are the sons of the Samanthan Nair Maharajahs
and their morganatic
wives belonging to Illathu Nair
or other similar Kshatriya
castes. They form a part of the Nair
caste (even if the mother is a Rajput
or some other non-Nair, as in the case of the Kunju Thampies
) and had no title of succession to the throne.
Since the Varma kings or Maharajahs of South Kerala
) also belong to the warrior race of the Nairs
, they followed the matrilineal system (Marumakkathayam
) of inheritance. Hence when a king died his sister's son would become the next Varma (Samanthan Nair
) ruler and his own son born of his wife, usually of the Illathu Nair
caste would be called Thampi
with the title "Kannaku Chempakaraman"
which was also one of the highest titles of nobility
All of the Maharajahs' female descendants were known by the style of Kochamma
added to their name. The sons, as mentioned, were styled Thampi
s with the title of Kanakku Chempakaraman
. Since the Marumakkathayam
law of matrilineal inheritance existed in Travancore, the sons of these Thampi gentlemen would, however, not gain any distinguishing title.
Families from where Maharajas got married are known as "Ammaveedus"
. Arumana Ammaveedu
, Vadasseri Ammaveedu, Nagercoil Ammaveedu, Thiruvattar Ammaveedu, etc. are some of the prominent families in Trivandrum from where the Maharajas of Travancore married. The Rajahs of Travancore traditionally took... Read More