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UMAYAMMA RANI (Rege Nt 1677-1684)

Aswathi Thirunal Umayamma was a queen of the Attingal house, connected with the royal family of Travancore. She was the Regent of Venad from 1677 to 1684 on behalf of her nephew Rajah Ravi Varma who ruled from 1684 till 1718. Her husband Aditya Verma was not able to control the priests and they became very powerful. A group called ‘ettara yogam’ based in the Sri Padmanabha temple is said to have assassinated the king, fired the palace and drowned Umayamma’s five sons. She defeated a rival claimant to the throne, Nedumangattu Kerala Varma, at Tiruvattar and killed him, and subdued the remaining nobles and the powerful priests. She also adopted the famous Kottayam Kerala Varma into the royal family. Shortly afterwards, however, Kerala Verma died, possibly assassinated. Umayamma installed her son Ravi Verma on the throne. She also adopted two princesses and two princes from a neighbouring dynasty. In 1684 she is said to have aided the English in setting up a trading post in Travancore. Van Rheed, the Dutch governor of Cylon, has left an account of her rule.
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