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The promulgation of "Temple Entry Proclamation" (1936) was an act that underlined social emancipation.This era also saw the establishment of the University of Travancore in 1937, which later became Kerala University.

Despite not being under direct control of the British Empire at any time, the city featured prominently in India's freedom struggle.

Painting by Raja Ravi Varma depicting Richard Temple-Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos being greeted by Visakham Thirunal, with Ayilyam Thirunal of Travancore looking on, during Buckingham's visit to Thiruvananthapuram in early 1880.

However, the ancient political and cultural history of the city was almost entirely independent from that of the rest of Kerala. With their fall in the 10th century, the city was taken over by the rulers of Venad.

With the end of the British rule in 1947, Travancore chose to join the Indian union.

The first popular ministry headed by Pattom Thanu Pillai was installed in office on 24 March 1948.