Thachudaya Kaimal

The Thachudaya Kaimals were a lineage of ruling chiefs in Travancore, now in the Indian state of Kerala. The Thachudaya Kaimal is a sacerdotal dignitary in Kerala and is considered the spiritual chief and temporal ruler of the Koodalmanikyam Temple and its estates. The line goes back into antiquity and is mentioned in the Skanda Purana. The Thachudaya Kaimals enjoyed legal rights such as being preceded by a personal escort of attendants with lamp and sword. The Ruling Chief had an escort of the Travancore Nair Brigade. He had no acknowledged superiors and did not rise even in the presence of kings. The residence of the Thachudaya Kaimals is the Kottilakkal Palace in Irinjalakuda. The heraldry of the Kaimals bear the insignia of a coiled conch-shell with the words Manikkan Keralar. Mahatma Gandhi, recognising that by ancient law and custom the Thachudaya Kaimal had ultimate spiritual authority over the Hindus, visited Irinjalakkuda during the 1930s to persuade the Kaimal to order by decree the Temple Entry Proclamation and to persuade the Maharaja to issue an ordinance to abolish untouchability.[citation needed]

The rule of the empire was also vested in the Kaimal from time to time, especially when there is an interregnum between the death of one king and anointing of an other.[1][full citation needed]

Previously, an attempt to depose the Thachudaya Kaimal as a ruling chief and outcaste the Maharaja of Travancore from Hinduism was instigated by the Raja of Cochin after the Temple Entry Proclamation in Travancore although he was reinstated by the British Raj authorities with the involvement of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India.[2][page needed]

Tradition dictates that the Guruvayur temple belonging to the Zamorin of Malabar, the Koodalmanikyam temple of the Thachudaya Kaimal family of Travancore and the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple of the Travancore royal family are the grandest temples in Kerala in terms of size and proportion of offerings.[citation needed]

End of hereditary rightsEdit

With the 26th amendment of the Indian constitution in 1971,[3] the princely order in India was abolished and thus the Thachudaya Kaimals lost their claim to the temple and its estates.[4] Those properties are now run by a Trust managed by the District Collector although a vestige of former power lies in the current Thachudaya Kaimal being the chief trustee of the temple.[citation needed]

The Thachudaya Kaimal

The penultimate Thachudaya Kaimal was named Bhaskara at birth on 22 June 1895 in the Mundanad branch of the Kayamkulam royal family, by then residing at Valiyasala, Trivandrum.[5][full citation needed]


  1. ^ K. P. Padmanabha Menon, History of Kerala Vol ii
  2. ^ Alappat Sreedhara Menon in Triumph & Tragedy in Travancore: Annals of Sir C. P.'s sixteen years, Publisher: Current Books (2001), ISBN 978-8124010945 under section titled 'The Thachudaya Kaimal Affair
  3. ^ "THE CONSTITUTION (AMENDMENT)". Archived from the original on 6 December 2011.
  4. ^ ":: Daily News with The Gulf Today on GoDubai, Middle East, Dubai, UAE Online News::". Archived from the original on 15 April 2016.
  5. ^ Chattampi Swamikalude Gruhasta Shishyanma, Ananthakumara Press, Sivakasi