Travancore Sisters

Travancore Sisters

Travancore Sisters

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Travancore Sisters refers to the trio of Padmini, Lalitha and Ragini who were actors, dancers and performers in Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi films.

The trio were born into a nair family in Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum).Their ancestors originally hailed from nagercoil, now in Tamil Nadu. Lalitha is the eldest and Ragini the yougest. Padmini gained the maximum success and has acted in more than 250 films. They have one brother, Chandrakumar, who is the father of the Malayali actress Shobana. Vineeth is also a nephew of the Travancore sisters. Their mother Saraswaty's niece is the famed Sukumari, who is presumed to have acted in about 2,000 movies.

The Travancore sisters learned dancing under Guru Gopinath and Guru T. K. Mahalingam Pillai. Ragini died young and Padmini is the only surviving member of the trio. Padmini recently came to stay in the Bay Area, but has maintained a low profile. Few documents relating to them survive except for dozens of films and articles in Indian newspapers. The Travancore Sisters grew up in a joint family tharavadu 'Malaya Cottage' in Poojappura - Trivandrum. The matriarchial head of the family was Karthiyayini Amma whose husband was PK Pillai (Palakunnathu Krishna Pillai of Cherthala) alias 'Penang Padmanabha Pillai'. PK Pillai had six sons of whom Satyapalan Nair (Baby) was a leading producer of many early Malayalam films. Another son, Raveendran Nair's...
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