The Kingdom of Travancore (/ˈtrævənkɔːr/), also known as the Kingdom of Thiruvithamkoor, was an Indian kingdom from c. 1729 until 1949. It was ruled by the Travancore Royal Family from Padmanabhapuram, and later Thiruvananthapuram. At its zenith, the kingdom covered most of modern-day Southern parts of Kerala (Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam, and Thiruvananthapuram districts, and some portions of Ernakulam district), and the southernmost part of modern-day Tamil Nadu (Kanyakumari district and some parts of Tenkasi district) with the Thachudaya Kaimal's enclave of Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikyam temple in the neighbouring Kingdom of Cochin.[1] However Tangasseri area of Kollam city and Anchuthengu near Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram district, those were British colonies, were parts of Malabar District until 30 June 1927, and Tirunelveli district from 1 July 1927 onwards.[2][3] Travancore merged with erstwhile princely state of Cochin to form Travancore-Cochin in 1950. The five Tamil-majority Taluks of Vilavancode, Kalkulam, Thovalai, Agastheeswaram, and Sengottai were transferred from Travancore-Cochin to Madras State in 1956.[4] The Malayalam-speaking regions of the Travancore-Cochin merged with the Malabar District (excluding the Laccadive & Minicoy Islands) and the Kasaragod Taluk of South Canara district in Madras State to form the modern Malayalam-state of Kerala on 1 November 1956, according to the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 passed by the Government of India.[4]

Kingdom of Travancore
Coat of arms
Motto: "Dharmosmath Kuladaivatham"
Anthem: Vanchishamangalam (Hail the Lord of Vanchi!)
Kingdom of Travancore in India
StatusPrincely State of British Empire
CapitalPadmanabhapuram (1729–1795)
Trivandrum (1795–1949)
Common languagesMalayalam, Tamil
Majority:Hinduism (official)
 1729–1758 (first)
Marthanda Varma
 1829–1846 (peak)
Swathi Thirunal
 1931–1949 (last)
Chithira Thirunal
 1788–1800 (first)
George Powney
Colin Macaulay
 1840–1860 (peak)
William Cullen
 1947 (last)
Cosmo Grant Niven Edwards
Historical eraAge of Imperialism
 Vassal of British Empire
 Vassal of India
194119,844 km2 (7,662 sq mi)
CurrencyTravancore rupee
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Today part ofIndia

The official flag of the state was red with a dextrally-coiled silver conch shell (Turbinella pyrum) at its center. The coat of arms had two elephants standing on the left and right with the conch shell (Turibinella pyrum) in the center. The ribbon (white) with black Devanagari script. Travancore was bounded by the princely state of Kingdom of Cochin and Coimbatore district of Madras Presidency to north, Madurai and Tirunelveli districts of Pandya Nadu region in Madras Presidency to east, Indian Ocean to south, and Arabian Sea to west.[5] As of 1911 Census of India, Travancore was divided to five divisions, Padmanabhapuram, Trivandrum, Quilon, Kottayam, and Devikulam, of which the first and last were predominantly Tamil-speaking areas.[5]

King Marthanda Varma inherited the small feudal state of Venad in 1723 and built it into Travancore, one of the most powerful kingdoms in southern India. Marthanda Varma led the Travancore forces during the Travancore-Dutch War of 1739–46, which culminated in the Battle of Colachel. The defeat of the Dutch by Travancore is considered the earliest example of an organised power from Asia overcoming European military technology and tactics.[6] Marthanda Varma went on to conquer most of the petty principalities of the native rulers. Travancore became the most dominant state in Kerala by defeating the powerful Zamorin of Kozhikode in the battle of Purakkad in 1755.[7]

In the early 19th century, the kingdom became a princely state of the British Empire. The Travancore Government took many progressive steps on the socio-economic front and during the reign of Maharajah Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, Travancore became a prosperous modern princely state in British India, with reputed achievements in education, political administration, public work, and social reforms.[8][9] In 1903–1904 the total revenue of the state was Rs.1,02,01,900.[10]