Marthanda Varma

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Marthanda Varma

Post by jancancook on Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:34 am

Marthanda Varma was born in 1706[2] as the son of the Junior Rani of Attingal (the queens of Travancore were styled as the Ranis of Attingal) whose entire family, including herself, a sister who died, and two brothers including the said Rajah Rama Varma had been adopted by Umayamma Rani of Venad on the failure of heirs in the Venad Royal house from Kolathunaad or Ezhimala Hill kingdom of North Kerala. Kolathiris founded the Attingal Matriarchal dynasty in 1314 AD replacing the southern Nair dynasty after the reign of Udayamarthandavarma, king of Venad. Travancore at this time was known as Venad and was a very small principality extending from Attingal in the north till Kanyakumari, the southern-most tip of the Indian sub continent. Within this small kingdom the power of the king was only nominal due to the power of the nobles known as Madampis, chief among them being the Ettuveetil Pillamar or the Lords of the Eight Houses. The powers of the ruler were also to a great extent curbed by the power of the Ettara Yogam, the Managing committee of the great Pagoda of Padmanabhaswamy in Trivandrum. The Ettuveetil Pillamar and Ettara Yogam play an important role in the history of Travancore and were responsible, as per legend, for the murder of Rajah Aditya Varma in the previous century, the murder of five sons of Rani Umayamma and other similar crimes, all committed in a bid to extirpate the Travancore Royal House. It was into these conditions, where the sovereign was powerless under the refractory nobles of the state that Marthanda Varma was born in 1706.

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