Incredible Travancore Temples of K.D.B.

kdb web490+ कन्याकुमारि देवस्वोम् देवालयः

images (2).jpgदेवदेव कलयामि ते चरणाम्बुजसेवनम् नमोनमः

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Dhanyaathman, with blessings, It’s a great way to explore Travancore Devaswoms & Temple Histories. There is an intense inner compulsion to re-learn about heritage destinations like beautiful Kanyakumari ancient Devaswom monuments and related Caves, Inscriptions, Forts, Excavations scattered all over Kanyakumari District & Sencottah Taluk of Tirunelveli District of Tamilnadu in India. it will provide you to enjoy the art, archaeology, architecture, culture and cuisines. This web site will provide you all details of Kanyakumari District Incorporated and Unincorporated Devaswoms (“Deva means God and “Swom means ownership in Sanskrit). Thus its a social system, by which all properties of each temple are declared as personal property of presiding deity of each temple and managed through a body of trustees who bear allegiance to the presiding deity. .

The Padmanabhapuram Palace an Ariel view -பத்மநாபபுரம் அரண்மனை The Padmanabhapuram Palace

The objective of this effort to making web site is to analyse the major issues in the area of temple administration and examines how far it is detrimental to the development of temples of Kanyakumari Devaswom Board (Administration). Many Devaswoms as a cluster which falls under its direct Devaswom administration or by private bodies as well as families. But, Now a days, the temples in KDB faces several issues, they are political and economic rather than Spiritual. Politicisation of temple administration is and it’s impact on the temple administration is also analysed. Hope the Golden days will come back for our amazing Travancore Devaswoms as it was in the Royal period.

||श्री पद्मनाभा रक्षिथो ||

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The King His Highness Sree Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1729 – 7 July 1758) inherited the small feudal state of Venad and built it into Travancore, one of the most powerful kingdoms in southern India. The His Highness Sree Marthanda Varma Maharaja led the Travancore forces during the Travancore-Dutch War, which culminated in the Battle of Colachel. In January, 1750, His Highness decided to surrendering his kingdom to His Lord Thiru Anantha Shayana Padmanabha Swamy (Sree Maha Vishnu), this function is known as “Thrippadidhaanam – തൃപ്പടിദാനം – த்ரிப்படிதானம்”. after that Sree Padmanabha Swamy is the owner of Thiruvithamcore state;the total Travancore region becomes “God’s Own Country”  and thereafter His Highness rule as the deity’s “vice-regent” and renamed as padmam.jpgSri Padmanabhadasa Vanchipala Maharajah Sri Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma Kulasekhara Perumal, and “Padmanabha Dasa” meaning the slave of Lord Padmanabha, continued in large measure by his successor, The His Highness Sri Padmanabhadasa Vanchipala Maharajah Sri Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma Kulasekhara Perumal (“Dharma Raja”) (1758–98) and further on… 

The evolution of administration on Incredible Travancore Devaswoms from the period of Travancore Royal Dynasty ; a brief look…… on both TDB & KDB….

  1. from 1812 onward all listed Devaswoms in the legal boundary region were came under the control of Travancore Land Revenue department as Sirkar Devaswoms & Uoranma Devaswoms,DB2BCE35-905A-4A55-9BD8-E5405BE59F5F
  2. from 1922 onward it came under the control of The Travancore Devaswom Department,
  3. from 1949 onward it came under the control of The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), in the United states of Thiru-Kochi.
  4. “The States Reorganisation Act-1956” came into effect from November 1st, 1956 and consequently, the Tamil speaking area of Thovalai, Agastheeswaram, Kalkulam, Eraniel & Vilavancode Taluks of Thiruvananthapuram District and Sengottai Taluk of Quilon District were transferred from The United states of Travancore – Cochin (Kerala) to Madras (Tamilnadu) state including 490+ Travancore Devaswom Board temples.
  5. As per the Madras Act 30 of 1959, passed by the Madras legislature, the Kanyakumari Devaswom Board was established on 1st April 1960.
  6. since 1960 it came under the Administration of Kanyakumari Devaswom Board (KDB) and
  7. from 01.01.1975 onward the KDB & it’s 490+ Devaswoms were come under the control of Tamilnadu Hindu Religious and Cultural Endowment (TN HR&CE) Department.

The Formation of  Thiruvithancore Sirkar Devaswoms

Image result for velu thampiThe Devaswom (Sanskrit: Property of God) is a socio-religious trust with government or society; community nominated members as trustees to manage temples and its assets and ensure smooth functioning as per traditional rituals and customs. The Devaswoms (Temples) occupy a unique place in the history of Travancore. They are the cultural fountain of Hindu religion. Temples exercised enormous influence in society immemorial. In Travancore temples are the centres of art, culture and learning. Travancore is famous social reform movements and other political movements associated with temples. (4).JPGThe system of forming Devaswoms is relatively new, a practice started in the late 17th century. Prior to that, The Major & Minor Devaswoms managed by either Oorallers or Kariakkars or Yogakkars are become Sirkar Devaswoms. The Devaswoms are managed by Brahmins and Namboothiries are known as Brahmaswoms vaka Devaswoms, The Devaswoms are managed by Royal Families are known as Rajaswoms vaka (Sanketham and Sreepadam Devaswoms).  The Melkankanam and Sanketham might be sound unfamiliar today but for senior citizens, these names might arouse memories of Sree PadmanabhaSwamy temple, grant festivals, and also an agrarian past. IMG_6172.JPGThe Melkanganam and Sanketham departments were entrusted with the upkeep of revenue from the ‘Sree Pandara vaka’ lands owned by the Sree PadmanabhaSwamy temple (Melkanganam office was in Thiruvananthapuram and Sanketham Office was in Thuckalay). The Petty Devaswoms in the state were mostly under the management of private bodies (Samudhayam) are categorised as Uraanma vaka Devaswoms. some Devaswoms its properties managed by private family are surrendered to Sirkar are known as Personal Deposit (PD) Devaswoms. The PD Devaswoms are categorised as Unincorporated Devaswoms  whereas all Major, Minor & Petty (small) Devaswoms come under Incorporated Devaswoms .

fdfd.JPGIn the Brahmaswom system, each temple and all of its assets are considered to be the private property of its chief priest, normally from Brahmin and Nampoothiri families. Rajaswoms are where the properties belong to ruling feudal lords or Nair families or even small royal families. This system has created intense corruption as well as political rivalry, especially in case of Rajaswom ruled temples, thus losing sanctity. In many cases during wars, the rival army target the temples, as the opening of the temple gates to a rival army signals the defeat of ruling family. Brahmaswom were also challenged, on the grounds that many Nampoothiri families started misappropriating temple monies into personal funds which sometimes grew to rival that of the ruling families, which was considered a sign of arrogance and disrespect. With their great wealth some Nampoothiri families started meddling in politics, helping to decide who would be the next ruler by supporting one of the rival families…

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The formation of Travancore itself can be attributed to the misuse of powers of the Rajaswom of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple by Ettuveetil Pillai, which attempted to overshadow the powers of reigning Venad king and his kingdom. This generated an opportunity to Marthanda Varma, who finally succeeded in curbing the Ettuveetil Pillai and completing the annexation of the temple, which in turn led to the formation of the Travancore kingdom. The History of Great Travancore Kingdom speaks; The  Avittom Thirunal Bala Rama Varma Kulasekhara Perumal (c. 1782 – 7 Nov 1810) was a unpopular ruler of the Indian princely state of Travancore from 1798 to 1810, succeeding his uncle  Sree Padmanabha Dasa Vanchipala  Maharajah (The King) Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma (Dharma Raja) Kulasekhara Perumal on 12 February 1798. His reign was a time of disturbances with internal and external problems. The revolt of Velu Thampi Dhalawa (who as Dewan negotiated the formal alliance between Travancore and the British East India Company) occurred during his rule. In AD 1810,  His Highness The Maharajah of Travancore, Sree Balarama Varma was followed by Her Highness  The Maharani (Queen) of Travancore, Sree Padmanabha Sevini Vanchipala Dyumani Raja Rajeshwari Ayilyom Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi. rglb She became the ruler because of the interference of the British. Otherwise, Kerala Varma who had been adopted by Balarama Varama would become the ruler. Col. Munro had been appointed as the next Resident in Travancore before the death of Balarama Varma  (October 1810). While appointing him as the Resident of Travancore, Munro was informed of the conditions in which he was appointed to the post. In the dispatch dated 23rd March, 1810, Falconer, Chief Secretary to the Madras Government, wrote: “The nature of the past transactions and the existing state of affairs in that quarter render the situation of the Resident at the court of Travancore in a high degree important, difficult and delicate, and His Lord-ship in council is satisfied that in selecting an officer possessing all the requisite qualifications for an office so arduous, he fully provides for the public interests in confiding the trust to you.” Dewan Nanupillai in his manuscript ‘Sketch of Travancore’, wrote about the affairs in Travancore, Bala Rama Vurmah Maha Rajah.pngwhen Col.Munro assumed charge as Resident thus: ”The Maharaja Balarama Varma was the Ruler, and Ummini Thampi, who had been appointed the Diwan in March, 1809, the premier. Corruption, abuse of power and irregularities pervaded the whole service. The country was deep in debt. The service was starved and the subsidy to the East India Company fell greatly in arrears, owing to serious financial embarrassment. Anarchy and administration were the order of the day. The minister’s predominant passion was ambition which influenced him to a degree that he almost usurped the Raja’s power. The inability of the ruling power so to administer the state as to avert financial difficulty in the payment of the subsidy, went so far as to evoke the threats of the paramount power that it would assume the direct management of the country for the security of the funds destined to such subsidy.  The young prince of Mavelikkara was a favorite of the Maharaja and passed with the title one Elaya Raja, though in fact he was not the heir apparent. veluHis antecedents were far from anything but irreproachable, as he had been suspected of connivance at, if not playing second fiddle to the rebellion raised by Velayudhan Thampi (Velu thampi). He has supported Diwan Velu Thampi. When Colonel Munroe, assumed charge as British Resident in Travancore in October, 1810, he found Maharaja Balarama Varama, a weak ruler, overshadowed by his Dewan, Umnini Thampi. The finances of the state were in utter disarray owing to the large arrears of subsidy to the East India Company. In  addition to this, the Madras Government now imposed a war indemnity of 1,89,877 pagodas, on account of the expenses connected with Diwan Velu Thampi’s revolt

Image result for velu thampiThe Maharaja expressed his inability to pay so huge a sum but the Dewan assured the Company’s authorities of the early liquidation of the 3 arrears, in order to earn the favour of the Company. For this purpose, the Dewan advised the Raja to suspend the holding of Murajapam, one of the prestigious festivals in the Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple every 12 years, so that the savings could be utilised to pay off a part of the subsidy. This proposal created disaffection in the court, and even the Dewan’s life was threatened. Kerala Varma, the adopted son of the Raja created a strong party in the palace against the Dewan. The Company’s Government warned the Raja that any harm done to the Dewan would be considered an act of hostility against them. One of the major problems that aroused on the death of the Maharaja Balarama Varma was about the succession. Image result for velu thampiIn 1789, the Raja adopted two princesses Bharani Thirunal and Attam Thirunal from the Kolattunad family. Bharani Thirunal later gave birth to two daughters. Ayilyam Tirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bai and Uttrtathi Thirunal Gouri Parvati Bai.  in 1791 and 1810, respectively. So, on account of the absence of male heirs in the royal family, Balarama Varma had adopted Prince Kerala Varma of the Mavelikkara branch of the Kolattunad Swaruparn on 22nd Chithirai 974. M.E. and his adoption rites (padi and padiyerram) were performed. The alleged support given to Velu Thampi by Kerala Varma and the machinations of Urnmini Thampi, had made Col. Macaulay to enquire in to the legitimacy of the adoption. After making some preliminary enquiries, he recommended that the prince should be sent away from the court but the king refused to do so and insisted on Kerala Varma’s continuance at the court. In the meantime Col. Macaulay retired and was succeeded by Col. Munro.

The first problem Munro had to face was the succession problem, Munro appears to have been determined to exclude Kerala Varma from succession. He wrote to H.H.Baber, Judge and Magistrate of North Malabar regarding the succession procedures in the country. rfgBaber wrote back that the rule of descent in Malabar was not from father to son but through sister’s son. In case of failure of male issues, it was usual to adopt a princess from some other family and the male child born of this adoption enjoyed the right to succeed to the throne. Apart from the report of Baber, Munro had obtained the opinion of the Principal Sastris, Pandits and senior state functionaries in Travancore. They unanimously submitted that Kerala Varma was duly adopted into the royal family by Balarama Varma. Munro who was wanted to eliminate Kerala Varma, threatened if an amicable solution was not for the coming, the Company would take over control over Travancore, where upon the large number of emoluments and perquisites enjoyed by the Brahmins under the then Government would be lost. Then the Brahmins and other dignitaries changed their opinion and favoured the succession of Gouri Lakshmi Bai.

When Munro came to Travancore in October 1810, he saw the country was in a state of anarchy and confusion, on account of the plots of rival factions, the evil effects of the recent war, the heavy debts with which the Sircar was burdened and the inability of the Government to cope with them.” The state had to pay a heavy debt to the Company towards the expenses incurred of the Madras Government consequent on the insurrection of Velu Thampi in 1808-1809.Velu Thampi.jpg Besides even the annual subsidy due to the Company had fallen in to arrears. According to the opinion of Munro, the country was full of abuses. This situation would be ameliorated, the attachment of the people secured and future commotions prevented by the justice, moderation and humanity of the Rani’s government, acting under the immediate direction of the British Government. Rani’s one of earliest acts was the dismissal of the unpopular and corrupt Dewan Ummini Thampi and the appointment of Resident Col. Munro as Dewan also. His assumption of charge as Dewan, finally Colonel Munroe appointed in 1812 as Diwan of the Cochin and Travancore kingdoms, was responsible for bringing effective controls on temples. Munroe recommended that all Devaswom properties be treated as government properties and the revenue from Devaswom be merged with the general revenues of the state. In addition, for the purpose of meeting the expenses of the temples, Pathiv (that is, a scale of expenditure on uthsavams, remuneration to temple staff, maintenance charges etc.) was proposed. though sanctioned by the Madras and Bengal Governments, was disapproved by the Court of Directors, but by the time their dispatch reached him only in 1814. He was the Dewans during the period of the two Ranies with varying degrees drew their inspiration from and were profited by the advice given, the influence exerted, the example set, and even the fear infused by the Resident.thalakulam home.jpg The Rani reposed fall confidence in Col. Munroe and the British Government. She stated that there was no other institution or persons so truthful and justifiable as the English East India Company. Munroe was ambitious and anxious to establish and maintain an efficient government and he worked hard to accomplish this objective. He sought to introduce in Travancore the system of administration which was in vogue in British India. The Rani also wished to establish the Government on a “solid basis of order, justice, moderation and good Government” and give protection to life and property to all classes of people.  Munroe also wanted to correct the abuses and corruption and kept the whole authority concentrated in his own hands.

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The combination of the powers of Resident and Dewan in Col. Munroe gave him a free hand to use his zeal for social reform which was very much needed in Travancore. john_munroHe stepped in to the field of social reform to lay the foundation of a modern Travancore, entirely different from that of the past. He carried out reforms intended to lessen the power of local officers and leaders. Then he built up a centralized form of administration conducted by the Dewan from headquarters with the co-operation of a staff of assistants of whom the most important were two Diwan Peshkars newly appointed. He withdrew the judicial functions from Taluk officers, who had hither to enjoyed civil and judicial powers. Munro renamed these officials as Tahsildars. An important policy which Col. Munro pursued was to make the transaction of business both at the Huzur and subordinate offices as open and public as possible. Men of all parties were appointed to prevent their being united by common interest and check upon the proceedings of the authorities acting under the Resident. In order to remove the confusion in administrative system, Munro abolished Pravartikars under him. British_Residency_in_Kollam_cityThe plan admitted of no evasion in complying with orders and the duties of Tahsildars being confined to the collection of land revenue. Thus Munro separated the revenue department from the judiciary in Travancore with commendable courage. Munro also separated financial department from the Huzur. The former was invested with the function of maintaining a correct account of all receipts and disbursements, of examining and checking the expenditure of the state, created the posts of a superintendent and a deputy superintendent of finances and payments.Munro was the first Resident who pleaded for the introduction of English education. He established schools at public expense in all the districts to impart English education.

One of the most important events during the period of Col.Munro’s dewanship was the take over of the Devaswams by the Government (1811). Several temples possessed enormous wealth and property which were mismanaged by the Uralar (Executive Committee of the Temples, which consisted of mainly Brahmins).Mathilakam Cadjan Records The Temple lands were given on Pattam to the tenants for making provision for goods and services to the temples. There was corruption in renting temple properties also. Munro’s order regarding the take over, stated that it was by virtue of its right as Melkoyma that the Government was taking over the management of the Temples, to prevent their mismanagement.  The fact the revenue collection from the Temples rose from Rs.2802 in 1807 to Rs.446600 in 1812-13 clearly showed that there was serious mismanagement. But the real intention of Munro in the take over was to clear the long standing and heavy arrears of subsidy payable to the British Government. The Madras Government, while posting him as the Resident has pointed out the necessity of paying off the subsidy arrears at the earliest. By making use of the excess income from the Temples, Munro was able to pay off the subsidy arrears within a short time. Thus the mismanagement of Temple funds by the Uralar was conveniently utilised by Munro to take over the Properties of the temples. One of the great administrative measures of the period was the Revenue Settlement of 1812. Munro had the holdings measured, their taxes ascertained and recorded in Pattas (title deeds) issued to the riots, so that each land-holder may know the revenue for which he is liable. He established separate courts for each taluk to hear disputes about the amounts entered in the ‘ Pattas’.

 Munro became the savior who protected the state when it was in serious peril. Her Highness Rani Lakshmi Bai of Travancore wrote: “you conciliated the attachment and respect of the people; you paid the debts of the state to the amount of more than twenty five lakhs of rupees and you preserved inviolate all the ancient institutions for religious worship and public charity; Within a few years he had by cautious, enlightened, and liberal policies thrust Travancore on a new course. His period was one of great activity and progress to which the people trace the origin of everything good in the state and considered it the golden age of Travancore. After the modernisation of administration and the practical recognition of English as official language of the state,  Col. Munro who had laid down the duties of the office of the Dewan even in the earlier reign continued to give the new Regent his advice and support. Her Highness  was served by native Dewans who followed in the foot-steps of Munro and tried their almost to unproven the administration.

During the regency of Her Highness Rani Parvathi Bai, Regent maharani Gowri Parvathi Bayi.jpgTravancore became completely subservient to the British. Munro who relinquished the post of Diwan in 1814 continued to guide the administration of the State till he laid down the office of the Resident in 1818. It was with his support she introduced many progressive reforms in Travancore. She discussed each and every aspect of the administration with Munro and obtained his consent. The suggestions made by Munro were passed without any deviation. Thus indirectly, at that time, the administration was carried on by the British. According to the recommendation of Col. Munroe, Raman Menon was appointed as Dewan. Earlier, it was decided to appoint Subbayan Sankara Narayana Aiyar as Dewan. But the decision of Col. Munroe was put in to effect. Here, the British interest was protected. In the middle of 1819 A.D. Col. Munro retired and Col. Mcdowall was appointed as Resident in the same year.Thus during the period of Rani Parvati Bai, no new developments took place in Travancore. The reforms introduced by Col. Minroe, continued with out any deviation. It was at the time of these two Ranies, the British got the opportunity to tighten their grip on Travancore administration.

The Travancore contained a large number of Devaswoms or Temple Corporations that THIRUVAZHUMCODE.jpgheld vast areas of land and controlled most of the important and wealthy temples in the country. These Temple corporations [More than six hundred of the Major &  Minor temples (Cirkar Devaswoms) and more than thousand Petty Temples (Uraanma Devaswoms)] were declared as Government institutions {Sirkar Devaswom } by The Maharani (Queen) of Travancore, Sree Padmanabha Sevini Vanchipala Dyumani Raj Rajeshwari Ayilyom Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi by the recommendation of Dewan and The Travancore State was Paid all its dues to East India Company (British Government) by using the our Hindu Temple’s funds & saved Our Thiruvithamcore State from British attack. 

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About the back history of The Travancore Royal Dynasty, Since there are insufficient records of when these buildings were erected, the only material evidence left is in the Temple Architecture and the scant references made to them in separate encyclopaedic records like the Travancore State Manual. The author has made a classification of Travancore as belonging to three periods, influenced by changes in the socio-political and cultural sphere:

i) The Early Colonial period (18301860) when the capital of Travancore was shifted from Quilon (which is present day Kollam) to Thiruvananthapuram, with the reign of Swati Thirunal that commenced, followed by H.H.Uttram Thirunal.

ii) The Model State period (18601885) under H.H.Ayilyam Thirunal’s reign, when the British government conferred Travancore the distinction of being the ‘Model Native State’, which was continued by his successor H.H.Visakham Thirunal.

iii) The Modern Period (18851947) from the beginning of H.H.Mulam Thirunal’s rule in 1885 up to 1947 when the area witnessed socio-political transformation with the rise of educated class of men and women and the changing dynamic in the existing power systems.

Formation of  Travancore Devaswom Department

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His Highness The Maharajah of Travancore Sree Padmanabhadasa Vanchipala Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma VI was the ruling Maharajah of the Indian state of Travancore between 1885 and 1924, succeeding his uncle Maharajah Visakham Thirunal (1880–1885). In course of time the temples, particularly major temples, came to possess immense wealth contributed by devotees which included many rulers, administrators, and the public.The King The managers of temples enacted rules and customs for temple administration, basically favourable to them and not for the benefit of temples. The state did not interfere in the internal management of temples. Temples were autonomous institutions in the middle Ages. Corruption and mismanagement prevailed in their administration. All these led rulers to assume the management of devaswoms by virtue of their inherent melkoima right as the spiritual head of the state.tgsd.JPGAs mention earlier, The British took keen interest in the control of the administration of temples in the beginning of nineteenth century. In 1811 col. Munroe, the Diwan of Travancore, decided that  the government would take over the administration of Hindu temples along with their properties. The assumption of temples by Munro is a major landmark in the history of temple administration. The major criticism leveled against Munor’s action was that he transferred income from temples for proselytism activities. Initially separate accounts were maintained for temples taken over by the Government. After a short span of period it became difficult to separate revenue of temple lands with Government lands. Thus temples lost their properties and income and they had to depend on the mercy of the Government for their survival. In course of time large number of private temples was taken over on the basis of Hindu Religious Endowment Regulation act of 1904, which empowered the state to intervene in the affairs of temples whenever deemed necessary. The Travancore Devaswoms were maintained under the Travancore Land Revenue Department.

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In 1919, For the purpose of Formation of Devaswom Department; The Travancore government appointed a high level Committee known as The Krishna Ayyangar Committee, after a series of analysis and studies by the Committee, which  recommended to the formation of separate Devaswom Department under the direct supervision of the Government. The Royal Proclamation On 12th April 1922; The Travancore Devaswom Proclamation of 1922 was amendmented with immediate effect. On the basis of devaswom separation committee report separate Devaswom Department was created for temple management. Both in Cochin and Travancore the head of the Department – hitherto known as superintendent – was re-designated as Commissioner on 1 November 1926. “After that so many Royal Proclamations were came for the better administration on Sirkar & Ooraanma Devaswoms as well as Brahmaswom.” – will be attached as pdf files. 

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FUNCTIONING OF DEVASWOM DEPARTMENT

In pursuance of the devaswom proclamation dated 12th April 1922, the control of the sircar devaswoms which was till then vested with the land revenue department was taken away from that department and entrusted with the newly formed devaswom department.admin report (1).jpeg The devaswom department was given the power to administer not only the sircar devaswoms but also of japadakshina and uttus or charitable institutions. It did not include the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple and agrasala in he Thiruvananthapuram and the personal deposit devaswoms (unincorporated devaswoms) and their properties situated in and outside the state (1. T.A.R, 1930-3l,p.223). Towards the close of 1925, the dewan was relieved of his duties and responsibilities in connection with the administration of devaswoms within the purview of the devaswom proclamation. The administration of devaswoms was directly entrusted to the commissioner who was made directly responsible to the sovereign except in certain important matters in respect of   which the previous approval of the dewan had to be obtained (T.A.R., op.cit., p.232). But with effect from A.D 1930, this arrangement was cancelled under the command of the Maharaja and it was decided to place devaswom department under the dewan, like other department of the government, with devaswom commissioner under him as the head of the department. The bifurcation of devaswom administration from the department of land revenue and entrusting with devaswom department also gave way to the creation of a devaswom fund, allotted it to each temple according to the pathivu fixed for the respective temple (E.R.G.O No. Dis 335 of 22/G.B.)The formation of a separate devaswom department did not in any way affect the revenue administration of the devaswom lands.(3).JPG The proclamation of 1922 had made it clear that the devaswom lands were treated as pantarairaka lands and the collection of revenue from them was made by the government from time to time. On 31st January 1923, the government permitted the commissioner to lease out the lands belonging to unincorporated devaswom on kuthaka pattam for an indefinite period. The assistant commissioners of devaswom were also given power to do so, but only for a period not exceeding 12 years (G.O.R.Dis No.52 of 23/G.3, dated 31 January 1923). All devaswom vaka service lands were made pandaravaka property from 3rd June 1923. The entire land was divided as pandaravaka, brahmaswom and devaswom lands. The devaswom lands were exempted from taxation and such lands were known as irayilhi (tax-free). The government was entitled to the extra assessment or vilayartham of such lands (G.O.R. Dis No.461/23/G.B, dated 3 June 1923). On 1st November 1924, the superintendents of devaswom were empowered to grant kuttaka pattam leases for a period not exceeding three years. All departments including the devaswom department were given to lease out on kuttakappattam basis for all tarisu, thanathu chitta and purampokku lads under their control (G.O.no.1691 of 26/Revenue, dated 13 November 1926). On 30th July 1928, the government order to treat the tanatuchitta lands belonging to the devaswom department as sircar devaswom purampokku and the tax due there on to revenue department was treated as write off by the government (G.O.R. Dis No 277/28/G.B., dated 30 July 1928). smpa.JPGThe rules for the leases of personal deposit devaswom lands were amended so as to authorise the devaswom commissioner to sanction venpattam leases of such lands without an auction when it was found feasible and desirable (E.R.G.O.Djs No. 814/36/Dev., dated 5 December 1936). This amendment was made by the government on the recommendation of the devaswom commissioner (G.O.ROC. No.7238/36, dated 17 September 1936). With the separation of devaswoms from land revenue department and the creation of a separate devaswom department which began functioning in August 1922, drastic changes took place in the administrative machinery of the devaswoms, particularly on the establishment wing. The devaswom commissioner became the head of the department (Proceedings of S.M.P.A of Travancore, 1923, p.19). He was the adviser to the government in matters relating to devaswom and supervised and controlled the working of subordinate officers of devaswom department (Government Order R.O.C.No.206 of 2l/G.B, dated 2 September 1922)devaswm manual vol.1,p1 (1).jpegHe was directly responsible to the government for the proper management and control of the devaswom and charitable institutions. Below him, the devaswom assistant commissioners and superintendents were appointed for the proper and effective administration of the temples. The network of devaswom department itself was divided into two categories of the service namely establishment service and religious service. The establishment service was meant for management of temples and religious service was for the different works inside the temple such as the ordinary daily service called nithyanithaam, extraordinary ceremonies known as masavisesham, attavisesham and ulsavams. Under the uranma system no clear-cut distinction between staff of the two services could be identified. It was because the uranmakkar who lived on temple revenues themselves undertook one or other the of these services on receipt of fixed income (V. Nagam Aiya, Report on the Census of Travancore, 1891. Vol.1, p.333) However,sda.JPG 12 officers belonging to both categories of services were well known; such as uranmakkar, melkoyma, koyma, melsamudayam, samudayam, akattemanusym, puratemanuayam, pattali, kanakkam, masapati, thantri (santhi), purattesanthi (kalakam),. But in the later stage the devaswom administration was divided into devaswom establishment servants and temple servants. In the establishment wing, there were five categories of staff and under religious administrative side also five categories staff functioned below the authority of division peishkar. (Travancore Devaswom hand Book, 1923) The officers and office bearers of the religious services were left undisturbed at the initial stage of the assumption of devaswoms. Yet later two types of employees came into existence. Additional staff was appointed for its efficient administration (Legislative File No.D.Dis. 276/1946, dated 18 July 1946, p.3)For administrative convenience the state was divided into four devaswom districts namely Suchidrum, Trivandrum, Ambalapuzha and Vaikam. 13.JPGThe four districts were again subdivided into eighteen groups. Each of the four district was placed in charge of an assistant commissioner and each of the eighteen groups was to be administered by a superintendent (Legislature File No. D.Dis. 138/1933, Vol.VIII, 7 August 1934, p.20)The office of the devaswom commissioner assistant devaswom commissioner and superintendents had their own separate establishment of administrative staff. 14.JPGIn view of importance and large-scale expenditure of devaswoms at Cape Comorin, Suchindrum, Thiruvattar, Haripat, Ambalapuzha, Vaikom and Ettumanoor, resident managers were appointed in each of these temples. In addition to this, the devaswom department had to carry on maramath works such as construction and repairs of temple buildings and their appurtenances. Technically qualified persons were appointed for that purpose. Aminadars were appointed and one each was attached to the offices of the assistant devaswom commissioners (Ibid.). Though the separation of devaswom was effected from land revenue department, the properties mixed with government were not restored to the devaswom department. Hence the government gave an annual contribution of 16 lakhs of rupees towards the devaswoms fund as compensation (Devaswom, File No. D.Dis. 611/.1932, dated 10 November 1932, p.1. 18 T.K. Velu Pillai, op.cit, vol.1, p.253). dev classification.JPGAs the devaswom were further classified into major, minor and petty on the basis of their annual expenditure, the government allocated each devaswom a share from the devaswom fund. In 1936, under this classification there were 155 major, 355 minor and 945 petty devaswoms in Travancore. The major devaswoms were authorized to spend an expenditure of Rs. 1000/- or more, minor devaswoms between Rs. 100/- and 1000/- and petty devaswoms below Rs. 100/-. The table showing the expenditure to devaswoms and other charitable institutions from 1812 to 1932 (every ten years) gives a picture of gradual increase from year to year. (Source:  H.C.V.R., Tiratt No.22 of 987 M.E(A.D.1812) / Political Consultations, vol.349, A.D 1842, FF. 167-168. / Political Consultations vol. 566, A.D.1556, F.54. / T.A.R. A.D 1922, p.13. / Ibid., p.19) sm.JPGPathivu in respect of two major dévaswoms viz, the Aralvaimozhi devaswom in the Suchindram district and Kaviyoor devaswom in the Ambalapuzha district were revised during the year, involving an additional annual expenditure of Rs. 11116/-. In 1931 proposals for the revision of pathivus of two other devaswoms viz. Sambavarvadakarai and kaduthuruthy were under scrutiny when the year closed (T.A.R., 1930-31, pp.233-238). The renovation and reconstruction of temples were being systematically carried out every year. It was done according to an approved scheme from funds specially allotted for the purpose and the work was entrusted to the maramat department. A sum of Rs. 280000/- had been allotted for the year 1930-31. Petty construction and repair works to temples were carried out by the officers of the devaswom department. Another item of expenditure incurred by the devaswom department was for the conduct of several extraordinary ceremonies like astabandha kalasam, dravya kalasam, balabimba pratishta, naveekarana kalasam (Proceedings of the Government of Travancore, op.cit,p. 12). Every year some of the extra-ordinary ceremonies were conducted in certain temples. devaswom manual vol.1 p2 (1).jpegIn Travancore the personal deposit devaswoms were unincorporated religious institutions which came under the government management and control at different times and under varying circumstances (T.K.Velu Pillai, The Travancore State manual, vol.1, p.559). The accounts in respect of them were not merged in the general devaswom accounts but maintained separately and independently. They had personal deposit accounts with the government treasuries. The total number of these institutions were fifty seven of which twelve were in the Suchindrum district, fourteen in the Trivandrum district, four in the Ambalapuzha district, twenty five in the Vaikam district and the remaining two under the direct control of the devaswom commissioner. In 1930 -31, the government had spent about Rs.58000/- for various temples when the management of such temples were taken over by the government. In Perumanam devaswom, uchapuja service was conducted by the Travancore government by virtue of the right of take over of the management of that temple. nt.JPGThe renovation work of the Mannadi temple in the Pattazhi devaswom for which an estimate for Rs.7600/- was sanctioned. The renovation of temple tank and repair to the vilakkumadam attached to Turavur devaswom was completed. The surplus funds of these devaswoms aggregated to Rs. 4.5 lakhs at the close of the year (T.A.R., 1930-31, p.236). The sree pandaravaka and agrasala were outside the control of the devaswom department. They were directly under the supervision of the government. The former related to the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple. The agrasala attached to this temple dealt with daily feeding of the brahmins. The expenditure under these two items was not included in the expenditure controlled by the devaswom department headed by devaswom commissioner. The devaswom department not only concentrated in the general administration, devaswom land revenue etc but also paid attention in the management of income and expenditure of the devaswoms. devaswom manual vol. 2 (1).jpegIt also worked for social and cultural causes and for the development of the society. Soon after the formation of a separate devaswom department, the government felt the need for codifying certain devaswom rules, proceedings, statues and general reports. The devaswom commissioner was assigned to take up the work. He prepared a devaswom handbook, which was published in 1923 (Legislature File no. D.Dis. 138/33, vol.VIII, dated 7 August 1934, p.3). Yet the inversed volume of work of the devaswoms necessitated the modification of the devaswom handbook. So the government took up the task of compilation of a well-planned and comprehensive manual for the department. In 1930, a full time officer with sufficient experience was deputed to take up this work with the assistance of two clerks and a typist (Legislature File No. D.Dis 138/1933, vol.111, dated 7 August 1934, p.3). The work was completed in 1932 and it served as systematic and effective guide to the subordinates of the department and as a text book for the devaswoms. In 1938, the printing of volume II of the devaswom manual was taken up and the work made good progress during the year.devaswom sub group manual (1) Large-scale devaswom maps of the state were printed and supplied to the assistant commissioners as a guide for their inspection work (T.A.R., 1937-38, p.222). In 1922, a special officer was appointed for the verification of thiruvabharanams (Legislature File No. D.Dis.138/1933, op-cit., p.3)The verification, custody and utilization of thiruvabharanams and other valuables in temples are some of the important items of work relating to devaswoms. Later the number of special officers were increased to five, one in each for the four devaswom districts and also one already sanctioned for verification work in the major devaswoms containing valuables for which the value exceeded above of 10000/- In 1937-38 an officer and two accounts were newly appointed in the office of the devaswom commissioner to deal with and expedite disposal of reports of the thiruvabharanam special officer. er.JPGThe following table shows that the work made good progress after various steps had been taken for the effective functioning of the concerned department valuables (T.A.R., 1937-1938, p.219). To keep the devaswoms in the proper perspective, the authorities inspected them frequently. The commissioner inspected the offices of assistant commissioners and verified the records and accounts (T.A.R., 1924-1925, p.90). The assistant commissioners inspected the records and accounts of the superintendents office and sent their reports to the commissioners. The superintendents in turn inspected minor and major devaswoms within their jurisdiction and sent their inspection reports to the assistant commissioners(Ibid)The inspection notes were prepared in Malayalam for the convenience of rectifying the mistakes without delay. Therefore, the inspection helped to minimise the irregularities existing in the devaswoms. WhatsApp Image 2019-08-15 at 1.08.40 AM.jpegThe devaswom department took steps for training the santhikars in order to perform pujas and related rites regularly in the temples as per the customs and usage (T.A.S., vol.IV, p.29). The daily pujas like abhishekam, navakom, nivedyam, sribell, namaskaram etc could be done properly only with proper training. Similarly nirmalyam, usha pooja, uchapuja, pantheeradi pooja athazha pooja, deeparadhana etc. could be performed only on the basis of agamie principles and mantra-thantra vidhikal (Proceedings of the Maharaja of Travancore No.D. 1748,dated 11th May 1909). SHANTHI.JPGThe melsanthi, kizhsanthi and thrantri (T.A.S., vol IV., p.29-30)were the members of the priestly class having the sole responsibility for conducting the pujas and rituals as per the principles laid down in sastras. Specific qualifications were also prescribed for the santhikars. They produced certificates from Thantries and Swamiyars at the time of recruitment (Travancore Devaswom Mauals & Devaswom, File No. D.Dis.5607/1911 dated 4 October 1911, p.i). But these certificate holders had neither the knowledge of sanskrit nor able to pronounce even the mantras correctly. Hence Sree Moolam Popular Assembly and local press repeatedly urged the importance of appointing qualified men to conduct puja services as prescribed by the sastras. Maharaja of TravancoreThe assistant devaswom commissioners also discussed this matter at a special conference held for this purpose and a detailed scheme was prepared and submitted to government for approval. Consequently, Sree Chitrodaya Devapooja Paatasaala was started to impart proper training to the santhikars (Legislature File No. R.Dis.218/1935, dated 12 October 1935)A separate syllabus was also prepared for santhi School. The secretary of the tantric sabha supervised the teaching and conducted examination for the patasala (Report of the Devaswom Department for the year, 1932-33, 1934, pp. 12-13)In 1932, the government increased the pay of santhikars who were employed to conduct pujas in minor and petty devaswoms (T.A.R., 1928- 1929, p.240)In 1935, nambudiri boys were selected to study vedic dharma and they were appointed in the religious services of the state (General, File No.R.Dis. 1793/1935, dated 8 November 1935)In Vedaantha Paadasaala, there are four Topics (26 types of Vedas , 36 types of  Poojas, 7 types of Arts & 8 Sanskrits Language Grandhas) the students must be practiced. details are as follows..

shanti -1
shanti -2shanti -3shanti -4

Higher salaries were provided to the employees of the devaswom department with a view to achieve greater efficiency in administration. The standardisation of paditharam for purification ceremonies in temples was discussed and passed at a conference in which, Thirteen Tantries were present on invitation. The paditharams were intended to be applied to the temples governed by the malaya thantram as opposed to the paradesa tantram and fourteen devas (deities) common on the west coast (TAR., 1930-1931,p.232). For the purpose of prescribing paditharams, the devaswoms were classified into five grades. The several rites that have to be performed in the course of purificatory ceremonies in the temples were also classified. devaswom hand book (1).jpegThe articles to be used in each rite as well as dakshina to be paid therefor was also fixed (T.A.R., op.cit., p.233). These proposals were approved in general by tantries. In Travancore the temple was a multifaceted institution. Besides pujas and festivals, periodical religious discourses and harikatha were conducted in them (T.A.R., 1925-1926, p.159). A separate fund was allotted for religious discourses during annual and occasional ceremonies in temples. The public in general and the Hindus in particular appreciated these discourses and thus it became an integral part of certain important devaswoms. Holding of religious conventions in important centres like Neyyattinkara, Trivandrum, Kollam, Alleppey and Kottayam contributed much towards the religious awakening among Hindus (T.A.R., 1932-1933, p.218)deavswoms in travancore (1).jpegSeparate budget was sanctioned to purchase books to constitute a religious library was also a landmark step taken towards the development of cultural side of Hinduism. The Sri Chitra Central Hindu Religious Library which was opened at Trivandrum in 1112 M.E (A.D. 1937) carried on very many activities. Great facilities were afforded to the reading public by the addition of 843 religious books newly purchased for the library over and above the 1525 books which it already possessed at the beginning of the year. Fifteen magazines and journals were also subscribed for (T.A.R, 1937-1938, p.220). A library and lecture hail at Nagercoil was established in Suchindrum division. The opening of two new religious libraries one at Thattarambalam and the other at Kottayam was sanctioned by government during 1944 (T.A.R., 1944-1945, p.167). A large number of religious discourses were held in the library halls. The public evinced great enthusiasm and keen interest and they zealously co-operated in the endeavours of the department by making free gifts of books to the library and sometimes giving religious discourses without payment. An honorary curator was appointed for the library, he compiled a book entitled Geetha Samgraha, the first part of which was published during the year 1938 (T.A.R., op.cit., p.220). The institution might well be said to have become a center of religious learning at the capital. In addition to the Sri Chitrodaya Deva Pooja Patasala, the veda patasala, at Trivandrum continued to work satisfactorily with seventy four pupils and two aided vedic schools at Thiruperunthurai and Mankombu were stopped since the institutions were not working properly. directry.JPGThe Thevara Patasala at Suchindrum for teaching the recitation of devotional songs, was also established (Ibid). To encourage the indigenous arts like kathakali, chakkiyar kooth etc the experts were invited to perform these arts in large devaswoms (Legislature, File No. D.Dis. 138/1933, Vol.VIII, dated 7 August 1934, p.11). Thus temples in Travancore served as transmitting stations of knowledge which by and large awakened the Hindu society of the state. In 1933, the devaswom department organised bhajana parties from, among the worshippers in temples for singing devotional songs during puja hours (Legislature, File No. D.Dis. 138/33, Vol.111, dated 7 August 1934, p.9). Special bhajana parties were also permitted to sing on vrischika vritham and other special occasions (Ibid., p.10). The chanting of keerthanams and devotional hymns in temples created a spiritual atmosphere.

Social Reforms: The devaswom department had taken keen interest to eradicate some of the evil practices existed in Travancore from time immemorial. Due to the growth of new temple culture, the government adopted such measures with immediate effect. The low caste Hindus were not permitted to enter the temples and temple roads. Unapproachability, untouchability, pollution were but different aspects of the social evil of casteism followed by the caste Hindus for Travancore. There occured a prolonged agitation for temple entry and social status. temples of madras state (1).jpegThe notable event of the period was that the government had appointed a committee known as Temple entry enquiry committee to consider the question of temple entry to avarnas which ultimately paved the way for allowing all sections of the society to enter all temples and temple roads of Travancore without any distinction of caste, creed or colour. Slavery in the form of uliyam and virutti services was yet another social evil perpetuated by the devaswoms, to which unprivileged and underprivileged classes were subjected to Uliyam meant as compulsory labour for the government without any remuneration(A.Sreedhara Menon, A Survey of Kerala History, p.322.)and virutti constituted a kind of service inams and virutti holders set apart for the service of devaswoms and oottupura had to render obligatory services which generally consisted in ‘supplying at certain fixed prices, vegetables etc (V.Nagam Aiya, The Travancore State Manual, Vol.III,p.335). The people engaged in uliyam and virutti services were poor peasants belonging to the backward and depressed classes. The temple authorities treated them like slaves and the slightest flaw or disobedience on their part was met with, severe punishments. crThe viruttikar attached to Sri PadmanabhaSwamy temple at Trivandrum had supply curd for ceremonies in the temple at Paravur, a place near Kollam. During extra-ordinary ceremonies like bhadradeepam, lakshadeepam, murajapam, triumasam, tulabharam, etc. the obligation of husking paddy and supplying the rice to the temple fell upon the viruttikar of Kollam. This was because nearly 3000 brahmins had to be fed freely during all days of the murajapam. Some of the viruttikars had to carry brahmin guests from Kollam to Trivandrum in palanquins in order to facilitate their participation in murajapam ceremony. The daily allowance paid to this servile labour was on itangali rice per head (Ibid)The Ezhavas were bound to supply firewood for the famous temple at Vaikom and for oottupura attached to it. No remuneration either in cash or kind was given, nor was any land assigned to them as in the case of others under ullyam and virutti services. devaswom records in Central Archives TVM (1).jpegThe viruttikar at Haripad had to render free personal service to the subrahmanya temple festivals. Apart from rendering free physical labour, sometimes the duty of the uliyam and virutti holders included the performance of velakali during festival days in temples. The performance was to be made twice a day during evening and night. It had been calculated that nearly 300 viruttikars engaged for such performance, 200 of them at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple at Trivandrum and 100 to do the same in the Sree Krishna swamy temple at Ambalapuzha (E.R. File No.48, Devaswom Department Records, A.D. 1907, p.8)To escape from this slavery and oppression from the authorities, some of the viruttikars belonging to the depressed classes converted to christianity (E. R. File No. 60, Devaswom Department Records, A. D. 1910, p.11),  They began to abstain from works and seek protection from court of law. On one occasion the viruttikar in the Ambalapuzha temple refused to conduct velakali. In 1814 Col-Munro, the dewan of Travancore partially relieved them from their work. etAnother government order issued in April 1880 relieved the viruttikars of Trivandrum, Neyyattinkara and Nedumangad taluks from the burden of supplying provisions for the Isvara Seva ceremony in temples (T.G.G., dated 7 May 1880, p.127). In October 1883, dewan Ramayyangar appointed a committee to study the various problems relating to the uliyam and virutti service holders and to report the government defects of the system. The majority of the committee members recommended the immediate abolition of the system. Dewan Rama Rao issued a notification. In April 1888 relieved all virutti, uliyam holders from the obligation of rendering personal service to devaswoms and oottupuras (Revenue Settlement Final Report, Vol-VI, p.169). On August 7, 1893 the  uliyam and virutti services were abolished (The Acts and Proclamations of Travancore, vol.1, p.211). However, it continued in some parts of Travancore in one way or other form. After the formation of the devaswom department the seedlings of this evil system lost their roots completely from the soil of Travancore. mahaIn some shrines dedicated to Bhagavathy, the custom of sacrificing goats and fowls was prevalent. In some part of the state, even the cow was slaughtered and sacrificed to minor deities. Protest meetings were arranged against this practice by the public. So the government decided to put an end to this practice and issued an order dated 9th March 1925 (Devaswom File No. R.Dis. 343/25, dated 22 August 1925, p.1)Cucumber took the place of the animal victims in the ritual (Report of the Temple Entry Enquiry Committee, 1932, p.90). Another age old custom prevailed in Travancore was a practice that savarnas who crossed the sea did not enter the temples or their being prohibited from entering the temples. This custom became out of practice as the caste Hindus freely enter temples for worshiping (Report of the Temple Entry Enquiry Committee, op.cit., p.252). Abolition of purappadu was another remarkable work of the devaswom department. In Cherthala temple during utsavams, particularly on the puram day, obscene songs used to be sung by karakkars of the place in the belief that the deity’s blessings could be won thereby. This was a longstanding practice. Pooradom_Thirunal_Sethu_Lakshmi_BayiThe government stopped this custom by their order dated 9th March 1927 (Proceedings of the Government of Travancore, ROC. No. 344/25/G.B, dated 9 March, 1925). Another important step taken by the government and implemented by the devaswom department was against the devadasi system in temples of Travancore. Though initial steps were taken in 1925, it was finally abolished in 1931 (Devaswom, File No.D.Dis. 611/1931, dated 5 September, 1931). In time immemorial, the Travancore temples had the practice of observing devadasi system. The agama works which prescribes temple rituals and ceremonies refer to therottam or dancing as a part of temple ceremony (Report of the Temple Entry Enquiry Committee, op.cit., p.90). The first epigraphical record about the devadasi system in Kerala was found in the Chokkur temple at Neeleswaram in Kozhikode taluk (Elamkulam P.N.Kunjan Pillai, Keralacharitrattile Iruladanja Ettikal (Mal), p.75). The term devadasi simply meant ‘the maid of God’, smwhich was also interpreted as to mean a maid servant to provide pleasure to the deity by dancing before them. Those ‘wives of Gods’ enjoyed a daily allowance of rice, monthly wages, kachapuram (cloths), kutimana (house site) and other perquisites E..R.,G.O. No.372, dated 15 August 1931. 69 . Later some of the devadasis became rich and gave a portion of their earnings to the temples. This practice was prevalent in almost all major temples of south Travancore, in Sencotta and a few temples of Ambalapuzha, Karthikappally and Cherthala taluk (Census Report of India 1901, Vol.XXVI, Travancore, Part.I, p.277). Like the devadasis attached the temples of east coast, women dedicated to temple service known as kudikaris had been doing several items of service in some of the important temples in DSC03646Suchindrum district and Trivandrum district. The first attempt by the government to restrict devadasi system came in 1909 when the division assistant of padmanabhapuram division rejected the application of a nair girl below 16 years to became a devadasi in Suchindrum temple on the ground that the Travancore penal code made it punishable to dedicated girls below 16 years of age to a temple (Report of the Temple Entry Enquiry Committee, p.125). Another application was also rejected in 1910 on the same ground. However, the government allowed the children of devadasis above the age of 16 years, if they had already undergone the sacrament of talikett as per marumakkathayam custom (E.R.G.O.No.2634/D., dated 26 Mithunam 1086 M.E/A.D.1911). In 1921, the government decided to prohibit any further recruitment of devadasis either by way of adoption or by free choice. The final discontinuance of the system came into effect from 1st Chingam 1 106M.E (A.D 1931) when all the remaining devadasis were relieved of their duties in the temples of Travancore (E.R.G.O.Dis.No.293 of 21/G.B, dated 23 may 1921). Some of their duties were transferred to temple employees like the ambalavasis and the devadasi system was finally abolished in 1931 (Devaswom, File No.D.Dis.611/ 1931, dated 5 September 1931). The social reform movement undertaken by the government through devaswom department by way of purification of the Hindu community had its repercussion for a social change in Travancore, which led to the popularisation of temple worship in Travancore.  

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On 24th November 1936, The Temple Entry Proclamation of 1936, ‘The miracle of modern times’, His Highness Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, the Maharaja of Travancore changed the course of history and the destiny of the people with a stroke of his pen effecting a revolutionary change in the society. 

Image resultOn 1st of July 1949, THE COVENANTENTERED INTO BY (THE RULER OF TRAVANCORE) HIS HIGHNESS SRI PADMANABHA DASA VANCHI PALA SRI CHITHIRA THIRUNAL BALA RAMA VARMA KULASEKHARA KIRITAPATHI MANNEY SULTAN MAHA RAJA RAJA RAMA RAJA BAHADUR SHARMSHER JANG, KNIGHT GRAND COMMANDER OF THE MOST EXALTED ORDER OF THE STAR OF INDIA, KNIGHT GRAND COMMANDER OF THE MOST EMINENT ORDER OF THE INDIAN EMPIRE THE MAHA RAJA OF TRAVANCORE  AND (THE RULER OF COCHIN) HIS HIGHNESS SRI RAMA VARMA, THE MAHA RAJA OF COCHIN FOR THE FORMATION OF THE UNITED STATE OF TRAVANCORE AND COCHIN WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA- “The Government of India, hereby concur in the above Covenant and guarantee all its (22 Articles) provisions.In confirmation whereof, Mr.V.Pangunni Menon, Adviser to the Government of India in the Ministry of States, appends his signature on behalf and with the authority of the Government of India”.

devaswoms.JPGAfter attaining Independence and the introduction of constitutional changes Devaswom Department was separated from the effective control of the state.  When the Travancore and Cochin states were integrated on 1stJuly 1949  the administrative control of Devaswoms was vested with Travancore Devaswom and Cochin Devaswom Boards, in pursuance of the articles of the Covenant and provisions of TCHRE Act of 1950. The temples in Malabar area were governed by HR&CE Department on the basis of Madras HRCE Act of 1951. The Koodal Manickom Temple were governed by Department on the basis of Koodal Manickom Devaswom Act of 1971. Guruvayoor temple is governed by separate Devaswom committee as per the provisions of Guruvayoor Devaswom Act of 1978. Malabar Devaswom board was constituted by Kerala government as per the directions of Honourable high court of Kerala.

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The Travancore – Cochin Temple Entry Act XXVII of 1950 – Rules. in Exercise of The Powers conferred by Section 9. of The Travancore Cochin Temple Entry (Removal of Disabilities) By The Travancore Devaswom Board in order to provide for Maintenance of The Religious Rites And Ceremonies Performed In Temples.travancore_dynasty_kdb.jpg

TDB & KDB Admin Acts.JPGFormation of Travancore Devaswom Board

tdb.pngTDB is an autonomous body constituted under the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act XV of 1950. It is entrusted with the task of administrating 1248 temples in the erstwhile princely state of Travancore comprised in the State of Kerala which were earlier administrated by the ruler of Travancore prior to the integration of the Princely states of Travancore and Cochin in 1949. The constitution of the Board was based on the Covenant entered in to by the Maharaja of Travancore in May 1949 and concurred and guaranteed by the Government of India. The Board comprises of President and two Members. One member shall be nominated by the Hindus among the council of Ministers and the other member shall be elected by the Hindus among the Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Kerala. The term of the President and Members is for a period of three years. It has a Secretariat and its Headquarters is at Nanthancode, Thiruvananthapuram.  

Linguistic Reorganisation of Tamil State from The Travancore

kktaluk.gifThe Linguistic Reorganisation commission accepted the legitimacy of the demand of the Travancore Tamils for unification with Tamil Nadu. It recommended that the five taluks of Sengottai, Kalkulam, Vilavancode, Thovalai, Agastheesvaram should be taken out to be incorporated with the adjoining Tamil state. The commission advocated the linguistic reorganization of controversial areas on the basis of taluks and not villages and refused to take out the Tamil villages in Neyyatringarai taluk for the purpose of incorporation with Tamil Nadu. The commission also recommended that the taluks of Devikulam and Perumedu should be retained in the Kerala state. Capture.JPGIt recommended so because of the fact that the original inhabitants of these areas were Malayalees and Tamils came here as mere plantation workers. The TNCC also expressed its displeasure over this dimension and its leader C. Subramaniam officially conveyed its displeasure to the central govemment. Broadly based on the recommendations of Fazal Ali commission the linguistic reorganization of states was carried out through the enactment of a Constitutional Amendment Act in 1956. The Sengottai taluk was merged with Tirunelveli district and the other four taluks were amalgamated to form a new district called Kanyakumari in the Tamil speaking Madras state. 4-1959 tt.JPG4-1959 tt-2.JPG4-1959 tt-3.JPG

Transfer of Travancore Records

IIO.CR.1.35/57/PD dated 17.05.1960,  The state Reorganisation Pre-Settlement and Settlement Records related to the areas transferred to The District Collector, kanyakumari district – Madras State from Kerala govt. Public Dept. ( Central Records)  including Devaswom Land Settlements Records ) on 03.08.1960 and are received by Sri.C.P.Bhaskara Menon for The Collector Sri.J.A. Ambasankar IAS. Ref .B4.6543/60 dated 11.08.1960 00351-CRI-433/60/PD seal dated 17.Aug.1960.

Central Government Act; Article 290A in The Constitution Of India 1949

290A. Annual payment to certain Devaswom Funds.- as on 1949’s Covenant –  A sum of forty-six lakhs and fifty thousand (46,50,000/-) rupees shall be charged on, and paid out of, the Consolidated Fund of the State of Kerala every year to the Travancore Devaswom Fund; and a sum of thirteen lakhs and fifty six thousand (13,56,000/-) rupees shall be charged on, and paid out of, the Consolidated Fund of the State of Tamil Nadu every year to the Devaswom Fund established in that State for the maintenance of Hindu temples and shrines in the territories transferred to that State on the 1st day of November, 1956, from the State of Travancore-Cochin.

Latter The Kerala Govt. raised the Rs.32,94,000 to One Crore (1,00,00,000/-) rupees and The Tamilnadu Govt. raised the Rs.13,56,000/- to Three Crore (3,00,00,000/-) rupees.

[The Tamilnadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, Demand No.47 Government Grant for Kanyakumari District temples (2014-2015) sec. 59. Understanding the shortage of funds in the administration of Kanyakumari District  incorporated and unincorporated temples which includes 490 temples, 1 Women’s college, 1 Higher Secondary School, and 2 High Schools Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma ordered the annual government grant of Rs.1 crore to be raised to Rs.3 crore for better administration.]

The Formation of  Kanyakumari Devaswom Board

kumariThe members could be removed on the ground of misbehavior or incapacity. In absents of Board, The Joint Commissioner / The Executive Officer of Kanyakumari Devaswom Board will take the charge as Thakkaar. In the independent India, “The States Reorganisation Act-1956” came into effect from November 1st, 1956 and consequently, the Tamil speaking area of Thovalai, Agastheeswaram, Kalkulam, Eraniel & Vilavancode Taluks of Thiruvananthapuram District and Sengottai Taluk of Quilon District were transferred from Travancore-Cochin (Kerala) to Madras (Tamilnadu) state including 490+ Travancore Devaswom Board temples. These incorporated and unincorporated devaswom temples are now under the administration & control of The Joint Commissioner & The Executive Officer of Kanyakumari Devaswom Board {KDB}, Suchindram.2kdb group wise devaswoms _www.490kdbtemples.org-ink

Devaswom_Board_Office_SuchindramAs per the Act 30 of 1959, passed by the Madras legislature, the Kanyakumari Devaswom Board was established on 1st April 1960. The President and two members constituted the Board. The president and a member were nominated by the then Madras Government and the Ruler of Travancore nominated another member. Only the permanent resident of the transferred territory was eligible to be nominated to the Board. He should profess the Hindu religion and must attain the age of thirty-five years. The members could be removed on the ground of misbehaviour or incapacity. The Devaswom Board functioned from 1st April 1960 to 31st December 1974 for about 15 Years. The working of the Board was effective. The most important function of the Board was to control the administration of devaswoms in the transferred territory. This expression was substituted for the expression, 

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“The Devaswom Board constituted under section 4 of the Tamil Nadu (Transferred Territory) Incorporated and Unincorporated Devaswoms Act, 1959 (Tamil Nadu Act 30 of 1959)” The Board supervised the activities of the temple, made arrangements for the proper conduct of pujas, ceremonies, ulsavams and other festivals of the temples. The Board appointed temple servants for the proper conduct of pujas and ulsavams. Board members visited the important temples during the days of ulsavams. They were entitled to get travelling allowances during their visit. Apart from temple administration, the Board has undertaken many social, cultural and educational activities with a view to uplift the social, economic and cultural betterment of the Hindu community. The Board conducted meetings at regular intervals and urgent meetings were conducted with circulation minutes. Assistant devaswom commissioner acted as the secretary of the Board. The kanyakumari Devaswom Board has prepared and passed byelaws on various subject matters at the Board meetings. These byelaws were published in one or more newspapers of local languages of the locality, district gazettes, and exhibited them in the devaswom notice board at Board’s office at Suchindrum. People expressed their objections and suggestion over the byelaws, which enabled the Board to modify them. Such modified byelaws were sent to the government through the commissioner. The Board prepared the administration report every year. 

The report covered all the activities of Board. In the administration report. for the year 1960-’61, a detailed report regarding the social activities of the Board had been given. The establishment of schools and other educational institutions including the “Thevara patasala” at Suchindrum were the major educational activities of the Board.suchindram-temple Incorporated Devaswoms were the temples mentioned in the schedule of the devaswom proclamation of 1097 M.E., which had been under the management of the ruler of Travancore. Then they came under the Land Revenue Department and subsequently transferred to Travancore Devaswom Department then it become Travancore Devaswom Board. During bifurcation these temples were entrusted to Kariyakumari Devaswom Board.Total number of temples under Incorporated Devaswom category was 458. the Devaswom Board took over some of the temples managed by trustees on account of their mismanagement and these temples came to be known as unincorporated devaswoms. The properties and funds of these devaswoms were kept distinct and separate from the incorporated devaswom. There were 18 unincorporated devaswoms under Kanyakumari Devaswom Board. The administration of SreePadmanabha Swamy temple and Sreepandaravaka properties and funds of the said temple was vested in a trust with the ruler of Travancore. 10oct_KGRAMHI-n+11MA_SUCHINDRUM_NGL.jpgThere was a separate department known as sanketham department. When sreepandaravaka lands were taken over by the Government, the administration and management of sanketham temples were placed with the devaswom Board. There were twelve sanketham temples in the transferred territory. The sreepadam temples were managed by the palace directly. There were separate lands known as sreepadam lands for these temples. Sreepadam lands were taken over subsequently. The management and control of these temples were transferred to the Devaswom Board. There were two sreepadam temples under Kanyakumari Devaswom Board. The temples under category sanketham and sreepadam were royal family temples. They were entrusted with the Board because of their properties being abolished by laws enacted by the government. 

navratri-procession-4.jpgAmong the incorporated temples, some of them were considered as big temples. Such temples assumed that status on the basis of the expenditure incurred by them for pujas, ceremonies and other festivals. In other parts of Tamilnadu the temples which have more income are considered as big temples. This is a major difference between the temples of KDB and other parts of Tamilnadu. Those temples are conducting many festivals and ulsavams apart from nityanitanam. The expenditure in these temples are high and so they are considered as major temples. The ritual in these temples are similar to those of the temples of Travancore. 47082659_2286453761624242_1194766950287485095_n.jpgA large number of people participated in these festivals. Many temple priests like Santhikars, Tantri, Melsantlii, Kizhsanthi etc were appointed on the initiative of Board for the proper conduct of pujas and ulsavams. The Santhikars are appointed for a particular period ordinarily for a term of three years. The Santhikars in Kanyakumari temples were directly paid with paddy but now they are paid in cash. Apart from Santhikars, there are other temple servants (contingency) such as Nathaswaram, Thaval, Panchavathiam, Vilakiceduppu, Suruthi, Thalam, Malaikettu, Patramtheipu, Thalithoopu, Kazhakam, Sankuvili, Thirumeni Kaval, Pariyudayavar, Bhagavthar, Thevaram, Kai-Vistharam, Rudhrajepam and Adthyayanam. In addition to these temple servants, Brahmin Peon, Watchman and Strong Room Guards are also appointed.

K.D.B. Suchinthiram Administration Office Staff

  1. Assistant Devaswom Commissioner — 1
  2. Devaswom Accounts Officer — 1
  3. Thiruvabharanam Special Officer– 1
  4. Manager (office) — 1
  5. Technical Assistant — 1
  6. Auditors (U.D) — 1
  7. Auditors (L.D) — 1
  8. Librarian — 1
  9. Treasurer — 1
  10. Head accountant — 1
  11. Accountant — 1
  12. Manager (P.D.Devaswom) –1
  13. Draftsman — 1
  14. Electrician — 1
  15. Last grade servants — 5
  16. Work Superintendent — 2

Government Servants of K.D.B.

1. Devaswom Superintendents — 05
2. Managers-  02
3. Maramath Section Officers —  02
4. Assistants —  14
5. Junior Assistants —  22
6. Typists —  03
7. Overseer —  01
8. Sub overseers–  05
9. Sreekariams —  39
10. Chadrams —  21
11. Office Assistants(peons) — 16
12. Watchman —  01
       Total =  131

Temple Servants under K.D.B.

1. Melsanthi (Archakar)- 140
2. Kizhsanthi (Assistant to Melsanthi)- 220
3. Nathaswaram- 50
4. Thaval –  50
5. Watchman and strong room guards —  160
6. Pancha-vadhyam — – 60
7. Vilakkeduppu–  05
8. Brahmin peon–  05
9. Sruthi–  30
10. Thalam–  10
11. Maaikettu–  50
12. PatramTeipu–  20
13. Thali-Thoopu (sweepers) —  100
14. Kazhakom–  40
15. Sankuvili– 10
16. Thirumenikaval & Paniyudayavar– 58
17. Bhagavathar – Thevaram & Kaivistharam-  18
18. Rudhra-Jepam & Adhyayanam — 20
      Total     = 1046

Temple Addl. Servants in K.D.B.

1. Junior Assistants —  02
2. Supervisors —  02
3. Electricians —  02
4. Maistry —  03
5. Library Assistants —  02
6. Office Assistants — 03
      Total =   14

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Details of Accounts on Devaswoms under KDB Administration

Incorporated Devaswoms – (single account for all Major, Minor & Petty Devaswoms) ஒன்றாக சேர்க்கப்பட்ட  அல்லது இணைக்கப்பட்ட தேவஸ்வம்கள் / ഒന്നായി സംയോജിപ്പിച്ച ദേവസ്വങ്ങള്‍.
Unincorporated Devaswoms – (separate account for each PD Devaswoms) ஒன்றாக சேர்க்கப்படாத அல்லது இணைக்கப்படாத தேவஸ்வம்கள் / ഒന്നായി  സംയോജിപ്പിക്കാത്ത ദേവസ്വങ്ങള്‍.
Sanketham Devaswoms(single account for 12 Devaswoms)
Sree Padam Devaswoms(single account for 2 Devaswoms)

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Hiranya Simha Nalloor Palace (Eraniel Palace)

imgbig1-622x522.jpgAfter “The States Reorganisation Act-1956″ The Eraniel Palace and its Fort are also come under the control of Kanyakumari Devaswom Board. KDB has give this Palace for Civil supplies to use as godown; and it leeds to hastened its dilapidation. Recently The Tamilnadu Govt. allotted Four Crore (Rs.4,00,00,000) Rupees for the purpose of renovation of this palace to KDB through Tamilnadu Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowment Department..!!!

Educational Institutions & Library– 

  1. Thevara Padasala, Suchinthiram, Kanyakumari District.
  2. Devaswom High School, Thirparappu, Kanyakumari District.
  3. Devaswom High School, Kulithurai, Kanyakumari District.
  4. Devasthana Higher Secondary School, Mandaikadu, Kanyakumari District.
  5. Sri Devi Kumari College for Women, Kuzhithurai, Kanyakumari District.
  6. Sree Chitra Devaswom Library, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari District.

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Right of  Tamil Nadu HR&CE Act 22 of 1959 over KDB Temples

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By section 18 of the Tamilnadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (Third Amendment) Act, 1974 (Tamil Nadu Act 50 of 1974). It applies to all Hindu public religious institutions and endowments [including] the incorporated Dewaswoms and Unincorporated Dewaswoms.

தமிழ்நாடு இந்து சமய அறநிலைக் கொடைகள் சட்டம் 1959 (சட்டம் 22/1959 பிரிவு 6(12) மற்றும் 6(23)-ன் கீழுள்ள அட்டவணைகளில் குறிப்பிட்டுள்ள கன்னியாகுமரி மாவட்ட திருக்கோயில்கள் செயல் அலுவலர் (இணை ஆணையர்) பிரிவுக்கு உட்பட்டதும்; கன்னியாகுமரி மாவட்ட இணைக்கப்பட்ட மற்றும் இணைக்கப்படாத திருக்கோயில்கள் (தேவஸ்வம்) உட்பட்டதும்  ஆகும்.

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தமிழ்நாடு இந்து சமய அறநிலையத்துறை நிர்வாகத்தின் கீழ் நூறு ஆண்டுகளுக்கும் மேல் பழமையான 3470 திருக்கோவில்கள் வரிசை பட்டியலில் 2771 முதல் 3265 வரை சேர்க்கப்பட்டதும், மதிப்பிற்குரிய திருநெல்வேலி இணை ஆணையர் பிரிவுக்கு உட்பட்டதும் ஆகும் கன்னியாகுமரி தேவசம் வாரியம்  திருக்கோவில்கள்.

KDB Temples Administered by the Executive Officers from HR&CE :-

;TN HR&CE Act 22 of 1959 Sections applicable for kdb as follows:-

Sections: 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 39, 40, 43, 43A, 45, 47,  47A48, 49, 49A
Section 49B “Power of Executive officer (EO,TN HR&CE to the KDB) and Chairman of Kanyakumari Devaswom Board of Trustees not to implement order or resolution of the Trustee or Board of Trustees in certain cases.
DEVASWOM FUND
(1) It shall be lawful for [the Commissioner] to create a Fund to be called the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Common Good Fund [hereinafter in this section referred to as the said Fund], out of the contributions voluntarily made by the religious institutions from their surplus funds or by any person for the renovation and preservation of needy temples and their [building and paintings, for the promotion and propagation of tenets common to all or any class of religious institutions and for any of the purposes specified in sub-section (1) of section 66.]
[(1-A) [The Commissioner] may, on a direction from the Government, transfer to the said Fund, any surplus or such portion thereof, as may be specified in the direction, remaining in the [Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Administration Fund] after the repayment of the amounts specified in sub-section (2) of section 12 and sub-section (2) of section 96]. 
(2) The said Fund shall be vested in and such administered by [the Commissioner] in such manner as may be prescribed.
Section 97A “
Maintenance of Incorporated Devaswoms out of Devaswoms Fund
The Board of Trustees constituted under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 47 shall, out of the Devaswom Fund established under sub-section (1) of section 112 of the States Reorganization Act, 1956 (Central Act 37 of 1956) and referred to in section 97-B, maintain the Incorporated Devaswoms, keep in a state of good repair the temples, buildings and other appurtenances thereto, administer the said Devaswoms in accordance with the recognized usages, make contributions to other Devaswoms in the transferred territory and meet the expenditure for the customary religious ceremonies and may provide for the educational uplift, social and cultural advancement and economic betterment of the Hindu community.
{Note: THE STATES REORGANISATION ACT, 1956 (Central Act 37 of 1956) – Section 112″ Provision as to the Devaswom Surplus Fund of Travancore.
(1) As from the appointed day, there shall be established in the State of Madras a Devaswom Fund for the management of Hindu temples and shrines in the territories transferred to that State from the State of Travancore- Cochin.
(2) The assets as on the appointed day of the Devaswom Surplus Fund constituted by section 26 of the Travancore- Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1950 , shall be divided into two parts in the ratio of 37. 5 to 13. 5 in such manner as the Central Government may, by order, direct, and the smaller part shall, as from the appointed day, be transferred to the Fund mentioned in sub- section (1).
– Section 4″ Transfer of territory from Travancore- Cochin to Madras. As from the appointed day, there shall be added to the State of Madras the territories comprised in the  Agastheeswaram, Thovala, Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks of Trivandrum district and the Shencottah taluk of Quilon district; and thereupon– (a) the said territories shall cease to form part of the existing State of Travancore-Cochin; (b) the territories comprised in the Agastheeswaram, Thovala, Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks shall form a separate district to be known as Kanyakumari district in the State of Madras; and (c) the territories comprised in the Shencottah taluk shall be included in, and become part of, Tirunelveli district in the State of Madras. 
– Section 5″ Formation of Kerala State. (1) As from the appointed day, there shall be formed a new 1[ State to be known as the State of Kerala comprising the following territories, namely:– (a) the territories of the existing State of Travancore- Cochin, excluding the territories transferred to the State of Madras by section 4}
Section 97B “
The Devaswom Fund – shall consist of-  (i) the sum of thirteen lakhs and fifty thousand rupees mentioned in Article 290-A of the Constitution of India as payable to the Devaswom Fund in the State of Tamil Nadu and the share of the Devaswom Surplus Fund mentioned in sub-section (2) of section 112 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 (Central Act 37 of 1956) transferred to the said Devaswom Fund ; (ii) the moneys realized, from time to time, by the sale of movable properties belonging to the said Devaswom; (iii) all voluntary contributions and offering made by devotees; (iv) profits and interests received from investment of funds belonging to the said Devaswoms; and (v) all other moneys belonging to, or other income received by, the said Devaswoms.
Section 97C “
Devaswom Surplus Fund and its administration; The unspent balance of each year out of the Devaswoms Fund referred to in section 97-B or such portion of it, as may be determined by the Board of Trustees constituted under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 47 and approved by [the Commissioner] shall be Added on to the dev Surplus Fund. The Devaswom Surplus Fund shall be administered, subject to the direction and control of [the Commissioner].
Section 97D “
Devaswom properties
Immovable properties entered or classed in the revenue records and Devaswom Vaga or Devaswom poramboke and such other Pandaravaka lands as are in the possession or enjoyment of the Incorporated Devaswom after the 30th Meenam, 1097 corresponding to the 12th April, 1922 shall be dealt with as Devaswom properties. The provisions of the Tamil Nadu Land Encroachment Act, 1905 (Tamil Nadu Act III of 1905) shall be applicable to Devaswoms lands as in the case of Government lands.
Section 97E “
Unincorporated Devaswom
The properties and Funds of the Unincorporated Devaswom shall be kept distinct and separate as heretofore and shall not be utilized except for the purposes of those Devaswoms.sangetham.JPG
Explanation I.-The sum of eighteen thousand rupees paid annually by the Government to the Board of Trustees constituted under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 47 by virtue of section 14 of the Kanyakumari Sree Pandaravaka Lands (Abolition and Converstion into Ryotwari) Act, 1964, (Tamil Nadu Act 31 of 1964) shall be deemed to be the funds of the Unincorporated Devaswoms mentioned in Part II of Schedule II.spv-1.JPGspv-2.JPGspv-3.JPGspv-4.JPGspb-5.JPGsvp-6.JPGsvp-7.JPG
Explanation II.-The sum of two thousand rupees paid annually by the Government to the Board of Trustees constituted under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 47 by virtue of section 28 of the Kanyakumari Sreepadam Lands (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1972 (Tamil Nadu Act II of 1973), shall be deemed to be the funds of the Unincorporated Devaswoms mentioned in Part II of Schedule II.] sreepadam direct.JPGThese two sreepadam Devaswoms are originally managed by 250-year-old  at Sreepadam PalaceThe oldest among the palaces here, the Sreepadam Palace was where the women (The Maha Ranies & Thamburatties) of the royal family, called the Attingal queens, and their family members lived. It is also the palace closest to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. Originally called the Sreepada Theerthakara Kandukondedathu Koyikkal, the palace and the 1.16 hectares of land on which it stands were acquired by the government from the royal family of erstwhile Travancore at a cost of Rs.1.7 crore. Once the holiday home of the erstwhile Travancore royal family during 16th and 17th century. The entire colonial structure is constructed around the ancient ‘Sreepadatheertham ‘holy pond which dates back to the 14th century. The pond is believed to be the second most sacred water body after ‘Padmatheertham’.It is believed that the holy water after the rituals performed on the idol of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy in the temple flows into the ‘20_01022019143947.jpgSreepadatheertham’ pond. The 16th century Nalikettu – the antique rectangular structure with a central courtyard – is one of the rarest architectural wonder in Kerala and dates back to pre-Marthandavarma period. The Nalukettu construction in Travancore style is made or rocks and wood and has  Vadakkini (northern block),Padinjattini (western block),Kizhakkini (western block) and Thekkini (south block).The exquisite wooden and rock pillars that support the roof of the verandah surrounding the Nalukettu reflect the architectural craftsmanship of Travancore. Huge pillars, arches and carved wooden railings in the place are reminiscent of European architecture. According to historians, the ‘Nalukettu’ is said to have belonged to Aswathi Thirunal Umayamma Rani,who was the regent of Venad.”Sreepadam is one of the oldest places in Kerala.
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MISCELLANEOUS
The properties and Funds of the Unincorporated Devaswom shall be kept distinct and separate as heretofore and shall not be utilized except for the purposes of those Devaswoms.
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G.O.(Ms) No.365 dated 09.04.2010 Temple Property suit Rs.100/-

G.O.(Ms).No.540 Dt: December 04, 2014  Capture.JPGEncroachment – Formation of Various Committees to dispose the grievances relating to the eviction of encroachment in Government land – Directions of High Court of Madras in W.P.No.26722/2013 and M.P.No.1/13 – Implementation of orders of High Court of Madras – Orders – Issued.

Database to be made for temple assets in Tamil Nadu:

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On monday, 17th of September 2016, The Tamil Nadu government proposed to create database of movable and immovable assets of the temples in the state as part of its series of initiatives in the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said such assets of temples include metal and stone idols besides land and buildings. “All the information will be computerised,” she said in a statement. GIS and GPS will be used for documenting temple property, she said, adding, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) will be used to give a fillip to temple administration. Apart from it, 241 temples will be added to an existing scheme to ensure at least one time pooja a day is performed in these places of worship. 

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All over the state, Already 12,504 shrines were benefiting under this scheme where the aim is to ensure that proper pooja are conducted at least once in a day, she said. The state government will provide Rs 2.16 crore to the devotees’ contribution of Rs 24.10 lakh for conducting one time pooja, she said. Allocation of funds for making new wooden temple cars, purchase of required pooja material for a number of temples, construction of ‘Annadana’ halls and rest areas for devotees and increase in pension for temple staff were also part of the initiatives announced by the Chief Minister. By: PTI | Chennai | Published:September 19, 2016 6:29 pm

krishmaleela-mural+painting_facebook_timeline_coverThe idea behind the creation of this web site is to make the good deeds & put all 490+ KDB temples in a single platform. This is also to show the reality and painful conditions of some of the devaswom temples in Kanyakumari district & Senkottai taluk of Tirunelveli district visible to the world. This web site serves as a link between the devotees who are interested, the persons who like to participate in renovation and pooja ceremonies of these incredible ancient Hindu temples and the temple administration.  

You can view the 490+ Temples by clicking the “List of Devaswoms” on the top. We have five groups of Devaswoms which are based on Devaswom Taluks; Boothapandy Devaswoms, Nagercoil Devaswoms, Padmanabhapuram Devaswoms, Kuzhithurai Devaswoms & Shencottah Devaswoms.  The list of temples are added to each group, in bracket having (Green Colour) has attached pictures and related data & others are in process.. Your visit, encouragement and support are a big boost for the devotees involved in this initiative. This web site is not officially affiliated. 1kdb group wise devaswoms _www.490kdbtemples.org-ink

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