Panning through an undulating terrain of low coastal hills near the southern edge of the mainland, Trivandrum is an ancient city with trading tradition dating back to 1000 BC. Spacious layout and regulated systems could well be the order of life in this metro, but at its core it is still a traditionalist nurturing a royal legacy. A city where a legend of the appearance of Lord Vishnu reclining on the Anantha Shesha lead to the building of the famous Padmanabha Swamy Temple. It is also the birthplace of eminent artist Raja Ravi Verma, whose photographic paintings detail the faintest of shadows, the texture of clothes to the creases on the forehead of his subject. Trivandrum is also the meeting point of culture vultures from across the country and outside, courtesy the rich classical dance and music tradition passed on by the culturally inclined Thirunal kings of Travancore, particularly Swathi Thirunal.
- Trivandrum city is steeped in ancient tradition, folklore and literature. The early past of political and cultural history of South Kerala, Trivandrum in particular, was in a way independent of that of the rest of Kerala state. At the beginning of the 10th century the Ays were the dominant political power. The English East India Company in 1648, during the regency of Umayamma Rani, acquired a sandy piece of land at Anchuthengu on the sea coast about 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of Trivandrum city, to set up a factory and fortify it. And this was the beginning of the extension of English domain to other parts of Travancore.
However, modern history begins with Marthanda Verma regarded as the Father of Modern Travancore (1729 to 1758 AD). During this period Trivandrum became the centre of intellectual and artistic pursuits. The cultural activities, and most importantly, economic prosperity were at its zenith during the reign of Swathi Thirunal (1829 to 1847 AD).
English education began to be imparted in 1834 at the first English school in Trivandrum. This was followed by the building of an observatory and charity hospital in 1836. The reign of Ayilyam Thirunal (1860-1880) led to another big step in fostering art and literature, with a fully equipped arts college coming up along with several English, Malayalam and Tamil schools. The University College was opened in 1873. Ancient language and school of medicine received a philip with the opening of the Sanskrit College and Ayurveda College among Law College and a second grade college for women in Trivandrum during the rule of Sri Moolam Thirunal (1885 to 1924). A significant step taking during Moolam Thirunal's reign was the inauguration of the Legislative Council in 1888. Interestingly, this was the first legislative chamber instituted in an Indian State. After the Moolam Assembly came into being in 1904, the works of the Indian National Congress reverberated in Trivandrum and other parts of Kerala.
Further on, during the reign of Shri Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma, a promulgation of the Temple Entry Proclamation Act in 1936 was passed that underlined social emancipation. In the following year, a separate University for Travancore was started. This was redesigned as University of Kerala after the formation of Kerala State in 1956.
However, with the accession of Travancore to the Indian Union after independence, many radical changes were implemented to the policy of the state government and the overall political atmosphere. It was on the 24th of March in 1948 that the first popular ministry headed by Sri Pattom A. Thanu Pillai was installed in office. Finally, the state of Kerala came into being on November 1, 1956.