Travancore refers to a historical region and former princely state located in the southern part of present-day Kerala, India. It was one of the prominent kingdoms in the region and had a rich cultural, historical, and political legacy.
Travancore was ruled by the Travancore Royal Family, known as the Travancore Maharajas. The kingdom emerged as a significant political power in the 18th century and played a crucial role in the history of Kerala. The Maharajas of Travancore were known for their progressive policies, patronage of the arts, and social reforms.
The capital of Travancore was originally Padmanabhapuram, and later it was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram (formerly known as Trivandrum), which remains the capital of Kerala today. Thiruvananthapuram is home to the famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, an iconic landmark and a centre of religious and cultural significance.
Travancore was known for its unique social system, which was influenced by the principles of matrilineal inheritance. The royal family followed the Marumakkathayam system, in which the lineage and inheritance were traced through the female line. This system had a significant impact on the social structure and customs of the region.
The region of Travancore is known for its lush green landscapes, backwaters, and beautiful beaches. The Kovalam Beach, located near Thiruvananthapuram, is a popular tourist destination known for its golden sands and serene atmosphere. The backwaters of Alappuzha (Alleppey) and Kollam offer enchanting experiences through houseboat cruises and serene boat rides.
Travancore has a rich cultural heritage, with contributions to art, music, and dance. Kathakali, a classical dance-drama form, originated in the region and is still widely practised and performed. The region is also known for its traditional music forms like Carnatic music and various folk art forms.
The cuisine of Travancore is distinct and flavourful, with a focus on coconut, rice, and seafood. Popular dishes include appam, puttu, avial, fish curry, and the famous Kerala-style sadya (a traditional feast served on a banana leaf).
Travancore’s history and cultural richness make it a fascinating destination for history buffs, art enthusiasts, and those seeking to explore the natural beauty of Kerala. The remnants of the Travancore kingdom, including its palaces, temples, and historical sites, continue to attract visitors who are interested in unravelling the legacy of this once prominent princely state.