City History

The present Thiruvananthapuram district was part of the erstwhile Travancore State. According to historical records, the State of Travancore was divided into three administrative units during the reign of Maharaja Rama Varma (a.d.1758-1798) – Vadakkemukkom, Patinjaremukhom and Tekkemukkom. Tekkemukhom roughly corresponds to the present district of Thiruvananthapuram, also one of the most preferred holiday destination in Kerala.

The history of modern Travancore begins with Marthanda Varma who inherited the Kingdom of Venad and expanded Travancore by conquering kingdoms Attingal, Kollam, Kayamkulam, Kottarakara, Kottayam, Changanassery, Meenachil, Poonjar and Ambalapuzha. Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch in the Battle of Colachel [1741]. He captured the Dutch Admiral who was later on appointed as the Senior Admiral it was he who modernised the Travancore army by introducing firearms and artillery. The kingdom of Travancore was dedicated by Marthanda Varma to his deity Sri. Padmanabha (Lord Vishnu) and from then on the rulers of Travancore ruled the kingdom as the servants of Sri. Padmanabha (Padmnabhadasan).

The accession of Swathi Thirunal ushered in an epoch of cultural progress and economic prosperity. The beginning of English education was made in 1834 by opening an English school at Thiruvananthapuram. In 1836, an observatory and a charity hospital were established.

Utharadam Tirunal Marthanda Varma Abolished slavery in the kingdom, abolished restrictions on the dress codes of certain castes, started the postal system and a school for girls.