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245/365 – Thondaimans

The Thondaimans were Tamil rulers of ancient Tondai Nadu division of Tamilakkam. They ruled with Pallava dynasty, which controlled Northern Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, with their capital at Kanchipuram. There are hundreds of records and edicts pertaining to the Tondaiman rulers.

Reference in Sangam literature

The ruler Thondaiman Ilandirayan was mentioned in Purananuru in one of the poem written by Avvaiyar as a king confronting Adhiaman and the battle was avoided by tactics of Avvaiyaar.

During Chola Empire

Kalingathuparani was written by Jayamkondar in praise of Karunagara Thondaiman for the victory over Kalinga (present day Orissa). He was the Pallava prince working under Kulothunga Chola I as a Thalaphathy. Karunagara Thondaiman is also stated as Vandai arasan.

Aranthangi Thondaimans

Aranthangi Thondaimans who were ruling Aranthangi from the 15th to 18th century, as feudal chiefs under the Pandyas and Vijayanagar rulers.

There are references to the Aranthangi Thondaimans in the inscriptions in the temples in Avudayarkovil, Alappiranathan, Pillaivayal, Aranthangi, Kovilur, Paramandur, Palankarai, Piranmalai, Thiruvarankulam and Kurumbur.

Similarly the Aranthangi Thondaimans were an independent line of chieftains, ruling from Aranthangi, and their reign flourished even about 200 years before the rule of the Thondaimans of Pudukottai, which started in about 1640.

Thondaiman dynasty of Pudukkottai

The princely state of Pudukkottai was created by Raghunatha Thondaiman a Kallar ruler of Pudukkottai. Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati of Ramnad (1673-1708 A.D.) married Kathali Nachiar the sister of Thondaiman, he appointed his brother-in-law Raghunatha Thondaiman as a chief of the district of Pudukottai.

Raghunatha Thondaiman (son of Avudai Raghunatha Thondaiman) was earlier ruling Thirumayam. In appreciation of Raghunatha Tondaman’s services, Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati has given Pudukkottai as an honour for his services.

In later centuries, the Thondaiman rulers, while nominally feudatories of the Ramnad state, often pursued an independent foreign policy, a trend common in all parts of India at that time.

After the death of Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati; he become ruler of Pudukottai. After becoming the ruler of Pudukottai, Raghunatha Thondaiman fought against the Nayaks of Tanjore in support of the Nayaks of Madurai and conquered Thirukkattupalli a very important place.

Then there was a direct clash between Thondaimans of Pudukottai and the Nayaks rulers of Tanjore. Thondaiman conquered the west of Thirukkattupalli.

Social life

During the early part of Thondaiman’s rule people of Pudukkottai region led normal life. Kings concentrated more on political matters and also on the people’s welfare. Choultries were built for pilgrims.

In the later part of their rule due to famine people faced many types of sufferings. Heavy rain and flood damaged the city of Pudukkottai and natural diseases were there. Later after sometime city of Pudukkottai was modernized. New school was opened.

Tanks were built to increase water supply. Vaccination was introduced against small pox. Many reforms were introduced during he last phase of their reign.

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

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