The palatial building, with its gigantic pillars and imposing veranda, lies in the heart of Adyar. In a city whose physical and cultural contours are changing every hour, the structure, showing signs of age, is a reminder of a past era. I am here at the palace to interview Princess Aswathi Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi, niece of the late Maharaja Chithira Thirunal Rama Varma and his brother, Sri Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the present head of the royal House of Travancore.
Sri Marthanda Varma won widespread admiration for renouncing the claim of the royal family to the enormous riches discovered recently in the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. The Travancore rulers, the hereditary trustees of the temple, have considered themselves as rulers on behalf of the Lord for hundreds of years.
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