiac month of Leo. There 
are several theories set up to account for this differ- 
ence. The founding of Kollam, the acquisition 
of independance by the Kolathiri Rajas /^North and 
South) and the advent of Sankaracharayar, are some 
of the important events associated with the theories. 
However that be, Mr. Logan asserts that the two 
historical events from which the era is supposed to 
begin, are the institution of the great nationarfesti-' 
val of Onam and the disappearance of the last 
Perumal. The first precisely falls about the same 
time. There is ample evidence to prove the latter- 


(1) At Cranganore, the people keep ready 
wooden shoes and water in expectation of the Peru- 
mars return. 

^2) The Maharajas of Travanoore on receiving 
the coronation sword have still to decflare •' I wil][: 
keep the sword until the return of my uncle *'. 

(3) The Z amor ins too at their coronation have 
fitill, when crossing the Kallayi ferry, to take betel 
from the hands of a man dressed up as a Mapilla 

The king of Travancore in whose time the new 
era was founded died in 830 a. d. Little is known 
of the history of the kingdom for the next five cen- 
turies. -4bo.ut 1330 A. D. Aditya Varma was king. 
He was succeeded in 1335 by Veeramarthanda Var- 
ma who reigned prosperously for 40 years. The next 
king was Cliera TJdaya Marthanda Varma whose 
reign lasted for 62 years. He ruled over all the 
tsouth east possessions of Travancore and Tinnevelly 
side. There is an inscription of this king at Cher* 
anmahadevi in the Tinnevelly District, dated 
1439. He was succeeded by Venattu Mutharajah. 
From this date till the latter part of the 17th cen- 
tury, there is no account of the reign of Travancore 
Sovereigns, but merely a list of names. 

""In 1677 the numerous feaudatory chiefs 
flew into open rebellion against the ruling pow- 
er. ' Aditya Varma the reigning King was pois- 
oned and five Princes of the reigning family 
were murdered. XJmayamma Ranee then be- 

145 PB0QRES9. 

came Regent the only surviving Prince being n 
Minor, She called to her aid one of her relatione 
Kerala Varma to put down the rising. She handed 
over to him the sole administration and it is from 
that date that the accurate hiatory o£ the province 
can be continuously traced. 

In 1680 a Mahomedan adventurer establish* 
ed himself at the capital. He was however de- 
feated and killed by the Regent's General 
Kerala Varma. In 1684 the young Prince Ravi 
Varma attained majority and ascended the 
throne. He was succeeded in 1718 by Unni 
Kerala Varma. The next king was Rama Varma who 
entered into an alliance treaty with the King of 
Madura in 1726. In 1729 Rama Varma wa& 
succeeded by Marthanda Varma. He found the 
country in a very unsettled condition. He faced 
the difficulties bravely and over-came them 
successfully. He secured the country from foreign 
aggression by constructing a wall at the southern 
frontier from Kadukari to the Cape, and new forts, 
bastions, batteries and powder Magazines. He 
quelled the rebellion of the local barons who rose in 
a body against the king. He repaired and recon- 
structed the national state shrine at Trivan- 
drum. He undertook gigantic irrigation works 
in Nanjanad. Having restored peace and Ord- 
er, he extended the limits of the kingdom. In the 
course of fifteen years, he extended the country from 
Edavai to the Periyar. In the words of Sir Madava 


How, this king ** was one of tlie most remarkable 
figures in the history of Travancore. The most re- 
markable feature of his rei<?n was the uniform and 
unvarying good fortune that attended him in all 
his enterprise for the benefit of the country,'* He 
died in 1758 and was succeeded by Bala Rama 
Yarma who has since been known as Rama Varma 
the Great. 

Under Rama Varma the Great : — His reign 
extended from 1758-1779. He enlarged and im- 
proved the army and put down the remain- 
ing barons who had raised their heads against 
the central authority. Haider Ali, the com^ 
mander of a detachment of the Mysore Army de- 
throned its Hindu monarch and usurped the 
throne in 1751. Vanchi Bala Rama Varma grant- 
ed a free passage to the British troops marching 
against the French partisans of Haidar at Mahe in 
the year 1772. He also manfully resisted the temp- 
tations held out to him by Tippu, son of Haider, 
to espouse his cause against the English with 
whom he was waging a deadly war. In 1784 the 
Rajah of Travancore lent his support to the British 
troops and it was mainly through his assistance 
that Tippu was defeated in the engagement. The 
British Grovernment in recognition of the signal 
services thus rendered by the Rajah included him 
as a steadfast ally in the treaty of 1784 between 
the East India Company and the Sultan of Mysore 
In their letter to the ]M[aharajah, the Commissioners 


«ay : " The Company did not on this occasion fotget 
your fidelity and the steady friendship and attach- 
ment you have uniformly shewn them in erery si- 
tuation and under every change of fortune. 
You are expressly named and included in the treaty 
as their friend and ally : as such we can assure you 
on the part' of the Company that your interest and 
welfare will always be considered as protected as 
their own." Tippu Sultan conquered the Districts 
of Malabar and Canara and next directed his attention 
to Travancore. The English at the head of a large 
and Well-disciplii^ed army offered him a strong re- 
sistance which completely frustrated his scheme 
He however conquered all the territ ories lying on 
the borders of Travancore and threatened the Rajah 
with an invasion. The Rajah applied in 1798 to the 
British Grovernment to lend him the services of a 
few English oflScers to train and discipline his troops. 
This led to the agreement of 1798 between the 
Madras Government iand the Rajah of Travancore 
by which the latter secured a subsidiary forc3 
of two battalions of the Company's army to be 
stationed on his frontiers at a cost of 1776 pagodas 
(about Rs. 6500) a month to be paid in cash or in 
pepper. Tippu made preparations to march on 
to Travancore and to co^npletly overthrow the Hin- 
du rule. The Travancore Rajah had recently pur- 
chased from the Dutch Government two fortresses 
built by them on the northern outskirts of Travan- 
core. He had further constructed round them a 


Btrong \rall 30 miles long on tlie borders of Mysore 
and lYavancore extending from the Anamalai Hills 
to the sea. Tippn at the head of a large army en- 
camped in the neighbourhood of this waJl in De- 
cember 1789 and attempted to storm these for- 
tresses. But the English in return for the 
past service of their faithful ally sent a large army 
to the Rajah's support under the command of 
General Meadows. When he heard that the 
English Army was hastening to the succour of the 
Rajah, he returned to Serrangapatam and rais- 
ed a large army to oppose the arms of the English. 
The EngUsh first opened campaigns by reducing 
the strongholds of Tippu near Coimbatore. Tippu 
marched against them but was defeated and repuls** 
ed. The portion of Travancore conquered by Tippu 
was soon recovered and restored to the llajah. 
The Raja died in 1798. Of him Era. Bar ta- 
lomeo says : " For my part I could not help admir- 
ing the goodness of heart, affability and humanity 
of this prince as well as the simplicity of his house- 
hold establishment and way of life". He adds 
that during his reign " public security is restored 
throughout the country ; robbery and murder are 
no longer heard of ; no one has occasion to be afraid 
on the highways ; religious work is never interrupt- 
ed ; the people may rest assured that on every 
occasion, justice will be speedily administered. 
An English man seldom prone to indulge in the 
language of adulation called the Raja the father of 
the people". The English Commissioners who sat 

149 jPaoORMS, 

on tlie Malabar land settlement of 1792 have put 
on record : — '* We own, he left a favourable impras- 
sion on our minds both as to the personal good 
qualities and what we consider as unequivocal sin- 
cerity of his attachment to the East IndiaCompany". 

This Raja was succeeded by his nephew also 
called Rama Varma. During the reign of this Raja, 
the office of the Resident was first instituted by 
the East India Company and the first to hold that of- 
fice was Col. Macaulay who arrived in Travancore 
in 1800. The Raja entered into a fresh treaty with 
the British power in 1805. This treaty confirmed 
the sincere and cordial relations of peace an! amity 
between the Raja and the East India Company. It 
is known as the Treaty of perpetual friendship and 
alliance between them. By this treaty the . Rajah 
was required to pay for a native regiment in addi- 
tion to the subsidy fixed in 1795 (in all 8 laos of 
Rs. a year) and further to share the expenses of his 
large forces when necessary ; to pay at all times the 
utmost attention to the advice of the British Go- 
vernment ; to hold no communication with any 
foreign state ; and to admit no European foreigners 
into his service or to allow him to remain in his 
territory without the sanction of the British Go- 
vernment. Raja Rama Varma died in 1811. 

Under Regency of Rants : — His sister Laksh- 
mi Ranee occupied the throne till she was 
delivered of a son. With the aid and advice 
of Colonel Munro who acted also as Dewan, 


she managed th^ aflPairs of the countrjr with much 
prudence and courage. Under them the old laws 
which assigned higher punishments to minor offen- 
ces and lighter to tho>se of a graver kind were modi- 
fied in keeping with the advancing age and new 
laws promulgated whereby punishment varied with 
the gravity of the offence. Justice began to be 
equitably administered both to the rich and the 
poor like. In the words of the Madras Manual of 
administration *• Tranquility was restored : the pub- 
lic service was reorganised : debts discharged and 
the financial prosperity of the kingdom secured ". 
After a brief reign of 3 years, Lakshmi Eanee died 
leaving two sons and a daughter, all in infancy. 

She was succeeded by Parvathi Ranee who 
though only 13 years of age, ruled as Regent during 
the minority of the late Ranee's eldest son. She 
governed the country with marked ability for 15 
years. During her reign various missionary agen- 
cies were permitted to settle in the country and 
were generously encouraged by donations in money 
and land from the Ranee. Col. Munro in his re- 
' port to the Madras Gov#nment says : — " The tem- 
poral situation of the Syrians has also been naturally 
improved, I hav^e frequently taken occasion to 
bring to the notice of Her Highness the Ranee of 
Travancore, and her intelligent, liberal and ingenu- 
ous mind has also appeared to feel a deep interest 
in their history, misfortunes and character. She 
^ aware of the attention excited to their situation 

151 1>R00KE8S. 

in Europe and their anxiety to manifest a sincerity 
of her attachment to the British nation has formed » 
I believe, an additional motive for the kindness and 
generosity she has uniformly displayed towards 
the Syrians. She has appointed a considerable, 
number of them to public Offices and lately pre- 
sented the sum of Rs. 20,000 to the College of Kot- 
tayam as an endowment for its support. The 
Syrians are most grateful for her goodness and 
cherish in no ordinary degree the sentiments of 
affection and respect towards her person, that aro 
entertained by every class of her subjects." 

It was during her reign that the Nair Brigade 
was organised. Captain Macton was its first Com- 
mandant. Daring her reign, exaction of Inam or free 
service from the Christians was prohibited. Stamped 
Cadjan documents were introduced: restrictions 
against the wearing of golden jewels by Nair 
women were removed and cultivation of coffee and 
other industrial pursuits were encouraged, 

Under the later Rajas : — In 1829 Prince Rama 
Yarma ascended the Musnad. He was an able 
ruler. He did much for ^he improvement of 
his subjects. He abolished many grievous taxes. 
He laid the foundation of the modern system of 
education by establishing an English School at 
Trivandrum in 184o. He also erected an Observa- 
tory and took a most intelligent interest in science 
and other branches of learning. The removal of 
the Huzur Cutcherry and other institutions from 


Quilon to Trivandrum ; the improvement of the 
Nair Brigade : the abolition of the Huzur Courts 
for the first time : the promulgation of a new Law 
Code on the model of the British establishment ^ 
the commencement of Survey operations and the 
introduction of printing and lithography are some 
of the important measures daring his reign. He 
was a great scholar and linguist. He had extra- 
ordinary talents and fine taste for the fine arts 
which he much encouraged. He was a great poet 
and composed verses in Sanskrit, Malay alam, Telugu 
and Mirathi. Mr. Brown says: — "His Highness was 
celebrated throughout India for his love of learn- 
ing, for a cultivated mind, great poetical powers, 
knowledge of many lauguages. His Highness is 
well-known also for his decision of character. In 
his latter years, his health became much impaired 
and he devoted much time and money to religious 
and charitable purposes. He died in 1846. 

His brother Marthanda Varma succeeded him 
He was a well educated and enlightened ruler. He 
©oUected and contributed articles for the London 
Exhibition of 1857. He regulated the admission of 
pauper suits. He imported Bengal rice to meet 
the scarcity caused by the great flood. He abolish- 
ed slavery by Royal Proclamation. • He settled the 
right of Christian converts to move among and to 
assume the costume of the higher classes. He did 
Hway with the monopoly of pepper. He revised 
the tttriff Value of articles and gave facility 

155 ^ FROGRirSS. 

for increased trade. It was during his reign ttat 
Sir Madava Row was appointed Dewan and Lord 
Harris, Governor of Madras visited Travancure. 
The Eastern Fort gate was constructed. He open- 
ed the " Victoria Anantha Marthanda Canal " for 
the benefit of cultivation in South Travancore. He 
attained much skill in medicine. He reigned for 14 
years and died in 1860. Mr. Brown records : — 
" His Highness was a warm-breasted gentleman 
whose death was regretted by all who knew him. 
His knowledge of science, though greatest in Chemi- 
Btry, gave him a personal interest in the Observa- 
tory, and he was prepared to accept any proposition 
likely to aid the work done in it. I shall never 
cease to entertain with liveliest feelings His High- 
ness' memory" 

Under the Maharajas: — He was succeeded 
by his nephew Rama Varma who inaugura*:ed 
a brilliant epoch in the history of Travancore. 
Gifted with talents of a high order, he pur- 
sued a most liberal and enlightened policy. He 
reformed the administrative and executive raachi-* 
nery of the state. Law Courts were organised. 
Magisterial powers were conferred on division 
oflBcers. Heavy import duties were abolished. 
Excise rates were reduced. Hereditary robbers 
were put down and expelled. Public buildings were 
reared. Bridges, Canals and tunnels were construct- 
ed. Forests were reclaimed; waste lands were culti- 
vated and new industries encouraged. In recogni- 


tion of iiis excellent administraion a Sannad W88 
conferred upon him by the Paramount power direct- 
that he should be addressed by the title of Maha- 
Rajah in all communications from the British Gov- 
ernment. He was created a Knight Grand Comman- 
der of the most exalted order of the Star of India, 
and a Councillor of the Indian Empire. He gained 
for the country th3 apellation of the "Model State" 
ivhich it still retains. After 20 years of progressiva 
activity, be died in 1880. 

He was succeeded by his brother Rama Varma* 
He was a brilliant Scholar in English and SaNskrit 
land a particular patron and promoter of education, 
progress and enlightenment During his short but 
most brilliant reign, the administrative machinery 
waS mostly recast and remodelled on an improved 
system and the period was marked by the introduc- 
tion of a long series of progressive measures. He 
introduced important reforms in the Revenue, Judi- 
cial, Educational, Police, Medical, and Muni- 
<5ipal departments of the state and opened 
several works of public utility. His subjects 
enjoyed plenty and prosperity during his 
reign. He died at the age of 48 in 1885. In 1882 
he was invested with the Knight Grand Comman- 
dership of the most exalted order of the Star of In- 
dia, and almost all the scientific institutions of 
Europe showered honours on him. He was a Fellow 
of the Linnian Society, London : of the Royal Geo- 
graphical society : of the Royal Asiatic society of 

155 raoQRs«s. 

Great Britain and Ireland: of the Statistical society 
of London ; of the Society de ettute colonial a marU 
time Paris. He was also admitted by the French 
Government to the order of ** Officer De La In-' 
striiction Publique'' In fact, as observed by that 
acute observer of human intelligence and character; 
Sir. M. E, Grant Duff, this ruler ** was the typical 
example of the influence of English thought upon 
the sonth Indian mind." 

He is succeeded by H. H. the Maharaja who 
ascended the musnud in 1885. S nc3 his accession, 
the country has progressed by giant strides. The 
existence of four arts colleges ; the establishment 
of training schools to teach the principles and 
practice of teaching ; of agricultural schools to im- 
part instruction in elementary theoretical and prac- 
tical agriculture : of the Industrial School of Arts 
where a systematic course of instruction is given in 
drawing, designs, and painting ; of a Sanskrit col- 
lege to represent the Oriental faculty ; of medical 
schools to train Hospital Assistants; of a Survey 
school to teach surveying to the Revenue and Judi- 
cial subordinates ; of educationsl boards in view to 
enlist the sympathy and co-operation of men of lo- 
cal influence and public spirit ; and of a scheme 
of public lectures answering to the university 
extension scheme, prove beyond doubt that every 
facility which the practical sagacity of a ruler can 
suggest, is afforded for intellectual development. 
Again, by the granting of agricultural loans : by 


the holding of agricultural exhibition ; by the or* 
gaaisation of an agricultural demonstration farm 
and school; by the remission of several obnoxious 
taxes which pressed heavily on industry ; by the 
Settlement of the longstanding dispute between 
land-lords and tenants; and by comprehensive land 
survey and assessment, the interests of the 
rural population have been considerably advan- 
ced. Besides these, several public works, de- 
signed for the protection and promotion of 
agriculture, such as the Kodayar Irrigation 
project; the Parur and Kaipuzhai reclamation 
schemes ; the Kynagari and Puthencara bunds J 
the restoration of the banks of several rivers ; 
the cons' ruction of bridges and anicuts across in- 
numerable rivers and streams, have also been carri-* 
ed out. Similarly the installation of gas-light ; the 
introduction of the Railway ; and the construction 
of the High Range road are other measures calcu- 
lated to expand industry. Then again, the organi- 
sation of a Sanitary Department including Vacci- 
nation, vital statistics, rural sanitation and itiner- 
ant medical relief, and the contribution of medi- 
cal grants to Hospitals, Dispensaries and Nativt 
Vaidyasalas demonstrate how largely the health of 
the people is promoted. And above all, the esta- 
blishment of the Legislative Council marks the in- 
auguration of an important era. Every adminis- 
trative measure of His Highness* reign is inspired 
by a genuine solicitude for the welfare of the peo- 


pie. We propose in the following pages to con- 
centrate on the main lines of progress, the scatter- 
ed rajs which it furnishes. 




The present political relation of the state with 
the Paramount Power is governed by the Treaty of 
1805. The articles of that treaty are therefore re- 
produced below: 

1. The friends and enemies of either of the 
contracting parties shall be considered as the friends 
and enemies of both. The IJonourable the East 
India Company Behauder especially engaging to 
defend and protect the territories of the Maharajah 
Ram Rajah Behauder of Travancore against all 

-enemies whatever, 

2. Whereas by the seventh article of th9 
treaty concluded in the year 1795 between the Ma- 
harajah Ram Rajah Behauder and the English East 
India Company Bebaudur, it was stipulated, " that 
when the Company shall require any aid of his 
troops to assist them ia war it shall be incumbent 
on the said reigning Rajab, for the time being to 
furnish such aid, to such extent and in such num- 
bers as may be in his power, from his regular in- 
fantry and cavalry, exclusive of the native Nayars 
of the country'' and the Company being now willing 
entirely to release th.) Rajah from the obligations 
incurred under the said stipulation, it is hereby 
concluded and agreed, that Ram Rajah Behauder 
is for ever discharged from the aforesaid burthen- 
some obligation. 


3. In consideration of the stipulation and 
release contained in the first and second articies, 
•^hereby the Company become liable to heavy and 
constant expense, while great relief is afforded to 
the revenues of the Rajah, His Highness engages to 
pay annually to the said Company a sum equivalent 
to the expense of one regiment of the honourable 
Company's native infantry, in addition to the sum, 
now payable by the paid llajah for the force sub- 
sidised by His Highness, by the 3rd article of the 
Subsidiary treaty of 1795, the said amount to i>e 
paid in six equal instalments commencing from the 
first day of January 1805 and His Highness 
further agrees that the" disposal of the sum to- 
gether with the arrangement and employment of 
the troops to be maintained by it, whether statipned 
within the Travancore country or within the Com* 
pany's Districts, shall be left entirely to the Com- 

4. Should it become necessary for the Company 
to employ force more than that which is stipulated 
for in the preceding article, to protect the territo- 
ries of the said Maharajah against attack or invasion, 
His Highness agrees to contribute, jointly with 
the Company towards the discharge of the increase- 
ed expense thereby occasioned, such a sum as 
shall appear on an attentive consideration of Hia 
said Highness to bear a just and reasonable pro- 
portion to the 'actual net revenues of His said 

TElATr OF 1805* 160 

5. Whereas it is indispensably necessary that 
effecutal and lasting security should be provided 
against any failure in the funds destined to defray 
either the expenses of the permanent military force 
in time of peace, or the extraordinary expenses de- 
scribed in the preceding articles of the present 
treaty, it is hereby stipulated and agreed between 
the contracting parties, that whenever the Govern- 
or-Greneral-in-Council of Fort William in Bengal, 
sliall have reason to apprehend such failure in the 
funds so destined, the said Governor-General in 
Council shalljbe at liberty and shall have full power 
and right either to introduce such regulations and 
ordinances as he shall deem expedient for the inter- 
nal management and collection of the Revenues or 
for the better ordering of any other branch and de- 
partment of the Government of Travanoore, or to 
assume and bring under the direct management of 
the servants of the said company Behauder such 
part or parts of the territorial possessions of His 
Highness The Mah Uajah Rama Rajah Behauder 
as shall appear to him, the said Governor-General 
in Council, necessary to render the funds efficient 
and available, either in time of peace or war. 

6. And it is hereby further agreed, that when 
ever the said Governor-General! in Council shall 
signify to the said Maha Rajah Rama Rajah Beha- 
uder that it is become necessary to carry into 
eflFect the provisions of the fifth article, His said 
Highness Maha Rajah Rama Hajah Behaudor shall 

161 PBOcmEssr. 

immediately issue orders to his aumils oT otIieT 
oflBcers either for carrying into effect the said' re- 
gulation and ordinances, according to the fifth article 
or placing the territories acquired under the exclu- 
sive authority and control of the English com* 
pany Behauder^ and in case His Highness shall not 
issue orders within ten days from the time when 
the application shall have been formally made to 
him, then the said Governor-General in Council 
shall be at liberty to issue orders, by his own author- 
ities, either for carrying into effect the said regula- 
tion and ordinances, or for assuming the manage- 
ment and collection of the Revenues of the said 
territorties as he shall Judge expedient for the pur*^ 
pose of securing the efficiency of the said military 
funds and of providing for the eflfectual protediioni 
of the country and welfare of the people" 
Provided always that whenever and so long as 
any part or parts of His said Highness' territories^ 
shall be placed and shall remain under the ex^ 
elusive authority and control of the said East 
India Company, the Governor-General in Council 
shall render to His Excellency a true and faithful 
account of the revenue and produce of the territor* 
ies so assumed. Provided also that in case whenever 
His Highness' actual receipt or annual income, aris-^ 
ing from the territorial revenues be less than 
the sum of 2 lacs of Rupees together with one fifth 
of the net revenues of the whole of his territories 
which sum of two lacs cf Rupees together with 

IPMATT ot 1805. 162 

t)icie fifth of the net revenue of the whole of the 
territories which sum of 1/5 of the said revenues 
the East India compa)iy«iigage») at all times aniii 
in every possible case to secure and cause to be 
paid for Hisfhness' use. 

7^ His Highness the Maha Rajah Bam 
Bajah Behauder engages that he will be guided 
by a sincere and cordial attention to the relation of 
peace and amity established between the English 
company and their allies and that he will carefully 
B,bstain from any interference in the affairs of any 
state in alliance with the said English CompanyBe- 
hauder or of any state whatever. And for securing 
the object of this stipulation, it is further stipulated 
and agreed that no communication or correspon- 
dence with any foreign state whatever, shall be hold- 
en by His said Highness without the previous know- 
ledge and sanction of the said English Company 

8. His Highness stipulates and agrees that he 
will not admit any Earopean foreigners into his 
service without the concurrence of the English 
Company Behaudur, and that he will apprehend and 
deliver to the Company s' Government all Europeans 
of whatever description who shall be found within 
the territories of His said Highness without regular 
passports from the British Government, it being 
His Highness' determined resolution not to suffer 
even for a day any European to remain within his 
territories unless by consent of the said Company 

163 pHoaftiss. 

9. Such parts of the Treaty (A. D. 1795) one 
thousand seven hundred and ninety five between 
the English East India Company and the late 
liajah of Travancore as are calculated to strengthen 
the alliance, to cement the friendship and to iden- 
tify the interest of the contracting parties, are here- 
by renewed and confirmed ; and accordingly His 
Highness hereby promises to pay, at all times, ut- 
most attention to such advice as the English Go- 
vernment shall occasionally judge it necessary to 
offer him with a view to the economy of his finan^^es, 
the better collection of his revenues, the administra- 
tion of justice, the extei sion of commerce, the en- 
couragement of trade, agriculture and industry or 
any other objects connected with the advancenient 
of His Highness* interests, the happiness of his peo- 
ple and the mutual welfare of both states. 

10. This treaty consisting of 10 articles, being 
this day the 14th day of January 1805 settled and 
concluded at the fortress of Teeroovanamapuram in 
Travancore, by Lieutenant Colonel Colin Macaulay, 
on behalf and in the name of His Excellency the 
Most Noble Marquis Wellesley, Governor-General 
in Council with the Maha Rajah Ram Raj h Be- 
hauder, he has delivered to the said Maha Rajah 
one copy of the same in English and Persian, sign- 
ed and sealed by him and His Highness the Maha 

. Raja has delivered to the Lieutenant Colonel afore- 
said, another copy also in Persian and English 
bearing his seal and signature and signed and sealed 
by Valoo Tumpy, Dewan to the Maha Raja 


aforesaid ; and the Lieutenant Colonel aforesaid 
has engaged to procure and deliver to the said 
Mahaajah without delay, a copy of the same, 
under the seal and signature of His Excellency the 
Most Noble Marqais of Welle3ley,Governor-Gener- 
al in council, on the receipt of which by the said 
Maha Rajah, the present treaty shall be deemed 
complete and binding on the Honorable Company 
and on the MahaBajah Earn Bajah Behauder, and the 
copy of it now delivered to the said Maha Rajah 
shall be returned. 

The Nair Brigade . — It is a remnant of the army of 
Travancore which was disbanded after the insurruc- 
tion of 1808. Col Munro proposed to the Madras 
Government at the instance of the Travancore 
Ranee that the strength of .this force be increased and 
commanded by a European officer. In 1819 the 
proposal was sanctioned and the present Nair Bri- 
gade was initiated. The first officer to hold command 
was Captain Gray. The term Nair Brigade came to 
be used only from and after 1830, In 1838, the 
force was armed with flint fuzils. In 1871, a scale 
of pension was fixed for the Brigade Sepoys and in 
1875 it was revised and three years later a higher 
scale of pay was given them. Since its organisa- 
tion 20 European officers have commanded the 
force. The duties of tlie force consist •* in guard- 
ing forts, palaces, treasuries, jails, pagodas^ 
stores, and Cutcherries; in assisting civil offi- 
cers, in repressing riots or tumults; and in 
furnishing escorts for the members of the Royal 

family and on public state occasions/' The Body 
guard estublisliment consists of 60 horses 
and 40 privates. They have also the neces8a;ry com* 
plement of officers. Recently a new battalion styU 
ed the first battalion i« organized. The recruits 
thereof are required to live in Government lines. 
'They will be liable to serve in any part of the state. 
They are eligible for pension after 21 years' service. 
Adoption: — Of the several political events 
that have happened during the period under 
notice, none will be comparable in import- 
ance to the adoptions made in the Royal 
House. During the reign of Umayamma Ra- 
ni it was felt necessary to perpetuate the 
Royal line by a fresh adoption. All her sons with 
only one exception having been foully murdered^ 
•and the Rani having been surrounded by disloyal 
and treacherous persons, she felb also the need of 
external support. In those days, Cherakkal was a 
more opulant Kingdom than Travancore. She ac- 
cordingly applied to the Cherakkal Rajah to strength- 
, en their ties by letting two girls from his family 
to be adopted by her. But as the Rajah had held 
in great contempt and hated his Southern relative, 
lie played a practical joke upon the Rani by send- 
ing two Pandalai girls. The Rani discovered this 
and did not know what to do. Just then a Koil 
Tampuran of'the Thattari Koilagam happened to 
visit her- court on his return from Ramaswaram. 
To him the helpless Rani applied for aid. He sym- 


pathised with her and promised to bring two of 
his daughters belonging to the Junior Branch ^of 
the Kolathnad family. 

True to his word he brought two princes who were 
duly adopted in 856. M E. and shortly Jafterwards 
married to his own nephews. One of them died; but 
the other gave birth to the great Marthanda Varma 
Bajah to whom the country owes its present territo- 
rial extent. It was only after the grant of the Kili- 
manur estate in 903 M. E. to the members of the 
Koil Tampuran's family in recognition of the 
meritorious services rendered by the Koil Tam- 
puran, the Thattari Koilagom family finally es- 
tablished itself in Travancore^ From the time 
of Raja Marthanda Varma down to the regency 
of Parvathi Rani, all the sovereigns of Travancore 
were descended from the Koil Tampurans of Kiii- 
manur. The other families of Koil Tampurans en- 
tered Travancore as refugees during the invasion of 
Halabar by the Mysore Tyrants and the famou Ra* 
ma Rajah who reigned in Travancore at that time,, 
most magnanimously received them into hU protec- 
tion. The families of Koil Tampurans settled at 
present in Travancore are : — Thattari Koilagom, 
^Kilimanur) ; Pazanchery Koilagom (including the 
families of Changanaeherry, Anantapuram) ; Chem- 
"bramadora Koilagom: (Tiruvellah, Pallara, and 
Grammam) : Cherical Koilagom (Mavelikara) ; Pan- 
augad Koilagom (Chengannur). Rani Lekshmi 
Bhai, who was connected with the Kilimauur house^ 

167 PftOGftiti. 

through hor father was the first to marry into the 
Changancherry family. The late lamented Senior 
Bani also chose her consort from the same family 
Her consort, Kerala Varma Valia Koil Tampu- 
ran, is an ornament alike to the family he represents 
and to the literature of the country in promoting 
which he devotes his best talents and energies. 
Unfortunately there is no offspring by this 
union* Her late Highness the Junior Rani on 
the other hand, mingled her heart in conjugal 
felicity with a member of of the Kilimanur 
house, the late Kochu Koil Tampuran. He 
died in the prime of life in 1048 M. E. a year 
after the birth of H. H. the late first Prince, 
the youngest of his four sons, who in the words of 
Lord Curzon " seemed destined to cast a fresh 
lustre on the name of the famous ancestor which he 
bore." It is terrible that all the four sons, heirs to 
the throne, died a premature death — a severe cala- 
mity unprecedented in the history of Travancore* 
It is however satisfactory to note that in per- 
petuation of the Royal line, Their High- 
nesses the present Senior and Junior Ranis, 
both of the Mavelikarai family, have with the 
concurrence of the British Government been 
adopted on the 31st August 1900. By this adop- 
tion the direct relationship with the Kilimanur 
nobility is fast maintained. The Ranis are the 
grand daughters of the celebrated Indian Artist 
Hr. Ravi Varma Koil Tampuran whose name stands 
^u fame's lofty pinnacle raised by the spontaneous 


homage of the enlightened sBsthetic world. Lord 
Curzon has eloquently echoed the wishes of the peo- 
ple when he expressed the hope that "in due time 
the expectation raised by this interesting event 
may meet with fulfilment and that there may 
never be wanting in the Travancore state a sue* 
cession of Princes royally born, well nurtured and 
qualified by instinct and training to carry on its 
old and honorable traditions/' It may be stated 
here that these adoptions were made in pursuance of 
the right conferred by Lord Canning's Sannad of 
March 1862 which runs as follows : — 

" Her Majesty being desirous that the Govern- 
ments of the several Princes and Chiefs of India 
who now govern their own territories should be 
perpetuated and that the representation and dignity 
of their houses should be continued, I hereby, in 
fulfilment of their desire, convey to you the assur- 
ance that on failure of natural heirs, the adoption 
by yourself and future rulers of your state of a 
successor according to the Hindu law and to the 
customs of your race will be recognised and con- 
firmed. Be assured that nothing shall disturb th# 
engagement thus made to you so long as your 
house is loyal to the crown and faithful to tho 
conditions of the treaties, grants or engagement a 
which record its obhgations to the British Govern- 

The Title of Maharajah: — This has been al- 
ready referred to. It was conferred on the rulers of 

169 raOGRESS. 

this state on 6th August 1866. The following was 
the notification issued by Sir John Lawrence : 
**In recognition of your Highness' excellent admi- 
nistration of the Travancore state, I have directed 
th^t your Highness shall be addressed by the title 
of Maharajah in all communications from t^e Bri* 
tish Governujient." The progressive vigour and ef- 
ficieiicy of the administration since then amply 
justify the retention of the title by successive rulers 
of this state. 

Among other events of political significance 
may be mentioned the arrangements made as 
to the jurisdiction over European British sub- 
jects and the adoption of a customs ccm-* 
vention. These will be dealt with in their pro- 
per places. Besides these, there are again the 
granting of the dignity of a Knight Grand Comman- 
der to all the Maharajahs (including the present . 
ruler) ; the appointment of the Penultimate Maha^ 
rajah as the Councillor of the Indian Empire ; the 
Imperial assemblage at Delhi; the visits of success 
sive Governors of the Madras Presidency and, for 
the first time, of H. E. the present Viceroy I^rd 
Curzon; the Golden and Diamond- Jubilee celebra-* 
tions of Her Majesty the late Queen-Empress Vic* 
toria ; Royal tours ; and last not least, the addition 
to His Highness the present Maharajah's salute, 
" signifying in the most conspicuous mann^ the 
recognition by the Government of India of his 
statesmanship and services." 



Administration^ — The Govemment of the 
countrj is conducted in tke name and under the 
control and guidance of H. H. the Maharajah with 
the advice of the British Resident. The chief mi^ 
nister is called Dewan with whom the British Resi- 
dent and the local heads of Departments correspond 
in all official matters. The several Depart* 
ments of the State are constituted on the British 
model fcid the duties, powers and responsibilities of 
the officers controlling them are clearly laid down 
under Royal commands. The actual share of the 
administration which falls to the sovereign is con- 
siderable. Sir Seshia Sastri has truly said : •' Few 
have better means of judging of the actual share of 
the work of the administration which falls to the 
sovereign and it is nothing but a statement of the 
bare fact that that share has been greater and faf 
more anxious and heavy than mine " The Maha 
Raja devotes several hours every day for the dis- 
posal of heavy files of papers submitted to him for 
orders. The personal interest taken by the sovereign 
'in all matters affecting the welfare of the people 
and his intimate acquaintance witli the details of 
administration are remarkable and commended time 
and again by the Government of Madras, 

For purposes of administration the Country 
is divided into four Divisions and each Division .is 
presided over by an officer called the Dewan 


Peishcar. Till 1856 the Dewan Peiehcars were doing 
duty in the Dewan's office. It was towards the 
early part of 1856 that Dewan Peishcars were sent 
out to take charge of the divisions assigned to them. 
The history of the Revenue Administration of 
Travancore is shrouded in ohscurity. It is hy no 
means easy to find out from what primordial ele- 
ments the present system was evolved. What can 
be gathered from public records of the State is 
meagre and vague. "VVe find that the credit of hav- 
ing organised for the first time an adminfltrative 
machinery is due to' the genius of Ramien Dalawa^ 
We are inclined to think that the constitution of 
Dalawa Ramien did not go further than settling 
the assessment of a large portion of cultivated lands 
and pointing out some items of expenditure mostly 
of a religious character to be covered by the increas- 
ed revenue. The pompous and costly ceremonies, 
the unnecessary maintenance of a large standing 
Army ever clamouring for pay and the repeated and 
heavy demands from the British Government made 
a strict adherence to the constitution impossible. The 
successors of Ramien innocently dreaming of a Pad- 
magarbham or to maintain their position were 
forced to swerve from the rules of the established con- 
stitution. Money had to be found somehow. All the 
engines of authority and power were set in motion. 
New taxes were imposed on those who offered the 
least resistance. A large body of illdisciplined army 
was moving throughout the state to enforce obedi* 

lAKD JLA^. 172 

ence in those who stood up against tlie extra cesaei 
The most barbarous system of extortion was ruth- 
lessly perpetrated by the treacherous Numburi 
Dewan who is said to have poisoned Raja Kesava Das, 
The result was a general rising and revolt of the 
people at which tlie heroic bravery of Veloo Tampy^ 
the Hampden of Travancore, prominently dig- 
played itself. This long period of trouble dash- 
ed to pieces the machinery of the Revenue admini- 
stration. This state of affairs soon came to an end 
About 1012 an attempt seems to have been made 
to rescue the administration of the land from the 
province of conflicting customs. In this settlement 
though a certain degree of fixity and systematio 
procedure was attained, the chief causes of the dis- 
integration werp left untouched. The circulars and 
rules published from time to time serve only as so 
many mile-stones in the wearisome search for the 
vicissitudes that bavo come upon the settlement of 
1012 during the last ten decades and more. After 
65 years of unbroken peace, a feeling of national 
political independence has come into being and the 
conditions of Revenue admitiistration have in the 
meanwhile baflBed a glorious succession of able 
Dewans in casting the heterogeneous elements into 
a consistent and compact body of Revenue rules and 
regulations. The huge body of these rules and re* 
gulations forms the present system of Revenue ad* 
ministration. These rules have been carefully col. 
lected and compiled by a native officer in a hand- 

173 PRoaust. 

Bomei Manual which is a very useful publication and 
reflects great credit on the compiler. 

It is not our purpose here to enter into the sys- 
tem of land tenures in Travanoore. Suffice it to say 
that there are sixty varieties of Sirkar lands alone 
which represent their peculiarly complicate nature. 
Several important measures have been adopted in 
connection with the admiinistration of land revenue 

Survey and Settlement. — ^As Travancore is an 
agricultural country, the land forms the main 
source of revenue. The gathering of land-tax has 
thus come to be a chief function of the admini- 
stration. The revenue settlement deals with the 
principles on which and the process by which 
such tax is fixed and levied. Its function is three- 
fold. It consists in the accurate measurement of 
the land, in the ascertainment o/its agricultural 
capacity and in the determination of individual or 
individuals entitled and bound to pay such re- 
venue. The first is done by demarcation and 
isurvey; the next by classification and assess- 
inen,t and the last by investigation and regis- 
tration of titles. Thus prior to actual settle-r 
ment is the work of Survey. When the surveyor 
has determined the position and size of every hold- 
ing, the settlement officer enters the field and esti- 
mates the character of the soil, the kind of crop, 
the opportunities for irrigation, the present means 
of communication, their probable development. 

SETTLEMEirr. 174 

and all other circumstances whicli affect the 
value of the land and its produce. 

The System of settlement ohtaining in Travancore 
is the same that prevails in the Madras Presidency, 
(the Ryot wari system) according to which the ryots 
enjoy private ownership, and as such are made in<i 
dividually responsible to the state for payment of 
rent due from their holdings. On the other hand 
the old system of taxation under the village corpora- 
tion as well as the Zemindary system, brought in 
by the Mahomedan rulers of India makes the head 
of the village corporation or the Zemindar, as the 
case may be, the representative of the ryots and ac«» 
cordingly the sole rent-paying agent. This system 
prevails largely in Bengal. It was however-^ought 
to be introduced in the Madras Presidency at the 
beginning of the last century when the country 
passed from the Nawab into the hands of \he British. 
But owing to its utter failure and self -^denying 
earnestness and enterprise of Sir Thomas MunrO 
the Ryot warri system which will always be associ- 
ated with his name came to be adopted and it was 
since 1858, the new survey and settlement were set 
on foot in Madras. 

Dewan Seshia Sastri mentions that the 
earliest survey remembered by the oldest living ac^ 
countant is that of 914 m. e. when Travancore was 
within its own ancient limits and remarks that the 
term is used in its broad sense as a Revenue Settle* 
ment which does not imply neccessarily a measure- 

175 PEOGRESfl. 

meat of the land. It has been already remarked 
that after the series of brilliant conquests which re< 
suited in the extension and consolidation of this state 
the credit of having organised for the first time an 
administrative machinery was due to the genius of 
Bamien Dhalawa, Mr. Shungunni Menon records in 
his history that the Maharajah having ordered Rami- 
en Dhalawa to frame regular accounts and rules for 
fixing permanent taxes on land and gardens that 
officer commenced a survey of them in 926 m. b. and 
completed the laborious work throughout Travan- 
core. The first Ayacut or assessment account waa 
clearly framed out after this survey and the hold- 
ers of the land and garden were furnished with a 
Pathivu or Registry. In 948 m. e., was made the 
next survey which embraced the whole of the gar- 
den lands and paddy fields. Sir Madhava Row in 
his unpublished manuscript of the history of the 
two sovereigns of Travancore immediately preced- 
ing the Maharajah under whom he served as De- 
wan, says that the general survey and assessment of 
landed properties instituted in 94f8 u. E, by the 
orders of the Maharajah disclosed to the state the in- 
dividual possession of all holders. It is also to be 
noted, he continues, that all descriptions of land 
without respect to tenure came under this extra- 
ordinary impost T^hich in the aggregate is said to 
have yielded about a lakh an^ seventy thousand 
Rupees. It was however like that of 929 m. b. an 
operation of mere Kandeluthu or what was heard 


from the ryots themselves in respect to the nature 
and extent of their holding and as such far from 
accurate. In978 M.B. VeluThampi who became De- 
wan hy that time caused a survey of all lands and gar- 
dens. Unlike the previous operations this was one 
of Kandeluthu or what was seen, inspected and 
verified by Government Officers. The next survey 
was the operation of 990 M. E. under the Da'iawa- 
ship of Dewan Padmanabhan. It introduced 
a system of classification .which provided 
for different rates of assessment. During the ad- 
ministration of Diwan Subha Rao an attempt seems 
to have been made in 1012 M. E. In this a greater 
degree of system and fixity was attained. It pro- 
vided for four distinct rates of assessment ; also for 
tax both in kind as well as its commuted value in 
money. The rates of commutation however con- 
tinued unequal and unfair. In 1040 M. E. a spe- 
cial survey agency seems to have been created. 
It confined its work only to coffee-estates and 
patches of cocoanut cultivation. In 1048 M. E. 
a survey of the town of Trivandrum alone was 
conducted and completed but no regular and system 
matic survey of the country under professional 
control and guidance was ever made. As observed 
by Dewan Iyengar, **there was no record of 
the extent of the land, no classification of the soil, 
no systematic asse^smeut, no register of titles, not 
even a complete rent roll or list of land-holders." 
The necessity of introducing a regular and compre 


hensive system of Revenue survey and settlement, 
as the groundwork for sound and successful admini- 
stration came to be felt more and moi-e. With this 
end in view all the principal land-holders of the 
country were invited to be a present at a meeting 
held at the capital on the 24ith March 1883 at 
which the necessity and objects of the measure 
were thus explained : — 

** The object of His Highness government in seek- 
ing to introduce a new survey and settlement is not 
so much to increase the Revenue as to ascertain the 
extent and resources of the country; to define and 
fix the boundaries of properties, to obtain accu- 
rate registers of land; to investigate and record the 
various tenures under which property is held: to 
fix and limit the Government demand ; to equalise 
and not to enhance the pressure of the assessment 
on land ; to remove the various anomalies which 
disfigure the Revenue administration, and press 
more or less upon the springs of industry; to give 
perfect freedom of action in taking up or relinquish- 
ing land; to impart perfect security of title to 
the holders and thus to promote the well-being 
of agricultural classes and the general prosperity of 
the state." The new Scheme was with the approval 
of the Madras Government introduced in 1883. It 
embraces all descriptions of land, cultivated and cul- 
tivable, occupied and unoccuped. The work is be- 
ng pushed on with all speed which expediency 
could suggest or the local condition would permit. 

OtH^R MEASUtlES. 178 

Other Measures :—^A. numbei* of petty taxes 
which paralysed the energies of the ryots and aflford- 
ed scope for oppression was remitted one after 
another^ since these demands were found incom- 
patible with present social and economical condi- 
tions. Porest regions are considerably opened up 
for cultivation. A good deal of waste lands near 
the gh its is reclaimed, Every facility is afforded to 
the development of planting industries. 

The relation between landlords and tenants and 
the nature and extent of the rights each has over 
his holdings have engaged the attention of Gover- 
ment since 1042. M. E. By Royal proclamation of 
that year the tenants who held lands under 
certain terms were given permanent occupancy 
right over such lands. That proclamation 
however prescribed no convenient procedure for the 
recovery of rents. An elaborate enquiry was 
instituted into the rights of Jenmis (Lords^ and 
Kudiyans (tenants^. The result was thelaW passed 
in 1071 M. E. It settled many longstanding dis* 
putes and differences between the landlords and 

In early times owing to the undeveloped state of 
inland trade, the absence of roads and other facili- 
ties of communication Govt, had to devise means 
to draw supplies by individual contributions from 
remote corners of the country for this purpose. A 
considerable portion of land is given as inams or 
free holds, in compensation for the services rend- 

179 PEOGEEfiS. 

ered. The holders of these lands were bound io 
supply provisions at nominal prices in connection 
with the religious and charitable institutions of the 
Sta^e. The substitution of a system of free labour 
and free supplies having been found suited to pre- 
sent conditions, the holders of those lands have been 
relieved from the heavy and onerous obligations 
attaching to the tenure. There was a practice that 
allowed garden lands to periodieal inspection by 
Revenue authorities. II a single tree comes to 
bearing this year over and above the number of 
trees assessed last year, the Revenue authorities 
were at liberty to enter upon the property and as- 
sess that tree. This revision of assessment with 
reference to the number of additional taxable trees 
that come to bearing from time to time is known as 
Kulachu KooduthaL This process was considered 
•^ so anomalous in its character, so questiona- 
ble in principle and so discordant with the now 
gystem of revenue settlement/* that it has naw been 
totally abolished. The ryots are now perfectly free 
to improve their holdings and enjoy all the fruits 
of their improvement. In the interests of the 
agricultural population the Adiyara fees used to 
be levied in cases of the succession of distant kind- 
red are abolished. 

The ryots are permitted to reclaim lands adjoin- 
ing the Ghats on very easy terms, llemission of 
taxes on failsure of crops is extended throughout 
the Kingdom. The procedure for the recovery of 


rents due to Government is systematised and sim- 
plified. In view to aid tlie ryots with loans of 
money from Government, a law has been passed by 
which the loan advanced may be repaid in conveni- 
ent instalments. With the same end in view, agri-* 
cultural exhibitions and cattle shows are held oflF 
and on. These are s^me of the several measures 
that have contributed to the fiscal growth of the 

Law and Justice. — The foundation for a proper 
administration of justice was laid only in 1832. It 
appears from Mr. Shungunny Menon*s History oC 
Travancore that the reigning Prince at the time 
caused a code of Laws to be compiled after tho 
model of the enactments in force in British terri- 
tories, that this was the first code of regulations 
ever adopted and promulgated in Travancore and 
that described the constitution, powers and pro- 
cedure of the Civil and Criminal Courts. The De- 
wan was the supreme Head of all the Departments 
and exercised Revenue, Police and Magisterial func- 
tions. Till 1871 the Dewan continued to be the 
chief Magistrate of the state. Before he was re- 
lieved of his judicial function, an important ques- 
tion of much political significance arose. 

Jurisdiction over European British subjects^ It 
relates to the arrangements as to jurisdiction over 
European British subjects. 

The question of jurisdiction over them arose 
in connection with the trial of Mr. John Liddel, 

181 l>tt6a]^ss. 

who was Commercial Agent of the Government al 
Alleppy. He stood charged with having embezzled 
a sum of Rs. 15,000 from the commercial Treasury 
with which he was entrusted. The Travancore 
Government tried him. For he was allowed to re-» 
side in Travancore on condition of his being sub- 
ject to local laws. He had been residing in the 
state for a bng time and acquired personal ^nd 
landed property. He was actually a servant of the 
Travancore Government and bound bv all oblii^a- 
tions of a Government servant at the time of the 
commission of the offence. His offence was against 
Travancore Government. Further he was arrested 
in the country itself. And moreover he submitted 
to its jurisdiction. The Resident declared that 
none legally existed as defined by the publish- 
ed laws relating to Native States and refer- 
red the matter to Madras Government who 
as advised by Advocate General J. B. Norton 
arrived at the conclusion that under notification of 
the Governor-General of India in Council dated the 
10th January 1867 in accordance with 28 Vic. 15 th 
chapter, the trial of Mr. Liddel by the Travancore 
Government was illegal^ that he might immediately , 
be released and brought to trial before the Madras 
High Court'\ Sir Madhav^a Row who was'Dewan at 
the time urgpd certain counter-considerations and 
arguments on the general question. He contended 
that jurisdiction was an inherent right, that the 
Travancore state being ruled by its own ruler pos- 


sessed that right, that it has not been shown by 
British Government that Travaneore has ceded this 
right and that the Governor-Generars notification 
relied upon by Mr. Norton did not mean to de- 
prive Travaneore of that right but only distributed 
what right the British Government had over its 
own subjects residing out of British territory. 
The proceedings of ,;the Madras Government ^ith 
reference to this protest declared that " the trial 
of Mr. Liddel by the Travaneore Government is 
notwithstanding his personal waiver a nullity and 
that the proclamation of the Governor-General 
does not confer upon the High Court a concurrent 
jurisdiction with the courts of Travaneore. It 
takes away from these courts jurisdiction over 
British subjects, being Europeans and Christians 
and confers an exclusive jurisdiction over such class 
upon the High Court." 

Sir Madhava Bow sought arid obtained the legal 
advice of Mr. John D. Mayne, He maintained 
that Travaneore has never been conquered by 
the East India Company and has never surrendered 
its sovereignty to the Company •or the Queen 
that none of the treaties with the Travaneore 
Bajah contemplate any abandonment of his terri- 
torial jurisdiction, that the treaty of 1805 did not 
supersede but merely supplement the Treaty of 
1795, that it provided that in an event which has 
never occurred, the British Government might 
assume the Government of Travaneore, that 

1 183 'progress. 

till that event occurs, the Rajah's rights 
of internal Government remain unimpaired, 
that though clause 9 of the Treaty of 1805 
binds the Rajah "to pay *at all times the utmost 
attention to such advice as the E glish Govern- 
ment shall occasionally offer him with a vie\r 
to the administration of justice" this does not entail 
the English Government to supersede the Rajah's 
courts or to deprive them of any part of their 
Jurisdiction which by the law of nations they pos- 
sess, that the Governor-Generars' proclamation 
could not of course go beyond the powers given 
by the statute and the statute, though binding on 
all British subjects, has of course no force against 
the sovereign of Travancore and that he 
fully agreed with Sir Madhava Row that 
neither the statute nor .the Proclamation con- 
plated any such interference by the Government. 
This opinion was forwarded to the Government 
of Madras who appointed a committee for the 
purpose. They upheld Mr. Mayne's view on 
which Mr. Norton wrote, *'0n further con- 
sideration and*with the advantage of weighing 
all that has been urged by the President and mem- 
bers, the Dewan and my learned friend Mr. Mayne, 
1 have come to the conclusion that the trial of Lid- 
del by the Travancore Government is legal and 
therefore he ought to be left to undergo the remain- 
der of his sentence." The order of the Government 
of Madras was as follows;^ — ^* In acordance with this 


opinion, His Excellency the Governor in Council 
sees no reason for questioning the legality of the 
sentence passed on Liddel by Travancore and resol- 
ves therefore to cancel the order of Government." 

When the jurisdiction of Travancore was recog- 
nised there were difficulties in the way.^ They 
were removed by legislation which brought about 
an alteration in the existing practice. The 
Government of India decided in 1874 that '* His 
Highness' Magistrates who are European British 
subjects and Christians may exercise over Euro- 
pean British subjects the same Jurisdiction 
as may be exercised over them in British India by 
European British subjects who are Magistrates of 
the 1st class and Justices of the Peace/* We have 
special Magistrates and a toecial appellate Judge 
appointed accordingly who are empowered to 
commit to the High Court at Madras such cases as 
in British territories are beyond the jurisdiction of 
European British subjects who are Maejifitrates of 
the 1st class and Justices of the Peace. It is stipuljtt- 
ed further that these arrangements are subject to 
revision if at any time the European Magistrates 
. of these states fail to give satisfaction to the Brit- 
ish Government. Independent Judicial tribunals 
were estabUshed since then and the courts were re- 
constituted in 1882, after the British Indian model. 
During the present reign a number of Regulations 
has been passed which have further strengthend 
and improved the machinery for the administration 
of Justice. 

18^ PBOGftESS. 

The Legislative Council: — Of the several reforms . 
initiated since the accession of the present Maha- 
Bajah the most important is the institution of the 
Legislative Council in 1888. The value of the 
measure will be enhanced by the fact that among 
all the Native States of India, Travancore is the 
first to recognise it as an indispensable ad- 
junct to a civilized and enlightened Grovem- 
naent. In former days the term Act or Regula- 
tion was unknown and all the measures of the state 
were promulgated by Boyal proclamations. Now 
the Legislative Council gives full and free scope 
for the play of cultivated intelligence and enlight- 
ened public opinion. It certainly marks a turning 
point in the history of Travancore. The constitution 
of the Council is laid down by Regulation 5 of 1073 
M. B. which is an adaptation of the Indian Councils 
Act of 1892. Speaking to the South Travancoreans 
H. H. the Maharajah said : — " I am glad that you 
appreciate the Legislative Council recently inaugu- 
rated. The presence of non-official members in it is 
I trust some guarantee that the wishes of the people 
will be represented at the deliberations of the Coun- 
cil:" With reference to the same His Highness 
observed elsewhere ** the world moves forward and 
we must move on with it or it will leave us behind. 
In this latter part of the 19th century neither prinsi 
oes nor people can afford to ignore this progressive 
tendency." ""* 

These extracts show the enliglktened zeal of 

POLICE. 186 

tlie Maharajah to advance with the progressire 
spirit of the age> 

Folice. — Prior to 1881 there was no distinctly 
organised Police in Travancore. The function of 
the Police was combined with that of Magistrates. 
Such a combination was found as objectionable in 
principle as it was inconvenient in practice. Accord- 
insfly a complete separation of the Police and Ma- 
gistracy was eflfected and a clear line of demarca- 
tion drawn between the judicial function of the Ma- 
gistrate and the preventive and detective duties of 
the Police. A separate Police force was instituted 
on the lines of the Police organisation in British 
India. The inembers of the force were enlisted 
from all classes with due regard to age and physic 
cal fitness and placed under the immediate control 
of a European Superintendent. They were so 
equipped and trained as to be available f jr employ- 
ment in any part of the country. The only hardship 
they had of contributing to the superannuation 
fund has now been removed by the extension to 
them of the benefit of pension or gratuity ac- 
cording to the period of their service. Another 
recent measure of reform is the replacement of 
the system of anthropometrical measurements by the 
s stem of identification by means of fiager impres- 
sions. The country is free from any violent crime. 
This is due to the peaceful habits of the people no 
less than the preventive and detective capacity of 
the Police force. Mr. Bensely who has bean at th3 

187 PBOGBfiSS. 

head of tha force since its organisation is not guiltf 
of any exaggeration when he writes : — ** There it 
security of life and property throughout the coun- 
try and upon the roads and waterways to an extent 
unknown in the surrounding British Districts of 
Madura, Tinnevelly and Malabar." 

Prisons. — Though rules were passed from time 
to time to improve this class of Institutions of 
which there are three in the State — a Central Jail 
and two District Jails, the former under the control 
of a trained Superintendent and the latter under 
the control of the District Magistrates within 
whose jurisdiction they are — there was till quite 
recently no recognised law relating thereto. It was 
in 1895 that the Prisons Regulation was passed on 
the basis of the British enactment. Since then 
better discipline is maintained : unwholesome food 
is prohibited : cleanliness is rigorously enforced : and 
over -crowding is prevented. The Juvenile offen- 
ders are separated from hardened convicts, and 
given, in the Reformatory School a training which 
would blot out the evil influence of their early 
life. The increase of mortality among the con- 
victs has led to the organization of a committee 
to investigate the subject and on their recommend- 
ations, steps are being taken to minimise the 
death rate. A Jail manufactory is maintained, 
where every facility is thrown open for convict 
Jf^bour such as weaving cloth, making coir, 
printing «nH varied other useful industrial 
works. The regulation also provides for the release. 


of donricts who are, in a precarious state of health* 
They are released under sanction of H. H. the 
Maharajah in the exercise of the Royal Preroga- 
tive of mercy. The Brahmin convicts are exempted 
from hard labour owing to the peculiar custom 
and social usages of the p iople and so are female 
convicts of whatever class. Both these classes of 
convicts are for the same reason immuned from 
capital punishment. The regulation also provides 
for a scale of revised dietary for cjnvicts. Speci- 
al diets are given to foreign and sick convicts. 
Destitute convicts are given travelling fare on* their 

Hegistration, — This Department also was 
thoroughly reorganized and reformed in 1070 M. 
E. The old system was superseded by Regulation 
I of that year. According to that system the 
work of registration was done by an agency of vil- 
lage notaries who were appointed and controlled by 
the Sadr Court. These notaries were not given any 
fixed salary but remunerated by fees levied upon 
instruments registered by them. This unpaid 
agency was a source of dissatisfaction to the public, 
delay in work and loss to Government. Registra- 
tion under the old system made no difference between 
the properties registered and not registered, fpr it 
left the registration ov non-registration to the 
option of the parties concerned. The result was a 
tendency in favor of non-registration^ This ten- 
dency was accelerated by the interposition of the 

189 TEOGEEfiS. 

village notaries themselres. Consequently in 104i2 
M. E. this system was superseded by a new legis* 
lation under which the Registrars became the 
paid servants of the State and a separate staff of 
these servants was organized and graded according 
to quantity of work assigned to them. According 
to the new Regulation, free scope was given for the 
registration of deeds relating to moveable property 
also. Even this system was found wanting. It was 
revised and improved in 1052 m. b. by a Regulation 
passed in that year. It removed much hardship 
and inconvenience and many sources of uncertainty 
and loss. In view to impart additional security 
tor the fulfilment of contracts, the system was 
thoroughly reformed again in 1070 m. b. under a Re- 
gulation based on the latest British Act. In fact 
every step has been taken by H, H's Government 
to secure the chief object of Registration which is 
*' to give certainty of titles and to prevent the 
operation of fraudulent and secret transactions by 
which a man's right in property which he has ac- 
quired may be defeated." 

The instruments of protection are so 
far placed within the easy reach of the 
people that there are every where signs of the 
stability of the State and the happiness of . the 
people. A vast net work of excellent roads' has 
male travel a recreation. White-walled Bunga- 
lows, crown the top of wealthy hills which were 
once considered inaccessible. Pepper from Quilon, 


ginger from Palai and tea from Poonraudi are 
daily exchanged in the markets of Trivandrum. 
Long strings of bullock carts heavy Trith the 
products of the country, pass securely through 
forests where once the fierce tiger and the 
mighty elephant were the lords of all they . 
surveyed. Huge bridges span over J'iords 
and rivers. The introduction of the Police and a 
better administration of Criminal justice have 
made the bold sons of Kayankulum Kochunni and 
Mulagmood Adimai understand that hunger should 
be satisfied not by rapine but by industry. The 
reform of the Registration Department [ani the 
reconstitution of the Civil Courts have taught the 
people that their difference should be settled not by 
blows but by arbitration. Is it then strange that 
Governor after Governor was, like Lord Ampthill 
'' impressed with the happy smiles of a peaceful and 
contented people?" 

19 L 

Owing to the short-comings of the previous settle 
meats, the method of collecting taxes and keepinp^ 
accounts was in a shapeless condition, the village 
accounts — ^the corner-etone of a state's finance and 
the back-hone of all administrative systems were 
not kept under any regular form or strict provi- 
sion. No two Taluqs resembled each other in their, 
village accounts. Each Taluq had a separate 
method peculiar to itself, often changing with the 
change of accountants In Shenootta for instance 
a Rupee received was valued at and entered as 8 fan» 
ams, while a Rupee spent was worth only 7 fanams. 
In Nanchanaud, the accounts showed a collection 
higher than the actual. The difference was under- 
stood to be accounted for by a difference in the rate 
of commutation. The system of Szuthithircha 
and tirattu were the direct outcome of these irre- 
gularities. Th« confusion was such that it eluded 
analysis and defied all powers of description. 
Several improvements have been made within the 
last 17 years in the system of accounts. The pre- 
paration of estimates of income and expenditure in 
the form obtaining in the Madras Presidency has 
for the most part been adopted . In fact several 
changes have been introduced on the lines of the 
British system. With every anxiety t6 improve- 
further the system of accounts, a Committe was re- 
cently organized to examine the system thoroughly 


and minutely and sugg^est means of further improre 
ment. It in a remarkable fact that the financial 
condition of the state has during the period under re- 
view been one of steady advancement and the sur- 
plus revenue is used in developing the resources of 
the country and contributing to the welfere of the 
people. We shall now advert to the sourcet of in- 
come and the directions of outlay. 

Forests : — ^We have already noticed that Tra- 
vancore is covered with an abundance of superV 
forests. The forest revenue is therefore con- 
siderable. It is derived from the toll on and 
the sale of timber, and from forest produce 
such as cardamom, dammer, wax, honey, ivory 
etc. Formerly trees were felled down under a per-* 
mit. But this indiscriminate felling gave a rude 
shock to the balance provided by nature. Seeds were 
brought down from Nilgiris and a systematic at- 
tempt was made for replenishing the exhausted for- 
ests. Several measures were taken to develop the 
forest revenue. The log system was introduced ia 
supersession of the practice of levying tolls according^ 
to the cubical contents of the timber. This was fol- 
lowed by a grazing fee on cattle coming from the 
British side. Private persons were allowed to cut 
down timber on payment of tariff rates. But there 
was till recently no law to reserve forests. In view 
to organize a scheme of systematic conservancy and 
reproduction, a Regulation was passed in 1888 which 
provided ample scope to replenish the forests and 

I'ORESTS. 103 

to meet the demand for timber. In 1893 this 
Regulation was further revised and replaced by a 
more comprehensive one based on the British In- 
dian Forest Act. Among the several changes 
brought about under the provisions of the amended 
regulation^ the exclusive departmental working of 
the forests is one. It has superseded the permit sys- 
tem which left the collection and transporation o 
timber to private agencies. The forest area is cut 
up for purpose of control into several divisions and 
ranges and with a view to place them as far as 
possible under men trained in scientific forestry, 
Government have provided for young men being 
sent from time to time to study in the forest school 
of the Government of India at Dehra Dun — a step 
wliich was. warmly approved by Lord Curzon dur- 
ing his visit to this state. 

Cardamom and other goods: — In the High 
Banges there are some elevated plains where 
cardamom grows luxuriantly. This tract is most- 
ly within the limits of the Thodupuzha Taluk. 
Cardamom, like pepper, is an important indi- 
genous product and was a state monopoly. The 
cardamom Hills were also controlled and managed 
by the Conservator of forests till 1044 M. E. In 
that year, the supervision of the hills was trans- 
ferred to a separate officer appointed for the pur- 
pose. The tract was leased out to the ryots who had 
to deliver the produce to Government at a fixed 
valuation. The ryots cultivated cardamom and 


received 2/5 of the sale proceeds. Fresh facilities of 
communication tended to the •xtension of the 
area of cultivation. As the system of monopoly was 
not found to work well, it was abolished in 
1896. With the introduction of landtax, the ryots 
enjoy almost the rights of permanent occupancy as 
well as of giving up the holdings at will. This 
has created greater interest in the raising and col- 
lection of the produce. 

Salt : — A brief history of this may be sum- 
arised as follows from a state memorandum on the 

" The history of the salt Department in Travan- 
core may be divided into 2 periods, one preceding 
the monopoly and the other subsequent to its in- 
stitution in the year 908. M. E. 

The Travancore Government appears to have 
derived a revenue from salt so early as the middle 
of the last century, but there was at that time 
clearly no monopoly of any kind. The manufacture 
was apparently free and unrestricted and sub- 
ject to but one fiscal regulation — namely, that the 
salt produced should be divided between the Gov- 
ernment and the ryot in the same manner as pad- 
dy grown on rice lands. The salt was manufactur- 
ed at certain seaside stations between Cape Comoria 
and Oolachel, and in the margin of the backwaters in 
Trivandrum, Sherayinkil, Karthigapully, and Karu- 
nagapally Taluqs, the seaside manufactories being 
known as IJllums, and th# back-water ones as 

6ALT. 195 

Padanays* The salt made at the former was bet- 
ter in quality than the latter, being white in colour 
and comparatively free from impurities while the 
other was dark and mixed with earthy particles. It 
consequently fetched a higher price in the market. 
The salt pans were either the property of Govern- 
ment, or of private individuals. As already 
stated, the s It produced was divided between 
the Q-overnment and the manufacturer, in cer- 
tain fixe i proportion varying according to the nature 
of the ownership in the pans but the exact ratio 
cannot he ascertained at this distance of time. 
The Q-overnment share of the produce appears to- 
have been taken over by servatits told off for the 
purpose and sold on the spot, as I can find no trace 
of its having been stored or removed to any selling 

The entire quantity produced fell considerably 
short of the demand for home consumption and 
the deficit was made good by importation by private 
traders from Goa and Bombay and other ports. 

It was in the year 988 M E. that the existing 

state of things was put an end to and a close mono 

poly introduced under a proclamation signed 
by Col. Munro who was then both Resident and 
Dewan. By that Proclamation all manufacture bv 
the ryots except on Government account. A spe"- 
cial department was organized for the superin- 
tendence and collection of the fialt Revenue. 
Salt depots were established in various parts 

196 i^ROoiaSss. 

of thacDUtttry to place the'arfcicle within'] the reach, 
of tho people and to facilitate sale and what 
was produced in the country was supplemented by 
import from abroad. From the year 989. M. E. 
to 1087, there was nothing of importance done, be- 
yond the occasional abolition or re-opening of cer- 
tain selling depots. Up to the year 1036 all wast- 
a^e in the transport of salt by sea from the south t 
ern pans to the northern sale depots was charged 
to the manufacturer, but in that year the Govern- 
ment undertook to bear all loss from wastage. The 
negotiations in connection with the Interportal 
Convention which took place in 1865 had been 
going on for some time between the Travancore 
and British Governments, and inter alia the question 
of the adoption of the British Indian monopoly sel- 
ling price of salt by this state was fully discussed 
and decided in the afB.rmative. In the year 1040 
M. B. in which the convention was concluded, this 
Government accordingly raised its selling price and 
has since raised and lowered it with each successive 
rise and fall in the British Indian rate. As another 
result of this convention the salt pans on the banks 
of back-waters in central Travancore had to be clos- 
ed. The sites of the ojd salt beds have since been 
converted into cocoanut topes for which the soil is 
better adapted than for salt. The next important 
step taken for improving the %alt department was 
the substitution of weights for measures in all salt 
transactions, and this was introduced in the latter 

!fOBlC0O AND ABKABir 197 

part of the year 1051. Another equally important 
one was the introduction of the bagging system, un- 
der which the scope for petty thefts and adultera- 
tion which used to be common in the case of salt 
transit from the stores to the selling depots has very 
much diminished. " In 1058 the salt department 
was placed under the management of a separate of • 
ficer. The salt consumption in the country avera.^ 
ges 6 lacs of Indian maunds. It continues to be a 
state monopoly and sold in Government Bankshalls. 
Regulation III of 1063 which is an adaptation of 
the Madras Act provides for the manufacture and 
sale of salt. Opium and bhang are also state mono- 
polies whose importation and sale are governed by 
Regulation VI of 1063 M. E. 

Tobacco was formerly a strict state monopoly. 
The high character of the monopoly rates and the 
temptation they offered to practise contraband trade, 
not, to speak of other evils led to the abolition of 
the monopoly. It is allowed to be imported by all 
persons subject to certain restrictions. Regulation 
II of 1890 governs the importation and sale of this 
commodity of which there are 4 varieties. The 
equalisation of the duties since 1896 has swept 
away the evils consequent upon the difference in 
duties which exinted before that period. 

Abkari — The revenue derived from this was 
administered on the farming system till 1898. 
According to this system the monopoly of selling 
toddy and country liquor was knocked down. 


'faluq by Taluq to the highest bidder. This system 
however was discontinued under the new Abkari. 
Rrgulation passed in that year. It introduced 
what is known as the Excise system experiment- 
ally in one Taluq, It was extended to a whole 
division in the following year since the experiment 
has so far proved a success. Sixty years ago the 
Abkari Revenue amounted to 40,000 Rs. per annum. 
It was fluctuating between .that sum and 50,000 Rs, 
up to 1033. In 1060 M. E .it rose to 3 and odd 
lacs of Rupees and in 1075 it has gone up to over 
6 lacs of Rupees or in other words 12 times the 
yield in 1033. This increase in revenue is due to 
effective prevention of contraband trade. 

Medical Relief: — The directions of outlay are 
vast and varied. About 60 years ago there was 
only one medical institution in the State. • The 
present Civil Hospital in Trivandrum was opened 
in 1865 by the Maharajah in person. The follow- 
ing extract from the address delivered by His 
Highness on that occasion is worthy of reproduce 
tion: — 

" From time out of mind, charity has been re- 
garded by Travancore as one of the cardinal du- 
ties of the State. Its reputation as Bharma Raj 
is familiar to all India. What can be more real, 
more substantial charity, than the provision of 
means for the relief or mitigation of sickness and 
di(sease ? 


• I hope that this institution will be freely re- 
sorted to by those for whom it is designed, and 
that it will be always distinguished for its sanitary 
arrangements, for the attention and tender care of 
the sick and suffering, and for the successful ac- 
complishment of its main end — the cure of disease. 

It is intended to train in this institution a 
body of intelligent and hard-working young men 
destined to carry into the interior the benefits of 
European medical Science and Arts. 

One of the main objects of my ambition is to 
see that good medical aid is placed within the reach 
of all classes of my subjects. It is a blessing which 
is not at present in the power of individuals gener- 
ally to secure, how-much-soever they may . desire 
it. It is hence the obvious duty of this State to 
render its assistance in this direction. 

Turning to the building at which we are as- 
sembled, I view it with some pride and satisfaction. 
I trust that it is the fore-runner of many useful 
institutions, whether designed to cure disease, to 
facilitate the administration of the Government in 
its several departments or to impart knowledge 
and wisdom." 

These sanguine anticipations are now more 
than fulfilled. Medical institutions are dotted all over 
the country. There is one Government institution 
within every square of 12 miles. And in view to 
supplement the Medical Service afforded by Gov- 
ernment institutions, and to promote the practice 

200 t»EO(iRKSS. 

of medicine by private agency, medical grants 
are given to Hospitals, Dispensaries and native 
medical practitioners. Medical Scholarships are 
awarded to students for the study of medicine in 
the European Universities. The encouragement of 
the study of medicine among women and the insti- 
tution of Women and Children's Hospital and 
the rapid expansion of medical relief in general 
belong to the last seventeen years. 

Sanitation: — Till the year 1894 there was no 
RegulatioiKto provide for the Conservancy and Sa- 
nitation of towns. Rules and orders passed from 
time to time served the purpose. It was in that 
year that a Regulation based on the Punjab Mun- 
cipal Act was passed " to provide for the better 
Sanitation of towns, the prevention of fires and 
the Registration of births and deaths." Its work- 
ing is controlled by a local body called the Town 
Improvement^Committee composed of oflBcial and 
non-official members. This Regulation was further 
amended in 1901 so as to provide for a compre- 
hensive scheme for the maintenance of general 
sanitation and the reconstitution of the Committee 
on a more representative basis. As observed by the 
late Mr. Thami Pillai who introduced the bill which 
has now become law, " It is an important meas- 
ure. Though generally built upon the existing 
organisation, it has a deeper foundation and a wider 
scope than the present law. It is in fact the first 
real step towards Muncipal action proper. In the 
constitution, powers and responsibilities of th© 


Committee and in other important points there is 
a distinct onward move.'' Under the Towns Conser- 
vancy Regulation, a special Department was orga- 
nised" embracing vaccination, vital statistics, rural 
sanitation and itinerant medical relief." 

Public Works; The prosecution in a systematic 
manner of several works of public utility through- 
out the length and breadth of the land, commenced 
with the [appointment of Mr. Barton as Chief En- 
gineer. Several roads were opened, numerous 
bridges were built and many imposing and hanql- 
some buildings were constructed. Dewan Seshia 
Sastri has placed on record '' the great zeal and 
untiring energy with which Mr. Barton has 
labored and successfully brought to completion 
works that will do lasting credit to his name. " 
His successors have also utilized their engineer- 
ing talents for which there was full and free 
scope. More roads are opened, existing roads 
are repaired and metalled. Torrent streams are 
bridged, channels are widened and deepener'j 
tanks are scooped out. In fact the operations em- 
brace engineering works of a varied character re- 
quiring professional skill such as new Irrigation 

Irrigation. The most successful area of land 
that exists in Travancore for the cultivation of rice 
is in the southern tracts. Artificial irrigation is 
therefore most needed there. A special agency to 
conduct the irrigation works seems to have been in 
existence as far back as 1010 M. E. This was how- 


ever, absorbed in the Engineer's Department soon 
after its organisation. Among the several import- 
ant irrigation works may be mentioned the cons- 
truction of the Pandian and Puthan dams which 
divert the waters of the Paralayar into the 
valleys of the southern tracts. The demand 
for water having exceeded this supply^ attention 
was directed to divert the Kothayar waters for the 

Colonel Mead R. E. whose services were lent ta 
the State by the Madras Government thought that 
" until something is known of the amount of water 
available in the rivers by means of gauges, nothing 
should be done, and most certainly nothing should 
be attempted until the question as to what is to be 
done with the Kothayar water is settled/' He esti- 
mated the cost of the Kothayar Project at 6 lacs of 
Rs. at the least, and said that in the absence of 
water Registers,, he was unable to agree with the 
then Chief Engineer in urging upon His Highness* 
Government to undertake this work at once. 

Acting on these views, the then Dewan Ram- 
iengar directed that the Kothayar scheme should 
lie over till full and complete data were available. 
This was in 1057 M. E. In 1061 M- E. the Chi^f 
Engineer wrote as follows to His Highness' Gov- 
ernment : " The cutting of a channel from the Ko- 
thayar at Thiruparappu was not proposed by me ; 
the scheme I fear cannot be thought of owing io 
its costliness and the small result obtainable." 


We quote here the forcible remarks of the 
Resident Mr. Rees. — " Irrigation works properly so- ^ 
called, exist only in the Southern division and the 
whole of tjie above sums, with the exception of 
Rupees 5941, was spent in that division, the large 
excess under repairs in 1072 being dye to works in 
connection with the closing of breaches caused by 
heavy floods. The original estimate for this pro- 
ject intended to irrigate an area of about 50000 
acres amounted to Rs. 7,94,850. It was subseq^u- 
ently considered that an area could be irrigated of 
70000 acres and though revenue investigations to 
prove this point and to investigate local conditions 
and revenue prospects of the larger scheme are 
n®t, I understand, complete, an estimate amount- 
ing to 19 lacs, has been prepared. The Durbar has 
so far taken unofficially, I believe, the advice of 
Mr, Walch as well as that of its Chief Engineer; but 
in regard to so large a scheme, in respect of which 
estimates may be greatly exceeded, the Durbar 
would wish, I. know, that a second opinion should be 
officially taken before His Highness' Government is 
finally committed to the larger scheme which now 
holds the field. I visited the work in January last. 
Inasmuch as the Northern divisions have few arti- 
ficial irrigation works, the material Channels, 
which are in many cases silted up or in need of re- 
pair should, I think, not escape attention, while the 
South adds to its present irrigation systems this am^ 
hitious scheme of damming the J^othayar river. " 


Railway : — The construction of a light railvray 
has been long in contemplation and schemes from 
.lime to time were investigated and surveys of the 
line made. That since his accession, His Highness 
the present Maharajah was very anxious to bring 
about the speedy extension of the Railway commu- 
nication into the heart of Travancore so as to de- 
velop its natural resources, is evident from ttie fol- 
lowing passage in a speech to the inhabitants of 
Tinnevelly in 1888 : ''My Government was in cor- 
respondence with the South Indian Railway Com- 
pany regarding the extension of the line into Tra- 
vancore. We have not yet heard from the Company 
in reply and I may assure you that I am equally 
desirous to have the Railway extended to Travan- 
core." He said elsewhere : "I hope the time is 
not distant when the Railway will bind us together 
in closer ties.". It was in 1893 that, at the instance 
of the Government of India, a final survey was made 
of the extension of the South Indian Railway to 
Quilon at the cost of the Durbar and since its 
completion, negotiations were opened for the com- 
mencement of the line by the South Indian Hail- 
way Company to whom a sum of 17 lacs of Rupees 
has been advanced without interest for carrying on 
the work. Lands have been assumed for the line 
which is close upon completion. Lord Ampthill an- 
ticipates the prosperity of the people as favourably 
affected by this line when at Tuticorin His Excel- 
lency remarked ; [' When the Tinnevelly-Quilon 

Railway and trade. 205 

^Railway i8 completed, there is a great possibility 
of the development of trade in Travancore." He 
added that Tuticorin '* may reasonably hope to at- 
tract a considerable proportion of export trade from 
Travancore which will find there an improved out- 

Trade :— It i>j a remarkable fact that more than 
88 per cent of the trade of Travancore is with Bri- 
tish India and this has been mainly due to the re- 
moval of the fiscal restrictions between Travancore 
and British India according to the Interportal Con- 
vention of 1865. The arrangements which were 
submitted by the Madras Government as regards 
Travancore were : the free admission of all goods, 
the prodnco or manufacture of India except cotton 
and cotton goods, metals, tobacco, salt, opium and 
spirits ; the free admission of all goods, the produce 
or manufacture of Travancore into British India, 
with the exception of Salt, Opium and spirits ; the 
adoption of British Indian rates of duty on all fore- 
ign goods imported into Travancore except the ar- 
ticles above-mentioned ; the levy of duties not less 
than those obtaining in British India on exports-; 
the adoption of British Indian tariff valuation, the 
export tariff being taken in regard to cotton 
fabrics of native manufacture : and the adoption 
of British Indian monopoly price of salt. The 
Government of India did not accede to the exc3p- 
tion stipulated for by Travancore in respect of im- 
port duty on raw and manufactured and crude and 
luanufactured metals, whether British Indian or 
foreign (including English) which have jjaid duty 
at British Indian ports or have bt«en exempted 
from duty on exportation from thence or in 
respect of the reservation of rights to levy ex- 

206 PROaRESS. 

port duty dn every article of its own produce 
whither-80-ever exported. The effect of the first 
of these was to place the British staples of piece 
goods and metals under a disadvantage while they 
were imported into Travancore. Notwithstanding 
that all articles of Travancore produce are manu- 
factured, all foreign articles re-exported from Tra- 
vancore ports would be admitted duty free into 
British Indian ports and the effect of the second 
was to enable the Travancore Government to levy 
high export duties at the cost of British interests, 
because if import duty were charged in British 
Indian ports on such export, Trovancore Govern- 
ment could not charge such high rates of export 

Accordingly the Travancore Government were 
asked to reconsider and revise the proposals. After 
a lengthened controversy and correspondence the 
Travancore Government agreed to abolish the first 
and lower the tariff rate on the second. The 
Madras Government accepted the proposals and 
got them confirmed by the Government of India 
and the final arrangement then made in respect of 
the removal of fiscal restrictions on trade between 
Travancore and British India obtains to this day. 

The removal of fiscal restrictions and the fa- 
cilities of communication have given a fresh impe** 
tus to industrial pursuits and the result is the steady 
economic growth of the country, 

.1 1 




Education in Travancore, presents five diflferenfc 
periods in the history of its progress. The first 
period dates from 1836, the year that followed the 
close of the memorable and acrimonious controversy 
for more than two decades between English and 
Oriental learning, to which the educational enact* 
ment of 1813 gave rise. The decision in favour of, 
the Anglicists, influenced mostly by Lord Maoaulay'^ 
famous minute of 1835, was quickly and eagerly 
taken advantage of by the Travancore Government 
which welcomed the first representative of the New 
Education in the person of Mr. Roberts, *'the Pio^ 
neer of English Education in Travancore." Refer- 
ence to this early attempt to catch the glimpse of 
Western enlightenment is made in the following 
extract from Mr. Nagam Aiya's excellent Census 
Report: — *'Even before the University was founded, 
Trivandram maintained a High School teaching up 
to the standard not much below the present B. A. 
and as such was inferior only to the Educational 
Centres of the Presidency towns. All the high 
officers of the State, including the present and i^etired 
Dewans/have been educated in this High Sch6al, 


and the service of Travancore, it is said and said 
with just pride, contains more English educated 
people than any other tpwn in the Presidency ex- 
cepting Madras.'' The famous despatch of 1854 by 
Sir C. Wood (afterwards Lord Halifax) which has 
been rightly called the Magna Charta of education 
in India marks the beginning of the second period 
in the history of education in Travancore. From 
that time the progress made was immense. . In his 
unceasing efforts to carry out the policy of hia 
worthy predecessor, Mr. Bensley obtained such 
marked results, and won the honest affection of his 
pupils to such an extent that he is to this day re- 
membered as ''the popular and conscientious school- 

_ The third and most important peribd corresponds 
with the establishment of Indian Universities in the 
tumults of the Mutiny of 1857. It was then that 
a regular and comprehensive system of education 
was organised and promotion of education formally 
and liberally recognised as a duty of Government. 
A network of institutions was extended over the 
country far and wide, graduated from the District 
English School to the highest College. And fortu- 
nately an eminent educationest, decidedly the best 
that Travancore has had, came out from " Modern 
Athens." The triumphant issue of the yeoman ser- 
vice which Mr. Ross rendered to the country in the 


cause of education won for him a worthy tribute 
from the Maharaja, of the appellation of "the master- 
tiller of the intellectual soil of Travancore.** Under 
the subsequent stewardship of his talented country- 
man and veteran educationist Dr. Harvey, Higher 
Education stepped further to the fore-front in the 
fourth period of its history. Dr. Harvey reigned as 
head and leader of the educational forces for over 
seven years and was to the Travancoreans for more 
than twenty years literally a guide, philosopher and 
friend. The Trivandram College rose to such a high 
distinction that there existed a sort of honest and 
laudable rivalry between it and the Kumbakonam 
College which was at the time in many respects one 
of the best educational institutions in the Madras 
Presidency. With reference to this satisfactory 
state of the college. His erudite Highness, the late 
Maharajah, observed in the course of His Highness' 
presidential address at the distribution of annual 
prizes in the Kumbakonam College : — "You refer 
to my College at Trivandram. It is doing good 
work under able and earnest professors and teachers 
and will, I hope, long continue to hold its own in 
the race for the advancement of Higher Education." 
Again Mr. Powell whose name is a watchword, 
writing in 1834 to Sir Henry Roscoe to ask him to 
recommend an eligible man for the Professorship. 
of Chemistry said of this College :~*'The College 


has had considerable success, as my former position 
of Director of Public Instruction for the Madras 
Presidency enabled me to ascertain." 

It was under a combination and succession of 
turning circvimstances such as these that the fifth 
period commenced its operations. Agreeably to the 
principles laid down by the Education commissioa 
of Lord Ripon's Government to complete the scheme 
inaugurated in 1854, His illustrious Highness, the 
late Royal Savanfc, made a bold and happy stroke to 
introduce the study of natural sciences in the Tri- 
vandram College. The glorious result was the me- 
morable advent of that social Professor of versatile 

genius, Mr. Read, whose departure is deeply de- 

" In 1894 the Educational Department was tho- 
roughly re-organised, the dual control over the 
systems of Verancular and English education was 
abolished, and all schools, English and Vernacular, 
were, for purposes of admimistration and inspectoral 
control, placed under three Range Inspectors in 
direct correspondence with Government. The chief 
educational institutions at the capital — the Arts 
Colleges for boys and girls, the Law College, the 
iSanskrit College, the Normal school, the Industrial 
school of Arts and the Agricultural Demonstration 
Farm — remained, however, as before in charge of 
theiz; ijespecjtiye heads. A Code of Rules knowu as 

NEW CODE. 211 

the ''Travancorc Educational rules" and a revised 
"grant-in-aid Code" were passed. In the matter of 
grants-in-aid, the policy of Government has been to 
utilise private effort, with due regard to efficiency to 
foster and to encourage it, to supplem^^nt it where it 
fails to adequately miet requirements, and to supply 
its place where it does not exist. Acting on this 
principle, Government have refrained from opening 
schools where private schools capable of meeting 
local requirements exist, and have freely started 
schools in districts which, from an educational point 
of view, are backward. " 

If there is one area of legislative and adminis- 
trative activity where something may be done for 
raisinor the status and conducing: to the welfare of the 
people, it is in the sphere' of Education. The states- 
man wants to know if the people are trained in in- 
telligence to hold their own in competiton with 
other nations in the world. The parents are con- 
cerned to ascertain that their children are receiving 
the best education that can be got and will be of great 
aid in the struggle for existence. The establishment 
of four Arts Colleges, and a Law College, the only 
other institution of its kind existing in South India, 
prove beyond doubt the exalted importance attach- 
ed to and the extensive demand for higher education. 
A colonial Statesman has said that such inatitutions 

212 PRoaRESs. 

are really fortresses of civilization. There are in 
Travancore over 2000 such fortresses of varied size 
and dispositions. The organization of Training 
schools to impart instruction in the theory and prac- 
tice of teaching : of Agricultural schools to diffuse 
elementary knowledge of agriculture: of Industrial 
schools to teach Arts works and of Medical and Sur- 
vey schools, give unerring evidence of the broader 
and more popular basis on which public instruction 
has been placed. It will not be out of place to 
merttion that technical enterprise and indigenous ta- 
lents are adequately recognised and largely encour- 
aged. We have only to point to the Technical and 
Medical scholarships awarded by His Highness' Go- 
vernment to enable Travancore students to undergo 
training in Europe also special scholarships for train- 
ing students in Forestry etc. — a most gratifying 
feature as it is a conspicuous proof of the enlightened 

spirit which always animates the benign ruler of the 

Femrde Education : — Another fact worthy o^ 
prominent mention is the marked advancement of 
^einale education in Travancore. The prejudices of 
the people have been overcome and all artificial res- 
traints removed from the acquirement of knowledge 
by women. Under the noble policy of liberal edu- 
cation pursued by its enlightened ruler, Travancore 
has even stolen a march on British India. What with 


goska system and the early marriage of Hindu girla, 
the opportunities for female higher; education are 
very limited. But in Travancore it has come to such 
a standard of advancement that the country has 
long taken the foremost position in India. Even so 
far back as 1857 the nucleus of a girl's school was 
formed under the superintendence of Miss Abel. 
She was succeeded by Miss Mainwaring. It is re- 
corded that her management "has been increasingly 
creditable alike to herself, beneficial in a high degree 
to the people and gratifying to His Highness' Go- 
vernment." Her successor was Miss Donnelly. She 
was long connected with the institution. She worked 
hard and she worked well and did much for the ex. 
pansion of female education. High caste native girls 
began to join the institution which was originally 
confined to christian girls. The institution prospered 
much under her creditable stewardship. It rose to 
the standard of a High school. Through the un- 
ceasing efforts and enterprise of her sucessor, Miss 

Williams, it has expanded still further. It has risen 
to the status of a second grade College and is affiliated 
to the Madras University. It is very gratifying to 
find that even earlier than the beginning of the 
College for boys there was an institution maintained 
under the auspices of the zenana mission in Europe. 
This institution was and continues to be chiefly con- 
fined to the education of High caste Hindu girls. 

214 . ' rpvOGRRs.^. 

His Highness' Governii)3nt assists ifc by a free house 
and a l-irge grant. Miss Blandford who was from 
its inception connected with the institution has work- 
ed hard with remarkable zeal to improve it. Schools for 
girls are dotted all over the country and those who wish 
to continue their studies for higher diplomas can do 
so in the Government orlrls' CoUeoje or the Convent 
College which under the watchful care of the Lady 
superior is flourishing well. When Lord Curzon recently 
honored the country with a visit the sight that pleased 
him most was the vast array of bright-eyed Student 
girls who were called together to receive him and of 
the several acts of the adminitration which he com- 
mended much, one was the generous help given by 
His Highness in the cause of female emancipation. 
Side by side with this, the enlightenment of the 
backward classes is steadily maintained. The institu- 
tion of a scheme of public lectures and of Educational 
Boards have done much to extend th'^ advantages 
of popular education The exlightened zeal of the 
sovereign has shown itself active in mantaining a 
Sanskrit College to develop a system of classical educa- 
tion in Sanskrit which is unrivalled for the intellectual 
subtilty of resources. 

MUSBtJM. 215 

Museum. It was in 1843 that General CuUen 
wrote and submitted to Madras Government a nie- 
morandum strongly urging the advantages and desir- 
ability of establishing local museums. About 1852 
Mr. J. A. Broun, the Astronomer and Geologist who 
is well known by his meteorological observations ar- 
rived in Trivandrum. In him General Cullen found a 
distinguished scientific coadjutor. Shortly after his 
arrival, it was proposed to start in Trivandrum ''a 
museum of objects illustrative of the natural and phy- 
sical sciences, of the arts and of the products and an- 
tiquities of Travancore as a means of aiding the 
natives in their efforts to gain a practical kno wledge 
of the arts and sciences of Europe and of preserving the 
rapidly decaying illustrations of the ancient manners 
and customs of the country. " In 1854 the Madras 
Government communicated to General Cullen their 
approval of his scheme generally. Accordin^y 
a society was formed in 1855 with H. H, The 
Maha Rajaha as Patron, General Cullen as Presi- 
dent and Mr. Broun as Secretary. It was however 
only in 1857 that the Museum was thrown open to 
the public and it is gratifying to note that so many as 
3000 persons visited it that year. One remarkable 
feature was that of this number 10 per cent* were 
women, The Museum became a Government In- 
stitution since 1859 when, a substantial grant was 
allowed under Mr. Broun's successors. The collections 


increased and with it the popularity of the institution 
increased likewise. In 1873 the foundation of a new 
building was laid by H. H. The Maha Rajah and a 
8um of Rs 70000 was sanctioned for the work. It 
was designed by Mr. Chisholm the talented consulting 
architect of the Madras Government. In 1880 the 
collections were removed to a new building which was 
completed by that time. It is called the Napier 
Museum after the name of and as a compliment to 
the then Governor of Madras. The institution was 
placed under the management of a committee with 
the Resident as president. Col. Ketchen who con- 
tinued as Honorary Secretary till 1889 did much foj. 
the development of the institution. Mr. H. S. Fer- 
guson who succeeded him, was, when the coramittee 
was abolished in 1894, appointed Director. During 
his connection with the institution he has made syste- 
matic collections of new species of fauna. In his own 
words "we have most of our mammals represented in 
our museum, a good proportion of birds,, all the 
snakes and nearly all the amphibia. The butterflies 
are pretty complete. And we have large collec- 
tions of the other orders of insects. The art collections 

are progressing. Cas^ representing the ivory carv- 
ing, brass work, lace, wood-carving, kufb gari work 

are all complete. The hill tribes are represented with 

all their peculiar instruments. A good collection of 

the musical instruments of the country had be*^ made 


with some care and trouble. But they were sent on 
loan to one of the London exhibitions. '* 

Public gardens. This also ^owes its existence 
to the efforts and endeavours of Mr. Broun. The 
project was taken up in 1859. Several plants and 
flowers were reared and cuttings of many were pro- 
cured from Bangalore and other places. Attached 
to the garden is also a collection of animals. Some of 
these were presented by General Oullen. Others were 
presented by H. H. the Maharajah who like other 
Indian potentates kept a private menagerie. A 
large allotment was given in 1863 for making 
cages for these animals. Major Davidson who was 
in charge of the Gardens expressed the hope that in 
process of time *'they will reach such a state of per- 
fection as not only to rival the Lalbagh at Bangalore 
and the Agri-Horticultural gardens and people's 
park in Madras but also to remain a constant evidence 
of that great regard for the general interests of his 
own subjects no less than of the British residents 
merely in his dominions, that has always been evinced 
by H. H, the Maharajah and by the Government of 
Travancore." His anticipations have been more than 
fulfilled. In 1891 Mr. Ingleby who had been trained 
at Kew, was appointed Superintendent and he held 
that office for 6 years during which time the garden 
labour was systematically organized and brought ta 


bear upon its steady improvement. Mr Ferguson 
who has now sole charge of the Public gardens De- 
partment has made further improvements. He works 
with great zeal and vigour to develop the institutions 
under his charge— institutions in which he takes a 
most lively interest. 

Observatory. We have elsewhere referred to the 
observatory established at Trivandram in 1836. The 
first meteorological observations were recorded by 
John Caldecott who was appointed Astronomer of the 
state and commissioned to furnish the institution with 
the best instruments. He continued till 1849 and was 
succeeded by Mr. Broun in 1852. It was daring "his 
time the most extensive observations were recorded. 
A branch Observatory was established on the top of 
the Agastya peak in 1855. It however fell to pieces 
during his absence and was finally abolished. On 
his return to Europe, Mr. Broun was engaged in pub-, 
nshing his observations for a number of years. The 
institution has received a new lease of life with the 
advent of Dr. Mitchell, a Fellow of the Royal Society, 
Edinburgh, who as Honorary Director, has brought 
the observations up to date. 

The progress of Art, like education was also due 
to the direct encouragement ot theRuler's of this state. 
The best samples of ancient sculpture in stone are 
to be seen in the principal temples of the country- 


Some of them are so delicately and artistically chi- 
selled that they deserve to be classed among real 
works of art. But it is doubtful if they can be called 
purely Travancorean. For we see everywhere the in- 
fluence of the Dravidian style of architecture and 
sculpture. There can be no doubt that the work- 
men employed came from the other side of the 
ghauts. But in ivory carving Travancore has long 
attained a reputation which it still retains. We 
find that the Rajah who tiscended the musnud in 
1829 encouraged the art considerably,that during his 
time ivory workers from North Travancore brought 
'^figures carved in ivory of so minute a fcize that 
they could be enclosed in a paddy husk'* and that 
this was executed with implements no better than 
a country knife. The ivory-throne used by the Raja 
at Durbar was the best specimen of their skill. 

Raja Marthanda Varma who succeeded him in 
1846 evinced the same deep interest in the art and 
a state department was organised for the purpose. 
This was the beginning of the school of arts. Speci- 
mens of ivory works were sent to various exhibitions. 
In 1851 the Raja contributed to the International 
Exhibition (London) inaugurated by the late Prince 
Consort, an ivory throne. Her late Majesty the 
Queen Empress Victoria to whom it was presented 
wrote an autograph letter to the Raja commending 


its exquisite workmanship. The throne now adorns 
the state room in Windsor castle. 

• The presentation of the Royal autograph 
letter is the subject of an old painting by a Euro- 
pean artist who visited the Maha Raja at that time. 
The picture is now in the Museum Library. It is 
an excellent memento of. the event. Though the 
picture is not free from defects from the point of 
view of the present, day artists, the figures are boldly 
drawn and are faithful reproductions of the principal 
personages represented. 

The commencement of the progress of the art 
of painting may be said to date .from the reign of 
Raja Rama Varma who has left an undying name 
by his musical compositions in Sanskrit, Malay alam 
and Telugu. He was a great patron of learning and 
his court was the rendezvous of great scholars and 
musicians. He invited men of talents from diflferent 
parts of southern India and among these was Alagr* 
Naidoo, a native of Madura, considered to be the best 
artist of the day. He was asked by the Raja to im- 
part instruction in the art to Raja Raja Varma Koil- 
thampuran of Kilimanoor who displayed in early 
life a remarkable taste in art. The pupil, as it not 
infrequently happens, excelled the master. He rose 
very high in the Raja's favour and soon came to be 
regarded as the greatest painter in Malabar. Al- 


though' he possessed none of the facilities which the 
present day artists do, he became a past master of all 
the technicalities of the art and his drawings were 
extraordinarily faithful to nature and instinct with 
movement and life. Students from different parts of 
Travancore and Malabar poured fourth to sit at his 
feet and learn the art. He had about him a few of 
the most promising talents in the country in whom 
he evinced a fatherly interest. He loved the art 
for its own sake and soon became its devoted Votary 
all his life. What renders his devotion more remark- 
able is that when he became the head of the Kil- 
limanoor family, he voluntarily waived the right of 
management-in favour of his cousin in order that he 
might follow his artistic inclinations and aptitudes 
unruffled by the cares of family-life. 

To him, his nephew Ravi Varma Koil Tampu- 
ran is indebted for his renown as the greatest Indian 
Artist of the present day. He is the founder of a 
school of painting which has many followers and 
when the time comes, as it must come, for a history 
of painting to be written, his name will no doubt find 
the most prominent place in it. His works have 
awakened a general interest in the art throughout the 
length and breadth of India and his influence has 
created from end to end of the Empire an exquisite 
sense of the sublime and the beautiful. It is no 
exaggeration to say that in the life of Mr, Ravi 


Varina is contained the history of the progress of 
painting specially in Travancore and generally in 

Having received his earlv traininfj from his 
talented uncle, he portrayed in eloquent colours 
scenes from the rich lore of the Hindu mythology- 
The visit of Mr. Theodore Jensen, an English por- 
trait painter, to the court of Travancore was a turn- 
ing point in the development of Ravi Varma's artistic 
capabilities. Mr. Ravi Varmi who was a p3t of the 
court on account of his extraordinary artistic skilly 
was introduced to the English artist who shov/ed to 
him for the first time the immense possibilities that 
lay before him in the field of oil colours. 

From this period Mr. Ravi Varma's real artistic 
career commenced. He painted first the portraits 
of the members of the Royal House in the uew 
colours Despite the absence of scientific experts to 
guide him, despite the difiBculty he has had to con. 
tend against in finding out a proper medium in 
which to grind his colours, without any systematic 
scientific training without any past records of experi' 
ments to rely on, Mr. Ravi Varma keeping Mr. 
Jensen's works before him as his models struck out 
a path for himself by his own genius and indomet- 
able industry. From concrete and real portraits 
he soared into the regions of imagination where his 
genius found full and free scope for building up his 


Koil Tampuran of Kilimamir, 



fiMe arts. 2^3 

deputation as an ideal paintei*. He won his first 
public recognition at the I^yie Arts Exhibition of 
1874 at which he won the Governor's medal for the 
picture of a Nair Lady at toilet of which the origi- 
nality and naive beauty produced quite a sensation in 
the minds of the art-lovers of the southern satrapy. 

His Highness the penultimate Malia Raja 
whose wise and prosperous reign obtained for the 
country the glorious appellation of a "Model state" 
took at once young Mr. Ravi under his patronage 
and assigned to him a studio in a part of his own 
palace. The first classical subject he painted was 
Sakuntala's love letter to Dushyanta which won him 
the Governor's gold medal in 1878. It had the pri- 
vilege of being taken by His grace the Duke of Buck- 
Jngham and Chandos whose portrait the artist painted 
later on for the Government house. His late High- 
ness Vishakam Maha Raja who was an art critic as 
well, suggested to Mr. Ravi Varma, Seetha's ordeal 
as a subject which offered an ample scope for the 
exercise of the artist's talents. The picture found 
its way to the court of Baroda and, at the courteous in- 
vitation of the Gaekawar, the artist contributed a set 
of scenes from Indian mythology, some of which ap- 
pear to have been sent to Europe. It is not our 
purpose to give an account of Ravi Varma's private 
life or to enumerate the names of princes and noble- 
men and statesmen who had sat to him for their 


^rtraitSy but merely to show the amount of influ- 
ence he has exercised on the rise and progress of the 
art in this country. He has done for art as no one 
has yet done in India. His greatness lies in hav- 
ing achieved the higher mission of art which in the 
words of Belzac "is not to copy nature but to ex- 
press her, to seize the spirit, the soul and the expres- 
sion of beings and things." He has brought to bear 
upon it whatever is pure and lofty. He has kindl- 
ed the imagination with new conceptions and new 
beauties which have never before been the objeets^ 
upon which the artist's pencil was employed. And 
since the subjects are drawn from the incidents 
vividly depicted in the Raraayana and the Mahabha- 
rata, every Hindu homo is adorned with Ravi Varma's 
pictures and his name is remembered by his country- 
men with an enthusiasm bordering on reverence, 
lb is worthy of note that the talent for art runs iiv 
bk family since his brother and only sister are also 
ffood painters as well. His brother Mr. Raja Raja 
Viarma is his constant companion and coadjutor ia 
the noble work. Unlike his brother, he is a realist 
and imbued with a strong spirit of modernism. lb 
is as a landscape painter that he haa won his laurels. 
He has won the highest rewards in art exhibitions 
for his treatment of landscape and genre. Some of 
his Best works are exhibited in the Art Gallery now 
being formed under the auspices of the Fine Arts 


Society in the Government Museum at Madras. 
The institution of an Art Gallery in our country 
under the presidentship of Mr. Ravi Varma cywm 
Jts existence to the wisdom of the present Maharaja 
and the direct encouragement which it is his^ con- 
stant desire to bestow on the advancement of art. 
Mr. Ravi Varma has already contributed for a first 
instalment 3 puranic or quasi historic subjects in oiL 
The paintings are exhibited in the show room of the 
Industrial School of Arts. One is a representation 
of popular Sakuntala with her sylvan companions 
standing with one of her feet lifted and* held up os* 
tensibly to draw off a thorn^ from the sole of her foot 
but with the real purpose of catching a last glimpse 
of the form of her lover retreating, from^ view. The 
second exhibits the royal court of King Virata where 
poor Draupadi fleeing from the lustfuJ. pursuit of 

wicked Kichaka is lying down flat before the august 
assemblage and in the very presence of her husbands 
in disguise, the sage pleading for Jiusitace;- the cook 
thirsting for the blood of vengeance, bujS UP^ble tads^ 
anything on account of their ypw, .B^ichsbk^ sijaitt^a 
with the pangs of lust chafing at t^e lost jew^l an(J 
all the court beholding at outraged modesty jsmd 

chastity. What a profound scene fit to move even the 
anger of a recluse.! The third is of Simhaka a deceit- 
ful wretch set up to mislead Draupadi in affrights 
These like his other productions are splendid illvistra- 


tions of excellent poetic imagery, painted in colour, 
pointing to an exquisite sense of the sublirae in nature 
and humanity. We cannot lay too much stress up- 
on the usefulness of an art gallery as a state institu- 
tion; on the policy that dictated it; on ths necessity 
of maintaining it on lives on which similar institu- 
tions such as the R. A.iu London and elsewhere, are 
worked; on the advantages of inviting contributions 
from abroad and on the immense possibility of the 
bright future that lay before the school of Arts along 
with the development of this branch of the institution. 




The spirit of charity and sympathy is preemi- 
nnntly characteristic of the Hindus generally, and it 
forms, from time immemorial, the distinguishing 
attribute of the Maharajahs of Travancore. The 
noble devotion with which they enshrine Charity as 
the supreme divinity of their illustrious Royal House, 
has appropriately won for them the glorious appella- 
tipn of Dharma Rajahs, and for their country that 
of Dharma Bhumi or the *' land of charity/' Having 


given the whole state as a free gift to Sri Padmn- 
nabha, the guardian God of the land, and made over 
the kingdom to the 1 evasvam, declaring that from 
that day (Fifth Medam, 925 Malabar Era) he was 
the vassal or agent of that deity and that he would 
conduct the affairs of the kingdom as a trustee of the 
Devasvam, the great Rama Varma assumed the title 
of Sri Padmanabha Dasa, which is retained to the 
present day. Whether this was superstition or 
pohcy, it is a fact nevertheless that as soon as peace 
was declared from one end of the country to the other 
the benevolence of the Maharajah showed itself in 
the large number of religious and charitable institu- 
tions throughout the country. Dewan Seshiah Sas- 
tri puts on record that tliere are fory-five such institu- 
tions throughout the state : thit the chief one is at 
the capital, known as the Agrasala : that it is a very 
large institution of its kind and there is probably not 
the liko of it in India, the arrangements for supphes, 
for custody and accounts of stores, and for cooking 
and serving being perfect and self-acting as it were: 
that the building forms an annexure of the great 
pagoda, in the extensive corridors and galleries of 
which the actual feeding daily takes place : and that 
the others are distributed at convenient stops on the 
line of the road commencing from the Arambali pass 
in the south and ending at Parur in the north. Be' 
sides these Oottupuras, the large number of temples 


or pagodas also offer free fare Mr. Nagam Aiya 
notes ; — '*To abjut every big tenple is attached an 
Oottupura in which an immense number of people, 
particularly, Brahmins, are daily fed." 

These institutions are the outcome of religious 
and charitable enJowments made by private indivi- 
duals under the conviction that by doing so they 
would gain eternal beatitude. Both Brahmins and 
Nairs, (perhaps the latter mcwe) have alike set apart 
extensive estates for the purpose from time out of 
mind. In view to add to these endowments and 
place them on a better footing Ukely to endure for all 
time to come, the benevolent tendency of the great 
Maharajahs to be the direct benefactors of the coun- 
try and the people, led to the assumption of landa^ 
belonging to these institutions and the management 
of theise institutions, under state control It may be^ 
that the endowments were far in excess of the a-g- 
gregate of actual expense and the State became a 
decided gainer by the bargain. But it goes without 
saying that it is a great trust that Government hav0 
«olenmly undertaken to fulfiland are therefore bound 
to faithfully discharge to the very end. It will be 
useful to eall some eminent witnesses who have ex- 
pressed themselves in favour of the position advanced. 

We will first call Mr. Shangunni Menon of the 
''Travancore History" fame. He says : — "Veto 
Tampi observing the various Devasvams in Travan- 

RELIGIOUS k^T> CHARITABLE ^Institutions. 229 

core, the large estate each possessfed, and the remark- 
able influence of the Devasvams over the people, 
contemplated the assumption of the whole and the 
annexation of the estate to the Sirkar, hoping by. 
these means to neutralise, if not totally destroy the 
influence of the Devasvams over the people, and 
thus check any future commotions there might 
araise. On Colonel Munro being informed of this, 
he thought it important enough to he worthy of 
adoption. This measure was also the means of 
causing a permanent additional revenue to the 
State, for after meeting the expenses of the various 
Devasvams, it left a good margin in favour of the 


We will next rely on the evidence of that model 

minister Seshiah Sastri. He says : — 

" The Revenues of the lands belonging to this 
pagoda, which have been acquired from remote times 
by gifts, amount to Rs. 75,000 and go to defray the 
expenses of the institution, any surplus being credit- 
ed to the State Treasury and any deficit, very rare, 
being made good from it." He continues: — '*Tho 
State had no concern with the management of any 
temple before 987 Malabar Era, when the landed 
property of 378 temples was assumed by the State 
and the management taken over. The other minpr 
temples 1171 in number which had no property were 
also assumed either before or after that date " He 


adds.'—'^Tlie interest of Government in respect of 
these institutions, is, for the most part only that of 
trustee and even were it otherwise, this State will be 
bound as every other country in the world does, to 
maintain a church established out of public revenue/' 
And lastly we will quote the opinion of the late Pa- 
lace Sarvadhikaryakar Mr. Govinda Pillai. He 
points out that '' In both classes of pagodas together 
(superior and inferior) the Government have charge 
of only 1295, while 8012 of them are the property of 
private bodies jor ryots, that the private societies re- 
feiTed to as owning thousands of pagodas in the 
country are corporations of Namburi- Brahmins or 
Pottis who from the surplus accumulation of their 
private property have contributed from time imme- 
morial to the religious edification of their village 
communities." We can multiply authorities to show 
that the interest of Government'in these institutions 
is that of a trustee. We trust these will suffice. The 
authorities adduced, show such a uniformity of opini- 
on that any attempt tj do away with these institu. 
tions is an attempt to break the solemn trust under- 
taken by Government. 

At this distant of time it is impossible to trace 
these charities to their original authors. The dif- 
ficulty is enhanced by the all absorbing charity of 
our Maharajas. The Brahmins came to enjoy free- 
feeding, for the popular conviction in those days was 


that the way to salvation varied, directly with the 
number of, ^Prahmins fed. Even to this day there 
are in the interior of the country which has notr 
caught up the wave of the belligerent civilisation of 
the west, thousands of Hindus who cling obstinate- 
ly and tenaciously to the same idea. - We are sure 
this is a positive and practical proof of the utter 
baseness and baselessness of the idea that all thui 
was worked up by interested priestcraft that was 
mostly benefited by it. We find everywhere linger- 
ing traces still of the Brahmins being a source of 
comfort and consolation to his non-Brahmin brethren 
in their temporal as well as spiritual welfare. We 
consider therefore that these institutions had their 
origin in pure piety and primitive simplicity. The 
management of these institutions was originally in 
the hands of the donors. After a time it fell into 
the hands of men whose piety to God was no more 
genuine than their temptation to defraud Him was 
powerful It was at this stage tiiat the Maharajas 
whose remark^vble tendency is to be pre-eminently 
^aritable, began to exercise a sort of personal super- 
vision over, these institutions. There is yet anothep 
And a stronger reason for this. In the struggle for 
Supremacy between the Church and the gtate-a 
struggle that has arisien in all countries in the early 
stages of tiieir development — the church triumphed 
here instead of the state as in Europe. Under the 


pressure of that triumph, the Maharajas were no less 
worshipful of the Brahmins than the people them- 
selves. Impelled thus both by the spirit of the age 
as well as by their innate instinctive aptitude for 
charity, they gradually undertook the management 
fn their own hands, solemnly assuring to carry put 
the terms of the endowments. It is a notorious fact 
that when the late Devyan, Mr. Ramiengar, assumed 
office, he attempted to divert the charity invest- 
ments for the pui:pose of constructing Railways and 
othejp useful enterprises that might tap the resources 
of the country. He was told that these endowments 
were unpjfofitable ; that they were mismanaged : that 
way-side 'Oottupurag, ChathramS, water-sheds sjnd 
Mandapams established in days, when travelling was 
difficult, and dangerous, were an anomaly in this age 
bf progress and enlightenment when increased means 
of communication have made even the longest jour* 
ney a source of ease and comfort; and that since the 
national genius of the race is able to find so many 
outlets for self preservation, the endowments of pri- 
vate charities might be put to better use. He too 
ttiought that in maintaining them he was counter 
iHbnemg a ridiculous waste. But when he came to 
know- the sacred trust that Gavernmenfc have uwfeiv 
tiken to ftilfil, he at onoe held back and disdjained 
to di> an^ act that might tarnish the reputation of 


We shall next endeavour to ascertain ihe nature 
and classes of religious and charitable endowinehts. 
These come under two classes :— ^ (1) those assumeS 
and maiJaged by Government; (2 ) those ufader pri- 
vate or mixed management. The latter admit of be- 
ing classified into (1) endowments managed by cor-» 
porate bodies; ' (2) endowm'^nts managed by pri'^atiei 
trustees; (3) endowments managed jointly by trus- 
teies fend Government. Now as regards assutaed en* 
dowments, it has been observed before that the State 
had no concern whatever with any temple prior to 
984 M. E. More than one thousand and five hundred 
temples were assumed either at or after that datO;. 
The lands assumed now yield a revenue of over four 
lakhs of Rupees. Besides this there are other souroea 
of income from the collections in the offering boxeS 
and from Adiyara-fees of various kinds. The scale 
of expenditure is accgrding to the importance of thei 
temples. There are about a hundred temples iti which 
it does not exceed a hundred rupees; there are ove:^ 

two hundred temples in which it does not go beyond 
one thousand rupees; there are seventy-five temples 
in which it varies from thousand tupees to six thbu^ 
sarid tupees and there are seven other large aiid im* 
portant tiemples, in four of which it rises tO tw6lv6 
thoubdnd rupees and in the remaining three, the h^h> 
e^t sum on record is thirty-two thousand rupees. The 
temple establii^hmehts cohtaiu four thouisand hftndi 


in all, and it is well worth prominently remembering 
tixat of this, only about 1500 are Brahmins while all 
the rest belong to various other classics. 

With regard io endowments manag^ by cor- 
porate bodies. Sir Seshia Sastri says: — "The most 
c^lebrat^ and venerated pagoda in. the State, viz, 
that of Sri Padmanabhaswami, has a Government of 
*tfir own unebaneeted with the State, the Sovereign 
havibg but half a vote among the gaveming body 
which ccmsiats of one Namburi Sannyasi, 16 Potti 
Brahmins and one Nair nobteman^ (possessing with 
dthers a single vote) who constitute the honorary 

We have alrea<ly mentioned that the lands be- 
longing to this pagoda were acquired by gifts and the 
annual revenue amounts to seventy-five thousand 
rupees. Towards its expenditure the State also eon- 
tributes souHithing. We find it recorded in one of the 
State a:dministration reports — "it is on account of 
the two great Ootsayams, the two Bhadra-deepams 
or special ceremonies for tlie pres^vation of the 
prbwn and a few other ceremonies that occur periodi. 
cally/' We are aure jdo loyal subject of His High, 
ness the Maharaja will question this item of exp$qdit 
rur^ for in the words of the same authority "the 
State will he bound, as every otixer country iu the 
world does, to maintain a church establishment out 
of Pub^ij Bevenue," XJuder thii^ head we, should 


not omit to refer to the endowments whose manage- 
ment is vesfaid in Saraudayams or village corpora- 
tions. We shall now proceed to speak of endowments 
managed by hereditary trustees. We find that in thisi 
dass iare included the institutions maniaged by the 
Sreepadom authorities; those managed by chieftains 
like the Edapallythampuran; and others under the 
control of Matanas such as Athiyava, Kuvakara etc, 
Tha serpent kavoos attached to ancient house3 are 
also qf this description. To the same . class belong 
special assignments for temple service such asJamp- 
lighting, incense-burning, garland-making, umbrella- 
holding, flag-bearing and the like. There is anpther 
species of the same kind of service known as Manda. 
pappady. Tliis obtains in the temples of South 
Travancore. It would appear that in the present 
settlement, the properties assigned for this kind of 
service are registered in the name of deities to whom 
they are dedicated and pattahs given to families per. 
forming the service. Of the classes of the temples 
contemplated in the last section, we would mention the 
Kosakode temple as an instance in point. It is quite 
analogous to the management of the Kaviy ur tem- 
ple before its management was taken over by Go- 

It will be seen that the total number of temples 
assum^ and managed by Government is a trifle 
when compared with their existing number. Mr^ 

Nagam Aiya puts down 83 per cent as outside Gro- 
vernment management. He says; '* The property 
owned by these 7,758 temples is also vast. Aceord- 
ing to the settlement of 1012 which comprised only 
a settlement of garden lands, these private Deva^ 
BVams owned 64, 155 gardens, tax-free. The teDi^ 
pies within the boundaries ot Adhigara Olivu ahd 
Desa Olivu tracts are excluded from this calculation. 
The assesjied rental of these 54, 155 gardienscame to* 
Ss. 79, 195. It can be safely estimated that the pre- 
sent Assessment on them will come to 1^ lacs of Rupees. 
Multiplying this sum by 25, we get the figure 37 lacs 
of Rupees, the capitalissed value of those gardenSi 
The paddy lands of ihe same may be estimated to be 
worth about sixty lacs of Rupees in all. The landed 
properties of the Devasvams whose welfare it will 
be the object of this Bill to promote may be puti 
down as worth one-crore of Rupees. The moveables of 
these temples may be valued at ^ of a crore, excludmg 
the buildings almost all of which are in different 
stages of decay throughout the country. These nte 

the properties known to the public accounts before 
1012, Properties purchased since then in the name 
of those temples or properties dedicated to them or 
to other charities before that date, if paying Sirkar 
tax cannot be discovered from the Sirkar accounts. 
These also will swell the property of the institutioti*. 
It may not be far wrong if I estimate that tib^ toW 


value of the endowments meant to be dealt with is 
about 2 crores of Rupees.** We can without any tear 
of contradiction aver that the pictui'e of capitalized 
wealth presented by Mr. Nagam Aiya is by no 
means an overdrawn one. Regarding the data fur- 
nished by him, the late Mr. Chellappa Pillai justly 
observes, '* Mr. Nagam Aiya has, at great pains, done 
what a Royal Commission in England did in 36 year^i 
at a cost of two hundred and forty thous md pounds.** 
Too much stress cannot be laid on the necessity of 
the preservation of charitable institutions. 

We find that at all times, in ajl societies, and 
under all systems of Government tlie poor element 
has been a great source of trouble and annoyance to 
the State. At present this is the one insoluble pro- 
blem, in Western societies. Imperial Rome was able 
to maintain peace in her metropolis only by ^catering 
to the needs and freaks of her poor citizens, and Con- 
siuls and Tribunes saved their honor and life at the 
sacrifice of their wealth. In England, society wiis 
thrown in a ferment and the poor laws wore passed 
A huge mass of starving poverty acted as a. ready^ 
cunibustible heap to catch the sparks of i^eyolutipa 
and largely contributed to perpetrate all thos^ dark 
atrpciti^sof the French Revolution^ Th^- mo^t dij& 
ficulij question iu, practiical politics nowis to make 
the clamouring of the poor innocuous and t9 prevent 
the ceatralizayiOA of wealth. Happily, th.e Travaa- 


core Maharajahs are free from all these difficulties, 
and we are strongly disposed to attribute this happy 
state of affairs to the extensive charities, both aided 

and private, that are being carried on from one end 
of the land to the other. 

Conclusion. During the period under notice, 
Travancore had the singular good fortune of having 
on its throne a succession of very enlightened Maha 
Raja-hs. The commencement of progress oh modern 
lines is contemporaneous with the Assumption of 
direct Government of India by Her late illustrious 
Majesty Victoria the Good, and the first Imperial 
assemblage at Delhi for declaration of the same. The 
auspicious occasion of the second Imperial assem. 
blage in connection with the Coronation of Her son 
and successor, our King-Emperor Edward jVII, af' 
fords now a fitting opportunity of taking stock o 
the prog'ress the country has made. It will be seen- 
that the beneficent influence of the paramount power 
has been increasingly brought to bear upon the ad- 
ministration of aflPairs. His Highness the present 
Maha Rajah has gratefully acknowledged: ''My 
housa has been fortunate enough to ally itself to the 
great British power in India from the earliest tinges, 
and to that alliance I owe the Musnud on which I 
sit, for it saved the countf'y at a critical time and 
has maintained it^ln peace ever since. To the influ- 
ence of Her Majesty's supremacy is due also what- 
ever of prosperity and enlightenment Travancore has 


atttatned tw, for her representatives, have guided our 
foatBtep^ in the j>ath of progress and . h^r? eouutry ^ 
; inen have contributed largely to raise .oKir people and 

develop our resources/' l4> .wa^ therefore* na idle 
sentiment that Lard Ampthill exprsdssed when bj9 
cliaimBd the "fact that the Madras Oovernment had 
la^'gely contributed to the successful and enlightened 
adittinktratik>n of the state by freely giving to Tra- 
vaiicore irt tfee past some of British India's best- in- 
tellect and great ability in the persons of Sir Madava 
Kbw arid Sir Seshia Sastri and we may also h^ 
Devvan Ramaiengar, These lielong^ to a Williant 
^aliky xbf Indian statesm^ii who' have Bcq^ired foir 
theihsteives a nanie ill histbry. The Siefvice rendered 
by Sir Madava Row cannot be exaggerated. £te not 
only reseudd the ^outiiry from political fextiricibtt 
but acquired for it. the proud appellation of a "Model 

State." -His erudite Highness the late -Maha Rajg. 
"thqitglfi't **Whaif; Pericles did for Athens, what Crorii'- 

wefl did for 'England, that Sir Madavsi 'Rbw did for 
Ti^iv^ncbi-^^ Sir S^sh-ia Sa^r4 aiid Dewaii Ratnaien- 
gar have fe^ th^ii* adftiiteistrative ability compelted 
th^ "admit*Ati<>n <!)f the British Government*. Il 
wafe dui-in^Jtheir tim^ that the wa^ bf modem pror- 
-grdss caiight up Travancore" in its 'course i^hd extend- 
M its lertiili^iog conquest aver the cbufatry; Siiiee the 
accession <rf the present . MVha Rajahs the Diwanate 
was successively , filled feyrth© eu9Pg^ and inteili- 


gence of officers from the local service. Mr; Rama 
Row, a kinsman of the illustrious Sir Madava Row, 
was the first to hold the office. In appreciation of 
his service, His Highness the Maha Rajah fefelingly 
wrote to him thus on the eve of his retirement: — 

"Thoroughly loyal to your sovereign, true to 
the best interests of the state, and deeply interested 
in the welfare of my subjects, you have done all that 
could be done to secure those interests and advance 
that welfare to the best of your means and power." 
Dewan Shungarasoobyer,.a true son of the soil, sue*- 
oeeded him. , That he aarued that position by his 
character and his talents is approved and applauded 
by the Government of Madras who considered that 
his administration was " vigorous and efficient" and 
that the Travancore state "owes a debt of gratitude 
for his long and meritorious service." The success 
of his successor Dewan Behauder Krishnaswamy 
Row, a, finished product of the British Indian judi- 
cial system, whose service as its Chief Justice Tra- 
yanpore owed to the generosity of the Madras Go- 
vernment, was foretold by no lass a person than Sir 
p. P. Hutchins, a member of the council of the 
Secretary of State for India, who wrote that he "has 
thoroughly established his ability as an administra- 
tor and proved the principle that good judges gene- 
rally make good adiAinistrators.'' This is in harmony 
with the "marvellous progress and a very high 

6343 016 

^■-"■.^^^^•^gii^tiai>i-;.....«iiiS'iwm^^ ' 'ill .'i iiirtiiiiii Ill ^^^ 



standard of adminiBtrabion" reported by the Resi. 
dent to the Government of Madras. 

For our part, we hold it is always manly, like 
the proverbial swan that drinks only the milk and 
leaves the water behind, to acknowledge the good a 
man has done. Wo consider that these have done 
nobly by Travancore and their Diwanates are mark- 
ed by the initiation of several measures of reform; 
measures for improving and expanding the revenue 
of the state ; measures for the promotion of trade and 
commerce, by providing facilities for internal and ex- 
ternal communication and the removal of existing 
disabilities; measures for the improvement of munici- 
pal and other public institutions; measures for a sys- 
tem of general and technical education; measures for 
the revival of drooping industries and the deve- 
lopment of the resources of the country. None can 
rejoice more than the people over the re,9ponsibility 
the Maha Rajah has undertaken when he solemnly 
avowed to them : *' To promote your welfare will be 
my highest aim; to witness your prosperity and 
happiness, my best reward." Lord Ampthill only sus- 
tains the vast burden of that responsibility by the 
assurance that '*it is one of the most interesting 
concerns of the Madras Government to be in close 
political alliance with Travancore and that those re- 
lations are wholly smooth and pleasant is a natural 
consequence of that loyal attachment of the rulers 


fji Travanoore tu the Biitibb Cmwn and of the atlini, 
rnlyU adininistration which lias won fur Travaucore 
the de,sii>ijation vf a "Mudol State/' 




fl(ibel Library 


3 2044 055 952 188 


Aivar. S. Pamanath 


A y^r ^^^ sketch of Travaneore