When I was a teenager, I lived in Thiruvananthapuram
for several years after I finished High School. My mother's brother and
his wife (mama and mami) had a house in the Kowdiyar area while my older
sister lived with her husband & children near the Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
Temple is a favorite of mine. I still remember how clean it was and
how Maharaja Chithira Thirunal would come to pray twice a day whenever he
was in town. According to Kerala tradition, it is Lord Padmanabha who who
ruled the country, and the kings called Padmanabha Dasa, or servant of Padmanabha,
were simply acting on his behalf.
maharajas in many parts of India, the Kerala kings were always simply dressed
and humble in the presence of God. During the festival time ( Cheevili),
the King would walk around the temple, behind the Gods, with folded hands
followed by his brother. Just like the other people there, he wore only
a Veshti (dhoti) with no shirt and a simple emerald pendant on a chain.
I can still remember the king's humble face.