Head of Travancore royal family dies at 91, Narendra Modi `saddened`

Last Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 12:53

Zee Media Bureau

Trivandrum: The titular Maharaja of Travancore Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma died of cardiac arrest on Monday.

He was 91 and the last ruling monarch of the royal family of Travancore. He is survived by a son and a daughter.

Uthradam Thirunal was admitted to a hospital on December 06 due to age-related illness, doctors said.

He will be cremated before sunset at the Kavadiyar Palace Grounds today. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was in Delhi for official work, has cut short his trip and will attend his funeral here.

Uthradom Thirunal was the younger brother of the last ruling monarch of the Travancore Kingdom Maharajah Chitra Thirunal Rama Varma.

Though having no real administrative power, he held the prestigious post of the custodian of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, billed as the richest temple in the country.

A Sanskrit scholar, England educated Marthanda Varma was a photography enthusiast and his memoir has a chapter entirely dedicated to royals from different parts of the world he had photographed.

The state government declared a public holiday as a mark of respect to the late Maharajah.

People from different walks of life turned up to pay last respects to the departed royal family head at the Levi Hall in the city where the body has been kept.

As soon as the news of his death came, tributes began pouring in.

Bharatiya Janata Party`s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi described Uthradom Thirunal as a kind, warm and erudite personality.

On microblogging website Twitter, Union minister Shashi Tharoor`s wife, Sunanda Pushkar, tweeted:

Former Indian ambassador to the US and China, Nirupama Rao, tweeted:



First Published: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 09:23

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