Lieutenant Horsely

The Observatory in Trivandrum was built under the superintendence of Lieutenant (later Colonel) Horsley, of the Madras Engineers. The construction of the Sree Padam palce, during the former reign, on a plan drawn by a European Engineer, had impressed Swathi Thirunal with a favourable opinion of European engineering skill. The construction of the Observatory simply confirmed this impressions. Swathi Thirunal desirous of introducing a knowledge of European engineering art into Travancore, in consultation with the Resident Colonel Fraser, sanctioned the organisation of an experimental engineering department. An irrigation maramuth department was established at Nanjenaud and a superintendent appointed. A few companies of pioneers were formed for irrigation works at Nanjenaud, under the general supervision of the visiting Engineer Lieutenant Horsely, who began to devote his unremitting attention to the improvement of all the maramuth works in Travancore. This very able Engineer’s literacy work “Memoiers of Travancore” (If any visitor has information on this book, please let us know, email to, written at the request of the Resident, Colonel Fraser, shows his knowledge of the country, and how he exerted himself to be closely acquainted with everything connected with travancore.

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