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SVāTI TIRUNāḷ‍ RāMA VARMA ( Malayalam
Malayalam
: സ്വാതി തിരുനാള്‍ രാമവർമ്മ) (16 April 1813 – 27 December 1846) was the Maharaja
Maharaja
of the Kingdom of Travancore, British India. He is also considered as a brilliant music composer and is credited with over 400 classical compositions in both Carnatic and Hindusthani style.

A well-formulated code of laws, courts of justice, introduction of English education, construction of an observatory, installation of the first Government printing press, establishment of the first manuscripts library were amongst the many initiatives taken by Svāti Tirunāḷ‍, as a King, to modernise Travancore. 'Efficiency was the key word and corruption a taboo', according to the article _The Monarch Musician_ in _ The Hindu
The Hindu
_.

CONTENTS

* 1 Early life * 2 Education

* 3 As Reigning Maharajah of Travancore

* 3.1 Criticism

* 4 Astronomy
Astronomy
and Trivandrum
Trivandrum
Observatory * 5 Contributions to Music and Literature * 6 Family * 7 Death * 8 Titles and Styles

* 9 Legacy

* 9.1 Swathi Sangeethotsavam * 9.2 Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram * 9.3 In popular culture

* 10 Compositions * 11 Notes * 12 See also * 13 References * 14 External links

EARLY LIFE

Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ Rama Varma with his father Raja Raja Varma Koil Thampuran

Swāthi Tirunāḷ‍ was born into the Chera dynasty
Chera dynasty
of the Matrilineal royal family of Travancore, which is now a part of Kerala , on 16 April 1813. He was the second child of Queen Gowri Lakshmi Bayi who ruled Travancore
Travancore
from 1811–15, and Rajaraja Varma Koyi Thampuran of Changanasseri Palace. While in the womb itself, he was proclaimed King and was referred to as GARBHA SREEMAAN. He reigned under the regency of his mother from 1813–15 and then under the regency of his maternal aunt Gowri Parvati Bayiuntil 1829. When he was just four months old, his mother invited Colonel John Munro , representative of the East India Company
East India Company
, and his officials and declared in the Durbar that she was entrusting the East India
India
Company with the care of her child and expected the Company to co-operate with him in future.

In 1829 Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ reached majority at 16 and assumed full powers of ruler and reigned as the Maharajah of Travancoreuntil his death in 1846. He had an elder sister, Rukmini Bai, whose children ascended the Travancore
Travancore
musnud consecutively. Her only daughter was the mother of Moolam Thirunal. He had a younger brother, Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma , who succeeded him in 1846 and ruled Travancore
Travancore
until his demise in 1860.

Irayimman Thampi, the famous poet-composer wrote perhaps the most famous Malayalam
Malayalam
lullaby _ Omanathinkal Kidavo_ (ഓമനത്തിങ്കള്‍ക്കിടാവോ), about Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ when he was born.

EDUCATION

Both his aunt/foster mother, who was well-versed in music, and his father, a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
scholar. took special care about his education. Col. Munro also is said to have taken a keen interest in his education. He started learning Malayalam
Malayalam
and Sanskrit
Sanskrit
at the age of six and English at the age of seven. The young Prince studied several languages, including Malayalam
Malayalam
, Kannada
Kannada
, Tamil , Hindustani , Telugu , Marathi , Sanskrit
Sanskrit
, English and Persian . He impressed all his teachers, and even guests from abroad, with his keen understanding of not only languages but also other subjects like geometry. P. Sankunni Menon (A History of Travancore
Travancore
from the Earliest Times, 1878) records an incident between young Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ and Col. Welsh, a visiting British officer, that the word geometry and words like hexagon , heptagon and so on were derived from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
. Colonel Welsh summed up the boy King's genius as follows :

Swati Tirunal, now thirteen... took up a book of mathematics and selecting the forty seventh proposition of Euclid sketched the figure on a country slate but what astonished me most was his telling us in English that Geometry
Geometry
was derived from the Sanskrit, which as Jaw metor (Jyamiti) to measure the earth and that many of our mathematical terms were also derived from the same source such as hexagon, heptagon, octagon... This promising boy is now, I conclude, sovereign of the finest country in India
India
for he was to succeed to the Musnud (throne) the moment he had attained his 16th year.

AS REIGNING MAHARAJAH OF TRAVANCORE

* v * t * e

Indian music
Indian music

MAIN

* Indian classical music
Indian classical music
* Hindustani classical music * Semi Classical music/Light classical music * Carnatic music * Indian folk music

CONCEPTS

* Shruti
Shruti
* Swara * Alankara * Rāga * Tāla * Prahar

HINDUSTANI CLASSICAL MUSIC

TYPES OF COMPOSITIONS

* Dhrupad * Dhamar * Khyal * Tarana * Thumri * Dadra
Dadra
* Qawwali
Qawwali
* Ghazal
Ghazal

THAATS

* Bilaval * Khamaj * Kafi * Asavari * Bhairav * Bhairavi * Todi
Todi
* Purvi * Marwa * Kalyan
Kalyan

PRINCIPLES OF HINDUSTANI MUSIC

* Alap * Bandish * Gat

TYPES OF BANDISH

* Sthaayi * Antara * Sanchaari * Aabhog

VARIATIONS OF BANDISH

* Vilambit * Madhyalaya * Drut

SEMI-CLASSICAL MUSIC

* Natya Sangeet * Baithak Gana

INDIAN FOLK MUSIC

* Rabindra Sangeet
Rabindra Sangeet
* Bihu of Assam * Dandiya * Ganasangeet * Uttarakhandi Music * Lavani

INDIAN FILM MUSIC

* Music of Bollywood

INDIAN PLAY MUSIC

* Natya Sangeet * Light songs in the play * Sugama Sangeetha

REGION WISE INDIAN MUSIC

* Bhojpuri * Rajasthani Music * Karnataka Sugam sangeet * Goa trance music * Odissi music * Andaman and Nicobar Islands * Andhra Pradesh * Arunachal Pradesh * Assam * Bihar * Chhattisgarh * Goa * Gujarat * Haryana * Himachal Pradesh * Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh * Jharkhand * Karnataka * Kerala
Kerala
* Madhya Pradesh * Maharashtra * Manipur * Meghalaya * Mizoram * Nagaland * Odisha * Punjab * Rajasthan * Sikkim * Tamil Nadu * Tripura * Uttar Pradesh * Uttarakhand * West Bengal

LANGUAGE WISE MUSIC

* Marathi Music * Hindi
Hindi
music * Kannada
Kannada
music * Telagu music * Tamil music * Aasami music

MAHARASHTRA MUSIC

* Powada * Gan * Gavlan * Lavani * Kirtan

Kuthira Malika, Thiruvananthapuram, constructed by Maharajah Svāti Tirunāḷ‍

Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ took over the reigns of Travancore
Travancore
from his aunt, Gowri Parvati Bayi(she was the Regent for Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ in his boyhood) at the age of sixteen. He appointed his tutor, Sri Subba Rao, as the Prime Minister (Diwan). One of his first moves was to shift the government secretariat from Kollam
Kollam
(about seventy five kilometres away) to Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram
. This enabled him to give personal attention to government affairs. He took steps to curb corruption in the government, and told even the Diwan to resign when he heard that the Diwan had acted to favour a particular party in a land dispute. He started an English school in Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram
in 1834, which came to be called THE MAHARAJAH\'S GOVERNMENT FREE SCHOOL and later became _Maharajah's High School_ and then _Maharajah's College_. It is now the UNIVERSITY COLLEGE . Later, similar schools were started at many other places. He also implemented reforms in the legal sector, starting _Munsif_, _District_ and _Appellate Courts_ and modernising laws. He identified one Kandan Menon from Malabar and appointed him as Huzoor Diwan Peshkar to bring about legal reforms. Another of his achievements was to settle many land disputes by carrying out a resurvey of the land, in which also Menon helped him. He also conducted the first census of the state in 1836. As per the census, the population of Travancore
Travancore
was 128, 068.

Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ was also instrumental in bringing modern medicine to the state. He appointed a European as the palace physician. He was also given the responsibility of providing medical assistance to local people, for which hospitals were started. It is this post that was known as Surgeon General till the formation of Kerala
Kerala
State. He also started an engineering department, which was placed under the command of one Lieutenant Horsley. The Karamana bridge was built at that time.

CRITICISM

Despite the progress achieved in varied fields under Swathi Thirunal's reign, the Kingdom of Travancore, like the rest of British India, was in the grip of extreme caste discrimination against Hindu dalits . According to the followers of the movement called _Ayya Vazhi_ (the path of Ayya Vaikundar) and historians, a social reformer and iconoclast named Muthukutty or Ayya Vaikundar (who had claimed that he himself was an incarnation of Hindu
Hindu
Deity Vishnu
Vishnu
) severely criticized Swathi Thirunalfor the then prevalent caste discrimination against dalits in Travancore. He referred to the King as _Ananthapuri Neechan_ (vile man of Ananthapuri); referred to the Brahmins
Brahmins
and the British as _Karineechanmar_ (vile Black cheaters)and _Venneechanmar_ (vile White cheaters), respectively. The caste Hindus then complained to Swathi Thirunalthat Vaikundar was cheating people by claiming to be god and as a result of the complaint, Swathi Thirunalordered to arrest him but Vaikundar was later released by the government. In the then society, dalit men and women weren't allowed to cover their upper body as it was considered a privilege reserved for caste Hindus & people of other religions. Vaikundar exhorted dalits to fight against this and organized revolts to get their due rights which came to be known as Melmundu Samaram (Upper Cloth Revolt). As a result of the revolt, the government changed the laws and allowed dalit men Swāthi Tirunāḷ‍ set the initiative to start an observatory. One of its director would be his relative, Raja Rama Varma Rohani Thirunal, Prince of Mavelikara Palace, who was an established astronomer and a member of the British and Canadian Astronomical Societies. The observatory benefited from British talents in Colonel Fraser and Caldecott. A cotton mill expert John Caldecott FRS was interested in astronomy but self-taught, and later became one of its Director. Caldecott, an industrial representative who lived in Alapuzha, used to make instruments for astronomical observations and initially mounted viewing instruments on top of mango tree in Residency of Quilon, Cochin and his Allepey homes. Raja Swathi Tirunal saw his collection and asked him to come to Trivandrum
Trivandrum
to start a similar set-up.

The current observatory site was chosen on top of a laterite mount near the Kanakakunnu hill, which was observed as having the best western sky views in that hemisphere, being near the equator and the sea. He was instrumental in buying telescopes and tools to Trivandrum via ship through the Middle east from England. It became a part of the Travancore
Travancore
University, but for some time was administered as an independent government institution. It is now the oldest institution under the Kerala
Kerala
University. Started in 1837, some of the equipment is still to be seen at the Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram
observatory (now under the Department of Physics, University of Kerala
Kerala
).

Trivandrum
Trivandrum
Public Library (now State Central Library ) and the Oriental Manuscript Library were started by Swathi Thirunāḷ‍, the Museum and Zoo in Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram
as well. The Maharajah
Maharajah
was also an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Societyfrom 1843. Maharajah Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ also put an end to the barbaric punishment called the 'SUCHINDRAM KAIMUKKU' According to which the accused was forced to prove his innocence by dipping his hand in boiled ghee at Suchindram temple,and he was punished if the hand get burnt. He is also credited with starting the first government press (the only press at that time was CMS Press in Kottayam
Kottayam
).

A report on the English schools in Travancore
Travancore
appeared in _The Gardner's Magazine_ of 1841, wrote about the administrative reforms brought in by Maharajah
Maharajah
Svāti Tirunāḷ‍:

Rajah of Travancore, the great promoter of science in the East, was only twenty-eight years of age, and had not reigned more than ten years, yet, during that short period, he had caused himself to be distinguished by his accomplishments as well as by his' liberality. They would, no doubt, be interested in learning that this prince was educated by his prime minister— a rare tutor for a sovereign. The Rajah had established schools within his dominions—he had established a mathematical school under English superintendence; but he had done more—he had done what, he was sorry to say, had neither been done in England, Scotland, nor Ireland—be had established a school in every village of his dominions— and be gave education to every child, male and female – a change in Indian customs that might lead to the happiest results. He was informed, on good authority, that there was not a child who had reached eight years of age not capable of reading and writing; but this distinguished prince, not satisfied with advancing the .interests of elementary education, had established an observatory, and placed in it an English gentleman, a member of the Royal Society of London, and who was in that room – he meant Mr. Caldecott. In this observatory, observations were carried on with the same success as under British interests. The Rajah had also established a magnetical and meteorological observatory, having been led to do so by becoming acquainted with a report on Meteorology, published by the British Association. And the observations taken there were found to be as accurate as those taken in Edinburgh, Philadelphia, and other places.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO MUSIC AND LITERATURE

Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ was deeply interested in music right from childhood. Besides being an able ruler, he was a patron of music and was a musician himself. Researchers say that Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ affixed his compositions with the mudra PADMANABHA padumanabha ,sarasijanaabha,ect and its synonyms. His education in music started with the first lessons from Karamana Subrahmania Bhagavathar and Karamana Padmanabha Bhagavathar. Later, he studied music from the then English scholar, Thanjavur
Thanjavur
Subba Rao as well. He continued to learn music by listening to accomplished musicians and practising himself. He encouraged both broad systems of Indian music, Hindustani and Carnatic music, though he was essentially a connoisseur of the Carnatic musictradition. He is credited with composing over 400 compositions in Carnatic and Hindustani music. Some of his favourite compositions were _Padmanabha Pahi_, _Deva Deva_, _Devanke_, _Sarasijanabha_ and _Sree Ramana Vibho_. Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ was fluent in a number of languages including Malayalam
Malayalam
, Sanskrit
Sanskrit
, Marathi , Telugu , Kannada
Kannada
, Hindustani , Bengali , Tamil , Oriya and English. This was a period when music and art were thriving in many parts of south India. The triumvirate of Carnatic music, Tyagaraja(1767–1847), Syama Sastri(1762–1827) and Muthuswami Dikshitar (1775–1835), lived and enriched music during this period. Svāti Tirunāḷ‍'s palace also was home to many musicians and artistes of the period, including the famous Thanjavur
Thanjavur
Quartet brothers, Tyagaraja's disciple Kannayya Bhagavathar, Ananthapadmanabha Goswami (a Maharashtrian singer known as Kokilakanthameru swami), Shadkala Govinda Marar, and many others.

The literary works of Maharajah
Maharajah
Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ include Bhakti Manjari', Syanandurapuravarnana Prabandham, Padmanabhasatakam, Muhanaprasa Antyaprasa Vyavastha, Ajamila, Kuchela Upakhyanas and Utsava Varnana Prabandha.

FAMILY

In 1829, at the age of sixteen, Maharajah
Maharajah
Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ married Thiruvattar Ammachi Panapillai AmmaSrimathi Ayikutty Narayani Pillai Thankachi, a famed beauty of the Thiruvattar Ammaveedu family, was an expert Carnatic singer and Veena
Veena
player. Once there was a minor lover's quarrel between Narayani Pillai Ammachi and her husband, the King. The quarrel continued for some days; the Ammachi approached Irayimman Thampifor a solution. According to researchers he then created the famous Malayalam
Malayalam
song _Prananaathan Enikku Nalkiya_ and told the Ammachi to sing it loudly in the King's presence; after hearing it the King was pleased and they reconciled immediately. This particular work of Thampiis considered by experts as one of the most beautiful Shringara (erotic) Padams available in Malayalam
Malayalam
. Together they had three children but in 1839 Narayani Pillai Ammachi died, leaving behind a son, Thiruvattar Chithira Nal Ananthapadmanabhan Chempakaraman Thampi. A few months later, for the care of the baby, the Maharajah
Maharajah
married another lady called Neelamma Pillai Ammachi by adopting her into the Thiruvattar Ammaveedu. Narayani Pillai's sister was married to the Maharajah's brother and successor Uthram Thirunal. He later married Sundara Lakshmi in 1843, a Saiva Mudaliar dancer, after adopting her into Vadasseri Ammaveedu. The story of the dancer Sugandhavalli who didn't get along with the King's first wife, Narayani Pillai Thankachi, has been disproved by R.P. Raja as nothing but fiction in his research treatise 'New Light on Swathi Thirunal'. In 1845 the King constructed the Thanjavur Ammaveedufor his third consort. Sundara Lakshmi, a great devotee of Lord Ganapati and Kanjirottu YakshiAmma, resided there until her death in 1856.

DEATH

As a monarch, Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ was incredibly hardworking and supremely committed to his kingdom and people. The appointment of General Cullen as the Resident of Travancore, was the beginning of the end for the Maharajah. Historian P. Shungunny Menon wrote : _Resident Cullen assumed almost sovereign authority. Such was his oppressive intrusion in the administration. The king was made totally powerless. Compounding this atrocity was the machinations of his aide Krishna Rao, who schemed with Cullen for his own personal gain._ What ever the reason, the Resident's intrusion in the administration was unbearable for the young King. To compound his problems, the deaths of his elder sister, father, wife Narayani and all three children (Narayani's) made the Maharajah
Maharajah
distraught. He increasingly sought silence and solitude, weakening his mind and body. Thus, at the age of 33, Maharajah
Maharajah
Swathi Thirunal died on 27 December 1846.

The demise of Maharajah
Maharajah
Svāthi Thirunāḷ‍ attracted the attention of even the foreign press. Allen's Indian Mail and Register of Intelligence of British &Foreign India, China, in both respects he might have taken a high place among the most enlightened of European Sovereigns had his destiny been so cast. You will be grieved to learn about the demise of His Highness the Rajah of Travancore. Among the native princes of India, he was distinguished for his superior intelligence and extensive acquirements in oriental literature. He is not unknown to fame in the European world, for most of you must be aware that the deceased Rajah maintained an observatory at considerable expense, and that MR Caldecott was for a length of time, his highness's astronomer.The ephemeris emanating from the Travancore observatory was a valuable contribution to astronomical science ... The Rajah also supported an English school on a scale of liberality that perhaps has few precedents in other native states. He was a steady and staunch advocate of education, friend and patron of men of letters ... his loss will doubtless be greatly deplored by Travancoreans as a national calamity._ — quote

The Journal the Royal Asiatic Societyof Great Britain and Ireland ran an obituary in 1847 which mourned that,

_The early death of this enlightened and princely patron of true science, is a subject of just regret._ — quote

TITLES AND STYLES

As the Ruler of Travancore, Swathi Thirunal's official royal title was styled as _His Royal Highness Sri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Swathi ThirunalRama Varma Kulasekhara
Kulasekhara
Kiritapathi Swami Rama Raja Manney Sultan Maharajah
Maharajah
Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jang_

LEGACY

SWATHI SANGEETHOTSAVAM

Prince Rama Varma, renowned South Indian Classical musician and descendant of Swathi Thirunal, organizes the SWATHI SANGEETHOTSAVAM , a 10-day music festival featuring exclusively the compositions of Maharaja
Maharaja
Swathi Thirunal. Eminent Carnatic and Hindustani musicians participate in this unique musical event, which is conducted every year from 4 to 13 January at Kuthira Malika, Trivandrum
Trivandrum
and attracts music aficionados from across the globe.

SWATHI SANGEETHA PURASKARAM

The award Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaramis instituted in the name of Maharajah
Maharajah
Swathi Thirunalof Travancore
Travancore
to honour those musicians who have made valuable contributions to the field of music. It is also the highest honour for musicians by the Government of Kerala
Kerala
, India
India
.

IN POPULAR CULTURE

In 1987, a Malayalam
Malayalam
film titled _ Swathi Thirunal_ based on his life was released. It was directed by Lenin Rajendran. It stars Anant Nag in the title role, and Srividya, Ambika , Nedumudi Venuand Murali in other important roles.

COMPOSITIONS

For a list of 360+ compositions with 200+ MP#s, visit swathithirunal.in

_COMPOSITION_ _RAGA _ _TALA _ _TYPE_ _LANGUAGE_

_Deva deva kalayami ta_ _maya malava gowla _ _Rupaka_

_ Sanskrit
Sanskrit
'_

_dEvanke_ _ Darbari_ _Adi_

_ Sanskrit
Sanskrit
_

_gIta dhuniku taka dhIm_ _dhana shRI_ _Adi_ _tillAna _ _ Hindi
Hindi
_

_jaya jaya padmanAbha murArE_ _ Sarasangi_ _Adi_

_ Sanskrit
Sanskrit
_

_kamala nayana jagadIswara_ _ Vagadheeswari_ _Adi_

_ Sanskrit
Sanskrit
_

_pAhi shrIpatE_ _hamsadhwani _ _Adi_

_ Sanskrit
Sanskrit
_

_sArasAksha paripAlaya mAmayi_ _ Pantuvarali_ _Adi_

_ Sanskrit
Sanskrit
_

NOTES

* ^ http://print.achuth.googlepages.com/SwathiThirunalandSciencev3.0.pdf * ^ DEVNATH, LAKSHMI (27 December 2013). "The Monarch musician". _THE HINDU_. Retrieved 12 March 2014. * ^ DEVNATH, LAKSHMI (27 December 2013). "The Monarch musician". _THE HINDU_. Retrieved 12 March 2014. * ^ "History of Ayya Vaikundar". _Ayya Undu The Vision of Dharma Yuga_. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015. * ^ http://print.achuth.googlepages.com/SwathiThirunalandSciencev3.0.pdf * ^ Gov-Music * ^ Compositions of Svati Tirunal Maharaja * ^ http://www.carnaticcorner.com/articles/swathi.txt * ^ DEVNATH, LAKSHMI (27 December 2013). "The Monarch musician". _THE HINDU_. Retrieved 12 March 2014. * ^ MARAVANKUDIERUPPU – He was a tax payer to the Travancore Samasthanam, ( Travancore
Travancore
Kingdom). So he was called to attend the marriage of Maharajah
Maharajah
Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ Rama Varma and Panapillai Amma Srimathi Ayikutty Narayani Pillai Kochamma of the Thiruvattar Ammaveedufamily in 1829. Thiru. Swamyadiyan Nadar also attended the function and presented 1001 ponnu (ponnu-paun-Sovereign of Gold) which was a