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Heritage of Kerala

Heritage of Kerala
Item Code: NAZ204
Publisher: Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Kerala
Language: English
Edition: 2008
Pages: 204 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details: 9.00 X 7.00 inch
weight of the book: 0.46 kg

In a fast developing society there is a risk of being cut off from once historical moorings due to busy pursuit of carriers. Also as locations get developed there is a blind rush to go in for short-term gains by ignoring heritage values and focus on creation of infrastructure which destroys heritage sites or diminishes their worth.

At the same time it is the developing society which needs to strengthen its organic linkages with the past and learn from the aesthetic, cultural and historical heritage so that the present and the future are able to maintain a meaningful continuity with the past. It is necessary to protect ageless creations which have an eternal value both from the rapacious onslaught of modern day buccaneers and from the blind apathy of the ignorantia.

It is felt that this can be achieved more by sensitisation and awareness building than by regulation. The Town and Country Planning Department has taken the first significant step in this direction. Acting on the advice of the Art and Heritage Commission, the Department has made an earnest attempt to identify and document sites and monuments of heritage value in Thiruvananthapuram district. Being a pioneering venture it may have omissions and deficiencies. But at the same time, it has the material to stimulate interest and open up the past for broader understanding and deeper study.

It is intended to cover other districts also in due course. Therefore, the Town and Country Planning Department seeks critical feedback and suggestions from the readers of this document for implementing the quality.


Heritage is very dear to everyone. Having a rich heritage is of course a matter of pride. Be it art, literature, culture, monuments, music, built heritage, India has an enviable position in the heritage status. No doubt, our State too has its share to contribute.

As advised by the Art and Heritage Commission, the Department of Town and Country Planning has made an earnest effort to identify such buildings and precincts in Kerala, having heritage value. Though not exhaustive, the attempt is laudable. The heritage properties thus identified are published for the information to the public and others who are having academic interest in the area.

The details of heritage properties in Thiruvananthapuram district are published in the present volume and the heritage properties in other districts will be published subsequently.

It is expected that this attempt will sensitise the public about the need to conserve our rich heritage. Further, built heritage is the standing testimony of history. Let’s protect and preserve our rich heritage for the posterity.


Thiruvananthapuram has a remarkable history. Its importance was closely associated with the Padmanabha Swami Temple and the place was known by different names in the past of which Syanandapuram and Anandan Kadu were perhaps the more popular ones. In Varahapuranam, written in the 6" centuary AD, the place is referred to as ‘Syanandapuram’ whereas in Mathilakom Records it is referred to as ‘Thiruvananda Puram’.

Reference to places in the Malabar Coast (Gokarnam to Cape Comorin) could be found in the early Greek accounts of Megasthenes (306 - 289 BC).

During the period after the Cheras and the Perumals, the place now called Thiruvananthapuram was a part of Ayi Rajyam. In the beginning of the 9° century, Venad was a small country with headquarters at Kollam. By the 14 century, however, it became a powerful kingdom and the Ayi Rajyam was retrieved.

In the Almanac of 1881 (page 240), it could be seen that Thiruvananthapuram became a town in as early as 1049 AD. The growth of the town and that of the Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple were complementary. However, it came to prominence as a seat of power only during the reign of Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1729-1758).

Marthanda Varma is regarded as the founder of modern Travancore and he annexed many neighbouring territories to Venad during his reign. He dedicated his kingdom to Sree Padmanabha Swami, the tutelary deity of the Royal Family in January 1750 AD. From that day onwards, he styled himself as ‘Sree Padmanabha Dasan’, meaning the servant of God Sree Padmanabha. By the end of the 18 century, Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of princely Travancore.

**Sample Pages**

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