Home > Famous Person, General Knowledge, History > 39/365 – Maruthu Pandiyar

39/365 – Maruthu Pandiyar

The Marudhu Pandiyar brothers (Periya Marudhu and Chinna Marudhu) ruled Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu towards the end of the 18th century. The Marudhu brothers were the first to issue a proclamation of independence from the colonial British rule from Trichy Thiruvarangam Temple, Tamil Nadu on 10 June 1801, more than 56 years before what is generally said to be the First War of Indian Independence which broke out mainly in Northern India in the year 1857.

The Marudhu brothers were the sons of Udayar Servai alias Mookiah Palaniappan Agamudayar Servai and Anandayer alias Ponnathal. Marudhu Pandiyar, the Elder was born on 15.12.1748 in a small hamlet called Narikkudi near Aruppukkottai.  In 1753 the younger Marudhu Pandiyar was born in Ramnad.

In the year 1772, the English military of the British East India Company, under the command of Lt.Col. Bon Jour attacked the state at Kalayar Kovil. During the war, Raja Muthu Vaduganadhar lost his life in the battlefield. But the Marudhu brothers managed to escape along with Rani Velu Nachiar, wife of Raja Muthu Vadughanadhar and arrived at Dindigul which was ruled by Hyder Ali – the Sultan of Mysore as refugees. Hyder Ali supported them in all respects.
The Nawab of Arcot, the alliance partner of British East India Company, was not able to collect any taxes from the people of Sivaganga state for eight long years. He entered into an agreement whereby the rule of Sivaganga was restored to “Rani Velu Nachiar” after he collected his dues from her. The Marudhu brothers with 12,000 armed men surrounded Sivaganga and plundered the Arcot Nawab’s territories. On 29 April 1789, the British forces attacked Kollangudi.

Battles against the British
They were in close association with Veera Pandiya Kattabomman of Panchalankurichi. Kattabomman held frequent consultations with the Marudhus. After the execution of Kattabomman in 17 October 1799 at Kayattar, Chinna Marudhu gave asylum to Kattabomman’s brother Oomaidurai. But the British took this reason to invade and attacked Sivaganga in 1801 with a powerful army. The Maruthu Pandiyars and their allies were quite successful and captured three districts from the British. The British considered it such a serious threat to their future in India that they rushed additional troops from Britain to put down the Maruthu Pandiyars’ rebellion. These forces surrounded the Maruthu Pandiyars’ army at Kalayar Koil. The Maruthu Brothers and their top commanders escaped. They regrouped and fought the British and their allies at Viruppatchi, Dindigul and Cholapuram. While they won the battle at Viruppatchi, they lost the other two battles.

The Marudhu Pandiyars and many of their family members were captured at Cholapuram and they were infamously hanged on the English month of October 24, 1801.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maruthu_Pandiyar

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