Princess Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bai dies

via published on June 8, 2008

Princess Karthika Tirunal Lakshmi Bai, the senior most member of the Travancore
royal family, died in a hospital here today, palace sources said.
She was 92.

She is survived by daughters Pooyam Thirunal Gauri Parvathy Bai, Aswathy
Thirunal Gauri Lakshmi Bai and son Moolam Thirunal Ramavarma. Her eldest
son Avittam Thirunal died at a very young age.

A witness to tumultuous times, Lakshmi Bai had passed through several
historic events including the end of the royal rule in the princely state
of Travancore when the country became independent on 1947.

She was the sister of the last princely ruler of Travancore Sree Chithira
Tirunal Balarama Varma and the present head of the family Uthradam Thirunal
Marthanda Varma.

Her husband Col Godavarma Raja, who was a reputed patron of sports, died
in 1981.

Born in 1916 as daughter of Ravivarma Koithamburan and Rani Sethu Parvathibai,
the princess was interested in music, literature and sports. She was well
versed in Sanskrit, English and French.

She was the first member of the royal family to visit a foreign country
breaking age-old ban on crossing the sea. She was also an expert horse
rider, but had to retire from her favourite sport after an accident.

People from all walks of life gathered at Kottakkakam palace in the city
to pay her last respect.

Her body will be cremated with full state honours at the premises of
Kowdiar Palace at 3 pm this evening.

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