The Kingdom of Travancore was a former Hindu feudal kingdom (till 1858) and an Indian princely state that had been ruled by the Travancore Royal Family from the capital at Padmanabhapuram or Thiruvananthapuram. The Kingdom of Travancore at its zenith comprised most of modern day southern Kerala, Kanyakumari district, and the southernmost parts of Tamil Nadu. The official flag of the state was red with a dextrally-coiled silver conch shell (Turbinella pyrum) at its centre. The king of the state was accorded 19-gun salute, the second highest among the honorary gun salutes that were granted by the British Empire to honor the heads of the princely states.
The state government took many progressive steps in the socio-economic front and the state was one among the best of princely states, with reputed achievements in education, political administration, public work and social reforms.
Venad Swaroopam: This was a small principality in the Ay Kingdom until the end of 11th century AD. A former feudal state it was traditionally ruled by the rajas, known as Venattadis. Their territories at its zenith included Nagercoil in the south to Thiruvalla in the north. Aykudi was region’s the capital during the first Sangam age and later shifted at Kollum towards the end of the 8th century AD. The cause of decline was primarily the continuous attacks by the Pandyans. As the Ay’s power diminished Venad became the southernmost principality of the Second Chera Kingdom.
In 1096 Kollam was destroyed by an invasion of the Cholas into Venad. However, the Chera capital, Mahodayapuram, also fell in the subsequent Chola attack, which compelled the Chera king, Rama Varma Kulasekara, to move his capital to Kollam. Hence Rama Varma Kulasekara, the last emperor of the Chera dynasty is most likely the founder of the Venad royal house, and the title of the Chera kings, Kulasekara, was thenceforth kept by the rulers of Venad. Thus the end of the Second Chera Empire in the 12th century marks the independence of Venad.