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He wished to compare Western findings with Indian knowledge. He had knowledge of observatories in Madras and others. 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 directors. 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 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 University, but for some time was administered as an independent government institution.
It is now the oldest institution under the Kerala University. Started in , some of the equipment is still to be seen at the Thiruvananthapuram observatory now under the Department of Physics, University of Kerala. The Maharajah was also an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society from He is also credited with starting the first government press the only press at that time was CMS Press in Kottayam.
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. 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. Besides being an able ruler, he was a patron of music and was a musician himself.
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 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 music tradition.
He is credited with composing over compositions  in Carnatic and Hindustani music. This was a period when music and art were thriving in many parts of south India. The triumvirate of Carnatic music, Tyagaraja — , Syama Sastri — and Muthuswami Dikshitar — , lived and enriched music during this period. The quarrel continued for some days; the Ammachi approached Irayimman Thampi for a solution. According to researchers he then created the famous 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 Thampi is considered by experts as one of the most beautiful Shringara erotic Padams available in Malayalam. A few months later, for the care of the baby, the Maharajah married another lady called Neelamma Pillai Ammachi by adopting her into the Thiruvattar 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. Raja as nothing but fiction in his research treatise 'New Light on Swathi Thirunal'. In the King constructed the Thanjavur Ammaveedu for his third consort.
The appointment of General Cullen as the Resident of Travancore, was the beginning of the end for the Maharajah. Historian P.
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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 distraught. He increasingly sought silence and solitude, weakening his mind and body.
Thus, at the age of 33, Maharajah Swathi Thirunal died on 26 December Both intellectually and morally, he was indeed far beyond his country and equals in rank; 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 The early death of this enlightened and princely patron of true science, is a subject of just regret. Prince Rama Varma , renowned South Indian Classical musician and descendant of Swathi Thirunal, organizes the Swathi Sangeethotsavam , a day music festival featuring exclusively the compositions of 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 and attracts music aficionados from across the globe.
The award Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram is instituted in the name of Maharajah Swathi Thirunal of 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 , India. In , a Malayalam film titled Swathi Thirunal based on his life was released.
It was directed by Lenin Rajendran. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the king from the royal dynasty of Travancore. For the Indian film, see Swathi Thirunal film. Retrieved 12 March Retrieved 6 February Swamyadiyan Nadar also attended the function and presented ponnu ponnu-paun-Sovereign of Gold which was a big presentation in that period. So the king was pleased and honoured him by awarding him 5 acres of land in Trivandrum with one of the greater award of Title "Thiru Mugam Parpu".
The Hindu. Retrieved 6 January Srishti's Carnatica Private Limited. CS1 maint: extra punctuation link. Kulasekhara [ disambiguation needed ] Dynasty.neobrain2019.xtage.com.br/2767.php
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