(Last Updated on : 06/07/2010)
Thiru-v-anantha-puram is a three-syllable name, which means the residence of the sacred snake god 'Anantha'. Lord Vishnu
of the ancient Indian mythology rests on this huge serpent. This city and district are also popularly known by its anglicized name Trivandrum.
Thiruvananthapuram is an ancient city with trading traditions from 1000BC. It is believed that the ships of king Solomon landed in a port called Ophir, which is now known as Poovar in Thiruvananthapuram. The city was the trading post of the spies, sandalwood and ivory.
The rise of the modern Thiruvananthapuram began with accession of Marthanda Verma in 1729 as the founding ruler of the princely state of Travancore. Thiruvananthapuram was made the capital of Travancore in 1745. The golden age of this city was during the mid of 19th century under the reign on Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal. This year saw the first establishment of English School (1834), an Observatory (1837), the General Hospital (1839), the Oriental Research Institute and Manuscript Library and the University College (1873). The first Lunatic Asylum in the state was also started during the same period. Sanskrit College, Ayurveda College, Law College and a second grade women college started by Moolam Thirunal.
The early 19th century was an age of tremendous political and social changes in the city. The Sree Moolam Assembly established in 1904 was the first democratically elected legislative council in any Indian state.
At the end of British rule in 1947, Travancore chose to join the Indian Union. The first popular ministry headed by Pattom Thanu Pillai was installed in office on 24th March 1948. In 1949 Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Thiru-Kochi, the state formed by the integration of Travancore with its northern neighbour Kochi. The king of Travancore Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Verma became the Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from July 1st, 1949 until October 31st, 1956. When the state of Kerala was formed on November 1, 1956, Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of the new state.