Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma (April 16, 1813 - December 25,
1846) was a South Indian king of the state of Travancore,
in India. His reign lasted from 1829 to 1846. He was born
a king, and was in power even before birth. Therefore, he
is called Garbha Sreeman.
being an able ruler, he was a patron of music and a musician
by himself. He encouraged both broad systems of Indian music,
Hindustani and Carnatic music, though he was essentially a
connoisseur of the carnatic music tradition.
Swathi Thirunal has written and composed songs in different
languages and ragas. Some of his favorite compositions are
Padmanabha Pahi, Deva Deva and Sarasijanabha. His compositions
are sung during the Dusshera season, at Kuthiramalika in the
Fort at Trivandrum near Padmanabha Swamy Temple. He was one
of the figures noted as Kalineesan in Akilattirattu Ammanai
the holy script of Ayyavazhi.
king was fluent in Indian languages like Marathi, Telugu,
Bengali, Tamil and Oriya to name a few. He even has composed
ragas in several ragas.
can be compared to Alexander the Great in some ways. Both
died in their early thirties but they are alive even today
due to the tremendous influence they had on the generations
to come, Alexander in the art of warfare and Swathi Thirunal
in the art of composing music, poetry and singing. It is said
that he encouraged artists of various genres to come to his
palace and even if he found the artist not entertaining in
his court he would reward him richly.
He has been called 'King among poets and poet among kings.'
back in 1834 whenHis Highness Sri Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma,
the then Maharaja of Travancore started a school out of a
desire to provide quality education of the Western type to
the children of the State.
1866 , the school was raised to the status of a College affiliated
to the Madras University. It was named H.H The Maharaja's
College. Mr John Ross was the first principal.
1870, a spacious two-storied building was constructed forming
the central block, which has lasted to this day.
In 1924, the Arts and Science Departments were bifurcated
into separate Colleges for the respective disciplines. However,
to bring back the bonhomie, the two colleges were subsequently
amalgamated in 1942 and the new Institution christened University
College, the name by which we know it today.
has since grown from strength to strength with the addition
of new courses from time to time. It is considered an honor
and privilege to be a student or staff of the College.
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