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Showing posts from September, 2012

Meeting Marthanda Varma

Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, 90, head of the erstwhile Travancore royal family talks of his intimate relationship with the Padmanabhaswamy temple, whose vaults has treasures worth over Rs 1 lakh crore stashed away in them. A last vault—kallara B—is yet to be opened and the Supreme Court appointed panel will take a call whether to open it. However, Marthanda Varma refrained from speaking on the vaults and the treasures, saying the matter was sub-judice.
At the Pattom palace with Marthanda Varma I meet up with Marthanda Varma at the Pattom Palace, tucked away behind the SUT hospital, hidden from the casual onlooker. The shanka (conch shell) emblem of the Travancore royal family embellishes the palace gates, the bevy of four wheeled beauties and even the grills of the palace windows. A devotional chorus swells down the corridor as Marthanda Varma, in a simple blue shirt and mundu, meets us in the visitor’s room. A 1939 mechanical Solix watch adorns his left hand. Almost immediat…