Sree Chitra Thirunal Balarama Varma, the last ruler of one of the erstwhile princely states of Kerala, Travancore, is remembered for many important administrative and social reforms. Having come to power in 1931, he made two of his most significant achievements within the first decade of reign—the Temple Entry Proclamation and the establishment of the Travancore University, of which he was the first Chancellor. The Temple Entry Proclamation opened the Hindu temples in Travancore to all Hindus, a privilege reserved only to the upper class Hindus till then. The Travancore University, later renamed University of Kerala, has grown to be one of the most important universities in the State.
After Independence, accepting the people’s demands, Chitra Thirunal ceded to the Republic of India. When the two princely states, Travancore and Cochin merged in 1949, Chitra Thirunal assumed the title Rajapramukhan, the Foremost Among Kings.