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Full text of "A political and general history of the District of Tinnevelly, in the Presidency of Madras, from the earliest period to its cession to the English Government in A. D. 1801"

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The Right Rev. R. CALDWELL, D.D., LL.D., Bishop, 


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* tr- , ,„ l Aleanin"- of the word "history, 1. 
IntbdduCTION.- Paucity of sources of H tat o »/, ■ J- ' 'j t » h 2 Historical information 
lN Reasons-hv the Hindus eared little JrtojtagJ™. made a good beginning 2 
from without, 2. Learned Natives m Noit ^mrn ^.^ E hesfc 

Information from inscnptionj .and "gJ^J^ ^J ^ Qrigi lly dtstwctfirom 
Tamil works have disappeared 3. i*« A '*» ^. f Madura 3. Meaning of Ten- 
tfXtf ilfa^ra, 3. Tinnevelly ongmu lj a poinon beg ' Qot repre8e ntative S of 

'Audi, 3. ArlM ^J^'^Sir* \h'e lowest castes probably aboriginal 4. 
the earliest inhabitants of r ^^ a t 4 Stone implements, 4. Sepulchral wgo. 
The Paraiyas and Pallas, 4. Ihe \ eiiaias, *. £ , g D escrip ti n ot the lam- 

The lESv*+ *«"> *. Atte "S ^VSSffiR The mountain Potigai, 6. 
.___■ a rt.-^u, ofi/i* Tamraparni.— -«0^ a %—**?« „„ w^tv^'s hill and in th- 


S^oibm 8 The Cbittar, 8. Meaning of the name of ^ ^.^ men m 

S 8 W. 0/ the ™™«? a Z£hr^ ofte mnu > Tdmraparnl, 9. . < The tree 
Tinnevellv. Where? 9. ^f 1 ?^ Later namel of Ceylon, 9. Identity of the 
•IV v^T leaves' 9. Taprobane, 9. i^ater names j which application of 

Tlmraparn\ orTninevelly P witb the oldest ^me^^lO Wbic^ PP^ rf 

the mme was earlier, 10. Greek name M *MJ°™ mouth of the Tamraparnl 11. 
Greeks, 10. The Chittar 11 The hank near the ^ fijto 

The Bettigo of the Greeks, 11. IM ^[Tpdndvas 12. Derivation of ' P&ndya, 12. 
origin of the three Tamil dynasties, 12. The Pandyas l~ ^ ^^ u ^ t 

Anna's intermarriage withthe *1^J£JZ£ % the early Singhalese urth the 
Pandya Titles, 13. The Mftran '/ 3 - s ./!f aleS e princes with Pandya names ', 14- The 
Pdndyas,n. Vijaya'smarmge^ J^es^pnn crvili8at ion 14 Th- 

ereat reservoirs of Ceylon, 14. Date of Jf co ^T Notiee8 f the Pdndyas, 16. Infonna- 
SS»Wl!- ^r^neLtoHerSie^lS. Pearls,- 16. The Pdndyas' 
tion collected by Megasthenes. ^-^t^e I>, formation about Korkat furjnshed 
Embassy to Augustus 16. W?Ij£2£ 17. Situation of Kolkhoi 17 Korkal, 
iv tfe Greeks, 17. The Kolkhoi of the t-neeks u ^ 0WM to ^ e Gmto, 19. 

18 Imuortance of this identification, 18 tape vo m Kumar i in Indian liter- 

TV JEn of Cape Comorin in the Penplus, 19 ^^V Paumben as known, to 
Sure P 20 KumaVi not a river, hut an ace on the sea coa^O ^ 
* flta*4 21. Kory iden ibed w^h Koti, 2 ^ ^ ^ 22 

of Kolis and Kory 22 " T/ ^f''™ J Gree k intercourse with Southern India, 22- 
Various cities «^_*^ "/L^S Phenician Trade, 23. Courageous act of a 
Greek trade with the Tinnevelly boast, z_. t 
Greek mariner, 23. Cosmas Indicopleustes, 23. 


niuuu u .. . , _„, 04 The northern boundary 

Boundaries of the Pandya ^"^^^S^e™ boundaries, 25. ^™^££T 
of the Pandya country 24 Ih« ^"^ ^ cnkotta boundary, 25. *£***»£ £ 
the Cheras and the Pand>as, -'o. AU „ o« Indian references to the 1 an 03 ; as, -o. 

Nanies of the early Paridya kings unWn, ^ ma ^ ^ , ? ^ ^ 

liTs of Pandva kings antrustyorthy, 26 Lists 01 _ t 27 B endra chol,, s 

n ;; m0S r,,,ord,d. 27. «J <»* gji; •-; ^X^, 28. . Temple to R«^» 
Sff ST SSSSSWS. 5: tP Karikala ChCla, 29. Pamanuja .date, 30. 



Varddhana's conversion, 30. Kulasekhara Deva, 30. Singhalese accounts, 30. The 
ChGla-Pdndyas, 31. Dr. Burnell's researches, 31. Vlra Chola, 31. Sundara Pandya 
ChOla, 31. Dr. Burnell's succession of Cholas, 32. Sundara Pandya, 32. Sources of 
information about Sundara Pandya, 32. Sundara Pandya'szeal against the Jainas, 32. 
Sundara Pandya the last in the list, 32. Muhammadan influences in Sundara's reign, 
33. Reasons for Sundara Pandya s patronage of Muhammadans, 33. Sundara's war 
with his brother, 33. Sundara's Muhammadan ministers, 34. Another Muhammadan 
account, 34. Malik Kafur's invasion, 34. Marco Polo's Sonder Bandi, 35. Sundara's 
brothers, 35. Sundara's date still a desideratum, 35. Ma'har, 36. Origin of the 
term Ma'bar, 36. Settlement of Muhammadan Arabs on both coasts, 36. Kayal, 36. 
Kayal visited by Marco Polo, 37. Portuguese notice of Kayal, 37. Meaning of 
Kayal, 37. Korkai and Kayal, 37. Marco Polo's notice of Kayal, 38. Trade of 
Kayal, 38. Horse trade at Kayal, 38. Use of the horse by Indian soldiers, 39. 
"Wassaf's account, 39. Marco Polo's arrival in India, 40. Pearl fishery described, 40. 
Divers, 40. Profits to the king, 41. Relics of Kayal, 41. Remains of Chinese and 
Arabian earthenware, 41. Kayalpattanam a different place, 41. The Muhammadan 
Interregnum, 42. The Muhammadans gain the upper hand for a time, 42. Ibn Batuta, 

42. The Kingdoms of Dwdra-xamudra and ]'ijaya-nagara, 42. Paramount powers, 42. 
Dwara-samudra, 43. Kings of Dvara-samudra, 43. Ramanuja's flight to Dvara-samudra, 

43. Defeat of the Ballala king, 44. End of the Ballala dynasty, 44. Canarese traces 
in Tinnevelly, 44. List of Dvara-samudra Kings, 45. Vijaya-nagara, 45. Origin of 
Vijaya-nagara, 45. Names of Vijaya-nagara, 45. List of Vijaya-nagara kings, 46. 
Dr. Burnell's list of Vijaya-nagara kings, 46. The Nayakas, 47. Differences between 
the two lists unimportant, 47. Spread of Telugu in the south, 47. Krishna Rayar, 48. 
Conquests over the Cholas and Pandyas, 48. Arrival of the Portuguese in this reign, 
48. Kingdom of Narsinga, 49. Overthrow of Vijaya-nagara, 49. Origin of Ettaiya- 
puram Zemindar, 49. Last days of the Vijaya-nagara dynasty, 50. Grant of Madras 
to the English by the Raja of Chandragiri, 50. Succession of Paramount Powers in 
Southern India, 50. Pandyas, Cholas, 50. Pandyas again, Nayakas, the Nawab, 51. 

From A.D. 1365 to 1731. 



Second scries of Pandya Kings, 52. Tarakrama Pandya, 52. Kampana Udaiyar, 52. 
Dated inscriptions of the later Pandyas, 53. Tcnkasi inscription, 53. Srivaikuntham 
inscription, 53. Ati-Vira-Rama Pandya, 53. The last of the Pandyas, 54. Value of 
inscriptions as compared with oral information, 54. Vijaya-nagara supremacy, 54. The 
Nayakat of Madura, 55. Sources of the history of the Nayakas, 55. Letters of the 
Jesuits, 55. Commencement of the Nayaka rule, 55. The " Badages " of Xavicr, 55. 
Origin of the intervention of Vijaya-nagara. 55. Visvan&thaN&yaka, 66. Number of the 
Poligars, 56. Origin of the Pn/igarx of cite South, 56. Visvanatha's policy, 56, Parties 
to be conciliated, 56. Visvanatha's plan of conciliation, 57. Investiture of the Poligars, 
57. Doubtfulness of these traditions, 67. Etymology of "Poligar," 68. Results of the 
appointment, 58. Defence of the Poligar system, 58. Krishnapuram, 59. Rebellion of 
Ettaiyapuram, 59. Royal representatives in Tinnevelly, 60. Tigers on the sea coast, 60. 
List of the Nayakas, 60. Listof the Nayakas of Madura, 60. Tirumalai Nayaka, 61. 
Buildings erected by him, 61. Mangamma}, 61. NdyaLa Titles, 61. The Nayakas did 
n t style themselves kini^s, 61. The Kaittakkaj, 62. Characteristics of the Kdyafca 
Rule, 62. Reputation of the 1'a.ndyas as rulers, 62. Reputation of the Nayakas, 62. 
Misrule bidden by shows, 62. Works of public utility almost unknown, 63. Adminis- 
tration of laws, 03. Aniouts on tAe Tdmraparni, 63. Legend of 'the Kannadian Anai, 
64. Date of this anient, 64. Another form of the legend, 64. Ariyanayakapuram 
anient, (ii;. Stittamalli anicut, 66. Marudur anicut, 66. Puthugudi anicut, 66. The 
Portuguese on tin- coast of Tinnevelly, 67. Vasco da Gama's information, 67. The 
Portuguese at Cochin, 67. Barbosa's information, 67. The king of Travancoro at 
Kayal, 67. Tin < first expedition of t he Portuguese, 68. Embassy of the Paravas to 
Cochin, 68. The Portuguese in power along the coast, 68. Inroads of the " Badages" 

69, Ravages of the Badages, 69, Who wire theyP 69. Collectors of Vijaya-nagara 
taxes, 69. Kavier's appeal to the king of Travancoro, 69. Power of the Travancore 
king, 70. Designs of the Nayakas on Travancoro, 70. Motives of the "Badages," 

70. Explanation "t" the hostility of the Badages, 71. The policy of the Portuguese, 71. 
Qovernmenl of tbe coast, 71. Profits of the pearl fishery, 71. Portuguese claim aban- 
doned, 71. I'vmnaikayal, 72. Annals of the Portuguese on the coast, 72. Printing 

Table op contents. 


mg of the name Tutioorin 75 T t; ■ , , e 1 or t«g»ese in Tuticorin 75 Tr' 
Bea shells found inl, nd 76 Fi,f Tn hilTho ™> ™- Coral, 75. S/i ^fc 
corin, 76. TutieoHnt'aken l^afiS*?! ***■"* 76. ^vemVoi £2 
Boats 8 ent to the islands, 77. ^SLrtSffiL'J 7 * ^T^ 8 cfforts f « r it" reHef 77 
Iut.eonntak,nhvtheI)utch 7? SI-* ?5uPV.Z.' Later notiwa of Tuticorin 78 
"« AM, 78. I)„ t ,h factories 79 ^S^JSfS^T time ' 78 " ^S^Tj/er 
j9 Appearance of Tuticorin, 79^ The hNhen 9 ^ 7" ^P^tion of Tuticorin 
MarHn succour of the Pear) FisherviTirS,' SO v^ 1 m °?°P°ly in the fishery, 8? 
lJutch alliance with Poliaaw aiwiiw tfcl v v X. Fa,I «re8 in the pearl fishevv x" 
Tuticorin during the Pol Cw?rT? th T ° ^^ 82. Dates relating toTuti co ri? 8"f 
» 1801, 84. Tuticorin at^eS,^. rQ ^ucbon of cotton screwing, BtTSSffifi 




^ffittiC^^ftn 8 ^ Ch r daS ^ a ^richinop oJv85 Cha . 
-9*. 86. Arrival of Sata^mTs^V^r - 86 " EKS^ Sfifc 

the founder 90 f^Y d f- lgnS ' 89 " Mea ™g and ori4 of ^ stron & est f ort south 
ine rounder 90. Construction of the fort 90 n * 0I1 8 m , °} tfl e name, 89. Ag-e of 

garrison 91. First Selp rendered buthek^t Ii2 n and inner forts - W. English 
""* .«" £»««»Sfc B „rf J^ English E°d? t ? on ^^mpany to the NawaV* Govern- 

Poligar Kat aboma Nayaia 93 pTtS iT 1 ^ 8 ' 93 Id <^ «Sd off 93 t^ 
94. Massacre of the defines J the fort w" ^7™°^ ^ Ca P^re o? Nel icotafa 
fete 96 "^ Hero /* f ™tles S delay%f ' The M dI^S ^ tt0 » Me «3Kg 

Defeit nf m u? 7, t 9 7 - Trav ancore troops retire 97 t» t* ^"government, 97. 
^eieat of Wahfuz Khan's troons 9S ilVi, j J' Mahfuz Khan's policv 98 
Eastern Polio-ars 99 v 7i p l\ , Another defeat. 98 w M *»™ t>v j » ys - 

Plundering habit* of the E ?07 g rL °"i? "",""•••««' its adva, taZ' „?' 

;=:ioTPOrtiM , 108 . H d fci^ ^^srS^ffi-j^ ;« 


MUHAMMAD YUSUF khavs i™.rv. Tr 

M^; v r D N ^s T0 T,,E CAr ™ E °* 


Poligar of Sivagiri, 114. Mahfuz Khan takes the field, 115. Mahfuz Khan's attempted 
treachery, 115. Mahfuz Khan's exactions, 115. Siege of Palamcotta, 116. Surrender 
of Madura, 116. Submission of the Ettaiyapuram Poligar, 116. Yusuf Khan's successes, 
116. Proposals ahout Mahfuz Khan, 117. Confederacy against Yusuf, 117. Successes 
of the confederates, 117. Yusuf s reprisals, 118. Yusuf called to help the English, 118. 
Palamcotta besieged, 118. Yusuf Khan's Return, 118. Mahfuz Khan's expectations, 
118. Confederacy of the eastern Poligars, 119. Yusuf' s expedition against the 
Poligars, 119. Capture of Kollarpatti fort, 119. The Poligar of Uttuinalai, 120. 
Travancore troops, 120. Alliance of the king of Travancore and Yusuf, 120. Vada- 
garai's flight at Puli Devar's fears, 121. Travancore' s proposals, 121. Attack on a 
subsidiary fort, 121. Yusuf receives supplies, 122. Description of Vasudgvanallur fort, 
122. Attack on the fort, 122. Successful defence, 123. Yusuf's return, 123. His 
enforced inactivity, 123. Depredations of the Poligars, 123. Hostilities of the 31 y- 
soreans, 124. butch Invasion, 124. A Dutch force arrives from Colombo, 124. Yusuf's 
preparation, 124. Retreat of the Dutch, 124. Yusuf Khan's operations renewed, 12o. 
Yusuf and the Puli Devar, 125. Revenue Administration in TinneveUy by the Xawab, 125. 
Lushington's letter, 125. Succession of administrators, 125. Yusuf's administration, 

126. Fluctuations in revenue, 126. Muhammad Yusuf Khan's Rebellion, 127. Yu.-uf's 
offer to rent the province, 127. Yusuf's position, 127. Dissatisfaction of Government, 

127. Government suspicions of his designs, 128. Yusuf's reasons for rebelling, 128. 
Yusuf's forces, 128. General Lawrence's force, 129. Yusuf's negotiations with the 
French, 129. Treachery of the French Commander, 129. Yusuf Khan's death, 129. 
Results of Yusuf's death, 130. Yusuf's successors, 130. State of Madura after Yusuf 
Khan's death, 131. 






Events following the death of Yusuf Khan, 132. Protection of Palamcotta, 132. Retirement 
of the Travancore troops, 132. Armed followers of the Poligars near Palamcotta, 133. 
Complaints of Government against the Nawab, 133. Major Flint attempts to reduce 
Poligar fort, 133. Flint's unsuccessful campaign, 134. Pdnjdlatnkuriehi, 134. Mean- 
ing of the name ranjalamkurichi, 134. Succeeding Events of the Year, 135. Assault on 
Panjalamkurichi a failure, 135. Determination of Government, 135. Colonel Campbell's 
campaign, 135. Abandonment of Sett u r, 136. Abandonment of Sivagiri, 136. Attack 
on Yasudevanallur, 136. Colonel Campbell's care for the people, 137. Cantonment at 
Nankaranaiyanarkovil, 137. Cessation* of hostilities, 138. Arrangements made by the 
Nawab's manager, 138. Hyder Ali's communication with the Poligars, 138. Assem- 
blage of Col laries, 138. Behaviour of the Poligars towards Hyder Ali, 139. Burning 
of TinneveUy Cutclierry, 139. Postal Communication between Madras and Bombay in the 
hitter half of the Eighteenth Century, 139. Letters to Bombay how sent, 139. Overland 
Communications, 139. Earliest date in Palamcotta church-yard, 140. Expedition 
against Sivagiri, 140. Insults offered to Hindus. 140. Spices in Palamcotta, 141. 
Dutch estimate of Hyder Ali, 141. Dutch alliance with Poligars, 142. Meditated 
Cession of TiiDuitlli/ to the Dutch, 142. 



The Assignment, 143. Committee of Assigned Revenue, 143. Superintendents of Assigned 
Revenue, lit. Intentions of Government, 144. First Collector of TinneveUy, 144. 
Capture of Tutioorin, 144. Complaints of die Paravas, 146. Dispute between the. 
renter and the Collector, 146. Dissatisfaction with Mr. Proctor, 115. Conduct of 
European functionaries, 146. Commission to Mr. Irwin, 146. Instructions to Mr. Irwin, 

116. Tutioorin Complaints, 147. Mr. Irwin enters on bis duties, 147. Mr. Proctor 

ordered to leave, 117. Mr. Irwin invites Colonel Fullarton, 148. Colonel Fullarton'a 
expedition as related by himtelf, 148. Strength of the Poligars, 1 18. Difficulties of the 

situation, 149. Invitation to reduce the Poligars, 149. March into TinneveUy, 149. 


Attack on Panjalamkurichi, 149. Abandonment of the fort. 150. Attack on Sivagiri, 
151. Abandonment of the fort, 151. Terms offered to the Poligars, 151. Terms 
declined, 152. Attack on the stronghold, 152. Capture of the stronghold, 152. Suc- 
cess of the expedition, 153. The Colonel's threat, 153. Conditions of peace imposed, 
154. Satisfaction of Government, 154. Kattaboma's treaty with the Dutch, 154. 
Pearl fishery, 154. Mr. Irwin's policy, 154. Instance of filial duty, 155. Swartz's 
visit, 155. Tuticorin given up, 155. Surrender of tke Assignment, 155. The surrender 
of the Assignment reluctantly agreed to by Government, 155. Irwiu's forebodings, 
156. The Nawab's relations with the Poligars, 156. His losses, 156. The Nawab's 
Administration, 157. Effects of the Nawab's rule, 157. Improvements introduced by 
Government, 157. Board of Revenue, 158. Fears of Tippu Sultan, 158. Cultivation 
of spices, 158. The Period of the Assumption, 159. Difference between the Assign- 
ment and the Assumption, 159. Mr. Torin Collector under the Assumption, 159. 
Puli Devar again, 160. Torin's opinion of the results of Fullarton's lenity, 160. The 
Treaty of 1792. Conditions of the new treaty, 160. New appointments, 161. Colonel 
Maxwell's expedition, 161. Colonel Maxwell's settlement, 161. Mr. Landon, Collector, 
162. Marudur anicut, 162. Troubles at Settur, 162. The Government obliged to 
temporise, 163. Disorders increasing, 163. Proposed disarming of the Poligars, 163. 
Mr. Powney, Collector, 164. Orders of Court of Directors, 164. A Poligar shot by 
another Poligar, 164. Rebellious conduct of the Sivagiri Poligar's son, 165. Uttu- 
malai Poligar, 165. Mr. Jackson, Collector, 165. Major Bannernian, 166. Mr. 
Lushington, Collector, 166. 



Sketch of the Political Position between 1781 and 1801, 167. The Assignment of 1781, 167. 
Treaty of 1787, 168. Assumption 1790, 168. Treaty of 1792, 168. The Nawab's 
debts, 169. Lord Hobart's proposal, 169. Final determination of the Government, 
169. View of the Political Position of Tinnevelly and the Poligar Country generally taken by 
the Court of Directors prior to the commencement of the last Poligar wars, 170. Evils of 
divided authority, 170. Small amount of the Nawab's collections, 170. Transfer of 
tribute, 170. The Company's obligations, 170. Poligar misgovernment, 171. Antici- 
pated loss to the Company, 171. A better system to be introduced, 171. The Nawab's 
refusal anticipated, 172. Conclusion arrived at, 172. Kattaboma. Ndyaka, 172. Suc- 
cession of the Poligars of Panjalamkurichi, 172. The Poligar's brothers, 173. Ettai- 
yapuram, 173. Events preceding Major Bannerman' s Expedition, 173. Conduct of 
Kattaboma, 173. Orders of Government, 173. Commencement of final struggle, 173. 
Kattaboma breaks away, 174. Mr. Jackson's proceedings disapproved, 174. Katta- 
boma defended, 174. Kattaboma condemned, 175. Subsequent letter of the Board of 
Revenue to the Madras Government, 175. Extracts, 175. Hopes of Government, 175. 
Collector superseded, 175. An inquiry to be instituted, 176. Fresh orders from Gov- 
ernment, 176. Recapitulation, 176. Disapproval of Jackson's severity, 176. Acquittal 
of the murder of Lieutenant Clarke, 177. A new arrangement to be made, 177. Con- 
clusion arrived at, 177. Mr. Jackson's character, 177. Mr. Lushington's dealings 
with Kattaboma, 178. He refers to Government, 178. An expedition recommended, 
178. Different sides taken by different Poligars, 178. Troops set free by the taking of 
Seringapatam, 179. Major Bannerman'' s Expedition, 179. Letter of Government to the 
Board of Revenue, 180. Reasons of Government, 180. Proclamation by the Collector, 
180. To all Poligars, Landholders, and Inhabitants of every description within the coun- 
tries commonly called the Tinnevelly Pollams, 180. Attempt to take Panjalamkurichi, 181. 
To the Secretary to Government, 182. Call to the Poligar to surrender, 182. The 
Poligar's escape anticipated, 182. Failure of the attack, 182. Dissatisfaction with 
Native troops, 183. The fort abandoned, 183. The Poligar's end, 183. Major Ban- 
nerman to the Secretary to Government, 183. Particulars of Major Bannerman's expedi- 
tion, 183. Events which followed the Poligar's escape, 184. Assistance of Ettaiyapuram, 

184. Capture of important prisoners, 184. Subrahmanya Pillai's guilt and sentence, 

185. Two principal offenders executed, 185. Kattaboma taken, 187. Assembly to 
witness the execution of Kattaboma, 187. Sentence on Kattaboma, 187. Address to 
the assembled Poligars, 188. Execution of Kattaboma, 188. Disloyal Poligars dispos- 
sessed, 189. Disarmament ordered, 189. Penalties for disobedience, 189. Explanation 
of reasons, 190. Forts to be demolished, 190. Poligars ask for help to demolish their 
forts, 191. Approval of Government, 191. Results, 191. Proclamations inscribed on 
brass, 192. Leniency to certain Poligars, 192. Banishment of dangerous persons, 192. 
Mapillai Vanniyan, 193. Reappearance of the demolished forts, 193. Major Banner- 
man's success, 193. 




Events preceding the outbreak, 194. General Welsh's account, 194. Mr. Hughes's account, 
194. The two Panjalamkurichi brothers, 19.5. Escape of the prisoners from the Falamcotta 
Jail and subsequent events, 195. Position of things prior to the outbreak, 195. Escape 
of the prisoners, 195. Unavailing pursuit, 196. Measures adopted by the authorities, 

196. Attack on the camp by the Poligars, 196. Arrival of troops at Panjalanikurichi, 

197. Condition of the fort, 197. Retreat from Panjalamkurichi, 197. Preparations for 
resistance, 197. Hughes's opinion, 198. Failure of attack in Kadalgudi, 198. Defence 
of Srivaikuntham, 199. The Native Christians, 199. Welsh's error, 199. Return to 
Panjalamkurichi, 200. March to Panjalamkurichi, 200. Skirmish on the way, 200. 
Description of fort, 201. The assault on the fort, 201. The defence, 201. Bravery of 
the enemy, 202. Aid of E^taiyapuram, 202. More extensive preparations, 202. Help 
obtained from Ceylon, 202. Sortie from the fort in a storm, 203. The final assault, 203. 
A breach made by the battery, 204. Successful assault, 204. The enemy abandon the 
fort, 204. Killed and wounded, 204. The interior of the fort, 205. Description of the 
enemy's defences, 205. Destruction of the fort, 205. Reminiscences of the Dumb bro- 
ther, 206. Veneration in which the dumb brother was held, 206. He is discovered 
amongst the wounded, 206. His concealment, 207. Tombs — At Ottapiddramont mile from 
Panjalamkurichi, 207. In the Cemetery at Panjalamkurichi, 207. The Panjalamkurichi 
Epic, 207. Victory Canto, 208. 



Transfer of the war to Sivagangai, 209. Armed retainers of the Poligars still at large, 
209. Welsh's estimate of the Poligars, 209. Fort of Kamudi, 209. Ramnad, 209. 
Colonel Martinz, 210. Junction with Colonel Innes's force, 210. The " Murdoos" and 
" Sherewele," 210. The two Marava States, 210. Orme's Nellicotah, 210. Description of 
Sivagangai, 211. The people of Sivagangai, 211. Usurpation in Sivagangai, 211. 
Conditions offered to the rulers of Sivagangai, 211. Death of the chief, 212. Colonel 
Stewart's expedition, 212. The Murdoos, 212. Origin of the title Marudu, 212. The 
two brothers, 213. Vellai Marudu, 213. Chinna Marudu, 213. End of the Marudus, 
214. The village of the Marudus, 214. Reasons for Kattaboma's taking refuge in 
Sivagangai, 214. Mr. Lushington's policy, 215. Explanation of the hostility of the 
Marudus, 215. Smaller forts attacked, 215. Small naval war, 215. Success of Master 
Attendant of Paumben, 216. The Capture of Kdlaiydrkovil, 216. Nature of the enemy's 
resistance, 216. Burning of Siruvayal, 216. A road to be cut through the jungle, 217. 
Attack on a post, 217. Another post taken, 217. A post taken, 218. A redoubt 
erected, 218. The .attempt to cut through the jungle abandoned, 218. Attempts to 
convey letters, 219. The force moves off, 219. The true heir proclaimed, 219. Success 
of the measure, 220. Capture of a fortified pagoda, 220. Meaning of Kalaij arkovil, 
220. Attack on the place in three divisions, 220. Success of the advance through the 
forest, 220. Meeting of the attacking forces, 221. Description of Kalaiyarkovil, 221. 
Events that followed the capture of Kdlaiydrkovil, 221. Advance to Mangalam, 221. 
The rebels disbanded, 222. Execution of the principal rebels, 222. Results of the 
victory, 222. Minor rebels sent to Tuticorin, 222. Fate of Panjalamkurichi, 222. 
Capture of Sivattaiya, 223. The Maravas of Nanguneri, 223. Lushington's dealings 
with the Kaval^ars, 223. Remuneration of Kavalgars, 224. Exception of the Nangu- 
neri Maravars, 224. Loyal Poligars rewarded, 225. Cession of the country to the English 
Government, 225. Results of the cession, 225. Proclamation, 226. Consequences of 
the rebellion, 226. Future condition of Poligars, 226. Kattaboma's offence, 226. Sup- 
} > i • s.sion of the rebellion, 226. Proofs of British Government's strength, 226. Punish- 
ment of rebellion necessary, 226. Loyalty rewarded, 226. Estates of rebels not appro- 
priated by Government, 227. Hopes for the futuro, 227. All weapons prohibited, 227. 
Arms no longer necessary, 227. Evil custom to be relinquished, 227. Amnesty to 
all but a few, 227. A permanent assessment promised to the Poligars, 228. Concluding 
Remarks, 228. Professor Wilson's anticipations, 228. War the normal condition of 
the country, 229. Condition of things getting steadily worse, 229. The Poligar has 
become a Zamindar, 229. Improvements introduced, 229. Good government, 230. 
Proportionate numbers of English and Natives, 230. Prospects for the future, 230. 
Note on the Separation of Rdmndd from Tinnevtlly, 231. 



Missions in Tinnevelly prior to the Cession of the Country to 

the English, 1801. 



Portuguese expedition, 232. Baptism of the Paravas on the Tinnevelly coast, 232. Xavier, 
232. Francis Xavier's arrival and work, 232. Estimate of Xavier, 233. Visits from 
village to village, 233. Xavier's administration, 234. Xavier's successor's death, 234. 
The period after Xavier, 235. Missions on the coast in 1600, 235. Tuticorin, 235. 
Kdmaiydndyakanpatti, 230. Inscription, 236. Date of inscription, 236. Zemindar's 
name, 236. Origin of the troubles, 237. Conduct of the Dutch, 237. Intolerance of the 
Dutch, 237. Beschi, 238. Beschi as a Tamil scholar, 238. Memoirs of Beschi, 239. 
Errors in regard to date, 239. Beschi's stations, 240. His life in danger, 240. Beschi 
acquired his Tamil in Tinnevelly, 241. Dewan to Chanda Saheb, 241. Flight of Beschi 
on the approach of Mahrattas, 242. Beschi's last days at Manapar, 242. His death, 
243. Beschi's grave, 243. Period after Beschi, 243. 



Swartz, 244. Congregation and Church in Palamcotta, 244. Jaenicke, 244. Satyanathan, 
245. Fever caught in the hills, 245. Commencement of the Ghristianization oftheShan- 
ars, 246. First Shanar convert, 246. Establishment of Mudalur, 246. Hough, 247. 




Alternations of Government in the Southern Districts, 251. Inscriptions in Tinnevelly, 

251. Shermadevi, 252. Gains and losses, 252. Travancore annals when historical, 

252. Appeal for help to the Ndyakas of Madura, whose head-quarters were at that time in, 
Trichinopoly, 253. Appeal to Trichinopoly for help, 253. Trichinopoly contingent, 

253. Maravar troops, 253. A rival embassy to Tvirhinopoly, 254. Help obtained from 
Tinnevelly Maravas, 255. Aid from Tinnevelly Poligars, 255. Annexations in Tinne- 
velly, 2b f). Irruption of Chmida Sahib and- Bada Sahib, 256. Invasion of Chunda Sahib, 
256. The enemy bought off, 256. Collision with the Naivab, 256. Possessions in Tinne- 
velly lost, 256. Negotiations, 256. Travancorians retreat from Kalakadu, 257. Kala- 
kadu regained, 257. Treaty with the Nawab, 257. Subsidy to the Nawab, 258. Maphuz 
Khan a nil Yusuf Khan, 258. Battles with the Muhammadans, 258. Yusuf Khan's army, 
258. Yusuf Khan's rebellion, 259. The Nawab seizes possession, 259. The claim to 
Kalakadu, 259. The claim to Kalakadu renounced, 260. Travancore contingent sent to 
assist the British Forces, 260. Travancore aid against Hyder Ali, 200. Dangers from Poli- 
gars, 261. Examination of public works, 261. Major Banner man, the first Representa- 
tive of the British Government in Travancore in 1788 and 1789, 261. Tippu's proposals, 

261. The first British Resident in Travancore, 261. New treaty signed in 1805, 262. 
Insurrection in Travancore ; attack on the Resident ; taking of the Travancore Lines in 1809, 

262. Causes of the outbreak, 262. The Dewan seeks allies, 263. Plot to assassinate the 
B sident, 263. Failure of attack on the Resident, 263. Massacre of English officers 
and sepoys, 264. The Resident's report to Government, 264. Quilon troops attacked, 

Reinforcement, 205. The inhabitants of Tinnevelly warned by the Madras Govern- 


ment not to take part in the rebellion, 266. Proclamation of the Madras Government to the 
inhabitants of Travancore, 266. A force to be sent to restore order, 266. Taking of the 
Travaneore Lines, 267. General Welsh, 267. Description of the lines, 267. Successful 
assault, 267. March towards Trevandrum, 268. Events at Trevandrum, 268. Flight 
of the Dewan, 269. Death of the Dewan, 269. Fate of the rest of the rebels, 269. 
Political Results, 270. Aitchison's Treaties, 270. Shenkottai, 270. 



IN 1810-12. 

Letters from Mr. Hepburn, the Collector, to the Board of Revenue in 1811, 272. 



Madura College, 276. Agastya, 277. Namtndhdr, 277. Alvar-tirunagari, 277. Trans- 
lation of the Mahdbhdrata, 278. Sri-villiputtUr, 278. Parimelafagar, 278. N'lti-neri,- 
vUakkam, 279. Sri-vaikuntham, 279. 



Shape of urns, 279. Mode of interment, 280. Characteristics of the human remains, 280. 
Description of contents, 280. Native theories, 281. Interpretation of names, 281. 
People interred not pygmies, 281. Not Hindus by religion, 282. 



ivnrk;ii identified, 282. Kayal, 283. Retirement of the sea from both places, 2S3. Exca- 
vations at Korkai, 284. Geology of Korkai, 284. Recent appearance of shells, 284. 
No traces of the Greeks, 284. Image of Budha, 285. Sepulchral urns, 285. Petrified 
human bones, 285. Explorations at Kayal, 285. China and Arabian pottery, 286. 
Superstitious fears, 286. Wonderful occurrence to an explorer, 286. Discovery of Arabic 





Introduction. — Paucity of Sources of History. 

Very little is known with certainty of the early history of most Chapter I, 
districts in India. It is a singular fact that the Hindus, though M ~. . 
fond of philosophy and poetry, of law, mathematics, and archi- the word 
teeture, of music and the drama, and especially of religious or " hl9tory - 
theosophic speculations and disquisitions, seem never to have cared 
anything for history. The original meaning of the word 
" history " is investigation, and the Hindus never appear to have 
cared to investigate. There is hardly anything in the Indian 
Epic poems or Puranas that can be dignified by this name. The 
only histories, properly so called, India has produced were written 
in, and pertained to, regions that can only be included in the 
general name of India with some qualification. These are the 
Raja-tarangini 1 of Cashmere and the Maha-wanso 2 of Ceylon. 
These compositions, it is true, are not free from poetical exagge- 
rations and evince much carelessness about accuracy in details, but 
on the whole they may be accepted as historical. Can it be that 
it was through the prevalence in India of a succession of 
dreamy philosophies that history became virtually an unknown 
department of literature ? This may have had something to do 
with it, but perhaps the chief cause was the fondness of the mass 

1 Raja-tarangini, stream of kings written in A.D. 1148. 

2 Maha-wanso (= vamsa) The Great Dynasty, written between A.D. 
459 and 477. 



Chapter I. 

Reasons w'xy 
the Hindus 
cared little 
for historical 

from without. 

Natives in 
India have 
made a good 


and coins. 

enjoyed by 

of the people in all ages for poetical embellishment. Ifc seemed 
to them a dull thing to record any event in the history of a king 
or a country exactly as it happened. It could be made to appear 
so much more interesting if the poetical narrator's fertile imagina- 
tion were allowed free play. Whatever the cause may have been, 
the fact cannot be disputed that historical certainty with regard 
to the early history of any part of India, if attainable at all, is 
attainable not by means of any kind of historical composition in 
verse or prose proceeding from Indian literati, belonging to the 
district, but solely by means of coins and inscriptions and the 
statements contained in books written by persons belonging to 
foreign nations. Light is thrown, for instance, on the early 
history of the Pandyas and Cholas by the Singhalese Maha-wanso, 
and we are indebted for some interesting items of information 
respecting the history of Southern India to the Greeks, to the 
Muhammadans of the North, and to European Christian travellers. 

I may here appropriately quote a portion of my Address 
delivered at the Convocation of the University of Madras in 1879. 

" The study of the history, ancient literature, and archaeology of 
the country will never reach anything like completeness of develop- 
ment or realize results of national importance till it is sj-stematically 
undertaken by educated Natives. Learned Natives of Calcutta and 
Bombay, trained in European modes of thought and vieing -with 
Europeans in zeal for historical accuracy, have already made a 
promising beginning in this department of research. I trust that the 
Native scholars of the South will resolve that they will not be left 
behind in the race. The most important aid educated Natives can 
render to the study of the history of their country is by means of a 
search after inscriptions, many of which, hitherto unnoticed and 
unknown, they will find inviting their attention on the walls of the 
temples in almost every village in the interior. The only ancient 
Indian history worthy of the name is that Avhich has been spelled out 
from inscriptions and coins. Popular legends and poetical myths, by 
whatever' name they are dignified, may be discarded, not only without 
loss, but with positive advantage. No guide but our own intelligence 
is better than a faithless guide. Something has already been done 
in the direction of the search for, and decipherment of, inscriptions by 
Europeans, though less systematically in Madras than in Calcutta 
and Bombay, but much remains to be done, and will always remain, 
till educated Natives enter upon this branch of study with the zeal 
with which so many people in Europe have devoted themselves to it. 
Natives possess various facilities for this study which are denied to 
Europeans living in India. They have no reason to fear the sun. 
They can genorally stop in their journeys without inconvenience and 
examine any antiquity they see ; and whilst Europeans must be content 
with examining only the inscriptions on the outer walls of temples, 
inscriptions in the interior ako can be examined by Natives. They 
will also be allowed to examine inscriptions on copper plates in the 


possession of respectable Native families which would not readily be Chapteb I . 
allowed to pass into the hands of Europeans. 

A Immbler, but still very important, branch of archaeological work Earliest 
lies open to every educated Hindu in the Tamil districts in this ramil work* 
Presidency. Let him set himself, before it is too late, to search out p Garo d. 
and discover the vernacular works that are commonly supposed to be 
lost The names only of many Tamil works of the earlier period 
survive, and many works must have been composed at a still earlier 
period of which even the names have been forgotten. Tamil literature 
seems to have known no youth. Like Minerva, the goddess of learn- 
ing amongst the Greeks, it seems to have sprung, full-grown and 
fully armed, from the head of Jupiter. The explanation of this is 
that every work pertaining to, or illustrative of, the youth of the 
language appears to have perished. Probably, however, a careful 
search made by educated Natives in houses and mathas would be 
rewarded by some valuable discoveries." 

The District of Tinnevelly not originally distinct 
from that of madura. 

Another difficulty under which the early history of Tinnevelly Tinnevelly 
labours is that in early times this district had no separate on &i nall 5'» 
existence, but formed merely the southern portion of the Pandya Madura, 
country, and this was the position it occupied under the Cholas, 
the early Muhammadans, and the Nayakas, as well as under the 
Pandyas themselves. It was not till the incorporation of the 
kingdom of Madura, including its various districts and depend- 
encies into the territories under the rule of the Nawab of A root, 
about A.D. 1744, that the district of Tinnevelly came to be 
regarded, at first for revenue purposes alone, as independent of, 
or at least as distinct from, the District of Madura. The only 
name in classical Tamil which looks like a name for Tinnevelly, Meaning of 
as distinct from Madura, is Ten-Pandi, the Southern Pandya r' 311-13411 '*'- 
country ; but this is represented as the name of one of the twelve 
districts in the Tamil country in which bad Tamil (Kodun-Tamil) 
is spoken ; and it is evident that it could not have been intended 
that the whole of Tinnevelly should be denoted by this name. 
The interpretation of some persons is that by Ten-Pandi is meant 
that portion of Tinnevelly which lies to the south of the Tamra- 
parni river. Others are of opinion that the term denotes only 
Nanji-nadu, the Tamil portion of South Travancore, lying to the 
south-west of Tinnevelly and the north- west of Cape Comorin. 
Tamil has always been the language of the whole of Tinnevelly, 
and Cape Comorin is represented in the Tamil classics as the 
southern boundary of the region in which Tamil is spoken. The 
boundary could not well be carried fuiiher south without being 
carried out to sea, but Tamil has always been spoken, as I know 
from inscriptions, in Nanji-nadu. 


Earliest Inhabitants of Tinnevelly. 

Chapter I. Nothing is known as yet of the earliest inhabitants of Tinne- 
Th" hiiuribes vei ly> except that whoever they were they could not have been 
not represent- Aryans. The hill tribes called in Malaynlam Malayarasas (hill 
earliest ^ kings), and in Tamil Kanikkaras (hereditary proprietors of land), 
inhabitants of are not, I think, to be regarded, like the Tudas of the Nllagiris, 
as surviving representatives of the earliest inhabitants of the 
plains ; but, like the hill tribes of the Pulneys, appear to be the 
descendants of some Hinduised low-country people of a later 
period, who were driven to the hills by oppression or who volun- 
tarily migrated thither. Probably the earliest inhabitants came to 
be mixed up so completely with succeeding immigrants that it will 
be impossible now to distinguish them. Perhaps the best repre- 
The lowest sentatives at present of the earliest race of inhabitants are those 
bly^aoonginal long-oppressed tribes that are now considered the lowest, in the 
social scale, the Paraiyas and Pallas. We meet occasionally with 
traditions of a more or less reliable character respecting the 
arrival of most other tribes from other parts of the country. There 
can be no doubt, for instance, of the fact that the Brahmans came 
from the north. There can be no doubt also about the arrival 
from the north of the Nayakas and other Telugu castes. It 
is commonly supposed that the Vellalas eame from the Chola 
country, the Maravas from the Paninad country, and the Shanars 
from Ceylon. Such traditions, it is true, are too uncertain to be 
of much ethnological value, but it is a noticeable circumstance 
The Paraiy.iB that there is no tradition whatever of the arrival in the country 
and Pallas. a ^. an y ^^q f the Pallas and Paraiyas. From the silence of 
tradition it may therefore, perhaps, be inferred that those tribes 
were already in the district when other bunds of immigrants, 
represented by the other tribes or castes we now find, arrived. 
The names by which they are now called are not necessarily of 
the same antiquity as the tribes themselves. "Paraiya" means 
a drummer ; " Palla " appears to mean a man who works in low- 
lying lands, and both these names connect them with a somewhat 
developed state of society. If they were really the oldest tribes 
that settled in the district, they must have subsisted mainly by the 
chase, like the rude tribe commonly called Vedas, and partly by 
the cultivation of dry grains. The cultivation of rice by means of 
irrigation would seem from etymological reasons to have been a 
The Vellalas. specialty of the Vellalas. Vel, the root of Vellala, seems to be 
identical with Vel, the root of Vellam, water used for irrigation. 
Stono The only traces of the earliest inhabitants of Tinnevelly that 

implements. surv i ve? so f ar as T ara aware at present, are certain stone imple- 
ments that have been found near Shermadevi (Cheran-ma-devI) 
and Puthugudi. They were taken to Berlin by Dr. Jagor. These 


implements betokened some little progress in civilization, as the Chapter I. 

sides were rounded and the curves symmetrical. This would 

identify them with what has been called the ' neolithic age.' I am 

unable to regard the sepulchral urns or jars found almost everywhere 

iu Tinnevelly as relics of the earliest period, notwithstanding the 

interest that attaches to them and the mystery which hangs over 

them. The excellence of the pottery and the circumstance that 

copper ornaments have sometimes been found in the urns show 

that the people who buried their dead in those urns, whoever 

they were, and at however early a period they may have lived, 

were a comparatively civilised race. 1 

"Whatever relics of the oldest period still survive will be found, Sepulchral 
I think, like the stone implements referred to above, not in the urns ' 
valley of the Tamraparni itself, which must have been too 
frequently covered with water and too marshy to allow of human 
habitations being erected upon it at the outset, but on the gravelly 
slopes on either side of the valley, constituting the primeval banks 
of the stream. One place of this description called Aditta-nallur, 
near Puthugudi, has been found particularly rich in sepulchral 
urns, &c. I should not expect to find relics of the oldest period 
anywhere near the sea, as I consider it certain that the land has 
been slowly but steadily rising above the ancient sea level for 
ages, probably even before man made his appearance in the 
district. The rise of the land all through the historical period 
is capable, I think, of proof. Near Kulasekharapattanam, a town 
and port of some antiquity, pieces of broken pottery are 
occasionally found imbedded in the grit stone, a marine formation 
abounding in sea shells of existing species, found all along the 
coast. I have a specimen in my possession found about a mile 
from the sea-shore, but I regard this as proving, not the immense 
antiquity of the pottery, which does not appear to differ in the 
least from the pottery now in use, but rather the comparatively 
recent origin of some portions of the grit stone. 

The Tamraparni River. 

If the history of the dawn of a higher civilisation in Tinnevelly Attraction of 
could be brought to light, I have no doubt that the Tamraparni, tne T&mra- 
the great river of Tinnevelly, would be found to occupy the most 
prominent place in the picture. It must have been the facilities 
afforded by this stream for the cultivation of rice which attracted 
to its banks family after family of settlers from the north of a 
higher class than the rude, black aborigines. This river like the 
Kaveri, but unlike most Indian streams, is fed by both monsoons — 

1 See Appendix. 


Chapter I. 

of the Tamra- 

the south-western and the north-eastern — and is seen in full flood 
twice a year. It flows through a narrow but very rich alluvial 
valley, originally formed by itself, when natural forces appear to 
have been stronger than they are now, by the process of denuda- 
tion, and then filled up by itself in later periods by the process of 
sedimentary deposition. It flows smoothly to the sea without 
torrents and along a bed which, instead of being hollowed deeper 
and deeper every year, and thus becoming less and less capable of 
being utilised for irrigation, gets silted up a little from year to 
year, so that at length in the lower half of its course, between 
Palamcotta and the sea, it has become necessary to confine it 
within artificial banks. Such a river would necessarily prove an 
attraction to settlers, if not from the very first, yet at least from 
the first appearance in the district of a people systematically 
practising agriculture and acquainted with the cultivation of rice 
by irrigation. 

The moun. 
tain Potigai. 

• Agaftier.' 

Supposed to 
be inaccessi- 

Rainfall on 
hill and in 
the plains. 

Origin of the Tamraparni. — Agastya's Hill. 

The Tamraparni rises on a noble conical mountain called Potigai, 
more commonly called Potiyam, or Potiya-ma-malai, the meaning 
of which is probably " a place of concealment," as will be explained 
below. Locally it is called Periya Potigai, the great Potigai, 
to distinguish it from a smaller mountain adjoining it called 
Aindu-talai Potigai, the Potigai with the five heads. This 
mountain is the highest in the Tinnevelly range of ghauts, being 
6,800 feet in height, and is regarded by Native poets as the distin- 
guishing mountain of the Pandyas, one of the titles of the Pandya 
king being ' lord of Potiyam.' This mountain stands back nearly 
ten miles from the rest of the mountains of the range, so that the 
Tamraparni which takes its rise upon it drains a considerable 
extent of mountain country before it emerges into the plains. 
Potiyam is visible from Palamcotta, the capital of Tinnevelly, 
and is still more distinctly visible from Trevandrum, the capital 
of Travancore, on the western side of the range. It is usually 
called Agastyar's Hill, or by the Euglish simply ' Agastier,' from 
the tradition that the great rishi Agastya, when he retired from 
the world after civilising the south, took up his abode in its in- 
accessible recesses. It was long supposed by all Natives to be in- 
accessible, on account of the force of the charms with which Agastya 
had fenced in his retreat, but Europeans have frequently found 
their way to the top, and some years ago, a meteorological 
observatory was erected near the top by Dr. Broun, the Astronomer 
of the Maharaja of Travancore. The rainfall on the top of 
the mountain was found to amount to 300 inches in the year. 
The rainfall at Palamcotta, half way between the mountains and 


the sea, is less than 27 inches, whilst 25 inches is the general Chapter I. 
average in the Tinnevelly plains ; and here we see the reason why 
it is that, though the plains of Tinnevelly are so parched and dry, 
through the excessive heat and excessive evaporation, and though 
the rainfall is so insignificant, the Tamraparni rolls to the sea its 
full flood of fertilising waters twice every year, and twice every 
year enriches the beautiful valley through which it flows with 
abundant crops. In consequence of this Tinnevelly stands next 
to Tan j ore — yet with a long interval — in regard to the amount of 
revenue its land assessment yields. 

References to the Tamraparni in Indian Literature. 

Lassen in his Indische Atterthumskunde (Vol. I) describes the Lassen's refer- 
Tamraparnl as "an inconsiderable stream, with a renowned name." Tamraparni. 
Looking at the length of its course (only 70 miles from its rise to - 
the sea, including windings), it may certainly be considered an 
inconsiderable stream, but it holds a high position amongst the 
Indian rivers in regard to the benefits it confers ; and its name 
seems to have become famous in India from a very early period. 
It may worthily be called an " ancient river," by which I 
understand a river renowned in ancient song. It is mentioned 
amongst the rivers of India in the geographical sections of several 
of the Puranas, and seems to have been regarded in those times 
as a particularly sacred stream. It is represented as rising in the The Tamra- 
mountain Malaya, and this enables us to identify Malaya with the Mahabharata 
Southern Ghauts. The Sanskrit Malaya of course represents the 
Dra vidian mala, a hill. The earliest and most noticeable reference 
to it in Sanskrit literature is in the Mahabharata ; — " Also I will 
remind thee, son of Kunti (Yudhishtira, the eldest of the 
Pandava brothers), of the fame of the Tamraparni, in the hermi- 
tage connected with which the gods, desirous of heaven, performed 
austerities." — Aranya Parva. 

There is an interesting, though probably much later, verse in in the Raghu- 
the Eaghu-vamsa, in which the Tamraparni is mentioned. It vamsa - 
6ays, " They (the Pandyas) having prostrated themselves before 
Raghu presented to him as their glory, the collected excellence of 
the pearls of the ocean into which the Tamraparni flows," iv, 50. 
From this it appears that it was even then known that the Tam- 
raparni was in the country of the Pandyas, and that pearls were 
found near the place where the Tamraparni fell into the ocean. 
The author of this poem, the celebrated Kalidasa, is generally 
supposed to have lived in the century before the Christian era. 
Some make him several centuries later. 

Sacred Bathing Places on the Tamraparni. 
Hindus have still a great idea of the religious merit of bathing 
in this stream. Every portion of the stream is sacred ; but 



Falls of the 

Chapter I. bathing at the waterfalls in the upper part of its course is sup- 
posed in these times to be specially meritorious. 

There are two of these waterfalls on the main stream, one 
called Vanatlrtham (from the name of an Asura called Vana) on 
the slope of Potiyaru, and another still more frequented, about 90 
feet in height, at Papa-nasakani (destruction of sin). The latter 
is commonly called Kalyanitlrtkam, the sacred bathing place of 
Kalyani (Parvati), but by some Kalyana-tlrtham, the wedding 
bathing place, that is, the place where Parvati's marriage to Siva 
was exhibited to Agastya. This fall is at the place where the 
Tamraparni leaves the mountains and enters the plains. There is 
another celebrated waterfall, not far from Vana-tirtham, called 
Pamban-aruvi, the snake waterfall, so called on account of its 
long snake-like appearance when seen from a distance. It consists 
of two falls, the upper 500 feet in height, the lower 200 feet. 
This remarkable fall is not on the main stream, but on a tributary, 
which rises on the " five-headed Potigai." 

Meaning of 
the name of 

Falls of Courtallum. 

The Chittar. The northern tributary to the Tamraparni, which does not join 
it till near the sea, is called the Chitra-nadi, the beautiful river, 
vulgarly Chittar, the little river. The falls on this stream, at 
Courtallum, are much celebrated, and Europeans and Hindus are 
equally fond of bathing in them, though for different reasons. It 
may be asserted without risk of exaggeration that Courtallum is 
the finest fresh- water bathing place in the world. Two forms of 
the name Courtallum are given in the Courtallum Sthala-purana, 
one with tt, the other with RR=ttr. If the form of the word 
adopted be Kuttalam, the meaning will be " the wild Atti tree " 
(BaiiJiinia parviflora), and the name will then signify the temple 
or village near the Kuttalam tree. This form of the word, 
Kuttalam, is said to be Sanskrit, but I can find no trace of it in 
any Sanskrit dictionary. If the form adopted be Kuttralam, which 
is the one in common use, it will mean the alam, destruction, 
literally poison, of Kuttru, sin, a meaning equivalent to that of 
the other great sacred bathing place along this range, viz., 
Pavanasam (properly Papanasakam, annihilation of sin). Alam 
is from the Sanskrit hala-hala or hiihala, " a deadly poison." This 
is the meaning generally attributed to the name of the place in 
the Sthala-purana. This shape of the word Kuttru is not found 
in any dictionary, but one of the most common Tamil words for 
sin is Kuttram, which is substantially the same. The lowest of 
the three falls of Courtallum is commonly called by the Natives 
Vada-aruvi, the northern fall. It consists of two falls, the united 
height of which is about 180 feet. The upper pool of this fall 
they call Ponguruakadal, the boiling sea, the depth of which is 38 



feet. The second fall is called Sembagatavi tlrtham, the sacred Chapter I. 

bathing place of the Sembaga forest. Sembaga is the Tamil form 

of the Sanskrit Champaka (the Miehclia Champaka). The third 

is called Tenaruvi, the honey fall. A poetical name of Courtallum 

is Tnkudam, which may best be rendered, the three plateaus or 

platforms. The spices cultivated at Courtallum were introduced 

by Mr. Casamajor in 1800. 

Mouth of the Tamraparni. 

The early Hindus must have been acquainted with the mouth 
of the Tamraparni long before they knew anything of its inland 
course or of the falls in the mountains, so that I conclude that it 
was near its mouth, and probably at the place where its junction 
with the sea took place, that people bathed and performed 
austerities, as the gods are represented to have done, in the time The first set- 
of the Mahabharata. It would seem probable that there also, at tkroent of 

r ... . civilised men 

Korkai, was formed the first settlement of civilised men in inTinnevelly. 
Tinnevellj r , and that it was there that the name of Tamraparni, by where? 
which the river became known, was first given to it. 

Meaning and Origin of the name Tamraparni. 

The meaning of the name Tamraparni, considered in itself, is 'The tree with 
sufficiently clear, but its application in this connexion is far from re 
being self-evident. Tamra means red, parni, from parna, a leaf, 
that which has leaves, that is, a tree. Tamraparni might therefore 
be expected to mean a tree with red leaves, but this is a strange 
derivation for the name of a river, and the idea naturally sug- 
gests itself that some event or legend capable of explaining the 
name lies beyond. It is especially worthy of notice that tins very 
name was the oldest name for Ceylon. It was called Tambapanni 
by the early Buddhists, three centimes before Christ, in king 
Asoka's inscription at Girnar, and when the Greeks first visited 
India in the time of Alexander the Great and began to inquire, 
with their usual zeal for knowledge, about India, the countries 
and peoples it contained, and the neighbouring countries, they 
ascertained the existence of a great adjacent island which they 
were told was called Taprobane — a mispronunciation of Taniba- Taprohane. 
pannT. Lanka, the beautiful island, is the name by which Ceylon Later names 
is called in the Ramayana, and ordinarily in the Maha-wanso. ot Cevlon - 
Sinihalam, however, is the name by which it was called by the later 
Buddhistic writers, from which came in regular succession the forms 
Sihalam, Silam, Selen-dib, Serendib, Zeelan, Ceylan, and Ceylon. 
[Dib is the Arabic survival of the Sanskrit dvipa, island.] From 
the form Silam comes the Tamil Ilam. Simha means a lion, 
Simhala the lion country, that is, either the country of the 
lion-slayers or more probably the country of the lion-like men. 
Tambapanni, or Tamraparni, as the name is more correctly 



Chapter i. written in Sanskrit, is said in the Maha-wanso to have been the 

name of the first settlement formed by Vijaya and his followers 

in Lanka, from which the name came to be applied to the whole 

Identity of island — see Tumour's Maha-wanso, p. 57. This settlement seems 

the Tamra- ^ h ave Dee n near Putlam on the western coast of Ceylon, 

parni of I in- . . . * ' 

nevelTy with nearly opposite the mouth of the chief river in Tinnevelly ; and it 
name ' of ma J De regarded as certain that the two names had a common 
Ceylon. origin, one being derived from the other, like Boston in the United 

States and Boston in England. The name of the river may have 
been derived from the name of the settlement ; or vice versd, the 
name of the settlement may have been derived from the name of 
the river. The only question is, which use of the word was the 
Which earlier ? It may be supposed that a colony from the mouth of the 

the namiTvas TamraparnI in Tinnevelly carried the name over with it to a 
the earlier, settlement founded by it on the opposite coast of Cej'lon. Or, on 
the other hand, after the Aryan adventurers under Vijaya settled 
in Ceylon, they may have formed a settlement on the Tinnevelly 
coast and given the chief river on the coast the name of the town 
from which they came. The general and natural course of 
migration would doubtless be from the mainland to the island ; 
but there may occasionally have been reflex waves of migration 
even in the earliest times, as there certainly were later on, traces 
of which survive in the existence in Tinnevelly and the western 
coast of castes whose traditions, and even in some instances, whose 
names, connect them with Ceylon. The marriage relations into 
which Vijaya and his followers are said to have entered with the 
Pandyas would also make them acquainted witli Korkai at the 
mouth of the TamraparnI, the oldest capital of the Pandyas, which 
must have been their capital at that time, and the river may thus 
have been indebted for its name to those Singhalese visitors. At 
all events it seems more natural that TamraparnI, " the tree with 
the red loaves," should have been first the name of a tree, then of 
a town, then of a district, then of a river (it being not uncommon 
in India for villages to receive their names from remarkable trees), 
than that it should have been the name of a liver at the outset. 
Lassen interprets TamraparnI to mean " a tank with red lotuses," 
but this derivation seems to be quite unsupported. In Tamil 
poetical literature the first member of the compound is omitted 
and the river is called the Porunei, that is, the Parni, alone. The 
English sometimes erroneously write and pronounce the name as 
Tamrapoorney, but the error is derived from the old practice of 
writing the second part of the name Purni, instead of Parni. 

Greek Name for the TamraparnI. 

Tho Solon of The Greeks in the time of Ptolemy called the river by the name 
the Greeks. f the Solen. This is a remarkable circumstance, because they had 



called Ceylon for several centuries by the name of Taprobane, and Chapter I. 
the name of the river being identical with this name of Ceylon, 
one would have expected that they would have called it also by 
the name of Taprobane. It might almost be supposed that 
TamraparnI was not the name of the river in actual use when 
the Greek merchants arrived in Southern India, but this supposition 
is inconsistent with the use of the name in the Mahabharata, for the 
bulk of the Mahabharata is probably much more ancient than the 
commencement of Greek commercial relations with the South, 
which dates only from the Christian era, and there is no reason to 
suppose that the portion of the Mahabharata in which the refer- 
rence to the river is contained could have been inserted at a later 
period for sectarian purposes. The connection in which the name 
stands in the geographical lists in the Puranas is also unsectarian. 
It seems therefore necessary to suppose that the river, though 
called the Solen by the Greeks, was even then called the Tamra- 
parnI by the natives, or at least by the Brahmans. How is this 
to be explained ? Lassen supposes that the old name of the prin- 
cipal stream was Sylaur, which also he supposes to be the present 
name of the tributary stream. No such name, however, as Sylaur 
is, or appears ever to have been, in use. This is evidently a 
mistake for Sytaur, the name by which I find that the river was 
called by English officials as late as 1810. The mistake is only 
of t for /. In our times the name is generally written Chittaur, The Chittar. 
and this stands for Sittar or Chittar, which means the little river. 
It is evident also that the tributary river could never have been 
the principal stream, because it drains a much smaller extent of 
hill country. " Solen " has a meaning in Greek, and may there- 
fore have been intended to be a Greek word. One of its meanings 
is a shell fish, and for want of a better explanation it may perhaps 
be held that the river was called by this name by the Greeks on The chanks 
account of the chanks, then as now, found in great numbers near ncar * he 
its mouth. The chank is the Turbinella ra/pa. Up to the present Tamraparni. 
time the greater number of the chanks used in commerce are 
found in the sea adjacent to the mouth of this river, and every 
field in the neighbouring country bears witness, by the chanks 
found imbedded in the alluvium, to the fact that they abounded 
here at that early period also, when the delta was being formed. 
Chanks seem always to have been used throughout India as instru- 
ments of music (or rather as instruments of noise ?) and in Northern 
India they are much used as a material for making ornaments. The 
Greeks spoke of the Solen as taking its rise on a mountain called The Botti^o 
Bettigo, and it seems conceivable that by this name the}' meant to tlle Greeka - 
represent " Potigai," the name of the mountain on which we have 
seen that the TamraparnI rises. This enables us to identify the 
Bettigo of the Greeks, like the Malaya of the Puranas, the mountain 
on which the Tamraparni rises, with the Southern Ghauts. 



The Cheras, Cholas, and Pandyas. 

Chapter I. The Tamil people, or as they are called in Sanskrit, the Dravidas, 
Legendary were divided in ancient times into three great divisions, the Cheras, 
origin of the Cholas, and Pandyas. The arrangement of the names is climactic, 
and denotes that the Pandyas were supposed in those times to have 


Derivation of 
1 P&ndya.' 

the preeminence, a supposition which appears to be in accordance 
with the facts of the case. According to Tamil legends Cheran, 
Cholan, and Pandyan were three brothers who at first lived and 
ruled in common at Korkai, near the mouth of the Tamraparni. 
The lands held by all three in common were at Mukkani (the 
three properties) near Korkai. Eventually a separation took 
place. Pandiyan remained at home. Cheran and Cholan went 
forth to seek their fortunes and founded kingdoms of their own to 
the north and west. We have a similar representation, perhaps 
merely an echo of the Tamil tradition, in the Hari-vamsa and 
several Puranas in which Pandya, Kerala, Kola, and Chola are 
represented as the four sons of Akrida, or of Dashyanta, the 
adopted son of Turvasu, a prince of the Lunar line of Kshatriyas. 
Who the Kola referred to here was is not clear. Was he supposed 
to be the ancestor of the Kolas or Kolarians of Central India ? 
This is very improbable. Kola is said to be identified by the 
Kerala Mahatmya with Kolam, or Kolattunadu, North Malabar. 
This derivation involves difficulties, but it is the only reasonable 
one I have met with. 

The Pandyas. 

The Sanskrit name Pandya is written in Tamil Pandiya, but 
the more completely Tamilised form Pandi is still more commonly 
used all over Southern India. I derive Pandya, not from the 
Tamil and Malayalam Pandu, ancient, though that is a very tempt- 
ing derivation, but from the Sanskrit Pandu, the name of the 
father of the five Pandava brothers. This very form Pandya, in 
the sense of a descendant of Pandu, is mentioned, as I am 
informed by Professor Max Midler, by Katyayana, the immediate 
successor of Panini. It is evident that the kings of this race by 
their adoption of this name meant to claim kindred with tho 
celebrated Pandava brothers, and the marriage of Arjuna with 
the daughter of the Pandya king seems to have been recorded, 
or invented, as an evidence of this relationship. The earliest 
indubitable reference to the Pandya kingdom in the records of 
Northern India is in one of Asoka's inscriptions about B.C. 250. 

\ :! OF 

Aijmia to 


This marriage is supposed to be referred to in the Adi-parva 
of the Maha-bharata. In the Sanskrit original, however, the 
king is not called a Pandya, but is merely mentioned by his name 


■as Chitravahana, and his city is called, not Madura, but Manipura. Chapteb I. 
This city is placed in Monier Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary in 
the Kalinga country, not in or near the country of the Pandyas. 
The king's daughter's name is Chitrilngada. Arjuna marries the 
damsel and remains in Manipura, according to his pledge, till a 
son is born, who is called Babhruvahana. The Tamil prose 
translation of the Mahabharata boldly identifies Manipura with 
Madura, calls Chitravahana a Pandya king, and also identifies 
him with Malayadhvaja, the second king in the Madura lists of 
Pandyas. This identification might be concluded to be a wholly 
unwarranted invention of the Tamil translator were it not for an 
incident related in the South Indian edition of the Sanskrit text 
of the Maha-bharata. It is therein stated (in the Sabha-parva) 
that Saha-deva, one of the Pandava brothers, in the course of his 
dig-vijaya tour, visited Manipura and greeted his sister-in-law 
Ohitrangada, Arjuna's wife. In this narrative Manipura is 
described as the residence of the Tandy a king, and Saha-deva 
receives from the Pandya king himself valuable presents. This 
statement vindicates the honesty of the Tamil translator, but 
unfortunately the doubt is only removed a step further back, for 
Professor Wilson states that this incident is not contained in the 
northern copies of the Maha-bharata. It was not in his own copy, 
and he had five copies in Benares examined, in none of which was 
the incident mentioned. This seems fatal to the identification. He 
mentions also that in the Bhagavata Purana Arjuna's bride is 
represented as the daughter, not of the Pandya king, but of the 
serpent king of Manipura. 

Oldest Pandya Titles. 

The Pandya dynasty may have existed before this relationship The Maran. 
with the Pandava brothers was thought of, for Maran, not Pandi- 
yan, appears to have been the most ancient name of the head of 
the dynasty. In the titles given to the Pandya king in old 
inscriptions I have always found " the Maran" stand at the head 
of the list, and I found a portion of Korkai itself called, not 
Pandya-Mangalam, but Mara-Mangalam, " the good fortune of 
the Maran." The names seem to have gone in pairs, Mara and 
Korkai, Pandya and Madura. Korkai-ali, ruler of Korkai, is a 
title given to Kulasekhara, the supposed founder of the Pandya 
dynasty, by the author of the Vettri-verkai, himself a Pandya 

Intkucourse of the early Singhalese with the Pandyas. 

Korkai, at the mouth of the Tamraparni, must have been the 
residence of the Pandyas at that early period, six centimes before 



Vijaya's mar 

Chapter I. Christ, when the king of Tamraparnl (Ceylon) is said to have sent 
over ambassadors to negotiate an alliance by marriage with the 
Pandyas. " The Southern Madhura " is the place where the 
Pandyas are said to have lived and reigned at that time, but this 
may have been an anachronism, the very existence of Korkai 
having most probably at the date of the composition of the Maha- 
wanso been forgotten. The particular Pandya king who then 
. reigned is not mentioned, and the name as written in the Pali of 
the Maha-wanso differs slightly from the form current in India. 
He is called sometimes Pandawo, which is evidently meant for 
Pandava, and Pandu, which stands either for Pandu, the father of 
the Pandavas, or for Pandi, the common Tamil form of Pandya. 
According to the story Vijaya married first a Yaksha, or demon- 
princess (a princess of the aboriginal Vedas ?), but afterwards 
sent over to the continent for a human bride, in order that he 
might get himself duly inaugurated as a sovereign. The Pandya 
king gave him his daughter, as requested, and she was accompa- 
nied to Ceylon by a great retinue of maidens, who were given in 
marriage to Vijaya's companions. Vijaya, according to the story, 
had no son of his own, but he appointed a son of his brother to be 
his successor. This prince is called in Pali Pandu-vasa-deva, by 
which we are probably to understand Pandu- vamsa-deva, and 
though he is said to have come from Sinihapura, the city in 
Northern India from which Vijaya himself came, we can scarcely 
err in concluding that he was really a prince of Pandya extraction. 
The fourth prince in the line was called Pandukabhaya, a name 
which evidently also betokens some connexion with the Pandyas. 
It is worthy of notice that it was by those two princes with 
Pandya names (princes from Tinnevelly ?) that the three great 
reservoirs for which Ceylon is famous are said to have been made. 
May it hence be concluded that the idea of making reservoirs for 
irrigation was borrowed by the early Singhalese from the peoplo 
of the Tinnevelly or Madura coast ? Vijaya is said to have 
bestowed on his Pandya father-in-law annually two lakhs worth 
of chanks and pearls. Does this mean that at that time Ceylon 
was tributary to the Pandyas ? This at least seems certain from 
these statements that it was the belief of the earliest Singhalese 
that the Pandya kingdom was in existence before the arrival in 
Ceylon of Vijaya and his colony of adventurers, that is, before the 
introduction into Ceylon of Aryan civilisation, which can hardly 
have been later than 550 B.C. This seems to carry up the era 
of the first introduction of Aryan civilisation into the Pandya 
country, probably at Korkai, to a very early period ; shall we say 
about 700 B.C. ? Ceylon was often invaded in early times by 
Tamilians (Damilos) from the mainland, but the invaders seem 
generally to have been, not Pandyas, but Cholas. 

princes with 

The great 
reservoirs of 

Date of 
of Aryan 



The only place in Tinnevolly supposed to be mentioned in the Chapter I. 
Ramayana is Mahendra. This is generally identified by Hindus Mahendra. 
with Mahendragiri, the loftiest mountain in the extreme southern 
portion of the range of ghauts, south of Agastya's hill ; but as 
the legend connected with it represents it as the place from 
which llanuman, flie monkey-god, jumped over into Ceylon, the 
attempt to identify it with geographical accuracy with any parti- 
cular place in our maps is not likely to be successful. 

Greek Notices of the Pandyas. 

Megasthenes, who was sent as an ambassador from Seleucus information 

Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's successors, to the court of ?? llecte , d by 

/-ti i • t» •• /t» Megasthenes. 

Saudracottus (Chandragupta), king of the Prasu (Prachyas or 

easterns) at Palibothra (Pataliputra) , near the modern Patna, 
about B.C. 302, speaks of a country in India called Pandaia, 
after the name of the only daughter of ' the Indian Heracles,' that 
is, of Krishna. I have no doubt that the country his informants 
meant was that of the Pandyas. A writer who had heard of the 
Calingae and Andarae (the Kalingas and Andhras) could not but 
have heard also of the Pandyas. He partly, it is true, misappre- 
hended the legends related to him, but he was right in deriving 
the name of the Pandya country from that of its rulers and in 
connecting their name in some fashion, however erroneously, with 
the cycle of Krishna myths. Every thing related respecting the 
country by Megasthenes, especially the statement that it was there 
that pearls were procured, serves to identify it with the Pandya 
country, and especially with the southern portion of the Pandya 
country, Tinnevelly, along the coast of which at that time were 
the chief stations of the pearl fishery. 

It may be interesting to give here in Megasthenes' own words, as 
quoted by Pliny, the strange mixture of truth and error he accepted 
and handed down. 

"He" (the Indian Heracles) " had a very numerous progeny The Indian 
of male children born to him in India (for like his Theban eiac ea 
namesake he married many wives), but had only one daughter. 
The name of this child was Pandaia, and the land in which she 
was born and with the sovereignty of which Heracles intrusted 
her was called after her name Pandaia, and she received from the 
hands of her father 500 elephants, a force of cavalry 4,000 strong, 
and another of infantry consisting of about 130,000 men. Some 
Indian writers say further of Heracles that when he was going 
over the world and ridding land and sea of whatever evil monsters 
infested them, he found iu the sea an ornament for women, which 
even to this day the Indian traders who bring their wares to our 



Chapter I. markets eagerly buy up as such and carry away, while it is even 
more greedily bought up by the wealthy Romans of to-day, as it 
Pearls. was wont to be by the wealthy Greeks long ago. This article is the 

sea pearl, called in the Indian tongue (?) margarita. But Heracles, 
it is said, appreciating its beauty as a wearing ornament, caused 
it to be brought from all the seas into India that he might adorn 
with it the person of his daughter." 

Translation from Schwanbeck's Megasthenes by J. W. McCrindle t 
Esq., Indian Antiquary for September 1877. 1 

The exact situation of the country of Pandaia and some parti- 
culars in its administration are given in another extract from 
Megasthenes handed down by another Greek writer : " Heracles 
begat a daughter in India whom he called Pandaia. To her he 
assigned that portion of India which lies to the southward and 
extends to the sea, while he distributed the people subject to her 
rule into 365 villages, giving orders that one village should each 
day bring to the treasury the royal tribute, so that the queen 
might always have the assistance of those men whose turn it was 
to pay the tribute in coercing those who for the time being were 
defaulters in their payments." — Indian Antiquary for December 

Pliny, following apparently another passage of Megasthenes, in 
his enumeration of Indian nations, mentions a nation called 
Pandae. We cannot doubt that the Pandyas, wherever he may 
have supposed them to be located, were the people referred to. 
His statement that the Pandae alone among Indian nations were 
ruled by women, though not correct, so far as is known, if 
supposed to relate to the Pandyas of Madura, may be regarded as 
sufficiently applicable to the peculiar social usages of the Malabar 
coast, where almost every inheritance still runs in the female line, 
and where, in Pliny's own time, at least, if not also in that of 
Megasthenes, the Pandyas of Madura had colonies. 

Pliny expressly mentions that a portion of the western coast 
was in his time (A.D. 77) under the rule of king Pandion, " far 
away from his mediterranean emporium of Modoura ;" yet he 
remarks that this name, with others in the same neighbourhood, 
was new to him. He evidently had no idea that the people of 
king Pandion were identical with the Pandae he had already 

Porna or 

l'uiuliuu ? 

The Pandyas Embassy to Augustus. 

No information respecting the Pandya country in general or 
Tinnevelly in particular is supplied to us by the Greeks between 

Siuee then published separately. 


the time of the successors of Alexander and the commencement of Chapter I. 

Greek commercial intercourse with India, in the early years of the 

Christian era, when we begin to be supplied with information of 

an interesting nature. I regard it as nearly certain that the 

Indian king who sent an embassy to the Emperor Augustus, was 

not Poms, but Pandion, the king of the Pandyas, called in Tamil 

" the Pandiyan." The earliest account of the embassy is given by 

Strabo (A.D. 20). The statement generally made by the Greek 

and Roman historians who refer to this embassy is that it was sent 

by the Indi, without further explanation as to who those Indians 

were. Strabo says " the embassy was from king Pandion ; or 

according to others " (whose opinion apparently he did not endorse) 

" from king Porus." One of those " others " was Nicolaus 

Damascenus, quoted by Strabo, who says he saw the ambassadors 

himself. The name of Porus had been known in Europe for several 

centuries, through the historians of Alexander's Indian campaign, 

and it was natural that Greeks should fall into the mistake of 

supposing every Indian king a successor of Porus, whereas the 

name Pandion was one which up to that time had never been 

known and could not have been invented. This Indian 

embassy has a place in the Chronicon of Eusebius (320 A.D.), but 

neither in the ordinary (defective) Greek text of the Chronicon, 

nor in the Armenian version, is the name of the king from whom 

it proceeded mentioned. Fortunately, however, the name, as 

written by Eusebius, appears in the Chronographia of Georgius 

Syncellus (A.D. 800), whose work has been used to restore or 

complete the Greek test of the Chronicon, and who says, under the 

head of the 185th olympiad, " Pandion, king of the Indians, sends 

an embassy to Augustus, desiring to become his friend and ally." 

This incident is an interesting proof of the advanced social and 

political position occupied by the Pandyas, probably in consequence 

of the foreign trade they carried on, viz., at Korkai, in connexion 

with the pearl fishery, and also on the Malabar coast. After the 

termination of the political relations that subsisted between the 

successors of Alexander and the princes of Northern India we thus 

find that the Pandyas were the only Indian princes who perceived 

the advantages of a European alliance. 

Information about Korkai furnished by the Greeks. 

More is known about Korkai from the Greeks than from Native The Kolkhoi 
writings or traditions. It is mentioned by the author of the q th ? 
Periplus Maris Erythraei, the circumnavigation of the Erythraean 
or Red Sea (by which we are to understand the whole Arabian 
Ocean from the mouth of the Red Sea to the Bay of Bengal), an 
intelligent Greek merchant who visited India probably about KoShcri* ° 

3 " 

'■■ ■ ''fiff t P^ firriTiirtrt ti i- W-' 



Chapter I. A.D. 80. It is mentioned also by Ptolemy the Geographer 
A.D. 130. By these it is called " Kolkhoi emporium." It is 
one of the very few places in India found in the ancient series of 
maps called from the name of their discoverer the Peutinger Tables. 
The date of these tables is unknown, but on examining the Asian 
segments, I came to the conclusion that the author could not have 
had any acquaintance with Ptolemy, and that therefore probably 
he lived at an earlier period. Some of the European segments 
seemed to me to belong to (or to have been brought down to) a 
later date. Both the author of the Periplus and Ptolemy agree in 
representing Kolkhoi as the headquarters of the pearl fishery at 
that time and as included in the dominions of king Pandion. 
Ptolemy places it immediately to the north of the River Solen. It 
was the first port visited by the Greeks after rounding Cape 
Comorin and the place on the Tinnevelly coast whose name 
was recorded by them. The Gulf of Manaar was called by them 
from the name of this place the Colkhic Gulf, from which it may 
be included that Kolkhoi was considered by them a place of much 
importance. It is called in the Peutinger Tables Colcis Indorum, 
the Colcis of the Indians, to distinguish it from the better known 
Colchis on the Black Sea. The Tamil name of the place is almost 
identical with the Greek. It is Kolkai, and though this is now 
euphonically pronounced Korkai, through the necessary change of 
/ into r before k, yet it is still pronounced Kolkai on the western 
coast, and I have found it written Kolkai in an old Tamil inscription 
in the temple at Tiruchendur. This place is now three or four 
miles inland, but there are abundant traces of its having stood at 
one time in the sea coast and of having at a previous period been 
under the sea. I have found the tradition that it was once the 
centre of the pearl trade and the principal seat of civil government 
in the south still surviving amongst people in the neighbourhood. 
Afer the sea had retired from Kolkhoi, in consequence of the 
gradual elevation of the line of coast, a new emporium arose 
between it and the sea, which acquired groat celebrity during the 
middle ages. This was Kayal, a place to which I shall presently 
refer. This identification of Kolchoi with Kolkai is one of much 
importance, because, being perfectly certain, it helps forward 
other identifications. Kol in Tamil means to slay, kai, hand or 
arm. Kolkai therefore would seem to moan the hand or arm of 
slaughter, which is said to be an old poetical name for an army, a 
camp, the first instrument of government in a rude age. Kai is 
capable also of meaning place, e.g., Poti-kai, place of concealment, 
the name of the mountain from which the river of Korkai takes 
its rise. Compare the name Coleroon, properly Kollidam, the place 
of slaughter. It is worthy of notice that in so far as the two 

of this 



words included in the name of Kolkai are concerned, the Tamil Chapter I. 
language does not seem to have altered from that day to this. 
The junction of the words has been euphonised by Sandhi, but the 
words themselves remain the same. 

The line of coast including South Tinnevelly and South 
Travancore was called Paralia, by the author of the Periplus. It 
commenced at what they called " the red cliffs " south of Quilon, 
and included not only Cape Comorin, but also Korkai. Paralia is 
the Greek word for coast ; it does not appear to me to be the 
Greek mode of writing a native name, for Ptolemy mentions 
several Paralias. The coast mentioned by this name included 
Ptolemy's country of the Aii, South Travancore, and that of the 
Kare'i, South Tinnevelly. The Kare'i of the one writer inhabited 
the Paralia of the other. Karai in Tamil means a coast, from the 
verbal root karai, to be melted down, to be washed away, and is 
obviously identical in meaning with the Greek Paralia. It is 
worthy of notice that up to the present time several portions of 
the Tinnevelly coast are called Karaichuttru, the coast circuit, 
whilst a caste of fishermen farther north are called Karaiyar, 
coast people. This Tamil word for coast occurs in the names of 
several places mentioned by Ptolemy, though the places 
themselves have not been identified, e.g., Peringkarai. If this 
name had been written Perung instead of Pering, it would have 
been identical, letter for letter, with the Tamil of the present 
time. The meaning would have been " great-shore." 

Cape Comorin as known to the Greeks. 

Cape Comorin is not now in Tinnevelly, but in Travancore, but Description of 
as it originally belonged to Tinnevelly, being the southern extre- Sf?J e C JJri" n 
mity of the Pandya country, and as it is so near the Tinnevelly plus, 
boundary and is so celebrated a place, it seems desirable that I 
shoidd mention here what is said about it by the Greeks. It is 
called Komaria Akron, Cape Komaria, by Ptolemy, and Komarei 
or simply Komar by the author of the Periplus. The latter says, 
" After Bakare occurs the mountain called Pyrrhos (or the Red) 
towards the south, near another district of the country called 
Paralia (where the pearl-fisheries are which belong to kingPandion), 
and a city of the name of Kolkhoi. In this tract the first place 
met with is called Balita, which has a good harbour and a village 
on its shore. Next to this is another place called Komar, where 
is the cape of the same name and a haven. Those who wish to 
consecrate the closing part of their lives to religion come hither 
and bathe and engage themselves to celibacy. This is also done 
by women ; since it is related that the goddess once on a time 
resided at the place and bathed. From Komarei towards the 

rs-J-j+aret. fr, ,ifi : y ft'M'iWl 



Kumari or 
Kumari in 
Indian lite- 

Chapter I. south the country extends as far as Kolkhoi, where the fishing for 
pearls is earned on. Condemned criminals are employed in this 
service. King Pandion is the owner of the fisher}'. To Kolkhoi 
succeeds another coast lying along a gulf having a district in the 
interior bearing the name of Argalon. In this single place are 
obtained the pearls collected near the island of Epiodoros." 

When the writer says "it is related " that the goddess used to 
bathe there it seems to be implied that he had heard of the existence 
of some written statement to this effect. Probably however he only 
meant that a tradition to that effect was in existence and was 
believed. This monthly bathing in honour of the goddess Durga, 
called also Kumari, is still continued at Cape Comorin, but is not 
practised to the same extent as in former times. 

The place has derived its name from the Sanskrit Kumari, a 
virgin, one of the names of the goddess Durga, the presiding 
divinity of the place, but the shape which this word has taken is, 
especially in Komar, distinctively Tamilian. In ordinary Tamil 
Kumari becomes Kumari ; and in the vulgar dialect of the people 
residing in the neighbourhood of the Cape a virgin is neither 
Kumari nor Kumari, but Kumar, pronounced Komar. It is 
remarkable that this vulgar corruption of the Sanskrit is identical 
with the name given to the place by the author of the Periplus . . . 
Through the continued encroachments of the sea, the harbour the 
Greek mariners found at Cape Comorin has completely disappeared ; 
but a fresh water well remains in the centre of a rock, a little way 
out at sea. 

Kumari in Tamil, Kumari in Sanskrit, is regarded by Puranic 
writers as the name of a river, one of the seven great sacred rivers 
of India. The southern portion of the peninsula is called by the 
same name. It is said to be so called after the name of Kumari, 
a daughter of Bharata, the first Emperor of India, who was made 
by her father queen of the south. The Pandya king is called 
Kumari (s)-serppan, lord of the Kumari shore, because to him the 
lands lying along the banks of the Kumari belonged. It might be 
supposed that by the Kumari river the TamraparnI was meant, 
but this cannot have been the case, for the name Kumari is not 
ncluded in the classical list of the names of this river. The Native 
tradition is to the effect that there was originally a river at Cape 
Knman not a Comorin, a real river — a sacred river where people went to bathe, — 

river but n, 

place' on tho but that this river has been swallowed up by the sea. This might 
perhaps have been believed, had it not been for the explicit state- 
ment contained in the Periplus. No Native tradition goes back 
so far or possesses anything liko such weight as this statement of 
an intelligent Greek. It is evident, therefore, that in ancient 
times, as now, it was in the sea, not in a river, that people bathed. 

sea coast. 



Besides this, the title given to the Pandya king witnesses against Chapter I. 
this idea, for serppu denotes a coast of the sea, not the banks of a 
river. Knniari(s)-serppan means therefore lord of the Kumari sea- 
coast. It is certain also, that the Kumari in whose honor people 
bathed at Cape Comorin was not king Bharata's daughter, but the 
goddess Durga, also called Kumari, whose special name at Cape 
Comorin is BhagavatI, This little episode about Cape Comorin 
shows how little reliance is to be placed on Native traditions, when 
not corroborated by information derived from independent sources. 

Paumben as known to the Greeks. 

It may not be out of place that I should mention what the Kory identi- 
fied V " 

Greeks said of Paumben, the island on which the celebrated temple fi 

of Ramesvarani stands, though that place like Cape Comorin 
lies beyond the boundary of Tinnevelly. Cape Comorin is in 
Travancore ; Paumben in the zemindari of Ramnad and district 
of Madura. Ptolemy describes a place called Kory as an island in 
the Argalic Gulf or Palk Strait. Elsewhere he describes it as a 
cape, and correctly, for it was both, if it is to be identified, as I have 
no doubt it is, with Paumben, a long narrow island terminating in 
a long spit of sand. The entire bay between Point Calymere and 
the island of Paumben is called poetically Rama's bow, and each 
end is called Dhanush koti, the tip of the bow or simply koti (in 
Tamil kodi) the tip, end, or corner. The most celebrated of these 
kotis was that at Ramesvaram, at the extremity of Paumben, and 
this word koti would naturally take the shape, especially when 
pronounced by foreigners, of Kori. The ease with which this 
change might take place is shown by the circumstance that this 
very word koti, as the name of a high number, is written and 
pronounced crore. It is remarkable that the Portuguese, without 
knowing anything of the Kory of the Greeks, called the same spit 
of land Cape Ramanacoru. 

The island of Paumben, " snake-like," takes its name from the The Paumben 
channel through the " Adam's Bridge " reef, formerly tortuous, channel - 
though now straight, by which ships pass from the Gulf of Manaar 
to Palk Strait or the Bay of Tondi. Ramesvaram, the name of the 
celebrated temple at the eastern extremity of the island, means 
Rama's Isvara, Rama's Lord, that is Siva recognised and worshipped 
by Rama, according to the Saivas, as his lord. Isvara at the end of a 
compound generally denotes Siva. A name identical with this in 
meaning is Rama-natha, Rama's Lord, the first part of Rama-natha- 
puram, the name of the capital of the Ramnad (Rama-natha) 
Zemindari, in which the island of Paumben is included. This 
recognition of Siva by Rama is supposed to have been made on 
Rama's return from Ceylon. 




Identity of 
Kolis and 

Chapter I. In the various Greek and Roman geographical works prior to 
the time of Ptolemy, the name Kolis occupies an important 
place. In Ptolemy Kolis disappears and Kory, a name pre- 
viously unknown, comes up instead. I have little doubt that 
Kolis and Kory were identical, and that the place meant by 
both was the island cape of Paumben or Ramesvaram. This appears 
from the circumstance that it is stated by Pliny to be the 
promontory of India which was nearest Ceylon, between which and 
it there was only a shallow sea. As it was regarded also as the 
southernmost point of India, it might be supposed that Cape 
Comorin was meant, but in the times preceding Ptolemy Cape 
Comorin was not known to be a cape. Pomponious Mela described 
Kolis as an "angle," a meaning which corresponds to that of koti in 
the Indian languages. He supposed it to be the termination 
towards the east of the southern coast, which extended according to 
him thus far nearly due east from the Indus. 

Various cities 



" The Pandion" and Madura as known to the Greeks. 

I have already mentioned that the Pandyan king was called 
Pandion by the Greeks. They called the people also Pandiones. 
In this they were correct, for the people have always been called 
by the same name as the prince. He was the Pandi, and they 
the Pandis. Ptolemy's name for Madura is Modoura, described 
by him as ' Basileion Pandionis,' the royal city of Pandion. 
Pliny spells the name Modura. The Sanskrit mode of spelling 
this name is Mathura. It is called the Southern Mathura in 
Sanskrit, to distinguish it from the original Mathura, Krishna's 
birth-place in the north-west, called Methora by the earlier 
Greeks, "the Modoura of the gods" by Ptolemy, and Muttra by 
the modern English. There is another place, of the same name, 
Matura in the south of Ceylon, and there is a small island called 
Madura, in the Eastern Archipelago, which received its name from 
Brahman immigrants from India. 

Greek trade 
with the 

Date of Greek intercourse with Southern India. 

The arrival in India of the Greek merchants from whom 
Ptolemy and others obtained their information appears to have 
been contemporaneous with the conquest of Egypt by the 
Romans. The earliest Roman coins found in India are those of 
the Emperor Augustus. A large number of Roman Imperial 
aurci (gold coins) were found some years ago on the Malabar 
coast; upwards of thirty types of which, commencing with the 
earlier coins of Augustus and including some of Nero, were 
desoribed by me in a paper printed at Trevandrum in 1851 by 
the Slaharajft of Travancore, to whom the coins belonged. The 


Greek word for rice, ' oryza ' dates from the time, whenever that Ohaptbb I 
was, when rice was first introduced into Europe, and it cannot be pfcenician 
doubted that here we have the Tamil word ' an'si,' rice deprived Trade, 
of the husk, this being the condition in which then, as now, rice 
was exported. Of all the places frequented by the Greeks the 
place from which rice was most likely to be exported to Europe 
was Kolkhoi, at the mouth of the Tamraparni. Prior to the time 
of the Greeks the trade with India was mainly in the hands of the 
Phenicians and Persians. The oldest Tamil word found in any 
written record in the world appears to be the word for peacock in 
the Hebrew text of the books of Kings and Chronicles, in the list 
of articles of merchandize brought fromOphir (about 1000 B.C.) in 
Solomon's ships, which formed a portion of the great mercantile 
fleet of the Phenicians. The old Tamil tbkai becomes in Hebrew 
tilki. The oldest Tamil word in Greek is the name for cinnamon 
learned by Ctesias (about 400 B.C.) from the Persians. This is 
karpion, the root portion of which, karpi, is no doubt identical 
with the Tamil-Malayalam karuppu, karppu, or karuva, the 
common name of cinnamon. 

I cannot quit the history of the mercantile intercourse of the Courageous 
Greeks with Southern India without mentioning a story illustra- Greek 
tive of their courage and enterprise. From the time of the mariner. 
Phenicians onwards the voyage to Ophir had taken three years, 
in consequence of the vessels being always obliged in those days, 
when the mariner's compass was unknown, to hug the coast. The 
voyage from the mouth of the Red Sea to the western coast of 
India, though not so long as this, was still very long and tedious. 
At length a Grecian mariner called Hippalus, noticing how 
steadily the south-west monsoon blew for many months together 
in the same direction, committed himself to the wind, with a 
courage almost equal to that of Columbus, and arrived safely on the 
western coast, near the place he wished to reach. The rest of the 
seafaring Greeks gladly followed his example, and in comme- 
moration of his exploit called the south-west monsoon the 

The latest Greek who interested himself in Southern India was Cosmas 
Cosmas Indicopleustes, who in A.D. 535, in his book entitled J e n g dicopleus * 
Christian Topography, mentions many interesting particulars 
regarding Ceylon and a few respecting the Malabar coast, or 
" Male, from which the pepper comes," but unfortunately says 
nothing respecting Tinnevelly or the eastern coast. 





Boundaries of the Pandya Country. 

Ch apter II. There are certain geographical stanzas current in Tamil which 
Geographical give the boundaries and extent of the three Tamil kingdoms — the 
stanzas. Chera, Chola, and Pandya. These stanzas are regarded by the 

Tamil people as classical and authoritative. According to the 
stanza relating to the Pandya kingdom its boundaries were the 
river Vellaru to the north, Kumari (Cape Comorin) to the south, 
the sea (that is the Gulf of Manaar and Palk Strait or the Bay of 
boundary of Tondi) to the east, and " the great highway " to the west. Of these 
the Pandya boundaries the eastern, viz., the sea, calls for no remark. The 
river Vellaru, which is represented in the Pandya stanza as the 
northern boundary of the Pandya country, is also represented in 
the Chola stanza as the southern boundary of the Chola country. 
The boundary line between two such restless, bellicose nations as 
the Pandyas and Cholas must have been continually shifting. 
We know indeed that at one time the whole of the Pandya country 
was incorporated into the Chola country. On some auspicious 
occasion, however, when both parties, having become thoroughly 
exhausted by continuous wars, were perhaps cementing peace by 
a marriage, their representatives seem to have been able to agree 
in fixing on the Vellaru as their common boundary, which 
settlement having been arrived at, the poets of both sides seem to 
have been commissioned to perpetuate the remembrance of the 
boundary in verse. The Vellaru, adopted as their common bound- 
ary, is not the Vellaru which falls into the sea near Porto Novo, 
for this would exclude the Cholas from Tan j ore, the most valuable 
portion of their dominions. The Vellaru, referred to rises in the 
hills near Marungapuri in the Trichinopoly District, takes a south- 
easterly course through the Native state of Puducotta, and falls 
into the sea in Palk Strait, south of Point Calymere. This 
identification of the Vellaru is confirmed by the circumstance that 
it was an old custom prevalent amongst the Nattukkottai Chetties 
that their women should never be allowed to cross the Vellaru, it 
beiug considered an act of bad omen for women to cross boundaries. 


According to this identification, Trichinopoly belonged to the Chapter ji. 
Cholas, not to the Pandyas, which was doubtless the case in early 
times, Uraiyur, near Trichinopoly (the Orthoura of Ptolemy), 
having been the ancient Chola capital. It was during the 
Nayaka period that Trichinopoly became a portion of the domi- 
nions of the kings of Madura. Trichinopoly, indeed, not Madura, 
was regarded by the later Nayaks as their capital. The southern The southern 
boundary of the Pandyas was Cape Comorin. The western boundaries. 
boundary of the Pandyas, that is, the most westerly point their 
dominions reached at the time the stanza was written, is called 
Peruvali, the great highway. In another stanza the same way is 
called Valuti-kal, 1 that is, " the Pandya king's way." This was 
the pass leading into Travancore through the hills near Courtallum. 
The particular pass referred to was the Achchan-kovil pass. In 
later times this pass came to be less frequented, and the principal 
pass through those hills now is that at Ariyankavu. According 
to this, the whole of Nanji-nadu, the district in South Travancore 
lying to the north-west of Cape Comorin, would fall within the 
Pandya boundary. The entrance to the Achchan-kovil pass is 
further to the west even than the town called Travancore, the little 
town from which the kingdom of Travancore takes its name. The 
accuracy of this representation is confirmed by all the Nanji-nadu 

The Cholas and Pandyas agreed as we have seen in adopt- Boundary 
ing a common boundary. The Cheras and Pandyas do not cheras and 6 
seem to have been equally inclined to agree, for whilst the Pandyas tne Pandyas. 
represented the Achchan-kovil pass as their western boundary, the 
Chera stanza represents the eastern boundary of the Cheras to be, 
not the Achchan-kovil pass, but Tenkasi. This would make over 
to Travancore a considerable slice of the Tinnevelly Taluk of 
Tenkasi, including Courtallum itself. It is quite possible that 
Tenkasi may at some time or another have come into the possession 
of Travancore, but inscriptions prove that in the loth and 16th 
centuries at least it belonged to the Pandyas. The adoption of 
Tenkasi, instead of the Achchan-kovil pass, as the most westerly 
point of the Pandya dominions, would save to Travancore the 
ancestral town of the dynasty, Travancore itself, but Nanji-nadu 

would remain a portion of the Pandya country as before. Another The Shen- 


1 Vakiti is a poetical name for the Pandya king ; kal means a way. Achchan- 
kovil is the temple of Achchan, that is, of Appan, father. The father referred to is 
Siva. It is worthy of notice that the use of Achchan for Appan is given by the 
classical Tamil grammars as an illustration of the Tamil of the Kuda-nadu, the 
western country, that is, Travancore. Ariyan-kavu means Aryan's guard. Aryan, 
or Arva. that is, Hari-hara-putra, the common Tamil equivalent of whose name is 
Aiyanar, is supposed to be guardian of boundaries. Kavu is the Malayalam 
equivalent of the Tamil kaval, guard. 




Chapter II. Chera stanza makes Shenkotta the western boundary of the Cheras. 
This is almost exactly in accordance with the present arrangement. 
The boundary between Tinnevelly and Travancore passes at 
present, I believe, through the town of Shenkotta. Formerly it 
lay a little to the eastward, so that the whole of the town belonged 
to Travancore. What is called the Taluk of Shenkotta, that is, 
the district between Shenkotta and the hills, appears to have 
belonged originally to the Pandyas, but has been a portion of 
Travancore for centuries. It was held for some time of the Nawab 
of Arcot by the Raja of Travancore (see Appendix), but was finally 
incorporated with Travancore in 1809. Shenkotta lies about due 
south of the Achchan-kovil pass, so that it would be equally 
suitable to be regarded as the most westerly point of the Pandya 

The extent, that is, the area, of each of the three countries is 
represented in the various stanzas as follows : the Chera country 
800 miles ; Chola 240 ; Pandya 560. 

Pandya Kings. 

Names of the The existence of a Pandya kingdom and dynasty can be traced 

Sn~sun- aya back, as we have seen, several centuries before the Christian era by 

known. means of the Asoka inscriptions and the notices contained in the 

Maha-wanso, the Maha-bharata, and the writings of Megasthenes. 

The existence of the dynasty, however, is all that can be concluded 

with certainty from these notices ; no name of any king has 

survived. We learn from the Greek geographers who wrote after 

the Christian era that the Pandya dynasty not only survived till 

their time, but rose to special importance amongst the Indian 

Indian refer- states, but still no name of any Pandya king appears. The next 

Pandyas* ie authentic reference to the Pandyas after the visit of the Greeks 

and before the composition of the Maha-wanso, is that which is 

contained in the Brihat-samhita, one of the astronomical, or rather 

astrological, works of Varaha-mihira, an Indian astronomer who 

lived in A.D. 404. (See Dr. Kern's Translation in Journal of Royal 

Asiatic Society.) He mentions incidentally " the Pandya king," 

the river Tamraparni, and the chank and pearl fisheries. When 

the Dravidas are mentioned as distinct from the Cholas, as they 

Lists of sometimes are in the Maha-bharata and the Puranas, the Pandyas 

SSSj."" 8 * must be meant. I should be delighted to be able to supplement the 

worthy. deficiencies of the Greeks and the early Indian authorities by 

supplying a list of the Pandya kings from Pandyan sources, but I 

regret to say that I can place no oonfidenoe whatever in the lists of 

Pandya kings furnished by local poets and panegyrists. I should 

be happy to avail myself of any information respecting the 

Pa n<h;i and their affairs coming Erom tlir outside, but T believe 


it is the greatest possible error to trust to home-made lists of Chapter II. 
kings, in the absence of reliable contemporary information from 
coins and inscriptions. Any person who is curious on the subject 
may consult Professor Wilson's Historical Sketch of the Kingdom. 
of Pandya and the Abstract of the Madura Sthala Purana con- 
tained in Nelson's Madura Manual (Part II, p. 8), together with 
its lists of kings from Kulasekhara, the supposed founder of the 
djmasty, to the last Pandya, Kubja or Sundara. A very cursory 
perusal of that composition will show that its contents are almost 
entirely mythical. There is a Tamil version of the Madura Lists of the 
Purana, called the Tiruvilaiyadal Purana, which is still fuller than Madurai> ura. 
the original of incredible marvels. This translation is said to 
have been made at the request of the poet-king Ati-vira-rama 
Pandya, and if so, this must have been some time towards the end 
of the 16th century A.D. I do not mean to assert that the names 
of all the kings in the Madura lists are to be regarded as purely 
inventions of later times. I mean only that until they have been 
verified by inscriptions, which has not yet been the case, they are 
of no conceivable historical value. For the present they must 
take rank, I fear, with the long roll of pre-Christian Caledonian 
kings, whose pictures ornament the walls in Holyrood Palace, 
Edinburgh. It seems better, therefore, that I should leave those 
lists for the present unnoticed. One name only in those lists has 
hitherto, so far as I am aware, been authenticated by a coin ; that 
is Samara Kolahala (din of war, a title, rather than a name), which 
I found on a coin belonging to Sir Walter Elliot. The date, 
however, is unknown ; this is a department of research in which 
very little has yet been done. 

The names of the two last Pandya kings belonging to the Two last 
/ original line of Pandyas appear in an inscription, as I learn from nam ^ d 
Dr. Burnell, at Chillambaram (Chidambaram). These are 
Vikrama Pandya and his son Vlra Pandya. This Vlra Pandya 
was conquered by Rajendra Chola (called also Vlra Chola and 
Kopparakesari Varma). As we know that this event happened in 
1064, we now know also that the two reigns of Vikrama Pandya 
and Vlra Pandya preceded that date, and therefore that they 
preceded the Chola occupation of the Pandya country. Many 
Pandya kings seem to have borne this name of Vlra, but probably 
one of them was more famed than the rest, for we find the name 
given to various villages in the records, e.g., Vira-Pandya-patta- 
nam and Vlra-Pandya-puram. It will be seen also that there was 
a ' measuring rod of Vlra Pandya ' used in subsequent reigns. 

The Ch5la Occupation. 

The occupation of the entire Pandya country by the Cholas is Rajendra 
not even alluded to in the Madura Purana, nor is the name of any Chola. 


Chaptek II. of the Chola kings contained in the Madura lists. This could not 
have been owing to the Purana having been composed and the 
lists completed before the Chola occupation commenced, for the 
last king in the lists, Kubja or Sundara, reigned long after, proba- 
bly 200 years after, the reign of the first Chola who ruled over 
the Pandya kingdom, Rajendra Chola, who commenced to reign 
in A.D. 1064. It is uncertain whether Rajendra Chola gained 
the sovereignty of the Pandya country by conquest or by volun- 
tary cession, but I think it could not have been by conquest, for in 
Rajendra two inscriptions belonging to his reign which I found in an old 
vict' r S v temple near Cape Comorin, one dated in the fourth year of his reign, 
Ahava-Malla. and the other in the fifth, a victory said to have been achieved by 
him over Ahava-Malla (a Jaina king of the Chalukya race) on the 
banks of the Tunga-bhadra, is recorded. I conclude, therefore, 
that if he had acquired his sovereignty over the Pandyas in a 
similar way by war and conquest, the fact would certainly have 
been mentioned. If some person living in the Chola country had 
asserted that Rajendra Chola had annexed the Pandya country 
to his own territories, the assertion would have been of no value, 
for it is customary for every petty sovereign in India to be repre- 
sented by his poets and panegyrists as having conquered all his 
neighbours. The value of the assertion, however, becomes widely 
different when we find it in inscriptions on temples in the conquered 
or annexed country itself, recorded by persons who must formerly 
have been subjects of the old dynasty, but who now set themselves 
to glorify the new. 

It is a remarkable circumstance that the remembrance of 
the Chola occupation of the Pandya country has entirely disap- 
peared from the minds of the people. I have never } r et met 
with any Native who had even heard of it. Yet it is a fact 
respecting which there cannot be the smallest shade of doubt. 
The country is full of inscriptions testifying to it. Rajendra 
Chola has also been shown by inscriptions to have reigned over the 
Kalinga country, or Northern Circars, in succession to the eastern 
branch of the Chalukyas. I have found inscriptions in Rajendra's 
reign in every part of Tinnevelly, and also as far as Kottar in 
South Travancore, which was at that time considered a portion of 
the Pandya country. Generally he is called simply Rajendra 
Chola, but in one inscription the names of both dynasties are 
combined, in a manner very common in subsequent reigns, viz., 
Rajendra Chola-Pandyan. Ee is supposed to have reigned 49 
years. One of my Tinnevelly inscriptions is in the 80th year of 
his reign. 
Date of the Some traditions represent Kambar, the Tamil poet, as publish- 

Tamil j n g \ x [ s celebrated poelical version of the Ramayana in this 

reign, others as publishing il in the reign of Rajendra's successor 


Kulotunga Chola. Possibly the work may have been commenced Chapter II. 
in the former reign and finished in the latter. Supposing it were 
possible to depend with certainty on either of the above-mentioned 
traditions, it would show that the memorial verse prefixed to 
Kambar's Rimayana, and which represents it as having been 
published in A.D. 886, could not have been authentic, this date 
being too early by more than 250 years. Kambar is quoted by the 
Buddhist Grammarian Buddhamitra, who also appears to have lived 
in Rajendra Chola's time — if indeed Vlra Chola, to whom the 
grammar was dedicated, and Rajendra Chola were one and the 
same person, as Dr. Burnell believed. Rajendra Chola's name is 
identified with that of Siva in an inscription at Kottar in South 
Travancore. The temple is said to have been " erected by Kulotunga 
Chola, in Kottar, the good town of the triple-crowned Chola, to 
the great divinity Rajendra Cholesvara," that is, either to 
Rajendra Chola considered as identified with Siva, or rather 
probably to Siva as worshipped by Rajendra Chola. 1 

I found several records of gifts in this and other temples in the Temple to 
south dedicated to Rajendra Chola, one of which was by Sundara ^jendra 
Pandya, a clear proof that, Sundara Pandya lived, not before 
Rajendra Chola, but after, and therefore that as Sundara Pandya's 
name is in the Madura list of kings, the names of Rajendra Chola 
and his Chola successors ought to have been there also. 

Kulotunga Chola appears from Chalukya inscriptions to have Kulotunga 
succeeded Rajendra in A.D. 1112. Dr. Burnell places the com- oa ' 
mencement of his reign in 1128. He also must have had a long 
reign, as I have an inscription of his dated in the 44th year of his 
reign. The Chola or Chola- Pandya kings that followed appear to 
have been Karikala Chola, Vlra Chola, Yikrama Chola. Each of 
these is in some inscriptions styled Chola- Pandya. I have found 
nothing which throws any light on their date, except that they were 
all posterior to Rajendra Chola and that they all lived before 
Sundara Pandya, the last king of the old Pandya line. 

Karikala Chola's name occupies an important place in Chola Karikala 
traditions in connection with the life of Ramanuja, the great 
Vaishnava teacher, but it is uncertain whether the Karikala Chola 
mentioned in Tinnevelly inscriptions is the same person or another 
person of the same name. Dr. Burnell places the Karikala Chola 
of Tanjore somewhere about 950 A.D. This would be too early 
for any successor of Kulotunga Chola, as the Karikala of Tinnevelly 
seems to have been. It is also too early for the date of the Kari- 

1 Compare the Roimn title, Divus Augustus, that is, Augustus regarded as deified 
after his death. A parallel case is that of RamgSwara or R&man&tha, Siva as 
worshipped by Rama. T am acquainted with a temple in which Siva is called 
lyesvara, that i>. Siva as worshipped by th>' Pandyas. 



Chapter II. 







kala Chola by whom Ramanuja was persecuted. Ranianuja is said 
to have fled from Karikala's persecutions to the Court of Bitti 
Deva, the Ballala kiug of Dwara-samudra, whom he converted 
from the Jaina to the Vaishnava faith. The king on his conversion 
took the new name of Vishnu Varddhana, and this event has always 
been placed in the beginning of the 12th century. Rice in his 
Mysore inscriptions places it in A.D. 1117. This is one of the most 
important eras in South Indian history, as it gives us a date on 
which we can depend, and from which we can calculate backwards 
and forwards. For instance, as Kambar, the author of the Tamil 
poetical version of the Ramayana, refers to Ramanuja by name in 
his Sadagopar Antadi, we learn that Kambar's date must have 
been subsequent to A.D. 1100, not A.D. 886, as a certain verse 
prefixed to the Tamil Ramayana states. There seems no room for a 
Karikala Chola in the Chola country in the beginning of the 12th 
century. The ground seems preoccupied by Vlra or Rajendra 
Chola, Vikrama Chola, and Kulotunga Chola, but there may have 
been a local prince of the name, an ardent Saiva, between Rajen- 
dra's death and Kulotunga's accession. Anyhow it is not a matter 
of much importance, for it is only tradition which gives the name 
of Ramanuja's persecutor as Karikala Chola, whereas the date of 
Vishnu Varddhana's conversion rests on the evidence of inscriptions. 
There seems reason for placing at this period in this list of 
Chola-Pandya kings a king called Kulasekhara Deva, who may 
possibly be the Kales Dewar, who, according to the Muhammadan 
historians, immediately preceded Sundara Pandya, and was indeed, 
according to them, his father. I have seen many of Kulasekhara' 8 
inscriptions in Tinnevelly ; there is one on the walls of the Tinne- 
velly Temple. There are also two in Sir Walter Elliot's collection, 
which were found at Tiruppuvanam in the Madura District, but in 
none is he styled either Chola or Pandya, but always simply 
Kulasekhara Deva. It is uncertain whether there were two princes 
of the name or only one. One person of the name is represented 
by the Singhalese as having been conquered by thorn about A.D. 
1173, another as having conquered them and earned away the 
sacred tooth-relic about A.D. 1310. The impression however is 
left on my mind that a confusion of dates has taken place in the 
Singhalese records, and that there was only one prince of this name, 
who must have been a great prince ruling over a wide extent of 
territory, seeing that Sir Walter Elliot found an inscription of his 
in the Chalukya country. If Kulasekhara Deva is to be placed in 
tie' list of Chola- l'iindyas, it will be neoessary to give a still earlier 
place to a Vlra Pandya, one of the many prinoes who seem to have 
been called by that name. In an inscription of Kulasekhara r s 
mention is made of the use in the measurement of land of ' Vlra- 
Pandya's measuring rod.' i liis makes Vlra anterior to Kulase- 


khara, probably for a generation or two ; but whether he was a Chapter II. 
Chola- Pandya or the last member of the old line of Pandyas 
preceding Rajendra Chola, is at present uncertain. 

The ChSla-Panoyas. 

Dr. Burnell has kindly supplied me with the information he has Dr. Burnell's 
collected in Tan j ore respecting the Chola-Pandya dynasty. In researches - 
most particulars it agrees with the information I have derived from 
Tinnevelly and Madura sources, and the discrepancies that exist 
may be accounted for by the supposition, which there is every 
reason for believing to be well founded, that the Pandyas of the 
old line, the Cholas, and the Chola-Pandyas were rival dynasties, 
each of which, as occasion offered, was represented by its adherents 
to be supreme. 

The name of most importance at this period is that of Rajendra 
Chola, and I am happy to find that Dr. Burnell's date coincides 
with mine. The name itself, it is true, appears in various shapes 
in his inscriptions as Vira Chola, Kulotunga Chola (the first), 
Raja-rajendra Chola, Rajaraja Chola, Narendra Chola, and Raja- 
rajanarendra Chola. He is also said to be called Koppakesari 
Varma. [For this read Ko(p)parakesari Varma. I regard 
Parakesari as a title, ' lion of foreigners, ' rather than a name. I 
find it given to many kings. Ko means king.] Dr. Bm'nell con- 
siders it proved by the inscriptions at Tan j ore and at the Varaka 
Svami temple at Seven Pagodas that one person only was meant 
by all these titles, viz., the Rajendra Chola of tradition and of the 
Tinnevelly inscriptions, and that his reign extended, as I have 
represented it, for 49 years from 1064 to 1113. 

He adds the following particulars respecting this prince, Vira or 
Rajendra Chola : — 

"His Abhisheka took place in 1079. He must have restored Tan j ore, Vira Chola. 
which, according to Al-BirunT, was in ruins at the beginning- of the 
11th century. This fact confirms the earlier Chalukya boasts of 
conquest and was certainly owing to them. He seems to have been 
a great patron of Brahmans and of Saivism, but he must have been 
liberal to Buddhists, for Buddhamitra, the author of a Tamil Grammar, 
called his work Viracholiyam after him." 

The next name in the list is that of Sundara Pandya-Chola. He Sundara 
is stated to have been Rajendra Chola's brother, and to have been chol'Z*" 
established by him on the throne of Madura. If so he must have 
been more properly regent than king. Still, I find an undated 
inscription in Tinnevelly in the reign of Sundara Pandya-Chola, 
who may have been this person, though I rather think he belonged 
to a later period. This Sundara Pandya-Chola's real name was 
Gangaikkonda Chola or Gangaikkoridan, the latter form of which 
name survives as tho name of a village — a station on the Tinnevelky 


Chapter II. line of rail. He took the name of Sundara Pandya-Chola, according 

to an inscription in Karuvur. 
Dr. Burneii's D r . Burnell makes Vikrama Chola Rajendra Chola's successor 
Choias. f° r fifteen years, and places next to him Kulotunga Chola II, the 

Kulotunga Chola whose name appears so often in Tinnevelly 
inscriptions. He makes him succeed Vikrama Chola in 1128, 
which gives an interval of fifteen years between Rajendra's death 
and Kulotunga's succession. According to the Chalukya inscrip- 
tions, as we have seen, Eajendra was immediately succeeded by 

Sundara Pandya. 

Sources of We have more information supplied to us respecting Sundara 

information Pandya Deva than any other of the sovereigns of Madura. We 
Pandya. have not only the legendary accounts contained in two Puranas, 

the Sthala Purana of Madura and tlie Tiruttondar Puranam (or 
Puranam of Siva's sacred disciples), but also accounts which 
profess to be historical contained in the Singhalese annals and in 
the Indian histories of the Muhammadan historians Wassaf, 
Rashiduddin, and Amir Khusru. We have also notices contained 
in the memoirs of Marco Polo, the Venetian traveller. Notwith- 
standing this apparent wealth of information, the accounts we 
have received are inextricably confused. It might indeed be 
supposed (as it has been) that there were several Pandya kings of 
the name, but this theory does not seem to me to be in accordance 
with the facts. It seems to me that there could only have been 
one Sundara Pandya of sufficient eminence to have the place in 
history he has received and to be mentioned as a reigning sove- 
reign in so many inscriptions, and that what we have got to do is 
to endeavour to extract from the various statements we have before 
us some particulars respecting him which may safely be accepted. 
Sundara 1. It would appear that he was originally a Saiva, that lie then 

p * n . d y il ' s zcal became a Jaina, and that he was finally reconverted to Saivism 
Juiuas. by the miracles performed by Grnana-sambandha, a great Saiva 

teacher belonging to the Chola country, who was invited to 
Madura by Sundara's wife, who was a Chola princess. On this 
occasion he is said to have impaled eight thousand Jainas. Before 
his reconversion to Saivism he was said to have been a hunch-back, 
and hence called Kubja or Kim, but on his reconversion he was 
straightened, and hence his name is said to have been changed to 
Sundara, the beautiful. I find, however, from inscriptions that 
he was called Sundara from the commencement of his reign. 
Probably Kubja or Kun was merely a niok-name. 
Sundara 2. He seems to have been the last sovereign of the old line of 

Pandya the Pandya or Chola-Pandya kings. Sis name Btands last in every 
list : and even if all the other names, or most of them, had been 



inventions, it is probable that the last name would be historical. Ch apter II. 
This probability is converted into a certainty by the statements 
of the Muhammadan historians, who show that on Sundara's death 
the Madura kingdom fell into the hands of Muhammadans. In 
this particular all native traditions are in conformity with the 
Muhammadan statements. Even during Sundara's life it is evident 
that the Muhammadans had been rising to power. Pashiduddin 
writes, " Within the last few years (written towards 1300) Sender 
Bandi was Dewar, who, with his three brothers, obtained power in 
different directions and Malic-al-Taki-uddin, brother of Shaikh 
Jumaluddin, was his minister and adviser, to whom he assigned 
the government of Fatan, Male Fatan, and Kail." Here, it will 
be seen we have Marco Polo's Sender Bandi Dewar and his 
brothers. " In the year 692 A.H. (A.D. 1293) the Dewar died 
and his wealth and possessions fell into the hands of his adversaries 
and opponents, and Shaikh Jumaluddin, who succeeded him, 
obtained, it is said, an accession of 700 bullock-loads of jewels," 
&c. The Persian historian Wassaf gives precisely the same account. 
There is a difference only as to Sundara's successor. According 
to Wassaf he was succeeded by his brother. This discrepancy is 
not serious, for both statements may in a measure be true, and the 
brother's accession may have been merely nominal, the minister 
being really ruler as before. We learn from an inscription in 
Nelson's " Madura Manual " that in A.D. 1573 Virappa Nayaka 
confirmed a grant originally made by Kun Pandi, that is, Sundara 
Pandya, to a mosque in Madura, from which it appears that 
Muhammadan influences must have been at work at Sundara's Muhammadan 
court. In those days the power of the Muhammadans was "^uences m 

. ,-, , . . Sundara s 

extending so rapidly on every hand that where it received an inch reign. 
it would not be slow in taking an ell. 

Reasons for Scndara Pandya's Patronage or Muhammadans. 

It would be interesting to know, however, what led to Sundara Sundara's 
Pandya' s falling so completely into Muhammadan hands that he brother. 13 
made over to them the principal places in his kingdom even in 
his lifetime. A reason is mentioned by Wassaf, which would 
certainly be an adequate reason, if it could be accepted as histori- 
cally true. The difficulty in accepting it arises from a discrepancy 
in point of dates, but this difficulty would be removed if we 
supposed Wassaf to have misapprehended his dates, whilst he was 
correct in regard to his main facts. His statements are very 
circumstantial and have about them an air of truth. According 
to him Kales Dewar (probably Kulasekhara Deva) had two sons, 
the elder of whom, Sundar Pandi, was legitimate, the younger, Vira 
Pandi, was illegitimate. As Vira Pandi was remarkable for his 



Chaptek II. shrewdness and courage his father nominated him as his successor., 
which so enraged Sundar that he killed his father and placed the 
crown upon his head. Upon this Vlra collected an army and 
gave battle to Sundar. At first Vlra was beaten and fell into the 
hands of the enemy ; but at length he received assistance from 
Perumal, the son of the daughter of Kulasekhara, whereupon 
Sundar fled to Delhi, where he placed himself under the protec- 
tion of Alauddin. Vlra Pandi thereupon, the historian says, 
became firmly established in the kingdom. The Singhalese 
annals give also some account of these affairs, and both accounts 
agree in leaving Vlra on the throne. Seeing, however, that 
Sundara Pandya's name is the last on the list of the genuine 
Pandya kings, and that he was immediately succeeded by the 
Muhammadans, I conclude that Sundara must have returned from 
Sundara's Delhi with a force of Muhammadan allies sufficient to re-establish 
•ministers. himself on the throne —and sufficient also to reduce his authority to 
a mere cipher. It* would appear notwithstanding this that Vlra 
-also continued to live and to reign, and even that he outlived 
Sundara, seeing that it is stated by Wassaf that on Sundara's 
death immense treasures " fell to the share of the brother who 
■succeeded him," and also that " Malik-i-'azam Taki-uddln 
continued 'prime minister as before, and in fact ruler of that 
kingdom." He was succeeded in that position by his son 
Surajuddin and his grandson Nizani-uddin. 
Another According to Amir Khusru, another Muhammadan historian, 

account. Vlra Pandya and Sundara Pandya were both kings of Ma'bar 

(the Coromandel Coast) when the invasion by Ala-ud-din's army 
took place. His account of the invasion is as follows : " Ala-ud- 
'din's army under his General Malik Naib or Malik Kafur left 
Delhi in November 1310, and reduced Dwara-Samudra, the 
capital of the Ballala kings. While on his march to Dwara- 
samudra, it is said that he arrived at a place called Bandrl where 
he stayed to make inquiries respecting the countries further on. 
Here he was informed that the two Pais of Ma'bar, the elder 
named Blr Pandya and the younger Sundar Pandya, who had up 
to that time continued on friendly terms, had advanced against 
each other with hostile intentions, and that Belial Deo, the Rai 
of Dwara-samudra, on hearing of this fact, had marched for the 
Malik Tvafm's purpose of attacking their two empty cities and plundering the 
invasion. merchants, but that, on hearing of the advance of the Muham- 
madan army, ho had returned to his own country. After the 
capture of Dwara-samudra, it is stated that Malik Naib marched 
to Birdhul, the capital of the elder of the two Rais — ' the yellow- 
faced Blr.' He took the city and destroyed all the temples there. 
From Birdhul lu- advanced to Kham, and thence to Mai lira 
(Madura), the dwelling place of the younger brother, Sundar 


Pandya. He found tlie city empty, as the Rai had fled with his Chapter H. 
Panis, leaving two or three elephants behind him. These were 
captured and the temple in which they had been left burnt. 
Immediately after this Malik Kafur returned to Delhi." — Elliot's 
Muhammadan Historians. 

When Malik Kafur'sarmy appeared, the king of Ma'bar, accord- 
ing to "Wassaf, hid himself in the jungles. According to Ferishta 
Malik Kafur conquered the whole county as far as Ptamesvaram, 
where he built a mosque. No tradition, however, of his having 
done so survives amongst the Muhammadans of Ramesvaram, or 

According to the Muhammadan historians we appear to have Marco Polo's 
two rulers in Ma'bar within twenty years bearing the name of i ' ondcrBan( w- 
Sundara Pandya, and for this reason principally Colonel Yule was 
unable to accept my identification of the Sonder Bandi of Marco 
Polo with the Sundara Pandya of the inscriptions. In the second 
edition of my Dravidian Grammar I have gone fully into the- 
whole subject again (see Introduction and Appendix), and think 
I have answered some of the objections that were put forward. 
It is clear from both the Muhammadan historians that at the close 
of the loth century there reigned in Madura a Sundara Pandya 
who was Dewar — that is, as they interpreted the title, lord para- 
mount of Ma'bar, the Pandya-Chola country. He was, it is true, 
one of four (or five) brothers who had acquired power in different 
directions, yet still he alone was called Dewar, and is said to have 
been possessed of immense wealth. Marco Polo also, though he Sundara's 
speaks of his brothers as " kings," yet speaks of Sonder alone as Drotners - 
"a crowned king," and gives him distinctly the title of Bandi ; so 
that it is evident that in some respects he was regarded as supreme. 
There is no trace in Sundara's inscriptions of his brothers, or of his 
power being in any degree shared by them, or of the position he 
and they heldbeing one that they had "acquired," instead' of being 
one that they had inherited ; but these are particulars which would 
not be likely to make their appearance in inscriptions ; and there 
is nothing in the inscriptions or traditions inconsistent with the 
supposition that he had brothers who had acquired power together 
with himself. All that is necessary to stipulate in order to bring 
the accounts into agreement is that in some sense he alone shoidd 
be Pandi Devar, or lord paramount, so that his name only should 
appear in the inscriptions, and in this, as it seems to me, no parti- 
cular difficulty can be involved. I finally arrive at the conclusion Sundara's 
that, pending the discovery of a dated inscription in which Sundara ^^.a^,, 
Pandya is mentioned, I see no valid reason why we should 
hesitate to identify the Sundar of the Muhammadan historians both 
with Marco Polo's Sonder and with the Sundara or Kiin. Pandya 



Chapter II. of the Saiva revival. Mr. Moore gives a summary of this discussion 
in his Trichinopoly Manual, and adds — 

" I have obtained copies of a considerable number of inscriptions in 
the Trichinopoly District in which Sundara Pandya is mentioned. 
They show clearly that he ruled over this part of the country as well as 
Madura, but they throw no light on the vexed question as to the 
time at which he lived, as they are not dated." 

Ma' BAR. 

Origin of the Ma'bar means literally the passage. It was the name given by 
the early Arabian merchants to that portion of the Coromandel 
Coast which was nearest Ceylon, and from which it was easiest to 
pass over to the island from the continent. It was afterwards 
taken to mean the whole coast from Quilon to Nellore, including 
both the Pandya and the Chola kingdoms. Ma'bar is mentioned 
(Maparh) in the Chinese annals as one of the foreign kingdoms 
which sent tribute to the Emperor Kublai Khan in 1286, and 
Pauthier has given some very curious and interesting extracts from 
Chinese sources regarding the diplomatic intercourse with Ma'bar 
in 1280 and the following years. Among other points these men- 
tion the five brothers who were Sultans and an envoy Chamalating 
( Jumal-ud-din) who had been sent from Ma'bar to the Mongol 
Court.— Colonel Yule's Marco Polo, II, 273. 
Settlement of Muhammadan Arabs seem to have settled first on the Malabar 
^rabTon both Coast in the 9th century, and thence to have spread to the eastern 
coasts. coast and Ceylon. Their principal settlement on the eastern coast 

is Kayalpattanam in Tinnevelly. Heathen Arabs, that is, the 
Sabaeans of Southern Arabia, frequented the coasts of India long 
before, following the lead of the Greeks. The mixed race con- 
sisting of the descendants of those Arab merchants are called 
Mapillas on the western coast, Lebbies on the eastern. By the 
Tamil people they are generally styled Tulukkar (Turks) or 
Jonagar (Yavanas !) . Their ordinary title is Maraikan or Marakfin, 
a word which means steersman, implying that they were first 
known as sailors, which doubtless is correct. They have no 
acquaintance with Hindustani, but speak Tamil or Malayalam, the 
vernacular of the country in which they live. The Hindustani- 
speaking Muhammadans — Patans and others — came from North- 
ern India and form a totally different class. 


One of the most interesting events in the history of Tinnevelly 
during the middle ages was Marco Polo's visit to Kayal, which took 
place in A.D. 1292. What and where was Kayal ? 

1 quote Colonol Yule's Marco Tolo, Vol. II. 307 :— 


' Kail, now forg-otten, was long a famous port on the coast of what Chapter II. 

is now the Tinnevelly District of the Madras Presidency. It is men- Tr " ; ., , 
i onr'n i ,i ■, , -n i'i -, ■>• Kayal visited 

turned as a port oi Ma bar by our author s contemporary lvashid-ud-dm, } )V Marco 

though the name has been perverted by careless transcription into Polo. 

IPawal andKabal (see Elliot, I, pp. 69-72). It is also mistranscribed 

as Kfibil in Quatremore's publication of Abdurrazzak, who mentions Portuguese 

it as ' a place situated opposito the island of Serendib, otherwise ?- otl r c< j ° 

called Cejdon,' and as being the extremity of what he was led to 

regard as Malabar (p. 19). It is mentioned as Cahila, the site of the 

pearl-fishery, by Nicolo Conti (p. 7). The Eoteiro of Vasco da Gama, 

in the report of what was learned on his first voyage, notes it as Caell, 

a state having a Mussulman king and a Christian (for which read 

Kafir) people. Here were many pearls. Giovanni Empoli notices 

it (Gael) also for the pearl-fishery, as do Varthema and Barbosa. 

From the latter we learn that it was still a considerable sea port, 

having rich Muhammadau merchants, and was visited by many ships 

from Malabar, Coromandel, and Bengal. In the time of the last 

writers it belonged to the king of Kaulam (Quilon) who generally 

resided at Kail. 

1 The real site of this once celebrated port has, I believe, till now 
never been identified in any published work. I had, like others 
before me, supposed the still existing Kayal -pattanam to have been in 
all probability the place, and I am again indebted to the kindness of 
the Rev. Dr. Caldwell for conclusive and most interesting information 
on this subject. He writes : — 

' " The Cail of Marco Polo, commonly called in the neighbourhood Meaning of 
old Kayal, and erroneously named Koil in the Ordnance Map of India, Kayal. 
is situated near the Tamraparni river, about a mile and a half from 
its mouth. The Tamil word kayal means ' a backwater, a lagoon 
opening into the sea,' and the map shows the existence of a large 
number of these kayals or backwaters near the mouth of the river. 
Many of these kayals have now dried up more or less completely, and 
in several of them salt pans have been established. The name of 
Kayal was naturally given to a town erected on the margin of a kayal ; 
and this circumstance occasioned also the adoption of the name of 
Punnaikkayal, as the name of a neighbouring place, and served to 
give currency to the name of Kayal-pattanam, assumed by Sonagar- 
pattanam, both those places being in the vicinity of kayals." ' 

It was during a visit I paid to Korkai in 1861 that I identified Korkai and 
it with the Kolkhoi of the Greeks, and the interest of this identi- Ka y al - 
fication was heightened by the conclusion at which I arrived at 
the same time that an insignificant place called Old Kayal, about 
half way between Korkai and the sea, was to be identified with 
the Cael of Marco Polo, the most important city and sea port on 
the eastern coast of India during the middle ages. It was not 
however till nearly ten years afterwards, when Colonel Yule was 
preparing his edition of Marco Polo, that these identifications 
were made known to him and through him were made public. 




Marco Polo's 
notice of 

Chapter II. Both places are situated on the delta of the Taniraparni, Korkai 
within five, Kayal within two, miles of the sea ; hut each was 
originally on the sea coast. It seemed remarkahle that the sites 
of two such famous places should thus have been discovered in the 
same neighbourhood, but a glance at the geology of the neigh- 
bourhood disclosed the reason why each had been abandoned in 
turn. As the silt accumulated in the sea near the mouth of the 
river, or as the line of coast rose r or from both causes, Korkai was 
found at length to be too far inland for the convenience of a sea- 
borne trade, and Kayal, meaning " a lagoon" rose in its stead on 
the sea shore and attained probably to still greater dimensions.. 
Kayal has now shrunk into a petty village, inhabited partly by 
Muhammadans, partly by Roman Catholic fishermen, with a still' 
smaller hamlet adjoining inhabited by Brahmans and Vellalas. 

The following is Marco Polo's notice of Kayal — Colonel Yule' 
II, 305, " Concerning the City of Cail :"— 

' Cail is a great and noble city, and belongs to Ashar (Ishwara ?),. 

the eldest of the five brother-kings. It is at this city that all the 

ships touch that come from the west, as from Hormus (Hormuz), and' 

from Kis (an island in the Persian Gulf), and from Aden, and all 

Arabia, laden with horses and with other things for sale. And this- 

brings a great concourse of people from the country round about, and 

so there is great business done in this city of Cail. The king possesses. 

vast treasures, and wears upon his person great store of rich jewels. 

He maintains great state and administers his kingdom with great 

equity, and extends great favor to merchants and foreigners, so> 

that they are very glad to visit his city. The king has some 300. 

wives, for in those parts the man who has most wives is most thought 
f> * * # 

Kayal having been the principal port in Ma'bar, much of what 
Marco Polo says about Ma'bar, its trade, &c, really applies to Kayal. 
The king of Kayal was not an independent prince, but the deputy 
(and brother) of the real king of the whole of Ma'bar at that time, 
Sundara Pandya Deva, who is called by Marco Polo ' Sonder Bandi. 
Davar,' and who ruled over both the Pandya and the Chola countries. 
I have found inscriptions of Sundara Pandya at a place called Mara- 
Mangalam, just outside Kayal. Polo continues : — 

' Here are no horses bred ; and thus a great part of the wealth of the 
country is wasted in purchasing horses. You must know that the 
merchants of Kis and Hormes, Dofar (Dhafar on the Yemen Coast), 
and Soer (Suhar in Oman) and Aden collect a great number of horses, 
and these they bring to the territories of this king and of his four 
brothers. For a horse will fetch among them 500 saggi of gold, worth 
Horse tradcat more than 100 marks of silver (that is about 2,200 rupees !), and vast 

Trade of 


numbers are sold there every year. Indeed this king wants to buy 
more than 2,000 horses every year, and so do his four brothers ■who 

The reason why they want so many horses every 

are kings likewise. 


year is that by the end of the year there shall not bo one hundred of Chapter II. 

them remaining, for they all die off. And this arises from mis- 

management, for those people do not know in the least how to treat 

a horse ; and besides they have no farriers. The horse-merchants 

not only never bring any farriers with them, but also prevent any 

farrier from going thither, lest that should in any degree baulk the 

sale of horses, which brings them in every year such vast gains. 

They bring these horses by sea aboard ship.' — Colonel Yule's Marco 

Polo, Vol. II, 285. 

' Rashiduddin and Wassaf have identical statements about the Use of the 
horse-trade, and so similar to Polo's in this chapter that one almost horse by 
suspects that he must have been their authority. Wassaf says : ' it soldiers, 
was a matter of agreement that Malik-ul-Islam Jamaluddin and the 
merchants should embark every year from the island of Kais and land 
at Ma'bar 1,400 horses of his own breed ' .... It was also agreed 
that he should embark as many as he could procure from all the isles 
of Persia, such as Katif, Lahsa, Bahrein, Hurmuz, and Kalhatu. 
The price of each horse was fixed from of old at 220 dinars of red 
gold, on this condition, that if any horses should happen to die, the 
value of them should be paid from the royal treasury. It is related 
by authentic writers that in the reign of Atabek Abu Bakr (of Fars) 
10,000 horses were annually exported from these places to Ma'bar, 
Kambayat, and other ports in their neighbourhood, and the sum 
total of their value amounted to 2,200,000 dinars .... They bind them 
for 40 days in a stable with ropes and pegs, in order that they may 
get fat ; and afterwards without taking measures for training, and 
without stirrups and other appurtenances of riding, the Indian 
soldiers ride upon them like demons .... In a short time the most 
strong, swift, fresh, and active horses become weak, slow, useless, and 
stupid. In short, they all become wretched and good for nothing .... 
There is, therefore, a constant necessity of getting new horses 
annually.'— (Elliot, III, 34). 

' The price mentioned by Polo appears to be intended for 500 
dinars, which in the then existing relations of the precious metals in 
Asia would be worth just about 100 marks of silver. Wassaf's price, 
220 dinars of red gold, seems very inconsistent with this, but is not 
so materially, for it woidd appear that the dinar of red gold (so called) 
was worth two dinars.'' 

Wassaf, the Persian historian, a contemporary of Marco Polo, Wassaf's 
thus describes Ma'bar, that is, as I believe, Kayal, the port of account « 
Ma'bar : — 

' The curiosities of Chin and Mftchln {i.e., Northern and Southern 
China), and the beautiful products of Hind and Sind, laden on large 
ships which they call junks, sailing like mountains with the wings of 
the wind on the surface of the water, are always arriving there. The 
wealth of the isles of the Persian Gulf in particular, and in part the 
beauty and adornment of other countries, from Irak and Khurasan as 
far as Pulm and Europe, are derived from Ma'bar, which is so situated 
as to be the key of Hind.'— Marco Polo, II, 269. 



Chapter II. 

arrival in 

Pearl fishery 


The following is Marco Polo's description of the pearl fishery. 
The term Ma'bar, as used at that time both by Polo and by the 
Arabs, included, as we have seen, the greater part of the Coro- 
mandel Coast ; but when the pearl fishery of Ma'bar is referred to 
we are to understand, I think, mainly the southern portion of 
Ma'bar, from Eamesvaram to Cape Comorin, constituting the eastern 
coast of the Gulf of Manaar, the fishery carried on on the Eamnad 
coast being of less importance. The port mentioned, but not 
named, by Polo must have been near, if not identical with, 
Kilakarai ; or it may have been a place called Periya Pattanam, 
the great city, a place now some miles inland, the greatness of 
which has entirely passed away. [Was this the place which Ibn 
Batuta called Fattan, that is, the Pattanam ?]. Marco writes : — 

' When you leave the island of Seilan and sail westward about 60 
miles, you come to the great province of Maabar which is styled 
India the Greater ; it is the best of all the Indies and is on the 
mainland. You must know that in this province there are five kmars, 
who are own brothers. I will tell you about each in turn. The 
province is the finest and noblest in the world. At this end of the 
province reigns one of those five royal brothers, who is a crowned 
king, and his name is Sonder Bandi Davar. In his kingdom they 
find very fine and great pearls ; and I will tell you how they are got. 
You must know that the sea here forms a gulf between the island of 
Seilan and the mainland. And all round this gulf the water has a 
depth of no more than 10 or 12 fathoms, and in some places no more 
than two fathoms. The pearl-fishers take their vessels, great and 
small, and proceed into this gulf where they stop from the beginning 
of April till the middle of May. They go first to a place called 
Bettelar, and (then) go 60 miles into the gulf. Here they cast anchor 
and shift from their large vessels into small boats. You must know 
that the many merchants who go divide into various companies, and 
each of these must engage a number of men on wages, hiring them 
for April and half of May. Of all the produce they have first to p ay 
the king, as his royalty, the tenth part. And they must also pay 
those men who charm the great fishes to prevent them from injuring 
the divers whilst engaged in seeking pearls under water, one-twentieth 
part of all that they take. These fish-charmers are termed Abraiaman 
(Brahmans ?) ; and their charm holds good for that day only, for at 
night they dissolve the charm so that the fishes can work mischief at 
their will. These Abraiamans know also how to charm beasts and 
birds and every living thing. When tho men have got into the small 
boats they jump into the water and dive to the bottom, which may be 
at a depth of from 1 to 12 fathoms, and there they remain as long as 
they are able. And there they find tho shells that contain tho pearls 
and these they put into a net bag tied round the waist, and mount up 
to the surface with them, and then dive anew. Wlion they can't 
hold theii breath any longer they come up again, and after a little 
down they go once more, and so they go on all day. The shells are 

i : \lil\ i! I \ in PERTOir. 

,11 fashion like oysters or sea-hoods. And in theso shells are found Chapter 1L 

pearls, great and small, of every kind, sticking in the flesh of the 

shell-fish. In this manner pearls are fished in great quantities, for kin 

thence in fact come the pearls which are spread all over the world. 

And I can tell you the king of that state hath a very groat receipt and 

treasure from his dues upon those pearls. As soon as the middle of 

May is past no more of those pearl-shells are found there. It is true,. 

however, that a long way from that spot, some 300 miles distant, they 

are also found ; but that is in September and the first half of 


We must now return to Marco Polo's Kayal. Unlikely as the Relics of 

place may now seem to be identical with the " great and noble aya ' 

city " described by Polo, its identity is established by the relics 

of its ancient greatness which are still discoverable. For two or 

three miles north of the present village of Kayal and a mile and a 

half inland, as far indeed as Mara-mangalarn, the whole plain is 

covered with broken tiles and remnants of pottery — evidences of 

the perfect truth of Marco Polo's statement regarding Kayal and 

its trade and of the identity of Kayal with the sea port of Ma'bar 

mentioned by the Muhammadan historians. According to those Remains of 

statements Kayal was frequented by multitudes of vessels from. Chinese and 

the Arabian Coast and the Persian Grulf, and also by vessels from earthenware. 

China — junks — in one of which Marco Polo himself arrived ; and 

accordingly I picked up everywhere on the open plain broken 

pieces of Arabian pottery and of China porcelain of all shapes, 

colours, and qualities. I could easily, if I had chosen, have 

collected a cart load in a single day ; but the pieces into which. 

they had been broken by the plough and the feet of bullocks were 

so small that they could not be put together so as to assume the 

shape of a vessel. I set a band of excavators at work one day in. 

digging up a portion of the plain at hazard. At a depth of three 

feet beneath the present surface they came on the chunamed 

floor of a house, but found nothing of importance. The extent of 

the site of Kayal was so great that it would take a month, 

instead of a single day merely, to explore it properly. The people 

of Kayal, Korkai, and the neighbourhood have forgotten the 

existence of any trade between Kayal and China, though the 

broken pieces of China pottery which lie all about might have 

helped them to keep the fact in their remembrance. I found, 

however, that they retained a distinct tradition of the trade of 

Kayal with Arabia and the Persian Gulf, probably because that 

trade survived to comparatively recent times. They had also a 

tradition of European merchants, doubtless Portuguese, having 

lived in the place before its final abandonment as a sea port. 

I have already mentioned that care must be taken not to identify K&yaT- 

Marco Polo's Kayal with Kayal nattanam, another town on the P.'l^ 11 
•; ■/ r .. . > dittere 

coast, a modern place, but now very large, containing about 7 ; 000 place. 

!i;mi a 






Chapter II. Muhammadans. There is another small port in the same neigh- 
bourhood a little to the north of Kayalpattanani called " Pinnacael 
in the maps, properly Punnai-k-k;Vval, but this also is a place of 
comparatively recent origin, and many of the inhabitants, as of 
Kayalpattanam, state that their ancestors came originally from 
Kayal, subsequently to the arrival of the Portuguese. 

The Muham. 
madans gain 
the upper 
hand" for a 

Itm Batuta. 

The Muhammadan Interregnum. 

Ibn Batuta, a Muhammadan servant of the Emperors of Delhi, 
visited Ma'bar in 1348-49 on his way to Quilon for the purpose 
of embarking there, on his master's business, in one of the Chinese 
junks which then visited that port annually. He found the whole 
of Ma'bar, including both the Pandya and the Chola countries, 
under the government of Muhammadan kings. This subjection 
of the country to the Muhammadans had lasted since Kafur's 
invasion in 1311. The couutry had been governed for the 
Emperors of Delhi by governors deputed by them for twenty or 
thirty years. At length one of those governors, Jelal-ud-din 
Hasan, a Sherif or Seiad, revolted against Muhammad Toghlak 
and made himself independent. This circumstance is mentioned 
by Ferishta. The power of the Muhammadans, however, does not 
seem to have been very firmly established, for Ibn Batuta found 
that there had already been several internal revolts, and on land- 
ing in Ma'bar he found the reigning sultan at war with " the 
heathen," that is probably with some surviving representatives of, 
or sympathisers with, the expelled Pandya princes. Possibly, 
however, the sultan's foes may have been the Maravas of Ramnad, 
for as Ibn Batuta was wrecked, on his voyage across the Grulf of 
Manaar from Ceylon, in the shallow part of the sea, the place 
where he landed and near which he found the sultan must have 
been in the Ramnad country, the country of the Maravas, a war- 
like race not likely to remain long in quiet subjection to petty 
Muhammadan princes. This Muhammadan interregnum is 
mentioned in Taylor's Historical Manuscripts. It is therein said 
to have lasted from 1323 to 1370, viz., for 47 years. Probably 
this was meant to represent the period of the independent Muham- 
madan government. It is also said therein that the name of the 
Pandya king conquered and sent to Delhi by the Muhammadans 
was Parakrama Pandya. Ibn Batuta says that the sultan of 
Ma'liar reigned at Maturah (Madura). The king's palace was 
there. He says it was a large city and not unlike Delhi. 


The Kingdoms of Dwara-samudra and Vijaya-nagaua. 

From the commencement of the decay of the power of the 
Pandyas and Cholas in the 12th century, the kingdoms of Dwara- 


samudra and Vijaya-nagara occupied the position of paramount Chapter II. 
powers in Southern India. It seems desirable, therefore, that I 
should mention such particulars respecting those kingdoms as seem 
necessary for a right apprehension of the mediaeval history of 
Madura and Tinnevelly. 


I have not met with the name of Dwara-samudra in any Tamil 
inscription or composition, but it is well known that the strong 
Telugu dynasty of Vijaya-nagara was preceded by a strong 
Canarese dynasty. This is sometimes popularly called a Mysore 
dynasty, but the name of Mysore belongs to a much later period. 
It is properly, and still more commonly, called a Kannada, that is, 
a Canarese dynasty, the English word " Canarese" being intended 
to represent that which pertains to Kannada or Canara, an abbre- 
viation of Karnata or Karnataka. 1 The later name is identical 
with our term Carnatic, but it denoted originally, not the country 
below the ghauts, as it does now, but the great tableland above 
the ghauts, including Mysore. The capital of this Canarese 
dynasty was Dwara-samudra, a place about the centre of the 
Mysore country, and about 105 miles north-west of Seringapatam. 
D vara- samudra is written in all the inscriptions of the Mysore 
country Dora-samudra. Dora for dvara, however, is merely a local 
dialectic change. The modern name of the place is Halebldu, or 
Haleyabldu, the old abode. 2 The kings of the Dvara-samudra Kings of 
dynasty were called the Hoysalas, or more commonly the Ballalas, Dvara-samu- 
from bala, prowess, and are known to have exercised for a time 
some sort of paramount power over the Pandya, Chola, and other 
ancient kingdoms of the south. 

The first king of this dynasty who acquired sovereignty over Ramanuja'a 
an extensive range of districts was Bitti Deva, converted by ^S ht to 
Ramanujacharya from Jainismto the Vaishnava faith, and known samudra. 
after his conversion as Vishnu Varddhana. His conversion dated 
probably from 1117. Ramanuja had fled from the persecution of 
Karikala Chola, an ardent Saiva. Vishnu Varddhana became ere 
long the most powerful monarch of his time in Southern India, 
and he is expressly stated to have subdued the Cholas, Pandyas, 
and Keralas. This statement would not perhaps go for much 
were it not for the traces of the supremacy of this Kannada power 
which made themselves manifest from about this time in the south, 

1 Kamataka probably meant originally the black country, that is, the black 
cotton-soil country. 

2 The sculpture of the old temple at Halebidu receives from Ferguson the highest 


'Chapter II. as is evident especially from the statements of the Muhammadan 

in? l* °k the ^ ie ^ unamma dans appeared in the Dekhan in 1295, when 
Ala-ud-din took Devagiri. The Ballala dominions were invaded 
by a Muhammadan army under Hazardinari, commonly called 
Malik Kafur, the general of Ala-ud-din, the second king of the 
house of Khilji or second Pathan dynasty. A great battle was 
fought in 1311 in which the Ballala king was defeated and taken 
piisoner. Dvara-samudra was sacked and the enemy returned to 
Delhi literally laden with gold. Kafur was sent to conquer the 
whole of the south of India, and the capture of Dvara-samudra, 
at that time considered the capital of the south, was the principal 
object of his ambition. After the taking of Dvara-samudra Kafur 
descended upon Ma'bar, which he regarded, and which was 
regarded by Ferishta, the Muhammadan historian, as a feudatory 
dependency of the Dvara-saniudra kingdom. General Wilks 
End of the could not make out what place was meant by Ma'bar, but it is now 
dynasty we ^ known to have meant the Chola and Pandya kingdoms, or, 

speaking generally, the Coromandel Coast. Another expedition 
sent by Muhammad III of the house of Toghlak in 1326 com- 
pletely demolished the city of Dvara-samudra. The Ballala kings, 
however, were not totally annihilated. They removed their seat of 
government to a place called Tonnur, about nine miles north of 
Seringapatam. Even after the rise of the Vijayanagara dynasty 
(in 1336), the Ballalas were permitted to exercise some sort of 
authority up to the year 1387. 

Thus ended the rule of this powerful line, consisting of nine 
chief princes, and thence called the Nava Ballala ; which from a 
very small beginning had, by the valour of its several mem- 
bers, subdued the whole of Karnataka \ip to the Krishna, with 
Tuluva on the west, Dravida (the Tamil country, including 
especially the Cholas and Pandyas) on the east, and part of 
Telingana on the north-east. — Rice's Mysore Inscriptions. 
Canarese Wherever we find in Tinnevelly traces of any important position 

traces in having been occupied, or any important work having been done, 
by a Kannadi or Canarese man, — instances of which we have in 
the " Canadian anicut," that is the Kannada man's anient, and 
the person called Palaiyan, a Canarese man, who is said to have 
built the oldest portion of the fort at Palamcottah — we have reason 
to conclude that they belonged to the period before the commence- 
ment of the rule of the Nayakas in Madura, when paramount 
authority over the south was claimed by the Kannada kings of 

The following is a list oi these kings, given in Rioe's Mysore 
Inscriptions : — 




( lhanna 

Kala jnana. 

Kongu Uesa 







Sala, Eoysala 


Yereyanga, Pereyanga, Vlra Ganga . , 

Bitti Deva, Vishnu Varddhana, Tri 

bhuvana Malla 
Vijaya Narasimha, Vlra Narasimha 


Vila Narasimha 
Soma, Vlra Somesvara 
Vna Narasimha 
Ballala Deva 







Chapter II, 

List of Dv&ra- 




Vijaya-nagara arose when Dvara-samudra fell. This city and Origin of 
state, the most famous and powerful of the states of Southern ^gara" 
India, was founded in 1336 by two refugees from Warangal (Oru- 
kallu, a single stone), a place included in the Nizam's country, 
after its capture by the Muhammadans in 1323. Their names were 
said to have been Hakka, who assumed the name of Harihara, and 
Bukka, and they are said to have received valuable assistance 
from the sage Madhava. 1 The capital was called both Vidya- 
nagara and Vijaya-nagara. Rice considers Vidya-nagara, the city 
of learning, the original form, and supposes this name to have 
been given to it in compliment to the sage Vidyaranya, who was 
chiefly instrumental in its foundation. By a natural transition 
Vidya-nagara passed into Vijaya-nagara, the city of victory, the Names of 
Bijanagar of the Muhammadan historians and the Bisnagar of the 
early Europeans. It is also commonly known as Anegundi, a 
Canarese name — elephant pit — which is properly a village on the 
other side of the river. Vijaya-nagara was erected on the banks 
of the Pampa or Tunga-bhadra, in what is now the district of 
Bellary. The beauty of the ruins of this city, near Hampi, show 
what the grandeur of the capital of the Rayas must have been in 
the days of its prosperity. 

The succession and dates of the Vijaya-nagara kings as tradi- 
tionally handed down are much confused. The following list, 
Mr. Rice says, is approximately correct, based on many inscrip- 
tions he has examined : — 



1 Madhava is generally said to have been a brother of the still more celebrated 
Sayana, and is sometimes regarded as one of th< authors of the great commentary 
on the Vedas. By others he is identified with S&yana and as such is said to have 
been surnamcd Vidyaranva. the forest of learning 



Chapter II. A.D. 

j. ~. Harihara, Hakka, Hariyappa . . . . 1336-1350 

Vijaya-naga> Bukka, Vlra Bukkanna .. .. .. 1350-1379 

ra kings. Harihara 1379-1401 

Deva Raya, Vijaya Raya, Vijaya Bukka. 1401-1451 

Mallikarjuna, Vlra Mallanna, Praudha 1451-1465 


Virupaksha .. .. .. .. .. 1465-1479 

Narasa, Narasimha .. .. .. 1479-1487 

Vlra Narasimha, Immadi Narasinga . . 1487-1508 

Krishna Raya .. .. .. .. 1508-1530 

Achyuta Raya .. .. .. .. 1530-1542 

Sadaslva Raya (Rama Raja, regent, 

usurps the throne till 1565) .. .. 1542-1573 

Sri Ranga Raya (Tirumala Raja, brother 

of Rama Raja, 1566) 1574-1587 

Vlra Venkatapati, &c. .. .. .. 1587 

The following is Dr. BurnelTs list of the kings of the Vijaya- 
nagara dynasty. See Dravidian Palaeography, p. 55. 
Dr. Burnell's << i v _ The Rayas of Vijayanagara ; from about 1320 to 1565. 
naeara ljaya " " The following is the list as I have been able to correct it from 
kings. several sources (see my ' Vamcabrahmana,' p. xvi) ; the dates, 

however, are only approximate. 

Sangama of the Yadava family and Lunar race ! ! 

Hariyappa (1336-1350). 

Bukka I (1350-1379) m. Gaurambika. 

Harihara (1379-1401). 

Bukka II (1401-1418) m. Tippamba. 

Devaraja, Viradeva or Vlrabhupati (1418-1434) Krishuaraja 
married Padamamba and MallSmba 
Vijaya (? 1434-1454) and others ? 
Praudha Deva (? 1456-1477) 
Mallikarjuna (1481-1487) 
Ramacandra (1487) 
Virflpaxa (1488-1490) Narasimha (1490-1508) 

j I 

Vlranarasimha (Krishnaraja (1508-1530.) 

Acyuta (1534-42.) 

" (Sad£L<jiva) made an alliance with Viceroy J. de Castro in 154(i). 
" (This Sadiiqiva succeeded as a child : thirty years was this kingdom 
governed by three brethren which were tyrants, the which keeping 


the rightfull king in prison, it was their use every yeere once to show Chapter II. 

him to the people, and they at their pleasures ruled as they listed. 

These brethren were three captaines belonging to the father of the 
king they kept in prison, which when he died, loft his sonne very 
young, and then they tooke the government to themselves." 
(C. Frederick in : " Purchas His Pilgrimes," ii., p. 1704. efr. canto, 
Dec. vii. 5, 5 ; f. 936). 

Virappa Nayak. 

Ramaraja (killed in Timma (Tirumala Bengatre (Sic in Pur- 

1565.) Bomma). (Trans- chas). He was killed 

f erred the seat of in 1565. According 

government to to Conto, Decada 

Pennakonda in vii., 2, 8, his name 

1567. Purchas, was Venkataraya. 
ii., p. 1705.) 

Rangaraja Venkatapati (? 1585-1614) 

(? 1572-1585.) at Chandragiri (Purchas, 

ii., 1746). 

" Vlrarama (?). This name occurs in inscriptions, but Venkatapati 
was the last of his race. 

" The earlier kings of this dynasty had conquered all Southern India The Nayakas. 
before the end of the 14th century ; but they left many of the original 
kings (e.g., the last Pandyas) undisturbed for a time; in the 16th 
century they had their deputies (called Nayaks) at Madura (from 
about 1540). Tanjore and Gingee (Sinji). In the 17th century these 
Nayaks acted as independent sovereigns ; the last Nayak of Tanjore, 
Viraraghava {e.g.), granted Negapatam to the Dutch by a grant on a 
silver plate, now in the Museum at Batavia. These predatory chiefs 
and the rabble they brought with them are the ' Badagas ' of whom 
the early Portuguese Missionaries complain so much. They did not 
reach the extreme south till about 1544." 

It will be seen that there are many minor differences between Differences 
these two lists. They both agree, however, respecting the date of twtTifsts the 
the most distinguished member of the dynasty, Krishna Raya. unimportant. 
Each list is stated by its author to be only approximately correct. 

The Vijaya-nagara kings are always styled, not Rajas, but Spread of 
Rayas, though the meaning is identical. 1 Raya in Tamil is ^J5f u m the 
pluralised as Rayar, in Telugu as Rayalu, and the plural, as is 
usual in the Dravidian languages, is used honorifically for the 
singular. Canarese was the language of the Dvara-samudra 

1 The Rayas of Vijaya-nagara having long heen the greatest paramount power 
in Southern India, Rayar is used in the Tamil New Testament as the equivalent of 
" Caesar" with the meaning of emperor. 



HISTOKV ol I I \ \ I \ Kf.l.Y. 

Chapter II. 


over the 
Chola s and 

Arrival of the 
in this reign. 

dynasty, but the founders of Vijaya-nagara were Telugus and 
made Telugu the language of administration throughout their 
dominions. The district of country in which they established 
themselves, though not a portion of Mysore, was a portion of the 
Kannada country or country in which Canarese was spoken. 
Right in the heart of this Canarese district a new Telugu dynasty 
set up a Telugu coru-t, supported by a Telugu arm} 7 , and sending 
forth Telugu colonies and expeditions into all parts of the south 
This explains the position occupied by the Telugu lieutenants of 
Vijaya-nagara at Madura, and also in part the position occupied 
by Telugu Poligars and settlers throughout the Trichinopoly r 
Madura, and Tinnevelly Districts. It was during the reign of 
Krishna Rayar that Vijaya-nagara rose to its greatest importance. 
He reigned from 1508 to 1530. It is certain at least that his 
reign fell between these two dates. The state of Vijaya-nagara 
was the most powerful Hindu state that ever existed south of the 
Krishna, and Krishna Rayar has the reputation of having been 
the ablest, most enlightened, and most successful of the riders of. 
that state. He is celebrated as having been a munificent patron 
of Telugu literature. About 1520 the Muhammadans sustained 
from him a severe defeat, in consequence of which they were kept 
in check for a considerable period. After his time the kingdom 
began to decline. Next to him perhaps in fame, but prior to him 
in point of time, we have to place Narasimha, or Vira Narasimha, 
Rayar, whose reign commenced in 1487, and who is said to have 
been the first king of this line who extended his conquests into the 
Chola and Pandya countries. The forts of Chandragiri and 
Velur are said to have been built by him. By some, however, 
they are said to have beeu built by his great successor Krishna 
Raya. It was the rise of the strong Hindu kingdom of Vijaya- 
nagara which opposed the first barrier to the progress southward 
of the Muhanimadan arms, and for nearly two centuries this barrier 
was found effectual. After a time the Vijaya-nagara kingdom 
ceased to keep the power of the Muhammadans in cheek. 

It was in Narasimha Rayar's reign that the Portuguese first 
arrived in India. They arrived at Calicut in 1498. As in 1311 
the Muhammadans found, as we have seen, the Pandya and Chola 
kings of Ma'bar, that is, the Coromandel Coast, feudatories of the 
Canarese king of Dvara-samudra, so on the arrival of the Portu- 
guese the only kingdom that seemed to them to have any real 
independent existence was that of Vijaya-nagara. They described 
the Coromandel Coast, which they called Choramandala, as the 
tilth province of the Rayar's empire; and they regarded this 
province as extending from Quilon to Orissa, an extent greater 
than that of the Ma'bar of their Arab predecessors. One of the 
names by whieh the early Portuguese denoted the whole of 


Southern India was the kingdom of Narsinga, doubtless from the Chapter II. 
name of the great Ray a, they found on the throne. 

Parbosa in 1516 says : — 

" Beyond this river commences the kingdom of Narsinga, which Kingdom of 
contains five very large provinces, with each a language of its Nar8m ga 
own. The first which stretches along the coast to Malabar is called 
Tulinate (that is Tulu-nadu) or the modern province of South Canara ; 
another lies in the interior. Another has the name of Telinga, which 
confines with the kingdom of Orissa. Another is Canari, in which 
is the great city of Bisnaga ; and then the kingdom of Charamendel, 
the language of which is Tamul." Colonel Yule and Dr. Burnell, in 
Indian Antiquary for June 1879. 

The writers state that the text of this notice has been put 
together from three versions of Barbosa. The Vijaya-nagara 
kingdom was sometimes called Karnataka, the Carnatic, and 
sometimes by a corruption of this name, Canara. 

Whilst the Muhammadans were growing in power the Hindu Overthrow of 
states misspent their opportunities and wasted their strength in Vl J a J' a - 


mutual wars. At length in 1564 Kama Rayar, the reigning 
king of Vijaya-nagara, whose arrogance had provoked the hostility 
of the Muhammadan powers to the north, was defeated and put to 
death by a combination of those princes. The great battle in 
which he fell was fought at Talikota, on the 25th of January 1565. 
Vijaya-nagara itself was at the same time ruthlessly destroyed. 
It is from this time I date the largest influx of Telugu settlers 
into the southern districts of the Tamil country. There are 
probably at least a million of people in the Tamil districts of 
Telugu origin, and I think it probable that the ancestors of a very 
large number of these fled for protection to the Telugu rulers of 
Madura and Tan j ore to escape the oppression of the Muham- 
madans to which they had been exposed in their Telugu homes. 

The account traditionally preserved in the family of the Zemin- Origin of 
dar of Ettaiyapuram in Tinnevelly may be taken as an illustration Ettaiyapuram 
of the mode in which these emigrations generally originated and 
were carried on. The following is a summary of the statements 
contained in the native history of the family : — 

On the defeat of Anna Deva Raja, king of Vijayanagaram, by 
Muhammad Alauddin, one Kumaramuttu Ettappa Nayaka, the 
ancestor of the Ettaiyapuram Zemindars, fled from Chandragiri, 
in company with 64 armed relations, 300 men at amis, and 1 ,000 
dependents, with a certain number of accountants and others, and 
took refuge with Ati Vira Parakrama Pandya Raja at Madura, who 
appointed them to repress outrages in the country of the Kaliars, 
and gave them some villages therein for their maintenance. This 
is represented to have taken place between 1423 and 1443. In 
process of time they moved on towards the south and became 





Last days of 
the Vijaya. 

Chapter II. possessed of Yarious villages in the Tinnevelly District, one of 
which, to which they gave the name of Ettaiyapurani, they made 
their capital. 

There are some historical discrepancies in this account. Vijaya- 
nagara was not taken by Alauddin. The reference may be to the 
taking of Dvara-samudra by Alauddin's lieutenant Kafur in 1311. 
The last king of Vijaya-nagara was not Anna Deva Raja, but 
Ramaraja, who was defeated and slain by a combination of the 
Muhammadan princes of the Dekhan in 1565. Chandragiri was 
taken by the Muliammadans in 1645. The general outline only of 
the story can be accepted as in the main correct. 

Notwithstanding the destruction of Vijaya-nagara, the dynasty 
was not entirely destroyed. The family had still strength enough 
left to establish themselves afresh in another place. For this 
purpose they fortified Pennakonda (or Penugonda), a steep hill 97 
miles north of Bangalore, situated like Vijaya-nagara in the modern 
district of Bellary, and converted it into a hill fort of great 
strength with a fortified city at the foot, where they continued for 
about a century to keep up kingly state and to exercise more or 
less authority over other princes, south of the Krishna, including 
especially the Nayaka rulers of Madura and Tan j ore, in accordance 
with what they believed to be their ancestral rights. After a time 
those various feudatory princes made themselves independent of 
the feeble survivors of the Vijaya-nagara dynasty, both in reality 
and in name. The most important of the new independent princes 
that arose was the Raja of Mysore. One of the few surviving 
lineal representatives of the ancient family was the Raja of Chan- 
dragiri, and it was from the last of the Chandragiri Rajas that the 
English obtained a grant of the site of the town of Madras on the 
Grant of 1st March 1640. It was from the name of Chennappa, this 
English by ° Raja's lieutenant, that the town came to be called by the natives 
the Raja of Chennapattanam, Chennapa's town. The Chandragiri dynasty 
lagm. was finally subverted by the Muhammadans in 1645. 



Succession of Paramount Powers in Southern India. 

The outline of the history of the successive dynasties that exer- 
cised supreme power in Southern India is clear enough, however 
doubtful most of the details may be. First the Pandyas, properly 
so called, who bore rule in Madura and Tinnevelly from the firs 
establishment of civil government to the middle of the 11th 
century, seem during the greater part of that time to have been the 
paramount power in Southern India. From about the middle of 
the 11th century the Cholas rose to the position of the paramount 
power and bore rule, directly or indirectly, for about two centuries 
and a half over the whole Ooromandel Coast from Orissa to Cape 


Comorin, including even the Tamil or southern port ion of Travancore. Chapter II. 
During the later period of the Chola or Chola-Pandya rule para- 
mount power over all the southern princes was claimed by the 
Ballala dynasty of Dwara-samudra, though it may be doubtful in 
what degree the power so claimed was really exercised or sub- Pandyas 
nutted to. After a short-lived subjugation of the south by the jfagakas, 
Muhammadans, from the beginning to the middle of the 14th the Nawab. 
century, the paramount power fell into the hands of the kings of 
Vijaya-nagara, who succeeded to all and more than all the posses- 
sions and power the Ballalas and Cholas had acquired, and who for 
nearly two centimes exercised the power they claimed. After the 
middle of the 16th century no one power can be said to have been 
really paramount in Southern India till the appearance on the scene 
of the Nawab of Arcot about the middle of the 18th century. 





FROM A.D. 1365 TO 1731. 


Secosd Series of Pandya Kings. 

Chapter III. The Pandya kings, or a line of kings calling themselves by the 
same name, succeeded after a time in getting the better of the 
Muhammadans and resumed their ancient sway. The Muhamma- 
dan rule commenced in 1311, and Ibn Batuta found it still in full 
vigour in 1348 ; but I have found an inscription of one of the 
Pandya kings of the new line — possibly the first of the line — at 
Kottar (now in South Travancore, but formerly considered a 
portion of the Pandyan country), dated in the Saka year corre- 
sponding to A.D. 1370, in the fifth year of Parakrama Pandi Deva. 

Parakrama 1365 must have been the year of Parakrama's accession, and it 
supplies us with a date from which the commencement of the new 
dynasty may safely be calculated. 

Whether the Pandyas received any help towards thrusting out 
the Muhammadans is not perfectly certain, but it may be presumed 
that they did. It does not seem probable that they could have 
achieved their independence alone, and tradition represents them 
as receiving help from Canarese generals. It is stated in one of 
the quasi-historical documents published by Mr. Taylor that in 
1372 a Mysore (that is, a Canarese or Kannada) general named 

Kampana Kampana Udaiyar reduced the Muhammadan invaders of Madura 

Udmyar. ^ su b m i ss ion, and it is further stated in one of the Mackenzie MSS. 
that this general was an agent of Bukka Rayar, the first Rayar of 
Vijaya-nagara. Bukka became king of Vijaya-nagara in 1350. It 
would seem, therefore, that Bukka conceived it right to claim in 
behalf of his new state of Vijaya-nagara some portion of the 
general suzerainty* said to have been exercised over the various 
s! atcs of the south by the later kings of the preceding Canarese 
dynasty of Dwara-samudra. It may be concluded, therefore, that 
Erom the outset it was in some degree, through help received Erom 
Vijaya-nagara, that the second line of Pandyas succeeded in ousting 
the Muhammadans and rising to power. The Muhammadans 
state that in 1374 Mujahid Sha overran the countries between 
Vijaya-nagara and ( 'ape Comorin, and advanced, like Malik Kafur, 


to Uameswaram. If he ever did so, which seems to me very Chapter III, 
doubtful, the invasion must have been a mere plundering expedi- 
tion which left no trace behind it. 

I have not been able to work out anything like a complete list P ated 

pit-»i i. oi it -ri iii inscriptions 

of the Pandya kings of the second line. Jb ortuuately, however, f tne later 
the custom of dating inscriptions, not merely by the year of the Pandyas. 
king's reign, but by the Saka or some recognised era, which had 
almost always prevailed in Northern and Central India and in the 
Telugu and Canarese countries, but had been unknown in the old 
Pandya country, came to be acted upon during this period, so that 
the few particulars I have collected may be regarded as historically 
certain. All the inscriptions here referred to are in Tinnevelly, 
except the first of the line already referred to, which is in South 
Travancore. The next prince, after the one mentioned in that 
inscription, with an interval of sixty-six years still to be filled up, 
was Ponnan Perumal Parakrama Pandi, whose reign commenced, 
as I find by an inscription on a pillar in Tenkasi (the Southern Tenkasi 
Benares) opposite the temple, in the Saka year corresponding to u 
A.D. 1431. This inscription of Ponnan Perumal Parakrama Pandi 
is a sort of proclamation to the effect that the work of the temple 
having been finished in the short period of seventeen years, it 
should be concluded that it was not a work of man, but a divine 
work ! The interval may partly perhaps be filled up a tradition 
related by the people at Tenkasi, who say that the Ponnan 
Perumal Parakrama Pandi who built the temple was preceded by 
his father, Kasi Kanda Parakrama Pandi, i.e., the Parakrama 
Pandi who visited Benares. The next prince is Vira Pandi, in 
whose reign I have found two inscriptions at Sri-vaikuntham on Sri-vaikun- 
the northern bank of the Tamraparni. They are dated in different t^am 
years of his reign, but both agree in making his reign commence 
in 1437. His predecessor's reign, therefore, was very short. It 
commenced, as we have seen, in 1431 and ended in 1437. The 
next prince noticed in inscriptions is another Vira Pandi, who 
commenced to reign, according to the Mackenzie MSS., in 1475. 
He is mentioned in an inscription as reigning in 1490. The next, 
whose inscription I find in the temple at Courtallum, was also 
called Parakrama Pandi and commenced to reign in 1516. The 
next, probably without an interval, was Vikrama Pandi. His 
reign commenced in 1543. The next reign, probably without an 
interval, was that of Vallabha Deva, called also Ati- Vira- Rama Ati-Vira- 
Pandya, who commenced to reign, according to an inscription in p^dv-v 
Courtallum, in 1565. This inscription was dated in his fortieth 
year, that is, in 1605. Another inscription of his in Tenkasi 
makes his reign commence in 1562. In this inscription he is 
called simply Ati-Vlra-Pama Pandya, not also Vallabha Deva. 
Dr. Burncll informs me that, according to a grant in copper 




Chapter III 

The last of 
the Pamlyas. 

Value of 
as compared 
with oral 




belonging to a Matha in the Tanjore District, Ati-Vlra-Rama must 
have died in 1610. This gives him an unusually long reign, but 
is not incredible. The same grant represents him as succeeded by 
a Sundara Pandya. Dr. Burnell has a grant of this Sundara 
Pandya dated in the thirteenth year of his reign. This must have 
been A.D. 1623. So far as appears from the inscriptions I have 
found in Tinnevelly itself, Ati-Vlra-Rama seems to have been the 
last of his line. As, however, he was a man of learning and 
culture, and a poet of considerable eminence, his line may be said 
to have set in glory. 

The unreliableness of popular traditions and verbal statements 
regarding events belonging to the distant past, as compared with 
information derived from inscriptions, may be illustrated by a 
comparison of the dates given above with " those furnished to 
Mr. Tumbull, a surveyor, who was making inquiries for Colonel 
Mackenzie about 1820. See his Geographical and Statistical 
Memoir of Tinnevelly printed at Palamcottah in 1877, p. 25. l In 
giving an account of the town, temple, and ancient fort of Tenkasi, 
Mr. Tumbull gave the names and dates of several Pandya kings 
who were said to have been, directly or indirectly, connected with 
the place. Ati-Vlra-Rama Pandya is represented in this account 
as having commenced his reign in A.D. 1099 ; whereas a Tamil 
inscription belonging to his reign, found in the temple at that 
very place, states that his reign commenced in 1562. A similar 
inscription in the Court allum temple in Sanskrit makes his reign 
commence nearly at the same date, viz., in 1565. So also Ponnan 
Perumal Parakrama Pandya, in whose reign the Tenkasi temple 
was built, was stated by Mr. Turnbull's informants to have 
commenced his reign in 1309; whereas the inscription on the 
pillar opposite the temple, referred to above, places the commence- 
ment of his reign in 1431. 

Throughout the greater number of the reigns of these Pandya 
kings of the later line, the kings of Vijaya-nagara appear to have 
exercised supreme authority, but I think it may be assumed that 
they did not interfere much in the internal a Hairs of the country, 
that they contented themselves with receiving tribute and occasion- 
ally military help, and that the principal result of their suze- 
rainty was that the various petty states included within their 
nominal rule were protected from foreign invasion, and then- 
propensity to spend their time in fighting with one another kepi 
in check. 

'This interesting memoir, compiled apparently about L823, was discovered in 
the India Office by H. K Puckle, Esq . formerlj Collector of Tinnevelly, aftei 

it had lain there unnoticed for more than fiftj yi 


The NaYAKAS OF MaDIjRA. Chapter III. 

The history of the Nayakas of Madura is fully related in Sou ^ c . es of r 
Mr. Nelson's Madura Manual, but there are very few particulars in the Nayakas. 
that history connected with Tinnevelly, and it is very doubtful 
how far the particulars mentioned in it on the authority of native 
traditions and late compilations can be regarded as trustworthy. 
The main facts in the history of the Nayakas related therein may 
be, and doubtless are, capable of being accepted as correct, but the 
only incidents and dates that seem to me perfectly reliable are 
those for which we are indebted to the letters written at the time Letters of the 
to their ecclesiastical superiors at home by the Roman Catholic Jesuits - 
Missionaries. This source of information, however, is of no avail 
prior to 1600. The narratives, for instance, of the administration 
of Visvanatha Nayaka, taken by Nelson from Taylor's Historical 
Manuscripts and the Mackenzie Collection, seem to me to fall 
beneath the level even of tradition. They seem to me little better 
than pure inventions, dating from the beginning of the present 
century, attributing to a half mythical Nayaka the characteristics 
and aims of a good English Collector. 

The commencement of the rule of the Nayakas is generally said Commence- 
to have taken place in 1559, but this date depends entirely on j^yaka ^ 
very late native authority, and as at that date the power of 
Vijaya-nagara had sunk very low, it would seem to be more 
probable that the Nayaka intervention in the affairs of Madura 
took place earlier than that, viz., in Krishna Kayalu's reign, about 
1520. Nothing can be clearer from the letters of the celebrated 
Francis Xavier, written in 1543, than that the "Badages," that is The 
the Vadugas, or Nayakas, had already taken possession of fchelfXavier 8 
whole interior of the country, and that they were then endeavouring 
to possess themselves of the sea coast as far south as Cape Comorin. 
If we suppose this state of things, as we fairly may, to have been 
gathering head for twenty years or so, we shall trace our way back 
to the reign of Krishna liaya, viz., to about 1520. 

The Vijaya-nagara king's intervention in the affairs of the south Origin of the 
is said to have been owing in the first instance to a request for ^ Vtfaa-° n 
help against a rival preferred to him by the reigning Pandya. nagara." 
The king of Tan j ore had dispossessed the Pandya and occupied 
his country, whereupon the latter fled to Vijaya-nagara (as 
Sundara Pandya had previously fled to Delhi) and begged for 
protection. The king of Tan j ore is called Vlra-sekhara, the king 
of Madura Chandra-sekhara. I regard these names, however, as 
quite uncertain. On this application, it is said, the king of Vijaya- 
nagara despatched a general of his, one Nagama Nayaka, to 
chastise the Chola king and reinstate the Pandya on the throne of 
his ancestors. If this really took place, as stated, the Pandya 




Chapter hi. prince referred to may have been Parakraraa Pandi, who com- 
menced to reign, as we have seen, in 1516. 

Nagania is said to have declared himself independent, where- 
upon his son, Visvanatha Nayaka, volunteered to go and reduce his 
father to submission. This the son is said to have succeeded in 
doing, and was rewarded for his loyalty by being made lieutenant 
or governor of Madura in the Vijaya-nagara Raja's interest. It 
is not stated that he, like his father, made himself by his own act 
independent of his master ; but the result was not dissimilar, for 
the power and dignity that had been conferred upon himself 
personally, as a mark of royal favour, descended to his posterity 
for fifteen generations. Visvanatha Nayaka seems to have been 
a man of energy and administrative power. It was by him that 
Madura is said to have been fortified. Trichinopoly was also said 
to have been acquired by him from the king of Tan j ore, in 
exchange for Vallam, and incorporated in the Madura country, in 
which it continued to be included till the period of the supremacy 
of the Nawab of Arcot. He also quelled a formidable insurrection 
in Tinnevelly headed by five confederate chiefs, said to have been 
brothers, who styled themselves the five Pandavas. 

As the number of Poligars or Palaiyakaras in Tinnevelly is 
considerable, though not equal to what it is in Madura — (there 
are at present 22 zemindaries in Tinnevelly and 26 in Madura, 
including the two very extensive zemindaries of Ramnad and 
Sivaganga), — I here cite Mr. Nelson's account of the state of things 
in the Pandya country generally, which is said to have led to the 
appointment of Palaiyakaras (Poligars, now Zemindars) by Visva- 
natha Na}\aka on his setting himself to the task of pacifying the 
country : — 

Number of 
the Poligars. 

Origin of the Poligars of the South. 

Vi§vanatha's '■ "Whilst the settlement of the southern districts was being effected, 
policy. Visvanatha found it necessary to attempt to provide for the stability 

of the dynasty of which he hoped to be the founder, by identifying its 
interests with those of the principal men of the country ; and by 
rendering his rule equally popular with all classes of society. But the 
task appeared to be one of almost hopeless difficulty. He had 
brought witli him to Madura crowds of dependents and adherents of 
his own caste, who had as a body proved themselves to be faithful 
and obedient and had dono his work excollently well. These men were 
all of them greedily looking for their rewards : and unless provided 
Parties to be for with lavish liberality would very soon show their teeth. Then 
there wore the old Tamil hereditary chieftains, whom he had found 
possessed of considerable territories and power. Their good will it 
was at once most necessary and most difficult to secure. Accustomed 
from generation to generation to perpetually recurring periods of 
anarchy, they knew only too well how to draw profit from misnde : 



and as they sulkily looked on at the doings of the Telugu intruder, it Chapter III. 
seemed ridiculous to expect that they would ever acquiesce in the 
establishment of order and sovereign power. Moreover they could 
not but regard with feelings of the bitterest jealousy and hatred the 
foreigners who surrounded the governor's person, and who seemed 
about to appropriate to themselves all the highest offices and emolu- 
ments in his gift. Then again there were the impoverished and 
discontented adherents of the Pandyas — men who could hope for 
eveiything from revolution ; from peace and quiet nothing. And 
lastly there were the bold and turbulent Telugu and Canarese adven- 
turers, whose ancestors had seized with a strong grip the northern and 
western divisions of the country ; who paid no man tribute ; and 
whose lawless tempers could ill-brook the curb and spur of a strong visvanatha's 
government. It was Visvanatha's task to reconcile the conflicting P lai ? oi couei- 
interests of all these classes, to smooth away differences, and to conci- a 
bate affection : and to do this in a strange country and with an empty 
\, purse ! At last he contrived a scheme by which it seemed possible to 
attain success. Its object was to enrich and ennoble the most power- 
fid of each class, and at the same time secure their and their 
descendants' allegiance to himself and his successors. This scheme, 
though possibly as good as any that could at such a time be devised, 
was nevertheless fraught with all the elements of danger, and in the 
end contributed largely, as we shall see, to the subversion of the 
Nayaka dynasty. Its details were as follows. There were seventy- 
two bastions to the fort of Madura, and each of them was now 
formally placed in charge of a particular chief, who was bound for 
himself and his heirs to keep his post at all times and under all 
circumstances. He was also bound to pay a fixed annual tribute ; to 
supply and keep in readiness a quota of troops for the governor's 
armies ; and to keep the governor's peace over a particidar tract of 
country. And in consideration of his promise to perform these and Investiture of 
other services, a grant was made to him of a tract of country consist- Poligars. 
ing of a certain number of villages, proportioned to his rank and the 
favour with which Visvanatha and Arya Nayaka respectively regarded 
him, together with the title of Palaiyakaran (Poligar). In addition 
to this, each grantee was presented with valuable gifts ; titles and 
privileges were conferred upon him amid much pomp and ceremony, 
and nothing was omitted which coidd in any way add to the solem- 
nity and importance of the governor's act. Such was the origin of 
the famous Madura Palaiyakaras, of some of whom the descendants 
are still possessed of their ancestors' feuds, if not of their rank and 

It appears to me very doubtful whether all the Poligars in DouLtfulnes3 
Madura and Tinnevelly were appointed in this manner by one °. f these tratii_ 
Nayaka ruler alone, whether Visvanatha himself, the supposed 
founder of the dynasty, or any other. The documents on which 
Mr. Nelson relied seem to me to possess little or no historical value. 
All that can be regarded, I think, as probable is that the existence of 
the Poligars as a class dates from the period of the commencement 




Chapter III. of the rule of the Nayakas. Very few of the Zemindars (the 
principal exception is the Setupati of Ramnad) can claim that their 
estates or chiefships were conferred upon them prior to the Nayaka 
period by the old Pandya kings. 

Etymology of The title of Poligar is said by General "Wilks to have been given 
t'oligar. ky ^ e yij a y a _ na g ara kings (though he does not say by which 
of them) to the chiefs of the Telugu colonies planted in the 
neighbouring provinces for the purpose of overawing the original 
inhabitants. The Tamil name is Palaiyakkara, the literal meaning 
of which is the holder of a camp, secondly the holder of a barony on 
military tenure. But the English seem to have taken their name 
Poligar, not from the Tamil Palaiyakkara, but from the Telugu 
Palegadu, or the Canarese Palegara, the meaning of which is iden- 
tical. [Gadu and gara are equivalent to kara.] In like manner the 
English seem to have taken their word Pollam, a Poligar's holding, 
rather from the Telugu Palem-u, than from the Tamil Palai} r am. 
The Vijaya-nagara Poligar was held to be a lord over thirty-three 
villages, but there is no trace of any such rule as to number in the 
Tamil country. The Poligar is said to have been originally in 
the Kannada country called an Odeyar (proprietor, pronounced 
Wodeyar) . The Tamil form of this title is Udaiyar, and this is 
often used by Zemindars in the Tamil country. I have found it 
sometimes in inscriptions included amongst the titles of ancient 

Results of the Looking at the result of the appointment of Poligars by the 
rulers of Madura, it can hardly be said that the idea of governing 
the country by means of an order of rude, rapacious feudal nobles, 
such as the Poligars generally were, turned out to be a happy one, 
for down to the period of their final subjection and submission to 
British authority in 1801, whenever they were not at war with the 
central authority they were at war with one another, and it was 
rarely possible to collect from them the tribute or revenue due to 
the central authority without a display of military force, which 
added greatly both to the unpopularity and the expense of the 

See an account of the position occupied by the Poligars at a 
later period in Chapter IV. 

Defence of Mr. Stuart in his Tinncvolly Manual, after quoting the above 

system. lgir estimato of the results of the appointment of Poligars by the riders of 
Madura, endeavours to extenuate the evils of the system. He says, 
" this/ remark would, however, apply with equal force to feudal 
institutions in Europe in the middle ages, and as these served their 
purpose in the age of the world in which they flourished, it is 
perhaps reasonable to suppose that protection from foreign foes and 
internal order and progress, though frequently accompanied by 


oppression and misrule, were secured by this means to an extent Chapteh hi 
which would have been otherwise impossible." It is so seldom 
that one hears a good word about the Poligars that I quote these 
remarks of Mr. Stuart with pleasure. He does not question their 
misdeeds, but endeavours to extenuate them by a historical 
parallel. I fear, however, that the misdeeds of the Poligars were 
more systematic and audacious than those of the feudal nobles of 
Europe in the middle ages. Even admitting, however, the appro- 
priateness of the parallel, not much seems to be gained by it, for, 
whether in Europe or in Southern India, the " foreign foes " that 
were most sedulously guarded against were not foreigners, properly 
so called, but the legitimate rulers of the country, and it was not 
till the Poligars of the Highlands of Scotland and of the Rhine, 
like the Poligars of Tinnevelly, had submitted to the dominion of 
the central government that " internal order and progress " were 
in any degree secured. 

The only other incidents connected with Tinnevelly I find in the 
history of the Madura Nayakas are the following : — 

Arya Nayaka Mudali having succeeded in quieting the country, Krishna, 
the Nayaka ruler, Kumara Krisknappa (or Krishnania), occupied P nnu " 
himself, it is said, in building a town to the east of Palamcottah, 
which he called after himself Krishnapuram. This statement, 
however, is not supported by local evidence. This Krishnapuram 
appears to have been built by a Mudali called Mayil-erum-perumal, 
who being originally a Saiva became a convert to the worship of 
Krishna and afterwards a Tadar (Dasa) or Vaishnava devotee. 
The work of this temple is considered to be particularly beautiful. 
This new town of Krishnappa's being a great success, he is said to 
have built another of the same sort to the westward called 
Kadaiyam Krishnapuram, the Krishnapuram which is near 
Kadaiyam. It lies between Tenkasi and Brahmadesam. Krish- 
nappa died in 1573. Nelson, p. 105. 

" During the rule of Tirumala Nayaka, for some reason which cannot Rebellion 
now be discovered, the powerful Polig-ar of Ettaiyapurani in the Ettal >* a - 
Tinnevelly District put himself at the head of a confederation of 
Poligars and took up arms against the king. The Setupati, the Poligar 
of Eamnad, being the chief of all the Poligars, was entrusted with the 
duty of quelling the rebellion and performed it most satisfactorily. 
The leader of the rebels was put to death, and the others severely 
punished, and in a few months tranquillity was completely restored. 
For this service he was rewarded by the gift of a large slice of land 
in the neighbourhood of Maiiar koil and entrusted with the duty of 
protecting the pearl fishery, which yielded considerable sums of money 
to the royal treasury." Nelson's Madura. 

The latter clause means, I think, that the pearl fishery to the 
north of the island of Paumben was now admitted to be the 



Chapter III. property of the Ranmad Setupati, whilst the rest of the fishery, 
by far the largest portion of it, extending from Pamnben to the 
neighbourhood of Cape Comorin, remained as before in the king's 
own hands. 

Koyal re. "Another and much higher official (thau the Collector of Customs) 

presentatives was the Administrator or Governor of the Tinnevelly country. "When 

y " the king lived in Madura it was highly necessary to place a man of 

ability in charge of the southern districts and vest him with large 

powers ; and it became still more necessary to do this when Trichinopoly 

was made the capital." 

There is an inscription near Sheranmadevi in which one Vlra- 
raghava Mudaliar is described as the Karya-kartta, or agent, of 
Virappa Nayaka in the beginning of the seventeenth century. 

Tirumalai's younger brother, Kumaramuttu, claimed the right 
of succeeding to the throne. In virtue, however, of some negotia- 
tions he consented to waive his claim and accepted in lieu of the 
crown the district of Sivakasi and other territories in the Tinne- 
velly province. 

Tigers on the A French Missionary's letter written in 1700 states that "for 
some time past a large jungle on the Tinnevelly coast had been 
infested by tigers to such a degree that after sunset no inhabitant 
of any village situated in its neighbourhood dared to move outside 
his door. Watch was kept in every village at night, and large 
fires were lighted for the purpose of scaring the monsters away. 
Even in the day time travelling was not quite safe ; and numbers 
of people had disappeared who had without doubt been seized and 
devoured in lonely places." This fact is noticeable, inasmuch 
as tigers have been for many years unknown in the Madura and 
Tinnevelly Districts (except in the vicinity cf the mountains) ; and 
their existence in large numbers on the sea coast in 1700 would 
seem to show that the country was then much more sparsely 
populated and contained many more uncultivated tracts than at 
the present day. 

List of the Nayakas. 

List of the The following is a list of the Nayaka rulers of Madura with 

Nayakas of ^ j^es of their accession, according to the authorities followed 

Madura. ' ° . 

by Mr. Taylor and Mr. Nelson. The reader is requested, however. 

to remember that I have shown that the commencement of the 

rule of the Nayakas is probably to be placed at least thirty years 

earlier :- — 

Visvanatha Nayaka .. .. .. .. 1559 

Kumara Krishiiappa Nayaka .. .. 1563 

Periy a Virappa Nayaka .. .. .. 1573 

Visvanatha II Nayaka 1573 

Lingaiya Nayaka "i 
Visvappa Nayaka j 




Mutfcu Rrishnappa Nfiyaka 1602 Chapter ELI. 

Muttu Virappa Nayaka .. .. .. 1009 

Tirumalai Nayaka .. .. .. .. 1623 

Muttu Alakadri Nayaka . . . . . . 1659 

Choka Natka Nayaka .. .. .. 1602 

Eanga Kriskna Muttu Virappa Nayaka .. 1682 

Manganirual (Queen Eegent) .. .. 1689 

Vijaya Eanga Ckoka Natka Nayaka .. 1704 

Mmakski Annual (Queen Eegent) .. .. 1731 

Ckanda Sakeb's usurpation . . . . . . 1736 

By far the most distinguished prince of the Nayaka dynasty was Tirumala 
Tiriunalai Nayaka (from 1623 to 1659), a prince whose magnificent ^ a y" kl1 - 
tastes are attested by the remains of the buildings he erected 
at Madura, especially the remains of his palace, a Saracenic structure, 
which is the grandest building of its kind in Southern India. 
What is now called the palace was originally little more than the 
hall of audience. He erected another palace of much smaller Buildings 
dimensions, but in the same style of architecture, at Srlvilliputtur hhn." 
in Tinnevelly, where it is said he liked to reside occasionally. 
The remains of the Madura palace are now utilised for courts and 
other public offices. The greater part of Tirumalai Nayaka's reign 
was disfigured by exhausting and impolitic wars. The next most 
noticeable personage in the Nayaka line was the Queen Regent 
Mangammal (from 1689 to 1704), who ruled as regent during Mangammal. 
the minority of her grandson. She eschewed wars and cultivated 
the arts of peace, and all through Tinnevelly, as well as in Madura 
and the adjacent districts, she achieved a reputation which survives 
to the present day as the greatest maker of roads, planter of 
avenues, digger of wells, and builder of choultries the royal houses 
of Madura ever produced. It has become customary to attribute 
to her every avenue found any where in the country. I have 
found, for instance, that all the avenues in the neighbourhood of 
Courtallum are attributed to Mangammal. Having done so much 
she is supposed to have done all. 

Nayaka Titles. 

It is worthy of notice that the Nayakas never called themselves The Nayaka3 
kings of Madura. They professed to be lieutenants of the great themselves ° 
Rayalu of Vijaya-nagara and nothing more ; and even when they kings, 
refused the tribute due to their lord paramount or waged war 
against him, they do not seem to have cared to clutch at a higher 
title. They assumed all the state and wielded all the power of 
kings, but seem to have been deterred by some feeling of here- 
ditary loyalty from assuming the name. "We have seen also that 
there were Pandya kings surviving and nominally reigning in the 


Chapter III. Madura country at least down to 1605, notwithstanding the con- 
temporaneous existence of the Nayakas. Nayaka in Sanskrit 
means a leader, a chief, but as used in Southern India it is the 
hereditary title of certain Telugu castes. In Telugu the mascu- 
line singular is written Nayudu, in Tamil Nayakkan. There are 
several divisions among the Nayakas, and it is said that the 
Madura royal dynasty belonged to the division of the caste called 
Vaduga-Nayakas, commonly called simply Vadugas, the Badages 
of Xavier. The ordinary name by which the Nayaka rulers of 
Madura are styled in the Tamil country, at least in the south, is 

The Karttak- the " Karttakkal." People speak of such and such an event as 
happening in the days of the Karttakkal. This is the Tamil plural 
of the Sanskrit Karta, a doer, an agent, a representative. This 
title seems to have been chosen as being one that involved less 
assumption than the title of king, and yet had more of a royal 
sound than Nayaka, which after all was only a caste title. Perhaps 
the best rendering of the title of Kartta in this connection would be 
" High Commissioner." 

Characteristics of the Nayaka Eule. 

Reputation of It is unfortunate for the reputation of the Nayakas as rulers 

asridJi's^ l th^ so mucn more is known about them and their proceedings 
than about their Pandya and Chola predecessors. The Pandyas 
and Cholas left behind them few or no records of their rule. It is 
often, therefore, taken for granted that their rule must have been 
characterised by an unfailing respect for justice. The age iu 
which they lived has become the patrimony of the poets, who 
describe it as a golden age of light taxes, of freedom from oppres- 

Reputation of s i on> f rain three times a month, and of universal happiness. On 
the other hand the Nayakas lived and ruled at so recent a period, 
and so much was written about them at the time by European 
Missionaries residing in their territory, that the entire public and 
private character of most of them stands exposed to " that fierce 
light which beats upon a throne." Judged therefore not merely 
by modern European standards of right and wrong, but even 
by the standards furnished by Hindu and Muhammadan books of 
authority, the Nayakas must be decided to have fallen far short of 

Misruli hid- their duty as rulers. Their reigns record little more than a 
disgraceful catalogue of debaucheries, treacheries, plunderings, 
oppressions, murders, and civil commotions, relieved only by the 
factitious splendour of gifts to temples, idols, and priests, by means 
of which they apparently succeeded in getting the Brahmans and 
poets to speak well of them, and thus in keeping the mass of the 
people patient under their misrule. 


As we have no reason to suppose the Nayakas worse than the Chapter III. 
dynasties that preceded them, we cannot safely form a higher Works of 
estimate of the characteristics of the administration of the P.indya public utility 
and Ohola kings. Neither during the period of the Pandyas and U j^_, wn , 
Cholas nor during the Nayaka period were any roads in existence. 
What were called roads were merely cross-country tracks, some- 
times lined with trees. Bridges appear to have been unknown. 
There were no magistrates or judges, except at the capital, where 
the king himself sat in judgment, assisted by Brahman advisers. 
There were no schools, except for Brahmans. Trade was unpro- 
tected, and merchants did not dare to appear to grow rich. Hos- 
pitals were unknown. "When any question came up for decision, 
every thing was determined in accordance either with the caprice 
of the monarch or the iron code of custom and caste ; and it does 
not seem to have entered into the mind of any person that it was Administra- 
possible for him to become freer, better, or happier than his 
ancestors. It was not until the British Government appeared on 
the scene that any serious attempt was made to lift the mass 
of the people to a higher level. The only public works then 
carried on were works of irrigation, and it must freely be admitted 
that they were generally carried on with exemplary vigour and 
marked success, not however, so far as appears, by the rulers, but 
by the people themselves. Anicuts, or weirs, were thrown across 
the principal rivers, especially the Tamraparni, and the open 
country was covered with a net -work of tanks. 

Anicuts on thf Tamraparni. 

There are eight anicuts x on the Tamraparni, seven of which were Anicuts 
constructed before the arrival of the English in Tinnevelly. on the 

1. The highest of these is rather a dam than an anicut. It is 
called, however, by the Natives talaiyanai, the head or first anicut. 
The river after descending the Papanasam falls passes through a 
narrow gorge, which is partially blocked up by huge boulders and 
a reef of rock. In the rock holes have been cut in which posts, 
for the most part of palmyra trees, have been inserted, and against 
these cross bars with brushwood have been placed. Water is thus 
supplied for the channels leading off from either bank. 

2. Probably the most ancient of the anicuts, properly so called, 
is that styled the Nadiyunni anicut, about a mile and a half above 
Ambasamudram. It is made of large uncemented stones. Nadi- 
yunni means " that which drinks up the river." An inscription 
on a stone belonging to this anicut now in the bed of the stream 
represents it as having been made at a comparatively recent time. 
'•This Nadiyunni anai was made," says the inscription, "as a 

1 Anaikkattu is the cqui valent Tamil, from anai a dam, and kattu a construc- 



Legend of the 


Chapter hi. charitable work by Khan Saheb, in the years of the Salivahana and 
Quilon eras answering to A.D. 1759." Khan Saheb means the 
celebrated Muhammad Yusuf Khan, who was in power at that 
time and about whom we shall hear much in the sequel. The 
natives in the neighbourhood say with much probability that the 
anicut was originally made by the ancient Pand} T a kings, but 
repaired and strengthened by Khan Saheb. 

3. The most famous of the anicuts is that which is called by 
the English the Canadian anicut. "Canadian" stands for Kannadi- 
yan, and the meaning is the anicut made by the Kannadi or 
Kannadiyan, that is, by the Canarese man. This is opposite 
Anibasamudram. Of the many legends current respecting this 
Kannadiyan one is to the effect that he was placed, in possession 
of immense wealth by a local divinity, who ordered him to devote 
this wealth to the construction of an anicut. One form of the 
legend is that all the anicuts were made by the same person. A 
cow, it seems, was sent f orth as a guide, and wherever the cow lay 
down an anicut was to be constructed. The cow lay down six 
times between Ambasamudram and the sea, and accordingly six 
anicuts were made by the Kannadi out of the same supernatural 
supply of funds. Another and milder form of the legend is that 
only this one anicut which bears his name was made by the 
Kannadi, and that the cow was commissioned only to mark out the 
channel leading from this one anicut. Wherever the cow went 
a channel was to be dug, and wherever she lay down they were to 
make a tank. The only particular in these legends which seems 
likely to be true is that the maker of the anicut was some public- 
spirited Kannadi or Canarese man, probably a representative of 
the Madura government for the time being. 

The date of the construction of this anicut is unknown, but it 
may be placed any time between the commencement of the 
fourteenth century and the close of the sixteenth. There are 
inscriptions in a temple near the channel, one of which is dated in 
the beginning of the seventeenth century. There is a little temple 
near the anicut itself, where a sacrifice is offered yearly to the local 
divinity, on the 5th of June, on which occasion the sluice is 
ceremonially opened and the water allowed to enter the channel. 
There is a choultry at Shermadevy (Cheran-mfi-devI) said to have 
been built by the same Kannadi. 

Another form of the legend is given in Shungoonny Mcnon's 
History of Travancore. 

" It would soom that a Telugu(?) Brahman, commonly known by 
the name of Kunnadia, received a donation of a largo number of gold 
coins from the Maha Rajah Prathapa Budra of Voloor ; that this 
Brahman, by the advice of the sage Agastyar, who resided ou a hill 
in Thiruadi DCsam (Travancore), built an anicut (still in existence) 

Date of this 

A nother form 
of the li gt ad. 


across tlio Thambraverni river, and opened an irrigation canal from Chapter III. 
that spot to the extent of about twenty-one miles ; that with the 
surplus money he built a sathram at ChSra Maha, Devi for feeding a 
certain number of Brahtnans daily ; and that he appointed the holder 
of the copper plate as the perpetual manager of that institution." 

The writer quotes the substance of the language of the plate 
itself :— 

" A copy of the copper sasanum in question was procured by us. It 
purports to have been executed by Narayanappaya of the Kunnadian. 
family of Bharadwaja Gothram (line) of Brahmans, professing the 
Rig Veda, and who received a donation called Kalapurusha Danum 
from Maha Rajah Gajapathi Prathapa Rudra Rayer, who reigned at 
Veloor ; that he, the recipient, resolving to perform some charity with 
the money proceeded to Thrippathi, and on invoking Vencatachala 
Swamy obtained that deity's blessing, and in accordance with the 
commands of the swami he repaired to the southern kingdom called 
Thiruadi Desam (Travancore country) where on the Malayachala 
mountain, he met the sage Agastyar by whose order he excavated an 
irrigation canal for the benefit of the Brahmans : with the surplus 
money he resolved to institute a sathram for the daily feeding of 
Brahmans and accordingly constructed a building on the southern 
banks of the Thambraverni and on the western side of Chera-Maha 
Devi Alakiyappen Swamy Kovil ; Narayana Pillay, the son of 
Gopala Pillay, Brahman of Sreevatsa Gothram (line), professing the 
Yajur Veda, and residing in the old village or Brahman hamlet, built 
by Cheren Perumal Rajah, was entrusted with the management of 
this sathram, a perpetual grant being made to Narayana Pillay by 
this copper plate document, executed on Thursday, Shrawana asterism, 
Punchami Aushada month, Sowmmya Nama year of Kali 3342 (242 
A.D.) for the maintenance of the sathram of certain lands purchased 
for 2587 Kali Yuga Ramen ' Madura vella fanams, together with 
nine slaves of the soil at the rate of one hundred and thirty-five fanams, 
accompanied by a scale of the daily expenditure to be made and men- 
tioning a fixed suni as remuneration to the Superintendent Narayana 

" To this sathram, pepper was to be supplied from Travancore, as 
that spice was a produce of that country and could not be obtained 
without the king's permission. It was given gratis, and in the year 
970 M.E. (1795 A.D.), three years previous to his death, the old 
Rama Rajah ordered a commutation price of one hundred and eighty 
Kali fanams to be paid to the sathram, which sum is paid to the 
present time." 

This account of the origin of the anicut is evidently as legendary 
and as little trustworthy as the others. It throws light, however, 
on the personality of the Kannadiyan. It may be regarded 
as certain from the plate that he was a Brahman. The date 
assigned to the transaction in the plate, viz., A.D. 242, is of course a 

1 " One Kali Yuga Ramen fanam ia still the currency of Travancore. 




Chapter III 


puram anient 





pure invention. I have never found the use of the year of the 
Kali yuga era or of the year of the cycle of Jupiter in any inscrip- 
tion in Tinnevelly older than the fifteenth century A.D. But the 
date is contradicted by a statement contained in the plate itself. 
The king from whom the Kannadi or Canarese Brahman received 
this donation was not one of the ancient Pandya, Chola or Chera 
kings, but a monarch of comparatively modern times, a member of 
the Velur branch of the Rayars. When the Vijaya-nagara empire 
was overthrown by the Muhammadans in 1564 various princes 
belonging to the defeated but still powerful Rayar family 
established themselves in various places, one of which was Velur. 
Tirumalai Nayaka, the greatest of the Nayakas of Madura (from 
1623 to 1659) acknowledged the Rayar of Velur as his feudal 
superior. Prataba Rudra was a common name amongst the Telugu 
dynasties. The date of the construction of the anicut is thus 
brought down within the range of probability. 

4. The next anicut is that of Ariyanayakapuram. It will be 
remembered that Ariya-nayaka was a person of great importance 
in the earliest period of Nayaka history. It does not follow 
however that this Ariya-nayaka had anything to do with the 
erection of this anicut, which receives its name from the name of 
the village nearest to it. 

5. The fifth anicut is that of Suttamalli. This important anicut 
supplies water of irrigation to the town of Tinnevelly and the 

6. The sixth is at Palavur and supplies Palamcottah and the 
neighbourhood. The channel leading from the latter is called 
Palaiyan's channel, and is attributed, with the original fort of 
Palamcottah, to one Palaiyan, who was also a Kannadi. The latter 
Kannadi is said to have been a descendant of the former. Palavur 
is on the left bank of the river, though the channel which leads 
from it runs along the right bank. 

7. Of all the anicuts on the TamraparnI the one which supplies 
the largest extent of paddy cultivation is that at Marudur, some 
miles to the east of Palamcottah. This anicut was almost wholly 
rebuilt in 1792, during the Collectorship of Mr. Torin (as an 
inscription testifies), and great improvements were again made in 
it in 1807 by Colonel Caldwell. 

8. The last of the eight anicuts, the one that is nearest to the 
sea, between Puthugudi and Srlvaikuntham, was constructed only 
a few years ago by Lieutenant Shepherd. The river is here 800 
yards broad. The anicut cost eleven lakhs. This is the only 
anicut on the TamraparnI wholly constructed by the British 
Government. All the anicuts, however, have been strengthened 
and improved since the country came under British rule. 

later hindu period. 67 

The Portuguese on the Coast of Tinnevelly. Chapter hi. 

The Portuguese arrived at Calicut on the 20th of May 1498. Vasco da 

They came iu three small vessels under the command of Vasco da p* ma 8 

J ... lntormation. 

Gama, the first European mariner who found his way to India by 
doubling the Cape of (rood Hope. He returned to Europe the 
following year, when he presented to his sovereign a summary of 
the events of his voyage and of his discoveries. Ho therein 
mentioned a place on the Tinnevelly coast, Cael (Kayal), where he 
was told that pearls were found, and which he was informed was 
under a Mussulman king. Not long after we find a king of 
Quilon living at Kayal, but it may have been true that in Vasco 
da Gama's time the ruler of the place was a Muhammadan, for it 
was from the Muhammadans that the Paravas shortly after asked 
to be protected ; we know from other sources that the Muhamma- 
dans were numerous and powerful along the coast at that time, 
and I have found in Kayal itself a tradition that the last king of 
the place was a Muhammadan. 

The first settlement of the Portuguese in India was at Cochin, The 
where they established a factory in 1502. In the following year Portuguese 
they erected a fort there. From that time they became virtually 
masters of the whole sea coast of India, and ere long drove all 
Moorish, that is, all Muhammadan, vessels from the sea, except 
those that consented to receive Portuguese passes. Barbosa, a Barbosa's 
Portuguese Captain, who visited many places in the east shortly information. 
after, relates that in 1514 he found Cael (Kayal) belonging to the 
king of Quilon, who generally resided there. By the king of 
Quilon we are to understand the sovereign who at a later period 
was styled, as now, the king of Travancore. Marco Polo in 1293 
distinguished between the kingdom of Quilon and the kingdom of 
Travancore, the latter of which he called the kingdom of " Coniari." 
At the time, however, of the arrival of the Portuguese Travancore 
was found to have absorbed Quilon. If we are to suppose that the 
king of Quilon found by Barbosa at Kayal was the reigning king 
of Travancore himself, he must, according to Travancore authorities, 
have been Sri Vira Ravivarma. It does not seem certain however 
that it was the reigning Raja himself, for each of the Raja's 
brothers is commonly called Raja, and a little later on, in Xavier's 
time, we find that it was a relative of the king who was residing at The king of 
Kayal. However this may be, it is clear that Kayal was regarded Travancore at 
by the earliest Portuguese as belonging to Travancore, and that the 
king of Travancore was regarded as the legitimate sovereign of the 
whole of the south of Tinnevelly. This is quite in accordance with 
Tinnevelly traditions and inscriptions, and in particular with the 
records contained in the temple at Trichendur. At that time the 
Pandya Rajas had sunk into insignificance, and Hie Nayakas of 



Chapter III. Madura had not yet consolidated their power. It was natural 
therefore that the king of the adjacent territory of Travancore 
should take the opportunity of bringing at least the southern 
portion of Tinnevelly under his rule. 

In 1517 the Portuguese established a settlement, with a fort, at 
Colombo in Ceylon ; and in 1522 they sent a commission from 
Cochin to Mailapur, or Saint Thome, near Madras, to search for 
the body of Saint Thomas, which was supposed to have been 
preserved in the church at a place called the Little Mount. "We 
cannot doubt that long ere that date they had explored the whole 
of the Tinnevelly coast, and made themselves acquainted with the 
lucrative pearl fishery to which their attention had been called by 
Vasco da Grama, and which had been carried on along that coast 
from the beginning of the historical period to that time, 

Embassy of 
the Paravas 

to Cochin. 


in power 
along the 

The First Expedition of the Portuguese. 

The first recorded appearance, however, of any Portuguese 
exj>edition on the Tinnevelly coast was in 1532, when a deputation 
of Paravas, people of the fisher caste, came to Cochin for the 
purpose of obtaining the aid of the Portuguese against the Moors 
or Muhammadans. The chief place along the coast then as now 
inhabited by Muhammadans was Kayalpattanam, a town not to 
be confounded, as it has often been, with Kayal, now called Old 
Kayal. The deputation to Cochin is said to have comprised 
seventy persons. They were successful in their application, and 
an expedition was fitted out. Father Michael Vaz, the Vicar- 
General at Cochin, accompanied the fleet with some priests, and is 
described by Xavier some years afterwards as " the true father of 
the Comorin Christians." The application of the Paravas to the 
Portuguese at Cochin and the plan they adopted of securing their 
help by promising to embrace their religion were owing, it is said, 
to the advice given them by a native, himself a recent convert, 
called Joam de Cruz. The members of the deputation were 
baptised at Cochin by Father Vaz, and on his arrival on the coast, 
after the overthrow of the Muhammadans, 20,000 Paravas, inhabit- 
ing thirty villages, are said to have been baptised. Looking at these 
circumstances I think we cannot err in setting down 1532 as the 
date of the commencement of the Portuguese power on the 
Tinnevelly coast. Xavier writes that the chiefs of the Saracens 
(Muhammadans) were slain and that thoir power was utterly 
broken. By 1542, when he first visited the coast, the pearl fishery 
had fallen entirely into Portuguese hands. The places where the 
Portuguese had established themselves in Xavier's lime were 
Manapadu, Punnaikayal, Tutioorin, and Vembar, but it will 
appear afterwards, from notes from early Portuguese writers 


communicated to me by Dr. Buruell, that till about 1582 Chapter III, 
Punnaikayal was their principal settlement and Tuticorin a place 
of less importance. 

Inroads of the " Badages." 

Between 1532, the date of the expedition against the " Moors ", Ravages of 
and 1542, the first year of Xavier's residence on the coast, a new theBada S es - 
enemy came upon the scene, an enemy much more formidable than 
the Moors, and one with which even the Portuguese found it more 
difficult to deal. These were the " Badages " whose ravages are so 
frequently described and so pathetically deplored in Xavier's 
letters. Xavier represents them as lawless marauders ; by another 
writer, as we shall see, they are described as tax-gatherers; and 
doubtless both representations were correct, for this extraordinary 
combination of the characters of tax-gatherer and marauder 
continued to be common in the south till the cession of the Carnatic 
to the East India Company. In one village near Cape Comorin 
Xavier himself was a witness of the horrors the Badages had 
inflicted, and it will presently be seen that even the Portuguese 
settlements themselves were not safe. 

Who were these Badages ? I have already mentioned that Who were 
" Badages " stands for Vadugas, that is, Nayakas. The Canarese the y ? 
form of the name is Badaga, the literal meaning is northern, and 
the Nayakas are so called in the Tamil country because being 
Telugus they came from the north. The division of the Nayakas 
called Vadugas is that of Tirumalai Nayaka' s caste. Their title 
as a caste is Nayaka or Nayudu, but the name by which they are 
ordinarily called and by which they are distinguished from other 
Nayakas is Vadugas. A Jesuit writer of that time describes the 
Badages as " the collectors of the royal taxes, a race of overbearing 
and insolent men, and commonly called Nairs." Here the writer, Collectors of 
who resided on the western coast, inaccurately uses tha Malayalam the Vijaya- 
term Nair (Nayar) instead of the corresponding Tamil Naik, or 
Nayaka. In other respects his definition is correct. One expres- 
sion he uses is noticeable — " the royal taxes." This meant the taxes 
claimed by the Ray as of Vijaya-nagara (or the kings of Narsinga, 
as they were generally called by the Portuguese), which were 
exacted through their lieutenants at Madura and elsewhere, who 
had not yet succeeded in making themselves independent of their 
masters. Xavier used a variety of means for protecting the 
Christian villages, that is, the villages of the Paravas along the Xavier's 
coast, from the violence of the Badages, one of which was his appeal to the 
intercession in their behalf with the king of Travancore. He Travancore. 
calls this king by the strange name of " Iniquitribirimus." The 
onty portion of this name which seems capable of explanation is 


Chapter III. the last, birimus, which probably stands for Varnia, the Kshatriya 
title affixed to the personal name of each Travancore king. 
According to the Travancore lists the king at that time was colled 
Udaya Martanda Varma who reigned from 1537 to 1560. No 
name in the list and no Hindu name I know seems to bear any 
resemblance to Iniquitri. The copier of Xavier's letter probably 
mistook his writing. Can the name have been intended for that 
of a king of Travancore who reigned some time previously, Vira 
Ravi ? 
Power of the Xavier describes this king as " the great king of Travancore " 
Travancore an( j S p ea k s f hj m as having authority over all South India. Again 
he speaks of the oppressed Paravas as the king's subjects. He 
mentions that a near relative of the king resided at Tael 1 (that ia 
Cael = Kayal). It is evident, however, that the power of the 
king of Travancore along the Tinnevelly coast had become at that 
time little better than nominal. He gave his sympathy, but 
apparently was unable to render any real assistance ; and the follow- 
ing year we find that Travancore itself was invaded by the 
" Badages" in greater force and better armed than when they 
went against the poor fishermen of the coast. According to some 
accounts the Raja was more indebted to Xavier than to his force 
Nayfkas°on * of Nairs for deliverance from this danger, a panic having, it is said, 
Travancore. "been produced in the ranks of the Badages by Xavier's sudden 
appearance in the front of their host. The Badages failed in their 
attempt to conquer Travancore, but from that time forward we 
hear no more of the power of the king of Travancore in Tinnevelly, 
and from time to time we find the Nayaka rulers of Madura 
claiming the right of levying tribute on Travancore itself. It is 
admitted, however, that the king of Travancore paid them tribute 
only when compelled. At the time these conflicts were occurring 
between the Badages and the Paravas the Pandya kings of the 
second series still professed to reign over the whole country. The 
Pandya of that time, according to an inscription of mine, was 
Vikrama Pandya. But nobody seems to have cared about him 
or taken any notice of him. 
Motives of the What can have been the motive of the special hostility of the 
" Badages." « Tj a dages, " that is. of the Nayaka emissaries and representatives of 
the Vijaya-nagara Payas and their Madura deputies against the 
unwarlike Parava fishermen along the coast of Tinnevelly ? They 
were said to have expressed " their determination to expel the 

1 The name nf this place is written Tael, Tale or Tala. As it is said to have 
been two leagues from Manapftdu, Talai, a fishing village on the coast, would app< u 
to have been meant. It is difficult, however, to suppose that a relation of the king 
of Travancore would he living at a poor fishing village, when it was so much more 
natural tor him to live at Kayal where Barbosa net long hefore found the king 
himsi If. Cael would easily have bet D written by mistake Tael. 


Christians, both natives and foreigners, from the coast." Whence Chapter in. 
this determination ? The Nayaka rulers of Madura tolerated Explanation 
Robert de Nobili and his Christian converts at Madura itself of the 
some time later. Why were they not equally willing to tolerate t ^| Badages. 
the Christian Paravas ? The reason is that the Paravas had 
changed their nationality as well as their religion. Xavier in one 
of his letters to a colleague speaks of the Paravas as " subjects of 
His Portuguese Majesty," and nothing can be more evident from 
all the letters written by him and others during his two years' stay 
than that the entire civil and criminal jurisdiction of the fishery 
coast had been seized upon by the Portuguese, and that all dues and 
taxes, including the valuable revenue arising from the pearl fishery, The policy of 
had been assumed by the governors appointed by the Portuguese guese . 
Viceroy. The Portuguese had not asked any native potentate's 
consent to the formation of their settlements. They seized 
possession of the whole fishery coast, established settlements 
wherever they pleased, and conferred on the Paravas the some- 
what dangerous privilege of being Portuguese subjects. Hence 
the repeated violent efforts of the Badages, or representatives of the 
Madura Nayakas, to compel the Paravas to pay tax and tribute, 
not to the Portuguese, but to themselves. It will be noticed that 
amongst the expedients adopted by Xavier for the purpose of 
protecting his flock from the violence of the Badages, that of 
advising them to pay the taxes demanded of them and submitting 
to the authority of Madura had not a place. 

The coast was generally called by Xavier the Comorin Coast, Government 
the villages along the coast amongst which he itinerated the of the cc>ast • 
Comorin villages, and the Christian converts the Comorin Chris- 
tians. Later on, however, the coast was commonly called the 
Pescaria, the fishery, by which the pearl fishery was denoted, 
and the principal functionary amongst the Portuguese on the coast 
was styled the Captain of the Fishery. The Portuguese, at least 
in that early period, were more fortunate in relation to the 
profits of the pearl fishery than the Dutch were afterwards, for Profits of the 
whilst the Dutch had always to pay a share of the profits of the peai S ery " 
fishery to the Nayakas of Madura or the Setupati of Eamnad, 
the Portuguese found themselves for a time strong enough and the 
Native rulers weak enough (or distant enough) to allow of their 
appropriating the whole of the profits to themselves. When the 
Portuguese grew weaker and the Nayakas stronger, a different 
arrangement had to be submitted to. 

In Guerrero's "Relation " of the Missions on the coast (1G04) Portuguese 
the Nayaka is spoken of as " Lord of those lands," and as holding doned* ** 
his court in Madura, from which it is evident that the sovereignty 
over the coast had ceased to be claimed by the Portuguese. I 



Chapter III, 


Annals of 
the Portu- 
guese on the 


Printing at 

find also from another authority that in 1609 the Paravas paid 
their dues, not to the Portuguese, but to the representatives of 
the Madura Government. Bishop Barretto in 1615 complains 
that the people were much oppressed by the Nayaka of Madura. 

The principal settlement of the Portuguese for about fifty years 
after their arrival seems to have been Punnaikayal. Punnai means 
the Indian laurel, Kayal a lagoon opening into the sea. Old 
Kayal is situated to the north of the TamraparnI river, Punnai- 
kayal to the south, very near the mouth and right on the seashore. 
It is now only a fishing village, but some traces remain of its 
former greatness. The foundations of some European bungalows 
and warehouses are still seen, with a portion of an encircling 
wall ; and a distinct tradition survives of the existence of a fort 
during the Portuguese period, of a siege, a battle, and a defeat. 
This it will be seen is quite in accordance with the historical 
notice which will be found beneath under the head of 1552. 
There is also a tradition of the death by the hands of the enemy 
of Father Antonio (Antonio Criminalis), Xavier's successor. 

For the following items of information about Punnaikayal 
subsequently to Xavier's time, I am indebted to Dr. Burnell, 
who has taken them from early Portuguese writers, especially 
DeSousa : — 

1551. Two hospitals and a seminary founded at Punicale. 

1552. At Punicale, the chief place on the coast, there was a mud 
fort. This fort was taken by the Badages, Countinho, Captain of 
the Fishery, being defeated. 

1553. Punicale retaken by the fleet from Calicut. 
1560. There was a garrison at Punicale of fifty men. 

1563. Shortly after 1563, when Cresar Frederic visited the coast, 
the fishers for pearls still continued to pay for permission to the 
representative of the King of Portugal. The Madura Nayakas had, 
therefore, not yet succeeded in gaining supreme power. 

1570. Great famine on the fishery coast. Father Henriquez 
established famine relief houses, in some of which fifty persons were 
daily fed. 

Don Sebastian limits to the Christian fishermen the tithes on 

1578. DeSousa states that in 1578 Father Joao de Faria cut Tamil 
types and printed certain religious books the same year on the 
Pescaria coast, that is, on the coast of Tinncvelly. The books were 
the Doctrina Christiana, the Flos Sanctorum (an epitome of the lives 
of the Saints), and some others. 

Paulinus a Sancto Bartolomreo seems to make the same state- 
ment with reference to Cochin. He says that at Cochin in 1577 
a lay brother, Joannes Gonsalves, cut Malabar-Tamil types and 
printed a Doctrina Christiana, and that the next year a Flos 
Sanctorum followed. It certainly looks very much as if the same 


incident were referred to by both writers. If one of these narra- Chapter III. 
tives is to be accepted and the other rejected, the one which has 
the best claim to be accepted is the one which relates to Tinnevelly, 
as DeSousa compiled his book from MSS. in Groa in the seventeenth 
century, a century before Paulinus. This is an interesting 
incident, as being the first introduction of printing on the 
Coromandel Coast. It does not seem to have been carried on any 
further. The next Tamil printing we hear of is at Ambalakadu 
in the Cochin country in 1679. 

The Pearl Fishery. 

I subjoin here Caesar Frederic's description of the pearl fishery 
as earned on in his time. It seems probable that his observations 
were made at Kayal (or Punnaikayal) , that being the only place 
on the coast he mentions. Csesar Frederic was a Venetian merchant, 
a fellow-countryman of Marco Polo. He spent eighteen years in 
India between 1563 and 1581, and his visit to Tinnevelly and the 
scene of the pearl fishery must have been in or soon after 1563 : — 

" Of the Pearl Fishery in toe Gulf of Mannar. 

'■ The sea along the coast which extends from Cape Comorin to the 
low land of Kayal and the island of Zeilan (Ceylon) is called the pearl 
fishery. This fishery is made every year, beginning in March or 
April, and lasts fifty days. The fishery is by no means made every 
year at one place, but one year at one place, and another year at 
another place ; all however in the same sea. When the fishing 
season approaches, some good divers are sent to discover where 
the greatest quantity of oysters are to be found under water ; and 
then directly facing that place which is chosen for the fishery a 
village with a number of houses, and a bazaar, all of stone, is built, 
which stands as long as the fishery lasts, and is amply supplied with 
all necessaries. Sometimes it happens near places already inhabited, 
and at other times at a distance from any habitations. The fishers 
or divers are all Christians of the countiy, and all are permitted 
to engage in this fishery, on payment of certain duties to the king 
of Portugal and to the churches of the Friars of Saint Paul on that 
coast. Happening to be there one year in my peregrinations, I saw 
the order used in fishing which is as follows : — 

" During the continuance of the fishery, there are always three or 
four armed foists or galliots stationed to defend the fishermen from 
pirates. Usually the fishing boats unite in companies of three or four 
together. These boats resemble our pilot boats at Venice, but are 
somewhat smaller, having seven or eight men in each. I have seen 
of a morning a great number of these boats go out to fish, anchoring 
in 15 or 18 fathoms water, which is the ordinary depth along this 
coast. When at anchor, they cast a rope into the sea, having a great 



Chatter III. stone at one end. Then a man having his ears well stopped, and his 
body anointed with oil, and a basket hanging to his neck or under his 
left arm, goes down to the bottom of the sea along the rope, and fills 
his basket with oysters as fast as he can. "When that is full, he 
shakes the rope, and his companions draw him up with the basket. 
The divers follow each other in succession in this manner till the boat 
is loaded with oysters, and they return at evening to the fishing village. 
Then each boat or company makes their heaps of oysters at some 
distance from each other, so that a long row of great heaps of oysters 
are seen piled along the shore. These are not touched till the fishing 
is over, when each compan}' sits down beside its own heap, and falls 
to opening the oyster, which is now easy, as the fish within are all 
dead and dry. If every oyster had pearls in them it would be a 
profitable occupation, but there are many which have none. There 
are certain persons called Chitini (Chettis) who are learned in pearls ; 
and are enipkryed to sort and value them according to their weight, 
beauty, and goodness, dividing them into four sorts. The first sort 
which are round are named aia of Portugal, as they are bought by 
the Portuguese. The second, which are not round, are named aia of 
Bengal. The third, which are inferior to the second, are called aia of 
Canara, which is the name of the kingdom of Bijanagur or Narsinga, 
into which they are sold. And the fourth, or lowest kind, is called 
aia of Cambaia, 1 being sold into the country. Thus sorted, and prices 
affixed to each, there are merchants from all countries ready with 
their money, so that in a few days all the pearls are bought up accord- 
ing to their goodness and weight." 

The author of the Eeport on the Tinnevelly Census, in which 
the above is included, observes of this description of the pearl 
fishery that it is " as applicable to the method of procedure at the 
present day, as when it was written nearly 300 years ago, except 
that from some causes but little understood the banks of recent 
years have unfortunately ceased to furnish a supply of the valuable 
oysters yielding the pearl of commerce." 


The first appearance of the Portuguese in force in Tuticorin was 
in 1532, when the fleet despatched from Cochin broke the power 
of the Muhammadans along the coast and the Paravas were 
baptised by Father Michael Vaz and his assistant priests. The 
number said to have been baptised Avas, as has been said, 20,000 
inhabiting thirty villages from Cape Comorin northwards. Of tins. 

1 It is not oli ai what word was meant by "ia. Haya, horse, was the title of the 
first of eight varieties of pearls sent hy king Devenipiatissa in B.C. 306 to King 
Asoka. .See Emerson Tcnnent's Ceylon. Each of C;esar Frederic's varieties. 
however, was called the aia of such and such a kingdom. Can the ordinary word 
Bya (in Tamil ayam), which means "tax" have been int. mlcd? This is the 
impression of the Tuticorin traders-, as they say the tax to the Portuguese, &c, was 

paid in n.urls. 


villages Tuticorin was one, but it is uncertain when a regular settle- Chapter III. 

ment was formed there by the Portuguese. In 1543, when the 

celebrated Xavier arrived, Tuticorin had a Portuguese Governor. 

The establishment of the settlement there must, therefore, be Date of the 

placed somewhere in the ten years between 1532 and lc42, but establishment 

from 1532 for some fifty years the inhabitants of Tuticorin were Portuguese 

regarded, like the rest of the baptised Paravas, as Portuguese inl utlcorm - 


Tuticorin is the European equivalent of the Tamil name of the 
place Tuttukkudi. The cerebral d of Tuttukkudi became r in the 
mouth of Europeans by that rule of mispronunciation by which 
Manappadu, another place in the neighbourhood, became Manapar. 
The final n in Tuticorin was added for some such euphonic reasons 
as turned Kochchi into Cochin and Kumari into Comorin. The Meaning of 
meaning of the name Tuttukkudi is said to be the town where ^wriii 
the wells get filled up ; from tuttu (properly turttu), to fill up 
a well, and kudi, a place of habitation, a town. This derivation, 
whether the true one or not, has at least the merit of being 
appropriate, for in Tuticorin the silting up of old wells and the 
opening out of new ones are events of almost daily occurrence. 
Tuticorin was not only a village, but appears to have been a place 
of some little trade, before the arrival of the Portuguese ; but the 
Portuguese were especially attracted to it by the advantages 
offered by its harbour, which is the only place that can be called 
a harbour along the entire Coromandel Coast. The harbour is 
well sheltered from every wind by islands and spits of sand. 
Unfortunately it is so shallow that only vessels of sixty tons' 
burthen can load in it. Had it not been for this disadvantage 
Tuticorin might have eclipsed Madras. The Portuguese, as we 
have seen, made Punnaikayal their chief station for a time, but as Tuticori 
there is only an open road-stead there, without any thing that harbour, 
could be called a harbour, they made Tuticorin their chief settle- 
ment from about 1580. Probably the vessels used by the early 
Portuguese, though built in Europe, were not much larger than 
good-sized country craft, so that they would be able to load and 
unload inside the harbour. Probably also the harbour was a few 
feet deeper then than it is now. This indeed may be regarded not 
as a probability, but as a certainty, for there is abundant evidence 
to prove that the whole coast has been steadily rising little by little 
out of the sea for ages. 

The principal island, that on which the light-house stands, is 
called Pandiyan-tlvu, the island of the Pandyan. Coral, called in 
Tamil nurai-kal, foam-stone, is formed abundantly in the shallow Coral, 
water outside the islands. Whenever people dig in the town of 
Tuticorin they find about two feet beneath the surface a thin layer, 
generally only a few inches in thickness, of a fine-grained grit- 



Chapter III. stone, called by the natives uppukal, salt-stone, formed by the 
induration of the uj)per surface of the sea bed when the sea covered 
the place. Underneath this stratum we find sea sand, the larger 
grains above, the smaller below, as is usual in sedimentary deposi- 
tions. Sea sand and shells, including deep sea shells, are found 
lying on the surface of the ground or a few inches beneath the 
surface, as far inland as Korampallam, at the fifth milestone on 
the road to Palamcottah. The grit-stone formation lies beneath, 
as elsewhere, all along the coast, and is found half a mile further 
inland. It also is full of recent shells ; but with this difference 
that the shells in the grit-stone are fossilised and very much 
comminuted. The shells lying on the surface are not fossilised, 
many of them are nearly perfect, and some retain traces of their 
original colour. I found the open country near the Korampallam 

Grit-stone, tank covered with deep sea shells, such as chanks, pectens, oysters, 
and a few pearl-oysters. I found in places also large quantities of 
sea shore shells. The place in the vicinity of the Korampallam 
sluice, where I found these chanks, &c, is 11 feet above the present 
level of the sea at Tuticorin. Chanks are usually found in 
7-fathom water, but we may take a minimum depth of 5 fathoms, 
and reckon 30 feet for the depth of their habitat. This added to 
11 gives us about 40 feet, as the depth of the sea which swept over 

Deep sea shells Tuticorin at that early period when these shell fish were living in 

found inland. ^ sea DO ttoin at Korampallam. The natives of Tuticorin confirm 
this conclusion by a so-called tradition. They say that it was at 
Korampallam, when the sea came up to that place, that Tuticorin 
first began to be built, and that as the sea retired they built their 
houses further and further to the eastward, till they reached the 
place where Tuticorin now stands, and where it has stood ever 
since the arrival of the white men. This seems to me a tradition 
invented to account for the fact which people could not help 
observing, that sea shells were found lying on the surface of the 
ground at Korampallam. I do not think it probable that the date 
of the commencement of the elevation of the land was so recent as 
this tradition would make us believe, though probably it was after 
Tinnevelly began to be inhabited. Sec Appendix IV. 

First Reliable Notices of Tuticorin. 

Governor of The first reliable notices of the Portuguese settlement at 
Tuticorin. Tuticorin I find in Xavier's letters, which were written on the spot, 
or in the neighbourhood, in 1542-44. Tuticorin had then a 
Portuguese Governor, who was probably also the Governor of the 
other settlements on the coast, for in his letters to his assistant, 
Francis Mancias, Xavier always speaks of the Governor in the 
singular. It is probably that it was the same functionary who 


was afterwards called Captain of the Fishery. The principal Chapter III. 

letter relating to Tuticorin is one which records a disaster. It 

was dated at Alendale (a small Parava village three miles south of 

Trichendur, properly Alandulai), 5th September 1541. An attack 

had been made by the dreaded B adages (Nayakas from Madura) 

on the Governor of Tuticorin. Xavier's letter on the subject was Tuticorin 

addressed to Mancias at Punnaikayal. He says: "I have just g a( w e ^ 

received the most terrible news respecting the Governor (of 

Tuticorin), that his ship has been burnt, and his house on shore 

also destroyed by fire ; that he has himself been robbed of every 

thing, and has retired to the islands in broken spirits and utter 

destitution. Fly to his relief, I conjure you in the name of 

charity ; carry with you as many as you can get together of your Xavier's 

people at Punieale, and all the boats which are there, filled with r el °*f 8 

provisions, and especially with a supply of fresh water. Use the 

utmost despatch, for the extremity of the man's distress admits of 

no delay. I am writing to the Patangats 1 (headmen) of Combutur 

and Bembare 2 in the most urgent terms, to render you every 

possible assistance in discharge of their bounden duty to their 

Governor. Let them load as many boats as are fit for the service Boats sent to 

with provisions and fresh water, for it is well known that they are 

deficient in that necessary. I wish many boats to be sent, that 

these may be the means of carrying over to the mainland the crowd 

of all ages, who were driven to take refuge in these inhospitable 

rocks by the same incursion as drove the Governor thither." He 

adds : " The same calamity has overwhelmed very many Christians 

also." This calamity came to an end ere long, but by what means 

does not appear. 

Two months later Xavier writes to Mancias again : " Tell N. 
Barbosa (the Governor or Captain of the Fishery) from me not to 
employ any person in the pearl fisheries at Tuticorin, who have 
taken possession of the houses of the Christian exiles ; as the King 
and the Viceroy have given me authority in this matter, I positively 
forbid it." To understand the style of language employed by 
Xavier it is necessary to remember that he had been made a Royal Xavier's 
Commissioner with extraordinary powers. About the same time he authont y- 
obtained an order from the King of Portugal that the pearl fishery 
should be entirely in the hands of the Christians. 

For the following particulars respecting Tuticorin I am indebted 
as before to Dr. Burnell. 

1 Patangat means Pattangkatti (title- wearer), the title of a headman amongst the 

2 Bembare is easily identified with Vembar, but it was a long time before I 
discovered that by " Combutur" (confounded by some with far-off Coimbatore) we 
are to understand Kombukireiyur, a small fishing village near Kayalpa^anam. 



Later notices 
of Tuticorin. 

taken by the 

Chapter III. Correa, writing about 1560, says that in 15-14 (when as we 
have seen Xavier himself was on the coast) the places in which 
there were most Christians were Tuticorin and Manapadu. 

A church was built at Tuticorin in 1582 (DeSousa). It was 
dedicated to " Nossa Senhora da Piedade," and 600 persons com- 
municated at the first mass said in it. This name is supposed to 
be an error — See in the chapter on Roman Catholic Missions a 
quotation from Guerrero in 1600 relating to the name of this 

In Lunchoten's map (1596) Cael appears, but not Tuticorin. 
He only mentions a Captain of the Fishery. 

I find the following names of places on or near the coast men- 
tioned in Xavier's letters : — Tuticorin, Manapadu, Punnaikayal, 
Kombukiraiyur, Alandulai, Kayal, Talai, Virapandiyanpattanam, 
Vembaru, Pudicurim (Pudukudi), Trinchandour (Tiruchendur), 

Baldseus mentions that the Dutch took Tuticorin from the 
Portuguese in 1658. He mentions the existence of churches along 
the coast, but says nothing of Portuguese settlements. It may be 
assumed that by that time Tuticorin was the only place on the 
coast where the Portuguese continued to bear rule. Baldseus says 
that Tuticorin was not fortified, and this appears from his view. 
It will be seen that a fort was erected in Tuticorin by the Dutch 
shortly before 1700. Prior to that, however, the portion of the 
town which is now inhabited by the higher Hindu castes was 
called Vadi, the enclosure. Both during the Portuguese period 
and during that of the Dutch the chief trade of Tuticorin was 
with Ceylon. 

In addition to the Groanese Church at Tuticorin the only other 
relic of the Portuguese period I have seen is a tomb-stone of a 
Native Roman Catholic female with a Portuguese name, dated 
1618. The oldest thing in Tuticorin appears to be a great Baobab 
tree, near the church, probably planted there by some early Arab 
merchants and said by tradition to have been standing there before 
the church was erected. The Baobab is the Adansonia Diffitata, 
an African tree, called the monkey-broad by the Negroes. The 
natives of Tuticorin call it "the tree without a name." 

Relics of the 



Tuticorin under the Dutch. 

The first mercantile expedition despatched by the Dutch to 
the east was in 1595. In 1602 the first Dutch ship was seen in 
Ceylon, from which period till 1658, when the Portuguese were 
expelled from Ceylon and the Coromandel Coast, the Dutch and 
the Portuguese were incessantly at war. Colombo was taken by 
the Dutch in 1655, three years before the capture of Tuticorin. 


The Dutch had factories also at Vembar, Vaipar, Punnaikiiyal, Chapter III. 
Old Kayal, Manapadu, and Cape Comorin. They had several D u t c h"~ 
t rading out-stations also in places in the interior as at Alvar factories. 
Tirunagari. At Tuticorin they had latterly a Resident, a more 
important functionary than Governor. The Dutch did not, like 
the Portuguese, claim civil authority over the Paravas, the caste of 
fishermen along the coast, but they professed themselves to be their 
patrons and protectors, and it was to the interest of the Paravas to 
keep on terms of amity with their Dutch neighbours, as they 
thereby gained protection from the exactions and oppressions of the 
Hindu and Muhammadan rulers of the interior. Before the Head of the 
arrival of the Dutch the residence of the " Jati-talaivan," the head caste - 
of the (Parava) caste, is said to have been at Virapandiyanpat- 
tanam, but as the Dutch wanted to avail themselves of his local 
influence, they induced him to take up his abode in Tuticorin. 

A letter written by a French Missionary, Father Martin, in 
1700, quoted in Lockman's Travels of the Jesuits, describes 
Tuticorin as a flourishing town of more than 50,000 inhabit- 
ants. I am very doubtful about the accuracy of this estimate of 
the population. It is now one of the most flourishing towns on 
the coast, is a railway terminus, and is governed by a municipality, 
yet its population, when the census of 1871 was taken, was under Population of 
11,000. The same writer describes the natural harbour of 
Tuticorin as the only one on the coast in which a European vessel 
could attempt to pass the stormy season, from which it would 
appear that, in consequence either of the harbour being deeper then 
than it is now, or of the smaller size of the European vessels, or from 
both causes, it was possible for European vessels at that time (in 
1700) to ride inside the harbour. The writer says :" Tuticorin Appearance 
appears a handsome town to those who arrive at it by sea. We 
observe several buildings which are lofty enough in the two islands 
that shelter it ; likewise a small fortress built a few years since by 
the Dutch, to secure themselves from the insults of the idolaters 
who came from the inland countries ; and several spacious ware- 
houses built by the water side, all which look pretty enough. But 
the instant the spectator is landed, all this beauty vanishes ; and 
he perceives nothing but a large town built mostly of hurdles. 
1 he Dutch draw considerable revenues from Tuticorin, though The fish, i \ 
they are not absolute masters of it. The whole fishery coast 
belongs partly to the king of Madura, and the rest to the prince 
of Marava, who not long since shook off the yoke of the Madura 
monarch, whose tributary he was. The Dutch attempted some 
years since to purchase of the prince of Marava his right to the 
fishing coast and all the country dependent on it ; and for this 
purpose sent him a splendid embassy with magnificent presents. 



Dutch mono 
poly in the 

Chapter III. The prince thought fit to receive the presents, and promised fine 
things, but has not yet been so good as his word. 

The Dutch had already obtained from the king of Madura the 
monopoly of the fishery of the Tinnevelly coast, and drew a 
considerable revenue from licenses to fish, which they granted to 
all applicants at the rate of sixty ecus 1 and occasionally more for 
each vessel employed, the number of licensed vessels amounting 
often to as many as six or seven hundred. The conch-shell fishery 
was also theirs within the same limits as the pearl fishery, and 
yielded a considerable profit. Their ordinary trade was in cloths 
manufactured at Madura, for which they gave in exchange Japan 
leather and Molucca spices. The Jesuit Missionary, from whose 
letters these particulars have been obtained, furnishes an account 
of the manner in which the pearl fishery was carried on by the 
Dutch in 1700. Though I have already quoted the descriptions 
of Marco Polo and Caasar Frederic, I cannot forbear quoting 
this description also, which is particularly full and clear : — 

Martin's Account of the Pearl Fishery in 1700. 

" In the early part of the year the Dutch sent out ten or twelve 
vessels in different directions to test the localities in which it appeared 
desirable that the fishery of the j^ear should be carried on ; and from 
each vessel a few divers were let down, who brought up each a few 
thousand oysters, which were heaped upon the shore in separate heaps 
of a thousand each, and opened and examined. If the pearls found 
in each heap were found by the appraisers to be worth an ecu or more, 
the beds from which the oysters were taken were held to be capable 
of yielding a rich harvest ; if they were worth no more than thirty 
sous, the beds were considered unlikely to yield a profit over and 
above the expense of working them. As soon as the testing was 
completed, it was publicly announced either that there would or that 
there would not be a fishery that year. In the former case enormous 
crowds of people assembled on the coast on the day appointed for the 
commencement of the fishery ; traders came there with wares of all 
kinds ; the roadstead was crowded with shipping ; drums were 
beaten and muskets fired ; and everywhere the greatest excitement 
prevailed, until the Dutch Commissioners arrived from Colombo with 
great pomp and ordered the proceedings to be opened with a salute of 
cannon. Immediately afterwards the fishing vessels all weighed 
anchor and stood out to sea, preceded by two large Dutch sloops, 
which in due time drew off to the right and left, and marked the limits 
of the fishery ; and when each vessel reached its place, half of its comple- 
ment of divers plunged into the sea, each with a heavy stone tied to his 
feet to make him sink rapidly and furnished with a sack in which to put 
his oysters, and having a rope tied round his body, the end of which 

1 The writer heing a Frenchman mentions a French coin then current. The ecu 
contained five francs. The name is now obsolete. 


was passed round a pulley and held by some of the boatmen. Thus Chapter IIL 
equipped the diver plunged in, and on reaching the bottom filled his 
sack with oysters until his breath failed ; when he pulled a string with 
which he was provided, and the signal being perceived by the boat- 
men above, he was forthwith hauled up by the rope, together with his 
sack of oysters. No artificial appliances of any kind were used to 
enable the men to stay under water for long periods : they were 
accustomed to the work from infancy almost, and consequently did it 
easily and well. Some were much more skilful and lasting than others, 
and it was usual to pay them no proportion to their powers — a practice 
which led to much emulation and occasionally to fatal results. 
Anxious to outdo all his fellows, a diver would sometimes persist in 
collecting until he was too weak to pull the string ; and would be 
drawn up at last half or quite drowned. And very often a greedy 
man would attack and rob a successful neighbour under water : and 
instances were known in which divers who had been thus treated 
took down knives and murdered their plunderers at the bottom of the 
sea. As soon as all the first set of divers had come up, and their 
takings had been examined and thrown into the hold, the second set 
went down. After an interval the first set dived again, and after 
them the second ; and so on turn by turn. The work was very 
exhausting, and the strongest man could not dive oftener than seven or 
eight times in a day ; so that the day's diving was finished always 
before noon. 

" The diving over, the vessels returned to the coast and discharged 
their cargoes : and the oysters were all thrown into a kind of park 
and left for two or three days, at the end of which time they opened 
and disclosed their treasures. The pearls having been extracted 
from the shells and carefully washed, were placed in a metal receptacle 
containing some five or six colanders of graduated sizes, which were 
fitted one into another so as to leave a space between the bottoms of 
every two, and were pierced with holes of varying sizes ; that which had 
the largest holes being the topmost colander, and that which had 
the smallest being the undermost. When dropped into colander No. 1 
all but the very finest pearls fell through into No. 2, and most of them 
passed into Nos. 3, 4, and 5 ; whilst the smallest of all, the seeds. 
were strained off into the receptacle at the bottom. When all had 
staid in their proper colanders, they were classified and valued accord- 
ingly. The largest or those of the first class were the most valuable : 
and it is expressly stated in the letter from which this information is 
extracted that the value of any given pearl was appraised almost 
exclusively with reference to its size, and was held to be affected but 
little by its shape and lustre. The valuation over, the Dutch generally 
1 nought the finest pearls. They considered that they had a right of pre- 
emption : at the same time they did not compel individuals to sell if 
unwilling. All the pearls taken on the first day belonged by express 
reservation to the king or to the Setupati, according as the place of 
their taking lay off the coasts of the one or the other. The Dutch did 
not, as was often asserted, claim the pearls taken on the second da}-. 



Chapter III. They had other and more certain modes of making profit, of which 
the very best was to bring plenty of ca^h into a market where cash was 
not plentiful and so enable themselves to purchase at very easy prices. 
The amounts of oysters found in different years varied infinitely. 
Some years the divers had only to pick up as fast as they were able, 
and as long as they could keep under water ; in others they could only 
find a few here and there. In 1700 the testing was most encouraging, 
and an unusually large number of boat-owners took out licenses to 
fish ; but the season proved most disastrous. Only a few thousands 
were taken on the first day by all the divers together, and a day or two 
afterwards not a single oyster could be found. It was supposed by 
many that strong under-currents had suddenly set in owing to some 
unknown cause and covered the oysters with layers of sand. What- 
ever the cause, the results of the failure were most ruinous. Several 
merchants had advanced large svims of money to the boat-owners on 
speculation, which were of course lost. The boat-owners had in like 
manner advanced money to the divers and others, and they also lost 
their money. And the Dutch did not make anything like their usual 
Failures in In the earlier period described by Marco Polo and Csesar 

fishery!' Frederic the pearl fishery seems never to have proved a failure. It 

was successfully carried on on some bank or another off the coast 
year after year ; but in later times failures frequently occurred. 
The first of these failures I find mentioned took place about thirty 
years after Caesar Frederic's visit and lasted for an entire genera- 
tion. I have learnt from Dr. Burnell that Barretto, Bishop of 
Cochin, in an account of the Missions published in 1615, says that 
the pearl fishery along the coast, of which he gives a description, 
had failed for thirty-four years. It commenced again, he says, 
four years ago. This appears to have been the commencement of 
those frequent failures which have formed the principal characteristic 
of the fishery in modern times. In 1700 we see Father Martin's 
account of the failure that year. The first time the fishery was 
conducted under the East India Company's Government was in 
1784, Mr. Irwin being then " Superintendent of Assigned 
Revenue," or Collector, and this proved a failure. The cause of 
these failures is, I understand, still involved in mystery. 

The earliest date I have found on a Dutch tomb-stone in 
Tuticorin is 1706. 
nutrii The only reference to the Dutch in Tuticorin contained in 

alliance with Q rmo ^ y {\\ be found further on in connexion with the events of 

insi the 1700. It would appear that the Poligars were frequently receiving 

English encouragement and assistance from the Dutch. 

Later on we learn from Colonel Fullarton that the Dutch entered 
into a regular alliance with the refractory Poligars of Tinnevelly 
against the English; nor was this an empty suspicion on the part 
of the English of that time, founded on national jealousy, for on 


the capture of Panjalainkuriohi by Colonel Fullarton in 1783 the Chapter III. 
original of a treaty between the Dutch Government of Colombo 
and Kattaboma Nayaka was found in his fort. 

I append the principal epochs in the history of the occupation DatesrelatiDg 
of Tuticorin, though some of these come down to a later date than to lutlconn - 
that at which it was intended that this narrative should terminate. 

1. The Dutch took Tuticorin from the Portuguese in 1658. 

2. It was taken from the Dutch by the English in 1782. 

3. It was restored by the English to the Dutch in 1785, in 

consequence of the treaty of 2nd September 1783. 

4. It was taken again by the English in 1795. 

5. And was again given back to the Dutch on the 9th 

February 1818. 

6. It was finally ceded peacefully by the Dutch to the English 

on the 1st June 1825. 

During the last Poligar war Tuticorin was taken from the Tuticorin 
English and held for a short time by the Poligar of Panialam- j™. mg tne 

..__,.. . roligar war. 

kurichi. This was in the beginning of 1801. A young subaltern 
was in command of the fort of Tuticorin with a company of sepoys. 
Unfortunately, while he was defending the fort on one side the 
native officer under him capitulated and admitted the enemy on 
the other. The rebels disarmed the sepoys and then set them at 
liberty, and permitted the English officer to embark in a fishing 
boat for an English settlement. They found an Englishman, 
Mr. Baggott, who was Master Attendant of Tuticorin, and carried 
him off a prisoner. His wife followed him into the fort where the 
Poligar had taken up his headquarters and petitioned for her 
husband's life, whereupon the Poligar set him at liberty and 
restored to him his property. There were many Dutch residents 
in Tuticorin, but these were unmolested by the Poligar. He 
considered them neutrals, or indeed friends, for the sympathies of 
the Dutch all through the troubles in Tinnevelly were rather on 
the side of the enemy than on ours. A son of this Mr. Baggott 
was well known in Tuticorin in connection with the cotton trade 
many years afterwards. 

I have the pleasure of adding here (though they belong to a later introduction 
period) some particulars respecting the introduction of the screwing of of cot t° n 
cotton into Tuticorin, kindly furnished me by the gentleman by whom 8Ciei 
it was introduced, C. Groves, Esq., of Liverpool, now of New Brighton, 
Cheshire. This was in 1831, nearly fifty years ago. Mr. Groves, who, 
with his brother, had then a house in Colombo, came across to 
Tuticorin for the purpose of seeing whether cotton could not be 
screwed there and shipped directly to England. Up to that time 
Tinnevelly cotton was either sent unscrewed to Madras, or it was 
partially screwed in Palamcottah and then sent from Tuticorin to 
Madras to be properly screwed. Mr. Groves landed at Tuticorin on 


Chapter III. the 1st March. 1831 and went immediately to Palameottah to see Mr. 
Hughes (about whom we hear much in connection with the Poligar 
wars), who at that time had all the cotton business in his hands. He 
bought 200 bales of him, and after he left his agent in Colombo sent a 
vessel to Tuticorin to take these bales to London. This was the first 
shipment of cotton ever made directly from Tuticorin to Europe, and it 
answered well financially. The following year, in 1832, Mr. Groves 
had the first cotton screw erected in Tuticorin in connection with his 
Colombo business. Afterwards other screws were erected by Madras 
merchants and others. At first Mr. Baggott, who succeeded his 
father as Master Attendant in Tuticorin, acted as Groves and Co.'s 
agent, but after they withdrew he carried on the cotton screwing 
business on his own account. 

Some relics of Mr. Hughes's screw may still be seen lying about 
near the Court House in Palameottah. 

Tuticorin in At the end of 1801, on the termination of the Poligar war, 
180 L General (then Captain) "Welsh was sent to command Tuticorin and 

superintend the transportation to Penang of seventy of the princi- 
pal rebels. He describes it as having a large fortified factory, 
washed by the sea and as a neat little town, the front street of 
which, on the sea-shore, had some good houses in it. The native 
inhabitants were about five thousand in number. From this place, 
he says, the passage by sea to Colombo is performed in one or two 
days, the gulf always having strong winds blowing, either up or 
down, which are equally available going or returning. He describes 
the Factory-house, inhabited by the Dutch Governor, as a very 
roomy, well-furnished, and very cool habitation, besides which he 
had a garden house about three miles inland. The Tuticorin fort 
was destroyed by the English in 1810. 
Tuticorin at I may add that the Tuticorin of the present is not only the chief 
present. seaport in Tinnevelly, but the principal emporium of the cotton 

trade in Southern India. It was always a thriving place, but it 
has recently received a great impetus from being made the southern 
terminus of the railway connecting Tinnevelly with Trichinopoly 
and Madras. It is one of the few towns in Tinnevelly which are 
under municipal government, and had a population in 1871 of 
nearly 11,000. 




End of the Rule of the Nayakas of Madura. 

"We must now return to the closing period of the Nayaka admini- Chapter IV. 

stration. I must content myself, however, with a brief record of 

facts, as Trichinopoly had now become the capital of the Nayaka 

dominions, instead of Madura, and, this place being still more 

remote than Madura from Tinnevelly, hardly any reference to 

Tinnevelly affairs appears in the records of the time. It was not 

until the contest for the Nawabship of Arcot arose between Chanda 

Saheb, the protege of the French, and Muhammad Ali, the protege 

of the English, that Tinnevelly seems to have been regarded as a 

district of any importance. 

In 1731, the last of the Nayaka kings, Yijayaranga-chokka-natha, 
died without issue, and was succeeded by his queen Mmakshi, who 
adopted, as heir to the throne, the son of a member of the royal 
family, in whose name she ruled as regent. A party, however, 
arose who endeavoured to depose Mmakshi and set up instead 
VangaruTirumalai, the father of the boy she had adopted. Mmakshi 
remained in possession of the fort of Trichinopoly, its palace and 
treasures, whilst most of the country outside Trichinopoly fell away 
to ber rival. 

Chanda Saheb at Trichinopoly. 

Hearing of these disputes the Nawab of Arcot sent an army, in 
1734, under the command of his son Safdar Ali and his relation 
and Dewan Chanda Saheb, nominally for the purpose of collecting 
tribute, but really to seize any opportunity that might offer for 
getting possession of Trichinopoly. Chanda Saheb after having Chanda 
taken an oath, it is said, on the Koran that he would do nothing f 1 " b ) ' ( ']' 1 ,' , !> 
to the queen's detriment, was admitted with a body of troops into 
the city, whereupon he soon succeeded in usurping the entire 
government, first of the portion of country which remained in the 
queen's possession, then of Madura and the districts which adhered 
to Vangaru Tirumalai. 

Chanda Saheb now threw off the mask and showed himself in 
his true colours. His schemes had all succeeded ; the Madura 


Chapter iv. kingdom, or at all events the greater and more important portion 
of it, was held by his troops ; Vangaru Tirumalai was a refugee ; 
and Minakshi was a helpless woman, living in a building which he 
Chanda Saheb could at any moment seize and turn into a prison. Accordingly, 
kingdom. * n ^^6, he openly proclaimed himself to be the ruler of the Madura 
kingdom, and, locking up the queen in her palace, assumed to 
himself all the power and dignity of a sovereign prince. And 
thinking after awhile that the queen might find means to do him 
harm, and that she was an expense to him, and finding perhaps 
that the presence of the poor woman in the palace was productive 
of unpleasant action on the part of what he supposed to be his con- 
science, he began to take into consideration the advisability of 
murdering her. But he was saved the trouble of committing this 
fresh crime. Her misfortunes were more than Minakshi could 
endure, and, weary of her life, she took poison and placed herself 
beyond the reach of her betrayer. — Nelson, III. 260. 

Mahrattas at Trichinopoly. 

The next turn of fortune brought the Mahrattas, for the first time, 
into the ancient Pandya kingdom. According to Nelson's account, 
which seems to be more reliable here than Orme's, Vangaru 
Tirumalai found that his only chance was to call to his aid a power 
stronger than that of Chanda Saheb. He therefore begged the 
Arrival of the Mahrattas of Sattarato come and help him. Accordingly, in 1739, 
*[4 h y atta Raghuji Bhonslai and Futta Singh, the Mahratta generals, 
marched southward at the head of a large body of cavalry, and after 
defeating the Nawab of Arcot, Daust Ali, laid siege to Trichino- 
poly. They were assisted by the King of Tan j ore and the other 
Hindu princes in the neighbourhood, who were anxious to see the 
Muhammadans expelled. The fortress was on the point of being- 
taken when Chanda Saheb surrendered it, with himself, to the 
Mahrattas, by whom he was sent a prisoner to Sattara. This took 
place in March 1741, and the capture of Chanda Saheb had been 
already preceded by the death of his brother Bada Saheb, who had 
been appointed Governor of Madura. After taking Trichinopoly 
the Mahratta leaders appointed Morari Rau to be Governor tempo- 
rarily, and the latter appointed Appaji Rau to be the Governor of 
the less important fortress of Madura. The Governor of Madura 
Mahrattas in was doubtless nominally Governor also of Tinnevelly, but there is 
possession of n0 tLj nO ; to show that he was actually in possession of Tinnevelly or 

sovereign o i-i- m. j 

powi t any part of it, though he may have made incursions into it, and 

it may be assumed without hesitation that the Poligars paid very 
little attention to his commands. 

Sir Madhava Rau, in his History of Travancore (which I have 
only seen in the vernacular), mentions some additional particulars 


(which are repeated in Shungoonny Menon's History of Travan- Chapteh ( \ 

core), respecting the doings of Chanda Saheb and Bada Saheb in 

the southern districts prior to the siege of Trichinopoly by the 

Mahrattas. He states that Danst Ali, in order to obtain a kingdom Muhammadan 

for his eldest son Safdar Ali, sent Chanda Saheb and his brother " lvasion of 
. . . . Travancore. 

Bada Saheb to seize upon the Hindu kingdoms in the south. In 

carrying out this design he states that they attacked Travancore, 
a circumstance which is not mentioned by any other writer, but in 
a matter of this kind we may safely trust a local historian in pos- 
session of local records. He says that the army of the two Sahebs 
entered Travancore by the Aramboly Pass in February or March 
1740. They returned on hearing of troubles in their own country, 
and also because the King of Travancore sent them presents. The 
troubles they heard o£ were doubtless those that were owing to the 
approach of the Mahrattas to Trichinopoly. 

Commencement of the Rule of the Nawab of Arcot. 

In 1743 the Nizam himself entered the Carnatic with a great Approach of 
army, whereupon Trichinopoly and Madura were at once sur- 
rendered to him, the Mahrattas not being able to cope with so 
formidable an antagonist. About this time Vangaru Tirumalai 
died, and his son retired to Vellaikurichi, in the Sivagangai 
country, where, it is said, his descendants still live in peaceful 

From the time of the expulsion of the Mahrattas by the Nizam in Anwar u-din 
1744 until 1747 or 1748 the Madura country appears to have been 
held by officers commissioned by Anwar-u-din who had been 
appointed Nawab of Arcot by the Nizam in 1744, and his son 
Muhammad Ali, who succeeded him in 1749. "We may therefore 
take 1744 as the commencement of the rule of Nawab of Arcot in 
the districts heretofore held by the Nayakas, that is, in Trichino- 
poly, Madura, and Tinnevelly, though it will be seen that till the 
appearance of the English upon the stage as the Nawab' s allies and 
helpers his rule was little better than nominal. In 1748 Chanda The rival 
Saheb regained his liberty, and was acknowledged as the Nawab of Nawats 
Arcot by the French, whilst the cause of Muhammad Ali was 
espoused by the English, and in every district in the south the 
rival claims of these two princes led to conflict and confusion. We 
now come, for the first time, in the course of these events to a por- 
tion of the history of Tinnevelly in which we shall be able to avail 
ourselves of Orme's valuable help. Before commencing this portion 
of the history, however, it will be desirable to mention some parti- 
culars respecting the town of Tinnevelly and the fort of Palam- 
cotta, to each of which reference will have to be made from time 
to time. 



Chapter IV, 

Town of 
always a 
place of im- 

Meaning of 
" Tiru-nel- 

Town of Tinnevelly. 

The town of Tinnevelly was the more ancient capital of the dis- 
trict, as Palamcotta is the more modern. It is uncertain whether 
Tinnevelly was anything more than one of the principal towns in 
the district during the time of the Pandya kings, but it seems to be 
certain that during the greater portion of the period of the rule of 
the Nayakas at Madura it was regarded as the capital of the south- 
ern portion of their dominions. Its only rival in importance was 
Strivillyputtoor (Srlvillipputtur), where some of the Nayaka rulers 
liked occasionally to reside. It is strange that, though the capital 
of a district, and the rich centre of a rich neighbourhood, it seems 
never to have been fortified. Probably there was always a strong- 
hold at Palamcotta, only about three miles off, and this may always 
have been regarded as a sufficient protection, as we know it was at 
a later period, to the town of Tinnevelly and the towns and villages 
in the neighbourhood. Tinnevelly should be written Tiru-nel-veli, 
and the meaning of this name is " the sacred rice hedge," from tiru 
(the Tamilised form of the Sanskrit srl), sacred; nel, paddy, rice in 
the husk ; and veli, hedge. The Sthalapurana of the Tinnevelly 
temple represents nel as meaning " bambu," as well as rice or paddy. 
Hence it gives also the meaning, the sacred bambu hedge. This 
meaning would be a very appropriate one, but I can find no trace of 
nel having the meaning of paddy in any dictionary. The absence 
of this meaning in the dictionary does not quite settle the matter? 
but it renders this derivation somewhat doubtful. The ordinary 
legendary derivation of the name is founded, not on any reference 
to a bambu, but on the ordinary meaning of nel, paddy, rice in the 
husk. The story goes, that a man belonging to this place (which 
then must have had a different name, bambu hedge ?) went to the 
river to bathe, having previously spread out a quantity of paddy 
near his house to dry. Whilst he was bathing a heavy shower of 
rain came on. He left the river and ran home expecting to find his 
paddy wet and spoiled, when, behold ! he found that the rain had 
fallen all round the paddy, but not a drop on the paddy itself. 
Hence he praised Siva as he who had made a hedge round his paddy, 
and built a temple to his honour, whereupon the name of the place 
was altered to Tiru-nel-veli, the sacred rice hedge. The Sthala- 
purana gives both meanings and gives the legend quoted above in 
confirmation of the second. It identifies Tiru-nel-veli with Daruka- 
vana, where the rishis, who were Siva's opponents, performed sacri- 
fice, and the linga here with the linga that grew there out of a 
bambu. Hence at a certain festival a young bambu plant is mad'' 
to appear to be growing beside the linga. Siva's consort, as wor- 
shipped in the Tinnevelly temple, is called Kantimati (fern, of 
Kantimat), the lovely one. The towna of Tinnevelly is now a 
municipality, with a population of 20,000. 



Palanicotta, the present capital of the district of Tinnevelly, is a 
municipality, with a population of about 18,000. It is situated 
about a mile to the south of the TamraparnI, whilst Tinnevelly lies 
two miles to the north. Intercourse and traffic between the two 
towns have been facilitated since 1844 by a beautiful bridge over the 
Tamraparni, erected by Colonel Horsley at the sole expense of a 
wealthy native, Sulochana Mudaliyar. Few traces now remain of 
the fortifications of Palamcotta, most of which have been removed 
as no longer necessary, but when the English first arrived in Tinne- Palamcotta 
velly they found it the strongest fort south of Madura. It was a ^l^tfol 
fortified town, as well as a fort, and was defended by a double Madura, 
system of fortifications, the outer line lower than the inner, with a 
complete set of bastions and strongly fortified gates. The whole of 
the fortifications were cased with cut stone. It was the only stone- 
built fort in the Tinnevelly District. Madura was frequently taken 
and retaken, but Palamcotta lay so far to the south that it was never 
exposed to any attack from Europeans, and never sustained any 
serious assault from natives. If Tippu Sultan had succeeded in 
taking the northern Travancore lines in 1789 and bringing his forces Tippu's 
round by Tinnevelly and Madura for the purpose of taking the de81 S ns - 
English in the rear, as he hoped to do, the strength of the fort of 
Palamcotta might have been put to the test. 

Palamcotta is in Tamil Falaiyangkottai, which means camp-fort, 
from palaiyam, originally a camp, secondarily an estate held on 
military tenure, and kottai, a fort. The Telugu form which corre- 
sponds to palaiyam is palem (u), from which it might be concluded 
that the early English got their pronunciation and spelling of the 
word from their Telugu followers. The derivation I have here 
given is that which accords best with the spelling of the name in 
actual use, but the derivation of the name almost universally 
accepted by natives requires it to be written, not Palaiyangkottai, Meaning and 
but Palaiyankottai. They represent Palaiyan as a man's name, origia of the 
admitting however that it may have originally been a title. As a 
title it would mean the holder of a camp. This would virtually be 
identical with the more common title Poligar, and it is noticeable 
that tradition represents this Palaiyan as aCanarese man, and that 
the ordinary title of a Poligar in Canarese is Paleya, i.e., Palaiyan. 
This derivation is confirmed by the circumstance that the water 
channel which brings water of irrigation from the Palavur anicut to 
Palamcotta and the neighbourhood is always called Palaiyan-kal, 
that is, Pa lai van's "channel. The native idea is that the fort of 
Palamcotta, that is, the old fort, or the oldest portion of the more 
recent fort, was built by this Palaiyan about 200 years ago. This 
of course is a very vague estimate. It would place the erection of 





Age of the 

Chapter IV. the fort in the time of the Nayakas of Madura, whereas if the 
founder of the fort and the excavator of the channel were really 
as tradition invariably states, a Kannadi, which there is no reason 
to doubt, it would appear probable that he lived in the still earlier 
period when the Kannadi kings of Dwara-samudra held supreme 
power. Two reasons may be adduced, on the other hand, for adher- 
ing to the derivation which accords with the ordinary spelling and 
consequently regarding the first part of the name of Palamcotta as 
denoting a camp. One is that Palamcotta is called, it is said, in 
some old documents Vilangkulam Palaiyam, the camp of Vilang- 
kulam ; another is that there is a large village to the westward 
called Melapalaiyam, the western camp. Palaiyam, however, in the 
latter case may mean merely a suburb. 

A poetical name for Palamcotta is Mangai-nagaram, the city of 
the maiden, but who this maiden was is at present unknown. A 
tradition survives of the existence of a town in ancient times on 
the site on which the fort of Palamcotta was subsequently built- 
A petty king lived there, it is said, called Pranda Baja, who has 
given his name to various places in and about the fort, including 
a tank. 

It had always been noticed that many of the stones in the 
walls of the Palamcotta fort had previously been portions of 
some Hindu temple, and this is clearly proved by the carvings and 
Construction inscriptions that remain. These temple stones were found not only 
in the outer fort, which was undoubtedly built in the Nawab's 
time, but also in the walls of the inner fort, which is said to have 
been erected by a Hindu. One explanation of this, given by 
natives, is that Palaiyan, though a Hindu, did not scruple to avail 
himself of the stones of abandoned temples, and in particular that 
he made use of the stones of a great wall which formerly surrounded 
the temple at Muttukrishnapuram, a place about five miles east 
of Palamcotta, a temple which had been erected about a hundred 
years before the fort by one Mayilerum Perumal Mudali, a convert 
from the Saiva to the Vaishnava religion. Another and more 
probable explanation is that, not only was the outer fort wholly 
built by the Muhammadan commandant during the period of 
the Nawab's rule, but that the wall of the inner fort also was 
completed and strengthened by him, when he not only made use 
of the stones of dilapidated temples, but also, it is said, pulled 
down some temples for the purpose. One of the temples said to 
have been appropriated in this manner was that at Murttiyapurani, 
a placn on the banks of the river near Palamcotta. The outer 
and lower fort used to be called the Pillaikkottai, or child fort. 
This name was probably given to it on account of it being the 
smaller of the two, but some natives assert that it meant the fort 
of the Pillai, that is, of Muhammad Yusuf Khan, commonly called 

Outer and 
inner forts. 


simply Khan Saheb, who was often called " the Pillai," in conse- Chapter iv. 
qnence of his having originally been, not a Muhammadan, but a 
Vellala Hindu, a caste to which the title Pillai pertains. 

During the time the East India Company carried on trade they 
had a Commercial Agent in Palamcotta. They had a warehouse 
for their goods, and also a cotton-screw near the Agent's house on 
the banks of the river. See in page 83 the account of the first 
introduction of cotton screwing into Tuticorin. The first reference 
to Palamcotta in Orme is in 1756, in which it was stated that the 
ramparts of the fort were in ruins, and only capable of resisting 
an enemy which had no battering cannon. Muhammad Yusuf 
Khan was appointed to command the troops and carry on the 
revenue administration in Madura and Tinnevelly in the same 
year, soon after which doubtless he commenced to make the fort of 
Palamcotta a place of greater strength. It appears to have been 
garrisoned by the English from 1765. The first reference to it English 
in the journals of Swartz, the eminent missionary, is in 1771, g arnson - 
when he speaks of it as a fort belonging to the Nawab, but having 
an English garrison. The earliest date in the English churchyard 
in Palamcotta is 1775. 

First PIelp rendered by the East India Company to the 
Nawab's Government in Tinnevelly, and First English 
Expedition into Tinnevelly. 

Orme, Vol. I. — " The countries lying between the Coleroon and the 
extremity of the peninsula did not openly throw off their allegiance 
to Muhammad Ali, but were lukewarm in his interests : he therefore 
(in 1751) sent 2,500 horse and 3,000 peons, under the command of 
his brother Abdul-rahim, together with a detachment of 30 Europeans, 
to settle the government of Tinnevelly, a city lying 160 miles to the 
south of Trichinopoly, and capital of a territory which extends to Cape 
Comorin. Abdul-rahim met with no resistance from the people of 
the country, but found it difficult to restrain his troops from revolt ; 
for most of the officers being renters, were indebted to their prince as 
much as he was indebted to their soldiers, and expected as the price 
of their defection that Chanda-saheb would not only remit what they 
owed to the Government, but likewise furnish money for the pay of 
their troops. However, great promises, and the vigilance of Lieutenant 
Innis.* who commanded the English detachment, prevented them The first En g- 
froru carrying their schemes into execution ; but the same spirit of lishman in 
revolt manifested itself more openly in another part of Muhammad mneve ?• 
Ali's dominions. 

" Alam Khan, a soldier of fortune, who had formerly been in the 
service of Chanda-saheb, and afterwards in that of the King of Tanjore, 
had lately left this prince and came to Madura, where his reputation 

■ Probably the first Englishman who was ever seen in Tinnevelly. 




Chapter IV. as an excellent officer soon gained him influence and respect, which he 
employed to corrupt the garrison, and succeeded so well, that the 
troops created him governor, and consented to maintain the city under 
his authority for Chanda-saheb, whom he acknowledged as his 

" The country of Madura lies between those of Trichinopoly and 
Tinnevelly, and is as extensive as either of them. The city was in 
ancient times the residence of a prince who was sovereign of all the 
Importance of three. Its form is nearly a square 4,000 yards in circumference, 
fortified with a double wall and a ditch. The loss of this place, by 
cutting off the communication between Trichinopoly and the countries 
of Tinnevelly, deprived Muhammad Ali of more than one-half of the 
dominions which at this time remained under his jurisdiction. On 
receiving the news, Captain Cope offered his services to retake it. He 
was unsuccessful and had to march back to Trichinopoly with a greatly 
diminished force. This occurred in 1751. In 1755, we reach events 
in the history of Tinnes r elly of greater interest and importance. 

" At the request of the Nawab a force of 500 Europeans and 2,000 
sepoys was, in 1755, ordered to proceed into the countries of Madura 
and Tinnevelly to assist in reducing them to his obedience. Mahfuz 
Khan (the Nawab's elder brother) was appointed by the Nawab his 
representative in those countries, but from first to last was found to 
be either a lukewarm, useless friend, or an open enemy. The Nawab 
himself accompanied the expedition as far as Manapar (Mana-parai), 
a place in the hands of a rebellious Poligar, a little to the south of 
Trichinopoly, and then returned. The whole force was commanded 
by Colonel Heron, an English officer recently arrived in the country, 
whilst the sepoys were under the special command of a native." 


Career of 

Colonel Heron's Expedition and Muhammad Yusuf Khan. 

The commander of the native force under Colonel Heron was 
a distinguished native soldier called Muhammad Yusuf Khan. 
I give here some particulars respecting this person not mentioned 
by Orme. 

For some time prior to 1754 Yusuf Khan had been employed 
as Commander of the Company's Native troops, in which capacity 
he showed so much ability and zeal and gave such entire satisfac- 
tion to his European superiors, that at the recommendation of 
General Lawrence, then Commander-in-Chief, the Government, on 
the 25th March 1754, conferred upon him a regular commission 
as the " Commander of all the Company's Sepoys," and at the 
same time presented to him a gold medal as a mark of their 

We have seen that Yusuf Khan led a force into Tinnevelly in 
1756 for the purpose of restoring order. The Government issued 
their instructions to him through Captain Calliaud on the 14th 
March that year, from which it appeared that he was entrusted, 


not only with the command of the forces, but with the collection Chapter IV. 
of the revenue and the settlement of all difficulties connected 
therewith. The only condition was that he was to report his 
proceedings from time to time to Captain Calliaud and to remit 
all moneys to him. His success as civil administrator from that 
time till 1 763 appears from Mr. Lushington's statements, which 
will be quoted hereafter. He is well remembered by the people 
by the name of Kansa, a local corruption of Khan Saheb. His 
time is commonly spoken of as " the days of Kansa." 

" Colonel Heron's force took Madura without opposition, and whilst The Raja of 
there they received an important deputation from the Poligar Marawar p^o^g 8 
(that is, from the Setupati, the Poligar or Raja of Ramnad) whose 
country adjoins the north-eastern portion of Tinnevelly. The Poligar 
apologized for his conduct during the war in siding with Chanda-saheb 
and the Mysoreans, desired to be pardoned for that offence, and 
intreated to be received into alliance with the English, under whose 
protection he promised to remain faithful to the Nawab. As a proof 
of the sincerity of his intentions, he offered to give the Company two 
settlements on the sea-coast of his country, opposite to Ceylon, which, 
as he justly observed, woidd greatly facilitate their future commu- 
nications with Tinnevelly, for they had at present no other way of 
approaching that city but by a tedious and difficult march of several 
hundred miles ; whereas reinforcements might come by sea from Madras 
or Fort St. David in four or five days to the settlements he intended to 
give, from which the march to Tinnevelly was no more than fifty miles. 
These offers Colonel Heron deemed so advantageous, that without 
consulting the Presidency, he entered into an alliance with the Poligar, 
and, as a mark of the English friendship, gave his deputies three Eng- 
lish flags, with permission to hoist them in their country, wheresoever 
they should think proper. After the business was concluded Colonel 
Heron took Kovilgudi, a fortified temple where the fugitive Governor 
of Madura had taken refuge, and from which the English soldiers Idols carried 
unthinkingly carried off with other plunder those little copper idols, ° ' 
which brought upon them so much trouble in the Nattam Pass on their 
way back. 

" The army arrived at the town of Tinnevelly about the middle of 
March. The renters, both of the capital and of the open country, 
acknowledged the Nawab without hesitation, but many of the neigh- 
bouring Poligars made pretences to evade the payment of the tribute 
due from them. The most considerable of these was Catabomonaig, 
whose country lies about fifty miles north-east from Tinnevelly, and 
it being imagined that the inferior Poligai\s woidd not hold out long 
after he should have submitted, a detachment of 200 Europeans and 
500 sepoys, with two field pieces, was sent to reduce him." 

This Catabomonaig (properly Kattaboma Nayaka) was the The Poligar 
Poligar of ' Panialam crutch ' (properly Panjalani kurichi) a fort ^; a ^ oma 
near the present taluk town of Ottapidarum. This was the first 
of many expeditions sent against this place, the last expedition, 



Fate of his 

Capture of 

Chapter IV. and tlie only one perfectly successful being in 1801. Each of the 
later Poligars was also called Kattaboma Nayaka, this name being 
the family title. The chieftain of Colonel Heron's time was Jaga- 
vlra Kattaboma Nayaka. He died in 1760. His successor, who 
died in 1791, was still more decidedly hostile to the English, and 
this hostility culminated in the next two, one of whom was hanged 
by Major Bannerman in 1 799 and the other by Colonel Agnew, 
together with the Sivagangai Poligar, in 1801. The expedition 
sent by Colonel Heron against Panjalam kurichi came to nothing, 
as his whole force was almost immediately recalled to Trichino- 

" Some days after the despatch of that expedition another detach- 
ment, consisting of 100 Europeans and 300 sepoys, with two field 
pieces, was sent to attack the fort of Nelli-kotah, situated forty miles 
to the south of Tinnevelly. These troops set out at midnight, and 
performed the march in eighteen hours : the Poligar, startled at the 
suddenness of their approach, sent out a deputy, who pretended he came 
to capitulate, and promised that his master would pay the money 
demanded of him in a few days ; but suspicions being entertained of 
his veracity, it was determined to detain him as a pledge for the 
execution of what he had promised, and he was delivered over to the 
charge of a guard. The troojis were so much fatigued by the exces- 
sive march they had just made, that even the advanced centinels 
coxdd not keep awake, and the deputy perceiving all the soldiers who 
were appointed to guard him fast asleep, made his escape out of the 
camp, and returned to the fort, from whence the Poligar had sent 
him only to gain time in order to make the necessary preparations for 
his defence. This being discovered early in the morning, it was deter- 
mined to storm the place, of which the defences were nothing more 
than a mud-wall with round towers. The troops had brought no 
scaling ladders, but the outside of the wall was sloping, and had 
many clefts worn in it by the rain, so that the assault, although 
hazardous, was nevertheless practicable. It was made both by the 
Europeans and sepoys with undaunted courage in several parties at 
the same time ; each of which gained the parapet without being once 
repulsed, when the garrison retired to the buildings of the fort, where 

the defenders they called out for quarter ; but the soldiers, as usual in desperate 
assaults, were so much exasperated by a sense of the danger to which 
they had exposed themselves, that they put all they met to the sword, 
not excepting the women and children, suffering only six persons out 
of four hundred to escape alive. Sorry we are to say, that the troops 
and officers who bore the greatest part in this shocking barbarity 
were the bravest of Englishmen, having most of them served under 
Colonel Lawrence on the plains of Trichinopoly : but those who 
contemplate human nature will find many reasons, supported by 
examples, to dissent from the common opinion, that cruelty is incom- 
patible with courage." 

For many years T was unable to find any trace of this Nelli- 

Massaore of 


cotah, which from another statement seems to have been near Chapter IV. 
Kalakadu, nor any tradition of its sanguinary capture. I began to 
be inclined, therefore, to hope that this story was not altogether true. 
At length I discovered the place —a ruined fort in a lonely situa- 
tion, about 36 miles to the south-west of Palamcotta and 6 to the 
east of Aramboly. The correct name was Nattakottai, not Nelli- 
kottai, but with this unimportant exception the traditions of the 
place agree with Orme's account. The owner of the fort seems to 
have been a person of some importance, as he is traditionally styled 
a Raja, and the site of his residence in the fort is still called " The 
Palace Mound." The survivors are said to have taken refuge in a 
place called Panjalingapuram in Travancore. 

" The revenues which had been collected during this expedition did 
not amount to the expenses of the army : part of the tributes were 
embezzled by Mahfuz Khan, and part was likewise diminished by the 
presents which Colonel Heron, with too much avidity, consented to 
receive from those who had accounts to settle with the Government. 
In tbe meantime Mahfuz Khan, in concert with Colonel Heron's inter- 
preter, contrived every means to make the state of the province appear 
less advantageous than it really was ; and then made an offer to take 
the farm of the Madura and Tinnevelly countries together at the Colonel 
yearly rent of 15,00,000 rupees : this proposal was seconded, as usual, Heron's 
by the offer of a considerable present, which Colonel Heron accepted, cjSE UraUe 
and gave him the investiture of the countries. 

" The detachment which had been sent against Kattaboma Nayaka 
had been as far to the north-east as Shillinaikenpettah, the principal 
fort of the Poligar (by which I supposed ' Yellanayakkanpatti 
must be meant). The Poligar on their appearance entered into a 
negotiation, paid some money in part of the tribute due from him, and 
gave hostages as security for the rest : some money was likewise 
received from several inferior Poligars, but the whole collection did 
not exceed 70,000 rupees. As soon as the troops received the orders 
to return, they summoned Kattaboma Nayaka to redeem his hostages ; 
but he, knowing that they would not venture to stay any longer in his Colonel 
country, made some trilling excuses, and without any concern suffered Heron's 

T 1* 1 1 1 f" 1 P H ^ 

them to carry the hostages away with them. On the 2nd of May Colonel delay. 
Heron quitted Tinnevelly, but, instead of proceeding directly to 
Trichinopoly, suffered himself to be persuaded by Mahfuz Khan to 
march against Nellitangaville, a fort situated about thirty miles to the 
west of Tinnevelly, belonging to a Poligar who had with much contu- 
macy refused to acknowledge the Nawab's authority. On the march 
he was joined by the detachment from the north-east." 

Thus far Orrne. By Nellitangaville, a name which occurs very 
frequently in the accounts of these times, we are to understand 
Nerkattansevval (Nel-kattam-sevval) the head-quarters of the 
" Pulitaver," that is, the Puli-devar, the hereditary title of the 
Poligar of Avudeiyarpuram, in what is now the Sankaranainar 
Kovil Taluk, a chief whose territories were of small extent, but 



The Puli 



Heron's fate 

Chapter IV. whose influence at that time throughout the whole of the western 
part of Tinnevelly, through the fame of his abilities, was immense. 

" It was the misfortune of Colonel Heron to place the utmost 
confidence in his interpreter, and to be constantly betrayed by him ; 
for before the army arrived in sight of the fort, this man had informed 
the Poligar that they had no battering cannon, and that they would 
not remain long before the place : the Poligar, therefore, secure in his 
fort, which was built of stone and very strong, answered the summons 
with insolence ; upon which the field pieces and two cohorns fired 
smartly upon the walls for several hours ; but this annoyance produc- 
ing no effect, another message was sent, offering that the army 
should retire, provided he would pa}' 20,000 rupees. The Poligar 
relying on the information which he had received from the interpreter, 
and encouraged by this relaxation in the terms which were at first 
proposed to him, answered with great contempt, that such a sum could 
not be raised in his whole countrv, and that he knew the value of 
money too well to pay a single rupee. By this time the army were 
much distressed for provisions of all kinds, and the sepoys ready to 
mutiny for want of pay ; both which Mahf uz Khan had promised, but 
had neglected to supply. It was therefore determined to march away 
to Madura, where they arrived, accompanied by Mahf uz Khan, on the 
22nd of May." 

As Colonel Heron now disappears from the history of Tinnevelly 
I must take this opportunity of adding that he was soon after 
recalled to Madras, tried by a court-martial, and dismissed the 

Renewed Conflicts. 

" It soon appeared that whatsoever submissions had been made in 
the provinces of Madura and Tinnevelly during the expedition of 
Colonel Heron had proceeded entirely from the dread of the English 
troops, whose intrepidity as well as the efficacy of their arms far 
exceeded the modes of any warfare which had ever been seen in these 
countries ; and they were no sooner depai ted than the Colleries swarmed 
abroad again into all the subjected districts that lay exposed to 
their depredations, whilst their chiefs confederated to prevent by more 
effectual means the establishment of Mahfuz Khan's authority. From 
this time, these countries became a field of no little conflict, and con- 
tinued so for several years, which renders it necessary to explain the 
various interests which produced the present confusions, fertile after- 
wards of more. 

" When Alum Khan, in the beginning of the year 1752, marched from 
Madura to the assistance of Chanda-saheb, then besieging Trichino- 
poly, he left the countries of Madura and Tinnevelly under the 
Three Pa tun management of three Patan officers, named Muhammad Bavki, 
Muhammad Mainach, and Nabi Cawn Catteck (Nabi Khan Kattak) ; 
the first of these was generally known by the appellation of Mianah, 
the second of Moodemiah (Mohi-ud-din Mian?), but Nabi Khan 
Kattak by his own proper name. They appear afterwards to have 



acknowledged the sovereignty of tlio Nawab, but it is certain that Chapter IV. 
notwithstanding that acknowledgment they continued to act only for 
themselves ; granting immunities, remitting tributes, and even selling 
forts and districts for presents of ready money. This venality, coin- 
ciding with the spirit of independence and encroachment common to all 
the Poligars, procured them not only wealth, but attachments. In 
this mode of licentious government, they continued agreeing amongst 
themselves in the division of the spoil, and ruling with much power, Their mis- 
until the expedition of Colonel Heron ; when Mianah, who commanded g° vernmen t- 
in the city of Madura, abandoned it, and took refuge with the neigh- 
bouring Poligars of Nattam ; Moodemiah and Nabi Khan Kattak 
retired from Tinnevelly to the Poligar of Nellitangaville, better known 
by the name of Piili Devar. All the three only waited for the depar- 
ture of the English troops to dispute the dominion with Mahfuz 
Khan when left to himself. Amongst other alienations, Moodemiah 
had sold to the King of Travancore a range of districts extending 
thirty miles from Kalakadu to Cape Comorin, and lying at the foot of 
the mountains which separate Travancore from Tinnevelly. The fort 
of Kalakadu with several others of less defence were sold with the 
districts. With the assistance of a Flemish officer, named De Lanoy, Travancore 
the King of Travancore had disciplined in the method of European army- 
infantry a body of 10,000 Nairs, the military tribe of Malabar Coast, 
and besides these Nairs maintained 20,000 other foot of various arms." 

The Travancore King to whom the Nawab's agent Moodemiah 
is said to have sold a portion of Tinnevelly near Kalakadu, in or 
about 1752, was Martanda Varma, who succeeded to the throne 
in 1729 and lived till 1758. 

" The districts which the king had purchased of Moodemiah were 
maintained by about 2,000 of his irregular foot, who, having no 
enemies to oppose, were sufficient for the common guards and military 
attendance, which in Hindustan always support the authority of the 
government in the collection of the revenues. But these troops on the Travancore 
arrival of the army with Colonel Heron at Tinnevelly were so terri- tr00 P 8 retire ' 
fied by the reports of their exploits, and especially by the sanguinary 
example in their neighbourhood, at the sacking of Nellicotah, that 
they abandoned, not only their districts, but the fort of Kalakadu like- 
wise, which were soon after taken possession of by a detachment of 
300 horse and 500 foot sent by Mahfuz Khan from Tinnevelly. As 
soon as the English troops retired from before Nellitangaville, and 
it was known that they were recalled to Trichinopoly, Moodemiah 
went to Travancore in order to encourage the king to recover the 
districts which his troops had abandoned ; at the same time the Piili 
Devar, besides letting loose his Colleries to plunder, formed a camp 
ready to move and join the Travancores as soon as they should arrive. 
Mahfuz Khan received intelligence of these schemes and preparations 
on his return from Nattam and Madura, and immediately proceeded 
to Tinnevelly. 

"Besides the 1,000 sepoys belonging to the Company which were 
left with him by Colonel Heron, he received 600 more raised and sent 




Chapter IV 

Khan's policy 

Defeat of 
Khan's troops 




to him by the Nawab ; but these were in no respect equal to the 
Company's, who had been trained in the campaigns of Trichinopoly ; 
and Mahfuz Khan himself, having no military ideas, excepting that of 
levying troops, had augmented the force he brought with him from the 
Carnatic to 2,500 horse and 4,000 foot. Five hundred of the horse 
and a 1,000 of the foot were left to defend the city of Madura and its 
districts ; but the Company's sepoys proceeded with him to Tinnevelly. 
Before he arrived there, Moodemiah had returned with 2,000 Nairs, 
and the same number of other foot, which the King of Travancore had 
entrusted to his command. They were joined by the forces of the 
Puli Devar near Kalakadu ; where the troops stationed by Mahfuz 
Khan in these parts assembled, gave battle, and were routed. Three 
hundred of the Nawab's sepoys were in the action, who, to lighten 
their flight, threw away their muskets, which were collected by the 
Puli Devar's people, and regarded by them as a very valuable prize. 
Immediately after this success, the enemy invested the fugitives in the 
fort of Kalakadu ; but before they could reduce it, the troops of 
Travancore returned home, pretending they were recalled by the 
emergency of some disturbances in their own country ; however, it is 
more probable, that they retreated from the dread of encountering the 
army, and more especially the cavalry of Mahfuz Khan, which were 
approaching. Moodemiah went with them, and the Puli Devar retired 
to his fort and woods, against which Mahfuz Khan proceeded, and 
encamped near the fort, which he could not take ; but in this situation 
repressed the incursion of the Puli Devar's Colleries into the districts 
of Tinnevelly, and content with this advantage, gave out with osten- 
tation that he had settled the country. These vaunts were soon con- 
tradicted. In the month of September, Moodemiah returned from 
Travancore, with a large body of troops, and again defeated those of 
Kalakadu, who in this battle suffered more than in the former ; for 
200 of their horse and 500 sepoys were made prisoners ; and, what 
aggravated the loss, it was the time of harvest, when the rents are 
collected, of which the Travancores took possession, and maintained 
their ground. Mahfuz Khan, nevertheless, continued before the 
Puli Devar's place ; whose troops in the month of November cut off a 
detachment of two companies of sepoys which had been sent to escort 
provisions. They were of those belonging to the Company, and the 
cunimanders of both were killed. 

" Mahfuz Khan, after loitering before the Pali Devar's place until 
the middle of November, returned to Tinnevelly, in order to borrow 
money for the payment of his troops, which could only be obtained by 
giving assignments of the land to the lenders. Meanwhile the Puli 
1 >ovar with Moodomiah and Nabi Khan Kattak, encouraged by their 
late successes extended their views. The Puli Devar, more from the 
Bubtilty and activity of his character, than the extent of his territory 
and force, had acquired the ascendance in the councils of all the 
western Poligars of Tinnevelly. Of these, the most powerful was the 
Poligar of Vadagherri (Vadagarai). The Vadagarai Pollam was identi- 
oal with that of Chokkampatti, whose districts adjoin on the west to 
th.' 1'fdi Devar's, and exceeded them in extent and inhabitants. He 


nevertheless conformed to whatsoever the Pali Devar suggested, and Chapter IV. 
sent his men on every call. The Poligars to the eastward of Tinne- 
velly were under the direction of Kattaboma Nayaka. The Piili DSvar 
proposed a union between the two divisions ; but Kattaboma Nayaka, 
as well as his dependent of Ettaiyapuram, having given hostages to Eastern 
Colonel Heron, who were in prison at Trichinopoly, feared for their Poligars. 
safety, and refused. The Poligars of Madura, whose districts lie along 
the foot of the mountains to the west, were solicited with more success, 
and promised their assistance. Mianah, the fugitive colleague of 
Moodemiah. and Nabi Khan Kattack, at the same time spirited up the 
Poligars of Nattam to join the league, of which the immediate object 
was nothing less than to get possession of the city of Madura. Such an 
extensive confederacy coidd scarcely be kept a secret. The Presidency 
of Madras received intelligence of it from Captain Calliaud, who 
commanded in Trichinopoly, and the Nawab from the Governor of 
Madura. They were, and with reason, greatly alarmed ; for Madura, Fears for 
by its situation, extent, and defences, is the bulwark both of its own Midura. 
and the territory of Tinnevelly, over neither of which Trichinopoly 
could maintain any authority, if Madura were wrested from its depen- 
dence. The Presidency, although from the first convinced of Mahfuz 
Khan's incapacity, had hitherto, from deference to the Nawab, treated 
him with indulgence and respect : but seeing now the whole brought 
into risk by the successes and designs of the Poligars, they determined 
to take the administration of these countries into their own hands. 

"A native of Tinnevelly, named Moodilee (Mudali) came about this A Mudali's 
time to Madras, and made proposals to take the whole country at proposals. 
farm ; but it required time to gain the knowledge necessary to adjust 
the terms." [Mudali is not a personal name, but a caste title. The 
person referred to was one of the Dalavay Mudalis, a family by which 
this office was held for a long series of years. His own name was 
probably Tittarappa (properly Tirttarappa) Mudali. Dalavay is a 
hereditary name in the family]. "Meanwhile it was immediately Madura to be 
necessary to provide for the defence of the country ; but as no part of defended, 
the European force could be spared from the services of the Carnatic, 
it was resolved to send a 1,000 sepoys, which were to be joined by 
those left with Mahfuz Khan, as well as those belonging to the 
Nawab, and to put the whole of this body under the command of 
Muhammad Yusuf Khan. Yusuf Khan proceeded to Trichinopoly 
soon after the English army returned from Vellore ; and Captain 
Calliaud was instructed to send him forward with the appointed force 
and equipments. 

" Meanwhile the Puli DSvar, Nabi Khan Kattak, and Moodemiah 
with their allies had proceeded to action, and in the middle of February 
entered the districts of Nadamundulum (Nadumandalam)* which 
occupy a considerable extent, about midway between the city of 
Madura and the Pfdi DPvar's place. The fort which commands these 
districts is called Chevelpetore (Srivilliputtur), and is situated at the Srivilliputtur. 

• Xadumandalam, the middle circuit, denoted what is now the Taluk of Srivilli- 



The cavalry 

Chapter IV. foot of the western mountains, about 45 miles south-west of Madura. 
The troops stationed for the defence of the fort and districts were 
under the command of Abdul Pahim, a half-brother to the Nawab and 
to Mahfuz Khan, the same with whom Lieutenant Innis marched into 
those countries in the year 1751, and of Abdul-mally, another relation 
to the family. The foot, excepting 200 sepoys, were the usual rabble 
allotted to the guard of villages ; but there were 500 horse, esteemed 
the best in Mahfuz Khan's service, who, proud of their prowess, and 
their quality of Muhammadans, held the enemy, as Indians and of no 
military reputation, in utter contempt, and encouraged their own 
commanders to risk a battle ; in which tbey were surrounded, but with 
sufficient gallantry and considerable loss cut their way through, and 
retired to Srlvilliputtiir. Here Abdul Rahim and Abdul-mally 
intended to maintain themselves until succours should arrive, either 
from Madura or Tinnevelly ; but the men of the cavalry, dissatisfied 
for want of pay, and fearful of losing their horses through want of 
provisions during the siege, marched away, and many of them joined 
the enemy : the fort was immediately invested and soon after reduced, 
but the two commanders escaped again. 

" This success encouraged the Madura Poligars, who had hitherto 
only looked on to join according to their promise ; and the whole 
camp now consisted of 25,000 men, of which 1,000 were cavalry. 
Their chiefs, animated by this superiority of numbers, determined to 
give battle to Mahfuz Khan at Tinnevelly, before they attacked the 
city of Madura. By this time Mahfuz Khan had prevailed on 
Kattaboma Nayaka, by the cession of some districts and the promise 
of other advantages to join him with the forces of the eastern Poligars, 
and had likewise levied all the horse and foot of whatsoever kind 
which could be procured; but his principal strength was the 1,500 
horse he had before, and the body of 1,000 sepoys belonging to the 
Companj'- under the command of Jemaul Saheb, whose losses had been 
recruited with effective men. The battle was fought on the 21st of 
March, within seven miles of Tinnevelly, and was maintained with 
more obstinacy than usual in the fights of this country, until Moode- 

Khan's vie 
tory near 

miah fell ; he was cut down charging bravely with his cavalry. The 
rout then became general; 2,000 Colleries were slain, and 300 horse, 
with all the cannon and elephants, were taken. This victory saved 
Madura, for it entirely broke the army of the confederates, all of 
whom, and the Pfili Devar with as much terror as any, hurried from 
the field to the shelter of their respective homes." 

Muhammad Yusuf Khan's Administration. 

Yusuf Khan's " The news of the victory was brought to Trichinopoly on the 24th 
approach. Q £ ]yj arc j 1) D y w hieh time Muhammad Yusuf was ready to proceed. 
His detachment consisted of 1,200 sepoys, 100 Caffries, 150 Colleries, 
and 4 field pieces, with an 1 8 pounder managed by Europeans. For 
some time before the departure of the detachment, Kattaboma Nayaka 
and the Poligar of Ettaiyapuram had been treating with Captain 
Culliaud for the redemption of their hostages, and it was agreed that 


the money should be paid on their being delivered to Tondiinan. Chapter IV. 
Muhammad Yusuf, therefore, took the hostages with him, and directed 
his march to Puducottah, the principal town belonging to Tondiman, 
to whose care they were surrendered. On the 6th May 1756 he 
arrived at Madura, from whence having employed some days in refit- 
ting his carriages and stores, he proceeded to the fort of SiivilliputtOr, 
which, notwithstanding their late defeat, remained in the hands of the 
enemy ; but they abandoned it on his appearance. Leaving a suffi- 
cient garrison to defend it in future, he proceeded across the Nada- 
munduluni (Nadumandalam) country to Cayetar (Kaittar) a town 
about 25 miles (18 miles) north of Tinnevelly, where Mahfuz Khan 
was waiting for him with his victorious but inactive army. 

During this progress Muhammad Yusuf had not been able to Yusuf's waut 
collect any money from the revenues for the maintenance of his troops, °* mune y- 
because the ravages of the Poligars had ruined most of the villages 
and cultivated lands of the country through which he passed ; and the 
real detriment of these devastations was increased by the pretences 
they fui'nished the landholders to falsify their accounts, and plead 
exemptions for more than they had lost. He found Mahfuz Khan in 
greater distress than himself, unable either to fulfil the stipulations at 
which he had rented the country from Colonel Heron, or to supply the 
pay of the Company's sepoys left with him under the command of 
Jemaul Saheb, or even to furnish enough, exclusive of long arrears, 
for the daily subsistence of his own troops. This distress naturally 
deprived him of the necessary authority over the Jamadars, or officers 
of his cavalry, who in Hindustan, as the ancient mercenary Captains 
of Italy, hire out their bands and gain not a little by the bargain. 
Every kind of disorder likewise prevailed in all the other departments Mahfuz 
of his administration, at the same time that the indolence and irreso- Khan's mis- 
lution of his own character confirmed all the evils which had been 
introduced into his government. 

From Kaittar, Mahfuz Khan and Muhammad Yusuf moved with the Kattaboma 
whole army to the woods of Ettaiyapuram, which lies about 30 miles Na y ak; * 
to the east of Kaittar. Kattaboma Nayaka and the Poligar of Ettaiya- nates. 
puram were in the camp. The former had by his agents redeemed 
his hostages at Puducottah, but the other still dela}ed ; and this 
motion was made to excite his fears, although no threats were used. 
He nevertheless still procrastinated, and his alliance was at this time 
deemed too valuable to compel him by the exercise of hostilities. 
From Ettaiyapuram they crossed the country to Coilorepettah (Kollar- 
patti, commonly called Kollapatti) a strong fort situated near the great 
road. It belonged to a Poligar named Condam-Naigue (Kandama 
Nayaka) who on the first summons promised without hesitation to 
pay the tribute demanded of him ; but continued day after day to send 
pretences and excuses instead of the money. At length Muhammad 
Yusuf, finding himself trifled with, battered and then stormed the fort. Capture of 
It was well defended. The serjeant of the Coffres, and eight of that Kollai 'P a Wi» 
company wore killed, and 65 were wounded : the Colleries suffered 



Chapter IV. still more, and all who were not killed were made prisoners, amongst 
whom the Poligar himself. From Kollarpatti, the whole army pro- 
ceeded to Srivilliputtur, and encamped under this fort on the 10th of 
June, where most of the neighbouring Poligars, terrified by the 
example of Kollarpatti, made their submissions either in person or by 
their agents. Even the Ptili Devar with his usual duplicity sent one 
with proposals of reconciliation, and the Poligar of Elayirampannai, 
whose place lies between Kollarpatti and Srivilliputtur, redeemed his 
hostages. But the Poligar of Calancandan (Kollamkondan, now 
included in the Settur Zemindary), which lies 13 miles north-east of 
Srivilliputtur, paying no regard to the usual summons, Muhammad 
Yusuf marched and attacked his fort, which was abandoned after a 
slight resistance." 

The Poligars. 

It is desirable, before going further, to take this opportunity of 
explaining a little more particularly the position occupied by the 
Poligars and why they proved themselves on all occasions so trouble- 
some. See also the account of the first introduction of this class 
into Tinnevelly in Chapter III. 

A palaiyam or pollam, as the English wrote it, was not merely 
a jaghire or zemindary. It was a district conferred by the sover- 
eign on a chief, the holder of which, the Palaiyakaran or Poligar, 
was bound, not only to pay his lord annually peishcush or tribute, 
but also to help his lord in his wars. Palaiyam literally means 
Origin of the a camp, Palaiyakaran (as has been shown in p. 58) means the chief 
of a camp. It may, therefore, be concluded that originally the 
Poligar was the leader of a body of armed men, who placed his 
services at the disposal of his sovereign, and who held the district 
he received in return for his services by a military tenure. He 
was always to consider his territory, not as a nadu, a country, but 
as a palaiyam, an encampment. Hence, though the sovereign may 
have exercised civil and criminal rights in the portion of country 
that remained in his own direct possession, he does not seem to 
Relation of have attempted to exercise, or even to have claimed, the right of 
the Poligar to exercising- any civil or criminal jurisdiction whatever within the 
limits of his Poligars' domains. If his tribute were paid and his 
feudatory sent him assistance in his wars his demands were satisfied. 
A very considerable portion of Southern India, south of Trichi- 
nopoly, had passed into the hands of Poligars. In Madura and 
Dindigul hardly any thing remained in the sovereign's possession ; 
and in Tinnevelly the greater part of the country north of the 
Tamraparni river was in the possession of Poligars. 

When the English first made their acquaintance with Tinnevelly 
they found the whole country, whether in the hands of the Poligars 
or nominally in the hands of the central government, in a state of 



anarchy and misery, of which it is scarcely possible in these times Chapter iv. 
to form any conception. This lamentable condition of things was 
partly owing to the feebleness and corruption of the Nawab's Gov- 
ernment, and partly to the chronic lawlessness and incessant wars 
and rebellions of the Poligars. At the time referred to, when the 
Nawab at last determined to call in the help of the English, there 
were thirty-two of these hereditary chieftains in Tinnevelly, each 
of whom had entrenched himself in a fort and surrounded himself Anarchy of 

with a large body of armed retainers. The constant endeavour l } ie Poligar 

of each was to encroach on the domains of his neighbours, and 

especially to swallow up any villages, revenues, or rights that still 

remained in the possession of the central government. 

The armed retainers of the Poligars are generally called " Colle- 
ries" by Orme and the writers of that period. This word had its 
origin in Trichinopoly and Tan j ore, the tribe or caste of free- 
booters living in that neighbourhood, with whom the English Who were the 
frequently came into contact, being called Kallars, which literally " Collenes • " 
means " thieves." The English rendering of this word was some- 
times " Colaries," more frequently " Colleries," sometimes " Collie- 
ries ;" and wherever a similar class of people were found they 
were visually called by the English by the same name, though in 
Tinnevelly the armed retainers of the Poligars, who manned their 
forts and went on their marauding expeditions, did not belong to the 
Kallar caste properly so called, but were generally either Maravas 
or Nayakas. Where the Poligar was a Nayaka, as the Poligar of 
Panjalamkurichi, his retainers were doubtless mostly Nayakas ; 
where he was a Marava, like Puli Deva (Deva is the caste title of the 
Maravas) his retainers were chiefly Maravas. The English do not 
seem to have recognized any distinction between these various 
castes or classes of " Colleries," but they were deeply impressed 
with the manliness and audacity of all they encountered. Orme 
describers the " Colleries " of the western districts of Tinnevelly 
near the mountains thus — 

" The Colleries of this side of the Tinnevelly country possess 

nothing of the ugliness or deformity which generally characterize the 

inhabitants of the hills and wilds of India. They are tall, well-made, 

and well-featured. Their arms are lances and pikes, bows and arrows, 

rockets and matchlocks, but whether with or without other weapons, 

every man constantly wears a sword and shield. In battle the Description 

different arms move in distinct bodies : but the lancemen are rated the ~ a . r,r ! ed 

. . Collen 

most eminent, and lead all attacks. This weapon is eighteen feet long. 
They tie under the point a tuft of scarlet horse-hair, and when they 
attack horse, add a small bell. Without previous exercise, they 
assemble in a deep column, pressing close together, and advance at 
a long, steady step, in some degree of time, their lances inclining 
forward, but aloft, of which the elasticity and vibration, with the 




Chapter IV 


kinds of 


• jingle and dazzle scare tke cavalry ; and their approach, is scarcely less 
foi-midable to infantry not disciplined with fire-arms." 

The lance referred to is called in Tamil a " Vallaiyam." The 
name survives, but it is Scarcely possible to see a specimen of this 
formidable weapon now. 


The claim of kaval was a favourite device employed by the 
Poligars for the purpose of extending their power. Every village 
from time immemorial had its Kaval-karas (written by the English 
Cauwalgars) or watchmen, who were remunerated for their services 
by a small fee. The right of exercising this function and of 
levying a still heavier fee was in time claimed by the Poligars and 
their dependents, and this claim had been so generally submitted 
to that Mr. Lushington found in 1799 that out of 2,113 villages 
in Tinnevelly the kaval of 1,635^ was in the hands of the Poligars. 
Another step in advance was taken when the Poligars, wherever 
they found they could not appoint their own dependents to the 
kaval of a village, rigorously levied an annual contribution on the 
Kaval-karas appointed by others. But a still more formidable engine 
of oppression was the d/sai-kdval, or district watch, erroneously 
called desa-kdval by the Europeans which the Poligars managed 
in time to add on to the village kaval. This may originally have 
only been a fee for the exercise of a wider guardianship, especially 
over roads and wastes, than the village watchmen were able to 
undertake. Probably also the amount claimed was originally 
insignificant and was paid willingly. Mr. Lushington said in 
1799, it was originally only one-tenth of the amount which was 
claimed in his time, but it had been arbitrarily increased, especially 
between 1740 and 1760, when the province of Tinnevelly was 
convulsed by the struggle of contending interests. This contribu- 
tion was levied by the Poligars from the defenceless villagers as 
the price of their forbearing to plunder them, and was confirmed 
by the strength of the Poligars and the inability of the Nawab's 
Government to enforce a due authority over them. Mr. Lushington 
adds, that " when this contribution is not quietly submitted to, 
torture and the whip are applied, the whole peorde of the village 
put into confinement, every occupation interdicted, the cattle 
pounded, the inhabitants taken captive to, and not unfrequently 
murdered in, the pollams (the Poligar's own domains), and in short 
every outrage of violence and cruelty is committed until their 
purposes are obtained. 

" The influence of the Poligars is also used in calling upon the 
inhabitants for additional assessments on various pretences, such as 
hunting batta, marriage oxpenses, presents for vakeels, &c, undefined 
and unlimited ; and such is the- dread which they have inspired into 


tho cultivators of the circar lands by remaining armed in the midst Chapter IV. 
of a country otherwise in profound peace, that these requisitions are 
never resisted." 

I add here from the " Tinnevelly Mantlal " Mr. Stuart's account 
of the Poligars aud their system of kaval : — 

" The Maravar or Yannian caste peculiar to Southern India has a 
history of its own of considerable interest. To this class belonged 
most of the Poligars or feudal chieftains who disputed with the Eng- 
lish the possession of Tinnevelly during the latter half of the last and 
the first years of the present century ; as feudal chiefs and at the same 
time heads of a numerous caste or class of the population, and one 
whose characteristics were eminently adapted for the role of followers 
of a turbulent chieftain, bold, active, enterprising, cunning, and 
capricious, this class constituted themselves, or were constituted by the 
peaceful cultivators, their protectors in times of bloodshed and rapine 
when no central authority capable of keeping the peace existed. 

"Hence arose the systems of desha (disai) and stalam kaval, or the Explanation 
guard of a tract of country comprising a number of villages against of kaval P a >'" 
open marauders in armed bands, and the guard of separate villages, 
their houses and crops, against secret theft. The feudal chief received 
a contribution from the area around his fort in consideration of protec- 
tion afforded against armed invasion. His servants of the same caste, 
spreading themselves among the villages, received fees and sometimes 
rent-free land for undertaking to protect the property of the villagers 
against theft, or to restore an equivalent in value for anything so lost. 
Claims to desha kaval fees as well as to village kaval fees are of com- 
mon occurrence to the present day." 

It wall be interesting now to quote and compare Mr. Stuart's 
account of the Zemindars of the present time : — 

" The condition of the tenants under the different zemindars, or the 
mittahs into which some ancient zemindaris have been divided by sale 
owing to improvidence and misfortune, is by no means so satisfactory 
as that of the ryots in Government taluks. The assessments are 
heavier everywhere, and, as a rule, the system of dividing the crop 
prevails for the wet lands, a system much less advantageous to the 
cultivators than that of fixed money-rents universal in Government 
taluks, as these are sufficiently moderate to leave the ryots ample 
encouragement to improve their lands. 

" In the main, however, the tenants of the zemindaris are fairly off, Relation of 
and, especially in the cotton lands, many of them are substantial Zemindars to 
farmers well out of reach of poverty. The exchange of puttas and 
muchilkas has been strictly enforced by the Courts of late years, and 
has introduced much stability and independence as well as a good deal 
of frivolous and vexatious litigation between landlord and tenant. 
Money-rents are universally assessed upon dry lands, but numerous 
vexatious cesses are still a fruitful source of dispute between the 
zemindars and their ryots. 

" Of the whole district 27 per cent, is zemindari. There are twenty Number of 
zemindaris proper and thirty-six mittahs, most of them portions of Zemindanes. 



'huth; [V. zemindaris broken up by the improvidence and misfortunes of ancient 
zemindars, sold for debts and purchased by rich Vellalars, Natukottai 
Chetties, and other moneyed native gentlemen. 

" The twenty zemindaris vary in size from 863 acres, with a peish- 
cush of 25 rupees, to 337,581 acres, assessed at a peishcush of 88,376 

"The thirty-six mittahs, in like manner, vary from 234 acres, as- 
sessed at 213 rupees, to 18,716 acres, paying Rupees 6,423 to Govern- 

" The principal Zemindar of Ettiapuram is by caste a Tottian. His 
ancestors supported the British Government in the wars with the 
Poligars, and received in recompense, besides other gifts, a large 
share of the confiscated lands of the principal Poligar rebel chief of 
ranjalamkurichi. This zemindari is situated to the north-east of the 
district, and consists chiefly of black cotton plains sufficiently fertile 
and populous, yielding a revenue to the zemindar of about three 
lakhs of rupees. 

"The Zemindaris of Sevagiri and Seturcome next, and are situated 
at the foot of the Western Ghauts in the north-west portion of Tinne- 
velly. They contain a considerable area of well-irrigated land supplied 
by streams from the mountains, but the dry lands are of the red and 
sandy series, and, except under wells, are of little value. 

"These zemindars, as well those of Uttumalai, Singampatti, and 
Arkad (the two latter under the Court of Wards) are all of the old 
Poligar Maravar families. Their estates are carefully managed and 
their ryots in the main contented. Some of the finest of the ghaut 
forests of Tinnevelly are claimed as the property of the Zemindaris of 
Sevagiri, Setur, and Singampatti, but these mountain boundaries are 
mostly in dispute with the Government. 

" The ancient Zemindari of Chokampatti, having a peishcush of 
Pupees 25,550, came under the hammer in 1868, and fell in eighteen 
lots to various persons who are now known as Mittahdars." 

Mr. Stuart then gives a list in detail of the various zemindaris 
and mittahs in Tinnevelly, with their area, population, and 

Colonel Fuli.arton's Description of Tinnevelly. 

I cannot do better than give here the description of the condi- 
tion of Tinnevelly written in 17b3, at the time when misrule was 
at its height, by Colonel Fullarton. This account derives addi- 
tional interest from the fact that it is the first description of 
Tinnevelly, as far as I am aware, which ever saw the light. By 
inserting this account here, I may seem somewhat to anticipate 
events, but I think it will be found that the narrative, especially in 
connexion with the affairs of the Poligars, will henceforth be more 

" The last, but not the Least, considerable of your southern territories 
is Tinnevelly. It is a hundred and fifteen miles in length and seventy 


miles in breadth. A ridge of inaccessible mountains divides it on the Cuaptbk IV 
north from the wild valleys of Watrap and Outumpollam, belonging to 
Tipoo Sultan. It stretches to the confines of Madura and Ramnad 
on the north-east and east, reaches to the sea upon the south, and 
borders on the west with the RajShship of Travancore, both terminat- 
ing near Cape Comorin. Nature has been bountiful- to this province. Produc- 
[ts surf ace is generally flat, from the sea-coast, till it approaches the Jay 61 " 288 ° * 
mountains on its northern boundary. The rivers by which it is inter- 
sected ensure luxuriant crops of rice, and the driest parts yield cotton in 
abundance. The productions of the neighbouring Island of Ceylon 
would flourish here, and thus render us the rivals of the Dutch in the 
cinnamon trade ; but the peculiar tenure under which the country has 
been held, the convulsions it has endured from the first intrusions of 
the Musselmen in the course of this century, and the depravity of its 
rulers, have counteracted the benefits of nature. Even when a native Bad govern- 
rajsh governed Tinnevelly, the flat and open country only was j? bn * Iiei ! ,n '" 
reduced. This was let for specific sums to great renters, who were ta.o-es. 
invested with despotic powers, and harassed tlie peaceful subjects ; 
while various leaders, who possessed considerable territory, maintained 
armed forces, and withheld their stipulated tribute on the first appear- 
ance of disturbance. These chiefs, as well as their subjects, are called 
Poligars ; they amount, at present, to thirty-two, capable of bringing 
thirty thousand brave, though undisciplined, troops into the field. They 
have also fortified towns and strongholds in the mountains, whither 
they retire in cases of emergency. Besides the territory that these 
Poligars possess under the range of hills that form the northern 
boundary of Tinnevelly, many of them hold ample tracts in the flat 
and cultivated country. Adverse to industry, they suffer their own Plundering 
possessions to remain waste, while they invade each other, and plunder p ?. ' 
their industrious neighbours. Such is the dread of these ravagers, 
that every district in the province has been forced to purchase their 
forbearance by enormous contributions. In this situation } r ou have 
rather to wonder that your Superintendent, Mr. Irwin, should 
have been enabled to procure so large an increase of revenue, than 
that its produce should, in no recorded period, have borne any 
proportion to its natural advantages." 

It would be unfair, however, even to the Poligar if I allowed his The 

rival in oppression, the " renter, " to pass unnoticed, and here I must " Rente . t s 
1 x . » x ' oppression* 

avail myself again of Colonel Fullarton's graphic and vigorous 
description. The Poligar survives to our time, though only in his 
peaceful descendant, the Zemindar, but the " renter," who in 
Colonel Fullarton's time, as all through the period of the Nawab's 
government, was such a formidable reality, has left behind him no 
representative, and has passed entirely into oblivion. 

" It was not possible for the English Government entirely to repress 
the misconduct of inferior instruments* who are eager to perpetuate' 

* " The. black agents who manage the whole detail of collection in the different 
districts." — Colonel Fullarton's Note. 


history of tinneyelly, 

Chapter IV. 

The farmer's 

of the ryot. 

nary powers 
of the renter 

oppression and to enforce unusual measures by unprecedented means. 
The situation of the country rendered it necessary to continue the 
practice of renting extensive districts to the highest bidder ; although 
every precaution was adopted to prevent the abuse of power, still the 
collections could not be enforced unless an unrestrained authority were 
vested in the renter. His object, too, frequently is, to ransack and 
embezzle, that he may go off at last enriched with the spoils of his 
province. The fact is, that in every part of India where the renters 
are established, not only the ryot and the husbandman, but the manu- 
facturer, the artificer, and every other Indian inhabitant, is wholly at 
the mercy of those ministers of public exaction. 

" The established practice throughout this part of the peninsula has 
for ages been to allow the farmer one-half of the produce of his crop 
for the maintenance of his family, and the recurvation of the land ; 
while the other is appropriated to the Circar. In the richest soils, 
under the cowle of Hyder, producing three annual crops, it is hardly 
known that less than forty per cent, of the crop produced has been 
allotted to the husbandman. Yet renters on the coast have not 
scrupled to imprison reputable farmers, and to inflict on them extreme 
severities of punishment, for refusing to accept of sixteen in the 
hundred, as the proportion out of which they were to maintain a 
family, to furnish stock and implements of husbandry, cattle, seed, 
and all expenses incident to the cultivation of their lands. But should 
the unfortunate ryot be forced to submit to such conditions, he has still 
a long list of cruel impositions to endure. He must labour week after 
week at the repair of water-courses, tanks, and embankments of rivers. 
His cattle, sheep, and every other portion of his property is at the 
disposal of the renter, and his life might pay the forfeit of refusal. 
Should he presume to reap his harvest when ripe, without a mandate 
from the renter, whose peons, conicopolies, and retainers attend on the 
occasion, nothing short of bodily torture and a confiscation of the little 
that is left him could expiate the offence. Would he sell any part 
of his scanty portion, he cannot be permitted while the Circar has any 
to dispose of ; would he convey anything to a distant market, he is 
stopped at every village by the collectors of Sunkum or Gabella 
(transit duties), who exact a duty for eveiy article exported, imported, 
or disposed of. So unsupportable is this evil, that between Negapa- 
tam and Palghautchorry, not more than three hundred miles, there are 
about thirty places of collection, or, in other words, a tax is levied 
every ten miles upon the produce of the country ; thus manu- 
facture and commerce are exposed to disasters hardly less severe than 
those which have occasioned the decline of cultivation. 

" But these form only a small proportion of the powers with which the 
renter is invested. Ho may sink or raise the exchange of specie at his 
own discretion ; he may prevent the sale of grain, or sell it at the 
most exorbitant rates ; thus, at any time he may, and frequently does, 
occasion general famine. Besides maintaining a useless rabble, whom 
he employs under the appellation of peons, at the public expense, he 
may require any military force he finds necessary for the business of 


oppression, and few inferior oflieers woidd have weight enough to Chapter IV. 
justify their refusal of such aid. Should any one, however, dispute 
those powers, should the military officers refuse to prostitute military 
service to the distress of wretched individuals, or should the Civil 
Superintendent [the ' Superintendent of Assigned Revenues,' the 
Collector of that time] remonstrate against s\ich abuse, nothing could 
be more pleasing to the renter ; he derives, from thence, innumerable 
arguments for non-performance of engagements, and for a long list of 
defalcations. But there are still some other not less extraordinary 
constituents in the complex endowments of a renter. He unites, in his 
own person, all the branches of judicial or civil authority, and if he 
happens to be a Brahmin, he may also be termed the representative of 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction. I will not enlarge on the consequences of 
thus huddling into the person of one wretched mercenary of those 
powers that ought to constitute the dignity and lustre of supreme 
executive authority." 




Further Operations of Muhammad Yusuf Khan. 
Chapteh y. "We must now return to Orme and to 1756. 

"Yusuf Khan with Mahfuz Khan, and their respective troops, 
remained at Srivilliputtur during the months of June and July till all 
the adjoining Poligars had either made their submissions or seemed 
willing to be quiet. He then requested Mahfuz Khan to march out 
of the country, and proceed with his troops to Areot, according to the 
injunctions of his brother the Nawab, who would be ready to settle 
accounts with him, and pay what arrears might be due to his soldiery. 
He then allotted six companies to garrison Srivilliputtur, and guard 
the adjacent country; and with the rest, about 2,000, in which were 
included those levied by the Nawab, and sent to Mahfuz Khan, he 
proceeded from Srivilliputtur on the 1st of August, and on the 10th 
arrived at the town of Tinnevelly. 

" By this time the Presidency of Madras had made arrangements for 
the management of these countries, and concluded an agreement with 
Mudali, the native of Tinnevelly, who came to Madras on this purpose 
Financial in the month of April. The district of Madura proper was then con- 
% .j !', sidered exceedingly unproductive. It had shrunk into very small 

dimensions through the encroachments of the territories of the Poligars, 
and what remained hardly repaid the cultivation. From these detri- 
ments and defects, the annual revenue of the whole territory seldom 
exceeds 1,20,000 rupees ; at the same time that the maintenance of the 
city, its garrison, and other military posts in the country raise the 
expenses to triple this sum. On the other hand, the country now 
rated under Tinnevelly is of much greater extent and fertility, com- 
monly yielding a revenue from 11 to 12,00,000 rupees a year; but 
should Madura and its districts be in the hands of an enemy, the 
country of Tinnevelly would bo constantly exposed to the most ruinous 
attacks, and could receive no support from Trichinopoly ; which renders 
it necessary to maintain the one at a certain loss, as the only means 
of securing the advantages which may be derived from the other. 
The family of Mudali, having for 100 years been employed in farming 
districts in both countries, had in this long course of time rented 
every part, and knew the properties of each. He accordingly refused 


to undertake the districts of Madura, but offered to rent the country of Chapter V. 
Tinnevelly for three years, at the annual rent of 11,00,000 rupees, 
clear of all expenses, to be paid at three periods in each year ; for 
which purpose he was to be invested with the usual authorities of Financial 
jurisdiction, civil and criminal. He obliged himself to maintain not Tinnevellv 
less than 1,000 of the Company's sepoys, under the command of such 
officers as the Presidency should appoint ; and engaged to produce, 
within three months from the contract, the security of substantial shroffs, 
or money-changers, for the regular payment of the stipulated sums. 
The agreement was concluded in the beginning of July ; immediately Agreement 
on which Mudali appointed agents, and sent orders to place flags with ^Y , , ie 
the Company's colours, in the cultivated lands ; and soon after pro- 
ceeded himself to administer his office in person. Muhammad Yusuf, 
on his arrival at Tinnevelly, found that the agents of Mudali had, in the 
beginning of their occupations, been over-ruled and insulted by Meir 
Jaffier, who had hitherto managed the country for Mahfuz Khan. 
The dispute indeed had ceased, but the grudge still remained : and to 
prevent any farther effects, Muhammad Yusuf ordered Meir Jaffier Meir Jaffier's 
to depart immediately to Madura, but permitted him to take three behaviour. 
field pieces which belonged to him, and whatsoever retinue he chose ; 
he at the same time detached five companies of sepoys to reinforce the 
garrison of Madura and ordered them to protect and watch Meir 
Jaffier and his people on the road. In the meantime a sort of revolu- 
tion took place in the fort of Madura in the interest of Mahfuz Khan, 
who thought himself injured by the appointment of another renter. 
On the 13th September the renter Mudali arrived in the camp with 
two companies of sepoys which had escorted him from Trichinopoly 
through the countries of the two Maravars, and the next day he 
continued his journey towards Tinnevelly. 

" The family of Mudali by their occupation of renting the countries Influential 
had formed connections with most of the Poligars dependent on p £ 91 Vf n j°r 
Tinnevelly, more especially with the Pali Devar and Kattaboma 
Nayaka ; and on his invitations the Pfili Devar and several others met 
him on the road. Kattaboma Nayaka and others sent their agents ; 
all came, as usual, with considerable retinues, and in the midst of this 
multitude Mudali entered the town of Tinnevelly on the 27th of 
September and proclaimed his commission. But the colleries of the 
Poligars, whom no consideration can restrain from thieving, committed 
night robberies in the town and adjacent villages. Several of them 
were taken and punished by the Company's sepoys, on which others 
stole the effects of the sepoys themselves, who, irritated as much by 
the insidt as the loss, transferred their resentment on Mudali, because 
he suffered the Poligars to remain in the town, and continued to treat 
them with civility. At the same time the troops of Travancore 
renewed their incursions into the districts about Kalakadu ; and Nabi Xabi Khan 
Khan Kattak, who had concealed himself ever since the defeat in Kattak. 
which Moodemiah was killed, now appeared again, made overtures of 
reconciliation to Mahfuz Khan, which were accepted ; and having 
enlisted 400 of the horse which Mahfuz Khan had disbanded, kept 
traversing the country between Madura and Tinnevelly. 



Chapter V. "Meanwhile, the dissension between the Company's sepoys and their 
renter at Tinnevelly had increased, and had produced evil consequences. 
Mudali by his contract was only obliged to furnish the pay of the sepoys 
employed by himself ; but Muhammad Yusuf, by a wrong interpreta- 
tion, imagined that Mudali was obliged to maintain the whole number 
wheresoever employed ; and moreover to discharge the arrears of their 
pay, of which two months were due on his arrival in the country. In 
consequence of this mistake, Jemaul Saheb, who commanded the sepoys 
in Tinnevelly, demanded the amount, and on Mudali's refusing to pay 

The Poligara it, confined him under a guard for several days, during which he 

T- d Tv H* ° f orclered the Pali Dgvar and tne otlier Poligars to quit the town with 
threats of severe punishment if they remained any longer. They 
departed immediately ; but, instead of returning to their homes, the 
Pfdi Devar went to Nabi Khan Kattak and offered him his assistance, 
both in men and money ; and by their united representations, Katta- 
boma Nuyaka was induced to join their league. At the same time the 
troops of Travancore kept their ground, and continued their depreda- 
tions in the districts dependent on Kalakadu. The hopes of the 
advantages which might be derived from these confusions were much 
more agreeable to the disposition of Berkatoolah (Barakat-ulla) than 
the success of his negotiation with the English, by which he was to 
obtain nothing more than the pardon of his offences ; and in the 
middle of November, as soon as the ground was sufficiently dry to 
march, he went from the city and put himself at the head of the 500 
horse, which had gone out before, and were now joined to those of Nabi 
Khan Kattak and the troops of the Poligars. The whole force amounted 
to 10,000 men, of which 1,000 were horse. They were assembled about 
forty miles to the south of Madura, and instead of proceeding directly 
to the south, in the open country, struck to the east into the districts of 
Kattaboma Nayaka, a part of whose woods extends within a few miles 
of the town of Tinnevelly. Issuing from thence at night, before their 
approach was known, they entered the town at daybreak by several 
avenues, which were weakly guarded ; for Mudali a few days before 
had marched with the greatest part of the sepoys and his other force 
about twenty miles to the south-east, in order to protect the districts of 
Alwar Tinnevelly (Alvar Tirunagari), against which he had been led 
to believe the enemy designed to bend their attack. 

■p 0T t f " The enemy remained two days in Tinnevelly, plundered much, but 

Palamcotta- committed no cruelties ; and during this delay Mudali regained the 
fort of Palamcotta, which stands on the other side of the river about 
three miles from the town. The fort is spacious, but the ramparts 
were in ruins, nevertheless capable of resisting an enemy, which had 
no battering cannon. Matchlocks and musketry were fired without 
any mischief for two days, during which the cavalry ravaged the 
country round. Muhammad Yusuf, who still continued at Secunder 
maly (Skandar malai), before Madura, received no certain intelligence 
of the enemy's design until four days after they were in motion; he 
immediately struck his camp and proceeded towards Tinnevelly, and 
they hearing of his approach collected all their parties and advanced to 
him hat tie. The two armies mot on the 1st of December at 

Battle at 
Gangai kon- 



Gangadorain* (Gangai kondan) about twenty (twelve) miles north of Chapter V. 
Tinnevelly. The inferiority of numbers was much more than compen- 
sated by superior skill; the Company's sepoys faced the enemy on every 
side with advantage of situation and discipline, and the field pieces 
were firod with much execution against the cavalry, whose fortunes 
depending on the preservation of their horses, they quitted the contest 
and the field. The next day Muhammad Yusuf proceeded to Tinne- 
velly, and from thence marched into the desolated districts, in order to 
give heart to the inhabitants, and recall them to their occupations. 

" The Poligars returned to their woods, and Barakat-ulla with his Self sacrifice 
cavalry to Madura ; but Nabi Khan Kattak went to Srivilliputtur, and of a Brahmin 
not having means to attack the fort, in which were some sepoys, pu ttur. 
attempted to escalade the pagoda in the town, on which one of the 
Brahmins went to the top of the high tower over the gateway, and after 
a short but loud prayer of execration, threw himself headlong to the 
pavement, which dashed out his brains ; the enemy, although Muhani- 
madans, were so much afraid of incurring the general detestation of 
the country, if their attempts against the pagoda should incite any 
more acts of such enthusiastic devotion, that they immediately retreated 
out of the town. 

" In the meantime, Captain Calliaud, whilst regulating the affairs of Captain 
the renter at Tinnevelly, acquired intelligence that the confederates Calliaud's 
were treating with the Mysoreans at Dindigul for aid against the p ans ' 
English and their adherents, the Pali Devar offering to pay down 
5,00,000 rupees, and the Jamadars of Mahfuz Khan to give up the 
districts of Sholavandan, in which are comprised a strong pass and the 
only road between Madura and Dindigul. Nevertheless it was not 
intended that the country, when conquered, should be given either to 
the Mysorean or Mahfuz Khan. It was to be restored to a descendant 
of the ancient kings, who lived in concealment in the country of the 
greater Maravar : and Mahfuz Khan was to have a suitable establish- 
ment in Mysore. This news increased the necessity of attacking 
Madura as soon as possible ; but the arrangements at Tinnevelly were 
not finished until the 10th of April, on which day Captain Calliaud 
began his march from thence with 180 Europeans, 2,500 sepoys, six, 
field pieces, and 500 horse: Muhammad Yusuf commanded the sepoys, 
and Mudali what horse were levied by himself. Six companies of 
sepoys were left for the defence of Tinnevelly, and the same number 
in the fort of Palamcotta. 

" A few days after, Barakat-ulla and Nabi Khan Kattak went with 
500 horse to the Pilli Devar' s place. The Commander Muhammad 

* Gangadaram. This stands for Gangai kondan, commonly called Gengundan, a 
village on the Chitra-nadi, or Chittar, near which is a railway station. Gangai 
kondan, receiver of the Ganges, is a name^of Siva, and the popular notion is that as 
Siva is worshipped there under that name the Ganges reappears in that place as in 
bo many other places in various parts of India. The Sanskrit form of this name is 
Gangadhara, which Orme's informants seem to have followed, instead of the Tamil, 
perhaps hecause there is a town of that name in the Tanjore country. There was 
a Choja prince of the name of Gangai kondan, who is said to have been made king of 
the Pandyas, with the title of Sundara Chola Pandya. 



Chapter V. Yusuf, on receiving the summons of Lieutenant Rumbold, had returned 
. from the districts he was visiting to Tinnevelly, where leaving as 

Kumbold's before 1,000 sepoys, he proceeded with the rest, about 1,800, towards 
movement. Madura. The renter Mudali, naturally timorous, resolved to accom- 
pany the greater force, and besides his usual retinue was attended 
by 100 good horse which he had lately levied. They arrived on 
the 16th of December at (langadaram, where Muhammad Yusuf, 
hearing of Lieutenant Rumbold's departure from Madura, halted to 
observe the motions of the enemy, and remained there until he received 
information that Nabi Khan Kattak and Barakat-ulla had passed to 
the Pali Devar's, on which he proceeded te Srivilliputtur, and encamped 
there, in order to awe the Poligars in this part of the country from 
joining the enemy. During the march Mudali sent one of his relations 
named Algapa (Alagappa) to negotiate a reconciliation with the Puli 
Puli Devar's Devar, and offer some districts as the fee of his alliance. The Puli 
Devar, who never refused or kept his word on any occasion, sent an 
agent with Alagappa to the camp at Srivilliputtur, and at the same 
time sent his troops to join Barakat-ulla and Nabi Khan Kattak. 
The agent, under the usual pretext of doing honour to his embassy, 
was accompanied by two or three hundred of colleries. Muhammad 
Yusuf entirely disapproved of the intercourse, as he knew the Pfdi 
Devar's character, and that some of his people were at this very time 
plundering to the westward of Tinnevelly. Unfortunately during 
this mood of indignation five of the agent's colleries were taken steal- 
Yusuf'aexcee- ing horses and oxen belonging to the camp, and being brought to 
sive seventy. Muhammad Yusuf he immediately put them to death by blowing 
them off from the mouth of a cannon — a sanguinary execution, not 
Pall Devar's infrequent in Hindustan, and in this case atrocious. The agent, with 
MflMnT W * th a ^ n ^ s retinue of colleries, immediately ran away from the camp ; and 
Khan. their injury determined the Puli Devar, perhaps for the first time in 

his life, to act with some good faith toward those with whom he was 
connected. But knowing the irresolution of Mahfuz Khan, he, with 
his usual cunning, was afraid of trusting him in Madura exposed to 
the overtures and negotiations of the English, and insisted that he 
should come from thence to Nellitangaville and remain at all times 
under his own ward. In consequence Barakat-ulla, who was with 
the Puli Ddvar, sent for Mahfuz Khan, who in the end of December 
went from the city with 500 horse." 

It would be tedious and unprofitable to record in detail every 
incident that occurred from month to month. It will be better to 
content myself with mentioning anything that occurred which 
seemed to have some special features of interest. 

" Barakat-ulla and Nabi Khan Kattak set off from Nellitangaville 
with 500 horse, leaving Mahfuz Khan with the Pfili DCvar. Skirting 
The Poligar along the hills they halted one evening at the fort of tho Poligar 
of Sivagiri. Vanjah of Shevagherry ["Vaniah" stands here for Vanniya, the 
casto name or title of a branch of the Marava caste, to which the 
Sivagiri Poligar belonged. The Elayiram pannei Poligar was also a 
Vanniya]. The Sivagiri Poligar having been gained over by Muham- 


mail Yusuf sent out his colleries, who, iu the middle of the night, Chapter V. 
fell upon this body of cavalry, and with their screams and fireworks 
dispersed the whole and took 40 of their horses. 

" The rebellious Jamadars who had seized and retained possession of Mahfuz 
Madura expected assistance from Mahfuz Khan with the western ?^f i£ ke8 
Poligars of Tinnevelly, but were doomed to be disappointed. Five 
hundred horse and a thousand foot remained with Mahfuz Khan at 
Nellitangaville, when Barakat-ulla left him and came away to defend 
Madura, which Calliaud at the same time was marching to attack with 
the main body of the English troops from Tinnevelly. As soon as 
Calliaud was out of sight, Mahfuz Khan and the Puli Devar took 
the field, and were joined by other Poligars, which all together made 
up a camp of ten thousand men. This army marched from Nellitanga- 
ville in the latter end of April, and advanced beyond Alvar Kurichi 
within fifteen miles of Tinnevelly, but were deterred by the sepoys 
left there from attempting the town ; nor did they immediately plun- 
der or terrify the inhabitants of the open country, because the harvest, 
from which they intended to collect money, would not be reaped until 
the middle of June ; however, they published their mandates that all 
who were accountable to the renter Mudali should then become 
accountable to them. In the meantime Mahfuz Khan negotiated with 
the King of Travancore for assistance, with the proffer of Kalakadu 
and all the other districts to which the king had ever made any pre- 
tension ; but lest this should fail he, with his usual uncertainty, renewed 
his negotiations with the English, and sent off an agent with letters Mahfuz 
to Calliaud, proposing to rent the country from them on the security ? n . s , 
of substantial shroffs. Lieutenant Rumbold received the offers, whilst treachery. 
Calliaud was returned to the relief of Trichinopoly, and thinking them 
worth attention, sent a Jamadar of Sepoys named Ramanaig, u;ith an 
intelligent Moorman, to confer with Mahfuz Khan in his camp. They 
were accompanied by an escort of fifty sepoys ; but just before their 
arrival, Mahfuz Khan had received information that six companies of 
sepoys of the twelve left at Tinnevelly and Palamcotta were ordered 
to join the camp at Madura ; which changed his schemes and, instead 
of negotiating, he surrounded the two deputies and their escort with 
his horse, and threatened to put them all to the sword, if they did not 
send an order to the sepoys in garrison at Palamcotta to deliver the 
fort to him. The deputies with their escort stood to their arms, and 
said they would rather die ; but just as the fight was going to begin 
one of Mahfuz Khan's Jamadars named Alii Saheb declared his detes- 
tation of the treachery and joined the sepoys with the horse of his 
command, on which the rest recollected themselves and retired ; but 
Alii Saheb having still some suspicions for the safety of the deputies 
and their escort marched with them to Palamcotta and delivered them 
safe into the fort. 

" Soon after the six companies of sepoys began their march from 
Tinnevelly to Madura, and the harvest began on which the enemy's 
army entered the town, where Mahfuz Khan proclaimed his dominion Khan's exae- 
which his agents and dependants exercised with much violence and tions. 




Siege of Pa- 

Surrender of 

Submission of 
the Ettaiya- 
puram Poligar 

Yusuf Khan's 

injustice. Even the shroffs, or bankers, did not escape, although the 
necessity and neutrality of their occupation protects their persons and 
property throughout Hindostan from the violence either of the despot 
or the conqueror. The main body of his army invested the fort of 
Palamcotta, -which the sepoj-s within easily defended, and with loss 
to the enemy ; but there was danger from scarcity of provisions ; 
to prevent which Basappa Nayaka, the commander of the sepoys, 
solicited the assistance of the Poligar Kattaboma Nayaka, who stipu- 
lated the cession of some lands convenient to his districts, which 
being promised, he took the field with his own troops and those of 
his dependant of Ettaiyapuram. On their arrival the garrison sallied 
and in a slight skirmish obliged the enemy to raise the siege ; after 
which the two Poligars returned to their homes, and Kattaboma 
Nayaka from his came and joined the English camp before Madura. 
Mahfuz Khan continuing at Tinnevelly, neither sent money nor troops 
to the Jamadars, but suffered the incomes to be dissipated, notwith- 
standing Barakat-ulla had continually represented to him that the 
scarcity of provisions in Madura was daily increasing from the want 
of money to pay for them and of parties in the field to facilitate their 
importation. Shortly after the Jamadar surrendered Madura to Cap- 
tain Calliaud for a sum of money claimed by them of Mahfuz Khan's 
arrears of pay. 

(i Muhammad Yusuf, returning from Madura, sent invitations to the 
cavalry with Mahfuz Khan and whatsoever other bodies were acting 
as plunderers in the Tinnevelly country. Passing along the districts 
of Ettaiyapuram, the Poligar redeemed his hostages which were in 
the camp, paying 18,700 rupees, the balance of his fine. The army 
arrived at the town of Tinnevelly about the middle of November, 
from whence Mahfuz Khan on their approach had retired to Nelli- 
tangaville. He had during his residence there made various attempts 
to get possession of the fort of Palamcotta, but had taken Kalakadu 
and given it to the King of Travancore. Muhammad Yusuf with a 
part of the army marched immediately against this place, which the 
Travancores abandoned without resistance, and, being followed by him, 
retired behind their walls in the passes of the mountains at the foot of 
the promontory. At the same time the appearance of other detach- 
ments drove away the guards which Mahfuz Khan had placed in 
Papankulam, Alvarkurichi, and Bermadats (Bralmiadeeam), and those 
stationed by the Poligar of Vadagherry (Yadagarai) in Tirancourchy 
(Tarankurichi). All these places lie to the north-west of Tinnevelly 
about Nellitangaville, and parties of sepoys were left to maintain 
thorn. Before this time no farther expectation remained of Mudali's 
abilities to manage the revenues ; and ho was called to Madras, in 
order to exhibit and explain the details of his administration ; but 
remained sick and settling his accounts in the woods of Tondiman. 

" Captain Calliaud' s porsonal representations convinced the Madras 
Crovernment that the disturbances would never cease, nor any revenue 
bo collected adequate to the military expenses, whilst Mahfuz Khan 
maintained his foree, pretensions and alliances in thoso countries. It 


was therefore proposed to the Nawab, who still continued at Madras, Chapter V. 

that Mahfuz Khan should be assured of receiving an annual income 

sufficient for his decent maintenance out of the revenues, provided he 

would quit the country with his cavalry, and disband his other troops. 

By this plan, if nothing should bo got, nothing would be lust ; and Proposals 

the French, frustrated of all connexions, would find it impracticable to j}'^ ut iIutlfuz 

get footing in these provinces. The Nawab approved the proposal 

and sent an agent to treat with Mahfuz Khan. 

" The agent sent by the Nawab to Mahfuz Khan arrived atNellitan- 
gavillo on the 28th of February, and found him there encamped in 
paltry tents with 50 horse, ostentatious of his poverty, pretending 
much discontent against his allies, and much attachment to the Nawab ; 
but when terms of reconciliation were proposed, nothing less would 
satisfy him than the government of the whole country as an appanage 
in fee ; indeed he was never master of his own opinion, and at present 
not of his will, for the western Poligars, elated by the rising superi- 
ority of the French in the Carnatic, took the field, and obliged him, 
who depended upon them for his subsistence, to lend his name, and to 
appear with them in person as the pretension of their hostilities. The 
army was composed of the troops of the Puli Devar, of Vadagarai of 
the three minor Poligars, Cotaltava,* Naduvakuriehi, and Sorandai ; 
and from the eastern side of Ettaiyapuram, the dependent of Kat(a- Confederacy 
boma Nayaka, who himself continued firm to his new connexion with a 6 amstiu8uf ' 
the Euglish. The confederates had likewise persuaded the Poligar of 
Shatore (Settiir) under the hills, whose fort is only fifteen miles to the 
south of SrTvilliputtur to enter so far into their views as to admit 
a body of the Puli Devar's colleries into his fort, with whom and 
his own ho made depredations into the adjacent country, whilst 
Muhammad Yusuf, apprehensive of the arrival of Haidar Ali and the 
French, kept his force collected in Madura. As soon as the news of 
Haidar Ali's departure was confirmed, Muhammad Yusuf took the 
field and marched againt Settur. The Poligar on his appearance 
made submissions, turned out the Puli Devar's men, and paid a fine in 
money ; but as soon as the English troops returned to Srlvilliputtur 
he renewed his depredations, on which Muhammad Yusuf attacked 
the fort again, which the Poligar, after a slight resistance abandoned ; 
and one of his relations was appointed in his stead. In the mean Successes of 

time the confederates had in various attacks from Nollitangaville th f confede - 

° rates. 

taken all the posts between this place and Tinnevelly, and many of 

the men placed to guard them were put to the sword ; at Taran- 

kurichi, which was taken by assault in the night, 27 horsemen and a 

greater number of sepoys were killed. The confederates, elated with 

these successes, threatened all who did not join them, and attacked 

the Poligar of Ootamaleo (Uttumalai) because he had refused. They 

likewise prepared to take possession of Tinnevelly, and boasted that 

they would reduce the fort of Palamcotta. But the approach of 

Muhammad Yusuf from Srivilliputtflr stopped their progress, nor had 

* A sub-division of Maravas arc called Kottali Devan. 



Yusuf a 

Yusuf called 
to help the 


Chapter V. they courage to give him battle ; but having strengthened the posts 
they had taken, retreated to Nellitangaville, sending, however, detach- 
ments to harass and interrupt his operations, but without success ; 
for all their parties which ventured to meet or could not avoid the 
encounter of the sepoys were beaten, and by the end of April all the 
posts which had been taken were recovered. Muhammad Yusuf then 
resolved to carry the war into the enemy's country, and to begin with 
the Poligar of Vadagarai, although the most distant, because the most 
powerful of the alliance. His villages in the plain were in flames, and 
the troops had begun to penetrate into the wood which encloses his 
fort, when Yusuf received advices and instructions from the Presi- 
dency at Madras and from Captain Calliaud at Trichinopoly, which 
called him and the troops under his command to services of much 
greater necessity and importance. This service was to help the 
operations of the English in Madras and the neighbourhood, whilst the 
Biege of Madras was carried on by the French. In May the follow- 
ing year (1759) intelligence was received that the garrison of sepoys 
at Palamcotta in the country of Tinnevelly had ventured to stand an 
engagement in the field against Mahfuz Khan and the Pali Devar 
joined by most of the other Poligars, and although the enemy quitted 
the field, so many of the sepoys were killed and wounded that the 
garrison could no longer appear out of the fort. It had before been 
resolved to send Muhammad Yusuf into the southern countries as 
soon as the army in the field could be diminished without risk. " 

Yusuf Khan's Return. 

" Yusuf Khan arrived at Madura on the 4th of May, and had been 
absent ten months. The force he left in the country, when called 
away, was fourteen companies of sepoys, six in the fort of Madura, five 
in Palamcotta, and three at Tinnevelly. Nothing more could be 
expected from either of these bodies than to defend the ground in sight 
of the walls they garrisoned. Accordingly all the districts of both 
provinces from the forest of Nattam to the gates of Travancore lay 
subject to their contributions or exposed to their ravages. The 
declension of the English affairs, which began with the surrender of 
Fort St. David (on which Muhammad Yusuf was recalled) and con- 
tinued until the French were obliged to raise the siege of Madras, kept 
Mahfuz Khan in continual hopes that he shoidd be joined by a body 
of French troops, and established with their assistance in the govern- 
ment of those countries ; and the administration of Pondicherry by 
their letters and emissaries encouraged him to think so. Waiting this 
fortune, he remained with the Puli Devar styling himself and styled a 
sovereign, but without any other means of subsistence than what 
the Pilli Devar chose to supply, who, never regulating his money by 
words, scarcely furnished him with common necessaries. The return 
of Yusuf Khan bettered his condition ; as tho Puli Devar was afraid 
he might at length listen to a reconcdiation with the Nawab, and 
Mahfuz Khan, always governed by the love of ease, felt no resentment 
at the humility to which he had been reduced. He presided at least 



in appearance in the councils of the eastern Poligars, who resolved to Chapter V. 
meet Yusuf with their united force, and invited the western to the Confederacy 
common defence ; who, having joined them against Palamcotta in the of the eastern 
late distresses of the English affairs, expected no pardon and took the Poligars. 
field. The western leaguo consisted of six Poligars ; Kattaboma 
Nayaka, their former leader, was lately dead and had been succeeded 
by a relation, who took as usual the same name, and bore, instead of 
the indifference of his predecessor, an aversion to the English ; 
Ettaiyapuram was always the next to him in importance and now in 

" The force which accompanied Muhammad Yusuf from Conjeeveram 
consisted only of six companies of sepoys and sixty horse, but he 
had on his march requested troops from Tondiman and the two 
Maravars, with whom he had always continued on good terms ; and 
3,000 men, horse, colleries, and sepoys from the three Poligars joined 
him on his arrival at Madui'a, where he nevertheless immediately began 
to make farther levies, and by shifting and garbling out of all that were 
with him, composed a body of 300 horse and 700 sepoys who had 
seen service, which he sent forward to ravage the districts of Ettaiya- 
puram, where they were to be joined by three of the companies of 
sepoys from the garrison of Palamcotta, which had restored its losses 
by new levies. This body of troops were to maintain their ground 
until the last extremity, in order to prevent the junction of the western 
with the troops of the eastern Poligars until Muhammad Yusuf 
himself could follow with the main body from Madura, where he was 
under the necessity of remaining a while longer. 

" His first march was to Kollamkondan. He had taken this fort in Yusuf 'a 
1756; but after his departure for the Carnatic the Puli Devar and expedition 
Vadakarai had extended their acquisitions thus far and placed their Poligars. 
guard in Kollamkoadan. It was a mud fort without cannon, and after 
a slight resistance submitted to him. From hence he proceeded to 
take up the large detachment he had sent forward against Ettaiya- 
puram, who, by continually ravaging the districts of this Poligar, 
kept his troops on their own ground and deterred both him and 
Kattaboma Nayaka from marching across the country to join the 
Puli Devar. Having sufficiently constrained these chiefs, the detach- 
ment proceeded against Kollarpatti, which stands nearly midway in Capt ure of 
the straightest road between Madura and Tinnevelly, about fifty miles Kollarpatti 
from each. This fort had likewise been stormed in June 1756 by ° 
Muhammad Yusuf and carried with considerable loss. The Poligar 
was then taken prisoner ; whether restored or succeeded by another 
wo do not find ; but the place was at this time in the hands of one who 
defended it as well ; for 100 of the sepoys were killed and wounded 
in the attack which lasted three days, and then the Poligar made 
his escape by night. The fort was immediately razed to the ground, 
after which the detachment joined the main body with Muhammad 
Yusuf, and the wholo proceeding by the way of Gangadaram (Gangai 
kondan) arrived at Tinnevelly in the middle of July. They were 
scarcely arrived when Mahfuz Khan, whose mind always wavered 



Chapter V. "with every change of circumstances, wrote a letter to Muhammad 
Yusuf offering to quit his allies and proceed to the Carnatic, pro- 
vided he was allowed a suitable jaghire for his maintenance. He 
even asked a safe guard to come to Tinnevelly. Muhammad Yusuf, 
without authority, assured him that his requests should be complied 
with, and recommended them to the Presidenc} r , by whom they were 
referred to the Nawab. 

The Poligar 
of tJttumalai. 


Alliance of 
tho King of 
and Yutuf. 

" The midland country, for thirty miles to the north of the town of 
Tinnevelly, is open and of great cultivation, and, lying between the 
eastern and western Poligars, had been the favourite field of their 
depredations. The principal station from which the western made 
their inroads into these districts was the fort and wood of Uttumalai, 
situated thirty-five miles north-west of Tinnevelly. The Poligar, 
grown rich by easy plunder, had many colleries, who were well 
armed ; and Muhammad Yusuf, soon after his arrival at Tinnevelly, 
marched against him with the greatest part of his force, and in a 
few days reduced his fort, in which he placed some troops, and 
stationed a guard of fifty horse and some peons and colleries in a 
place called Shorandah (Sorandai) as an intermediate post. He was 
no sooner returned to Tinnevelly than a multitude of colleries belong- 
ing to the Puli Devar and Vadagarai surprised the guard at Sorandai, 
and either killed or took all their horses with their riders, on which 
Muhammad Yusuf detached seven companies of sepo}'S, who recovered 
the post and remained in it, in order to protect the adjacent country. 
Equal confusion prevailed in the districts to the south of Tinnevell} r . 
The troops of the Maliaver, or King of Travancore, were making 
incursions from their wall to seize tho harvests at the foot of the hills 
from Kalakadu to Cape Comorin. Tho variety of distractions which 
existed on every side coidd not be all opposed at the same time, unless 
a greater army were embodied than all tho revenues of the two pro- 
vinces could defray. Put the king was the least inveterate enemy to the 
English, because the Poligar of Vadagarai had provoked his resent- 
ment by continually employing his colleries to make depredations 
in his country on the other side of the mountains, through the pass of 
Shencottah, which lies fifteen miles to the south of Vadagarai. On this 
ground of common enmity Muhammad Yusuf opened a negotiation 
with tho king, who consented to a conference at the gates of his 
country near tho promontory. They met in tho end of August, and 
tho intorviow passed with much politeness and seeming cordiality. 
Tho king at least publicly demanded nothing and agreed to desist 
from his inroads into the districts of Tinnevelly and to act with a 
considerable force in conjunction with Muhammad Yusuf against 
Vadagarai and tho Puli DGvar. On the 3rd of September Muhammad 
Yusuf, still remaining at tho gates of Travancore, was joinod by 1,000 
of tho king's sepoys armed with hoavy muskets made in his own coun- 
try, and disciplined, although awkwardly, in the European manner ; 
but they were well supplied with stores and ammunition. He then 
returned to Tinnevelly, and marching from thence with his whole 
force, in deference to tho king proceeded directly against Vadagarai, 


although twenty miles beyond Nellitangaville, the residence of the Puli Chapter V. 

Devar. When arrived near Shencottah he was joined by an army 

full as large as his own, consisting of 10,000 more of the king's troops 

of various kinds of infantry, who had marched through the pass. 

This was perhaps the greatest force that had been assembled for some 

centuries in this country. Vadagarai defended his woods for a day, 

in which about 100 men were killed and wounded on both sides ; but 

in the night abandoned his fort, and escaped away to the Puli Devar 

at Nellitangaville. 

' • The arrival of such a guest, who, for the first time, had been reduced Yadagarai's 
to such distress, frightened the Puli Devar, and set his cunning to rjfvar'* fears. 
work to divert the storm from himself. The repulse of the English 
troops at the attack of the pettah at Vandiwash on the 30th of Septem- 
ber was known in the country, and was believed, as the French had 
represented it, a signal defeat. Mahfuz Khan had received letters 
from Bassaulet Jung and the Government of Pondicherry, which 
encouraged him to think that they should very soon overpower the 
English in the Carnatic, when he might expect to be substituted for 
his brother Muhammad Ali, who was to be deposed from the Nawab- 
ship. This correspondence and these expectations the Puli Devar com- 
municated to the King of Travancore, and offered, if he woidd quit the 
English and join Mahfuz Khan against them, to give him whatsoever 
districts in the Tinnevelly country might lie convenient to his own. 
The king immediately exposed these documents to Muhammad Yusuf, 
and standing on his importance, demanded the cession of Kalakadu 
and the adjacent districts, for which he had so long contended against 
the Nawab's Government. He said, that more territory than he claimed 
had already been recovered with his assistance ; that what might be 
refused by one would be readily given to him by another ; and that, Travancore's 
if he should join the Poligars, the Nawab's authority woidd never be P ro P 0ha 8 - 
established in the Tinnevelly country. Muhammad Yusuf, whilst per- 
plexed with this dilemma, was informed that the two eighteen-pounders 
with 500 muskets, which had been sent, according to his request, from 
Madras, were lost at sea ; and that the two six-pounders, although 
landed, were stopped by the Dutch agents at Tuticorin. This mis- 
chance gave greater weight to the king's arguments, and greater value 
to his assistance ; for the force of Muhammad Yusuf alone was not 
sufficient to reduce the Pfdi Devar, whom all the best colleries in the 
country were flocking to defend. He therefore surrendered the dis- 
tricts which the king demanded, and the Presidency approved the 
cession ; but the Nawab suspected that it had been promised by Yusuf 
at his first interview with the king in order to secure his future assist- 
ance to his own ambitious views. 

"As soon as this agreement was settled the Travancores moved again Attack on a 
in conjunction with his troops. On the 16th of November they in- subsidiary 
vested the wood and fort of Easaltaver (probably Isvara DSvar), which 
was one of the dependencies of the Puli Devar. The colleries defended 
the wood three days and then abandoned both, and retired to Nelli- 
tangaville. After this success the want of ammunition obliged Mu- 







Chapter V. hammad Yusuf to remain until he received supplies from Madura, 
Palamcotta, and Anjengo. The army of Travancore, to prevent dis- 
gusts from disparity of customs, encamped separately, but in sight of 
Muhammad Yusuf's ; and on the 20th of November a body of 5 or 
6,000 colleries attacked the camp of the Travancores in open day, 
Muhammad Yusuf, on the first alarm, sent his horse and followed 
with his sepoys and other foot ; but the colleries retreated before they 
came up, and their nirubleness, with the ruggedness of the countiy, 
rendered the pursuit of little avail. They had killed and wounded 100 
of the Travancores before they went off. A day or two after this skir- 
mish Muhammad Yusuf received three howitzers, with some stores, 
and a supply of ammunition from Anjengo ; and the two six-pounders 
with their shot likewise came up from Tuticorin ; he then moved with 
his allies, and on the 4th of December set down before AVashinelore 
(Vasudevanallur) another fort dependent on the Puli Devar, much 
stronger than any he had, excepting Nellitangaville, from which it is 
situated twenty miles to the north-west and twelve in the same direc- 
tion from Uttumalai. 

" Vasudevanallur stood within three miles from the great range of 
mountains, at the foot of which ran a thick wood, extending two miles 
into the plain, and within 1,300 yards of the west and south sides of 
the fort ; but turned to a much greater distance on the north, and to 
the east the plain was open, and everywhere covered with profuse 
cidtivation. A very extensive pettah, the residence of some thousand 
inhabitants, commenced within forty yards, and extended 1,200 to 
Description of the north-east of the walls : a thick thorn hedge, with barriers, sur- 
rounded both the pettah and the fort. The extent of the fort was 650 
by 300 yards ; it was of mud, but almost as hard as brick ; it had four 
large square towers, one at each angle, and several smaller, which 
were round, between. Every tower was a separate redoubt, enclosed 
by a parapet, to command within as well as without the fort. The access 
to the tower was a steep ramp, only two feet broad, the entrance a 
narrow wicket in the parapet ; the curtain between the towers had no 
parapet, and was only a rampart sloping on both sides from a base of 
15 feet to 3 at top ; but the slope from within was much less sharp 
than from without, so that, if assaidted, the defenders might easily 
run up to the top. The parapets of the towers have circular holes for 
the use of small arms, but no openings prepared for cannon, of which 
there was not a single piece in the fort. [See the account of the cap- 
Attack on the ture of this fort in 1767 by Colonel Donald Campbell.] This descrip- 
tion only suits Vasudevanallur, for the other forts in the Madura and 
Tiunevelly countries have parapets with loop-holes to their ramparts, 
as well as to their towers ; but all are of earth excepting Madura and 
Palamcotta. The importance of Vasudevanallur, ami the great force 
which was come against it, brought some thousands of colleries to its 
relief; 1 mt all, excepting 8 or 900 chosen men allotted to defend the 
walls, kepi in the woods. From whence every day and night parties 
sallied, and alarmed or attached one or other, and sometimes both the 
camps ; and greater bodies on three different days made general 

nallur fort 



attacks on the batteries, of which these continued interruptions retarded Chapter V. 
the construction, insomuch that they were not finished until the 26th, 
twenty days after the arrival of the armies; but the howitzers had com- 
menced before. The only efficacious gun was the eighteen-poundcr 
which Muhammad Yusuf had brought from Madura, for the rest were 
only six-pounders and lower ; but from excessive firing the eighteen- 
pounder burst the day after it was mounted ; and by this time all the 
ammunition as well of the batteries as troops, excepting the quantity 
which prudence required to be reserved for defence, was expended. 
However, part of the parapet of the tower fired upon was beaten down, 
and Muhammad Yusuf resolved to storm the next day. Many troops of 
both armies waited on the assault, and as soon as it began, the Puli 
Devar, with 3,000 chosen colleries, who had marched in the night 
from Nellitangaville, issued from the wood and fell upon the camp 
of Muhammad Yusuf, drove away the troops that guarded it, and 
began to commit every kind of destruction. Muhammad Yusuf sent 
back a large body to repulse them, and continued the assault ; but the 
garrison within received double animation from the Puli DSvar's Successful 
success, which was announced to them by the usual war cry and the defence, 
sounding of their conchs. All the other colleries collected in the 
woods appeared likewise, as if on the same notice, and in different 
bands attacked the troops at the batteries and at the foot of the 
breach ; and, although continually repidsed, continually rallied, and 
with the resolution of the garrison saved the fort until the evening, 
and then waited in the woods to interrupt the renewal of the assault 
in the night ; but so much of the reserved ammunition had been 
expended in the day that Muhammad Yusuf deemed it dangerous to 
remain any longer before the fort, and drew off his artillery. Two 
hundred of his troops and of the Travancores were killed, but more of 
the enemy. The next day he moved to a distance, and dismissed the Yusuf s 
Travancores, who proceeded through the pass of Shencottah to their return. 
own country, and Muhammad Yusuf returned with his own troops and 
those lent him by Tondiman and the Maravars to the town of Tinne- 

" No events of great importance had happened during the course of His enforced 

this year (1760) in the country of Tinnevelly. The Commandant, inactlvit y- 

Muhammad Yusuf, after the repulse before Vasudevanallur in the end 

of the preceding year, was, from the want of battering cannon, no longer 

in a condition to attack the stronger holds of the Poligars ; and contented 

himself, until supplied, with posting the greatest part of his army in 

stations to check the Puli Devar and the western Poligars ; but remained 

himself with the rest at Tinnevelly, watching Kattaboma Nayaka and 

the eastern. The departure of Mahfuz Khan from Nellitangaville in 

the month of January left the Puli Devar and his allies no longer the 

pretext of opposing the authority of the Nawab in support of the rights 

of his elder brother ; and they debated whether they should treat with 

Muhammad Yusuf or wait the event of Mahfuz Khan's journey, who Depredations 

they supposed would return to them, if not received on his own terms " f ^ c 
v l-i ir -l t xi > , • i o ■■ • i Poligars. 

by the JNawab. In tins uncertainty they formed no vigorous designs, 



Chapter V. and employed their colleries in night robberies 'wherever they could 
elude the stations of Muhammad Yusuf ; biit attempted nothing in the 
open field or day. Nevertheless these depredations were so ruinous 
to the cultivation that Muhammad Yusuf thought it worth the expense 
to draw off some of their dependents and entertain them in the Com- 
pany's service as best able to retaliate the same mischief on those by 
whom they had been emplo}*ed ; and towards the end of April several 
of these petty leaders with their followers, amotmting in the whole to 
Hostilities^ of 2,000 colleries, joined him at Tinnevelly and faithfully entered on the 
duties for which they had engaged. Nothing, however, like regular 
fighting happened until the end of May, when Kattaboma Nayaka 
appeared at the head of two or three thousand men, near Ettai}'a- 
puram and stood the attack of seven companies of sepoys, drawn 
from the limits towards Nellitangaville, by whom they were dispersed, 
but with little loss. In May Muhammad Yusuf received intelligence 
of the hostilities commenced by the Mysoreans from Dindigul and the 
orders of the Presidency to oppose them ; in consequence of which he 
sent the detachment we have mentioned, of 1,500 sepoys, 300 horse, 
and 3,000 peons." 

the Mysore- 

A Dutch 
force arrives 


Retri it of 
the Dutch. 

Dutch Invasion. 

" They were scarcely gone, when a new and unexpected alarm arose 
in the Tinnevelly country. The Dutch Government at the Island of 
Ceylon had received a large reinforcement of European troops from 
Batavia, which assembled at the port of Colombo, opposite to Cape 
Comorin, from whence a part of them arrived in the beginning of June 
at Tuticorin, a Dutch fort on the continent 40 miles east of Tinnevelly. 
Two hundred Europeans with equipments, tents, and field pieces im- 
mediately encamped, giving out that they should shortly be reinforced 
by more than their own number, and that 400 other Europeans had 
left Batavia at the same time with themselves, and were gone to 
Cochin on the Malabar Coast, in order to join the King of Travancore. 
The natives were frightened and pretended to have discovered that 
the force they saw was intended to assist the Poligars in driving the 
English out of the country of Tinnevelly, and to begin by attacking 
the town. Muhammad Yusuf immediately sent to the Dutch chief at 
Tuticorin to demand an explanation ; who answered that he should give 
none. A few days after the troops advanced inland and halted at 
Alvar Tinnevelly (Alvar Tirunagari), a town in a very fertile district 
situated 20 miles south-east of Tinnevelly and the same distance south- 
west of Tuticorin, and at the same time another body of 200 Europeans 
landed from Colombo at Mauapar, 20 miles to the south-east of Alvar 
Tinnevelly. Muhammad Yusuf had previously drawn troops from the 
eastorn stations, and marching with 4,000 sepoys, and some horse, 
appeared in sight of the Dutch troops at Alvar Tinnevelly in the even- 
ing of the 18th of June, who, in the ensuing night, decamped in strict 
silence and man hod back to Tuticorin. Those atManapar went away 
thither likewise in the same embarkations which brought them; and 
more was heard of this alarm." 

muhammad yusuf kila.vs period. l25 

Yusuf Khan's Operations renewed. Chapter v. 

"The depredations of the Poligars continued; but, deprived of Yusuf and 
Mahfuz Khan, and hearing how closely Pondicherry was invested, they jj^' v . u ." ' 
ventured nothing more. The Pali Devar's colleries were as usual the 
most active in the robberies; and to repress them Muhammad Yusuf 
again stationed the greatest part of his force towards Nellitangaville, 
which in December encamped at the foot of the hills within three miles 
of tins place and Muhammad Yusuf joined them from Tinnevelly on the 
12th; he had purchased several eighteen-pounders at Tuticorin, and 
had the two mortars sent to him the year before from Anjengo, but no 
shot or shells for either, and was moreover in want of gun-powder and 
flints, all which he expected from Trichinopoly, and whilst waiting for 
them made such preparations as the country afforded to attack Nelli- 
tangaville in form. On the 20th of the month, the colleries with the 
PfQi DSvar at their head, attacked his camp, sallying as usual on all 
quarters at once and persisted until 100 of them fell ; but they killed 
ten of Muhammad Yusuf's men, and wounded seventy, and some 

Unfortunately Orme's narrative here breaks off. From this 
time I have to depend for information on the results of my own 
examination of the Government records, preserved in the Govern- 
ment Office and Office of the Board of Revenue, Madras, and in 
the Treasury in Tinnevelly. 

Revenue Administration in Tinnevelly by the Nawab. 

It has already been seen that the rule of the Nawab of the Lushington's 
Carnatic commenced in Tinnevelly, as in the other districts in the e 
Carnatic, in 1744, when Anwar-u-din Khan was appointed Nawab 
by the Nizam. The various districts in the south were held by 
officers appointed by Anwar-u-din. Anwar Khan was appointed 
Fauzdar and Amil of Tinnevelly, with whose appointment the 
accounts of the revenue administration of Tinnevelly commence. 
I quote here from a letter of Mr. Lushington, Collector of Tinne- 
velly, to the Board of Revenue, dated, in the year after the transfer 
of the Carnatic to the Company, 28th May 1802. It gives the names 
of the administrators of the revenue in Tinnevelly from 1744 to 

Anwar Khan was succeeded, he says, by Mir Ghulam Hussein Succession of 
Khan and Hussein Mahomed Khan, their joint management com- Jors imstra " 
prising a period of six years from 1744 to 1749. He mentions 
the amount of the jamabandi for each year in chakrams, but this 
I omit. A\ r hen Anwar-u-din Khan was slain in battle an Amil (a 
native revenue officer) named Alam Khan was deputed by 
Chanda Saheb to take charge of Tinnevelly, who managed the 
district in his master's behalf in 1750 and 1751. To him succeeded 
for a short lime Tittarappa Mudali and Mundi Miya (Moodemiah), 




Chapter V. the agent of Chanda Saheb. The latter was slain near Tinnevelly. 
Upon Moodemiah's death the authority of Mahfuz Khan (the elder 
brother and for a time the representative of the Nawab Mahomed 
Ali) was established in the country. This was for 1754 and 1755. 
He formed the design of becoming independent of the Nawab, but 
Issoof (Yusuf) Khan, by the vigour of his mind, frustrated this 
ambitious design, and, re-establishing the power of Mahomed Ali 
Khan, delivered the management of the province for a year, 1756, 
to Alagappa Mudali. The distracted state of the country, owing 
to the depredations of the Poligars, requiring greater energy for 
their reduction than Alagappa Mudali possessed, Yusuf Khan was 
appointed to the sole administration from 1757 to 1763. He ruled 
the country for six years. 

" During the three first years of Yusuf Khan's management he was 
engaged in constant struggles with the Poligars, with very various 
success ; the necessities of the Company during this anxious period in 
the Carnatic demanded the employment of his force, and of his extra- 
ordinary military talents in more central parts of it. Tinnevelly was 
therefore left in his absence a prey to the depredations of the Poligars 
and the perfidious machinations of Mahfuz Khan, aided by the 
adherents of Travancore ; the latter indeed wholly assumed during 
this period the most fertile taluk of the province, Kalakadu, but when 
Yusuf Khan could be spared from the siege of Madras to return to 
Tinnevelly, he had the address not only to detach the Raja of Travan- 
core from the league, but to acquire his assistance in punishing the 
Poligars. Notwithstanding the disadvantages (under which he 
laboured) of an usurped authority, he accomplished, by the vigour of 
his mind and military talents, the complete subjugation of the 
province. In his time the tribute of the Poligars was regularly 
collected ; private property was in no danger from their depredations ; 
and the revenue of the Circa r lands was very largely increased. The 
effect of the subordination he established may be seen in his jama- 
bandies from the year 1761 to 1764." 

Dalavay Alagappa Mudali's management was in 1764 ; Raja 
Hukumat Rani's from 1 765 to 1769 ; Sheik Mahomed Ali's in 
1770. The administration of Syed Mahomed Khan commenced 
in 1771 and lasted till 1775. 

Two incidents worthy of note happened at this time. In 1771 
the cutcherry of Tinnevelly, with all the records, was burnt to the 
ground, and in 1 774 there was a famine of unusual severity. In 
1780 the Poligars, again tempted by the war which raged in the 
Carnatic, threw off their allegiance and nearly overran the province, 
in consequence of which the revenue was reduced to a minimum for 
several years, viz., from an annual average of eight lakhs of 
chakrams to an average of half a lakh. In 1 783 commenced 
Mr. Irwin's or t h«- Company's administration, when the collections 

in revenue. 


rose again to eight lakhs. Thus far Mr. Lushington's statements. Chapter v. 
I now return to Yusuf Khan and his fortunes. 

Muhammad Yusuf Khan's Rebellion. 

In 1761 Yusuf Khan informs the Government that the Yusuf s offer 
" Circar flag," that is, the flag of the Nawab of the Carnatic, had S^l?" 
been hoisted by him on the forts of Madura and Palamcotta. He 
also offers to rent the Tinnevelly and Madura provinces for four 
years at seven lakhs of rupees per annum. The Nawab was unwill- 
ing to give his consent, Tittarappa Mudali, the old renter, offering a 
larger sum, but the Madras Government was in favour of Yusuf 
Khan's offer, on account of his position and military fame and his 
ability to fulfil the engagements he entered into. They warned 
Yusuf, however, that his letters to the Nawab were not sufficiently 
respectfid. They asked him for information with regard to the 
pearl fishery and the extension of their trade in cloths, &c. It is 
evident that up to the close of 1761 the Government had no 
suspicion of his intentions being disloyal. 

The following remarks of Nelson relate to this period : — 
" The taking of Pondicherry by the English in January 1761 served Yusuf 3 
to awe the rebellious Poligars into something like submission ; whilst po ' 
the departure of Mahfuz Khan from the Tinnevelly country and his 
apparent reconciliation with his brother had deprived them of all 
pretext for disobedience. The country, therefore, became more quiet 
than it had been for many years ; and there seemed to be some grounds 
for the belief that it woidd so continue. Without counting troops 
employed in garrison duty, Muhammad Yusuf was certainly in 
command of a large force, for at the very time when he sent the 
expedition to Madura to act against the Mysoreans he was able to put 
himself at the head of 4,000 sepoys and some cavalry and march 
against a Dutch expedition. And his troops were well disciplined and 
well chosen. And certainly no Poligar and no combination of Poligars 
at that time was in possession of so considerable resources. Muham- 
mad Yusuf continued to govern the Madura country for some time 
longer, and appears to have made himself exceedingly powerful." 

Notwithstanding the favour with which Yusuf Khan had been Dissatisfac- 

4-* f f~* 

regarded by Government, it became evident in 1762 that his loyalty el^ent 
was doubtful. The Government wrote to him repeatedly ordering 
him to come to Madras at once and promising him a cowle of 
protection, but he only sent trifling excuses in reply. Not only so, 
but he had the audacity to make war on the King of Travancore 
without their knowledge or consent. In August he wrote to the 
effect that he was sorry for his past behaviour, promising obedience 
for the future, and repeating his offer to rent Madura and Tinne- 
velly himself for four years at a rent of seven laliks of rupees per 
annum. The Government regarded this letter and proposal as 



Chapter V. 

suspicions of 
his designs. 

reasons for 



merely a device to gain time. They replied that they could not 
consent to allow him to retain the management of those provinces 
any longer, and that the only means he had for securing his life 
and effects was to surrender himself unconditionally. 

The first time I find Government expressing their suspicions was 
in October. Some European troops were to march from Anjengo 
to Madras by land, but they were ordered to remain at Anjengo 
till further orders, lest they should be intercepted by Yusuf Khan 
" as, " said they, " we are very uncertain at present with regard to 
the intentions of Yusuf Khan, who, we fear, hath some thought of 
departing from his allegiance to the Nawab." In December it 
was clearly ascertained that he was enlisting troops in Tanjore and 
the Tondiman's country, whereupon letters were written to the 
various Rajas and others warning them not to render him any 

No statement of Muhammad Yusuf Khan's reasons for throwing 
off his allegiance appears in record. It can only be conjectured 
that he was irritated against the Nawab, and consequently against 
the Nawab's upholders, the English, by the refusal of his offer to 
rent Tinnevelly and Madura . Probably, however, his chief reason 
was that he had come to consider himself strong enough to thrust 
both of his masters aside and set up for himself, as had been done 
before him by every successful lieutenant. The latest examples 
of this had been Chanda Saheb and Hyder Ali. Doxibtless he 
would have succeeded in his purpose if he had had to deal only 
with a feeble Nawab of Arcot or a still feebler Raja of Mysore, 
but it was with the English that he had to deal, and notwithstand- 
ing his long service under them he quite miscalculated their power. 

On the 11th April 1763, General Lawrence wrote to the 
Government recommending that a strong force should be sent 
immediately against Yusuf Khan. He stated that Yusuf Khan 
had at last declared himself independent. He had provided 
the forts of Pajamcotta and Madura with stores and heavy 
artillery, and put many other forts of less consequence in a state 
of defence. His forces were estimated at 27,530 men, including 
15,000 colleries badly armed. The rest were well armed, and he 
had succeeded in enlisting 200 European foot soldiers, mostly 
Frenchmen, and 30 French troopers, all under the command of a 
Frenchman called Marchand. His force was equipped with twelve 
or fourteen light pieces of field artillery and two howitzers, most of 
which had belonged to the Company. He had made Madura his 
head-quarters. He was daily receiving reinforcements from the 
French and from Hyder Ali's army, and General Lawrence consi- 
dered him a man of such enterprising genius and ambition that it 
Mas necessary to proceed against him at once, lest, " like another 


Chanda Saheb," he should entail on the Company another ten ChaptebV. 
years' war. He did not think it prudent or practicable to proceed 
against so dangerous a rebel through narrow passes and intricate 
woods with a small force. The force he asked for was as follows : — 
European cavalry 163 ; artillery for 10 guns, 2 howitzers, 100 ; General 
European military, rank and 'file 600 ; Coffres or Topasses (the ^f cnce ' 9 
latter Eurasian soldiers) 100 ; Company's sepoys 50 companies, 
including officers, 5,000 ; Nawab's sepoys 2,000 ; " Black horse " 
2,000. The entire force he applied for amounted to 9,963 men. He 
did not obtain the force he asked for, and the force granted him 
proved insufficient. In particular it was not strong enough in 
cannon. Battering cannon had to be sent for from Trichinopoly, but 
even after its arrival the operations carried on were not successful. 
Colonel Monson, who was in command of the troops, had to retire 
for the rainy season of 1763 to a place where the troops could pass 
the monsoon with greater safety and comfort. Swartz, the cele- 
brated missionary, visited the camp for two months during the 
siege to give spiritual comfort to the sick and wounded. 

Whilst the siege was going on Yusuf Khan endeavoured to 
obtain the help of the French. Peace had been declared between 
France and England, so that the Pondioherry Government could 
not send him help in men and munitions, but they called upon the 
English Government to countermand their expedition against him, Yusuf s 
on the ground that he was their ally, and that to wage war against n ®?w? tlons 
their ally was virtually to wage war against them. The English French. 
Government appear to have made no reply to this ingenious 
representation. The siege continued with various fortunes till the 
14th October 1764, when another assault was made. The assault 
failed, but Marchand, the Commander of the French contingent, Treachery of 
came to the conclusion that it was now his best policy to capitulate, CO mmander 
and in order to secure the most favourable terms for himself and 
his followers he traitorously seized his commander, Yusuf Khan, 
and delivered him up to Major Donald Campbell, the English 
officer in command. 

I have not been able to discover any written record of the Yusuf Khan's 
manner in which Yusuf Khan was disposed of. Nelson states on 
native authority that " the gallant soldier who had served in so 
many campaigns, always with marked distinction, was seized by a 
confidential servant and given over to his enemies, who, in May 
1763 (error, see above), with a want of mercy which at this time 
seems all but inexcusable, hung him like a dog." This termina- 
tion of his career would be in accordance with the instructions 
issued by Government in the previous year at the commencement 
of the siege to General Lawrence. They say that if Yusuf Khan 
were taken alive it was their wish that he should be sent to Madras, 
" not from any willingness to show him favour, but that they 




Chapter V. might in their cooler hours dispose of him in such a manner as 
might appear proper." " We confess to you," they say, " that we 
think he will be a dangerous man to be entrusted in the hands of 
the Nawab, if his intentions are to make him a state prisoner ; but 
if it be agreeable to you to order the Commanding officer to 
execute him upon the first tree in sight of the army, it will be quite 
satisfactory to us." Though there is no documentary evidence to 
be found I regard it as certain that the latter recommendation was 
carried into effect. It seems hard that such a man should have come 
to such an ignominious end. This must, however, have been one of 
the alternatives present to his mind from the commencement of his 
rebellion. He must have expected, if successful, to reign as a 
prince ; if he failed, to be hanged as a traitor. Khan Saheb was 
hanged near the camp about two miles to the west of Madura. 
He was buried on the spot where he was hanged and a small 
mosque was erected over his tomb. An inscription describes it as 
"the Mosque of Khan Saheb." An intelligent old Muhammadan 
inhabitant of Madura, the uncle of the Cazi, who accompanied me 
to the spot, was full of the particulars of his death, as handed down 
to him by his ancestors. He was seized whilst at prayers by 
" Mussoo Mursan " (Monsieur Marchand) and his Hindu Dewan, 
Sinavasa Row, and was hanged, he said, by the orders of the Nawab. 
The old man professed to be 85 years of age, and proved to me the 
retentiveness of his memory by correctly repeating to me the 
names of the principal rebel Poligars hanged in the Madura and 
Tinnevelly countries in 1&01. He confirmed the tradition that 
Khan Saheb was originally a Hindu. As there is no account of 
Khan Saheb's death on record, we may perhaps venture to con- 
clude that the order for his execution, as the old man stated, pro- 
ceeded not from the English, but from the Nawab himself. We 
may give the English Commander the benefit of the doubt. 

On the capture of Madura and of Yusuf Khan the rebellion 
collapsed, but the country having lost one of the most vigorous 
rulers it had ever had, its financial prosperity rapidly declined. 

" To Yusuf Khan," says Mr. Lushington, "succeeded one of the 
family of the Mudali's ; his management, however, continued but for 
eight months when he was displaced by a Hindu named Rajah 
Hukumat Ram. The jamabandy of his management fell considerably 
short of those of Yusuf Khan, and his immediate successor, Shaik 
Muhammed Ali, who was in charge of the country for nine months, 
reduced it still more. Tempted by the imbecility of their superin- 
tendence, the Poligars returned to their former licentiousness and 
continued in the indxdgence of their inveterato habits of encroachment 
and violence with little intermission from that period until their 
transfer to the Company's authority in 1792; nor did even this 
arrangement produce that improvement in the conduct and condition 
of these feudatories which had been hoped from it j the fluctuating 

Results of 
Yusuf s 

Yusuf 8 


administration of the Nawab had given such confidence and success to Chapter V. 
their rebellious character, and the weak policy and corruption of his 
Amils had encouraged and confirmed in the Poligars so strong an 
influence over the minds of His Highness' subjects, that, under the 
weakness of a divided authority, a solid reform was impracticable. 
The vigour of Yusuf Khan's measures was indeed felt for some time 
after he suffered the death of a rebel, but the Poligars soon forgot 
the terror of his name and relapsed into former habits." 

"With regard to Madura Nelson states that after Yusuf Khan's 
death it was placed under the administration of Abiral Khan. 
He adds " the state of things in Madura during this period of 
Muhammadan domination may be imagined from the following 
facts, which were communicated to me by the grandson of one of 
these officers, and the truth of which I see no occasion to doubt. 
About the year 1772 there were only two substantial brick and state of 
stone buildings in the whole town, namely, the old palace and the Madura after 
residence of the Muhammadan manager ; the only other dwellings death. 
were mud hovels thatched or tiled." Thus far Mr. Nelson. This 
state of things was not peculiar to Madura. I have sought but 
have been unable to find any trace of the existence of any private 
house in Tinnevelly, whether in the towns or in the rural districts, 
built of stone or burnt brick by any private native prior to the 
assignment of the Nawab's revenues to the Company's government 
in 1781. This fact furnishes us with a most telling illustration of 
the difference between the anarchy that had prevailed before, and 
the order and security that began to be introduced by the strong, 
peaceful government of the English. 






Events following the death of Yusuf Khan. 

Chapter VI. Colonel Donald Campbell, the officer in command in Madura and 
the south, was anxious to march into Tinnevelly, after the capture 
of Madura and Yusuf Khan about the end of 1764, to secure it 
against the inroads of the king of Travancore. Government 
Protection of did not apprehend that the king of Travancore would commence 
Palamcotta. hostilities, at least till he knew their determination regarding the 
Kalakadu districts. They judged it necessary, however, that 
Palamcotta and any other post in that neighbourhood should be 
reinforced so as to protect the Kalakadu country from surprise. 

1765. Accommodation is ordered to be provided at Palamcotta 
for troops. The king of Travancore endeavours to recover the 
Kalakadu district. The Nawab's sepoys are detained to defend 
Palamcotta. Captain Harper sets out with a detachment to the 
relief of Kalakadu. It is reported on the 25th May that Kalakadu 
is held by 2,000 armed Travancorians. During the absence of the 
Company's troops three or four hundred Collaries plunder the 
town of Tinnevelly. The Nawab's people are helpless. Pana- 
gudi and Tirukurungudi had been abandoned to the Travancore 
army, the detachments which held those places being very small. 
Those who capitulated had to promise to retire to Palamcotta. 
Shencotta also had been abandoned to the Travancorians by the 

Retirement of Nawab's troops. On the 12th of June the Travancorians retired 
core troops! ^ rom Kalakadu. They made a stand at Tirukurungudi, and 
Colonel Campbell was preparing to march against them, when 
they retired within the Aramboly lines. A complaint being made 
that the officers' quarters in Palamcotta are incommodious, 
Government order improvements to be made at the Nawab's 
expense ; they also order the erection of a new magazine. 

1766. Captain Frisrhman was at this time Commandant of 
Palamcotta, and as such the Company's representative in Tinnc- 


velly. The good effects produced by Yusuf Khan's rigorous Chapter VI. 

administration were now at an end, and to add to the difficulty 

always felt in keeping the Poligars in check and getting them to 

pay their tribute, most of the troops that had been brought down 

the previous year to act against Travancore had been withdrawn, 

on account of the necessity of counteracting the designs of Hyder 

Ali further north. All this was laid before Government by 

Captain Frischman in a letter dated 4th October, from which it 

appears that within fifteen or twenty miles of Palamcotta it was Armed follow- 

estimated that there were 20,000 armed Collaries roaming 1 about ^V f the 

' m p roligars near 

and ransacking every village they came to. Captain Frischman Palamcotta. 
had fitted out an expedition of the Nawab's troops under " the 
Buxy " (the Nawab's Commander — Bakhshi, a Muhammadan 
Commander-in-Chief) for the purpose of reducing a fort to the 
north-aest, doubtless Panjalanikurichi. It was a strong force with 
artillery and a body of 1,000 horse, but Captain Frischman com- 
plained that it did nothing but merely waited outside the fort. He 
complained that half of the Nawab's troops were " mere coolies " 
and that their arms were bad and incapable of repair. There were 
4,000 of them, but half the number would suffice if they were paid 
and disciplined by the Company. Such was the state of the 
coimtry that the tappal had ceased and he found it very difficult 
to communicate with his out-stations. Ensign Foulsum of the 
Nawab's service, who commanded at Vadagarai, had attempted to 
relieve Vassa Nellore (Vasudeva-nallur) which was besieged by 
Poligars, but before his arrival the garrison had surrendered 
through want of water, and had leave to return with their arms 
to Tinnevelly. Foulsum had a skirmish with a body of 12,000 
Poligars and then retired to his fort. The Government order on Complaints of 
this letter is to the effect that they are much concerned to find Government 

ft op h i n s i" i rif^ 

that whenever their troops are withdrawn every petty Poligar Nawab. 
takes the opportunity of plundering. They have often represented 
to the Nawab that it would be much better for him and for the 
country if he would consent to place the discipline and pay of his 
troops in their hands, and though he had never yet consented they 
would represent to him again the necessity of this arrangement. 

The year 1766 closed with the failure of an attempt on the part Major Flint 
of Major Flint to reduce some of the more turbulent Poligars to reduce Poligar 
obedience. On the 23rd of December he marched from Srivilli- fort. 
puttur for the purpose of attacking the fort of Calacunda (Kollam- 
kondan). On the 27th an escort he sent back to Srlvilliputtur for 
grain was attacked by the Poligars. A strong force was sent out 
to the support of the escort, but even this combined force was 
attacked and the attack was continued to within three miles of the 
camp. On the 29th, after a breach had been effected in the wall 
of the fort, an assault was made, but the place was defended by 



cessful cam 

Chapter VI. such numbers and with such resolution that the assaulting party, 
after holding its ground for half an hour, had to return with 
considerable loss. Captain Painter and five Europeans were killed 
and several Europeans were wounded. The Poligar to whom the 
fort belonged had not got above 200 men of his own, but he was 
reinforced by parties sent to his help by all the other Poligars. 
On his retreat Major Flint had to fight his way through the 
enemy. Captain Harper was in command of his rear guard. 

"lint's unsuc- 1767. This year opens with another unsuccessful campaign 
against the Poligars. Major Flint retired first to Eaja Palaiyam, 
then to Sitheath (Sittuttu ?), then to Parambur, where he joined 
the camp of " the Buxy." Subsequently he got a supply of 
heavier artillery from Captain Frischman at Palamcotta and set 
out to attack the fort of Panjalamkurichi. There were two other 
forts in the Ettaiyapuram country that he intended to attack first, 
but he altered his intention and commenced with Panjfilanikurichi, 
as being the most important place. Government were very anxi- 
ous for his success, as they foresaw that the Poligars would be 
greatly encouraged by the failure of his recent attempt to take 
Kollamkondan, but as he was now well supplied with heavy guns 
and ammunition they hoped his future attacks on the forts of the 
Poligars would be successful. 


Meaning of 
the name 

The importance of Panjalamkurichi in the annals of Tinnevelly 
requires that a few words should be said about it here. The name 
has come up already in Orme's History, Colonel Heron having 
led an expedition against it in 1755. That expedition, however, 
was recalled, and it does not appear that Panjalamkurichi was 
then really attacked. The first of the long series of sieges it sus- 
tained from the English was from Major Flint in 1767. Panja- 
lamkurichi was a large mud fort, situated near the present 
taluk town of Ottapidaram. Being the headquarters of a 
Poligar, the whole palaiyam was called by this name. Panchala 
means anything pertaining to Panchala, — now the Doab — the 
country of Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandava brothers. 
The name must have been given to the place by some person 
interested in the stories of the Mahabharata. The second portion 
of the name is one of the many Tamil words denoting a village. 
It especially denotes a village in a forest or amongst the hills. 
There is no trace of a forest now in the neighbourhood, but up to 
the time of the last Poligar war nearly the whole black cotton soil 
country in the north of Tinnevelly was covered with thick woods. 
The conqueror that has cleared away those woods is cotton. But 
cotton would never have been able to prevail against the woods, if 


the rule of the Poligars had not come to an end. The Poligar of Chapter VI. 
Panjalamkurichi was a Nayakan. We now return to 1767 and 
Major Flint. 

Succeeding Events of the Year. 

On the 15th of February, Major Flint's preparations being Assault on 
completed, he endeavoured to take Panjalamkurichi by assault. A richi a failure, 
battery was opened against it in the morning, the fire of which was 
kept up all day. In the afternoon the assault was made, but it had 
no better success than the assault on Kollamkondan a short time 
before. The killed and wounded amounted to 92, including 8 
Europeans killed and 18 wounded. Major Flint resolved to turn 
the siege into a blockade, but during the night — as happened so 
often in after years — the defenders of the fort made their escape 
from it. Some took refuge in Tuticorin, some in Vypaur. Ettaiya- 
puram was also to have been attacked, but it was found to have 
been abandoned. The enemy also forsook Vypaur (Vaippafu). 

It is singular that the remembrance of this siege has entirely 
passed away. No tradition of it, or any trace of a tradition, 
survives. The last of the many sieges of Panjalamkurichi was 
immortalised by a native poet, but the previous sieges, beginning 
with Major Flint's, were not so fortunate. As Horace says, " they 
had no poet and they died." 

Immediately on the receipt of this intelligence Government Cetermina. 
determined to despatch a sufficient force to Madura and Tinnevelly Government. 
for the purpose of repressing the irrepressible Poligars. They 
found it more difficult to reduce them to obedience than had been 
anticipated, and it will be seen that this difficulty never ceased till 
the demoralising influence of a double government came to an end, 
and the country was wholly transferred from the Nawab to the 
East India Company. An officer was chosen for this command 
who was already acquainted with the disturbed districts. This was 
Colonel Donald Campbell, who had been in command at the capture 
of Madura and of Yusuf Khan in 176 f , and had led a force into 
Tinnevelly in 1765. 

On the 26th of April 1767 Colonel Campbell, who had marched Colonel 
from Eajapalaiyam on the 25th, appeared with his force before c^mpaijjn. 8 
Kollamkondan, where Major Flint four months before had sus- 
tained a repulse. His main object was to prevent the defenders of 
the fort from escaping, but notwithstanding all the precautions he 
took, on his opening fire on the morning of the 1st May the fort 
was found to be abandoned. This was a great disappointment to 
Colonel Campbell, for, as he observed, " unless the ringleaders of 
the rebels could be laid hold of, the only effect of taking and 
destroying their forts would be to oblige them to rebuild, which 
they could do at a far less expense than we could level." 


Chapter VI. From Kollamkondan the Colonel marched on the 3rd to 
Abandonment Shattoor (that is, Settur, a place not to be confounded with Sattur), 
of Settur. where he met with more resistance. A considerable force of the 
enemy had taken up a position outside the fort from which they 
galled a portion of his camp. They were dislodged with some 
difficulty and driven into the pettah, but in this service two officers 
and 46 sepoys were wounded and three sepoys killed. Above 89 
of the enemy were killed and more than 100 wounded. Colonel 
Campbell placed batteries and posted guards all round the fort, but 
before the works were completed the enemy, fearing that they were 
about to be hemmed in, made their escape in the night. As soon 
as he had notice of their elopement he sent after them Captain 
Harper's battalion and the Nawab's horse, but, he says, " they were 
far too nimble for the former, and as for the latter he found them 
generally more detrimental than useful. They consumed a great 
deal of provisions and did no kind of good." Colonel Campbell 
found Settur a stronger place than he had supposed. The fort 
seemed to him almost as large as Palamcotta, and the pettah was 
encircled with a strong thorn hedge. He found in the fort about 
1,000 bullock-loads of grain. He demolished the fort before 
leaving it. 
Abandonment The Colonel's next object of attack and his next disappointment 
nagin. wag Sivagiri. On his arrival there on the 10th from Settur he 
found the fort already abandoned. Its defenders on hearing of his 
approach fled from it to the hills, where, however, he pitied the 
deplorable condition they must have found themselves in, and 
concluded that they must have become truly penitent for their 
resistance to authority and convinced of its folly. He considered 
that much of the disloyalty that prevailed was owing to the mis- 
government and oppression to which the Poligars as well as the 
rest of the people were subjected by the Nawab. In Sivagiri, 
which must have been inhabited, he thought, by 20,000 people, 
neither man, woman, nor child could be found. He found the fort 
of Sivagiri larger and stronger than that at Settur. If the defences 
had been completely finished before they arrived, the taking of it 
would have been attended with some loss. He spent five or six 
days in levelling the fort. Colonel Campbell greatly admired the 
fertility of the neighbourhood, as appears from the conclusion of 
his letter to Government : — 

"I heartily wish the Nawab would fall upon some method to 
preservo this delightful country from absolute devastation. It is really 
melancholy to rofloct that unless a speedy and an effectual remedy is 
applied these fertile fields, the most beautiful I have ever seen, will 
next year be a barren waste." 
Attack on His next letter was from Washinellore (Vasudeva-nallur) on the 

nallor. V 28th May. He arrived there on the 13th, leaving Major Flint to 


finish the demolition of the Sivagiri fort. He was joined on the Chapter vi. 
17th by Major Flint, and on the night of the 18th the garrison 
attempted to get away by Captain Harper's post, but were beaten 
back. On the 19th he commenced a cannonade of the fort in the 
hope of effecting a practicable breach, but the wall being constructed 
of sunbaked bricks cemented with clay, upwards of 500 shot were 
poured into one place without effect. Heavy rain now commenced 
which continued without intermission till the 25th — (the south- 
west monsoon had evidently commenced that year some weeks 
earlier than usual) — taking advantage of which the garrison forced 
their way out at three different places about 4 o'clock on the 
morning of the 20th and made their escape to the adjacent hills. 
The first fire of the besiegers did execution, but the second charge, 
owing to the rain, would not go off. Vasudeva-nallur being, he 
said, " a fort of long standing and commanding as fine a grain 
country as he had met with, he resolved not to demolish it, but to 
garrison it with all the Nawab's troops he had, under one Mr. Peter 
Davidson, who had the appointment of captain under the Nawab 
and had the reputation of being a person of energy." This he 
considered the strongest fort he had seen during his campaign — (see 
the description of this fort in the account of its siege by Yusuf 
Khan) — and he was astonished at the contempt of death the Oollaries 
evinced during the cannonade. As fast as a breach was made, in 
the midst of shot and shell they went on quietly repairing it with 
palmyras and straw. He concluded as before by recommending Colonel 

more reasonable treatment of the people by the Nawab. All that Campbell's 

o A • care 

could be done by a European force Government might depend on people. 

being done by the troops under his command, but he was anxious 
that some accommodation should be come to with the people, for 
which he had received no authority. There were three small forts 
to the southward of him, and by the time he had reduced them he 
hoped to receive the Government's commands. He considered that 
the Nawab had no time to lose, for without some agreement the 
people would never be persuaded to return and cultivate their 
fields. The Grovernment were glad to hear of the reduction of 
Vasudeva-nallur, but did not approve of the Nawab's troops being 
left in so important a place, and ordered Colonel Campbell to 
garrison it with the Company's troops. 

Pending the arrival of authority from the Nawab to treat with Cantonment 
the Poligars, Colonel Campbell appointed Captain Harper to estab- ^Jjjjj!*" 
lish a cantonment in Sankaranaiyanarkovil. On the 13th June kovil. 
he wrote him an excellent letter of instructions as to the behaviour 
of his men, whether Europeans or sepoys, pointing out the neces- 
sity of their acting towards the people with justice and ten- 
derness. Shortly after this the Nawab's letters authorising an 
accommodation with the Poligars arrived, wheieupon Colonel 



Chapter VI. Campbell announced a cessation of hostilities and sent for the 
Cessation of vakils of the various Poligars, with whom he entered into arrange- 
hostilities. ments for the settlement of their dues and the punctual payment 
of their tribute in future. The Government recommended the 
Nawab to leave Colonel Campbell perfectly free to act as he should 
think best. 
Arrangements Colonel Campbell's pacification of the country was very short - 
Nawab's ° lived. Within two months Captain Frischman, Commandant at 
manager. Palamcotta, informed the Government that on Colonel Campbell 
leaving the country with his troops the various Poligars began to 
refuse, as they had always done before, to pay the tribute they 
had agreed to. In this contumacious conduct the Poligar of 
Sivagiri was the leader. Captain Frischman succeeded in induc- 
ing them all to come to some terms again, which was brought 
about mainly through the exertions of Baja " Hookoometron ' 
(Hukumat Ram), the Nawab's manager or financial administrator 
in Tinnevelly at that time. He was also materially aided by the 
Poligar of Verdigarry (Vadagarai), who had been deprived of the 
whole of his pollam some time before, but had now nine villages 
restored to him in order to engage him to the Nawab's interest. 
This was in August 1767. Among other arrangements made 
during this time the Nawab's manager banished the Poligars of 
Sivagiri and Panjalamkurichi from Tinnevelly and appointed 
Hyder Ali's others in their places. On the 2nd of September Grovernment were 
communica- informed by the Commandant that Hyder AH had written to all 
Poligars. the Poligars, calling upon them to join him against the Nawab 
and the British, and assuring them that if they joined him not 
only would all their ancient possessions be restored to them, but 
he would give each of them several additional villages. 

In the course of 1767 95 English recruits who had landed at 
Anjengo were ordered to stay at Palamcotta till further orders. 

1768. In February Lieutenant-Colonel Frischman is ordered to 
join the army in the field against Hyder Ali, and Captain Browne 
is appointed Commandant of Palamcotta in his room. Colonel 
Frischman is to supply Captain Browne with all the information in 
his power relative to the several Poligars, and Captain Browne is 
to afford the Nawab's manager all the assistance in his power to 
keep them in proper order. 

On the 10th Juno Captain Browne reports that he had sent 
three companies of sepoys with a serjeant to destroy a fort which 
a Poligar was rebuilding. The name of the fort is not given., but 
the name of the Poligar is said to have been " Cambo-Naig," that is 
probably Kamaiya-Nayaka. In August he is ordered to send troops 
and guns to reinforce Colonel Wood in command at Trichinopoly, but 
Assemblage of is unable to comply with the requisition on account of the troubles 
CoUanes. j^ apprehends from the large bodies of Collaries, some eight or 


nine thousand in number, that were assembling under the pretence Chaptef VI. 
of settling some disputes among themselves, but really for the 
purpose of plundering the Sircar districts. 

On the 24th October he reports that the emissaries of the dis- 
possessed Poligars of Sivagiri and Panjalamkurichi were raising 
disturbances in those districts. Both these Poligars were at that 
time living in the Raja of Ramnad's country, and it was supposed 
that they were receiving encouragement in their plots from him. 
Government accordingly wrote a letter to the Raja of Ramnad 
warning him against this line of action. 

1769. Captain Browne engages the Poligars to act against Behaviour of 
Hyder Ali. They appear to act loyally at first, but afterwards J^^^ 1 ' 8 
join the enemy. He complains that the Nawab's troops behaved Hyder Ali. 

1770. Nothing transpires worth recording. 

1771. Captain Browne is ordered with his battalion to Madras, 
and Captain Cooke is appointed in his place- Mr. Gumming is 
Paymaster and Storekeeper. 

The Tinnevelly cutcherry was burnt down this year with all Burning of 
the records it contained. Tinnevelly 


Postal Communication between Madras and Bombay in the 
latter half of the eighteenth century. 

In 1771 I find it mentioned that a packet of letters from Madras Letters fc ° 

l . Bombay how 

to Bombay was sent by Government to the Commanding Officer sent. 
at Palamcotta for transmission by him to Anjengo, a small town 
in the coast of Travancore between Trevandruni and Quilon, then 
belonging to the East India Company, from which it was to be 
sent on by sea by the earliest opportunity to the Bombay Govern- 
ment. Packets of letters were sent from Bombay to Madras in 
the same manner. This round-about mode of communication 
lasted right into the beginning of the nineteenth century, in con- 
sequence of the normal condition of the districts intermediate 
between Madras and Bombay being one of insecurity, through the 
wars and commotions caused by Hyder Ali, Tippu Sultan, and the 
Mahrattas. Though inland communication was at that time so Overland 
imperfect, the beginnings of an overland communication had ti 
already been developed. Duplicates of urgent letters to the Court 
of Directors from the Madras Government were repeatedly sent 
home rid Bassorah in the Persian Gulf, and duplicates of left pis 
from home arrived by the same route. 

Orrne, the historian, is said to have been born at Anjengo. 

The first reference to Palamcotta in the journals of Swartz, 
the eminent Missionary, is in 1771. 



Chapter VI. 1772. An expedition was planned for the reduction of the 
Poligars in Madura and Tinnevelly, especially the Poligar of 
Nalukottai, that is, Sivagangai. It was entrusted to the com- 
mand of Major Braithwaite, but was not carried into effect in con- 
sequence of troops being more urgently required further north. 

1773. Nothing happens in Tinnevelly worthy of record. 

1774. In this year there was a severe famine. 

Earliest date 1775. The only incident of the year is that Captain Cooke is 
cottachui h- or dered with his battalion to Madras and succeeded by Captain 
yard. Hopkins from Vellore. The earliest date I have found in the 

English church-yard at Palamcotta is in 1775. 

1776. Captain Hopkins writes on the 7th January that the 
Poligar Kattaboma Nayaka, who had been driven from Panjalam- 
kurichi by the Nawab's manager Raja Hukumat Ram in 1767, 
had returned and put to death the Poligar who had been appointed 
in his room by Syed Mahomed Khan in 1771, and that he was 
again in possession. The Nawab's people, in Syed Mahomed 
Khan's absence, had collected a considerable force of horse and 
foot, who were emcamped near Panjalamkurichi and were ordered 
to take the place. Nothing more seems to have been heard that 
year of that attempt to take Panjalamkurichi. 

1777. On the 16th February Captain Hopkins reports that two 
of the Nawab's battalions with a brigade of guns, under the com- 
mand of Captain Pickard of the Nawab's service, marched from 
Tinnevelly against the Poligars. The force was sent out to collect 
the Nawab's revenues from the Poligars, who as usual had refused 
to pay. The expedition was especially directed against Sivagiri, 

Expedition where a large number of Collaries had collected. Strange to say 
against Siva- ^he N awaD 's force was joined by the Poligar of Panjalamkurichi 
with 4,000 men. This was in consequence of his having made his 
peace with the Nawab's manager. 

This force invested Sivagiri and attempted to reduce it. It is 
not stated what the result was — probably as usual a failure and a 

Captain Eidington succeeds Captain Browne and soon after is 
ordered to resign his command. 

1778. Captain Barrington is appointed to the command of 
Palamcotta in supersession of Captain Eidington. 

On the 6th April Captain Barrington is ordered to send five 
companies of his battalion to assist the Nawab's manager in collect- 
ing the peshcush due from the Poligars. In the event of their 
resistance he was not to use force without express orders from 
[nsults offered 1779. Colonel Braithwaite whilst passing through Tinnevelly 
reports to Government the violence shown to the Hindus by the 
Nawab's people at the Moharram. They had broken an image 


to pieces and killed several Brahmans. This had led to the aban- Chapter VI. 
donment of all cultivation and manufactures on the part of the 
Hindus, who insisted on justice and revenge. He feared that the 
Tinnevelly Poligars, who were a resolute people, possessed of many 
strongholds, might take the opportunity of breaking into rebellion. 
He reports also that the country was distracted by the animosities 
of the Nawab's late Fauzdar, the present one, and Dalavay Mudali, 
the Hindu renter. Colonel Braithwaite was then on his way with 
a considerable force to Anjengo, where his troops were to embark 
for Tellicherry to take part in the fruitless operations of the army 
on the Malabar Coast. Captain Barrington writes from Palamcotta 
that he found it very difficult to obtain supplies for Colonel Braith- 
waite' s force, on account of the disturbed state of the country 
consequent upon the insult offered by the Muhammadans to the 
Hindus. Towards the end of the year Captain Eidington is 
reappointed to the command of Palamcotta. 

1780. Captain Eidington reports that there had been an engage- 
ment between the Nawab's troops and the Poligar of Sivagiri. 
All the Poligars now openly or virtually threw off their allegiance, 
so that there was a great diminution in the revenue. Captain 
Eidington discovered that some of the Poligars were in correspond- 
ence with Hyder Ali. At this time the Paymaster at Palamcotta 

was Mr. "William Light, by whom the cultivation of spices was Spices in 
first introduced into Tinnevelly. He had brought two young Palamcotta. 
cinnamon trees from Colombo. The state of the Tinnevelly country 
was now so unsettled and unsatisfactory that the President of the 
Madras Council was requested to have a personal interview with 
the Nawab on the subject. Fortunately a more satisfactory 
arrangement was at hand and was introduced at the close of the 
following year. 

The Tinnevelly Mission Register, or Register of the Native 
Christians resident in Palamcotta, begins in this year, 1780. 

1781. Captain Eidington informs Government that the Sivagiri 
Poligar had invited Hyder Ali to send troops into the Tinnevelly 
country. He also states that he was convinced that the renter 
(Raja Hukumat Ram) was secretly on Hyder Ali's side, being a 
near relative of the " Colt Raja," who had been appointed by 
Hyder Raja of Madura and Tinnevelly. He reports that he could 
get very little assistance from the Raja of Travancore towards 
protecting the country from Hyder. The Dutch of Tuticorin Dutch eeti. 
promised the assistance of their Government of Colombo against mat <' of 
Hyder Ali, whom they described as the common enemy of all 
Europeans. It will be seen that a little later on they took a dif- 
ferent line. 

In February Captain Eidington despatches Lieutenant Halcott 
with three companies to get possession of the fort at Srlvilliputtur, 


Chapter VI. both in order to keep the restless Poligar of Sivagiri in check and 
also to secure possession of a place which he considered the key of 
Tinnevelly. He mentions that the real chief of Sivagiri was at 
that time in Palamcotta in prison. Lieutenant Halcott was 
attacked near Madura by 3,000 Collaries and three or four hun- 
dred horse, whom he beat off with loss to them and some to himself. 
Captain Eidington also mentions that as Hyder Ali had sent 
messengers to the Poligars to stir them up against the Nawab and 
the British, he had entered into negotiations with several of the 
principal Poligars, and found that they were willing to enter into 
Dutch alliance an engagement, provided their relations who were in prison were 
with Poligars. re i ea8e( j jj e ag ]- 8 f or 2j 000 stand of arms in place of those taken 
by the Collaries in the Ramnad country. Later in the year the 
Dutch were strengthening Tuticorin and apparently preparing for 
a war with the English. They were rendering great assistance to 
Kattaboma Nayaka of Panjalamkiirichi, who had actually hoisted 
Dutch colours. This Poligar had been beaten off from the fort of 
Comrah (Kamudi), in the Ramnad country, with the loss of a 
hundred men. In October on account of complaints made against 
him Captain Eidington is superseded by Captain Bilcliffe. 

Meditated Cession of Tinnevelly to the Dutch. 

In 1781 Mr. Hastings, then Governor-General, endeavoured to 
enter into a treaty with the Dutch, the effect of which, if it had 
proved successful, would have been to convert Tinnevelly into a 
Dutch province. The object of that measure was to obtain, 
through the GTovernors of Colombo and Cochin, a military force to 
assist in the expulsion of Hyder from the Carnatic. But as these 
Governors acted under the authority of the Government of Batavia, 
for whose sanction there was no leisure to wait, a tempting 
advantage was represented as necessary to prevail upon them to 
incur so unusual a responsibility. The negotiation was carried 
on through the medium of the Director of the Dutch Settlements in 
Bengal ; and it was stipulated that for 1,000 European infantry, 
200 European artillery, and 1,000 Malays, who should be paid and 
maintained by the Company during the period of their service, the 
province of Tinnevelly should be ceded to the Dutch, together 
with the liberty of making conquests in the neighbourhood of 
Cochin, and the exclusive right to the pearl fishery on the whole 
of the coast south from Pame&vavaram. In name and appearance 
the sovereignty of the Nawab, Muhammad Ali, was not to be 
infringed, and the treaty, framed and concluded for him, was to be 
ratified by his signature. The small value of the cession and the 
extreme danger of the Carnatic were urged as the motives to induce 
compliance on the part both of the Nawab and of the Government of 


Madras. The ideas, however, of the Nawab and of the Government Chapteb V I . 
of Madras differed very widely from those of the Governor- General 
respecting the value both of what was to be given and what was to 
be received. They not only set a high estimate on Tinnevelly, but 
treated the offer of a body of troops, when they were much less in 
want of troops, than of money to pay and maintain those which 
they had, as a matter of doubtful utility. In consequence they 
declined to forward the treaty, transmitting their reasons to the 
Court of Directors. And the accession of the Dutch to the side of 
the enemies of England, of which Lord Macartney carried out the 
intelligence, superseded on that ground all further proceedings. 
See Mill, Vol. IV, Book 5. 



The Assignment. 

Towards the close of the year 1781 a treaty was concluded Committee of 
between the Nawab of the Carnatic and the East India Company, Revenue, 
in virtue of which Tinnevelly, with the other districts in the 
Carnatic, enjoyed for a few years the benefits of the Company's 
civil administration. This treaty was entered into and all the 
arrangements necessary for carrying it into effect were made in 
October 1781, but the treaty itself was not signed till the 2nd of 
December. The Board of Revenue was not then in existence 
(it was instituted in 1786), but a committee was appointed by 
Government on the 16th October, called the Committee of Assigned 
Revenue, consisting of six gentlemen, including Mr. George Proctor 
(the first civil officer appointed to Tinnevelly) and Mr. Eyles 
Irwin (his more eminent successor), for the purpose of receiving 
and administering the revenues of the Nawab. The object of the 
treaty is thus expressed by Government in their first letter to the 
Committee : — " His Highness the Nawab has assigned over the 
revenues of the Carnatic to the Company to be entirely under 
their management and control during the present war, 1 on the 
condition of allowing him one-sixth part of the revenue to defray 
the expenses of himself and family." At the same time a copy of 
the instructions of Government was furnished to the Committee for 

1 The war with Hyder Ali, subsequently continued and intensified under Tippu 



Chapter VI. its guidance. The Governor of Madras at this time was Lord 
Superin. Macartney. In virtue of this arrangement functionaries styled at 

tendents of fi rs t Receivers of Assigned Revenue, then Superintendents of 
Revenue. Assigned Revenue, were appointed in various places. A shorter 
title by which they were generally known was Civil Superin- 
tendents or simply Superintendents. These were the first civil 
officers appointed for the administration of affairs in the interior. 
Up to that time, as we have seen, the only civil administration 
with which the English Government had anything to do, that is, 
the enforcement of the payment of the Nawab's revenue, was 
carried on by the military officers in command of the troops in the 
various districts. 
Intentions of The Government hoped that this new arrangement would contri- 
nme ' bute in various ways to the prosperity of the country. In the 
instructions issued to the Committee they conclude by saying, 
" By attending to these points the Company may arrive at much 
useful knowledge. They may be gradually able to free the 
country from oppression, to recover the lands and manufactures 
from their present most deplorable state, greatly to improve the 
revenue, and finally to establish wealth, credit, and prosperity 
throughout the country." This view of the objects of Government 
was, I need hardly say, widely different from that entertained by 
the Government of the Nawab. 
^ ir8t The first " Receiver of Assigned Revenue " appointed to Tinne- 

Tinnevelly. velly — virtually the first Tinnevelly Collector — was Mr. George 
Proctor. He had been Auditor of Accounts in Madras, and then 
member of the newly-appointed Committee of Assigned Revenue. 
Lord Macartney's letter appointing him Receiver in Tinnevelly was 
dated 8th December 1781. Another letter a few days later gave 
him similar authority in Madura ; another respecting the Ramnad 
peshcush. The Nawab gave orders to his Fauzdars and Amildars 
in Tinnevelly to obey the new functionary, whilst the Madras 
Government ordered Captain Eidington and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Nixon to render him any military assistance that he might require. 
He was accompanied by Mr. Orpen as his assistant. 

1782. APoligar named Sivarama Talaivan had erected a fort 
Tirukurungudi near Tirukurungudi and was plundering the 
neighbourhood. "" The commandant sent a detachment, which took 
the fort and destroyed it. " Sivarama Talaivan " is the hereditary 
name of the head of a powerful Marava family in that place. 

War having broken out between the Dutch and the English, 

Captain Bilcliffe, Commandant at Palamcotta, sends a party under 

Capture of Lieutenant Wheeler to take possession of Tuticorin. The small 

lutieonn. • « rm_ 

Dutch garrison were made prisoners. Seventeen guns taken. There 
were 200 men in the garrison belonging to Panjalamkurichi, who 
fled on seeing the approach of the Company's troops. It must have 


been because they did not care to fight for the Dutch, for their Chapter VI. 
behaviour at their own fort whenever it was attacked was very- 
different . The Dutch factories at Punnaikayal and Manapadu 
were demolished. The outworks erected by the Dutch at Tuticorin 
were also destroyed, and it was ordered that if a Dutch force landed 
the fort of Tuticorin was to be blown up and destroyed. The Complaints of 
native inhabitants of Tuticorin, especially the Paravas, represented the paraA a3- 
to Mr. Proctor, and Mr. Proctor represented to Government, the 
injustice done by the party under Mr. Wheeler in seizing on their 
property, with that of the Dutch, and requiring them to pay 
" gratifications " for the privilege of returning to the town and 
living under English protection. Government considered such 
conduct most culpable and ordered the commanding officer to 
confine himself to his duties in the fort. 

In April 1782 Mr. Proctor wrote to the Committee complaining Dispute 
of the conduct of the renter, who at that time was Trimolipa renter an( i t he 
(Tirumalaiyappa) Mudali, to the effect that he was unduly raising Collector. 
the price of the Government grain, listening to the advice of 
Captain Gibbings instead of his own, and playing into the hands of 
the Poligars. He proposed that a new renter should be appointed, 
and that the Receiver of Revenue (that is himself) should have 
absolute authority over him. He first proposed that Tittarappa 
Mudali, the nephew of the present renter, should be appointed, and 
then Ranga Row, a stranger, then an Amil in Madura. The then 
renter (Tirumalaiyappa Mudali) at the same time complained to 
the Committee of Mr. Proctor's conduct; a complaint was also made 
by " the Company's Sherishtadar," and there was a serious mis- 
understanding between Mr. Proctor and the commanding officer. 
Captain Gibbings and the rest of their servants in Tinnevelly were 
ordered by the Committee to refrain from all interference in matters 
of revenue, but in other particulars the Committee were not disposed 
to adopt Mr. Proctor's recommendations. On the contrary they 
found fault with him for interfering in the rate of exchange, and for 
having failed to send them any account of his receipts from the 
time of his arrival. He was ordered to send them his accounts 
monthly in future. 

The Committee's dissatisfaction with Mr. Proctor's management Dissatisfac- 
appears from the conclusion at which they arrived, that " some p° n ^ h Mr ' 
further regulations were necessary to fulfil all the objects of the 
Assignment." They, therefore, resolved to recur to the directions 
at first given them by Government and proposed that from time 
to time as should appear necessary deputations should proceed, 
composed of members of the Committee, through the several 
assigned countries. The superintendence proposed being only Conduct of 
temporary would not, they thought, prove prejudicial. The 1: ' u "i.' 0;in . 
language they used bore heavily not only on Mr. Proctor, but on 



Chapter VI. the other European functionaries hitherto employed in the interior. 
They say this temporary superintendence would not " allow any 
temptation for interfering in the money transactions or intrigues 
of the country, nor would it be liable to the objections that the 
Committee are of opinion lie against all the European superin- 
tendence that has yet been established under the Company's 
government." The gentleman sent to Tinnevelly as a deputation 
from the Committee was Mr. Eyles Irwin, but his appointment 
falls amongst the incidents of 1783. 

In December 1782 a letter was written during Mr. Proctor's 
absence in Madras by Mr. Orpen, his Assistant, Mr. Light, the 
Paymaster, and Captain Bileliffe, the Commandant, asking per- 
mission to use strong measures against the renter. 

1783. On the 27th January the Committee replied to the letter 
of the previous month from Palamcotta, to the effect that they were 
to wait till the arrival of Mr. Irwin, as they intended to entrust to 
him the management of all their affairs in Tinnevelly. 

On the 28th January a Commission was issued by Lord 
Macartney to Mr. Irwin to proceed to Tinnevelly with full authority 
from the Committee of Assigned Revenue. The Commission 
begins thus : — 

Commission "The state of the Tinnevelly province, as represented by the Com- 
to Mr. Irwin, m ittee of Assigned Revenue, has determined us to send a person in 
whom we can confide to enquire into and remove, as far as may be 
practicable, the misunderstandings and dissensions which have arisen 
there to the prejudice of the revenue, and we have appointed you 
for the service, not only from the trust we repose in your zeal and 
capacity, but in compliance also with an early recommendation 
preferred to us by the Committee for employing its members occa- 
sionally in making circuits throughout the different districts of the 
Carnatic, agreeably to the original institution of the Committee." 

Instructions The Government were unable to determine which of the complaints 
to Mr.Irwm. an( j recriminations that had come before them from Tinnevelly 
were most worthy of investigation, but they recommended Mr. 
Irwin on his arrival to proceed to investigate such of the com- 
plaints as appeared to him to have any probable foundation, 
" particularly the insinuation thrown out by the late renter against 
Mr. Proctor concerning undue advantages made by the measurement 
of grain and exchange of money." Mr. Irwin is recommended to 
•arrange that a fixed tribute, bearing a reasonable proportion to their 
possessions and not liable to alteration, should be paid by the 
Poli gars ; also that the complaints of the renters against the ryots 
:u id of the ryots against the renters should be inquired into and 
equitably settled. He is directed to endeavour to acquire as much 
knowledge as possible of the condition of things in general in 
Tinnevelly, in order that the welfare and improvement of the 


country may be promoted. He is to inquire whether any of the Chapter VI. 
natural productions of the country are capable of being improved, 
and especially whether the cultivation of spices can be developed. 
He is to endeavour to throw light on the prospects of the pearl 
fishery, as also on the commerce of Tuticorin and the settlements 
in the Gulf of Manaar. All orders relating to revenue affairs sent 
previously to other persons are to be transferred to him, including 
the orders sent to Mr. Light for the inspection of the repairs of 
tanks, as Government do not wish any other gentleman in Tinne- 
velly to have the least pretence for interfering in the affairs of the 
country. He is directed to exercise a general oversight in 
Madura, as well as in Tinnevelly, there being no other person 
in charge there, and all military officers are ordered to obey his 
requisitions. They are to furnish him with a suitable escort in his 
tours through the country. The Government add that they 
wished him to correspond with Mr. John Sulivan, Tan j ore, whose 
judgment and experience could not fail to be of value. Mr. 
Sulivan was at that time " Resident of Tanjore and Superinten- 
dent of Assigned Revenues of Trichinopoly and Marawar." The 
latter term meant Ramnad and Sivagangai. Finally, they say they 
allow him seven pagodas per diem for his expenses, the sum that 
was allowed to Mr. Proctor, " Receiver of the Revenues in the 
Tinnevelly country," and Captain's pay andbatta to his Assistant. 

In another letter he was instructed to inquire into the complaints Tuticorin 
of the Parava inhabitants of Tuticorin. He was also instructed to comp a 
present an honorary dress to the head of the Paravas (the Jati- 
talaivar) in the name of the Madras Government. 

Mr. Irwin landed at Anjengo from the Company's ships going on 
to Bombay, whence he proceeded to Palamcotta, where he arrived 
on the 4th of March. Immediately on his arrival at Palamcotta 
he set out for Tri van drum, to wait on the king and present him 
with a letter with which he was charged from the Madras Govern- 
ment, requesting his assistance in the operations against Hyder 

Mr. Irwin requested that another Assistant should be appointed Mr. Trwin 
instead of Mr. Orpen, who had been removed. Mr. Torin (after- Jjjj on his 
wards Collector) was appointed his Assistant, then Mr. Kindersley. 

Soon after his arrival in Tinnevelly he presided in a court of 

inquiry held by the authority of Government to inquire into Mr. 

Proctor's proceedings. The court considered Mr. Proctor's accounts 

unsatisfactory. It was found that he had entered in his accounts 

many items of expenditure of a personal nature without the 

authority of Government. It was found also that balances of 

receipts of revenue still remained in his hands. In consequence of Mr. Proctor 

this decision of the court he was relieved from his duties in the ° rdere(i t0 
. , leave. 

district and ordered to proceed to the Presidency. Government 


Chapter VI. required him to refund what he had improperly received, and on 
his delaying to do this ordered a suit to be instituted against him 
in the Mayor's Court, Madras. 

In April Mr. Irwin in a letter to Government states the obstacles 
he finds standing in the way of every plan for the improvement of 
the country. First and foremost amongst those obstacles he places 
the refractory disposition of the Poligars. " Their licentiousness," 
lie says, " not having been curbed or checked for these five .years 
past, they are now become so hardened in their contumacy as to 
render it impracticable to reduce them to a proper sense of their 
interest and duty but by force of arms." It was evident that 
things were getting ripe for Colonel Fullarton's expedition. The 
operations to which he refers as having taken place five years 
before were those of Captain Pickard in 1777 and of Captain 
Barrington in 1778. 
Mr. Irwin J n August the Government give Mr. Irwin full powers to rent 

C.ionel the revenues of Tinnevelly to the best of his judgment. He 

Fullarton. repeatedly writes to Colonel Fullarton proposing that a portion 
of the southern army should be employed under his command in 
settling the Tinnevelly country. These letters, with the sanction of 
Government, led to Colonel Fullarton's expedition. Of this expe- 
dition Colonel Fullarton himself gives a graphic account. His 
able report to the Madras Government entitled " A View of the 
English Interests in India," republished in Madras in 1867, will 
amply repay perusal. 

Colonel Fullarton's Expedition as related by himself. 

" The districts of Madura, Meliir, and Pallemery (Pallimadai) were 
so harassed with Colleries, Poligars, and the enemy, that your troops 
and subjects were often attacked within range of forts, and the sen- 
tries tired at on the works. All the Poligars of Tinnevelly were in 
rebellion, and closely connected with the Dutch Government at 
Colombo, from whence attempts were meditated, in conjunction with 
them and with Mapillai Devar, to reduce those countries and the 
Strength of Marava dominions. Nearly one hundred thousand Poligars and Col- 
the Fuligurs. leries were in arms throughout the southern provinces, and being con- 
sidered hostile to Government, looked to public confusion as their safe- 
guard against punishment. Your southern force was inadequate to 
repress these outrages and to retrieve your affairs. The treasury was 
drained, the country depopulated, the revenues exacted by the enemy, 
the troops undisciplined, ill-paid, poorly fed and unsuccessfully com- 
mand* d. During the course of these proceedings, your southern pro* 
vinces remained in their former confusion. The Poligars, Colleries, 
and other tributaries, ever since the commencement of the war had 
thrown oh' all appearance of allegiance. No civil arrangement could 
be attempted without a military force, and nothing less than the whole 
army seemed adequate to their reduction. While such a considerable 


portion of the southern provinces remained in defiance of the Com- Chapteb 71. 
pany's Government, it was vain to think of supporting the current . ""TT . 
charges of the establishment, far less could we hope to reduce the the situation. 
arrears, and to prepare for important operations, in the probable event 
of a recommencement of hostilities. It became indispensable, there- 
fore, to restore the tranquillity of those provinces by vigorous military 
measures as the only means to render them productive of revenue." 

After having- reduced the Poligars of Melur and Sivagangei to 
obedience, Colonel Fullarton marched southwards. "There next 
remained a more important undertaking. The numerous Poligars 
of Tinnevelly, who had rebelled on the commencement of the war, 
committed daily ravages from Madura to Cape Comorin. They 
subdued forts and occupied districts belonging to the Circar, or 
held by a tenure different from their own. I had been repeatedly Invitation to 
urged by Mr. Irwin, Superintendent of Madura and Tinnevelly, rcduce^the 
to proceed against the Poligars, in order to restore tranquillity and 
recover the revenues. It was now, for the first time, in my power 
to direct my operations towards that quarter, at a moment when the 
most powerful of the Poligars in confederacy against your Govern- 
ment, and in alliance with the Dutch, had assembled twelve or 
fourteen thousand men, and were actually besieging the fort of 
Chocumpatty (Chokkampatti), a Poligar place of some strength, 
below the hills that form the north-west boundary of the province. 

" When it was determined that we should march towards Tinne- 
velly, during the interval requisite for Colonels Stuart and 
Elphinstone's detachments to reach Dindigul, my object was to 
strike an unexpected blow, and to intimidate the Poligars into sub- 
mission. Of all the Tinnevelly chiefs, the principal in power and 
delinquency, excepting Sivagiri, was Kattaboma Nayaka. He was 
personally engaged at the siege of Chocumpatty, from whence his 
fort of Panjalamkurichi, on the south-east quarter of Tinnevelly, is 
distant more than seventy miles. The visual route to Tinnevelly 
passes by Madura ; and the Poligars, hearing of our movement 
towards Sivagangei, looked for us in that direction. To favour 
this opinion, I ordered provisions for the army to be prepared at March into 
Madura, kept my real intention perfectly concealed, and moved off mneve J - 
with the force from Sivagangei, on the evening of 8th August, to 
Tropichetty (Tint Pachetti), a place twenty miles distant on the 
southern border of the Melur country. I there joined the remain- 
der of the army, and leaving the 7th battalion and some irregulars 
to restrain the Colleries at Melur, we proceeded next morning by 
Pallemery (Pallimadai), Pandalgoody, and Naiglapore (Nagala- 
puram), and readied the fort of Panjalamkurichi on the fourth day, Attack on 
being one hundred miles from Sivagangei. 1 As soon as the line , Fa " J: ', - un " 

<-> O O kUM' 111. 

1 Fahrenheit's thermometer was frequently above 110 degrees duiiny these 
ma relies. 


Chapter VI. approached the fort, a flag was sent desiring the headmen to open 
their gates and hold a conference : they refused. The 18-pounders 
were, therefore, halted in the rear of an embankment, facing the 
north-east angle of the works ; a hasty battery was constructed, 
and in three hours we were ready to open on the bastion. The 
works were manned with several thousand people, and every cir- 
cumstance denoted an intention of resistance. It was material to 
storm without delay, in order to strike terror by despatch and also 
lest Kattaboma Nayaka, with his confederate chiefs, might hasten 
to obstruct our operations. We opened on the bastion, but finding 
ourselves retarded by its thickness, we resolved to breach the 
adjoining curtain, and to render the defences of the bastion unten- 
able by the besieged. They kept up a constant and well-directed 
fire, and notwithstanding our utmost efforts, it was dark before a 
practicable breach was effected ; the attack was therefore deferred 
until the moon should rise. The storming party consisted of two 
companies of Europeans, supported by the 13th and 24th Camatic 
Battalions, and continued in the rear of the battery. The cavalry, 
the 1st, and light infantry battalions, were posted at right angles 
with the other three salient angles of the fort, with detachments 
fronting each gateway, in order to prevent the besieged from 
receiving supplies or making their escape, while the other troops 
remained to defend the camp, which was within random shot. 

" Our next object was to remove a strong hedge fronting the 
breach and surrounding the whole fort, as is the practice in the 
Poligar system of defence. This dangerous service was effected 
with unusual skill by Ensign Cunningham, commanding the 
Pioneers, and about 10 at night, with the advantage of bright 
moonshine, the storm commenced. Our troops after they gained 
the summit of the breach found no sufficient space to lodge them- 
selves, and the interior wall having no slope or talus, they could 

Abandonment not push forward from the summit as they advanced. The defen- 
ders were numerous and opposed us so vigorously with pikes and 
musketry that we were obliged at last to retire, and reached the 
battery with considerable slaughter on both sides. Immediate 
measures were taken to renew the charge, but the Poligars, disheart- 
ened with their loss, abandoned the place, and sallied forth at the 
eastern gate. The corps posted round the works were so exhausted 
by the preceding marches that the fugitives effected their escape; 
the rest were taken prisoners. The breach was covered with dead 
bodies, and the place contained a large assortment of guns, powder, 
shot, arms, and other military stores, which were of course applied 
to the public service. 40,000 star pagodas were also found, and 
immediately distributed to the troops. Your Board was pleased to 
confirm this distribution on the footing of prize-money, than which 
no measure could more effectually tend to animate the army in our 


after operations. Some other facts respecting these transactions, Chavteh VI. 
and the treaty between the Dutch Government of Colombo and 
Ivattaboma Nayaka (of which the original was taken in his fort), 
were referred to in my letters of the 1 3th August addressed to your 
Lordship and the Board. 

" Having left Captain Jacobs with five companies of the 25th Attack on 
Battalion to garrison the place I proceeded to Palamcotta, in order yiva S m - 
to inspect the state of that fort, and from thence by Sankaranainar- 
koil to Sivagiri. It was hoped that the reduction of that strong- 
hold belonging to the most powerful of all the Poligars, in addi- 
tion to the fall of Panjalamkurichi, would intimidate the less con- 
siderable offenders, and convince the whole confederacy that their 
treatment would be proportioned to their misconduct. Besides, 
the outrages committed by the Sivagiri chief were atrocious, and 
could not be forgiven without a total surrender of your authority. 
He had barbarously murdered Captain Graham Campbell and cut 
off a detachment under the command of that officer. On former 
occasions he had beat off considerable detachments, and avowedly 
protected your enemies, who thought themselves secure in the fort 
of Shevigherry. He had collected magazines sufficient to supply 
the Dutch force that was expected from Colombo, as well as to 
resist the most tedious blockade, for he did not conceive his fort 
could be stormed, and every circumstance in his conduct marked that 
he held himself beyond the reach of military power. On our 
arrival before the town of Sivagiri he retired to the thickets, near Abandonment 
four miles deep, in front of his comby l which it covers and defends. of the fort- 
He manned the whole extent of a strong embankment that separates 
the wood and open country. He was joined by Kattaboma Nayaka, 
with other associated Poligars and mustered eight thousand or nine 
thousand men in arms. In the present instance lenity would have 
been accounted imbecility, but the approach of Colonels Stuart and 
Elphinstone to Dindigul, and Tippu Sultan's refusal of the pro- 
posed accommodation, rendered me extremely anxious to finish this 
Poligar warfare, in order to proceed towards the enemies' frontiers. 
The Sivagiri chief and his associates were therefore informed that I Terms offered 
meant immediately to attack the place, unless they would constrain *° ^ e 
the head Poligars of Tinnevelly, amounting to thirty-two chiefs, to 
liquidate all arrears and refund the amount of depredations com- 
mitted since the commencement of the war, agreeably to authen- 
ticated vouchers in the different districts. It was further intimated 
that if they, on the part of the confederacy, would engage to pay 
£120,000 in lieu of all demands, I would forward their proposal 
to the Superintendent of Revenue (Mr. Irwin), and on his accept- 

1 Tamil, kdmbaJ ; the dictionary calls it " a stronghold in the mountains ;" rather 
a stockade in a forest. 





Chapter vi. ance that the troops would be withdrawn, and that they would be 
recommended to forgiveness. They wished to confer with me, 
but refused to visit me in camp. As their distrust arose from 
various outrages committed against them by former commanders, 
instead of increasing their apprehensions by any appearance of 
distrust or resentment, I proposed to meet them alone and unat- 
tended at their own barrier, adding that if any accident befel me, 
it would not pass unresented. The Sivagiri Chief, Kattaboma 
Nayaka, and the deposed Poligar of Chocumpatty, with a large 
retinue, met me in front of their embankment ; before they finished 
their explanations it was dark, and a musket inadvertently fired in 
the rear alarmed our advanced picket, who thought it was aimed 
at me. To prevent the ill-consequences of that mistake, I took 
leave of the Poligars expressing my wish to hear of their acceding 
to the terms proposed. We refrained from hostility next day, but 

rtrSiofd. the findill S that the y trifled witn proposals, the line was ordered under 
arms on the morning following, and we made the distribution of 
attack. It proved as desperate as any contest in that species of 
Indian warfare, not only from the numbers and obstinacy of the 
Poligars, but from the peculiar circumstances which had acquired 
for this place the reputation of impregnability. The attack com- 
menced by the Europeans and four battalions of sepoys moving 
against the embankment which covers the wood. The Poligars, in 
full force, opposed us, but our troops remained with their firelocks 
shouldered, under a heavy fire, until they approached the embank- 
ment ; there they gave a general discharge and rushed upon the 
enemy. By the vigour of this advance we got possession of the 
summit, the Poligars took post on the verge of the adjoining wood, 
and disputed every step with great loss on both sides. 

" After reconnoitring we found that the comby could not be 
approached in front. We proceeded, therefore, to cut a road 
through the impenetrable thickets for three miles to the base of the 
hill that bounds the comby on the west. The Pioneers, under 
Ensign Cunningham, laboured with indefatigable industry; Captain 
Gardiner of the 102nd supported them with the Europeans, and 
Captain Blacker with the 3rd and 24th Carnatic Battalions 
advanced their field pieces as fast as the road was cleared. These 
were strengthened by troops in their rear forming a communica- 
tion with those in front, For this purpose two other battalions 
were posted within the wood, and as soon as we gained the em- 
bankment the camp moved near it and concentrated our force. 
We continued to cut our way under an unabating fire from eight 
thousand Poligars, who constantly pressed upon our advanced party, 
rushed upon the line of attack, piked the bullocks that were 
dragging the guns and killed many of our people. But those 
attempts were repulsed by perseverance, and before sunset we had 

Capture of 
the e 


tin: strong- 


opened a passage entirely to the mountain. It is extremely high, Chapter VI. 

rocky, and in many places almost perpendicular. Having resolved 

to attack from this unexpected quarter, the troops undertook the 

service, and attained the summit. The Poligar parties posted to 

guard that eminence being routed after much firing on all hands 

we descended on the other side and flanked the comby. The 

enemy seeing us masters of the mountain retreated under cover of 

the night by paths inaccessible to regular troops, and we took 

possession of this wonderful recess. The particulars respecting 

ordnance, stores, and provisions found in the place are stated in my 

letter of the 3rd Se'ptember. We left the 3rd and 9th Battalions 

to secure the magazines and moved the army to Srivilliputtur within 

four marches of Madura in order to awe the Northern Poligars of 


" It was little more than a month since we had left Trichinopoly. Success of the 
Your authority was re-established throughout the whole track that expedition, 
we had traversed, extending more than three hundred miles ; and 
besides the arrangement with the Sivagangei Raja, we were masters 
of the two strongest places belonging to the Poligars. We re- 
mained some time in expectation of their proposing a general 
accommodation, but they knew that Tippu still invested Manga- 
lore, and that I must quickly join the force at Dindigul. This 
intelligence corroborated their spirit of procrastination. I there- 
fore convened the Vakeels ' whom the chief Poligars had sent to 
treat with me in camp, and directed them to inform their respective 
principals that I should leave the province on the 21st September. 
I added that if they did not return to their allegiance, I should The Colonel's 
make a vow to Siven, the Grentoo god, whose attribute is vengeance, tllreat> 
to march back and spread destruction throughout every possession 
of the defaulting Poligars : this declaration alarmed the whole 
assembly. I wrote to Mr. Irwin expressing my regret on leaving 
the province before any settlement was concluded with the Poligars. 
He forwarded to me the terms on which he thought it expedient to 
restore their forts to Kattaboma Nayaka and Sivagiri. Vakeels from 
these chiefs waited on me at Trimungulam 2 (Tirmnangalam) and 
stipulated in the name of their masters that they would pay thirty 
thousand chuekrums each, in lieu of all preceding claims. They 
likewise gave their bonds for fifteen thousand pagodas, or £G,000 
each, in consideration of the restitution of their forts. I farther 
exacted obligations that the defences of Panjalamkurichi should 
be demolished, the guns, stores, and ammunition removed to Palam- 
eotta, and that the road which we cleared to the comby of Sivagiri 
should continue open ; that the means of defence should be removed 

1 Vakeels are deputies, agents, or ambassadors. 

2 Trimungulam (Tirumang-alam) is twelve miles south-west of Madura. 




Chapter VI. 

Conditions of 
peace im- 

Satisfaction of 

treaty with 
the Dutch. 

Pearl fishery 

Mr. Irwin's 


from the place, and that the southern commanders and the Com- 
pany's troops should at all times be admitted within their forts and 
barriers. I concluded with injunctions to observe a more submis- 
sive conduct if they valued their lives, property, or posterity. As 
soon as the restitution of the forts and prisoners 1 could possibly 
take place, the 3rd and 9th Battalions, under Captain Mackinnon, 
were directed to march from Sivagiri and to join me at Dindigul, 
whither I proceeded by the route of Madura." 

In the beginning of the following year Colonel Fullarton visited 
Tinnevelly again, but only for the purpose of expediting the col- 
lection of money and means of transport for the force with which 
he was preparing to cope with Tippu Sultan. 

On the 26th October L Mr. Irwin mentions that Kattaboma 
Nayaka and the Sivagiri Poligar had submitted. It will be seen 
from a general order of Government, reviewing the position of 
things in 1875, that they were highly gratified both with the 
military results of Colonel Fullarton's expedition and with the 
financial settlement he had made. 

Mr. Irwin transmits the originals and translations of Kattaboma 
Nayaka's correspondence with the Dutch and their treaty with him, 
found in his fort on its capture, as mentioned by Colonel Fullarton 
in his narrative, which he observes will fully justify the severity 
with which he was treated. He recommends also that if the 
Dutch should return to Tuticorin, peace having been concluded, as 
was expected, measures should be taken to prevent them from 
giving their support and encouragement to Kattaboma Nayaka as 

1784. The first pearl fishery carried on by the East India 
Company was in ] 784, under Mr. Irwin's superintendence, but the 
result, as has so often been the case since, was unsatisfactory. 

In a letter to the Committee in May Mr. Irwin represents the 
advantages that have accrued to the province from the combination 
of severity and clemency in Colonel Fullarton's dealings with the 
Poligars. In carrying out this policy himself he states that he 
had released most of the Toligar prisoners held in detention in 
Palamcotta jail, in the belief that this unexpected act of clemency 
would confirm them in their allegiance to the Company. The 
Poligar of Kollarpatti had been imprisoned for more than twenty 
years. His son, who was an infant when his father was committed 
to prison, had succeeded to the pollam and had been in possession 
ever since. Notwithstanding this he applied for his fathers release 
and in Mr. Irwin's presence he voluntarily resigned to his father 

1 Among the prisoners there was the daughter of Kattaboma Nayaka, who. as 
well as all the others, amounting to many hundreds, were treated with the utmost 


the authority he had so long held. Mr. Irwin was much struck Chapter VI. 
with this instance of filial duty. Hindu readers will be reminded Instance of 
of Bharata's behaviour to his brother Rama. filial duty. 

In October he repeats that the Panjalamkurichi and Sivagiri 
Poligars, who had been singled out for punishment by Colonel 
Fullarton, were still very punctual in their payments, and he hopes 
that the rest of the Poligars will learn to be equally punctual. 

1785. Swartz visited Palamcotta in 1785, when he dedicated Swartz'a 
the church that had been erected there. V1S1 ' 

Captain Bilcliffe, Commandant of Palamcotta, is directed to make Tuticoria 
over Tuticorin, with the stations dependent on it, to Mr. Meckern, glven up- 
the Dutch Governor, in behalf of the Dutch. The treaty, in virtue 
of which this cession was at length made, had been entered into two 
years before, viz., in 1783. Towards the end of the year Mr. 
Torin acted as Paymaster for Mr. Oakes. The appointment of 
Paymaster was then always held by civilians. 

Surrender of the Assignment. 

The principal event of this year, and one which was productive The surrender 
of much mischief to every district in the country, Tinnevelly °l s ^* ent 
included, was the surrender to the Nawab of the assignment of his reluctantly 
revenues, in virtue of which the civil administration of the Com- ^S^it. 
pany, with all its advantages, ceased for seven years. The sur- 
render took place, after many ineffectual protests on the part of the 
Madras Government, on the 28th of June, whereupon the proceed- 
ings of the Committee of Assigned Revenue came to an end, and 
the Committee itself was soon after dissolved. They were to cease 
receiving their special allowances from the 5th of July, but were 
to continue to meet as a committee till all the balances were settled. 
They were thanked by the Supreme Government for their zealous 
services. On the 24th June Mr. Irwin wrote a letter to Govern- 
ment earnestly deprecating the surrender of "the assignment, as a 
retrograde measure fraught with the worst consequences. In the 
event of the surrender appearing to be inevitable he pleaded that a 
stipulation should be inserted, exempting Tinnevelly and Madura 
from its operation till October. He argued that those two districts 
having been remodelled by himself were in an exceptional posi- 
tion. Reforms and pacificatory measures had been introduced, 
but there had not been time to carry them far. His wish could 
not be acceded to. Before his letter reached Madras the surrender 
had been formally made. In virtue of this conclusion, on the 10th 
July, Mr. Irwin reports that he had delivered over the district to 
the Amildars on that date, with the balance due from the 28th of 
June. In doing so he again expressed his apprehension of the evils 
that were likely to ensue. In September Mr. Irwin on his way 





Chapter VI. from Tinnevelly to Madras, at Melur in Madura, writes to Govern- 
ment a letter in which he highly lauds the conduct of Mr. Torin, 
his Revenue Assistant in the Madura District, who was afterwards 
the first Collector of Tinnevelly under the Assumption in 1790 and 
the Treaty of 1792. After his arrival in Madras, in October he 
submitted to Government in an able letter his views respecting the 
condition of the southern districts from Triehinopoly to Tinnevelly 
that had been under his charge, reiterating his conviction that all 
the old evils would revive and gather strength through the with- 
drawal of the Company's authority, both on the side of the 
Nawab's agents, who would now be able to misgovern with impu- 
nity, and on that of the Poligars, whose habits of insurrection and 
plunder would now go on unchecked. 

The Committee of Assigned Eevenue, in resigning their func- 
tions, submitted to Government, on the 31st of December, a gene- 
ral statement of their proceedings, in which they enlarged on the 
circumstances of the Tinnevelly Poligars, the impolicy of the 
dealings with them of the Nawab's agents, and the principles on 
which their own method of dealing with them had been grounded. 
They describe the Poligars as thirty -two in number, with an array 
of followers armed with pikes and matchlocks, estimated at 30,000 
men, and possessed of strongholds which the Nawab's troops had 
often found it difficult to reduce and from which, even if they 
were taken, it was easy to escape into the woods. When the 
Nawab was strong he levied as much tribute from the Poligars as 
The Nawab's f ear induced them to yield ; when, on the other hand, he was weak 
the^olig.irs. he na d to content himself with their gratuitous offerings and wait 
for a more favourable opportunity for enforcing his demands. 

Mr. Irwin calculated in 1783 that, during the eighteen years 
previous, of the average tribute of more than one lakh of chakrams 
per annum due by the Poligars only an average of about 40,000 
chakrams per annum reached the treasury, in consequence of which, 
if they balanced against this small gain what was lost by depre- 
dations and expended on military expeditions, it would appear 
that the Nawab must have been a loser of several lakhs of pagodas 
in his transactions with the Poligars during that time. " But 
this," they say, " was not the only inconvenience attending the 
system. A state of frequent warfare and perpetual distrust took 
place of that mutual confidence which ought to have made the 
Poligars good subjects in time of peace and useful auxiliaries in 
time of war. The consequence was naturally that when Hyder 
Ali invaded the Carnatic in 1780 they availed themselves of that 
opportunity to withhold the payment of their tribute, to plunder 
the country, and commit other acts of violence and hostility which 
obliged the Company to send a large force ngninst them in the 
midst of the war. The army under the command of Colonel 

His losses. 

_ m 


Fullarton by a well-timed expedition against two of the principal Chapter VI. 
Poligars brought the whole to a sense of obedience, and the equity 
of the subsequent settlement improved that obedience into a real 
confidence in the Company's government." 

In another paragraph they expressed their regret at having The Nawab's 
learnt that, though so short a time had elapsed since the Assign- j^ ra " 
ment had been surrendered into the Nawab's hands, he had already 
commenced, as in former times, to " anticipate the revenue by 
borrowing money and requiring advances from the different 
renters as the price of their confirmation." This practice they 
deprecated not only because of the interest that would have to be 
paid on the sums borrowed, but still more on account of the power 
it placed in the hands of the renter to reimburse himself at the 
expense of the country. 

They proceeded also to compare the expensiveness of the Nawab's 
government with the inexpensiveness of theirs during the Assign- 
ment. When uncontrolled authority came into their hands they 
reduced the Nawab's separate disbursements upon the peace 
establishment from thirteen and a half lakhs of pagodas per annum 
to little more than two lakhs ; and during the time they had the 
collection of the revenue, even in time of war, the charges did not 
exceed 11 per cent, upon the gross jumma of the assignment. 

I append to this statement the following description by Mr. 
Lushington of the state of disorder into which Tinnevelly relapsed, 
after the Assignment was surrendered and Mr. Irwin left the 
district in 1785, till the commencement of the period of the Assump- 
tion and Mr. Torin's management in 1790 : — 

" With the knowledge of these facts it will appear very natural Effects of the 
that the inhabitants should look back to the Company's management Nawab's rule, 
as an era of comparative happiness, and contrast it in a very feeling 
manner with three succeeding years of extortion under Iktibar Khan, 
when the system of mortgage and gadayom (sale) prevailed in its 
worst rigours. From these intolerable oppressions the inhabitants' 
fled in numbers to Travancore, and the ruin of the country was fast 
approaching ; but the fears of the Nawab were at length raised to the 
calamities of the country by the remonstrances of the Eight Honourable 
Lord Hobart. The accuracy with which the evils of this system were 
developed, the determination subsequently shown by the Company's 
Government to put an end to them, and especially the establishment 
of the Commercial Investment about this period may be said with the 
strictest truth to have arrested the destruction of Tinnevelly, for the 
alarm excited at His Highness' Durbar and in the breasts of all those 
who participated in these enormities materially changed the nature of 
His Highness' management. The system of usurious mortgage grew Improvements 
from that period into disuse, for those pernicious transactions which introduced by- 
had before covered the province were of a very different character 
from the inferior advantages that a few adventurers subsequently 
derived from a partial and fearful monopoly of grain." 


Chapter vl Iktibar Khan, commonly styled "the Cawn," was the Nawab's 

manager in Tinnevelly during most of this period. 
Board of 1786. On the 1st May 1786 the Board of Eevenue was consti- 

Revenue. tuted at MadraS- 

The Commandant of Palamcotta places five companies of Captain 
Blacker's battalion at Saakaranaiyanarkovil at the "request" of 
Iktibar Khan, the Nawab's manager. 

1787. Mr. Oakes resumes his post of Paymaster in Palamcotta. 
A dispute takes place between Major McLeod, an officer at the head 
of a detachment, and the Paymaster, respecting the loss his troops 
had sustained by the rate of exchange the Paymaster had fixed. 

Colonel Bridges is Commandant of Palamcotta, and reports in 
February that the Nawab's Fauzdar had assembled a considerable 
force at Tenkanji, (properly Tenkasi, the Southern Benares, com- 
monly Tenkanji, the southern Conjeveram), for the purpose of 
operating against the Poligar of Chokkampatti, who had built a 
fort and was furnishing it with arms and provisions. Colonel 
Bridges had recommended that the Fauzdar should not commence 
hostilities without the consent of the Madras Government. 
Fears of 1788. A Dutch detachment marches from Tuticorin to Cochin, 

Tippu Sultan. ^th f which places then belonged to the Dutch. The Madras 
Government advises that they be warned that in passing through 
the territories of Travancore and Cochin they should take great 
care not to be intercepted by Tippu Sultan. Tippu's assault on the 
northern Travancore lines was in the following year. 
Cultivation of 1789. In January Mr. Oakes resigns and Mr. Torin, who had 
epues. previously acted for him, is appointed Paymaster and Storekeeper 

in his room. Mr. Torin requests the grant of a piece of land in 
Palamcotta for the cultivation of cinnamon on a larger scale. The 
piece of ground he asked for was near the Nawab's garden and the 
Company's garden. It was close also to the Paymaster's house. 
According to tradition this cinnamon garden was identical with a 
piece of land now cultivated with paddy to the north-east of the 
Judge's house. The commencement of this cultivation was by 
Mr. Light, a previous Paymaster. (See 1780). The experiment, so 
far as it had gone, was a promising one. It was from the two 
trees brought from Ceylon by Mr. Light that he had been going 
on propagating more. It would be easy to make cinnamon trees 
grow in the alluvial soil near the river at Palamcotta, but in so 
hot and dry a climate the cultivation would not be found to pay. 
It was from Mr. Torin's trees that cinnamon was introduced into 
the " Spice Gardens" at Courtallum. See 1791. 

A proposition of Mr. Torin's to rebuild the Paymaster's house 
(his own) at a cost of 1,000 pagodas is sanctioned. 

1790. All the Paymasters south of the Coleroon, including 
Palamcotta, are ordered to be ready to comply with all the requisi- 


tions of Colonel Musgrove, the Commander-in-Chief, who was then Chapter VI. 
preparing to meet an expected invasion by Tippu Sultan. Provin- 
cial battalions were being formed in each division. 

The Period of the Assumption. 

On the 7th August 1790 a new period in the relations subsisting Difference 
between the Madras Government and the Nawab of the Carnatic between the 


commenced. The Government, finding it impossible to induce the and the 
Nawab to consent to the reintroduction of the Assignment, or any AssuD1 P hon - 
similar arrangement placing the general administration of affairs 
in English hands, took possession of the management of the country, 
without treaty, by proclamation. The expression they use is, that 
they have " assumed the management of the Nawab's country," 
and the period came to be styled " the period of the Assumption," 
lasting from 1790 to 1792, in contradistinction to " the period of the 
Assignment," lasting from 1781 to 1790. From 1792 commenced 
the period of a new treaty. A Board was at the same time insti- 
tuted called at first, as before, the Board of Assigned Revenue ; but 
this name was erroneous ; it implied the Nawab's consent to the 
arrangement ; and accordingly on the 28th September the Govern- 
ment write to the Board : " The management of the countries of 
the Nawab and the Raja (of Tan j ore) having been assumed, not 
assigned, the name of your Board must henceforward be changed 
accordingly." After this order it was called the Board of Assumed 
Revenue. This Board was not independent of the Board of 
Revenue, but was simply a department of its work. 

Before the proclamation was issued various necessary arrange- Sir. Torin 
ments are made. On the 23rd of July Collectors are appointed j 60 ^ 
for the management of the various districts, who are to report their Assumption, 
proceedings to the Board. Mr. Benjamin Torin, previously Pay- 
master of Palamcotta, is appointed Collector of Tinnevelly and the 
dependent Poligars. Mr. Macleod is at the same time appointed 
Collector of Madura, Melur, and the Marawars. On the 7th 
August orders are issued to the Commandant of Palamcotta " to 
support the Collector upon his written requisition with such 
military aid as he may from time to time require, in support of the 
trust with which he is invested." 

Mr. Marten is appointed Paymaster rice Mr. Torin. Mr. Torin, 
now Collector of Tinnevelly, under the Assumption, proposes to 
Government that the Nawab's troops in Tinnevelly, now left 
without pay or discipline, be entertained by Government and put 
under the command of Captains Dighton and Everett, hitherto 
officers in the Nawab's service. The proposition is approved. 

Mr. Meckern, Dutch Governor of Tuticorin, obtains permission 
to march 400 men, Europeans and Malays, coming from Cochin 
through Tinnevelly to Tuticorin, there to be embarked for Ceylon. 


Chapter VI. 1791. Specimens of the cinnamon grown at Palamcotta are sent 
to Madras and approved. Mr. Torin proceeds to cultivate mulber- 
ries. Cinnamon cultivation is extended by Mr. Torin to Tenkasi. 
Probably Courtallum is meant, though it is also said that the 
cultivation of spices was introduced into Courtallum in 1800 by 
Mr. Casamajor. 

On the 11th October Mr. Torin sends to Government, for the in- 
formation of the Governor-General, Lord Cornwallis, an account 
of the conduct of the Tinnevelly Poligars. He states that the 
lenity shown to two of them — the Poligars of Sivagiri and Panja- 
lamkurichi — by Colonel Fullarton had only encouraged them in 
their rebellious spirit, and recommends that more decided measures 
should be adopted, especially with regard to Panjalamkurichi. He 
mentions that a military guard had been sent to occupy the fort 
Pali Devar of Puli Devar, but that the Devar' s men had taken up the men of 
again. ^ e g uar( j "bodily^ weapons and all, carried them out and set them 

down outside the fort. He mentions this incident as showing both 
their dread of our power and their resolution not to submit. 
Torin's Mr. Torin's opinion of the result of Colonel Fullarton's policy 

t^resultt of differed widely, we see, from Mr. Irwin's. His representations led 
Fullarton's to Colonel Maxwell's expedition. But the result showed — as the 
lemty. result of every similar expedition, whether before or after showed — 

that no permanent pacification would be brought about, whether 
by " lenity " or by more " decided measures," so long as the double 
government of the Nawab and the Company subsisted. Having 
two masters the Poligars always succeeded in defying both. The 
Government are so much gratified with Mr. Torin's zeal and dili- 
gence that his pay and allowances are doubled. He is constantly 
endeavouring without success to induce the late renter, Tlttarappa 
Mudali, to refund the taxes received by him. 

The Treaty of 1792. 

Conditions of 1792. This year occupies a still more important place in the 
treaty history of the period than 1781 or 1790, for the treaty entered into 

this year between the Nawab and the East India Company 
remained in force for nine years — a long time for any such arrange- 
ment to last — and came to an end only on the formal and final 
transfer of the country from the Nawab to the English Government 
in 1801. The treaty was signed on the 12th July, but virtually it 
dated from the beginning of the year. By this treaty the Madras 
Government undertook to collect the whole of the Poligar peshcush 
or tribute at their own expense and risk. The Nawab was not to 
be responsible either for any deficiency that might arise in the 
Poligars' payments, or for the expense incurred by any coercive 
measures which it might become necessary to adopt to enforce 
payment from them. With the exception of a few districts the rest 


of the country was to be restored to the management of the Nawab Chapter VI. 
on certain conditions. Amongst the excepted districts were the 
districts south of Trichinopoly, including Tinnovelly and Madura. 
These were to remain in the Company's hands till the revenue, after 
deducting the charges of collection, equalled the amount of the 
kist that had fallen into arrears. One of the conditions of the 
treaty was that in time of war the entire management of the 
country was to be in the Company's hands. 

A new commission, in virtue of the treaty, was issued to Mr. New appoint- 
Torin on the same date as the treaty itself, the 12th July. lie meu s ' 
was hereby appointed " Collector of the Zemindar and Poligar 
peshcush in the Tinnevelly, Madura, Trichinopoly, Ramnadpuram, 
and Shevigunga Districts." This was in advance of the special 
instructions he was shortly to receive from " the Board of Assumed 
Revenue." Those instructions related especially to his co-opera- 
tion with Lieutenant- Colonel Maxwell in the expedition on which 
he was about to enter. 

In accordance with Mr. Torin's representations Government Colonel 

had determined to send a detachment, under Colonel Maxwell, into Mar ?£r 

.... . expedition. 

Tinnevelly. The special object of the expedition was " to punish 
the Poligar of Sivagiri, who in contempt of all authority, and of 
every principle of justice and humanity, had made a violent attack 
with his peons on the Poligar of Settur and put him and his 
family to death." He was instructed to endeavour to apprehend 
the Poligar of Sivagiri, and not to operate against the other 
Poligars except in the event of his finding them confederates with 
him. The existence of this confederacy was ere long clearly 
proved. Colonel Maxwell set out on his expedition in July and 
proceeded from Madura to Srlvilliputtur. From thence he 
marched on Sivagiri. He attacked and reduced the "kombai" (the 
hill stockade) of the Sivagiri Poligar, in Which service Captains 
Steward and Torrens greatly distinguished themselves. See the 
account of the capture of this stronghold by Colonel Pullarton in 

Colonel Maxwell now proceeded, in conjunction with Mr. Torin, Colonel 
to make a settlement with the various Tinnevelly Poligars, but 8e ttiement. 
they did not agree in some particulars as to the course that ought 
to be taken. Orders were issued by Colonel Maxwell, in accord- 
ance with the instructions of the Board, respecting the arrears due 
by the Poligars. No remission was to be made to Sivagiri. The 
Chokkampatti Poligar refused to accept Colonel Maxwell's offer 
and was deposed. Chennalgudi Pollam was temporarily resumed. 
"iic element in the settlement made by Colonel Maxwell was that 
a certain Sankaralingam Pillai should be prohibited from receiving 
any employment or encouragement from any of the Poligars. 
This Sankaralingam Pillai was one of the persons who subse- 




Mr. Landon, 



Chapter VI. quently instigated the son of the Poligar of Sivagiri to rebel 
against his father. Mr. Torin disapproved Colonel Maxwell's 
policy towards this man, and Colonel Maxwell complained to 
Government of Mr. Torin's interference with his authority. He 
also represented Mr. Torin's dubash, or confidential interpreter, in 
whose faithfulness his master placed implicit reliance, as secretly 
in league with the Poligars. On a reference being made to 
Government Mr. Torin was ordered to dismiss his dubash and 
Colonel Maxwell's authority over the affairs of the Poligars was 
made absolute. Hereupon Mr. Torin resigned, and his dubash 
was sent to Madras under a guard. Mr. Torin's Assistant at this 
time was Mr. Thomas Scott Jackson. His resignation was accepted, 
and Mr. James Landon was appointed his successor. He gave over 
charge to Mr. Landon on the 12th November 1792. Mr. Landon 
was to receive 250 pagodas per mensem and 1| per cent, commission 
at the expiration of the year. Mr. Torin's name is chiefly remem- 
bered in Tinnevelly in connection with the rebuilding of the 
Marudur anicut. An inscription on the anicut records his name 
and the year 1792. Colonel Maxwell's Secretary or Assistant 
throughout these expeditions was Captain Bannerman, afterwards 
in command of a similar but more important expedition in 1799. 

1793. Mr. Balmain is Assistant to Mr. Landon, and at Mr. 
Landon's request receives an addition to his salary of 50 pagodas 
per mensem. 

Mr. Landon states that the Poligar of Woodoocaud (probably 
Orkadu) had murdered a Tahsildar employed in his district by the 
Nawab's manager. 

The Settur Poligar being a minor his pollam is placed under a 
manager by Mr. Landon, but the manager is dispossessed and 
imprisoned by a usurper. Government, sensible that such law- 
less acts, if allowed to pass entirely unnoticed, would lead to 
greater mischief, now directed Captain Dighton to proceed with 
his detachment against Settur in order to capture the usurping 
manager. He appeared before the fort in July 1793, but the 
gates were closed againt him, and the troops of the Ootoomaly 
(TJttumalai) and Ovidiapuram (Avudaiyarpuram) Zemindars, who 
were within the walls, threatened to open fire on him if he did not 
withdraw. He withdrew, but the Collector ordered Major Stevenson 
to proceed with his troops to Captain Dighton's assistance and to 
apprehend tho two Poligars. Government, however, despatched 
orders to Major Stevenson forbidding him to attack the rebels, and 
desiring him to content himself with warnings for the present. 
Government also interdicted Mr. Landon from interfering in the 
police and internal management of the pollams, and told him that 
he was to confino himself to the duty of collecting the peshcush. 
They held that no further right but that of collection was con- 

Troubles at 


ferred on the Company by the treaty of 1792 with the Nawab. ChaptbkVI. 
Tho Government felt obliged to temporise from want of troops, but The Q ove rn- 
this policy would necessarily have reduced the country ere long to mcnt obliged 
anarchy. These counter orders of GTovernment were sufficient to 
embolden even the most inconsiderable Poligars, and accordingly 
Major Stevenson, a few days subsequently, warned Government 
against a general rising, at the same time announcing that 
Kattaboma Nayaka was plundering the eastern parts of the 
province and murdering the people, and that Puli Devar had 
thrown himself across the path of Lieutenant St. Leger in his 
pursuit of the manager of Settur and closed the gates of his fort 
against him. In the settlement made by Colonel Maxwell shortly 
before the boundaries of the several pollams were rearranged, 
and part of this new arrangement was that two villages should be 
transferred from Panjalamkurichi to Ettaiyapuram. Kattaboma 
Nayaka, however, positively refused to surrender those villages, 
and the Collector was unable to enforce obedience. Captain 
Dighton commanding Streevalapatore (Srlvilliputtur) also informed 
Government that danger was approaching, as the Poligars had 
bodies of armed peons marching about daily, but the Government 
had no troops to spare. The Poligars regarded the inactivity of 
Government as a sign of weakness, and so (in 1798) Kattaboma 
Nayaka's people attacked and plundered the important towns of 
Alvar-Tinnevelly (Alvar-Tirunagari) and Streeviguntam (Sri- Disorders 
vaikuntham) and carried off the principal inhabitants of each town. increasin g- 

Notwithstanding the weakness that had been shown by Govern- Proposed 
ment and their inability to enforce obedience, they requested Mr. ^p^jfj^* 
Landon, in conjunction with Major Stevenson, to determine how 
an object involving the greatest possible difficulty should be 
accomplished, that is, how the Poligars should be disarmed, 
whether gradually by peaceable means or all at once by force. 
This subject of the disarming of the Poligars occupied from this 
time onward the attention of successive Governments, but nothing 
was actually done beyond the writing of paragraphs — no measures 
were adopted for carrying their wishes into effect — till the close of 
Major Bannerman's campaign in 1799. Government also request 
Mr. Landon to inquire into and report upon the claim set up by 
the Poligars to disai-kdml (or district watch) fees. This question 
assumed larger proportions as time went on, but it was not finally 
settled till the country was ceded to the Company in Mr. Lushing- 
ton's collect orate in 1801. 

1794. Colonel Campbell is Commandant of Palamcotta. The 
Board of Revenue, alarmed at the progress of rebellion, recommend 
Government to order detachments of troops to be stationed in 
various parts of Tinnevelly for the purpose of keeping the Poligars 
in check. This recommendation does not seem to have been acted on. 



Chapter VI 

Mr. Powney 

Orders of 
Court of 

A Poligar 
shot by 

Mr. Landon died this year on the 22nd June. Mr. Balmain, 
his Assistant, took temporary charge. Mr. Landon's successor was 
Mr. George Powney, who had been Resident at TreYandram from 
1788. He was the first Resident there. At this time, as in 
Mr. Torin's, the Collector of Poligar peshcush had authority over 
all the Pollgars from Trichinopoly to Tinnevelly, including the 
Manapara Poligars, the Raja of Ramnad, and the Poligar of Siva- 

Mr. Powney is directed by Government to proceed with the 
inquiries commenced by Mr. Landon into the claim of the Tinne- 
velly Poligars to disai-kaval. 

1795. The Commandant of Srlvilliputtur complains of the 
robberies committed by the dependents of the Sivagiri Poligar, 
and Mr. Powney expresses his regret that detachments of troops, 
according to Colonel Maxwell's plan and the Collector's recommend- 
ation, had not been located in various places to keep the Poligars in 
awe. Mr. Powney receives and publishes an ordei of Government 
respecting the Poligar districts, in which the Poligars are prohibited 
from obeying any orders of the Nawab, except such as are com- 
municated to them through the channel of the Company's Govern- 
ment. Tuticorin is taken this year from the Dutch. 

The Court of Directors send out positive orders " for disarming 
the Poligars, for punishing the refractory, for adjusting their 
disputed claims, and for the introduction of such a system of 
internal arrangement as shall have a tendency to restore these 
distressed provinces from their present state of anarchy and misery 
to a state of subordination and prosperity." Extracts from another 
letter from the Court of Directors dated the same year to a similar 
effect will be found further on in the sketch of the political position 
between 1781 and 1801. 

The Board of Revenue request the Collector of Tinnevelly to 
report on the best mode of carrying these orders of the Court of 
Directors into effect. It seems scarcely necessary to repeat here 
what has been so often shown, that neither recommendations, 
expostulations, nor " positive orders " could produce the slightest 
improvement so long as the double Government lasted. It would 
be only like issuing orders for oil and water to combine. 

1796. Measures are adopted by Mr. Powney to obtain the 
voluntary surrender of the fort of Chokkampatti to the Company. 

1797. The Nawab complains of the refractory, disrespectful be- 
haviour and predatory habits of the Tinnevelly Poligars. Govern- 
ment order the Collector to inquire strictly into these complaints. 

Mr. Powney reports to the Board of Revenue that the Poligar 
of Orkadu had been shot during a hunting expedition by the 
Poligar of Singampatti, whom he describes as a drunkard and a 
man of violence, but laments that there was no power competent to 


administer criminal justice in the pollams, so that it seemed impos- Chapter VI. 
sible to bring the offender to trial. 

In another paragraph he states that the son of the Poligar of Rebellious 
Sivagiii, instigated by Mauply Vanien (Mapillai Vanniyan) and ^^ C * 
Sankaralingam Pillai, had conspired against his father's govern- Sivagiri 
ment and taken measures to wrest the management of the pollams Foll o u1 ' 8 
from his hands. It will subsequently be seen that this rebellious 
son was in league with the rebellious Panjalamkurichi Poligar. 
Before Mr. Powney left the district he reported that the rebels 
collected by the Sivagiri Poligar's son had been dispersed, but that 
the son himself had escaped to the hills. Sankaralingam Pillai, 
however, was caught and sent to the Presidency to be transported 
to Bencoolen in Sumatra — the Andaman Islands of that period. 

The following paragraphs in a letter from the Board of Revenue 
to the Governor of Madras in 1 797 throw some additional light on 
this transaction. They also seem to indicate the complicity of the 
Uttumalai Poligar : — 

" Should the operations of the detachment prove successful in Uttumalai 
securing the person of Mauply Vanien and Sankaralirigam Pillai, we ■P°"8' ar - 
recommended that Mr. Powney should be authorized to send them 
under a guard to the Presidency. Your Lordship in reply entirely 
approved of this suggestion, as well as of the conduct of the Collector 
under the circumstances represented. By subsequent information from 
Mr. Powney we were advised that Captain Dighton, having received 
intelligence that Sankaralingam Pillai had taken refuge in the Uttu- 
malai Pollam, despatched a guard of sepoys with some of the Sivagiri 
peons in search of him, who seized him and were conducting him to 
the Collector's cutcherry when Uttumalai's peons assembled to the 
number of about 300 and rescued him. It was, however, satisfactory 
to us to find from a further report that the Uttumalai Poligar had not 
so far lost all sense of his duty to the Company as to hesitate in 
delivering up the person of Sankaralingam Pillai upon his requisition. 
But as the attack of his people upon the Company's sepoys, if done 
either b} T his order or with his connivance, must be considered a very 
flagrant breach of his allegiance, we have informed Mr. Powney that 
it behoves him to trace by every possible means with whom it origi- 
nated. We have, therefore, directed him to summon the Poligar and 
all the parties concerned in this affair immediately to his cutcherry, 
and, after making such examinations as to his judgment may appear 
necessary, to transmit the whole with his opinion of the punishment 
that should be inflicted for our consideration." 

At the close of this year Mr. Powney is succeeded as Collector Mr. Jackson 
by Mr. Jackson. The principal events of his time will take their ColIec 
place in the account of the Bannerman-Poligar war, which will be 
found in the next part. 

1798. Kaittar discontinued as a station for troops, and Captain 
Bannennan ordered to join his corps. 



Chapter VI. 


Mr. Lushing- 

ton Collector. 

1799. In the beginning of this year Captain (now Major) 
Bannerman was not permitted to accompany his battalion to the 
field in the final campaign against Tippu Sultan, but was charged 
with negotiations with the Kaja of Travancore and the collection 
of cattle and other supplies for the Bombay army. He was tempo- 
rarily appointed Resident of Travancore with a salary of 250 
pagodas a month. His campaign against the Poligars in Tinne- 
velly commenced, as will be seen, later on in the year, shortly 
after Tippu Sultan's fall. 

Mr. Lushington succeeds Mr. Jackson as Collector of Tinnevelly 
on the 12th January 1799. The events of his period will be found 
in the next chapter. 



Sketch of the Political Position between 1781 and 1801. 

In order to have a clear idea of the causes that led to the various Chapter VII. 

Poligar wars, and eventually to the cession of the country to the 

Company, it seems necessary that I should endeavour to furnish 

the reader with a succinct explanation of the political position, that 

is, of the relation subsisting between the Nawab of Arcot and the 

Government of the East India Company between 1781 and 1801. 

In doing so I may have to repeat some particulars already more or 

less fully mentioned under the head of the years in which the events 

occurred. Though the connection of the English Government with 

Tinnevelly commenced in 1781, up to Mr. Lushington's Collectorate 

in 1799, the disorders prevalent in the country had not been 

removed, and had scarcely even been mitigated. One cause of this 

inaction consisted in the necessity for massing troops north of Tri- 

chinopoly and in the neighbourhood of Mysore, so long as the 

safety of the State was threatened by such formidable foes as Hyder 

Ali and Tippu Sultan. This difficulty came to an end by the 

capture of Seringapatam and the death of Tippu on the 4th May 


The principal reason why more thorough measures for the 
subjection of the Poligars of Tinnevelly were so long deferred is to 
be found in the unsatisfactory nature of the relations which sub- 
sisted during the whole of that period between the English Govern- 
ment and the Nawab. On the 2nd December 1781 an agreement The Assign- 
was made between the two parties to the effect that the Revenues mentof '" si 
of the Carnatic, including of course those of Tinnevelly, should 
be assigned by the Nawab to the English Government during the 
continuance of the war, one-sixth of the revenue being paid to the 
Nawab for his private expenses. In virtue of this arrangement we 
have seen that a Committee of Assigned Revenue was constituted at 
Madras, and that functionaries styled Superintendents of Assigned 
Revenue were appointed in various important centres by the 
English Government, one of them in Tinnevelly. Though this 
assignment of revenue was intended to last during the continuance 
of the war, the Nawab almost immediately endeavoured to get it set 
aside. Accordingly in June 1785 the assignment was relinquished 


Chapter VII. by the Company and an annual payment by the Nawab out of the 
revenue for the payment of his debts was promised instead, with 

Treaty of territorial security for punctuality. Another treaty was made on 
the 24th February 1787, differing but little from the preceding one 
in regard to the amount of the annual payment that was to be 
made, but containing an important proviso, binding the Company 
to supply the Nawab with troops for " the security and collection 
of his revenue, the support of his authority, or the good order and 
Government of his dominions, whenever he represented to Govern- 
ment the necessity of such a force and the objects to be obtained 
thereby." This, as we shall see, was naturally disapproved by the 
Madras Government as establishing a divided authority and im- 
peding their attempts to establish order. 

Assumption Negotiations with the Nawab for the assumption of the revenues 
of the Carnatic and the control of their expenditure having failed, 
the Madras Government took the management of the country into 
their own hands, without treaty, by a proclamation on the 7th of 
August 1790. A Board of Assumed Revenue, virtually only a 
department of the Board of Revenue, was constituted in Madras. 
The preceding period from 1781 to 1790 was called the Period of 
the Assignment ; the period from 1790 to 1792, the Period of the 

Treaty of On the 12th of July 1792, a new treaty was concluded with the 

Nawab which provided that the whole country should be garrisoned 
by British troops, for the expenses of which the Nawab should make 
an adequate contribution. In the event of war the Company was to 
take the entire management of the affairs of the country into its 
own hands, but in time of peace all that it was to be permitted to 
do for the good government of the country was to collect the pesh- 
cush or tribute of the Poligars in the Nawab's name and give him 
credit for it in his contribution. See further details under the head 
of 1792. By this arrangement the Poligars were brought more 
directly than before under the control of the English Government. 
It seemed even to give the Government a distinct and definite 
right to reduce the Poligars to submission, but this right, as we 
shall see, was in a great measure neutralised by the circumstance 
that the sovereignty over the Poligars was still allowed to remain 
in the Nawab's hands, so that the measures adopted by the English 
Government to establish order were more or less thwarted. The 
civil officers appointed under the treaty of 1792 to represent the 
Government were commonly styled " Collectors of Poligar Pesh- 
cush." l The subsidy due by the Nawab was regularly paid, but 

1 This functionary's titles seem to have heen very various and indefinite. Mr. 
Torin, the first Collector of the series, was generally styled " Collector of Assigned 
Poligar Peshcush south of the Coleroon," " Collector of Poligar Peshcush south of 
the Coleroon," or sometimes simply " Collector south of the Coleroon." In the 


to enable him to meet his liabilities he contracted heavy loans and CHArTEitVII. 
to liquidate those loans he assigned to his creditors the revenue of The w awa v 8 
various districts of the country. It is true that in 1781 an assign- debts, 
ment of revenue had been made to the Company ; but the assign- 
ment of the revenues of the country to irresponsible private indivi- 
duals was a very different proceeding, and one which led to much 
oppression and misery. 

The arrangements introduced by the treaty of 1792 not having 
been found to work well, several attempts were made to remedy 
their defects, one of which was a special arrangement made for the 
regulation of the collection of disai-kaval and talam-kaval fees in 
Tinnevelly. In 1795 the Madras Government endeavoured to 
effect a more satisfactory arrangement with the Nawab with 
respect to the southern Poligars, especially those of Tinnevelly 
and Madura. The right of levying, receiving, and appropriating 
the Poligar Peshcush possessed by the Company by treaty was 
found to contribute little to good government, so long as the right 
of sovereignty remained with the Nawab. The then Governor of LordHobart's 
Madras, Lord Hobart, on the failure of his endeavours to obtain P 10 P osa ■ 
the concurrence of the Nawab to the arrangement he proposed, 
intimated his intention to resume the district of Tinnevelly for the 
liquidation of the debt termed " The Cavalry Loan." To this, 
however, the Supreme Government refused its assent. For addi- 
tional particulars respecting each of these arrangements see the 
notices of the events of each year. 

At length after the discovery, on the capture of Seringapatam, 
that a treasonable correspondence had been carried on by the two 
late Nawabs, Mahomed Ali and his son, with Tippu Sultan, the Final deter- 
British Government determined to assume the entire possession th^Govern- 
and government of the Carnatic, making a provision for the family ment. 
of the Nawab. This was carried into effect by a treaty entered 
into with the grandson of Mahomed Ali on the 31st July 1801. 
On that happy day results were achieved by a single stroke of a 

letter of Government conferring on him his appointment he is appointed " Collector 
of Zemindar and Poligar Peshcush in the Tinnevelly, Madura, Trichinopoly, 
Ramnadpuram, and Shevigunga Districts." I find a long list of titles given to 
Mr. Lushington in official documents. He is styled Collector of Poligar Peshcush 
and Ramnad, Collector of Ramnad and Poligar Peshcush, Collector of the Assigned 
Peshcush, Collector of Southern Peshcush, Collector in (not yet of) Tinnevelly, 
and sometimes simply Collector for short. On his appointment by the authority 
of the Governor of Fort St. George in Council on the 31st July 1801, on the final 
cession of the Carnatic by the Nawab, ho is addressed as " Collector of Southern 
Poligar Peshcush," but the designation in the body of the document of the appoint- 
ment then conferred upon him is that of " Collector of the Province of Tinnevelly." 
From this there was but a step to the later title still in use, " Collector of Tinne- 
velly." In 1781 the title of " Collector" belonged to a class of native subordinates 
resembling Tahsildars, and the European civilian was called" Receiver." The 
subordinate "collected," the chief " received." 




Chapter VII. pen which fifty-seven years of war and twenty years of negotia- 
tion had failed to effect. See Aitchison's Treaties and Engage- 

Evils of divid 

ed authority. 

Small amount 
of the 

Nawab's col- 

Transfer of 

The Com- 
pany's obliga- 

View of the* Political Position of Tinnevelly and the 
Poligar Country generally taken by the Court of Direc- 
tors prior to the commencement of the last Poligar Wars. 

''Extract of a general letter from the Honourable the Court of 
Directors, in the Public Department, dated 10th June 1795. 

" 55. The disastrous consequences of the hostile conduct of the Raja 
of Ramnad against the Cheroker ' or Minister of Shivagangai, as men- 
tioned in your advices and proceedings, but more particularly in the 
latter, have given us very great concern ; and we observe what is 
stated in your subsequent despatch of the 29th of September last that 
it is impossible to apply any effectual remedy to the general evil, so 
long as a divided authority over the Poligar countries shall be per- 
mitted to exist. 

"61. But what in reality was the nature and extent of the authority 
exercised by the Nawab over these Poligars both previous and subse- 
quent to this treaty ? 

"It was scarcely felt among them, and with all the exertions he could 
make, it is a fact recorded and incontrovertible, that the sum he was 
able to collect from them on account of their stipulated peshcush, in 
the course of seven years, did not exceed the amount collected by the 
Company under the Assignment in less than two years. 

" 62. Under this shadow of authority possessed by the Nawab over 
the Poligars, receiving a small and precarious revenue collected at a 
heavy expense, the Nawab by the 5th article of the treaty of the 12th 
of Jvdy, 1792, most advantageously for himself, assigned over to the 
Company, the tribute or peshcush payable by certain Poligars, which 
was taken at their full amount, as part of his subsidy, and which 
peshcush or tribute was to be collected by the Company at their own 
expense and risk, without charging the Nawab either the expenses 
attending the collection, or with any deficiencies that might arise 
thereon. The Nawab's sovereignty over the said Poligars is recog- 
nised by the 6th article, and the Company engage to the utmost of 
their power, and consistently with the realisation of the tribute or pesh- 
cush from them, to enforce the allegiance and submission of the said 
Poligars, to the said Nawab in all customary ceremonies, and in 
furnishing the Poligar peons according to established custom for the 
collection of revonue, &c, and all acts of authority are to be exercised 
in the Nawab's name. 

" It is difficult, however, to conceive for what purpose the words ' and 
in furnishing the Poligar peons, according to established custom, for 
the collection of the revenues,' were introduced into the treaty, since 

1 This title will be explained further on. 

I UK BANNKKM \.\-l'(>l ICAI! WAR. 171 

the collection of the revenue is by the preceding article entirely Chaftek VI I. 
assigned to the Company. 

"63. Divested of the sword, and relinquishing the power of collecting 
a revenue, it is not easy to define what rights of sovereignty, contended 
for by the Nawab with so much zeal and jealousy, remain behind. 
They cannot perhaps be more aptly described than in the words of the 
treaty, customarj" ceremonies. The nominal sovereignty of the Nawab 
over the Poligars we do not attempt to deny, at the same time, we are 
only bound to preserve it so far as may be consistent with the realiza- 
tion of the tribute, which, he has thus assigned over to us ; and of the 
many circumstances which have a tendency materially to affect that 
object in the districts under the Poligars, may be mentioned the 
following. Their keeping up a military force, by which they are 
enabled to make war or commit depredations, as their local interests 
or their passions may lead them, upon each other. Their adoption of 
means, whether of finance or internal regulation which have a natural Poligar mis- 
tendency to impoverish their treasuries and prevent the regular pay- government, 
ments of the peshcush made over to the Company. Their committing 
acts of cruelty, and oppression on the inhabitants. These must ever 
have a tendency to depopulate a country, and of course to affect the 
revenue ; and if we have not the power of applying a remedy in these 
and similar cases, it is evident that we shall ultimately lose that 
revenue which we have acquired the right of collecting. And thus 
the treaty will become not only nugatory, as far as it respects the pro- 
portion of the Nawab's subsidy to be received from the Poligars, but 
considerable annual loss will likewise accrue to the Company so long Anticipated 

as the beforementioned abuses are suffered to exist. l° ss 


" 64. We shall here collect into one point of view such parts of your 
records as have principally led to the present discussion, and which 
have convinced us of the necessity, so forcibly urged by the Bengal 
Government and by yourselves, of adopting some decisive measures 
for the better government of the districts under the several Poligars. 

" 66. Upon the whole therefore, after having given to this important 
subject every degree of deliberation which it merits, as well with re- 
spect to the power vested in us under express stipulations, as with 
respect to the degree of authority reserved to the Nawab over the 
Poligars ; and reflecting also, that by our determination, we neither 
wrest from His Highness one single prerogative, which it was in his 
power to exercise, or which he did actually exercise over these people, 
in virtue of his nominal sovereignty, either previous or subsequent to 
the late treaty ; nor add one inch of territory to our possessions, or a 
single pagoda to our treasury. We have resolved to empower you 
upon the sole authority of the Company to take such measures from 
time to time, with the approbation of the Governor-General and Coun- 
cil, as shall be deemed expedient, and consistent with the situation 
of affairs on the receipt of this despatch, for disarming the Poligars, 
for punishing the refractory, for adjusting their disputed claims, and 
for the introduction of such a system of internal arrangement as shall : ^ better 
have a tendency to restore those distressed provinces, from their pre- introduced 


Chapter VII. sent state of anarchy and misery, to a state of subordination and 

' prosperity. 

The Nawab's " It were to be wished, that upon your representation of the absolute 

refusal antici- necessity we are under of prescribing this line of conduct for the 

P a e ' Poligar tributaries, His Highness' s acquiescence could be obtained 

herein ; but from the tenor of some of his late letters upon record, 

this acquiescence is more to be desired than expected. AVe can only, 

therefore, in case of his refusal, direct you to take the most effectual 

means to counteract his endeavours to thwart the execution of these 

orders ; which cannot but be considered, as disinterested on our part, 

as highly essential to the happiness of thousands, as contributing to 

the peace and prosperity of the country, and therefore as ultimately 

beneficial to the real and permanent interests of the Nawab." 

Conclusion It is evident from the above that though the course of events in 

arrived at. Tinnevelly was likely to vary a little from time to time as decisive 
or -temporising counsels predominated, yet that it was unreasonable 
to expect that any thorough or permanent reform could be effected, 
that the oppression and misrule of the Poligars and renters could 
be brought to an end, that peace could be firmly established, or 
that any solid foundation could be laid for future prosperity, till 
the entire undivided sovereignty over all classes in the country 
should come to be vested in the English Government, and the 
Nawab be allowed to retire from the business of government on a 

Kattaboma Nayaka. 

Succession of The Poligar of Panjalamkurichi was a Nayaka of the Kambala 
the Poligars of division of the caste. The name by which he was known, 
kurichi. Kattaboma Nayaka, was not his personal name, but a title appro- 

priated to the head of the family, though a personal name at the 
outset. The first of the line mentioned in the genealogical list 
prepared by Mr. Jackson, the Collector, succeeded to the palaivani 
in 1709. I find four persons of this name mentioned in the annals 
of the time. The first was the Kattaboma Nayaka against whom 
Colonel Heron sent an expedition in 1755. The second succeeded 
in 1760, the third in 1791, the fourth in 1799. Both the third 
and the fourth were hanged. Boma is a common Telugu name, to 
which in the Tamil country descriptive Tamil adjectives are 
prefixed as Cliinna Boma, Little Boma, or Katta (properly Kattai) 
Boma, Short Boma. The English mode of writing the name was 
Catatonia Naig, which was shortened into " the Cat," the name by 
which he was ordinarily called by the English soldiers. The last 
Kattaboma Nayaka was called Karuttaiya, properly Vira Pandya 
Kattaboma. He had a dumb brother, a celebrated character, of 
whom some account will be given in the sequel, and whose name 
appears as " Kumaraswami Nayaka, the dumb-boy," in the list of 


prisoners sent to Colonel Agnew at the close of the war. Another Chapter VII. 
brother, younger than " the dumb-boy," and perhaps the real head The p oli , 8 
of the party during the two last rebellions, was Suppa Nayaka, brothers, 
commonly called Sivattaiya, whose name we shall find amongst the 
last list of prisoners. Karuttaiya and Sivattaiya mean respectively 
dark-complexioned and fair-complexioned — literally black and red. 

The Panjalamkurichi Poligar's great rival was the Poligar of Ettaiya- 
Ettaiyapuram, whose palaiyam was situated a little to the north. 
Ettaiyapuram is said to take its name from one Ettappa Nayaka, 
the traditional founder of the family. The place is said by the 
Native historian of the family to have been founded in 1565 during 
the reign of Kumara Krishnappa Nayaka, ruler of Madura. 
Ett'appa and Ett'aiya are equivalent forms. 

Events preceding Major Bannerman's Expedition. 

What Puli Deva was in Tinnevelly in the middle of the last Conduct of 
century, that Kattaboma Nayaka was towards its close — the centre 
of all disloyalty and misrule. From his fort of Panjalamkurichi 
the Poligar used to sally forth at the head of his armed followers, 
and making incursions into Circar villages, as well as into the 
villages of other Poligars, sack and plunder all that came in his 
way, often times carrying off some of the principal inhabitants. 
In 1797 rebellion broke out in the Ramnad country, and many of 
the Tinnevelly Poligars joined the insurrection, almost all of them, 
with Kattaboma Nayaka at their head, refusing to pay their kists 
to Grovernment. Some alarm was created at Madras by the state Orders of 
of things in the south, and the Collector was ordered to repair to 
Ramnad and to ascertain from the Poligars the nature and extent 
of their demands. See Kearns's Introduction to his Account of 
the last Poligar War. 

The Collector here referred to was Mr. Jackson, who was Commence- 
Collector of Southern Peshcush and Ramnad at the time, and struggle, 
whose head-quarters were at Ramnad. The commencement of the 
final struggle with Kattaboma Nayaka was through an order issued 
to him by Mr. Jackson in 1798, commanding him to appear before 
him at Ramnad and give an account of his conduct. After many 
excuses and delays leading to many repetitions of the command, 
he made his appearance at Ramnad on the 9th September 1798. 
At an audience with the Collector on the evening of the same day, 
whilst the correspondence that had taken place between him and 
the Collector was being read to him, he pretended to get alarmed 
and rushed away from the Collector's presence and out of the fort, 
accompanied by his armed retainers. At the gate he had an 
encounter with the guards, headed by Lieutenant and Adjutant 
Clarke whom he stabbed, it was said, with his own hand. Having 
thus broken away he returned to his fort at Panjalamkurichi, 



breaks away 

Mr. Jackson's 



Chapter VII. plundering all the Government villages that lay on his way. The 
Madras Government hereupon censured Mr. Jackson for mis- 
management, and issued a proclamation calling upon Kattaboma 
Nayaka to deliver himself up to Mr. Jackson's successor in the 
Poligar administration, Major-General Floyd, or to the Collector. 
Of this order the Poligar took no notice but continued to make 
raids into the neighbouring country, especially into the territories 
of the Poligar of Ettaiyapuram as before. 

The following extracts from letters from the Board of Revenue 
to the Governor of Madras will throw light on the disapproval with 
which Mr. Jackson's proceedings were regarded by the Govern- 
ment : — 

"201. The nature of Mr. Jackson's remarks in relating the circum- 
stances which preceded this unhappy event, compelled us to enter 
upon a very full explanation of our motives in recommending to your 
Lordship, under date the 31st July, that a last effort should be made to 
save this young man from ruin, to show that his late atrocious act did 
not originate in any mistaken lenity towards him. 

" 202. This explanation was submitted to your Lordship on the 27th 
ultimo, as well as the manner in which the Collector proceeded to 
execute our orders for ascertaining whether the Poligar had received 
and understood all the letters he had written him, which he seemed 
to have considered the first object of his attention. How far his 
conduct was judicious in executing this order under the circumstances 
of the case was for your Lordship to decide. Instead of the mode 
observed by him, we thought it would have been less liable to any 
misconstruction had he required the Poligar to produce the letters he 
had received from the Collector, and Mr. Jackson would then have 
seen whether all had been delivered without any alteration. This 
would have guarded against any mistake as to the intentions of the 
Collector, for there appears too much reason to believe, ignorant as he 
is reported to be, that the Poligar might have construed the severe 
passages in the Collector's letter of the 23rd May to be the sentence 
of deprivation of his pollam, which immediately awakening fears for 
his personal safety, seemed to have impelled him to the atrocious 
act that ensued. 

" 203. As we could not conceive what motive could have governed, or 
what object could be gained by, a premeditated plan on the part of the 
Poligar to appear at the Collector's cutcherry, within the fort of 
Ramnad, and then fly from it with the precipitation of a criminal, we 
could not accede to the Collector's conclusion, certain as he must have 
been of the ruinous consequences to himself. The appearance of 4,000 
armed men the moment the Poligar had quitted the fort was an 
extraordinary circumstance ; but we apprehend that the numbers 
must have been greatly overrated in the accounts obtained by the 
Collector, and it was not probable that such a body of men could have 
accompanied the Poligar, who followed the Collector the whole of the 
way to Ramnad, and have contrived to conceal themselves in different 



places so as to be ready to act in this supposed meditated plan the Chapter VII. 
day succeeding the Poligar's arrival there. But upon this circum- 
stance we intimated our intention of requiring a more particular 
explanation, and we suggested the propriety of calling upon the com- 
manding officer to explain by what means so large a body of men 
could approach unobserved so near to the fort and conceal themselves 
under the very walls of it, for such must have been their situation 
if they appeared at the moment when the Poligar escaped. 

" 204. Whatever might have influenced the conduct of this Poligar, Kattaboma 
the enormity of the crime of which he had been guilty appeared to condemned, 
call for exemplary punishment. With regard to the force to be 
employed against him and the Collector's proposal of offering a reward 
of 5,000 Rupees for his apprehension, we submitted these points to 
your Lordship's consideration ; but so strongly were we impressed 
with the necessity of a severe example being made on this occasion, 
that we further recommended the pollam shall be declared sequestered 
for ever, that it may become the interest of the families of Poligars to 
guard them against crimes and rebellion to the authority of Govern- 
ment, a principle which the Court of Directors have approved. 

" 205. The circumstances stated by the Collector in regard to the 
family of the late Lieutenant Clarke we begged leave to submit to 
your favourable consideration and to recommend that whatever 
pension you might be pleased to fix should be declared payable out 
of the revenue of the Pollam of Panjalamkurichi. 

Sicbsequent letter of the Board of Revenue to the Madras Government. 


" 165. We noticed in our last general report the unfortunate affray Hopes of 
that had taken place in the fort of Eamnad, and the consequent flight Government, 
of the Pandalamcoarchy Poligar. Under date the 3rd October your 
Lordship informed us that you had thought it advisable to take 
immediate measures for assembling a detachment of troops of sufficient 
strength to assert the authority of the Company's Government and to 
enforce the submission of this Poligar, but having reason to hope 
from advices since received that Cattaboma Naigue might be induced 
to submit himself without the necessity of coercive means, you desired 
that no time must be lost in publishing the proclamation which 
accompanied, and in providing that it might be conveyed to the know- 
ledge of the Poligar, for which purpose we immediately transmitted it 
in duplicate to Mr. Jackson. 

" 166. Your Lordship afterwards apprised us of your still entertain- Collector 
ing the hope of the Poligar's submission, but that as he had evinced a su P erseded - 
total want of confidence in Mr. Jackson you had superseded the Col- 
lector's authority and directed Major-General Floyd to open a negoti- 
ation with him, and to prevent the collision of authority, you desired 
that this resolution might, without delay, be made known to the Col- 
lector, which was done on the same day. 



be instituted. 

Fresh, orders 
from Govern 

Chai-terYII. "167. Upon a consideration of the impressions under which, it was 
. r , impossible for the Pandalanieourchy Poligar to have acted, we were 

hfl inatitntnri further informed your Lordship had judged it advisable to institute a 
full inquiry into the circumstances which produced and which attended 
the late unpleasant affair at Raninad, and for this purpose you had 
been pleased to appoint a committee consisting of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Brown, Lieutenant-Colonel Oram, and Mr. John Casamayer. You 
directed that the committee might have free access to the records of 
the Collector, and that they might have the assistance of the cutcherry 
in conducting their business, and that all persons in the Revenue 
Department whose attendance might be required should be ordered 
to comply with the summons of the committee, and we were at the 
same time apprised that as the communication which Major-General 
Floyd had been desired to open with the Poligar of Pandalanieourchy 
would then be more naturally conducted by Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, 
as being both at the head of the committee and of the eventual expe- 
dition, General Floyd had been authorized to transfer it to that officer. 
A copy of these resolutions was transmitted to Mr. Jackson, and the 
correspondence that passed regarding the Pandalanieourchy Poligar in 
the interest of the Collector's authority over him being suspended, is 
noted in the margin under date 2nd March. The proceedings of this 
committee, together with the resolutions of Government thereon, were 
forwarded to this Board, and agreebly to the orders we received they 
were transmitted to the present Collector for his information and guid- 
ance and with particular directions for having them well explained 
to the Poligar. 

" 168. In their resolutions Government observed that after having 
taken into consideration all the circumstances, it appeared in conse- 
quence of representations and complaints of the Collector against the 
contumacious conduct of Cattaboma Naigue that he was ordered by 
the Board of Revenue to summon that Poligar to make his appearance 
at Raninad ; that on this order being communicated to the Poligar, 
there was no unnecessary delay on his part in preparing to proceed 
to Eamnadapooram, but on the contrary that he showed an earnest 
desire to take the first opportunity of evincing his submission to the 
directions of Government by personally attending upon the Collector, 
but that the conduct of Mr. Jackson to him upon that occasion was 
unnecessarily harsh and severe, and that tho manner in which he com- 
pelled the Poligar to follow him for twenty-three days was subjecting 
him to a mortifying degradation in the eyes of the inferior Poligars 
through whose pollams he was passing and unauthorized by the orders 
from tho Board of Revenue. 


of Jackson's 

" 169. That the treatment of the Poligar after his arrival at Rainnad 
in the cutcherry by the Collector, and those acting under his authority 
was attended with circumstances of unusual rigour and humiliation, 
and that such treatment could not fail to intimidate him and alarm 
him for his personal security ; that his attempt to escape was a natural 
consoquenco, and that the affray which happened at the gate did not 
proceed from any premeditated Intention in the Poligar of proceeding 


to the extremities of forcing guard and resisting the authority of Chapter VII. 

" 170. That from the whole of the evidence produced before the Acquittal of 
committee it was doubtful by whose hands Lieutenant Clarke fell, but ji n . e murder of 
that as the committee, who had the fullest means of investigation and ciarke. 
the advantages of local knowledge, had declared it to be their unani- 
mous opinion that he was stabbed by a pikeman in the Poligar's train, 
and not by the Poligar himself, it was resolved that Cattaboma Naigue 
should be formally acquitted of the murder of Lieutenant Clarke; that 
as the Poligar, however, must be held responsible for the act of his 
followers, and as Lieutenant Clarke fell in the discharge of his duty, 
and acting under the orders of the Collector, it was determined to 
require the Poligar to make a provision equal to the pay and allow- 
ances of the deceased Mr. Clarke, for the maintenance and support 
of the widow and children of that deserving officer. 

"171. In communicating these resolutions to Mr. Lushington, Anew 
Government were pleased to direct that he should be instructed to arrangement 
acquaint the Poligar that he was accordingly acquitted of the charge of 
the murder of Mr. Clarke, to settle with him an arrangement for the 
payment of the provision intended for the widow and children of that 
officer, to point out the great security which he enjoyed under the 
protection of Government, which, by an impartial and disj)assionate 
investigation of his case under circumstances apparently most unfavour- 
able to him, had brought it to this conclusion, to admonish him of the 
necessity and advantage of paying implicit obedience to the orders of 
the Company, and finally to restore him to the full and complete 
possession of his pollam." 

The Government could not but acquit the Poligar, in accordance Conclusion 
with the finding of so respectable a committee appointed by itself ; arnved at - 
and if his subsequent conduct had been fairly loyal and dutiful it 
might have been taken for granted that Mr. Jackson had erred and 
that the finding of the committee was right ; but the rebellious 
spirit he showed to Mr. Lushington, Mr. Jackson's successor, not- 
withstanding his friendly advances, tended to vindicate the pro- 
priety of Mr. Jackson's opinions and policy. The native author of 
the history of the Ettaiyapuram Zamindari adopts Mr. Jackson's 
view of the affair and represents Lieutenant Clarke to have been 
killed by Xattaboma Nayaka himself. He attributes the decision 
of the committee of inquiry to the Poligar's clever falsehoods. It 
is to be remembered, however, that the Ettaiyapuram family were 
the chief opponents of Panjalamkurichi and the chief gainers by 
Kattaboma's fall. 

Mr. Jackson appears to have had too hasty a temper. He was Mr. Jackson's 
subsequently taken to task by the Board of Revenue for various cnaractt ' r - 
matters and was dismissed by Government from employ on account 
of the insubordinate spirit he displayed. He was accused also 
of peculation, but was acquitted of this charge. 




CkapterVII. On the 12th January 1799 Mr. Lushington succeeded Mr. 

Mr. Lushing- Jackson, and on the 16th March he wrote to Kattaboma Nayaka an 

t0 ^h ^ 6alings exceedingly polite letter, informing him that he had been honourably 

boma. exculpated from the charge of murdering Lieutenant Clarke, and 

restoring him to the full possession of his pollam ; at the same 

time desiring him to attend him (Mr. Lushington) at Eamnad and 

bring with him his arrears of kist. Kattaboma Nayaka' s letter 

in reply overflowed, as might have been expected, with expressions 

of gratitude and dutiful obedience, but it contained also reasons 

why it was quite impossible for him to pay his kist just then or 

proceed to Pamnad, till he had received everything he considered 

due to him from Government. In short his tone had changed, but 

his conduct remained the same. 

All Mr. Lushington's endeavours to induce Kattaboma Nayaka 
to submit to his authority, appear before him in person without an 
armed force, or pay his arrears of kist having proved in vain, he at 
length referred the matter to Government. The following is the 
principal paragraph in his letter : — 
He refers to "In bringing before you the flagrant conduct of the Poligars 
Government. a ii U( j e( j to i n this letter, I mean not to recommend that any imme- 
diate measures should be taken to punish those who have been 
most culpable. I am clearly of opinion that no coercion should be 
attempted until a proper detachment can be formed under an officer 
who has had experience of these countries, whose integrity is incor- 
ruptible, and until some general system for the future government 
An expedition of the Poligars has been determined upon. A small force would 
recommended, endanger combinations and troublesome resistance, whilst the expense 
of a large detachment is of too weighty consideration to be sacri- 
ficed to the sequestration of two or more of their pollams. The radical 
reduction of their barbarous power cannot however be too early 
undertaken, and until it be effected, the inhabitants of these countries 
will not be secure in their property or lives, nor will the Poligara 
be otherwise than insolent and disobedient." 

Government, on receiving this communication, resolved to tem- 
porise no longer, as it was evident that a rebellious spirit was 
spreading amongst the rest of the Poligars. The example of the 
Poligar of Panjalamkurichi, who had never consented to obey a 
Collector, and who, as was generally believed, had slain a Euro- 
pean officer with his own hand with impunity, was sure to prove 

The principal Poligara who took Kattaboma Nayaka's side 

against Government and gave him assistance were the Poligars of 

Nagalapuram, Kollarpatti (called also Kolavarpatti and Kollapatti), 

and Elayirampannai. On the same side were the Poligars of 

Different sides Kadalgudi and Kulattur. He was joined also by the Puli Deva 

different r«.di- °^ that day, the Poligar of Avudaiyarpuram, whose fort was at 

gars. Orme's " Nellatangaville," viz., Nelkattansevval. Before all was 


over, however, the latter Poligar went over to the side of ChapterVII. 
Government. The principal focus of rebellion amongst the western 
Poligars was in Sivagiri. The old Poligar himself was loyal, 
but his son had been endeavouring to set him aside, with the help 
of an armed force sent by Kattaboma Nayaka, and the less open 
assistance the rest of the disaffected Poligars. The son was 
afterwards pardoned by Major Bannerman, in behalf of Govern- 
ment, and allowed to succeed his father in the Poligarship. The 
principal leader of rebellion, however, in Sivagiri was not the old 
Poligar's son, but a member of his family, called Mappillai Van- 
niyan described as a daring, popular leader, possessed of great local 
influence. [The Sivagiri family are the only Zemindar family, I 
believe, in Tinnevelly who belong to the caste of Vanniyas.] 
Further north Kattaboma Nayaka was aided by the sympathy and 
counsel of the Marudu, the chief of Sivagangai. The strongest 
supporter of Government in the struggle was the Poligar of Ettaiya- 
purarn. The same side was also taken by the Poligars of Uttu- 
malai, Chokkampatti, and Talaivankottai in the west, and in the 
east by the Poligars of Maniatchi and Melmandai. The only real 
help, however, the Government received was from the Poligar of 

Mr. Lushington, the then Collector, had the confidence of 
Government (subsequently he became Governor himself), so that 
he found it comparatively easy to convince the Government of that 
time of the necessity of fully and finally vindicating their autho- 
rity in Tinnevelly and quelling the rebellious spirit that was 
beginning to spread. They temporised, however, a little till Troops set 
Seringapatam was taken ; shortly after which event, their chief t ^ n J oi 9 
anxieties being at an end and their troops free to move, they came Seringapa- 
to the conclusion that the time for carrying into effect the inten- am ' 
tion they had for some time formed had arrived. 

Major Banxermax's Expedition. 

A force was equipped for the purpose of enforcing obedience in 
Tinnevelly and placed under the command of Major Bannerman, 
an officer of great ability, whose reports and memoranda, preserved 
in the records and collected and published by Mr. Keams, furnish 
a complete account of everything that occurred. Major Banner- 
man's instructions were dated on the 19th August 1799, and by 
the 21st of October, in the short space of two months, he had suc- 
ceeded in accomplishing the task committed to him. 

I shall here give the originals of the most important documents 
relating to Major Bannerman's expedition. The originals them- 
selves will be found more interesting than any narrative compiled 
from them could be : — 


Chapter VII. Letter of Government to the Board of Revenue, 

Reasons of " We are concerned to observe from the late requisition of the 

Government. Collector of Poligar Peshcush, that no sense of the indulgence of 
the Company's Government, nor of their own allegiance, has restrained 
the Poligars, during the late temporary absence of the troops from 
resorting to their refractory habits, under the administration of the 
Nawab. We were sanguine that the spirit of forbearance, concilia- 
tion, and justice, which was manifested in the late inquiry and deci- 
sion on the conduct of Kattaboma Nayaka would have inspired the 
Poligars in general, and himself in particular, with a better sense 
of the mildness and equity of the British administration ; but his 
refusal to attend the Collector without his armed followers, his delay 
in the discharge of his peshcush, and his present actual levying of 
war against the Sivagiri Poligar deprive us of all hope of beneficial 
consequences from the farther pursuit of conciliatory measures. We 
have, therefore, judged it expedient to assemble a sufficient body of 
troops in the Southern Provinces to assert the authority of the Com- 
pany's Government, and to punish this wanton provocation of their 
resentment. The command of this detachment, we have judged it 
expedient to intrust to Major John Bannerman ; and in order that 
the Collector may be fully apprised of our intentions, we enclose for 
your information on a copy of our instructions to that officer. 

' ' In communicating to the Collector these instructions, we desire that 
you will direct him to comply with any applications which he may 
receive from Major Bannerman for the furtherance of the present 
service ; and as we deem it indispensable to the success of the expedi- 
tion that arrangements and orders of that officer should be carried 
into effect with the greatest degree of promptness, we have no doubt 
that Mr. Lushington's knowledge of that necessity, as well as his zeal 
for the public service, will induce him to give the most effectual sup- 
port to the powers with which Major Bannerman has been invested." 

This letter was signed by Lord Clive, then Governor of Madras, 
son of the celebrated Clive. 

" Proclamation by the Collector. 

" To all Poligars, Landholders, and Inhabitants of every description 

within the countries commonly called the Tinnevelly Pollams. 

" Whereas repeated admonitions were given by me to several of the 
Tinnevelly Poligars during the late hostilities against the deceased 
Tippu Sultan, that by persisting to withhold the peshcush, and to be 
otherwise disobedient, they woidd draw upon themselves the severest 
displeasure of Government ; yet, notwithstanding such admonitions, 
and unmindful of the punishment inflictod upon those Poligars who 
had been refractory during former wars, certain of them had the 
temerity to continue in their contumacy, and to set the Company's 
power at defiance by committing depredations, disturbing the tranquil- 
lity of the country, and wantonly murdering the peaceable inhabitants. 
New be it known that these admonitions, and the total disregard of 
them, having been made known to the Eight Honourable the Governor- 


General in Council, His Lordship has observed with extreme concern Chapter VTI. 

that no sense of the indulgence of the Company's Government nor of 

their own allegiance was of effect to restrain the Poligars, during the 
late temporary absence of the troops, from resorting to their refractory 

" The Eight Honourable the Governor-General was sanguine that the 
spirit of forbearance, conciliation, and justice, which was manifested 
in the late enquiry and decision on the conduct of Kattaboma Nayaka, 
woidd have inspired him in particular, and the Poligars in general, 
with a better sense of the mildness and equity of the British admini- 
stration ; but his refusal to attend the Collector without his armed 
followers, his delay in the discharge of his peshcush, and his present 
actual levying of war against the Sivagiri Poligar, in conjunction 
with other contumacious persons, deprive the Right Honourable the 
Governor-General in Council of all hopes of beneficial consequence from 
the further pursuit of conciliatory measures towards him or them. 
His Lordship has therefore judged it expedient to assemble a suffi- 
cient body of troops in the southern provinces to assert the supremacy 
of the Company's Government, and to punish the wanton provocation 
of their displeasure. The command of this detachment has been 
intrusted to Major John Bannerman, and, in order to render his author- 
ity more efficient, the Right Honourable the Governor-General in 
Council has thought it expedient to vest him with powers to use mili- 
ary execution. 

"All persons are therefore solemnly warned to forbear from acts of 
disobedience and rebellion, as the power of inflicting death will be 
used with the utmost rigour. 

"It is hereby declared that all Poligars are held responsible for the 
good conduct of all descriptions of people belonging to their respective 
pollams, and that they do not act in any respect against the Com- 
pany's authority, or in any manner disturb the peace of the country, 
after the publication of this proclamation. 

"Be it further known to all Poligars, Sherogars, Landholders, and 
Inhabitants in the Pollams of Tinnevelly that Major Bannerman has 
authority to communicate with and issue such orders to them as he 
may judge necessary ; these orders must be obeyed with the utmost 
promptitude, and the Collector will refuse all intercourse with such 
Poligars as have already proved, or may hereafter prove, refractory, 
until Major Bannerman shall have reported to the Collector their 
return to a state of order and obedience." 

On the 5th September Major Bannerman arrived at Panjalam- Attempt to 
kurichi, and attempted to take the fort the same day by storm, t^eP* 11 : 
without waiting for the arrival of the European portion of his force. 
His reason for not waiting for the arrival of the Europeans was that 
he was afraid the Poligar would endeavour to make his escape 
during the night, and get away across the country to Sivagiri. 
This apprehension was not a groundless one, for this was the 
course that was taken by the father of this very Poligar when his 


Chapter VII. fort was suddenly taken by Colonel Fullarton in 1783. The 
assault was unsuccessful. I give the account in Major Banner- 
man's own words : — 

" To the Secretary to Government. 

" In conformity with my letter of yesterday's date, I left Palam- 
cottah and arrived this morning' at Panjalamkurichi, where I was 
joined by the troops stationed at Coilpatti and Kaittar. The detail of 
Europeans and the two 12-pounders not being sufficiently advanced, 
were ordered to Kaittar. The sudden approach of the troops was not 
looked for. Lieutenant Dallas, without a moment's delay, and with 
much judgment, surrounded the fort with his cavalry, and his parties 
were supported with every possible expedition by infantry. Soon after 
this a considerable body of Poligar peons endeavoured to force them- 
selves into the garrison, but were repulsed with loss by Lieutenant 
Call to the Dallas. I lost no time in ordering the Poligar to surrender at disere- 

Pohgar to ^ion ^ fae Company. If I would grant a written cowl, he said, he 

would come to me ; but not without. I left no consistent means untried 

to induce him to give himself up ; however, at half past nine o'clock 
I gave him half an hour more to determine his line of conduct. 
The Poligar's " Having attentively and deliberately reconnoitered the fort, it 
escape antici- appeared in my judgment that the south gate and to the left of it 
could be stormed with almost a certainty of success ; and that the 
place might be carried with a trifling loss on our part. I consequently 
determined on the measure : I was not only guided by this motive, 
but by the importance of getting possession of the person of the 
Poligar, and the impossibility with safety of keeping the fort sur- 
rounded during the night, so as to prevent the Poligar from escaping, 
which I was confident he would attempt. I then carried with me 
Captains O'Reilly and Bruce, the senior officers, who were to command 
the storming troops, and communicated my orders to them. Their 
opinions with regard to the success of the assault corresponded with 
Failure of the "At ten o'clock the Poligar sent me a message that in four hours 
attack. ne WO uld attend me, if I would send him a regular cowl. The troops 

were then posted for the storm. The flank companies of the 1st 
Battalion of the 3rd Regiment and the four flank companies of the 
13th Regiment of Native Infantry were allotted for the assault, with a 
6-pounder to blow open the south gate ; this party was covered by 
three field pieces and the battalion companies of the 1st Battalion of 
the 3rd Regiment of Native Infantry and three companies of the 1st 
Battalion of the 13th Regiment. At the same time an attack on the 
north face of the fort was made by two companies of sepoys regulated 
by Lieutenant Dallas. The troops, in the first instance, advanced to 
the attack with order and resolution ; but from a panic could not be 
prevailed on to ascend the breach, or to enter by the gate which 
had been blown completely open by the 6-pounder. The attempt 
was persevered in so long as there was a shadow of success, and 
never was European energy more gallantly displayed than by the 


officers on this unfortunate occasion. Our loss, you will observe by ChavtbrVII 

the accompanying return, is very severe ; but I cannot apply to 

myself any share of censure. However, I cannot but experience great 

anxiety until I find my conduct held free from it by His Lordship 

in Council. I have ordered the detail of the 19th Regiment of 

Foot and two 12-pounders to join me immediately, and I have sent to 

Palamcottah for a 24-pounder. I have little doubt in my mind but 

the place could be earned so soon as the Europeans arrive without 

waiting for cannon to make a breach ; but any further check might be 

attended with serious consequences." I shall therefore proceed with 

every consistent caution. The moment my time will allow of it, I shall Dissatisfac- 

state to the Commander-in-Chief my sentiments relative to the conduct v°^- wl | 

of the native officers and troops. The circumstance of one native 

officer being only wounded, contrasted with four European Officers 

killed and two wounded, will sufficiently mark the want of energy on 

the part of the natives." 

The Poligar did not wait for the recommencement of the attack The fort 
on his fort. Two days afterwards, late in the evening, the European abandoned - 
portion of the force arrived, and preparations were made by Major 
Bannerman for another assault the following day. In the course of 
the night, however, the fort was completely evacuated by the Poligar 
and all his followers ; soon after the Ettaiyapuram Poligar started 
in pursuit and came up with Kattaboma Nayaka at Kollarpatti, 
where some fighting ensued with loss on both sides. Kattaboma 
effected his escape and fled for refuge first to Sivagangai and then 
to the Tondiman Raja. Thirty-four of his principal adherents 
were secured at Kollarpatti, amongst whom his principal manager, 
Subrahmanya Pillai, who was taken to Major Bannerman, who had 
now proceeded to Nagalapuram, where he was hanged and his head 
sent to Panjalamkurichi. At the same time Saundara Pandya 
Nayaka, the brother of the Poligar of Nagalapuram, who had 
headed his brother's plundering and murdering expeditions into 
the Ramnad country, was hanged at Gropalpuram. Kattaboma 
Nayaka himself was speedily captured by the Tondiman Raja, and 
sent with some of his relations to Major Bannerman, by whom 
he was tried and executed on the 16th October in a conspicuous 
place near the old fort of Kaittar, in the presence of all the Poligars The Poligar's 
of Tinnevelly, who witnessed the unwonted sight with wonder and " 
silent awe. The details of these events will now be given in Major 
Bannerman's own words. 

" Major Bannerman to the Secretary to Government. 

" For the information of the Right Honourable the Governor-General Particulars 

in Council, I have the honour to acquaint you that the detail of His ° f Ma J or 

x J rSannerman s 

Majesty's 19th Regiment and the two 12-pounders reached this expedition. 

place yesterday afternoon, about six o'clock, which was too late an 

hour, added to the men being much fatigued, to take any immediate 

measures for recommencing an attack on the fort ; and in the course 


Chapter VII. of the night it was evacuated by the Poligar and all his followers. 
It is some satisfaction to me — though but a small one — to report for 
the information of the Right Honourable the Governor-General in 
Council that upon a minute examination of the points of attack I had 
chosen it now appears I had selected the most eligible places, and 
such indeed as to leave so little reflection on my own judgment on 
the occasion that they must have been carried, and the place got 
complete possession of in a few minutes, had the native troops behaved 
with the energy and spirit which I have often witnessed them exert 
on less trying occasions." 

Events which followed the Poligar's Escape. 

The following letters describe the pursuit and capture of Katta- 
boma Nayaka and his principal adherents : — 

" Soon after the dispatch of my letter of the 6th instant, having 
obtained intelligence, on which I could depend, uf the direction in which 
Kattaboma Nayaka had moved, I lost no time in addressing letters to 
the several Poligars, particularly to those who I knew were his 
enemies, informing them of his flight, and calling upon them to use 
every exertion in their power to secure his person. On the letters for 
the Poligars being ready for dispatch I put the detachment in motion 
in a northerly direction, after having placed the wounded men in 
Panjalamkurichi, where every means had been taken for their com- 
fortable accommodation, and where a sufficient party was left for their 
Assistance of "On my march I threw off parties to my left, the first consisting of 
Ettaiyapu- the two troops of cavalry under Lieutenant Dallas, and the other four 
hundred grenadiers under Captain O'Reilly, in order that they might 
be in readiness to act, as I should see occasion, in co-operation with the 
Poligars, to the westward of the tract in which I had determined to 
move with the main body. I had not proceeded far, when I received 
an answer from the Ettaiapuram Poligar, promising faithfully that 
no exertion on his part should be wanting to carry into effect the 
orders of Government, which he had received through me, and inform- 
ing me that he had assembled a party of his people, with which he 
would himself immediately proceed in pursuit of Kattaboma Nayaka, 
and requesting I would afford him the assistance of some sepoys, and 
recommending that they should be sent after him without delay. 
( npturc of "Instructions were accordingly sent to Lieutenant Dallas, with a 

important guide to conduct him in the track of the Ettaiapuram man, and to 
prisoners. ° . , , ■■ r > 

Captain O'Reilly to follow in support of the cavalry as fast as 

possible. The party with Ettaiapuram came up with Kattaboma 

Nayaka at the fort of Kollarpatti before it was possible for it to be 

joined by the cavalry. Some skirmishing ensued, in which both 

parties sustained considerable loss. Kattaboma Nayaka's followers 

were, however, dispersed ; but he effected his escape, attended by only 

six persons, who with himself were mounted on horses ; thirty-four of 

Kattaboma Nayaka's principal dependents were secured ; among whom 

are Subrahmanya Pillai, his principal manager, and Subrahmanya's 

brother. I conceive the seizure of these two men, particularly the 



former, of more importance to the future success of my operations, and Chapter VII. 
the consequent re-establishment of order and tranquillity in these 
countries, than if Kattaboma Nayaka was my prisoner ; for they are 
men of good ability, and of the most intriguing dispositions ; and the 
former has acquired considerable wealth, which I have every reason to 
believe he would willingly expend in mating resistance to the autho- 
rity of Government. There can be no doubt but this Subrahmanya 
had acquired such influence over Kattaboma Nayaka as entirely to 
regulate every public act in which he engaged ; and that the latter's 
conduct, in resisting the Company's authority, and in the exercise of 
independent power, contrary to his allegiance, was the effect of 

Subrahnianya's advice." 

* * * * 

" Subrahmanya Pillai is this instant brought a prisoner to my tent. Subrahmanva 
I have given directions that the Ettaiapuram man's party, which Pillai' s guilt 
came in charge of him, may be handsomely rewarded, and that 
Subrahmanya Pillai shall be hanged in the most conspicuous part of 
the village of Nagalapuram, and his head afterwards carried and fixed 
on a pike at Panjadamkurichi. His brother and the other prisoners 
will be kept in confinement, in order to their being disposed of as 
circumstances may hereafter require. By having, in this instance, 
determined to make a severe and melancholy example of a man who 
has been the author of the late disturbances and enormities which 
have provoked the resentment of Government, I trust I shall not be 
deemed by the Right Honourable the Governor-General in Council to 
have exceeded the bounds of that authority with which it was thought 
necessary to vest me ; or, in exercising it, to have lost sight of that 
caution and forbearance which have been recommended to me in my 

instructions, which shall in all cases be the guides of my conduct." 

* # * * 

" While the parties under Captain O'Peilly and Lieutenant Dallas 
were advancing in support of the Ettaiapuram Poligar, I moved on 
and took possession of this place (Nagalapuram) on the 9th instant. 
Soon after my arrival the Poligar came and sui'rendered himself to the 
Company's authority. As the conduct of this man has been of a 
nature the most flagitious, and marked by acts, in the Ramnad 
countr}', of murder and destruction, which shock humanity, I shall 
detain him for the present in close confinement, and am not without 
hopes of getting hold of the person of his brother, who commanded 
his parties in the execution of his barbarous orders during his irrup- 
tion into the Eamnad country. The Ettiapuram Poligar is still in 
pursuit of Kattaboma Nayaka : the parties, however, which I had sent 
in support of him I deemed it necessary to recall after I received 
intelligence of the dispersion of Kattaboma Nayaka's followers, and 

they joined me in camp during the night of the 9th." 

* # # # 

" I succeeded in securing Saundara Pandya Nayaka, brother to the Two principal 
Nagalapuram Poligar, on the afternoon of the 12th instant, and kept offenders 
him prisoner in the fort of Nagalapuram till yesterday morning, when exccu e ■ 
I assembled all the Vakeels of the different Poligars, who attended me, 
and after calling their attention to the proclamation by the Revenue 



Chapter VII. Board, which had been issued through the Collector, Mr. Lushington, 
I explained to them the nature and the extent of the powers with 
which I had been vested, and the urgent reasons which Government 
had for ordering a strict enquiry to be made into the cause of the 
disturbances, which had so lately existed in this country, and during 
which such scenes of murder and devastation had occurred, which 
called for the most exemplary punishment. I acquainted them that 
in consequence of the information I had obtained, I shoidd, in the first 
place, be under the painful necessity of punishing with death such 
of those individuals as had been most actively employed in these 
disturbances which had provoked the Company's resentment ; and 
should then take such other measures as I thought necessary for 
securing future obedience to all the Company's orders which might be 
conveyed through the Collector to their masters, and for preventing a 
repetition of these scenes of rapine and murder which had desolated 
the country and destroyed the inhabitants. I farther informed the 
Vakeels that the result of my enquiries had pointed out Subrahmanya 
Pillai, the head manager of Kattaboma Nayaka, and Saundara Pandya 
Nayaka, brother to the Nagalapuram Poligar, as the most active 
agents in the atrocious scenes of which Government complained ; and 
that I had in consequence determined that they should suffer death. 
That the former should be hanged in the most conspicuous part of the 
Nagalapuram village, and his head sent to be fixed on a pike at 
Panjalamkurichi, and the latter I should send to be hanged at the 
village of Gopalpuram, in the taluk of Palamurrah (Pallimadai) in 
the Eamnad country, which village a party under his command had 
destroyed, after inhumanly murdering its inhabitants. After both 
these men had been cai'ried off to execution, I delivered copies of my 
proclamation to the different Vakeels, and desired that they would 
transmit them to their masters. I enjoined them to write also a 
faithful account of what had passed at our meeting that morning ; and 
to add that they had it farther in command from me to say that the 
severe but necessary examples which had been made ought not to 
create any alarm amongst those who were innocent of similar crimes ; 
but on the contrary should seiwe to convince the inhabitants that the 
Company had, on this occasion, been forced to adopt measures of 
severity, only because their former lenient and merciful conduct 
towards the refractory Poligars had failed to produce the wished-for 
reform. Tho Vakeels were now dismissed, and I have reason to 
believe a proper impression was made on their minds by what had 
passed at this interview." 

* * * * 

" I have learned from Mr. Lushington that he has received a letter 
from tho Tondimaii informing him that he had succeeded in his 
exertions to seize the person of Kattaboma Nayaka, and desiring to 
be furnished with orders respecting the disposal of that rebellious 
Poligar. Mr. Lushington has, at my request, been so obliging as to 
write to tho Tondiman desiring that Kattaboma Nayaka might be 
immediately sent prisonor to Madura, and delivered over to the com- 
manding officor at that station, if no orders to the contrary had been 


received from Government. I shall order a party from this detach- Chapter VII. 
ment to escort Kattaboma Nayaka from Madura to camp, in order U ~T~ 
that he may be proceeded against agreeably to the spirit of my origi- taken. 
nal instructions, which authorise me to use ' military execution against 
such of the rebellious Poligars and their followers as shall be found 
in open rebellion and in arms against the authority of Government.' ' 

" The party which I had sent to Madura to receive and conduct the Assembly to 

rebellious Poligar Kattaboma Nayaka to camp returned with the wltne f? the 
° \ *■ execution 01 

prisoner on the forenoon of the 5th instant. There were also brought Kattaboma. 

prisoners with the Poligar six of his nearest relations, including 
Kumara Swanii Nayaka, his dumb brother. With a view that the 
orders of Government respecting Kattaboma Nayaka might be made 
public and carried into execution in as solemn and impressive a man- 
ner as circumstances would permit, I summoned all the head Poli- 
gars to attend me yesterday forenoon at 10 o'clock. On their being 
assembled, I informed them that I had called for their attendance 
upon that occasion that they might be present while I communicated 
to Kattaboma Nayaka the awful sentence pronounced upon him by 
Government in vindication of their authority so grossly injured by 
the late contumacious conduct of that Poligar, which had occasioned 
the many evils to the country which they had all witnessed, and by 
his subsequent daring rebellion in resisting by force of arms the Com- 
pany's troops, which had been sent under my orders to recall him to 
obedience and a proper sense of his duty. 

" I then directed Kattaboma Nayaka to be brought in before the 
assembly, and proceeded to take the examination and the confession 
of the Poligar, which you will find detailed in the inclosed paper 
marked ' A, ' bearing my signature, and those of Major Robert 
Turing and of Mr. George Hughes, the Tamil Translator, whom I had 
directed to attend me on the occasion. 

" From this paper the Eight Honourable the Governor-General in 
Council will observe that the rebellious Poligar Kattaboma Nayaka 
confessed or could not deny that he had withheld his kists ; that he 
did refuse to wait upon the Collector Mr. Lushington on his sum- 
mons, unless permitted to be attended by a party of armed peons ; 
that he did receive a summons to attend me at Palamcottah on the 
4th of September last for the purpose of having explained to him the 
orders which I had received from Government respecting him, which he 
refused to obey upon the idle pretence of its being an unlucky day. 

"Prom the paper above alluded to it will likewise appear clearly Sentence on 
proved by the evidences, independent of his own confession, ' that Kattaboma. 
Kattaboma Nayaka, in contempt of the Company's authority, did send 
an armed force, of between 700 and 1,000 Peons, under the command 
of one of his own relations, in the months of July and August last, to 
join the Sivagiri Poligar' s son and Mappillai Vanniyan, who were in 
open rebellion against that Poligar ; that while in his fort of Panja- 
lamkurichi, on the morning of the 5th September last, he did receive 
a summons to wait upon me at a small distance from his fort, which 



Chapter VII. he refused to obey ; and that he did remain in his fort during that 
day, and was present while his people fired upon and killed many of 
the Company's troops, who were ordered to compel his submission to 
the authority of Government. After what passed, as detailed in the 
paper marked ' A, ' I proceeded to communicate to the Poligar, Kat- 
taboma Nayaka, the awful resolution of Government, which sentenced 
him to suffer the punishment of death in vindication of the injured 
authority of the Company. He was then carried off to execution and 
hanged on a conspicuous spot near to the old fort of Kaittar. 

Address to " When Kattaboma Nayaka was led off to execution, I addressed 

the assembled myself to the Poligars, who had witnessed all that had passed in silent 


Execution of 

Dislnynl Poli 

pnrs dispos- 

awe and with astonishment, and caused to be clearly explained to them 
that the Poligar, Kattaboma Nayaka, had compelled Government to 
inflict upon him such rigorous punishment by repeatedly acting in 
contempt of the Company's authority, and by being guilty at last of 
open rebellion, notwithstanding he had frequently, and on so late an 
occasion, experienced the most signal lenity and justice from the 
Government, of which none of the Poligars present covdd be ignorant. 
I then dismissed them after having expressed an earnest hope that 
the examples which had lately been made, and the measures which 
had been adopted, would convince them and their posterity that no 
rank or condition of life amongst them would in future screen from 
punishment such as should dare to act in disobedience of the Company's 
orders, or in contempt of the authority of Government, which they 
must ever consider it their duty to respect. 

" It may not be amiss here to observe that the manner and behaviour 
of the Poligar during the whole time of his being before those who 
were assembled yesterday at the examination which took place was 
undaunted and supercilious. He frequently eyed the Ettiapuram 
Poligar, who had been so active in attempting to secure his person, 
and the Poligar of Sivagiri with an appearance of indignant scorn ; 
and when he went out to be executed he walked with a firm and dar- 
ing air, and cast looks of sullen contempt on the Poligars to his right 
and left as he passed. It was reported to me that on his way to the 
place of execution he expressed some anxiety for his dumb brother 
alone ; and said, when he reached the foot of the tree on which he 
was hanged that he then regretted having left his fort, in the defence 
of which it would have been better for him to have died." 

The following proclamation by Major Bannerman dispossessing 
five of the Poligars who had combined with Kattaboma Nayaka 
against the Government, together with that Poligar himself, was 
published nearly a month before, but it will come in most appro- 
priately at this juncture : — 

Camp at Kaittar, 17th October 1799. 

" Bo it known to all the Tinnevelly Poligars, and all the inhabitants 
of the pollams, that Major John Bannennan, commissioned by tho 
Honourable Company to make enquiry into the misconduct of the Tin- 
nevelly Poligars in communication with the Collector, and to punish 



such as may be found deserving thereof ; and having, on a full enquiry Chapter VII. 
into the conduct of the several Poligars of Elayirampannai, Nagala- 
puram, Kollarpatti, Kadalgudi, and Kulattur, discovered that they 
were leagued with Panjalam kurichi in the late levying of war against 
the Poligar of Sivagiri, who is under the Company's protection ; and 
that the conduct of all these Poligars has been alike disobedient and 
rebellhuis to the Government of the Company, in disregarding the 
authority of the Collector, refusing to pay Company's kists, commit- 
ting depredations, disturbing the peace of the country, and oppressing 
and murdering its inhabitants, he has deemed it expedient, by 
virtue of his instructions, and the powers with which he is invested 
from the Company, to mark in the strongest manner their displeasure 
against such criminal proceedings ; and therefore proclaims that the 
Poligars of Panjalamkurichi, Nagalapuram, Elayirampannai, Kollar- 
patti, Kadalgudi, and Kulattur are dispossessed of their pollams. 
And be it known to all the inhabitants thereof that they are assumed 
by the Company, who have accordingly taken possession of them. 

" Be it further known that all the forts in the aforesaid palaiyams 
being deemed useless and unnecessary by the Company, are hereby 
ordered to be destroyed. And, further, as the carrying of arms by the 
peons and people thereof has been attended with much mischief, and Disarmament 
violence to the whole country, it is strictly enjoined that no peon, shero- orderecl - 
gar, cowalgar, inhabitant or any other person of any description what- 
ever shall hereafter use or keep either firelock, matchlock, pike, or 
spear, under pain of being put to death ; and any person whatever found 
concealing or possessing them will be also subject to the same punish- 
ment ; and it is therefore strictly commanded that every peon or in- 
habitant of the aforesaid pollams possessing arms shall immediately 
deliver them up to such persons as Major Bannerman may appoint to 
receive them, and every head inhabitant will be held subject to severe 
punishment who makes not the fullest enquiry, and gives not the most 
speedy information of all arms concealed in his village ; and, in order 
more effectually to preserve the tranquillity of the assumed pollams 
and that the peaceful inhabitants may pursue their cultivation in 
safety, all head inhabitants of villages are hereby solemnly warned 
that in whatever village resistance may be made to the Company's 
servants, and if it shall be discovered that any firelock, matchlock, 
pike, or spear has been used in such affray, the head inhabitant of such 
village will be liable to suffer death, unless he shall, in three days 
after such affray has happened, report the names of those inhabitants 
who were engaged in such resistance, and prove that he has done 
every thing in his power to seize the offenders. And be it also most Penalties for 
fully known to all the rest of the Poligars that while the assumption dlS0 ^ edi ence. 
of the abovementioned six pollams has been the severe and necessary 
consequence of very criminal proceedings, that provided all the rest 
conduct themselves hereafter with tho most respectful and submissive 
obedience to the Company's Government, neither more of the lives of 
their people will be taken, nor more of their countries assumed ; and 
being duly impressed therewith they will act accordingly. Under 
these assurances let therefore the inhabitants of every description, and 



of reasons. 

ChapterMI. particularly those sherogars and peons who have been accustomed to 
carry arms, cheerfully lay aside all offensive weapons ; and, betaking 
themselves to the cultivation of the land, increase their own happiness 
and merit the favour of the Company, who will protect them from every 

I add Major Bannerman's account of his interview with all the 
Tinnevelly Poligars at Kaittar on the 27th September, when he 
read and explained to them his proclamation respecting the demo- 
lition of their forts and the delivering up of their arms, and 
induced each Poligar to volunteer to carry this work of demolition 
into effect himself : — 

"I met all the Poligars who had, in obedience to my summons, 
arrived at Kaittar. I first endeavoured to make the Poligars sensible 
of the justness of the punishment which had already been inflicted. 
I then cautioned them against believing that because no farther ex- 
amples had yet been made I was ignorant cf the many acts of dis- 
obedience of which they had been guilty, of the refractory disposition 
of the Poligars in general, and of the innumerable evils which such 
causes had produced. 

"I then told the Poligars that there were two modes of carrying into 
effect the orders of Government as signified by the proclamation. The 
one was that they should give their own orders to destroy the forts 
and collect the arms and deliver the latter to officers whom I should 
send with small parties to receive them and see that the forts were 
pi-operly demolished. The other mode was that I should march with 
the whole of my detachment through their pollams and see the 
orders of Government carried into execution. I acquainted them that 
I was prepared for either, but left the choice with them. That in the 
event of the detachments marching all the Head Poligars must attend 
me in the camp. If the other mode were to be adopted, the Poligars 
should remain with me at Kaittar and send their managers with small 
parties, which I should direct to proceed, and superintend the execu- 
tion of the Company's orders. 

' ' I assured them that as soon as I had received reports that the arms 
had been surrendered and the forts demolished, each man should be 
permitted to return in peace to his own pollam. Before my in- 
terview was over I believe I may venture to assert that I obtained 
from the Poligars their fullest consent to the demolition of their forts 
and the surrender of their arms. They seemed convinced by my 
arguments that it would be more creditable for them to destroy their 
own forts than to have the business done b} r our pioneers ; and they 
did not appear insonsible of the mischief that would be prevented by 
keeping so large a detachment out of their pollams, their apprehen- 
sion of which I did not fail to raise as much as possible. 

" I have much pleasure in being able to report to you that the last 
of the parties which I found it necessary to detach to superintend 
the demolition of the forts and tho collection of the arms left Kaittar 
this morning; and that the Poligars have sent their managers and 
positive orders, with the different parties, to see that the orders of 
Government on this Bubject be strictly complied with. 

Forts to be 


" The Head Poligars themselves have agreed to remain with me at Chapter VII. 

Kaittar till I shall be satisfied that the orders which they have sent by 

their managers are obeyed. I cannot omit reporting in this place that f or m 'i p t 
1 had created in the Poligars, before we parted, so anxious a desire to demolish their 
appear forward in complying with the orders of Government, that ° 
some of them even requested that I would obtain for them the assist- 
ance of coolies from the Circar villages in their neighbourhood to assist 
in demolishing their forts ; and that I have in consequence applied for 
the necessary orders from the Nawab's Kutchary, which shall be 
immediately forwarded to the villages most contiguous to the pollams 
in which such assistance has been required. The coolies are to be 
paid at the expense of such Poligar whose fort they assist to demolish. 
I have much reason at present to believe that by the plan in which I 
have got the Poligars to acquiesce every fort in the pollams, amounting 
to forty-two, will be effectually destroyed before the end of this 
month. With respect to the arms, I am not so sanguine in my hopes 
of their being all surrendered so readily. The prejudices and long 
habits of the Poligars oppose the measure ; but the carrying into 
execution the threats held forth in the proclamation, in a very few 
instances at first, will soon overcome their partiality to the custom of 
carrying arms, and convert the armed Poligar into a tame and peace- 
able cultivator of the soil." 

The Madras Government approved of the disarming of the Approval of 
Poligars, but, in order to facilitate, as they supposed, the carrying Government. 
of the measure into effect, ordered, in opposition to Major Banner- 
man's judgment, that the arms should not be seized, but that a 
reward, or price, should be paid to each person for each description 
of arms delivered up. 

Within a month Major Bannerman had reason to believe that 
all the Poligar forts in Tinnevelly had been demolished. On the 
21st October he writes : — 

" I enclose the returns which I received from the different Poli- Results. 
gars showing the number of forts each had in his pollam, of the guns 
and wall-pieces of each fort, and the number of peons retained in each 
Poligar's service, specifying the number and description of arms which 
they used. As also a general report of the forts which have been 
destroyed, and of the arms already collected, made out from those 
reports which I have received from the officers in charge of the 
different parties which I had detached to superintend the demolition 
of the forts, and the surrender of the arms in those pollams which 
have not been sequestered. I likewise inclose a copy of a letter 
which accompanied the reports from Captain Bruce, the officer placed 
in the general command of the parties dispersed in the western 
pollams, from which it is satisfactory to observe how attentive all the 
managers employed b} r the Poligars have been in obeying the orders 
they had received respecting the demolition of their forts, &c. You 
will also find a copy of the report I received from Lieutenant Bagshaw, 
who was employed, with the pioneers under his command, in demo- 
lishing the fort of Panjalamkurichi, and a return of the arms col- 
lected in the six sequestered pollams. 



Chapter VII 

inscribed on 

Leniency to 
certain Poli- 

of dangerous 

" As the purpose for which the Poligars were detained at Kaittar has 
already been pretty completely answered, I summoned all of them to 
attend me this morning in order to give them permission to return to 
their respective pollams ; and as I thought it of consequence fully 
to impress upon their minds before their departure that Government 
would hereafter act toward them in a strict conformity with the 
measures which I had on this occasion been instructed to adopt, I had 
prepared a proclamation, a copy of which was delivered to each 
Poligar ; and they were informed that other copies inscribed on brass 
should be prepared, and one sent to each of them as soon as possible, 
in order that it might be fixed up and kept in a conspicuous place in 
the principal village of each pollam for the general information of 
the inhabitants ; ' and that each Poligar would be held responsible that 
this order was strictly complied with." 

The Poligars of Elayiramparmai and Nagalapuram were banished 
to Madras, where they died. A letter of Major Bannernian's will 
explain his views regarding these Poligars and some of their prin- 
cipal associates : — 

" In conformity with the spirit of my instructions, I had determined 
to send all the Head Poligars of the sequestered pollams prisoners to 
the Presidency. The Nagalapuram and Elayiramparmai Poligars have 
been placed under Lieutenant Turner's charge. Kattaboma Nayaka 
and the Head Poligar of Kadalgudi have been proscribed by my pro- 
clamation of the 1 8th instant. But as the Poligar of Kollarpatti is a 
poor, weak, blind youth, and the Poligar of Kulattur is a weak, infirm 
man of between 60 and 70 years of age, their infirmities seem to point 
them out as objects who should be treated with as much lenity as due 
attention to the public good will admit of, and as there is no danger 
to be apprehended from their intrigues, I have delivered them over to 
Mr. Lushington, that he may send them for the present to Ramnad, 
and they can be hereafter disposed of as Government shall be pleased 
to direct. As Satagopah Pillai, the manager of the Nagalapuram 
Poligar, was a principal adviser of his master, and possesses much 
influence in the pollam, I have judged it indispensably necessary that 
he should accompany the Poligar into banishment. Saunderalinga 
Nftyaka was declared by his blind brother-in-law, the Poligar of 
Kollarpatti, to have been his adviser on all occasions, and confessed 
himself to have been the manager of all the public concerns of the 
pollam. Chinna Vettoo Nayaka, son of the Kulattur Poligar, is also 
notorious for having been the wicked adviser of his father ; and he 
and Armogam Pillai were the sole managers of his public concerns ; 
and Paradampermal Pillai possesses much influence, as having been 
the adviser and manager of the Elnyirampannai Poligar. I could not 
therefore hesitate in removing individuals of such description from 
this country. 

" The public records leave no doubt of Sivagiri MSppillai Vannij-an 
being the person whose influence over the Sivagiri Poligar's son 
instigated him to acts of rebellion against his father, and produced 

1 These brass plates are said to be still in existence, but are kept in the houses of 
the Zemindars. 

T 1 1 K B A N N E R M A.N-POLIG A R W A R . I 93 

those horrid scones and disturbances in the Sivagiri pollam by which Chapter VII, 
not only that country but the neighbouring pollams have suffered so 
much, and to quell which the Company have been repeatedly obliged 
to fit out an armed force. This man possesses talents which qualify 
him in a very superior degree for being a public incendiary, and is 
distinguished among the Poligars for being a daring, brave, and Mapillai 
active fellow, which makes him a favourite leader, whom they are Vanni y«n- 
desirous to follow upon all occasions. Government will, I think, see 
the propriety of taking particular care that such a character is not 
permitted to return again to this neighbourhood." 

Most of Major Bannerman's prisoners were sent to Palam- 
cotta and kept in confinement in the jail there, with the prisoners 
that had surrendered themselves to Captain Davison, the officer in 
command at Tuticorin. The most important of the prisoners sent 
by Major Bannerman to Palamcotta were the two brothers of the 
recently executed Poligar of Paiijalanikuricki. It was found 
after a time that the fort of Panjalamkurichi, which was supposed 
to have been utterly demolished, was ready to rise again from the 
ground, as strong as ever, the moment it was required. Govern- 
ment were very much disconcerted when this discovery was made, 
but after the strictest inquiry it was ascertained that the demolition 
both of Panjalamkurichi and of the other forts had really taken Reappearance 
place— that of Panjalamkurichi before Major Bannerman left the j?^ J™" 
district — but that mud forts, however completely demolished, could 
speedily be re-erected, so that where a thousand or two enthusiastic 
labourers worked day and night there was nothing incredible in 
the circumstance that such a fort as Panjalamkurichi should rise 
from the ground again in a day or two, as if by the wave of 
magician's wand. "Whatever might take place afterwards there is 
no doubt that Major Bannerman's work, so far as it went, was 
very completely done ; the voluntary demolition by the Poligars 
themselves of their forty-two forts was an unparalleled triumph to 
the cause of order, and it was achieved as much by tact and policy 
as by the force of arms. Having thus repressed all opposition 
to Government, and restored peace to the district, Major Banner- 
man left for Europe on furlough, accompanied by the cordial Major 
thanks and congratulations of all the authorities. The peace he i^cesT™ 11 ' 3 
established lasted for more than two years, an unusually long time 
for peace and order to last in those troublous days, but this state 
of things was destined to be rudely disturbed at last by another 
Poligar war— the most formidable of all, but fortunately the last. 






Events preceding the Outbreak. 

Welsh's ac- 

Chap. VIII. In addition to the information respecting the last Poligar war 
supplied by the reports and documents contained in the Tinnevelly 
records, we have the advantage of possessing two independent 
accounts of the war, written by persons who were engaged in it 
from its commencement to its termination. The first of these is con- 
tained in the " Military Eeminiscences " of General "Welsh, a very 
interesting book published in London in 1830. General (then Cap- 
tain) Welsh was staff officer to the officer in command throughout 
the campaign. The other account is entitled a " Narrative of the 
Mr. Hughes's last Outbreak and final Subjugation of the Southern Poligars, by 
Mr. George A. Hughes, of Tatchanallur, Translator to the force." 
This was published in 1844, nine years after Mr. Hughes's death. 1 

1 Mr. Hughes's name is so well known in Tinnevelly that people would probably 
like to know some particulars about him. The following notice is prefixed to Mr. 
Hughes's Narrative by the Editor of the Madras Journal of Literature and Science 
in which the narrative appeared : — 

" Mr. Hughes, an Indo-British gentleman, well known for his commercial enter- 
prise and successful speculations in the southern districts, was the son of Mr. 
Hughes, of the Madras Civil Service, formerly Paymaster of Madura. He was sent 
to England at an early age and received an excellent education under the charge 
of his uncle, Dr. Hughes, Principal of Jesus College, Cambridge. On his return 
to India, after serving as a clerk under the Resident of Travancore, and in the 
office of Mr. S. R. Lushington, Collector of the Southern Poligar Peishcush, he 
was appointed by Colonel Bannerman, the officer entrusted with the charge of 
quelling the Poligar insurrection of 1799, to be Malabar and Gentoo Interpreter 
with the force on the pay and allowances of a Captain, which was confirmed 
by Government on the 26th September 1799. He continued in the same situation 
under Colonel Agnew in 1801, and afterwards in 1808 he accompanied the force 
under General St. Leger during the Travancore war and received the thanks of 
Government for lus services on the '27th February 1809. In the interim he had 
engaged in commercial pursuits and entered into partnership with Mr. Charles 
■Wallace Young, who, between L805 and 1808, obtained a lease of a large extent of 
waste land for the cultivation of coffee, indigo, and cotton, in Tinnevelly, at an 
annual rent of 2,000 rupees, to continue to the close of the Company's Charter. 

"On the death of Mr. Young, in the latter part of 1809, Mr. Hughes succeeded to 
the lease, as assignee of that gentleman ; and on the expiration of the Charter, the 
grant was renewed in 1811, on the same terms, for the period of the next Charter. 
Mr. Hughes likewise purchased the Kulattur and Kadalgudi Mitlahs, and continued 
engaged in various speculations with fluctuating success until Lis death, which took 
place on the 26th February 1835." 

I may add that Mr. Hughes was never married, though he had several children, 
whom he brought up as Hindus. 


The Poligar of Panjalamkurichi, who was executed at Kaittar Chap. VIII. 
in September 1799, left two brothers, as has been mentioned, both The two" Pan 
of whom were kept in confinement in the Palamcotta Jail. One jalamkurichi 
of these brothers, the elder, was described as a feeble person, but brothers - 
would have been heir to the palaiyam if it had not been confis- 
cated, and was regarded by his sympathising adherents and the 
natives generally as the true heir all the same, and called accord- 
ingly by the family title Kattaboma Nayaka. The other, the 
younger, though dumb and a mere boy, was a person of great 
energy and full of resources, and was regarded by the natives 
almost as a divinity. In addition to the two brothers there were 
seme other persons confined with them in the Palamcotta Jail who 
had been implicated in the outbreak of 1799. The most intriguing 
and dangerous member of the deposed family, Sivattaiya, a near 
relation, who had escaped the vigilance of the authorities and was 
still at large, was the leader of a party of sympathisers who were 
waiting for an opportunity to effect the escape of the prisoners and 
help them to commence the struggle afresh. 

Escape of the Prisoners from the Palamcotta Jail and 

subsequent events. 

Mr. Hughes thus describes the position of things in Tinnevelly Position of 
prior to the escape of the prisoners and the recommencement of t ^ ) 1 ^ s pi 7 or 
hostilities : — "Major Bannerman left the detachment to embark for break. 
Europe early in 1800, under high and well-earned encomiums 
from the Government. The command devolved on Major Robert 
Turing, who, having preferred a high situation on the general 
staff, left us about February. He was succeeded by Major Colin 
Macaulay, who with the command of the district, held also the 
appointment of Resident at Travancore. The state of affairs soon 
admitted of the separation of the detachment, and the Governor- 
General requiring his services for a time at the Travancore Durbar, 
the 3rd Regiment N.I. was cantoned at Shenker ninaur Covil 
(Sankaranainarkovil) (now under the command of Major Sheppard), 
a few companies of another corps were left at Kaittar, and Palam- 
cotta was garrisoned by Lieutenant Knowle's provincial corps and 
some other details. The main body of the force returned to Trichi- 
nopoly and other stations, and at the close of the year there was to 
all appearance the most prosperous settlement of all the objects of 
the Grovernment, combined with the most perfect tranquillity in 
the country." 

The following is General "Welsh's account of the escape of the 
prisoners : — 

"On me 2nd of February 1801, while our force was cantoned at Escape of the 
Sankaranainarkovil, about thirty miles to the eastward (north-west), prisoners. 
and the whole of the remaining community, about twenty ladies ami 



Chap. VIII, gentlemen, were dining at Major Macaulay's garden-house at Palam- 
cotta, a number of Poligar prisoners confined in the fort made their 
escape by overpowering their own guard and the one at the fort, 
whom they disarmed. As men of consequence and State prisoners, 
they had been hitherto kept in irons and very strictly guarded ; but 
the small-pox having recently broken out amongst them, their chains 
had been removed a few days before. This evening a number of their 
adherents in disguise, and with concealed weapons, had entered the 
fort, and, at a preconcerted signal, forced the prison-gate, whilst the 
prisoners attacked the two sentries in front. A few of the guard were 
wounded, and the whole instantly disarmed ; when the prisoners, 
seizing the musquets of their ci-devant gaolers, headed their adherents, 
and rushing on the gate-guard, succeeded in overpowering them, when 
passing through the gates, they made such good use of their heels that, 
before morning, they had arrived at Panjalainkurichi, a distance of 
thirty miles ; having surprised and disarmed nearly one hundred men 
at different stages on the road, and at one place an entire company 
under a native officer. In their haste to secure a safe retreat, they 
however let slip the fairest opportunity they ever could have enjoyed 
of crippling our force, for the party assembled at our commandant's 
included the civilians of the station, all the staff officers, and several 
others of the force ; the house was protected by a Naigue's guard only, 
and not above a mile out of their route ; and there we must all have 
perished, unprepared and unresisting, since they were several hundred 
strong, even before they left the place. Unaware of the extent of the 
mischief, small parties were sent out, as soon as they could be collected, 
to overtake the fugitives, and lucky it was for them that they returned 
unsuccessful. Indeed all the sepoys then in Palamcotta would have 
been inadequate for that purpose." 
Measures Major Macaulay, the Commanding Officer in the Tinnevelly 

authorities District, concerted measures at once for the recapture of the 
fugitives, and moved off with all despatch to Kaittar the disposable 
part of the garrison of Palamcotta and a few of the Nawab's 
horsemen drawn from his establishment of Sivalaperai. The troops 
under Major Sheppard at SankaranainarkGvil were ordered to 
march to Kaittar, and all the Palamcotta officers joined at that 
place on the 6th. The Nawab's troopers were mounted on horses 
belonging to the English gentlemen lent for the purpose. 

"A body of European cavalry had originally formed a part of the 
southern field force, and with some infantry corps had been only 
lately removed, under an appearance of perfect tranquillity being 
established in this hitherto turbulent district. Our force was therefore 
consequently now roduced to nine hundred firelocks, and all native, 
excepting a detachment of Bengal artillery, with two 2 and two 4 
pounders. On tho morning of 8th February, having marched half way 
the day before, the detachment reached the village Kulayanalliir, 
nineteen miles from Kaittar. The camp was formed in a small square, 
and all hands were preparing to enjoy a hearty meal, when a body of 
Poligars to the number of a thousand or twelve hundred, armed with 


Attack on the 
camp hy the 


musquets, pikes, and swords, made their appearance on a rising ground Chap. VIII. 
in front of the line, and inclining to the right and left, made a simul- 
taneous attack on three faces. The small village, situated about a 
mile in the rear, had been previously taken possession of by our 
picquets ; and while we were employed in front by the first assailants, 
a body of the enemy, advancing under cover of a deep ravine, immedi- 
ately attacked it. Although many of our men, being new drafts and 
recruits, had never seen a shot fired, yet the whole behaved well, 
except the Nawab's cavalry, who woidd not charge even a small party 
of the enemy, and we began to wish we had our horses back again. 
In about an hour, however, the Poligars withdrew, leaving forty dead 
upon the field, and carrying off their wounded ; they were not pursued 
very far, and all was quiet again in our little camp by noon. Our loss 
was not more than six men, a proof of the bad firing of the enemy. 
The post in the village was strengthened, being a kind of key to our 
position, and all remained perfectly quiet till about nine o'clock at 
night, when a peal of musquetry in the direction of the village again 
roused us ; an attempt being made to surprise that post, which was, 
however, completely foiled before a reinforcement could arrive to its 
relief. After a sleepless night, we marched the next morning, and Arrival of 
reached a plain close to Panjalamkurichi by nine o'clock, when, to our ^' 00 P S at 
utter astonishment, we discovered that the walls, which had been kurichi. 
entirely levelled, were now rebuilt, and fully manned by about fifteen 
hundred Poligars." 

Mr. Hughes says they found the Poligar force not only securely 
entrenched, but armed far beyond expectation, and, to crown all, 
displaying an exulting front, in consequence of the success which 
had hitherto attended their enterprise. An entrenchment and 
breastwork had been run up with incredible celerity. All the 
concealed arms, he adds, had been quickly restored to light, it 
having been the policy of the time (imposed as we have seen 
by the Madras Government on Major Bannerman) to invite the 
surrender of arms by the payment of a liberal price for them, Condition of 
rather than to adopt a vigorous scrutiny for their seizure. The the ' 
population of the sequestered pollams seemed to be delighted with 
the opportunity afforded them of trying their strength with the 
English once more, being thoroughly discontented, no doubt, with 
the peaceful life now required of them. 

Retreat from Panjalamkurichi. 

I return to General Welsh's narrative : — 

" Without a single battering gun, and, I may add, without even a Preparations 
few Europeans to lead the storming party, to have attempted to take for res i stance - 
the place in open day would have been next to madness ; a spot of 
ground was therefore selected near the village of Ottapidaram, about 
a mile from the fort, and there we formed our camp, in a square, with 
high grain to the northward ; the bund, or bank, of a tank to the 
southward ; the village near the eastern face, and Panjalamkurichi 
opposite to the west. After taking some little rest and refreshment, 


Chap. VIII. it was proposed to form the detachment into two storming parties, 
and to escalade the "works at two different points, as soon as dark- 
ness should conceal our approach from the enemy. A short time 
after, some of our scouts came in, with the agreeable intelligence that 
the Poligars, now amounting to five thousand, were prepared to 
assault our camp at nightfall. Here then was an unlooked for occur- 
rence : in the first place, we were opposed by a strong fort, raised, as 
it were, by magic, in six days ; and in the second, its defenders, 
increased beyond all possible calculation, were likely to become the 
assailants. It was decided, therefore, nem con that we had no business 
to remain there ; and as both men and officers were already nearly 
exhausted by two grilling marches and a sleepless night, it was doubt- 
ful whether they could keep awake another, to receive with due 
alacrity such a nocturnal visit as was in contemplation. The troops 
were therefore warned, and at two o'clock p.m. being formed in oblong 
square, the baggage in the centre and field pieces distributed in front 
and rear, we drew out, as if preparing to assault the fort. In an 
instant every part of the works was manned, and we could plainly 
discern a body of fifteen hundred or two thousand men outside of the 
boundary hedge, their long spears glittering in the sun. 

" As soon as the formation was completed, we commenced our march, 
not for the fort, but for Palamcotta, and had actually accomplished a 
third of our journey, when we were overtaken in the dark by a body 
of the enemy, who rushed on us with shouts and screams, almost to 
the bayonet. The rear face of our column, for it was now no longer a 
square, was luckily composed of the grenadiers of the 1st Battalion of 
the 3rd Regiment, with the two 6-pounders under Captain Vesey. 
He allowed them to approach without molestation, the more fully to 
effect his purpose, when giving the word himself, a couple of vollies, 
poured in with grape and musquetry, levelled one hundred and ten of 
our assailants ; the astonished remainder made a very precipitate 
escape, and we were no more molested during a long and severe march, 
which lasted all night, than by imagination, which placed an enemy 
behind every bush on the road. Our loss on this occasion was only 
two men and a woman, and we safely reached Palamcotta at nine 
o'clock a.m. on the 10th." 

Mr. Hughes says that the question for consideration was whether 
the attack on the fort should be made forthwith on the arrival of 
the troops from Palamcotta, and thus in the event of a check being 
received run the hazard of much more extensive commotions, or 
whether it were more advisable that the detachment should with- 
draw for a time and await reinforcement from Trichinopoly. 
He adds : — 
Boshes 1 " Happily, the latter alternative, painful as it seemed, was agx-eed 

opinion. on with perfect concurrence by Majors Macaulay and Sheppard. The 

steady and firm conduct of the 3rd Regiment N.I. carried the detach- 
ment tliniu-h the perils of the night. 
Failure of " I" the meantime various affairs took place, most of which were to 

attack in the advantage of the rebels. On the 27th February an attack was 


mado by a detachment on the fort of Kudalgudi, supposed to be weak, Chap. VIII. 
and ill defended. Our opponents, however, got intelligence of the 
march in sufficient time to send a body of two thousand men to assist 
the defenders, and our men were consequently so well received, that, 
after every exertion that bravery and discipline could oppose to 
numbers, they were compelled to retreat, leaving three men killed and 
eighteen wounded on the ground ; the loss of the enemy was never 

" In this way several of the smaller forts belonging to Government Defence of 
fell into the hands of the Poligars, by which means they gained Snvaikun. 
possession of about a thousand muskets with their ammunition. One ' 
solitary pagoda, Srivaikuntham, slightly fortified, on the bank of the 
river, about fifteen miles below Palamcotta, held out beyond example 
or expectation. To relieve this brave handful, Major Sheppard 
marched at the head of the 1st Battalion of the 3rd Regiment, with 
two 6-pounders. Arriving at Palamcotta, on the 13th of March, the 
heavy baggage was thrown in there, and on the morning of the 1 6th 
they came in sight of the Pagoda of Srivaikuntham, on the opposite 
side of the river, and were immediately attacked by swarms of the 
enemy ; through whom they forced their way to their comrades on the 
opposite shore. All the troops behaved well, particularly the grena - 
diers, who charged a large body of the enemy and put them to flight. 
The Poligars, intent on capturing the place, had beset it on every side, 
and raised a large mound of earth to overlook the pagoda. They 
were also busy in making scaling ladders for an escalade, when our 
corps relieved them. The garrison was withdrawn, and on the march 
back to Palamcotta the enemy annoyed them the whole way, though 
repeatedly charged by our soldiers. Our loss was not so heavy as 
might have been expected, and the corps remained resting at Palam- 
cotta till the stores necessary for a siege coidd be collected." 

"Whilst the country was in this disturbed condition, the Native 
Christians of that time, though few in number, had to share in the 
troubles of their Christian rulers. We learn this from a report of 
the Christian Knowledge Society for 1802 : — 

" The congregations in the south suffered severely from the turbu- The Native 
lent Poligars, who resisted the British rule and seem to have identi- Christians. 
tied the Native Christians with the English. In their incursions into 
the Company's territories they plundered, confined, and tortured the 
Christians, destroyed some of their chapels, and burned the books 
they found in them. As there appeared to be little prospect of the 
termination of these troubles, the people were obliged to leave their 
homes and flee to the woods for refuge." 

General "Welsh gives here a brief account of the Poligars in 
general and of the Poligar of Panjalamkurichi in particular. In 
doing so he fell into the error of confounding together two different 
persons. He says : — 

"Their chief, called Kattaboma Nayaka, having successfully de- Welsh's error, 
fended the fort against a force under Colonel Bannerman two years 



Chap. VIII. before, had at length been taken prisoner, with the rest of his family, 

and kept in close confinement." 

We have seen from the preceding narrative that the Kattabonia 
Nayaka who defended his fort against Major Bannerman had been 
hanged, and that the Kattaboma Nayaka who was imprisoned was 

his surviving brother. 

March to 



Skirmish on 

the way. 

Return to Panjalamkurichi. 

When the expected reinforcements were on the advance from 
Trichinopoly, Major Macaulay moved the detachment forward to 
Kaittar and took up ground in such a position as to allow the 
reinforcements to join. Having no opponents out of our camp, 
the enemy made good use of their time and seized on Tuticorin. 
This incident has been described already in the account of Tuti- 
corin under the Dutch. General Welsh gives the details of the 
force assembled at Kaittar for the reduction of Panjalarnkurichi. 
It amounted in all to nearly 3,000 men, with nine guns : — 

" Our first march was to Otrampatti, only eight miles; the second 
to Pasuvandalai, eight miles also, on the road to which we first 
encountered the enemy ; a body of five or six hundred of whom ap- 
peared shortly after we left our ground, and boldly advanced to meet 
us, on which the Major ordered the cavalry to charge them. The two 
troops, having rear and flank guards out, did not amount to more 
than ninety men, if so many ; but they were led by James Grant, one 
of the finest and bravest fellows I ever knew. They had two small 
galloper guns with them, which were fired as the enemy approached, 
and this, first appeared to induce them to retire, which they did 
leisurely, keeping up a running fight, though it was evident that 
the men who had firearms were most anxious to escape. When our 
cavalry had got within a few hundred yards, Lieutenant Grant gave 
the words ' Saint George, and charge : ' the enenry at the same time 
halting, faced about, and presented an abatis of pikes to the horses' 
breasts ; but so great was the impetus, that in an instant this formi- 
dable phalanx was borne down, and our men were afterwards engaged 
in single combat with these brave but unskilful pedestrians, until a 
thick wood luckily intervened, through which they made their escape. 
The ground being, what is called in India ' black cotton,' with the 
shrub actually growing on it, was very unfavourable for our men, and 
so determined was the resistance that Lieutenant Grant fell, wounded 
with a pike through the lungs, and his Subadar, Sheik Ebraum, and 
four troopei's were killed. Lieutenant Lyne lost his Naigue, and 
eleven troopers were wounded ; and two horses were killed, and 
twelve wounded. Of the enemy, ninety-six dead bodies were counted 
on the field ; what number of wounded they carried off of course coidd 
not be ascertained. Grant killed four with his own hand, the last 
after he had received his desperate wound ; and his Subadar also 
killed four or five before he fell. The next day, the 31st of March, 
we came within sito of the Gibraltar of these insurgents. 


First Assault and Failure. Chap. VIII. 

We found the fort an irregular parallelogram, two sides of Description 
which were about 500 feet and the other two about 300 feet only, ° 
built entirely of mud of a very solid and adhesive quality : — 

"The wall was, generally, about twelve feet high, with small square 
bastions, and very short curtains. A few old guns were mounted in 
these bastions, and the whole was surrounded by a thick hedge of 
thorns, but no ditch. Arriving before it at eight o'clock a.m., prepara- 
tions were instantly made for breaching the north-western bastion, 
with the two iron 12 and one 8 pounder, from a bank about nine 
hundred yards distance ; and at hall past eight we opened fire, though, 
by no means so destructive as was anticipated. At noon, therefore, 
the guns were moved on to another bank, about four hundred yards 
from the wall, and continued playing till half past three, when the 
breach appearing practicable, the storm was ordered." 

It was found afterwards, however, when it was too late, that the 
breach, considered to be so by the artillery officer, was no breach 
at all : — 

" The part}' for assaidt advanced with alacrity under the heaviest The assault 
fire imaginable from the curtains and five or six bastions, the defences on t e 
of which we had not been able to demolish. Our men fell rapidly, 
but nothing impeded their approach ; even the hedge was speedily 
passed, and repeated attempts were made to surmount the breach, but 
all in vain," so daring and determined was the garrison and so difficult 
of access the point of attack. "Every man who succeeded in reaching 
the summit was instantly thrown back, pierced with wounds, from 
both pikes and musquetry, and no footing could be gained. At 
length a retreat was ordered, and a truly dismal scene of horror suc- 
ceeded ; all our killed, and many of the wounded, being left at the 
foot of the breach, over which the enemy immediately sprung, and 
pursued the rear, while others pierced the bodies both of the dying 
and the dead. The immediate defence of the breach was with pikes The defeace. 
from eighteen to twenty feet long, beyond which a body of men from 
an elevated spot kept up a constant fire, while others in the bastions 
took the assailants in flank. In the confusion of the moment a 
howitzer was left near the breach, which was afterwards rescued 
by six officers, and about fifty sepoys, under a fire, which killed one 
of the officers and several of the men and wounded two other officers 
and five or six men. Of the enemy's loss we had no account. 
No sooner had we gained a safe distance from the fort, than the 
line was formed, and encamping ground marked, the nearest part 
being at a distance of 1,500 yards from the walls. We had a high 
ridge in the centre of the line running parallel to the fort, and our 
ammunition and stores were placed in the rear, out of sight of the 
enemy. Our pickquets were posted on the bank from whence we first 
attempted to breach, and it was completely dark before we could get 
under cover. As all had alike partaken in the dangers and discom- 
fiture of the day, a dead silence reigned throughout our line, the only 
tribute we could then pay to the memory of our departed brethren ; 




Chap. VIII. 

Bravery of 
the enemv. 


More exten- 
sive pre- 

Help obtained 
from Ceylon. 

and the enemy so far respected our grief, as to allow us its unmolested 

" Our total failure this day was perfectly inexplicable, and how the 
breach was defended appeared almost miraculous ; for none of the 
actual defenders ever showed themselves above the broken parapet, 
and certainly that was entirely destroyed, and a practicable passage 
apparently made to the terreplein of the bastion long previous to our 
attack. Yet here a grove of pikes alone presented itself to our 
view ; and the enemy appearing in every other part of the works, 
exposing themselves without the smallest reservation, were constantly 
shot by our men, who were covering the storm, and as constantly 
replaced by others ; whilst they kept up a most unnatural yell the 
whole time, from upwards of five thousand voices, which only ceased 
with our retreat. Of one hundred and twenty Europeans on the 
storming party, only forty-six escaped unhurt ; and including officers 
and artillery, one hundred and six were killed and wounded of the 
whole force. I should mention that a body of one thousand Ettia- 
puram Poligars, heriditary enemies of the Panjalamkurichi race, had 
joined us on the march, having a company of sepoj-s, and Captain 
Charles Trotter attached to them. These brave and faithful allies 
made some unsuccessful attempts at an escalade on the other side of 
the fort, whilst we were on the west face, but were repidsed with 
considerable loss, though we had no official returns of their casual- 

It was evident that Major Macaulay's means were quite inade- 
quate to his object, the guns were quite useless as battering pieces, 
and a repetition of the attack was not to be thought of. 

" The Government was now awakened to the whole severity of the 
service. A great native force was ordered from different stations of the 
Carnatic, an European corps, H.M. 77th, was called round from the 
Malabar Coast, a corps of cavalry was put in motion, and a powerful 
train of artillery despatched from Trichinopuly, the command of the 
service being transferred to an officer of higher rank. This was 
Colonel Peter Agnew, a person of great military experience, and well 
known as the Adjutant-General of the Army for many years." 

The Collector of Tinnevelly at this time applied to, and obtained 
from, the Government of Ceylon a detachment of troops to help 
forward the operations against Panjalamkurichi. This he did 
without authority, and his action in the matter called forth a 
decided expression of disapproval from the Madras Government. 

" It was the best part of two months," Hughes says, " before this new 
formation of the force could assemble at the scene of action, and in 
the interval little more was in the power of Macaulay than to restrict 
as much as practicable the range of the enemy, for which purpose he 
kept his station on a small ridge, a mile or two to the westward of 
the fort. Their night annoyances on our position and skirmishes with 
our foraging parties in the day were very frequent, and they seemed 
to have taken up the notion that the muskots of our sepoys were of 
little security against their spears during the fall of rain." 

CHE LAST Pol.K.vH WAR. 20o 

I quote here from Welsh an aceount of the incident to which Chap. VIII. 
Hughes briefly refers. 

" On the 22nd a heavy thunder storm, accompanied by wind and Sortie from 
rain, suddenly assailed us ; and as such a time was the most favour- s ^ vr ^ m a 
able in which to oppose pikes to firearms, we began to fall in ; when 
in a twinkling the thunder was succeeded bj r the flash and sound of 
our 6-pounder on the most distant outpost, and a strong party dashed 
towards it immediately. This consisted of a company of sepoys, with 
a party of artillery, and one gun on the bund of a large tank, five or 
six hundred yards to the southward of the fort, and one thousand two 
hundred from our nearest post. Lieutenant H. Dey (noon being the 
time of removing all our outposts) observing an unusual collection of 
clouds, and sagaciously auguring therefrom the probability of a 
storm, being senior officer, had very sensibly taken upon himself to 
detain the other company. The squall approached, beating in their 
faces, and was immediately followed by one thousand pikemen. Our 
poor fellows, assailed by two such enemies at once, strove to give a 
fire, but hardly a musquet would go off ; and the gun, after being 
discharged once only, was in the enemy's possession. The Poligars, 
more intent on seizing the ordnance than on injuring its defenders, 
wounded only eight men of the party, and were pushing off with their 
prize, as fast as the wet cotton ground would permit, when our rein- 
forcements appearing, Lieutenants Dey and Clason rushed back, 
accompanied by many of their men, and we succeeded in rescuing our 
cannon from the hands of the Philistines, although many hundreds 
more rushed out of the fort to their assistance ; and, as the rain ceased, 
they poured out multitudes with firearms, who being confronted as 
readily by similar parties from our camp, a general action ensued, 
which, I may well say, ended in smoke ; both parties making much 
noise, and neither doing much execution. After about an hour's 
fighting, as if with one accord, the firing ceased ; both parties retired 
to count their casualties, of which the most serious tally must have 
been ball cartridges." 

The Final Assault. 

The expected corps all came up by the middle of May and 
Colonel Agnew assumed the command on the 21st. 

" From his arrival to the 24th there was the greatest activity in 
making a breach, and it was so thoroughly effected by that day that 
to all appearance it admitted of running up with the utmost facility. 
The enemy, however, had thrown a very wide abatis of new felled 
tborn trees all along the approaches on every side, and this occasioned 
some short interruption. On the morning of the 23rd of May, at sun- 
rise, we opened two batteries at once on the south-western bastion of 
the fort, while the grand battery favoured them with salvos, which 
soon demolished the southern faces and salient angle of the bastion. 
By noon the storming party was ready to advance, but oiu* old com- 
mandant took Colonel Agnew a^ide, and, barked by another old friend, 



Chap. VIII. 

A breach 
made by the 


The enemy 
abandon the 

Kilb-d and 


persuaded him to delay the assault until the next day, much against, 
what appeared to him, his better judgment. The firing was therefore 
kept up all night to prevent the enemy from repairing the breach. 
The next morning the guns were all turned to demolish the defences 
and cut off the breached bastion, which being completely effected, at 
one o'clock p.m., having run the tower guns half way down to the 
fort, the storming party was ordered to advance. 

" Notwithstanding the strength of the storming party, with the whole 
force ready to back them, the defenders shrunk not from their dut} 7 , 
but received our brave fellows with renewed vigour, and the breach 
was so stoutly defended, that although the hedge was passed in a few 
minutes, it was nearly half an hour before a man of ours could stand 
upon the summit, while bodies of the enemy, not only fired on our 
storming party from the broken hi stions on both flanks, but others 
sallied round and attacked them in the space within the hedge. At 
length, after a struggle of fifteen minutes in this position, the whole of 
the enemy in the breach being killed by hand grenades, and heavy 
shot thrown over among them, our grenadiers succeeded in mounting 
the breach, and the resistance afterwards was of no avail, although 
one body of pikemen charged our grenadiers in the body of the 
place and killed three of them." 

Mr. Hughes says : — 

" Arrived at the top of the breach, it was by no means easy to descend. 
Here the garrison had excavated the bastion or ground all around so 
deeply as not to be easily grappled with, and, it is said, had carried the 
excavation so cleverly under the brink of the breach as to be able to 
strike with their spears, in comparative safety, those who leant forward 
to fire on the defenders below. These were a good deal checked, it 
was imagined, by hand grenades, but I believe the place was at last 
carried by entrance at the flanks, which, however, had been strongly 
palisaded, and moist earth was in constant supply to repair the damage 
to the walls on each side of the breach. 

"A general panic now seized the enemy, and they fled from their 
assailants as fast as possible ; but no sooner had they got clear of the 
fort, than they formed into two solid columns, and thus retreated, beset 
but not dismayed ; but our cavalry attacked them in flank and rear, 
and succeeded in cutting off six hundred. The remainder, however, 
made good their retreat, and a column of about two thousand 
ultimately escaped. Four hundred and fifty dead bodies of the enemy 
were also found in the fort, those killed on former occasions having 
been disposed of outside to the eastward." 

Mr. Hughes says : — 

" The whole of the surviving Poligar body retired from the fort 
with the most imposing regularity, unarmed persons and the women 
repairing to the centre, and the armed men closely ranging on each 
side. The cavalry, however, made dreadful havoc on this body, which 
was soon broken and dispersed. Our loss on this day was Lieutenant 
Gilchrist of the 74th, Lieutenants Spalding and Campbell of the 77th, 
and Lieutenant Fraser of the 4th, killed ; Lieutenants M'Clean, Scotch 


Brigade, Captain Whitley of the Malays, Lieutenant Valentine Blacker Chap. VIIL 

of the 1st Cavalry, Lieutenant Campbell of the 74th, and Lieutenant 

Birch of the 4th, wounded. Lieutenant Blacker was piked in two or 

three places ; but emulating James Grant, who was always the foremost 

in danger, he would not desist, until our trumpets had sounded the 

recall. Europeans killed nineteen, and wounded seventy-six ; natives 

killed twenty-four and wounded ninety-six, making a total, including 

officers, of two hundred and twenty-three. 

" To us, who had suffered so severely in our unsuccessful assault a The interior 
sight of the interior of this abominable place was most acceptable, the ° e or 
more so, as this was the first time it had ever been taken by storm, 
though frequently attempted. Nothing coidd equal the surprise and 
disgust which filled our minds at beholding the wretched holes under 
ground in which a body of three thousand men, and for some time 
their families also, had so long contrived to exist. No language can 
paint the horrors of the picture. To shelter themselves from shot and 
shells they had dug these holes in every part of the fort, and though 
some might occasionally be out to the eastward, yet the place must 
always have been excessively crowded. The north-west bastion, our 
old breach, attracted our particular attention ; and a description of it 
will therefore serve for every other in this fort. It was about fifteen 
feet high on the outside, and nearly square : the face we breached was 
thirty feet long, and a parapet of about three feet thick at the summit 
gradually increased sloping down into the centre, which was barely 
sufficient to contain about forty men, the passage in the gorge, being 
only wide enough to admit two at a time. The depth in the centre, 
being originally on a level with the interior, was increased as the top 
mouldered down, so as to leave the defenders entirely sheltered from 
everything but the shells and shot, which we had latterly used, more 
by accident than design. These were of course thrown over from the Description 
outside, and nothing else could have secured us the victory, since every of the enemy's 
man in the last breach was killed, and the passage blocked up before 
our grenadiers obtained a footing above. Their long pikes, used in 
such a sheltered spot, must be most powerfully effective. No wonder, 
then, that every man who got to the top was instautly pierced and 
thrown down again. He could never get at his enemy, and, indeed, 
could scarcely tell from whence the blow was inflicted. The system 
of defence adopted by these savages would have done credit to any 
Engineer. Nothing could surpass it but their unwearied perseverance. 
Had the bastions been solid, or their defensive weapons only musquets 
and bayonets, we should not have had the mortification to be before it 
for two months ; and had our eavahy been more efficient, we should 
not have had a continuance of this warfare for six months longer. 
The fugitive phalanx, making good its retreat to Sherewele, was 
there joined by twenty thousand men of the Murdoos." 

"Where Sherewele was and who the Murdoos were will appear 
in the sequel- 

" The three companies of the 9th, under Captain Hazard, being Destruction 
left with the Pioneers to destroy the fort, a work by no means to be oi the fort - 
envied, on the 25th of May, a company of the 16th under Captain 


Chap. VIII. M'Donnell, was sent ten miles off to garrison Tuticorin, which the 
enemy had abandoned." 

Reminiscences of the Dumb Brother. 

" I have already," says General Welsh, " made mention, but I can- 
not close this account of horrors, without a few words, in memorj r of 
one of the most extraordinary mortals I ever knew ; a near relation of 
Kattaboma Nayaka, who was both deaf and dumb, was well known 
by the English under the appellation of dumby or the dumb brother ; 
by the Mussulmans, as Mookah, and by the Hindus as Umai — all 
having the like signification. He was a tall, slender lad, of a very 
sickly appearance, yet possessing that energy of mind, which, in 
troubled times, always gains pre-eminence ; whilst in his case, the 
vei'y defect which would have impeded another proved a powerful 
Veneration in auxiliary in the minds of ignorant and superstitious idolaters. The 
which the Umai was adored ; his slightest sign was an oracle, and every man 
was held. ^ ew to execu te whatever he commanded. No council assembled at 
which he did not preside ; no daring adventure was undertaken which 
he did not lead. His method of representing the English was 
extremely simple ; he collected a few little pieces of straw, arranged 
them on the palm of his left hand to represent the English force; then 
with other signs, for the time, &c, he drew the other hand across and 
swept them off, with a whizzing sound from his mouth, which was the 
signal for attack ; and he was generally the foremost in executing 
those plans for our annihilation. Whatever undisciplined valour 
could effect was sure to be achieved wherever he appeared ; though 
poor Umai was at last doomed to grace a gallows. He had escaped, 
as it were, by miracle, in every previous engagement. 

" On the 24th of May when the fort was wrenched from them, and 
the whole were retreating, pursued by our cavalry, poor Umai fell, 
covered with wounds, near a small village, about three miles from 
Panjalamkurichi. As soon as our troops had returned from the pur- 
suit, Colonel Agnew instantly ordered the Ettiapureans to follow them 
till night, offering rewards for any men of consequence, dead or alive. 
Our allies, consequently, set out with great glee, somewhat late in the 
evening ; and in the meantime an appearance of quiet induced some 
women of the village to proceed to the field of carnage, in the hope of 
finding some of the sufferers capable of receiving succour. Amongst 
Heisdiscover- the heaps of slain they discovered the son of one of the party still 
ed amongst breathing, and after weeping over him they began to raise him up, 
when exerting his little remaining strength, he exclaimed, ; ! mother, 
let me die, but try to save the life of Swamy, who lies wounded near 
me.' The word he used fully justifies my assertion of their adora- 
tion, as its literal meaning is a deity. The woman, animated by the 
same feelings, immediately obeyed her dying son, and speedily found 
Umai weltering in his blood, but still alive ; and these extraordinary 
matrons immediately lifted and carried him to the mother's house, 
where they were busily employed stanching his wounds, when they 
wpvp alarmed by n <mddpn shout from trip Ettiapureans in pursuit. 


There is nothing like the ingenuity of women at such a crisis. They Chap. VIII. 

conceived a plan in an instant, which not only proved successful but 

most probably saved the lives of several others. They covered the me nt. 

body over with a cloth, and set up a shriek of lamentation peculiar to 

the circumstances. The Ettiapureans, on their arrival, demanded the 

cause, and, being informed that a poor lad had just expired of the 

small-pox, fled out of the village, without even turning to look behind 

them. How he was afterwards preserved I could never learn ; but 

certainly he was present, and as active as usual on the 7th and 10th of 

June ; and was taken alive at the conclusion of the campaign and 

hanged along with his gallant and ill-fated relation on the tower we 

had erected in the plain before Panjalamkurichi, now the only 

monument of that once dreaded fortress, if we except the burying- 

ground of six or seven hundred of our slaughtered comrades, in its 


The following are the records on the tomb stones of the officers 
who fell in the various assaults on Panjalamkurichi : — 

At dttapkldram one mile from Panjalamkurichi. 

" In memory of Lieutenants Douglas, Dormieux, Collins, and Blake, 
and Gunner Finny, who fell in the attack of Panjalamkurichi, 5th 
September 1799." 

In the Cemetery at Panjalamkurichi. 

" Sacred to the memory of Captain John Campbell, Lieutenants 
A. Campbell, D. Gilchrist, and P. Shank, of H.M. 74th Eegiment. 
Lieutenants J. Spalding and A. Campbell, H.M. 77th Eegiment. 
Lieutenant M. Egan, 1st Battalion 3rd Regiment N.I. Lieutenants 
W. Fraser and K. Mangnall, 1st Battalion 4th Regiment N.I., and 
Lieutenant C. Torriano, 1st Battalion 9th Regiment N.I., who bravely 
fell or died of wounds received in the assaults on the fort of Panja- 
lamkurichi, the 31st March and 24th May 1801." 


" Here lie the remains of Dougald W. Gilchrist, Lieutenant of His 
Majesty's 74th Regiment. This gallant youth, who had not attained 
his one and twentieth year, was killed on the 24th May 1801, in the 
breach of the fort of Panjalamkurichi in the moment of victory. 
By his death His Majesty's Service lost an officer of great enterprise 
and valour, and society a beloved and valued member." 

The Panjalamkurichi Epic. 

The events of the last siege form the subject of a native poem, 
called, from the style of versification employed, the Panjalam- 
kurichi Sindhu. The author was one Namasivayam. I have 
already mentioned that I consider Indian poetical compositions the 
least trustworthy of all the sources of historical information respect- 


(hap. VIII. ing India in our possession. The poem referred to forms a striking 
illustration of the accuracy of this estimate. It relates events that 
took place within the memory of the writer, and it is still sung and 
occasionally acted in the presence of people, every one of whom has 
from tradition a tolerably correct general idea of the facts, especi- 
ally the great fact of the final capture and demolition of Panja- 
lamkurichi, yet we find every event falsified in the most unblush- 
ing manner. Mr. Kearns gives the substance of each Sindhu or 
canto of the poem. It will be sufficient to quote here the sub- 
stance of the last : — 

Victory Canto. 

One Vellai Marudu, a Maravan, now arrived to assist the chief. 
Things were very bad. The chief was in great fear, he saw no 
way out of his fort or his difficulties. This Vellai Marudu, how- 
ever, volunteered to attack the British army, as it then was in 
position, and this he insisted upon doing alone. Accordingly 
(contrary to fact and even beyond fiction) he sallied out, attacked 
the British, cut up the cavalry, routed the infantry, and captured 
the battery of 100,000 guns. The disordered remnant of the 
British fled to Palamcotta and the Poligar was left to reign ever 
after in happiness and splendour ! 





Transfer of the War to Sivagangai. 

We now reach the closing scenes of the Poligar war and the Chapter IX. 
termination of Kattaboma Nayaka's career, as well as of the a ~7~ 
history of Panjalamkurichi. The fort which had so long defied retainers of 
all the efforts of the Government troops had at length been taken jj^ ° t \^l\ 
and the Poligar and his surviving adherents had fled ; but so long 
as such formidable foes were at large there was no prospect of 
peace being restored. Mr. Lushington estimated the number of 
armed men still openly or secretly maintained by the various 
Poligars at 22,000, all ready at a moment's notice to follow their 
masters on any expedition. General Welsh's opinion was that an Welsh's 
organized force of 20,000 Panjalamkurichi men would have been [^^ °^ a 
irresistible, and we have seen that a considerable body of those 
very men, including the Poligar himself and his dumb brother, had 
escaped on the capture of the fort and fled northwards to Sivagan- 
gai. They were received by the usurping Poligar of Sivagangai 
with open arms. The incidents that follow belong, it might be 
said, rather to the history of Madura than to that of Tinnevelly, 
but it would be impossible to do justice to this portion of the 
history of Tinnevelly without following the war into the Sivagan- 
gai country. Besides which, both Sivagangai and Ramnad at that 
time were included with Tinnevelly in Mr. Lushington's jurisdic- 
tion, as Collector of Southern Poligar Peshcush. 

On May 23th, five days after the capture of Panjalamkurichi, Fort of 
the whole force encamped at Nagalapuram, from whence a detach- Kamudl - 
ment was sent to relieve Comeri (Kamuri, properly Kamudi ; in 
the Ordnance Map Kaumoory), a small but well built stone fort 
belonging to Ramnad, which the rebels were besieging. This 
being accomplished, a force was left there to keep the rebels in 
check in that neighbourhood. 

On the 2nd June the forco arrived at Tirupuvanam, a town in Ramnad. 
the Sivagangai coimtry, where the enemy first made his appear- 
ance, from which time till the 14th July, whilst the troops were 
marching towards Ramnad, they were continually exposed to 
attacks. The country was then very jungly and difficult to 





Chapter IX. traverse. Ou the way there were two places where it was with much 
difficulty that they succeeded in forcing their way through the 
enemy, and where they suffered considerable loss, including many 
Europeans. At Raninad Colonel Agnew had the benefit of much 
communication with Colonel Martinz (said to have been a Euro- 
pean Portuguese), who had in his earlier days seen much Poligar 
service. It was here found that Caliar covil (Kalaiyarkovil), a 
fortified pagoda to which it was expected that the Murdoos would 
retire, was naturally so strong and had been placed in such a state 
of defence that it appeared likely that there would be a renewal of 
the scenes of Panjalarukurichi. It was found also that the eastern 
approaches to this place were of so much greater extent and so much 
more difficult of access than the western that it was necessary to 
abandon the idea of endeavouring to take the place from the east. 
Junction -with Accordingly the forces marched to the north- west, to Tirukadaiyur 
Innes's force near Tirupattur, where they were joined by another force from 
Dindigul under Colonel James Innes (whom Mr. Hughes calls 
Colonel James), which had recently been employed in putting down 
the Virupakshi Poligar and his adherents. After this junction 
the whole force, now at least 7,000 strong, moved forward to the 
attack of " Sherewele" which lay to the east. 

The two 





The " Murdoos" and " Sherewele." 

Sivagangai was originally a portion of the great Ramnad palai- 
yam or zamindari. The ruling race being Maravas, and the 
Marava caste being predominant, Ramnad was commonly called by 
the early Europeans the Marawa country, and when a division took 
place between Ramnad and Sivagangai, and Sivagangai became 
independent, the two districts used to be called by Europeans the 
two Marawas, and severally the Greater Marawa and the Little 
Marawa. The word was often also written Mara war. The separation 
appears to have been effected in the early part of last century, a 
sasanabeing in existence, dated in 1733, in which Seshavarna Deva, 
the founder of the separate dynasty of Sivagangai, then living, 
was represented as an independent sovereign. The partition was 
a peaceable one, two-fifths of the territory being made over to 
Sivagangai, whilst three-fifths remained with Ramnad. Deva is 
the caste title of the Maravas, but the chief of Ramnad preferred 
to be called by his special hereditary title of Setupati, Lord 
of Rama's Bridge. The family ritle of the Sivagangai Poligar 
was Udaiya Deva, but he was often also called Nalukottai Deva, 
not in consequence of there being four forts in his dominions, but 
because his ancestral village was called by this singular name 
Nalukottai, the four forts. This is the title which Orme writes as 
Nellicotah, a name which might easily be confounded with Nila- 
kottai. the name of a totally different palaiyam in the Madura 


District. The following extracts from Colonel Eullarton's paper Chapter IX. 
will show how ready Sivagangai had always been under all its 
masters to resist the authority of the English Government : — 

" The territory of Shevigunga (Sivagangai) or the Little Marawar, Description of 
stretches from the sea-coast on the east to the Districts of Mellore Sivagangai. 
(Molfir) and Madura on the west, and from the country of Tondiman 
and the Nattam Collieries upon the north, to the territories of the 
Great Marawar on the south, containing about fifty miles in length 
and forty miles in breadth. The soil, in general, is unfriendly to the 
growth of corn, though not quite destitute of running streams or 
artificial reservoirs, but the country is overgrown with thorns and 
bushes. The woods of Calicoil (Kalaiyarkovil), nearly forty miles in 
circumference, are secured with barriers and other defences around 
the fort of Kalaiyarkovil, which is situated in the centre of the 
thickets, and considered as a refuge from exaction or invasion. These 
woods and the surrounding country abound with sheej) and cattle ; the 
inhabitants are numerous, and can bring twelve thousand fighting 
men into the field, armed with swords, pikes, spears, and fire-locks. 
Though less barbarous than the Collieries, their neighbours, yet arts The people of 
and industry have made little progress among them. The country is Sivagangai. 
capable of great improvement, but at present hardly yields more than 
five lakhs of rupees to the Rajah, who pays 1,75,000 rupees to the 
Nawab of Arcot. The Rajah is of the Taver (Devar) family, and a 
descendant of the sovereigns of the Great Marawar, from which Siva- 
gangai was separated at no very distant period. At the reduction of 
this territory, in 1773, by General Joseph Smith, the Rajah having 
been killed, his widow, then with child, and some of the leading 
people of the country, escaped to the Mysore dominions, and there 
lived under the protection of Hyder AH, until the commencement of 
the late war. During that period the country was managed by a 
renter, and in quiet times the people acknowledged themselves to be 
tributaries of the Nawab Muhammed Ali ; but while their woods and 
barriers are suffered to remain, their disaffection may be dreaded on 
the first prospect of their profiting by disturbance." 

It may here be added that Rlmnad was reduced by General Usurpation in 
Joseph Smith in the same year (1773), from which time till the S iva g an § ai - 
final cession of the whole country to the English Ramnad was 
occupied by the troops of the Nawab. In 1783, when Colonel 
Fullarton marched against Sivagangai, the government of the 
country had passed from the hands of the ancient family into the 
hands of usurpers. On the death of the chief in 1773 his ministers 
fled to Hyder Ali for protection, and afterwards, on his invasion of 
the Oarnatic, returned with him, governing the country under his 
authority, and ravaging the territories of the Company and the 
Nawab. They had been more than once in arms against the 
Nawab, and had as often successfully bought their pardon. 

Colonel Fullarton says : — Conditions 

"With the remaining troops we marched on the 4th August to ^^J the 
Sivagangai, about twenty miles east ; from thence the two Murdeeus Sivagangai. 



Chapter IX. (Murdoos), who rule the Little Marawar, fled precipitately with their 
young Rajah to the woods of Kalaiyarkovil, and collected there a 
force to the amount of 10,000 men, nor could they be prevailed on to 
return to their habitations and trust to any assurances. Besides the 
immediate discharge of their arrears of tribute, I demanded from their 
deputies 90,000 rupees in compensation to the Company for the 
ravages they had committed, and concluded with declaring that if 
these conditions were not fulfilled, I should attack their woods, storm 
their fort, and drive them from the country. Notwithstanding the 
procrastinating spirit of Gentoos (Hindus), they paid nearly 40,000 
rupees, and gave security for their remaining debt. I felt a cordial 
satisfaction in contrasting the lenity and despatch of this transaction 
(for it was concluded in four days) with the circumstances of the 
expedition in 1773 against this very place. On that occasion the 
Rxjah, trusting to the woods and barriers that surrounded the fort of 
Calicoil, and expecting to conclude the business by negotiation, 
conceived himself in security, when the place was surprised, and he 
was killed in the attack. I rejoiced to mitigate the vigorous treatment 
which the delinquency of the successor, or rather of his ministers, 
merited, in consideration of the severities which the predecessor had 

The Murdoo's submissiveness did not last long, for again in 
1789 it was found necessary to send an expedition against him 
to reduce him to some degree of submission to the Nawab's 
Government. This expedition was commanded by Colonel 
Stewart, who took Kalaiyarkovil, the Murdoo's citadel, after a 
resolute resistance. He met most resistance, it appears, on the 
western side, whereas it was on the southern side that the force of 
1801 met with most difficulty. 

Death of the 




The Murdoos. 

Origin of the 
titlo M.'irudu. 

The " Murdoos," the rulers of Sivagangai at that time, were two 
brothers, Vellai Marudu, commonly called Periya Marudu, and 
Chinna Marudu. They belonged neither to the family of the 
ancient Poligars nor to their division of the caste, but were re- 
tainers of the family. Parivaras is the Tamil term for such — belong- 
ing to a lower division of the caste. The title peculiar to this class 
is Servaikiira, and they are bound to do service to their Poligar 
masters. Hence in all English letters and narratives pertaining to 
that time they are called " Sherogars," that is, Servaikaras, never 
Devas or Poligars. 

Marudu, or Murdoo as it was written by the English, was their 
family title, not a personal name. Marudu is the name of a tree, 
the Terminal in alatn. How then did the name of a tree become a 
family title? At the temple of Nainarkovil, in the Ramnad 
Zaraindari, Siva is supposed to have appeared in the shape of 
a lingam at the foot of a Marudu tree. Hence, as worshipped in 


that place, he is called Marud'appa or Marudesvara. This being Chapter IX. 

the family divinity of the Siruvayal people, each of them, in honour 

of their divinity, took the title of Marudu. Servaikaran was the 

caste title, Marudu the family name. Both the chiefs were called 

Marudu, with this distinction only, that one was Periya, the older, 

and the other Chinna, the younger. Periya Marudu was the nominal 

ruler of the country. It is he that is meant when the Sherogar or 

the Marudu is mentioned, but the real ruler was Chinna Marudu. The two 

The elder brother devoted himself wholly to field sports and left brothers - 

the administration of affairs in his younger brother's hands. I 

cannot refrain from availing myself here of General "Welsh's 

warm description of the two brothers. It will be seen that though 

he knew and appreciated their kindness, he knew nothing of their 

family history : — 

" Of the two brothers, so frequently mentioned in this narrative, Vellai 
the elder brother was called Wella or Velli Murdoo, but he had Marudu - 
nothing to do with the management of the country. He was a great 
sportsman, and gave up his whole time to hunting and shooting. 
Being a man of uncommon stature and strength, his chief delight was 
to encounter the monsters of the woods ; and it was even said, that he 
could bend a common Arcot rupee with his fingers. Unencumbered 
with the cares or trappings of government, he led a sort of wan- 
dering life ; and occasionally visited his European neighbours at 
Tanjore, Trichinopoly, and Madura, by whom he was much esteemed. 
If any one wanted game, a message sent to Velli Murdoo was sure to 
procure it ; or if he wished to partake in the sports of the field, Yelli 
Murdoo was the man to conduct him to the spot, and to insure his 
success, as well as to watch over his safety. Did a royal tiger appear, 
while his guest was surrounded by hardy and powerful pikemen, Velli 
Murdoo was the first to meet the monster and despatch him. The minor 
game was, however, politely decoyed, or driven in front of his European 
friend, who might thus, with less danger, kill hogs, elks, deer, pea- 
fowl, &c, in abundance. From this Oriental Nimrod I had received 
many marks of attention and kindness when stationed at Madura in 
the year 1795, and then one of the youngest subalterns in the place, a 
pretty certain proof of his disinterestedness. 

" The Cheena (Chinna) Murdoo was ostensible sovereign of an Chinna 
extensive and fertile country, and his general residence was at Shere- Marudu. 
wele (Siruvayal). Though of a dark complexion, he was a portly, hand- 
some, and affable man, of the kindest manners, and most easy access ; 
and though ruling over a people to whom his very nod was a law, he 
lived in an open palace, without a single guard ; indeed, when I visited 
him in February 1795, every man who chose to come in had free 
ingress and egress, while every voice called down the blessing of the 
Almighty upon the father of his people. From a merely casual visit, 
when passing through his country, he became my friend, and during 
my continuance at Madura, never failed to send me presents of fine 
rice and fruit ; particularly a large rough-skinned orange, remarkably 


Chapter IX. sweet, which I have never met with in such perfection in any other part 
of India. It was he, also, who first taught me to throw the spear 
and hurl the Collery stick, a weapon scarcely known elsewhere, but in 
a skilful hand capable of being thrown to a certainty to any distance 
End of the within one hundred yards. Yet this very man I was afterwards 
Marudus. destined by the fortune of war to chase like a wild beast ; to see 
badly wounded, and captured by common peons ; then lingering with 
a fractured thigh iu prison ; and lastly, to behold him, with his gallant 
brother, and no less gallant son, surrounded by their principal 
adherents, hanging in chains upon a common gibbet '." 
The village of The village to which the Marudus originally belonged was not 
Sivagangai, but a smaller place called Siruvayal (little field). This 
is the place which General Welsh calls " Sherewele " and Mr. 
Hughes " She i e vail." After the Marudus' elevation to power 
they attempted to turn the name of Siruvayal (little field) into 
Sri-veli, the sacred enclosure. This may perhaps account for the 
spelling Sherewele adopted by General Welsh. General Welsh 
describes it as a handsome, well built village. The collateral heirs 
of the family continued to reside there after the war and are there 
still. They arecaLedthe Marudappa Servaikaras. The Marudus 
showed their determination and spirit at the outset of the final 
struggle of 1801 by setting their handsome village on fire, to 
prevent its being made use of by the English force. 
Reasons for It might be asked why the Poligar of Panjalamkurichi, on the 
S^ngTfuge ca P ture of his fort > fled to Sivagangai. It was the only considerable 
in Sivagan- palaiyani to which he could flee. The Tondiman Rajah had always 
been a fast friend of the English, and had surrendered his elder 
brother to them two years before. The Ramnad Setupati was 
also on the English side. Had it not been indeed for the English 
his territories would have been swallowed up ere then by the 
Marudus. He had also a rival amongst his own relations, one 
Mulappan, whose plots were only kept in check by the energy 
and vigilance of the English. In addition to this, Ramnad had 
long been the head-quarters of the Collector of the South, and 
even after the cession of the country it continued to be under the 
Collector, Mr. Lushington, whose Head Assistant administered its 
affairs. What, however, especially rendered it impossible for the 
Panjalamkurichi Poligar to expect any help or sympathy from 
Ramnad was the circumstance that he and his fellow conspirator, 
the Poligar of Nftgalapuram, had long been in the habit of sending 
plundering expeditions into the Ramnad territory. Only two 
years before the brother of the Nagalapuram Poligar had been 
hanged for the atrocities he had committed in those expeditions. 
It was out of the question, therefore, that Kattaboma Nayaka and 
his adherents should betake themselves to Ramnad. It was 
natural, on the other hand, that Kattaboma Nayaka should betake 
himself in his emergency to the Marudus, because it was mainly 


through the counsel of the Marudus that he had been instigated Chapter IX. 

to rebel. Mr. Lushington, as we learn from the records, had „, T " 

. , , Mr. Lushing- 

become acquainted with the correspondence that had taken place ton's policy. 

between Sivagangai and Panjalamkurichi, but he was obliged to 

refrain from taking any notice of it in his communications with 

the Marudu till Panjalamkurichi had been taken, lie wisely 

concluded that it was sufficient to have one Poligar war on his 

hands at a time. Neither General Welsh nor Mr. Hughes was 

aware of this circumstance ; neither were they aware of the special 

reason why the Marudu was so hostile to the English Government 

and so ready to share the fortunes of its enemies. 

On Mr. Lushington's taking charge of the Southern Poligar Explanation 
administration he sent for the Marudu and called upon him to ° f . the ^"^ 
produce the documents which proved him to be descended from Marudus. 
Seshavarna, the founder of the family, and to be entitled to hold 
the estate. The Marudu promised to produce the documents, well 
knowing that it was impossible for him to do so, seeing that no 
such documents existed, as he did not belong to the family at all, 
nor even to the same caste, but was an outsider and a mere 
usurper. This demand of Mr. Lushington was sufficient to con- 
vince him that danger was in store for him. He would probably 
also conclude that no amount of submissiveness on his part would 
suffice to avert the danger, and that, therefore, his best policy 
would be to set his back to the wall and fight it out. This 
accounts for the eagerness with which he espoused the cause of the 
defeated Poligar of Panjalamkurichi and the resolute courage with 
which he fought to the end. Amongst other devices he wrote a 
letter to the Madras Government against Mr. Lushington, denounc- 
ing him as the stirrer-up of all disturbances, and asking for his 
removal and the appointment of a better Collector in his room. 

After the English force left Ramnad, with the intention of 
marching on the Marudu's capital and citadel, he took the oppor- 
tunity of sending a force into the Ramnad country, which seized 
possession of the northern Ramnad taluks and beset and threat- 
ened Ramnad itself. Mr. Lushington thought it best to leave Smaller forts 
those taluks unrelieved till the termination of the campaign. ac 
The fort of Kamudi, garrisoned by an English force, was hardly 
pressed, but held out beyond expectation. The fort of Tirupattur, 
which was occupied by a party from Colonel Martinz ' Ramnad 
Corps, was seized in great triumph by the Marudus. 

Whilst these affairs were going on, a naval war, on an exceed- Small naval 
ingly small scale, was being earned on in the Bay of Tondy, or 
Palk Strait. Though the Zamindari of Sivagangai was altogether 
inland, it had been agreed by the Setupati, when the territory 
was partitioned, that a town on the sea-coast should be given to 
Sivagangai. so that it might have an outlet for its commerce. 




Chapter IX. This was the sea-port town of Tondy (pronounced Tondi, but 
properly Tundi) l of which the Poligar of Sivagangai was appointed 
lord. The Marudu commissioned a number of dhoneys, or small 
coasting country vessels, at Tondi to seize all dhoneys found sailing 
in the bay with cargoes of rice. The rice thus seized was sent into 
the interior, to the Sivagangai country, to help to victual the forts 
that were, or were likely to be, beleagured. Thereupon the Master 
Attendant at Paumban, by Mr. Lushington's orders, equipped a 
superior kind of country vessel as a cutter, armed her, and cruised 
along the coast to suppress this new sort of piracy. He soon 
succeeded in his object, capturing some of the Marudu's vessels 
and burning others. Another object in view was to prevent the 
escape of any of the rebels by sea. 

Success of 
of Pauinben 

Nature of the 



Burning of 

The Capture of Kalaiyarkovil. 

I now return to the operations of Colonel Agnew's force against 
the Marudu. The first place attacked was Sherewele, that is 
Siruvayal, the Marudu's capital, called in the Ordnance Map 
Serravail, situated almost due north of Kalaiyarkovil : — 

" This town had become of some note since the rise of the Marudu's 
fortunes. He made it his constant residence, and it was conjectured 
that he might here make some vigorous stand. The march, not more 
than 8 or 9 miles, occupied us all the day, though the main road was 
a very good one ; it lay through a strip of country of the general 
breadth of 1,200 or 1,500 yards, shut in on each side by high and 
strong jungle, whilst the intermediate space was everywhere crossed 
or flanked by the banks of tanks, close palmyra topes, or occasional 
patches of thin and common jungle, all that the Poligar could covet 
for his desultory warfare. The enemy was abundantly armed, and he 
possessed a great number of the small guns of his own particular 
description. The firing on his part was incessant all the day through, 
and a distant hearer might have concluded that we were in desperate 
conflict, but happily it was all noise and random firing, and did no 
serious harm ; our own field-pieces rarely opened but when the Poli- 
gars were in great crowds in front and on the flanks. Whenever our 
parties closed in upon them, they retreated to other points. The 
country to the left, nurth of our main body, seemed that in which the 
enemy harboured with most confidence, and on this side was stationed 
Major Shephard with his corps as a flanking column. Our equip- 
ments and baggage were an enormous mass, and would have afforded 
much temptation to a more enterprising enemy. At sunset we reached 
our grouud, and found the large town of Sherevail in general confla- 

The people had set fire to their houses with their own hands and 
fled into the jungles. The flames, accelerated by a high wind, 

1 There is a sea-port town also on the Western Coast called Tundi or Kadal-tundi, 
tbeTyndis of the Greeks. 


spread with great fury, so that the fine extensive village, with its Chapter IX. 
broad and regular streets, and the Marudu's palace fell into the 
hands of the troops without opposition. This was on the 30th of 
July. On the following day the army commenced to cut its way 
through the jungle to Kalaiyarkovil, one of the thickest and most 
impenetrable jungles in the Carnatic. 

" Colonel Agnew entertained a sanguine belief that the opening for A road to be 
the force of an entire new road to Kalaiyarkovil would be a far more °£* j^3f 
eligible operation than assaulting strong and numerous barriers that 
were known to be constructed with all the care and ingenuity the 
Poligars show in such defences, and which at that moment would 
certainly have cost us very dear. The work of opening this road com- 
menced with considerable alacrity, though it indeed proved through- 
out a most laborious undertaking. The line that was to be opened 
was estimated at not less than 5 or 6 miles from the skirts of the jungle 
opposite the encampment to the pagoda of Kalaiyarkovil, and by far 
the larger part of this was accomplished when sickness spread over our 
camp and much yet remained to be done. The enemy too had now for 
some time learnt to carry on, under secure cover, a very harassing 
resistance to our parties, as they moved up each successive morning, 
exposed in the open space or avenue they had made for themselves, to 
pursue the work of approach to Kalaiyarkovil." 

General Welsh wrote a journal of each day's proceedings. The 
following extracts describing the work done for four days in suc- 
cession in cutting a road through the jungle under fire will give 
a clear idea of the nature and difficulty of the undertaking. 

" August 6th. — The detachment accompanying our working party Attack on a 
was commanded by Major Graham, who found a high bank, at the P 
end of the road cut the day before, had been scooped out and formed 
into a cover for a large body of the enemy, where they had thrown 
across three separate hedges, and got four guns to bear from it upon 
the road. This post they defended with great resolution, and killed 
and wounded many of our men, whose determined bravery, however, 
nothing could repel, and their opponents were at length put to flight. 
Their constant habit of dragging away their dead and wounded upon 
all occasions where they were not too closely pursued led us to 
suppose their loss to have been considerable, as their blood could be 
traced in every direction through the surrounding jungle. Our loss 
was also very great ; but after the bank was stormed and taken the 
work proceeded without opposition, and by the evening we had cut 
two hundred and thirty- seven yards. 

" Augiist 1th. — A foraging party under Lieutenant-Colonel Dahym- Another post 
pie obtained a large quantity of straw without opposition. The ea " 
working party under Major M'Leod being heard firing for upwards 
of an hour, Lieutenant Little was sent out with a detachment to bring 
away the wounded. He returned with the pleasing intelligence, that 
not a man had been seriously hurt, though the bank was again 
defended and again stormed. It was at length taken in flank, but 
the enemy succeeded in carrying off their guns and all their killed 




CiiAPTP.R IX. and wounded. The jungle was so impenetrable that only one party 
under Lieutenant King gained their flank in time ; another, despatched 
in the opposite direction, under Major M'Pherson, did not arrive till 
some time afterwards, or they would have secured the enemy's guns. 
No further opposition was offered, and the party returned, after having 
cut about three hundred and fifty yards. 

A post taken. "On the 8th the foraging party under Major Sheppard again 
brought in a considerable quantity of straw ; and by the covering party 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lalrymple, the bank was 
found again raised, hedged, and defended, and was again gallantly 
taken in flank. The right party alone, however, under Lieutenant 
Fletcher, put the enemy to flight ; since the left division did not arrive 
in time, on account of the thickness of the jungle. The Poligars, on 
finding themselves likely to be out-flanked, fired a volley down the 
road, which did no damage, and absconded. Considering the strength 
of their position, our loss was very small. The pagoda of Kalaiyar- 
kovil, to which we were working, was this day distinctly seen by the 
covering party, who returned after cutting five hundred yards. 

A redoubt " On the 9th our working party was commanded by Major Sheppard, 

ereUed. ^q c l ia nged his mode of attack, by opening all the guns, and 

throwing a few shells into the work, by which plan he took possession 
without the loss of a man. In consequence of the very powerful and 
repeated impediments to our speedy advance, which this bank had 
already thrown out, we were to-day ordered to fortify it as a post ; and 
by the evening therefore a tolerable field redoubt for three hundred 
men and three guns was completed and occupied before we came 
away, by a fresh party from the camp under Colonel Lines. It was 
a square of thirty yards, the south face being on the bank towards 
Kalaiyarkovil with an enormous tamarind tree of such dimensions that 
we could not cut it down, close to it ; from whence both Sherewele 
(Siruvayal) and Kalaiyarkovil were clearly visible. 

" This turned out a very irksome and dispiriting warfare, as the hand 
that dealt the blow was rarely seen, and to return it on our part with 
any effect was next to impossible. Our supplies too, from the extreme 
closeness of the country and the crowds of peons about, became very 
precarious, and at last they coidd be brought up only by the movement 
of whole corps at a time for their protection." 

An entire month was spent in this arduous endeavour to reach 
Kalaiyarkovil by cutting away to it through the jungle. Accord- 
ingly General Welsh says : — 
The attempt " To-day, August 30, it was resolved to quit this place, without 
th^unef further prosecuting our attempt to roach Kalaiyarkovil from the 
abandoned. Sherewele side ; and the rejoicing was unanimous, at the prospect of 
leaving a place which had been the grave of so many of our brave 
comrades. Even the honour which we lost, in abandoning the Labours 
of a whole month, was forgotten, in viewing the comparative facility 
which the opposite direction held out. Our camp had become sickly, 
and many were suffering from diarrhoea and dysentery ; indeed, both 
officers and men had died of this vile scourgo ; while even those who 


continued to enjoy good health, were heartily sick of a standing camp, Chapter IX. 
in a spot where the only green that met the eye was the impenetrable 
forest in which we had been foiled by cowards, of such a persevering 
nature, however, that although beating them every hour, they had 
succeeded so completely to surround us, that we could neither send a 
letter, nor receive one, even from Palamcotta, for a whole month. 
Many attempts had been made to elude their vigilance, but I believe Attempt* to 
every one failed. I had myself given a friendly Poligar, who, knowing convey letters. 
the people and every inch of the country, had volunteered the adven- 
ture, an advance of five pagodas, with one small letter ; and he was 
on delivery to have received a similar sum, equal in the whole to four 
pounds sterling ; I afterwards learned, that though he set out in a 
dark night, he was discovered and put to death within a few miles 
from our camp. 

" On the 1st of September, a working party was sent out, with the The force 
usual escort, to destroy all our thirty-two days' handiwork in the jungle moves otf. 
which they fully accomplished, by demolishing the redoubts and 
burning all the brushwood in their neighbourhood ; and returned 
with the out-guards to camp without opposition." 

The force now moved off to make a detour by the western and 
northern approaches, which were ascertained to be more open to 

This period was marked by a proceeding that had a most bene- 
ficial influence on our affairs. 

" The Collector of the Poligar Peshcush had with great judgment The true heir 
sought out the heir to the pollam, and under the authority of the proclaimed. 
Government, this personage now received in camp an investiture of 
his country with great ceremony and publicity. He had in his child- 
hood been adopted by the last representative of the proper family of 
the pollam, but had been compelled to forego his expectations, to fly 
for his life and remain in deep obscurity, the Marudu in his early 
days being much too powerful a chief to allow him to entertain any 
hope of restoration. His adherents now, however, pressed his claims 
with much zeal, and the Government with very seasonable justice and 
consideration determined on their entire recognition of them, and his 
elevation was hailed by the population in general with the highest 

The person thus elevated was described by Mr. Lushington as 
collateral heir on the failure of direct heirs. He did not rest his 
claim on his having been adopted in his childhood by the last 
Poligar. There was a still nearer collateral heir, who was rejected 
by Mr. Lushington on account of his having married a daughter 
of Vellai Marudu and being attached to his cause. The new 
Zamindar was called Permattoor Odeya Tavar (properly Paura- 
Vallaba-Udaiya-Dova of Padamattur). On his appointment he 
was made Zamindar, not Poligar, and in this case, as has been 
shown elsewhere, the difference in name denoted a real difference. 
General Welsh gives an animated account of Udaiya Deva's 
institution. The effect his appointment produced in thawing 



Success of the 

Capture of 
a fortified 

Meaning of 

Chapter IX. away at once from the Marudus many of their followers vindicated 
the wisdom of Mr. Lushington's policy. It was a measure, 
however, which sooner or later he would have carried into effect 
all the same, for he did not wish so high a hereditary dignity as 
that of Zamindar of Sivagangai to remain in the hands of a 

1 ' Colonel Agnew about this time made a night movement with the 
cavalry and some native details to attack Peramally, which was 
surprised and taken possession of without any material occurrence. 
It was judiciously chosen, and it had been reported that the garrison 
was collecting stores for some ulterior object, and its situation also 
allowed of parties from it much disturbing our communication with 
Trichinopoly, which led to this visit. The post itself consisted of a 
handsome pagoda situated on the brow of a hill, from whence ran a 
wall enclosing a small village below. The garrison seeing our move- 
ments to turn their rear, escaped by a close passage in that direction 
leading to jungles on the opposite side of the hill. The resistance it 
offered was very feeble." 

By Peramally (Prawmullay in the Ordnance Map) we are to 
understand Piramalai, properly Piran-malai, a shrine sacred to 
(Piran) Vishnu. I may mention here that Kalaiyarkovil is a Saiva 
shrine of considerable celebrity. Kalai is the Tamil word for 
a bull, and stands here for Siva's Vrishabha or sacred bull. Siva is 
worshipped there as Kalai-isvara. 

On the 1st of October the whole force advanced upon Kalaiyar- 
kovil in three divisions, converging on the place from three direc- 
tions. One of these divisions marched the previous night so as to 
endeavour to reach Kalaiyarkovil under cover of the darkness by 
the road cut through the jungle. The other divisions met with 
considerable opposition, but at length succeeded in forcing their 
way to the citadel. The fortunes of the division which started 
the previous night shall be told by Mr. Hughes himself : — 

" During the critical period he (Mr. Hughes) had watchfully fixed 
his attention on the state of the road that had been opened by the 
force from Sherevail. All his intelligence went to corroborate the 
account that this point was now left entirely unguarded, the enemy 
seeming to view it as far too remote from our main body to need any 
precaution. The distance indeed was something to be considered 
by ourselves, but it was certain that the enemy would be sharply 
employed everywhere, and Colonel Agnew therefore approved of the 
movement of a small column in that direction. It was arranged that 
it should proceed in such deep secrecy overnight that even our own 
camp should not be apprized of its movement, since we had now many 
of the inhabitants about us who might play us false, and it was urged, 
as equally desirable, that in its passage forward it should carefully 
avoid every hamlet that no alarm might bo given. It met not with 
the smallest impediment, and from the end of the excellent road that 
had been abandoned a month before as altogether unavailable, paths 

Attack on the 
place in three 

Success of 
the advance 
through the 


were found which had been traversed by the enemy whilst opposing Chapter IX. 

our working parties, quite open to tho very walls of Kalaiyarkovil. 

The surprise and panic by our sudden appearance in this most 

unlooked-for quarter, caused an instantaneous abandonment of the 

place, and as rapid an escape of every soul to the contiguous jungle ; 

Colonel Agnew was kept at a stand for a short time from the numerous 

obstacles thrown in the way of his attack — there was of course the 

usual incessant firing and much general uproar — but the first barrier 

being penetrated at the flank, the flight of the enemy became general 

through the numerous narrow paths about, and they had been apprized, 

it is palpable, of the fall of their stronghold, which must have much 

enfeebled their resistance. Every point of defence from the interior one 

to Kalaiyarkovil was found deserted, and on discovering the pagoda, 

our Commandant had the high satisfaction of perceiving our sentinels Meeting of 

on the walls. The meeting indeed was alike happy to every one, f ^ 8 aC mg 

since here was an end to this irksome service." 

"The pagoda of Kalaiyarkovil," says General "Welsh, " is a Description of 
very large and handsome building, surrounded by a strong stone kaiaiyar- 
wall about eighteen feet in height and forming one angle of the 
fort, which was nearly dismantled. The enemy seemed quite 
disheartened and bewildered by our different attacks at the same 
moment, and hardly a soul appeared during the remainder of the 
day. We found here twenty-one guns, mostly mounted, and a 
great quantity of stores ; there were also many articles of European 
furniture, and amongst them two clocks and several pier-glasses. 
The fort had been well built and was extensive, but the town, 
covered by a thick hedge only, formed one face of it and contained 
many excellent houses. It had indeed, never been a place of very 
great strength, but our local information was never such as could 
be relied upon, and no European in the camp knew anything 
about the state of the country. I had, myself, to my shame be it 
mentioned, actually passed through it a few months before, and 
been entertained by Vellai Marudu in his palace at Sherewele ; 
but had not then the slightest idea of ever again entering it, much 
less as a foe." 

Events that followed the Capture of Kalaiyarkovil. 

Kalaiyarkovil was taken on the 1st of October (1801), and from 
that day all resistance in the field was abandoned by the rebels as 
hopeless. General Welsh gives the details of the hunt after the 

" On the 3rd a division under Major Sheppard marched from camp Advance to 
at sunrise, with orders to proceed, via Kalaiyarkovil, to Mangalam, Mangalam. 
where it was understood we were to meet a large body of the enemy. 
We arrived there, however, without opposition, at half past 2 p.m., 
and formed our camp with the rear to the village and an immense tank 
in our front, on the bund or bank of which our quarter-guards were 



Chapteu IX. 

The rebels 

Execution of 
the principal 


Results of the 

Minor rebels 
sent to 

posted. The villagers, on seeing a white flag at our approach, came 
out to meet us, saying, that Marudu with two thousand men had 
been lately there, but had retreated into the jungle ; and in the 
evening the headmen from nine villages came in to take cowle from 
Major Sheppard. The road from Kalaiyarkovil to this place was 
entirely through jungle, in some parts very thick, and though hardly 
wide enough for carriages, was in other respects very good when we had 
removed the thorns and milk -hedges which were occasionally thrown 
across it. There was only one barrier on the skirt of the jungle, 
about six furlongs from Mangalam, intended to defend the approach 
from Eamnad, and this our Pioneers demolished in about two hours, and 
then returned under an escort to Kalaiyarkovil. Colonel Agnew hav- 
ing returned to Madras on the 4th of October, we were again put under 
the orders of Major Colin Macaulay, and remained inactive, waiting 
to hear from him. The headmen of fifty villages came in to-day to 
take cowle, and brought intelligence that the Marudus had disbanded 
their forces ; and, with only two hundred followers, had secreted them- 
selves in the Shangrapoy jungle. This we considered as very good 
news, for we were not a little weary of such a tedious and unprofitable 
warfare. What followed afterwards was, indeed, of little importance, 
the enemy nowhere making head against us ; parties were sent to hunt 
them down in the different jungles. 

In a few days both the Marudus, with their families, Kattabonia 
Nayaka, Dalavay Pillai, and the Dumb Brother, were all taken, and 
the men all hanged, excepting Dora Swamy, the youngest son of 
Chinna Marudu, and Dalavay Pillai, who, being of less consequence, 
were transported for life to Prince of Wales' Island, with seventy of 
their devoted followers ; and thus ended this most harassing warfare, 
in which the expenditure of life had been profuse and the result 
any thing but honourable to the survivors." 

When General Welsh speaks of the result of the campaign as 
dishonourable, he speaks from the point of view of a military 
critic. He meant that the English force gained no honour by 
the loss of time, life, and treasure it incurred in putting down so 
uncivilized a foe. From the point of view of Government, of the 
civil community, and of posterity, the results of the war were 
highly satisfactory. This Poligar war achieved the distinction of 
being the last of its kind. 

The Marudus were hanged on the highest bastion of the fort of 
Tirupattur, a town and fort in their own territory already referred 
to. Kattaboma Nayaka and his dumb brother, the persons chiefly 
responsible for all this loss of life, were brought back to Panjalam- 
kurichi, and there hanged on the mound near the fort which had 
been erected for the use of the breaching battery. The mound is 
still visible. Colonel Agnew, leaving a corps in Sivagangai, 
returned to Palamcotta, and Captain Welsh was detached to com- 
mand Tuticorin, where he superintended the transportation of 
seventy of the convicted rebels, including Chinna Marudu's younger 


son, a youth whom he treated with the greatest kindness con- Chapter IX. 
sistent with his duty to the State. Strange to say, eighteen years 
afterwards he met his former prisoner in Penang. Not only was 
the fort of Panjalamkurichi pulled down and levelled to the 
ground, but, to make assurance doubly sure and to produce an Fate of 
impression on the popular mind, the site was ploughed over and u a I nj ^ lam " 
cultivated. It was ordered also that the name of Panjalamkurichi 
should be removed from all maps and accounts. Notwithstanding 
this it found a place afterwards in the Ordnance Map, where it 
appears as " Panjalamkurichi in ruins." Nothing now remains to 
mark the spot but a few traces of the mound erected as a breach- 
ing battery, on which the Poligar and his dumb brother were 
hanged, and the enclosure in the neighbourhood containing the 
tombs of the officers and men who fell in the last two assaults. 
The remains of those who fell in the first assault are just outside 

During Colonel Agnew's absence and up to the end of the year 
the Collector, Mr. Lushington, had been strenuously exerting 
himself in hunting down those rebels that were still at large, 
apprehending their friends and sympathisers, and restoring to 
Sivagangai and Kamnad, as well as to Tinnevelly, a feeling of 
protection and security. 

The principal rebel then captured was Sivattaiya Nayaka, who Capture of 
was regarded by many as the real author of the rebellion, though ua ai}fl " 
he had always managed to escape conviction. An amnesty was 
proclaimed, on the Government passing from the Nawab to the 
East India Company, from which, however, two persons were 
excepted. One of these exceptions was Sivattaiya Nayaka, who 
was captured near Srlvilliputtur and brought by a strong military 
escort to the fort of Palamcotta. Another person excepted from 
the amnesty, also captured, was the Mitppan of Kulasekharapatta- 
nam. Another was one Dalavay Pillai, who led the authorities 
a long chase, but was at last caught. The Maravas of Nanguneri The Maravas 
gave him an asylum, and got up a little rebellion on his account, ° ftn s ,men - 
as well as on their own, so that it was found necessary to send a 
force of 100 sepoys, under a European officer, to reduce them to 
submission. Some of these petty rebels were sent off to be 
imprisoned in the fort of Kamudi, in the Ramnad country. The 
most formidable of their ringleaders were sent to Madras. 

I quote the following from Mr. Lushington's letter to the 
Madras Government already cited. 

"Upon the transfer of Tinnevelly in July last, the condition of the Lushington's 
Kavalgars, the nominal protectors of the villages, urgently demanded dealings with 
my consideration. During the rebellion of Panjalamkurichi they g arg> 
fomented and aided the disturbance in every quarter ; and after the 


Chapter IX. reduction of the place many of them continued to wander about the 
country in armed bodies plundering the villages, robbing the people, 
and intimidating the Mahajens (Brahmins) and principal inhabitants 
to obtain their pardon from the Circar. As the peace and prosperity 
of the country demanded immediate measures to arrange these 
disorders, and as I apprehended no ill-consequence from the return of 
the Kavalgars to their villages, they were invited to come in peace to 
their habitations with the exception, however, of those whose conduct 
had been particularly atrocious. Their long connection with the 
Poligars and occasional sufferings from a faithless administration 
created at first in their minds a distrust of my intentions ; but when I 
succeeded in convincing them of the sincerity of the pardon offered to 
the obedient, they returned, and have remained from that period 
regardless of the endeavour* made by Dalavoy Pillai to seduce them 
Remuneration from the strict performance of all their duties. The regular enjoyment 
-kavalgars. Q £ ^g^ ruS g 00 m (fees) and privileges seems to have converted them 
from plunderers to the submissive servants of the Circar, and there 
appears to me to be nothing wanting to destroy the influence of the 
Poligars over them, and to fix their attachment to the Company upon 
the solid ground of self-interest, but formally to relinquish all claims 
upon them to kaunikai or peshcush, which they were always compelled 
to pay to the Poligars, nominally from their rassooms, but really from 
their depredations. The amount in the whole Province is as shown in 
No. 16, and I have given them hopes of a remission of these sums, 
which I trust you will find it just and politic to confirm. The use 
which they made of the Poligar's name, whilst they remained at his 
devotion, rendered the acquirement of this amount a matter of perfect 
facility to them at that period, but now that every effort is made to 
keep them rigorously to the performance of their watching duties the 
whole of their privileges are no more than sufficient for their subsist- 
Exception of "From the satisfaction given by the Kavalgars in general, you are 
ne-ri Mart"" aware, that I have to except the Marava Kavalgars of Naugancherry 
vars. (Nanguneri). The notorious profligacy and savageness of their 

character always checked any sanguine expectation of retaining them, 
but no effort was omitted to accomplish their reform by convincing 
them of the justice of the Company's Government. But their obsti- 
nate concealment and protection of rebels proscribed by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Agnew and their refusal to tender any surety of their submis- 
sion and allegiance compelled the exercise of that coercion which was 
explained in my correspondence of October last. Upon mature 
investigation Lieutenant-Colonel Agnew conceived their conduct to 
have been of so heinous a tendency and of such dangerous example as 
to make them fit objects of transportation and banishment from the 
country. The eight principal Kavalgars of Nangancheri were accord- 
ingly sent as convicts from Tnticorin, and the duties have been since 
very satisfactorily performed by the original possessors of the kaval of 
the village, the Shanar inhabitants." 

"Whilst the disloyal Poligars suffered the punishment duo to 
them for their rebellion, Government did not forget to reward 


those Poligars that remained loyal, especially those that were near Chapter IX. 
neighbours to Panjalamkurichi and who might have been expected 
to take the rebel chief's side. The Poligar of Maniyatchi, whose 
refusal to join in the rebellion brought down upon him a great 
deal of local odium, fled for refuge at the beginning of the war to 
Palamcotta, where he remained, with the permission of the 
Collector, till its close. The Poligar of Melamandai also refused 
to join in the rebellion and fled to llamnad. The Board of 
Revenue warmly eulogised his conduct. They observed that, 
" though of the same caste with the family of Panjalamkurichi, he 
resisted every artifice and threat that was made use of to force him 
into the league." Both these Poligars were liberally rewarded for Lojal 
the service they rendered to the State by keeping out of the ^V^rded. 
rebellion. At the close of the war the two southern " Maganams " 
of Panjalamkurichi were conferred on the Maniyatchi Poligar, 
whilst the Poligar of Melamandai was rewarded by a present of a 
portion of the lands of the deposed Poligars of Kadalgudi and 
Kulattur. The Ettiapuram Poligar had already been liberally 
rewarded by a gift of four out of the six Maganams into which 
the forfeited estate had been divided. The Government were 
anxious to avoid even the appearance of wishing to derive any 
pecuniary advantage from the punishment inflicted on the rebel- 
lious Poligars, and therefore in every instance of the forfeiture of 
a palaiyam for rebellion, instead of appropriating the palaiyam, or 
any part of it, to itself, the only use it made of the forfeited lands 
was to divide them as rewards amongst its loyal adherents. It 
will be seen from the proclamation issued by Government at the 
close of the rebellion that this was its fixed line of policy in such 

Cession of the Country to the English Government. 

Tinnevelly, together with the rest of the Carnatic, had now been Results of the 
peaceably ceded by treaty to the East India Company, a cession ce881on - 
which brought with it not merely a change of rulers, but a change 
of principles, a change in the objects and methods of government, 
a change out of which an infinite number of beneficial changes 
were sure to be developed as time went on. The act of cession 
was dated on the 31st July 1801, and on the same day an order 
was issued by the Nawab to his principal Amildar in Tinnevelly 
to transfer all his accounts to the Company's representative and 
by the Madras Government to Mr. Lushington, appointing him 
their Collector, to be responsible to them alone in future for all 
matters of administration. One of the first works that occupied 
Mr. Lushington's attention after the close of the war 'was the 
" settlement " of Sivagangai. 




Chapter IX. I here give the principal portions of the important proclamation 
of the Madras Grovernment issued at the close of the last Poligar 


of the rebel- 

condition of 


of the rebel- 

Proofs of 

of rebellion 


Fort St. George, 1st December 1801. 


1. By a Proclamation bearing date the 9th day of December 1799, the Right Honor- 
able Edward Lord Clive, Governor in Council of Fort St. George and all its 
dependencies, proclaims to all the Poligars of the Province of Tinnevelly, the conse- 
quences of the rebellion of Kattaboma Nayaka of Panjalamcourchy which has 
terminated in the ignominious death of that chieftain and of two of his confidential 

2. By the same Proclamation, the Governor in Council further proclaims a defi- 
nition of the future condition of Poligars, and of the system of government which 
it was the intention of the Governor in Council to introduce for the administration 
of the affairs of the Poligar countries. 

3. Before the Governor in Council could proceed to carry into execution the 
current system of measures described in that proclamation, the brother of Katta- 
boma Nayaka, instigated by the evil advice of Vellai Marudu and Chinna Marudu, 
Servaikaras of Sivagangai, was induced to disregard the awful example which had 
recently been exhibited to the Poligars of the Southern Provinces and to place the 
happiness and securit5 r of himself and of his adherents, not on the protection of the 
Honorable Company, but on the desperate hazard of defying in arms the power of 
the British Government. 

4. The consequences of those infatuated councils were anticipated, and proclaimed 
to the Poligars and inhabitants of the Southern Provinces, at the time when the 
Right Honorable the Governor in Council assembled the British troops for the 
purpose of suppressing the rebellion excited, and maintained in arms, by the 
Poligars of Panjalamcourchy and of Virapakshi, and by the Servaikaras of Siva- 

5. At the same time that the Right Honorable the Governor in Council regrets 
that the desperate resistance opposed to the British troops should have been 
attended with so great a loss of life to the deluded inhabitants, His Lordship feels 
it to bo his duty to impress on the minds of the Poligars, Servaikaras and inhabi- 
tants of the Southern Provinces, the danger of provoking the just indignation of 
the British Government, and the fruitless attempt of opposing the united strength 
of the Poligars, to the steadiness, valour and discipline of the British troops. The 
people of the Southern Provinces have now witnessed, that the difficulty of resist- 
ing the force of the Company's Government in open arms is not greater, than that 
of evading the perseverance, vigilance and activity of the Company's troops, in the 
native woods of the Poligars. 

6. From the centre of those woods, the authors of the late rebellion have been 
brought before the tribunals, erected by the Government in Council, for tho trial 
of that hateful and desperate offence ; and the infatuated obstinance of those chief- 
tains, in neglecting the warning voice with which the Governor in Council had 
announced to them the danger of rebellion, has rendered indispensably necessary 
the signal punishments of their crimes : and the Governor in Council encourages a 
well-founded expectation, that the ignominious manner in which those misguided 
chieftains have terminated their ambitious and criminal career, will indelibly fix on 
the minds of their surviving families, and of the inhabitants of Tinnevelly, the 
danger of defying the British Government to arms. 

7. At tho same time that tho Right Honorable the Governor in Council directs 
the attention of tho Sherogars, Poligars and people of the Southern Provinces to 
the just punishment of unprovoked rebellion, His Lordship contemplates with 
just pride and satisfaction the examples of steady attachment and honorable fidelity 
which the British Government has experienced from many of its dependants in the 
course of this unnatural and unavoidable warfare. As in the former case, the 


Governor in Council has been reluctantly compelled to exhibit a memorable example Chapter IX. 

of the crime of sedition, so in the latter instance, His Lordship in Council has had 

the pleasure of augmenting the security, wealth and happiness of those whose 
zeal and loyalty have entitled them to the distinguished favor and protection of the 
British Government. 

8. It will not escape the observation of the Poligars, Sherogars and inhabitants Estates of 
of the Southern Provinces, that the decisive success which has attended the progress rebels not 
of the British troops has created no deviation from the principles stated in the Pro- appropriated 
clamation bearing date the 9th December 1799. They will have observed that „?l nt 
although the necessity of preserving tranquillity and regular government has com- 
pelled the Governor in Council to punish the authors of rebellion, His Lordship 

has abstained from appropriating to the Company the lands forfeited by that 
dangerous crime ; they will have had the satisfaction of noticing the confidence 
reposed by the British Government in its subjects, by applying those forfeited lands 
to the means of augmenting the Pollams of the faithful Poligars, and from these 
examples they may derive the certain means of appreciating the principles of the 
British Government. 

9. On the foundation described in this Proclamation, the Right Honorable the Hopes for 
Governor in Council encourages a reasonable hope that the causes of future com- the future, 
motion in the Southern Provinces have been supjjressed, and the Poligars, Servai- 
karas and inhabitants will rely on the protection of the British Government in the 
assurance of enjoying their civil rights and the religious institution of their 

10. Wherefore the Right Honorable Edward Lord Clive, Governor in Council All weapons 
of Fort St. George, with the view of preventing the occurrence of the fatal evils prohibited, 
which have attended the possession of arms by the Poligars and Servaikaras of the 
Southern Provinces, and with the view of inforcing the conditions of the Proclama- 
tion published by Major Bannerman on the 2nd day of October 1799, formally 
announces to the Poligars, Servaikaras and inhabitants of the Southern Provinces, 

the positive determination of His Lordship in Council to suppress the use and 
exercise of all weapons of offence, with the exception of such as shall be authorized 
by the British Government. 

11. The military service heretofore rendered by the Poligars having been sup- Arms no 
pressed, and the Company having in consequence charged itself with the protection longer neces- 
and defence of the Poligar countries, the possession of fire-arms and weapons of sar y € 
offence is manifestly become unnecessary to the safety of the people ; the Right 
Honorable the Governor in Council therefore orders and directs all persons, whether 

Poligars, Colleries or other inhabitants possessed of arms in the Provinces of 
Dindigul, Tinnevelly, Ramnadpurarn, Sivagangai and Madura, to deliver the said 
arms, consisting of Muskets, Matchlocks, Pikes, Gingauls and Sarabogoi to 
Lieutenant-Colonel Agnew, the Officer now commanding the forces in those Pro- 
vinces, or such persons as he may appoint to receive them. 

12. The Right Honorable the Governor in Council, in the determination of Evil custom 
carrying this resolution into effect, is governed by no other motives than those to }> e ralin- 
connected with the sacred duty of providing for the permanent tranquillity of those ( l msned - 
countries. His Lordship disclaims ever}' wish for subjecting the chiefs and heredi- 
tary landlords to any humiliation, but the discountenance of the general use of 

arms, according to the prevailing habits of those countries, being indispensably 
necessary to the preservation of peace and to the restoration of prosperity, the 
Governor in Council expects that the chieftains will with cheerfulness sacrifice a 
custom, now become useless, to the attainment of those important objects. 

16. The Right Honorable Edward Lord Clive, Governor in Council of Fort St. Amnesty to 
George and its dependencies, having now laid the foundation of a future perma- a ^ Dut a ^ evr - 
nent tranquillity in the Southern Provinces, by the entire suppression of the late 
united, extensive, and flagrant rebellion, and being further enabled to corroborate 
those foundations by the establishment of the undivided authority of the Company's 
Government in those Provinces, His Lordship in Council is desirous of relieving 
the minds of the Poligars, Servaikaras and people of the Southern Provinces from 
further solicitude or apprehension of the punishment provoked by the late rebel- 



Chapter IX. bon, wherefore the Right Honorable Edward Lord Clive, Governor in Council 

aforesaid, proclaims to the said Poligars, Servaikaras and inhabitants that, with 

the exception of Virapapdya Nayaka and Mookat Nayaka of Panjalamkurichi, 
Mulapen of Ramnad, and the persons now under restraint, whom it is the intention 
of His Lordship in Council to punish by banishment beyond the seas, the British 
Government now extends to all other persons who may have been induced to follow 
the desperate fortunes of the principal rebels, a free and full pardon of the 
offences which they have committed against the Company. The Governor in 
Council, therefore, assures such persons as may have been implicated in the crime 
of the late rebellion, that His Lordship in Council has relinquished every inten- 
tion of prosecuting the punishment of that rebellion, deeming the examples already 
exhibited to their observation to convey a sufficient impression of the power of the 
British Government. 
A permanent x "• ^ n the confident expectation of redeeming the people of the Southern Provinces 
assessment from the habits of predatory warfare, and in the hope of inducing them to resume 
promised to the arts of peace and agriculture, the Right Honorable Edward Lord Clive, 
the Poligars. Governor in Council of Fort St. George aforesaid, announces to the Poligars 
and to all the inhabitants of their- Pollams, that it is the intention of the British 
Government to establish a permanent assessment of Revenue on the Lords of the 
Pollam upon the principles of Zemindary tenures, which assessment, being once 
fixed, shall be liable to no change in any time to come, that the Poligars, becoming 
by these means Zemindars of their hereditary estates, will be exempted from all 
military service, and that the possession of their ancestors w T ill be secured to them 
under the operation of limited and defined laws, to be printed and published, as 
well for the purpose of restoring its own officers to the regulations and ordinances 
of the Government, as of securing to the people their property, their lives, and 
the religious usages of their respective castes. 

(By the order of the Right Honorable Governor in Council.) 

(Signed) P. A. AGNEW, Lieutenant-Colonel, 
Camp Palamcottah, Commanding S. M. Districts. 

26tk December 1801. 

This Proclamation forms as a very suitable termination of one 
period of the history of Tinnevelly and an equally suitable com- 
mencement of another. 

Concluding Remarks. 


A mixed government, partly carried on on English principles 
and partly controlled by the Nawab's prejudices, came thus to an 
end and was succeeded by a government purely English, at unity 
with itself, and as just as it was powerful. The results of this 
change have been most important and valuable. Professor Wilson 
in his " Historical Sketch of the Kingdom of Pandya " places in a 
striking light the course things would have taken if the English 
Government had not been enabled to interpose with authority. 

" It may be concluded," he says, " that had not a wise and powerful 
policy interfered to inforeo the habits of social life, the fine districts to 
the south of the Kaveri. most admirably fitted by nature to support 
an industrious population, would have reverted to the state in which 
tradition describes them long anterior to Christianity, and would once 
more have become a suitable domicile for the goblins of Havana or 
the apes of Hanumiin." 


The first reflection that arises in one's mind on reading the Chapter IX. 
foregoing sketch of the history of this district is, that war seems to War the 
have been the normal condition of Tinnevelly, as of the rest of the normal condi- 
old Pandya country, and doubtless also it may be said, as of the coun try. 
rest of Southern India from the beginning of man's abode in these 
regions till A.D. 1801. A district that never from the beginning 
knew peace for 80 months together — probably never even for 
80 weeks — has now enjoyed profound, uninterrupted peace for 80 
years ! and in consequence of this all the arts of peace have had 
time to be developed and to approach something like perfection. 

Another conclusion which we seem to be entitled to form is Condition of 
that prior to the cession of the district to the English, the admini- steadily 6 mg 
stration of public affairs and the condition of the country and worse, 
people, instead of improving as time went on, in virtue of the lessons 
taught by the accumulated experience of the past, were steadily 
getting worse and worse. Things were worse under the Nayakas 
than under the Pandyas, worse still under the rule of the Nawab, 
and worst of all — as the night is at its darkest just before the dawn 
— during that deplorable period immediately before the interfer- 
ence of the English — when the Nawab's power had become merely 
nominal and the only real power that survived was that of fierce 
Poligars and avaricious " renters." 

Of the many beneficial changes that have taken place since then The Poligar 
one of the most remarkable is that which we see in the Poligars zemindar* 6 a 
themselves. The Poligar has become a Zamindar, and has changed 
his nature as well as his name. One can scarcely believe it possi- 
ble that the peaceful Nayaka and Marava Zamindars of the present 
day are the lineal descendants of those turbulent and apparently 
untameable chiefs, of whose deeds of violence and daring the 
history of the last century is so full. One asks also, can it be 
really true that the peaceful Nayaka ryots of the present day are 
the lineal descendants of those fierce retainers of the Poligars, who 
were so ready, at the merest word of their chief, to shed either their 
own blood or that of their chief's enemies ? The change wrought 
amongst the poorer class of the Maravas is not perhaps quite so 
complete, but many of them have merged their traditional 
occupation of watchmen in the safer and more reputable occupation 
of husbandmen, and it may fairly be said of the majority of the 
members of this caste that, though once the terror of the country, 
they are now as amenable to law and reason as any other class. 

The whole aspect of things in Tinnevelly has changed for the Improve- 
better in a wonderful degree since the assumption of the govern- men *f intro- 
ment of the district by the English, and beneficial changes of all 
kinds are still in progress. The thick impervious jungles which 
covered most of the plains and which had for generation after 
generation furnished the haunts and hiding-places of banditti have 


Chapter IX. disappeared (perhaps only too completely), and cotton and food 
grains cover those tracts instead. Good roads have been made 
wherever they were required, all the rivers and the principal 
nullahs have been bridged over, carts have to a large extent taken 
the place of pack-bullocks, and transit duties have been utterly 
abolished. The whole district has been twice surveyed and mapped. 
Courts and cutcherries for the settlement of civil disputes and the 
repression of crime have succeeded to the arbitrary awards of 
irresponsible Pandits and illiterate Poligars. "Well-considered 
legal codes have been introduced. A police force has been organ- 
ized. Hospitals and dispensaries — institutions unknown before 
even by name — have been established in populous places. The 
Government in the great recent famine of 1877 has not left the 
people to perish, as they would have been left, and could not but 
have been left, in former times, but has set itself at whatever cost 
to preserve them from dying of hunger. Education has made 
great progress, not only amongst the Brahmans and the class of 
officials, but even amongst the poorer classes. The benefits of 
postal communication have been widely extended, and in our own 
day we have seen introduced the wonders of the railway and the 
Good govern- telegraph. A truly paternal government has not only helped the 
people in every emergency, but it has helped them to help 
themselves. It has not only governed them better than they were 
ever governed before, but has taught and encouraged them, as far 
as is possible at present, to govern themselves. It has endeavoured 
not to raise a few classes only, but to lift the whole community to 
a higher level. So quiet, peaceful, and contented has the district 
become that it is governed by the merest handful of Europeans. 
The population amounts (roughly) to seventeen lakhs (17,00,000), 
whilst the number of Europeans directly engaged in the govern- 
ment of the district, including the commanding officer of a single 
company of sepoys, themselves natives, does not exceed ten. We 
have thus the extraordinary spectacle of seventeen hundred thou- 
Proportionate sand natives submitting to be governed by ten Englishmen ! 
EnMish'and ^ or w 011 ^ ft be sufficient to say merely that they submit to be 
Natives. governed, they accept our government readily and willingly as 

the best government they have ever had and the best they are 
likely to have in this age of the world. This might almost be 
called a miracle, but it is at any rate a striking proof — and so I 
believe it is regarded by the natives themselves — that a strict admi- 
nistration of justice and unselfish efforts for the public good will 
ever ensure the loyal obedience of the best portion of the people 
and the approbation of the Supreme Rider of the world. Race 
after race of rulers has risen up in this country, has been tried and 
Prospects for found wanting, and has passed away. Can it then be expected 
the future. that the ^ of the j^gUs^ is to last for ever? perhaps not ; 



" for ever" is a strong expression ; but this I think may safely be Chapter IX. 

predicted, that their rule will be allowed to continue as long as 

they rule, as on the whole they have ruled, or at least endeavoured 

to rule, hitherto, not for their own selfish ends merely, or for the 

benefit of a particular class merely, but for the benefit of the whole 

people of the land. 

Note on the Separation of Ramnad from Tinnevelly. 

Ramnad, together with Sivagangai, though never considered a 
portion of Tinnevelly, was always included with Tinnevelly for the 
purposes of government under the same head, from the first intro- 
duction of English control, in the person of a Superintendent of 
Assigned Revenue in 1781, to 1803. During Mr. Lushington's 
Collectorote, Mr. Parish, his Head Assistant, took special charge of 
Ramnad affairs. On the introduction of the permanent settlement 
into Ramnad that year and the establishment of a Zillah Court 
therein, Mr. Parish was appointed Collector of the Ramnad Zillah, 
including the districts of Madura and Dindigul. Mr. Cochrane, 
who was appointed Collector of the now diminished "province" 
of Tinnevelly, took charge of the district on the 5th November 
1803. Thus, whilst Mr. Parish was the first Collector of Ramnad 
with Madura, &c, Mr. Cochrane was the first Collector of Tinne- 
velly alone. Even then his authority did not extend over the 
whole district, for the " Pollams " or Zamindaris in Tinnevelly 
remained for some years in connexion with Ramnad as before. 

Ramnad occupied the place of honor in the new arrangement. 
The Board of Revenue say, " the Zillah of Ramnad, which includes 
the Zamindari of Shevagungah and the Zemindaries of Tinne- 
velly, and the districts of Dindigul and Madura, with their depen- 
dent Pollams and those of Manapara, form one Collectorate under 
the charge of Mr. Gr. Parish." The shorter title generally used 
was " Zillah Ramnad, Dindigul, and Madura," and sometimes 
"Zillah Ramnad" alone. In 1808 the Zillah of Ramnad was 
abolished, and the twenty-nine small Zamindaris, formerly deno- 
minated " the Tinnevelly Pollams," were incorporated with the 
district of Tinnevelly. 








Baptism of 
the Paravas 
on the Tin ne 
velly coast. 

Chapter X. It has already been mentioned, in our account of the settlements of 
the Portuguese on the Tinnevelly coast, that the commencement of 
the Roman Catholic Mission in Tinnevelly dates from 1532, when 
certain Paravas, representatives of the Paravas or fishing caste, 
visited Cochin for the purpose of supplicating the aid of the Por- 
tuguese against their Muhammadan oppressors, and were baptized 
there by Michael Vaz, Vicar General of the Bishop (not yet Arch- 
bishop) of Groa. The same ecclesiastic, with other priests, accom- 
panied the fleet which sailed for the purpose of chastising the 
Muhammadans, and as soon as that object was accomplished, set 
about baptizing the Paravas all along the coast, in accordance with 
the agreement into which their representatives had entered. The 
entire Parava caste adopted the religion of their Portuguese deliver- 
ers, and most of them received baptism. Some, however — probably 
in the villages on the Ramnad coast — did not receive baptism from 
some cause till Xavier's time, ten years afterwards. The Paravas 
thus Christianized — called generally at that time the Comorin 
Christians — inhabited thirty villages, and numbered, according to 
the most credible account, twenty thousand souls. These villages 
extended all the way along the coast at irregular intervals from 
Cape Comorin to the island-promontory of Ramesvaram, if not 
beyond, and the coast itself, called at first the Comorin coast, came 
to be more commonly called, on account of the pearl fishery for 
which it was famed, the " Fishery Coast," or simply " the Fishery." 
It does not appear that any village in the interior joined in the 
movement ; and even in the fishing villages on the coast Vaz's 
work seems to have been very superficial, for though he is described 
as a kind protector of the Paravas, they appear to have continued 
totally uninstructed till Xavier appeared on the scene. 

a nival and 


This celebrated Missionary, Francis Xavier, commenced his 
labours amongst the Paravas on the Tinnevelly coast towards the 
close of 1542, and laboured amongst them for about two years. He 



himself explains his own plan of procedure. Immediately after his Chapter X. 
arrival on the coast he had the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Ave 
Maria, and the Decalogue translated into the vernacular. He then 
committed the translations to memory. Four months were occu- 
pied in this work, during which he resided in one of the Christian 
villages. Thus furnished, and accompanied by young Native 
interpreters, trained at Goa and able to speak Portuguese as well 
as Tamil, their mother tongue, he commenced his labours in the 
villages. Going about bell in hand he collected in every village a 
large concourse of people, whom he proceeded to instruct. 

It seems a pity that a man of such mental powers and devoted- Estimate of 
ness as Xavier should have expended his strength and nearly the a%ier - 
whole of his brief Indian life in the very rudimentary work 
described in his letters, and especially amongst people so ignorant 
and so destitute of influence in the Hindu community as the fisher 
people — that is, the Paravas on the eastern coast and the equivalent 
caste of fisher people, the Mukkuvas on the western coast — must then 
have been. It is to be remembered, however, that though a man of 
pre-eminent ability and of pre-eminent devotedness, he was not also 
a learned man. Up to the last he seems never to have been able to 
speak Tamil, but was always obliged to use the services of inter- 
preters. In this particular he was less fitted to labour successfully 
as a missionary amongst Hindus than some of his successors of the 
same Society in Southern India, such as Robert de Nobili and 
Beschi (Italians) in the Tamil country, and Stephens (an English- 
man), Arnold (an Italian), and Hanxleden (a German), on the 
western coast. On the other hand a Christian cannot but remem- 
ber that Christ himself represented it as an evidence of the truth of 
His religion, that " to the poor the Gospel was preached." 

In one of Xavier's letters, written to the Jesuit Society at Pome^ 
of which he was a member, he gives a detailed account of his 
proceedings which has often been quoted. I here quote, however, 
only the conclusion. 

' ' How great is the multitude of those who are gathered into the fold 
of Christ you may learn from this, that it often happens to me that my 
hands fail through the fatigue of baptizing ; for I have baptized a 
whole village in a single day : and often, by repeating so frequently the 
Creed and other things, my voice and strength have failed me." 

Xavier adds that when he had sufficiently accomplished his work Visits from 
in one village he removed to another, till all those thirty villages ^ U a|e *** 
had been visited. 

" All being thus surveyed, my labour comes over again in the same 
order. In each village I leave one copy of the Christian Instruction. 
1 appoint all to assemble on festival days, and to chant the rudiments 
of the Christian faith ; and in each of the villages I appoint a fit per- 





Chapter X. son to preside. For their wages the Viceroy, at my request, has 
assigned 4,000 gold fanams. 1 

The low moral condition of the Parava Christians at that time 
must have been a still greater trial to a man like Xavier than even 
their ignorance. The following extracts from a letter written in 
1544 to his Assistant, Francis Mancias at Punnaikayal, nearly two 
years after his labours amongst them commenced, will speak for 

" To proceed to other matters. As both reason and precedent teach 
us that it is often useful to employ force, in order to crush the obstinacy 
of the more rebellious among these people, who are subjects of His 
Portuguese Majesty, I send you an apparitor, whom I have obtained 
from the Viceroy. I have ordered him to inflict a fine of two silver 
pence, which is the amount of the coin they call a fanam, upon any 
woman who, in defiance of the public regulations, shall drench herself 
with the intoxicating drink they call arack ; besides which, he shall 
imprison for three days all who are found guilty of such intemperance. 
You must see to the rigorous execution of this law in all the villages, 
and have it published in all the assemblies, so that no drunken woman 
when punished may plead ignorance. 

" I cannot yet say when I shall be able to come to you ; but, till 
then, you must enjoin the Patangats'- to correct their wicked manners. 
Tell them, that if I find them still plunged in their old vices, I have 
made up my mind, in virtue of the power which I hold from the 
Viceroy, to have them apprehended, and carried in chains to Cochin ; 
and they must not flatter themselves with the hope of being soon 
released with a slight punishment, for I am thorougldy resolved to 
employ every means in my power to prevent their ever returning to 
Punicael. It is quite evident that the fault and blame of all the crimes 
and villanies of which there are too many which disgrace this country 
rests with them alone. 

" Take the greatest pains to discover the workshops where the idols 
are secretly made and carved." 

Notwithstanding the shortcomings of the Taravas nothing could 
exceed the devoted zeal with which Xavier laboured for their 
welfare. We had many illustrations of this in the account of the 
Portuguese Settlements contained in a preceding chapter, especially 
in connection with his efforts for the protection of his people from 
the Badages or Nayakas. His mantle also seems to have fallen on 
some of his successors, for it is said that his immediate successor, 
Antonio Criminalis, when his people were attacked by the Bada- 
ges, threw himself into their midst, covered his people's flight, and 
perished under the darts of the enemy. This event is said by 
some to have taken place at Manapar, by others at a place called 

Xavier' 8 



1 Three and a half gold fanams were equivaL at i<> a rupee. 
2 Pattangkatti, the title of a headman amongst the Paravas ami a Eew "th<r 


Vedalai near Paumben, but there is a much more distinct and Chapter X. 

oredible tradition of its having taken place at Punnaikayal, where, 

as we have seen, the Portuguese suffered a defeat in 1552, eight 

years after Xaxier left the coast. Criminalis is regarded by the 

Jesuits as the first martyr of their Society. A martyr to his 

people's welfare he certainly was, but hardly a martyr to the faith, 

He is said by some to have died in 1502. 

The Period after Xavier. 

There is much in the letters of the Jesuit Missionaries in the 
century subsequent to Xavier respecting the mission established in 
Madura in 1606 by the celebrated Robert de Nobili, his proceed- 
ings, and the discussions caused by his peculiar modes of work. 
Much light is also thrown by their letters on the political condition 
and history of the Madura country and Ramnad, as may be seen 
in Nelson's Madura Manual ; but unfortunately little has been 
found for almost an entire century respecting the progress of the 
mission in Tinnevelly, whether on the coast or in the interior. 
The principal exception is a notice of the condition of things in the 
missions on the coast contained in a book published in Spain in 
1604 ; from which Dr. Burn ell has been so kind as to furnish me 
with an extract. 

(Guerrero, Eelacion Annal, Valladolid.) It states that there Missions on 
were then (in 1600) twenty members of the Society of Jesus in the 16 o c . 
mission, viz., seventeen fathers and three brothers. The fathers were 
distributed over twenty-two parishes, sixteen of which were on the 
coast, six inland, including the residences at Madura, the court of 
the Navaka, the lord of those lands. Besides these there are others 
in the island of Manar. There are in all that coast more than 
90,000 Christians (Barrello, Bishop of Cochin, puts down their 
number as above 60,000), and the fathers visit all the parishes and 
churches there, going from one to the other according to necessity, 
though the principal residences are in seven chief places. 

The college of Tuticorin was the chief ; in it resided three fathers Tuticorin. 
and three lay-brothers. They did not attend to parochial work, as 
there was a Vicar with two Curates. The festivals were celebrated 
with much zeal, especially that of N. Senora de la Nieves. The 
church is still called by this name. The corresponding Tamil 
name is " Pani-maya-Mata," " dew " (pani) re] uacing " snow." See 
Tuticorin under the Portuguese. " This year," 1600, " more than 
700 communicated." Father Henrique Honriquez was buried in 
the church there and was commonly regarded as a saint. [Tt will 
be remembered that relief-houses were established by this mission- 
ary during a famine in 1570.] 

He mentions the following statistics for 1600. Seventy-four 



Chapter X. 

were baptized iu the college last year, 300 in Manar, 100 iu Vypar, 
15 in Priaparan (Periapattanam in the Ramnad country ?), 100 in 
Vembar, 4 in Madura, 45 inland. In all 547, with about 50 
others in other places. More attention, he says, was given to 
instructing converts already made than to making new converts. 

The next notice I find is of the establishment of a congregation 
at Kaittar in the interior in 1640. There were probably congre- 
gations in the interior before this, seeing that 45 persons in inland 
places were baptized in 1600, but this is the first inland congrega- 
tion the name of which I find mentioned. 


Pate of 




The next record I find is of the establishment of a congregation 
at Kamaiyanayakanpatti in 1660. In the same year, it will be 
seen, that Tuticorin, which had lately passed from the hands of the 
Portuguese to those of the Dutch, was visited by Baldens, whose 
statements show that the Paravas up to that time continued firmly 
attached to the religion taught them by Xavier. 

Kamaiyanayakanpatti is a village in the Ettaiyapuram Zemin- 
dari. The following inscription cut on a stone preserved in the 
church at this place forms an interesting memorial of the period : — 

" Year — year 865, the 19th day of the month Chitra. We Jaga-vTra- 
Ettappa Nayakar Avargal (make proclamation as follows) : As in 
our father's days, twenty-five years ago, this church of God in our 
territory and the Matha of the ascetics of the city of Rome were pre- 
served from harm, so also now we being resolved to do the same have 
visited this church and the priests and have given and set up this 
stone. Wherefore if any person should do any harm to this church 
of God or the priests, or their disciples, not only will he become a traitor 
to us, but let him also incur the guilt which would ensue from slaying 
a black now and Brahmans on the banks of the Gauges. Thus we 
have ordained as long as sun and moon endure. Jaga-vira-Ettappa 
Nayakar. May the Lord preserve (us)." 

The era according to which time was calculated then in Tinne- 
velly was the Malabar or Quilon era, of which the h05th year 
synchronized with A.D. 1689-1590. The} r ear commences in August 
— September. Consequently the early part of the following year, 
including Chitra (April — May) belonged to 1690. The year of the 
Malabar era was preceded in the inscription by the year of the 
cycle of 60, but unfortunately the name of the year has been 
obliterated, only the letter p remains. The year of the cycle of 60 
corresponding to the Malabar year 865, and commencing with the 
month of Chitra, was the fourth year of the cycle, Piramotutha 

Jaga-vira-Ettappa Nayaka is not a personal name, but a family 
title of the Poligars or Zemindars of Ettaiyapuram. The Poligar 


oi this inscription, that is of 1600, according to the family historian Chapter X. 
was Jaga-vlra-lifima Kechila Ettappa Nayaka. His father to 
whom he refers was Jaga-vIra-Rama Ettappa Nayaka. The 
troubles referred to as having taken place about 1600 and those 
which took place twenty-five years before (about 1665) appear to 
have been owing to the violence of the common people of the 
neighbourhood. On both occasions the Poligar himself, who was 
the only ruler in his territory, gave his help and sympathy to the 
Mission priests. 

The first troubles appear to have taken place soon after the Origin of the 
establishment of the congregation. The Portuguese had lately trouble8 - 
been expelled from Tuticorin by the Dutch and the priests of the 
coast congregations had been obliged to take refuge in the interior. 
This may have incited some of the people in the Poligar's territory, 
which was not far from Tuticorin, to take advantage of the downfall 
of the European friends of the priests and endeavour to drive them 
away from their stations. 

It will be seen that later on, in 1715, the celebrated Beschi, who 
then ordinarily resided at Kamaiyanayakanpatti, was exposed to 
serious danger from the hostility of some people in the same Poli- 
gar's territory at a place a little further to the west. 

Conduct of the Dutch. 

In a letter written by Father Martin in 1700, from which I have 
already made a quotation, illustrative of the condition of the town 
of Tuticorin, I find some reflections on the hard treatment the 
Paravas received at that time from the Dutch. 

"Though the Dutch are not masters of the coast, they yet have 
often behaved in such a manner as if it had been entirely subject to 
them. Some years since they dispossessed the poor Paravas of their 
churches, which they turned into magazines (warehouses), and lodged 
their factors in the houses of the missionaries. The fathers were 
then forced to withdraw into the woods and there build themselves 
huts, in order that they might not abandon their flocks at a time when 
their presence was so necessary." 

This statement, from the point of view of the toleration generally Intolerance 
prevalent at the present period, seems so extraordinary that one oi Uutch - 
would naturally wish to hear the other side of the story. The 
other side has been given us by Baldaeus, an able Dutch 
Minister and Missionary, who visited Tuticorin in 1660, two years 
after it had been taken from the Portuguese by the Dutch. Unfor- 
tunately this other side is confirmatory of Martin's statement ! 
Baldaeus says he found the priests of the Paravas very numerous. 
They were principally natives of Goa, and so absolute was their 
influence over this untutored people that they were able to coun- 
teract all his efforts to gain their attention. The Dutch had 


Chapter X. expelled the priests from the towns of Negapatam and Tuticorin, 
but they remained near enough to control the Paravas, who durst 
not enter the church when Baldaeus preached, though he preached 
in Portuguese. From another incident he mentions it appears that 
the Dutch had removed the images and other ornaments from the 
church and converted it to their own use, so that the Paravas would 
not enter it and preferred to say their prayers in the street. Later 
on we find that the Dutch had become more tolerant and erected 
churches for themselves. The date of the erection of their church 
in Tuticorin, now used by the English, is 1750. 


The Tinnevelly coast was the scene of the commencement of the 
missionary labours of Xavier. It was also, about 200 years after- 
wards, the scene of the termination of the labours, and also of the 
life, of Beschi, another celebrated missionary of the Society of Jesus. 
It now also appears that it was the scene of the commencement of 
his labours. 

As a missionary Beschi belonged to the Koman Catholic Church. 
As a Tamil scholar and poet Protestants have always taken as 
much interest in his career as Roman Catholics, perhaps even more. 
A list of Beschi's numerous works, in verse and prose, in Tamil 
and Latin, will be found in the Madras Literary Journal for April 
1840. The following estimate of his position in the Tamil world 
of letters is taken from the Introduction to my Comparative 
Grammar of the Dravidian Languages. 
Beschi as a " The post of honour, not only in the beginning of the eighteenth 

Tamil scholar, century, when they flourished, but throughout the entire modern 
period, is to be assigned to two contemporary poets, one a native, the 
other a foreigner. The second of these, whose poems occivpy a 
still higher place in literature, was the celebrated Beschi, not a Tamil- 
ian, like every other Tamil poet, but an Italian, a missionary priest 
of the Jesuit Society, who acquired such a mastery over Tamil, 
especially over its classical dialect, as no other European seems ever 
to have acquired over that or any other Indian language. His prose 
style in the colloquial dialect, though good, is not of pre-eminent 
excellence ; but his poems in the classical dialect, especially his great 
poem, the Tembavani, a long and highly wrought religious epic in the 
style of the Chintamani, are so excellent— from the point of view of 
Hindu ideas of excellence ; that is, they are so elaborately correct, so 
highly ornamented, so invariably harmonious — that I have no doubt 
he may fairly claim to be placed by the votes of impartial native critics 
themselves in the very hrst rank of the Tamil poets of the second 
class ; and when it is remembered that the first class comprises only 
throe, or at the utmost four works — the Kural. the Chintamani, the 
L'amavanam, the Naladiyar — it seems to me. the morel think of it, tho 
more wonderful that a foreigner should have achieved so distinguished 


a position. Though the Tembavani possesses great poetical merit and Chapter X. 
exhibits an astonishing command of the resources of the language, 
unfortunately it is tinged with the fault of too close an adherence to 
the manner and stylo of ' the ancients ' — that is, of the Tamil classics 
— and is still more seriously marred by the error of endeavouring to 
Hinduise the facts and narratives of Holy Scripture, and even the 
geography of Scripture, for the purpose of pleasing the Hindu taste. 
It is a remarkable illustration of the difference in the position occupied 
in India at present by poetry and prose respectively, that Beschi's 
poetry, however much admired, is now very little read, whilst his 
prose works, particularly his grammars and dictionaries of both the 
Tamil dialects, are in great demand." 

It is surprising that, notwithstanding Beschi's great eminence, Memoirs of 
both as a missionary and as a Tamil scholar, no memoir of his life Beschl - 
seems ever to have been written by any member of his own Society 
or by any European competent to do so. Many notices of his life 
are in print in English, but I have traced them all to one source, 
a Tamil memoir drawn up by a Roman Catholic native, who 
worked up all the traditions he found surviving amongst natives 
respecting Beschi seventy years after his death. He made some use 
of a meagre Tamil memoir published in Pondieherry in 1796 by one 
Saminatha Pillai, but seems never to have consulted any European 
records. The native here referred to was A. Muttusami Pillai, 
"Manager of the College of Fort St. George," who in 1816-17 
undertook a tour to the south, at the instance of Mr. Ellis, the cele- 
brated Tamil scholar, for the purpose of procuring a collection of 
Beschi's works. In the course of this tour he states that he col- 
lected from the children of Beschi's disciples and others many parti- 
culars respecting his life. In 1822 at the request of Mr, Babing- 
ton and Mr. Clarke, members of the College Board, he published in 
Tamil the life of Beschi to which I have referred, with a catalogue 
of his works and extracts from some of the principal ; and at the 
request of Mr. (now Sir Walter) Elliot, a somewhat abbreviated 
translation of this Tamil memoir was made into English, by the 
author himself, helped by two English Roman Catholic Mis- 
sionaries, and published in the number for April 1840 of the 
Journal of the Madras Literary Society. We have every reason to Errors in 
suppose that the author of this memoir was right in regard to the regard to 
principal facts of Beschi's life, but it seems certain that he was in 
error in regard to the dates both of Beschi's arrival in India and of 
his death. This would very naturally happen in the case of a native, 
however intelligent, who had no access to records, or who did not 
think it necessary for his purpose to consult such as were to be 

For the dates and other particulars which follow I am indebted 
to extracts From letters to the Society at Rome and other authentic 
records kindly supplied me, through the good offices of the Rev. 



Cuapteu X. Paul Rottari, S.J., by the Rev. N. Pouget, S.J. They have never 
yet, so far as I am aware, appeared iu English. 

Coustantius Beschi was born at Castiglione in Italy on the 8th 
November 1680. On the 21st October 1698, being eighteen years 
of age, he entered the Society of Jesus. 

His native biographer states that he arrived in India in 1700, 
but Fr. Pouget shows that this was impossible. He must have 
passed two years in novitiate and then engaged in theological 
studies for four years. No member of the Society of Jesus is 
ordained priest before he is twenty-five years of age. He cannot, 
therefore, have sailed for India before 1706. The voyage at that 
time occupied at least six months; and after he reached Goa it 
would be considered necessary, according to the custom of the time, 
that he should remain there one or two years learning Tamil, the 
language of the district to which he was to be appointed. It seems 
probable, therefore, it is said, that he did not commence his 
missionary career in Tinnevelly before 1710. For my own part, 
accepting the data that have been mentioned 1708 seems the latest 
date that can be assigned for his arrival in Tinnevelly. His Tamil 
biographer says that he spent five years in learning Tamil. It 
might be said, doubtless, with still greater truth of so devoted a 
scholar that he was learning Tamil as long as he lived. In what- 
ever year his career as a missionary actually commenced, it cannot 
now be doubted that it commenced in Tinnevelly, and it is equally 
certain that it was to Tinnevelly that he came to breathe his last. 

"We pass out of the region of probabilities into that of certainties 
when we mention that Brandolini, who founded the congregation 
at Vadakankulam in Tinnevelly in 1714, states that in the years 
3714, 1715, and 1716 Beschi was stationed at Kamaiyanayakan- 
patti in Tinnevelly, from which place he often visited Kaittar. 
Kaittar, then a more important place than it is now, is situated on 
the road from Palamcotta to Madura, 18 miles from Palamcotta. 
Kamaiyanayakanpatti lies to the north-east, in the Ettiapuram 
Zemindari. Beschi was imprisoned by the Brahmans at Guruk- 
kalpatti, and they were about to put him to death, when he was 
rescued by the Christians of Kaittar. Gurukkalpatti is a village 
near Alankulam in the Sangaranainarkovil Taluk. . Beschi himself 
relates this incident in a letter to the General Superior of the 
Society dated Kamaiyanayakanpatti, 12th January 1715. I felt 
doubtful at first whether it could be true that Brahmans could have 
really intended to put him to death, but I find that there is a 
distinct tradition to that effect surviving amongst the Native 
Christians in all these villages. The village of Gurukkalpatti 
belongs to Brahmans and is inhabited partly by Brahmans. Thoy 
themselves admit that they have heard that their forefathers pulled 
down a matha erected by Beschi and drove him out of their 


His life in 


village, together with a Brahman convert he had made. They Chapter X. 

show the ruins of the matha he erected. Shortly after this event 

Beschi seems to have left for the north. In 1716 he was in 

Madura, but there is no record of his stay there; and in 1720 we 

find him, where we ever find him afterwards, near Trichinopoly. 

The place where he then was stationed was Vadugarpatti. The 

annual letters between 1720 and 1729 were unfortunately lost, 

but in 1729 we find him at Avfir, near Trichinopoly, where he 

seems generally to have resided. 

It has always been known from Muttuswami Pillai's memoirs Beschi 
that Beschi terminated his course in Tinnevelly, but it was never Tamiiln^ 9 
known till now that it was in Tinnevelly also that he commenced Tinnevelly. 
his career. We now know that Tinnevelly can claim him for the 
first five years, probably for the first seven, of his missionary life ; 
and as it was necessarily during those years that he laid the found- 
ation of his marvellous knowledge of Tamil and his still more 
marvellous skill in making use of the knowledge he acquired, 
Tinnevelly might almost seem to have the right of classing him 
amongst her literary celebrities. Unfortunately for this claim, 
however, it does not appear that any of his compositions, whether 
in prose or in verse, was written in Tinnevelly. His greatest work, 
the Tembavani, was published in 1726, to which the explanation 
of the same by himself was added in 1729. His Vediarolukkam, 
an excellent prose work for the use of catechists, was written in 

' According to the custom then, as now, prevailing amongst Jesuit 
Missionaries, Beschi adopted a native name. This was Dhairya- 
natha Svami(yar), a translation of his own Christian name 
Constantius. After the publication of his Tembavani he received, 
we are told, from the poets of the Tamil country the title by which 
he is now universally known amongst natives. This was Vlra- 
maha-muni (in Tamil Vlramamunivar) , the " Great Champion 
Devotee." This name is not by any means so well suited to one 
who was above all things a scholar as that of Tattvabodhaka Swami, 
" the Philosophical Doctor," was to the metaphysical tastes of 
Robert de Nobili. 

During four of the later years of his life, from 1736 to 1740, Dewan to 
Beschi seems to have been employed as Dewan to Chanda Saheb, g^g^ 
whose treacherous seizure of Trichinopoly, and therewith of autho- 
rity over the whole Madura country, has been mentioned in the 
political history as the event by which the Nayaka dynasty was 
brought to an end. Chanda Saheb became by this stroke of state 
a Nawab and virtually a rival to the Nawab of the Carnatic. 
Beschi's native biographer states that in order to fit himself for 
an interview with Chanda Saheb, Beschi learned the Persian and 
Hindustani languages in the short space of three months, and that 



Chapter X. Chanda Saheb was so much struck with his attainments and ability 
that he presented him with the revenues of four villages and 
appointed him to be his Dewan or Prime Minister. I do not see 
any reason for doubting the substantial truth of this statement, 
which is confirmed by the circumstance that Beschi's visit to 
Chanda Saheb in 1736 is mentioned in a letter to Europe. In 
1740 he paid a visit to Daust Ali Khan, the real Nawab of the 
Carnatic at that time, at Vellore, to whom he presented some 
European curiosities and a letter addressed to him, the Nawab, by 
the General Superior of the Jesuits, dated at Rome, 29th October 

Chanda Saheb was besieged in Trichinopoly in 1740 by the Mah- 
rattas under their two Generals Eaghuji Bhonslai and Futta Sing. 
He surrendered the fortress to them in March 1741, and was by 
them sent prisoner to Sattara. Beschi's native biographer repre- 
sentsBeschi as escaping from Trichinopoly on his master's surrender, 
but letters written at the time to Em-ope state that before that 
event, as soon as the Mahrattas arrived in 1740, all the mission- 
aries, Beschi apparently included, had to leave the districts which 
the Mahrattas occupied and flee to the south. On Chanda Saheb's 
surrender the Mahrattas appointed one of their Generals, Morari 
Eow, Governor of Trichinopoly, and another, Appaji Row, 
Governor of Madura, and therefore of Tinnevelly. The whole 
country, except in so far as the Poligars, who cared little for any 
rulers, were concerned, was now in the hands of the Mahrattas, 
who were zealots for Hinduism, and enraged against Chanda 
Saheb, both as a Muhammadan and as a usurper. The mission- 
aries were supposed to be on the side of Chanda Saheb, and the 
Mahrattas were not likely to show much consideration for Chanda 
Saheb's Dewan if he fell into their hands. Naturally, therefore, 

Flight of lie would endeavour to make his escape at the earliest opportunity. 

? eS roac}Tof hC Xt is stated ^ the letters to Euro P e tliat Beschi fled first to the 

the M-ih- Marava country, that is, to Ramnad, and then to the sea-coast. 

rattas. The place in the Marava country where he lived for a time is not 

known, but both his native biographer and the letters written at 
the time to Europe agree as to the place on the sea-coast where he 
took up his abode. This was Manapar (Manapadu) on the Tinne- 
velly coast (literally Manal-padu, the sandy lagoon), then a Dutch 
possession, a small fishing and trading town, with a considerable 
Roman Catholic population, and Ear away from the reach of hosti- 
lities. It is certain from authentic records that Beschi was 

Beschi's last "Rector" of Manapar in 1744 and that he died there in 1746. 

days at Ma- rphis was in the 66th year of his age and the 4<>th of his residence 
in India. It is very probable that Manapar was the first place in 
the Tamil country where Beschi resided after he left Goa, in 
ooneequenoe of which he might naturally wish to end his days 



there ; in addition to which it is to be remembered that the Dutch, Chapter X. 
to whom Manapar belonged, were always more or less inclined to 
range themselves on the side opposed to that espoused by the 
English, and therefore likely to be willing to take under their 
protection a friend of Chanda Saheb's, who had fled to them from 
the Mahrattas. The Dutch were Protestants, it is true, but they 
had learned by that time to be tolerant. It has been supposed by 
sonic that the Manapar where Beschi died was the Manapar, pro- 
perly Manaparai, near Trichinopoly. For this idea however 
there is no foundation. The people of Manaparai themselves, 
including the Roman Catholic Missionary of the place, admit that 
Beschi died at Manapar in Tinnevelly. 

Beschi did not long survive his arrival in Manapar. He resided His death. 
there, his native biographer says, in the niatha of the Society of 
Jesus, occupying his time in expounding his works and giving 
instruction in divine things. The exact date of his death is un- 
known, but it is certain it was in 1746. Thus peacefully ended 
the career of the most learned, if not the most renowned, of the 
great Jesuit missionaries of former times. 

He is said to have been buried in the chancel of the church at Beschi'a 
Manapar, but the oldest of the churches is now completely buried &' rave - 
in the sand. There must be at least fifteen feet of sand over it, 
and the people say that no tomb-stone was erected to mark the 
place where Beschi's remains lay, and that in the same chancel 
other missionaries also were buried. Some again say that when 
the second church was erected two sets of bones were taken from 
the chancel of the older church and interred in the chancel of the 
later one, but without any record to show whose bones they were. 
One may safely say, I think, that Beschi was not much appreciated 
by the fishery people at Manapar.- If he had cared to acquire the 
reputation of a worker of miracles, doubtless his tomb would have 
been carefully preserved. 

Period after Beschi, 

Some years after Beschi's death troubles began to gather round 
the Missions of the Jesuits all over the world. In 1755 the sup- 
port of the missionaries from Europe ceased. In 1760 the Jesuits 
at Groa were deported to Lisbon by Pombal's orders. The Jesuits 
that remained in Tinnevelly at Vadakankulam, Talai, Manapar, 
Virapandiyanpattanam, &c, died one by one, and their places 
were supplied by native priests from Goa. In 1773 the Society 
of Jesus was formally suppressed by the then Pope, Clement XIV. 
In 1814 the Society was restored by Pope Pius VII, and in 1838 
two Jesuit Missionaries, Fathers Martin and Duranquet, arrived 
in Palamcotta to recommence their ancient mission in Tinnevelly, 



Chapter X. 

" Tinnevelly has always been attached to the Madura Mission, the 
history of which, associated with the names of Fathers Eobert de 
Nobili, de Brito, Banchet, Arland, from 1616 to 1718 is of much 
interest. At the latter date it was estimated that there were 385,000 
Christians in the eastern part of India ; then, as above stated, there 
followed the suppression of the Jesuits, by which the Madura Mission 
was for the time destroyed. About the year 1831 the restoration and 
return of the Jesuits to Madura took place and the Mission recom- 
menced afresh." — Stuart's Tinnevelly Manual, page 62. 




A mission had been commenced in Tinnevelly before the close 
of the eighteenth century, but very little had occurred to warrant 
any expectation of the progress the mission was destined to make. 
At first the Tinnevelly Mission was merely an offshoot of that in 
Tan j ore. The first reference to missionary work in Tinnevelly in 
connection with the Missions of the Church of England appears in 

Swartz. the memoirs of the celebrated Swartz, a man of apostolical simpli- 

city, devotedness, and zeal. This was in 1771. Swartz notices 
Palamcotta in his journal of that year as " a fort and one of the 
chief towns in Tinnevelly, belonging to the Nawab, but having an 
English garrison." He mentions the fact that there were a few 
Christians there then. Swartz first visited Palamcotta in 1778, 
when the widow of a Brahman was baptized by him. Her name 
(Clorinda) appears at the head of the small list of 40 persons 

Congregation constituting the Palamcotta congregation in 1780. Soon after she 

and Church in 8e {. herself to erect a small church in the fort, and this she suc- 
Palamciitta. . ' 

ceeded in doing through the help of two English gentlemen. 

This was the first church connected with the Church of England 

ever erected south of Trichinopoly. It was dedicated to the 

worship of God by Swartz in 1785, when he found that the 

little congregation had increased, in consequence of which he sent 

from Tan j ore an able catechist, Satj^anathan, to take care of it. 


The congregation in Palamcotta continuing to increase and 
openings presenting themselves in the surrounding country Swartz 
became desirous of sending a Europonn Missionary to take charge 
of the infant mission. This desire he was able to gratify in 1791, 
when Jaenicke, a German like himself, but like himself a mission- 


ary of an English Society, the Society for Promoting Christian Chapter X. 
Knowledge (the precursor in India of the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel), arrived in Palamcotta and commenced his labours. 
By that time the number of Native Christians in Palamcotta and 
the neighbourhood had increased to 403. Even at this early 
period education had not been neglected. From the time of 
Swartz's visit in 1784, as they have done ever since, the congre- 
gation and the school went hand-in-hand. Satyanathan, the Satyanathan. 
Palamcotta catechist, had now been ordained in Tan j ore, and 
returned to Palamcotta a few months before Jaenicke's arrival. 
He was a man of ability, who left his mark in the district. He 
was the first Native Minister ever located in Tinnevelly, and it was 
through him, as will be seen, that a Christian movement amongst 
the Shanars commenced. Jaenicke, though not so distinguished a 
man as Xavier and Beschi, the two great Roman Catholic mission- 
aries referred to in the previous pages, would have been quite able 
to hold his own with any of the rest of the Roman Catholic mission- 
aries in Tinnevelly of that period. His journals show that he was 
a devout, zealous, and prudent man, well fitted in every way for 
laying the foundations of a mission, but unfortunately his stay in 
Tinnevelly was short. In the beginning of January 1792, only a 
few months after his arrival in Palamcotta, he went out on a tour 
in the neighbourhood of the hills, in company with Mr. Torin, the 
Collector, who was then making his first official visit as Collector 
of the Nawab's Revenue in the East India Company's behalf, in 
virtue of the Treaty of 1792. The party visited Kalakadu, Papa- 
nasam, and other places along the range of the hills, besides 
penetrating into the hill country, as far as the falls of Bana- 
tirttam. On the 12th of February Jaenicke visited Courtallam, 
and on the 25th returned to Palamcotta. On the 1st of March Fever caught 
jungle fever of a severe type set in. Many other members m the hlUs " 
of the party were attacked by the same fever, of which several 
died. Apparently it was not then known to Europeans that it was 
unsafe to be much amongst the hills at that season of the year. 
Yet only a few years later (in 1800), General Welsh mentioned 
it as a well known fact that the hills were safe to Europeans only 
during the rains of the south-west monsoon. Jaenicke struggled 
on with the fever for many months, carrying on his work at the 
same time indefatigably and with considerable success. In the 
course of the year he visited Tuticorin and Manapar, both of which 
places then belonged to the Dutch, in each of which he found a 
Native congregation under the care of a Catechist. The congre- 
gation at Manapar, consisting chiefly of weavers, was at that time 
the largest in Tinnevelly. The Governor of Tuticorin at that 
time was a Mr. Meckern, who was very friendly to Jaenicke and 
desirous of helping him in all his plans. As the fever continued 



Chatter X. and became aggravated, Jaenicke found it necessary in the end of 
1792 to leave Tinnevelly and return to Tan j ore for a time. He 
arrived in Tanjore after an absence of one year and two days. 

From this time till his death in May 1800 Jaenicke generally 
resided at Ramnad, where he erected a church, or at Tanjore, 
making occasional visits to Palamcotta as his strength allowed, 
but he kept up a regular correspondence with Satyanathan, the 
Native Minister. 

Commencement or the Christianization of the Shanars. 

First Shanar 

ment of 
M tidal ur. 

The most important event of the time was the commencement, 
in 1797, of that movement towards Protestant Christianity amongst 
the Shanars in Tinnevelly, which has, directly or indirectly, 
contributed so largely to the improvement of the district, and 
which has been the precursor of so many similar movements in 
different parts of the country. 

It had long been known that a certain Sundaram, alias David, 
had been the first Shanar catechist, but I have ascertained also 
that he was the first Shanar Protestant Christian, and that it was 
through him that Christianity was introduced amongst the Shanars 
in Tinnevelly. David's birth-place was Kalangudi, a small 
village near Sattankulam, but he wandered off in early youth as 
far as Tanjore, and there became a Christian and was baptized 
and instructed by Mr. Kohlhoff. In 1796, in consequence of 
of Satyanathan's application for an assistant, Swartz, knowing 
that David belonged to that neighbourhood, sent him to Palam- 
cotta as a catechist. Jaenicke was in Palamcotta when David 
arrived and entered upon his work. After a short time David 
went to visit his relatives, who had long given bim up as dead, 
and told them all the wonders he had seen and heard. On his 
return to Palamcotta he brought with him a young nephew, whom 
Jaenicke proceeded to instruct. Shortly after this David was sent 
out to Vijayaramapuram, a village near his birth-place, to labour 
amongst his relations there and in the neighbourhood, and some 
Tanjore cateehists also rendered their assistance from time to time. 
In March 1797 Satyanathan visited the place himself, when four 
families of Shanars placed themselves formally under Christian 
instruction and under his pastoral care. 

In a subsequent visit some converts belonging to the same class 
were baptized at a place called Shaiimukhapurani, near the place 
now called Kadatchapuram. These were the first Shanars bap- 
tized. The Vijayaramapuram people were also baptized during 
the same year. Two years afterwards the first Christiau village 
was founded in connection with the Tinnevelly Mission. The 
new Christians in Vijayaramapuram found themselves exposed to 


many annoyances from their non-Christian neighbours. Their Chapteh X. 
little prayer-house was twice pulled down, and they were obliged 
to assemble for worship under the shade of a tree. At length 
they determined to abandon the village where they had been so 
unkindly treated. A piece of land was purchased for them by 
David a few miles off, near the village of Adaiyal, where a well 
was dug and a little church erected, chiefly through the help 
obtained from a Captain Everett in Palamcotta. The land was pur- 
chased in August 1799 in Mr. Jaenicke's name. As this little 
settlement was the first place in Tinneveily which could be called 
a Christian village, it received the name of Mudalur, " first- 
town." The population of the village at the commencement of 
the century amounted to only twenty-eight souls. It now con- 
tains upwards of 1 ,200. These interesting facts about the com- 
mencement of the movement towards Christianity amongst the 
Shanars in Tinneveily and the founding of Mudalur had well 
nigh passed into oblivion. I discovered them in Tan j ore in a 
bundle of Tamil letters that had been addressed by Satyanathan 
and others to Jaenicke. lie had been regularly informed by 
Satyanathan of every thing that occurred, and the answers to his 
queries with which Satyanathan's letters are filled show that, 
though absent in body, he was present in spirit. He was per- 
mitted to see this new field of labour from a distance only, nad 
though it was then but a day of small things, he must have 
rejoiced to see this confirmation of the opinion he was led to form 
on first commencing his labours in the south, that of all the 
districts with which he was acquainted, Tinneveily was that in 
which Christianity was most likely to prevail. 

The revival of Jaenicke's Mission, after years of neglect, by the Hough. 
arrival of missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel, and the establishment of the missions of the Church Mis- 
sionary Society in Tinneveily, were mainly owing to the represent- 
ations and efforts of the Rev. J. Hough, Chaplain at Palamcotta 
from 1816 to 1820 ; but this portion of history falls far behind 
the date of the cession of the province to the English in 1801, 
the date at which these annals cease. 

Additional information on this subject will be found in the 
author's " Records of the Early History of the Tinneveily Mis- 








Adjacent districts, like Tinnevelly and Travancore, must necessarily Appexdix I. 

have stood at different times in different relations to one another. 

Generally, however, those relations seem to have been peaceable. Alternations 
During the early Pandya and Chola period the southern Tamil-speak- of Govern- 
ing district of Travancore, called Nanji-nadu, together with Purattaya- sou them 
nadu, the district in which Cape Comorin is included, appear to have districts, 
belonged to the Pandya kingdom. At a later period, during the decay 
of the Paridyas, this state of things was reversed and the southern 
portion of Tinnevelly seems to have been included in what is now called 
the kingdom of Travancore, but which was then generally called in 
Tinnevelly merely Kuda-nadu, the western kingdom, a synonym for 
Malayalam in general. Each of these changes rests on the evidence 
of inscriptions, but in neither case is there any trace or tradition of 
the change having been effected by force of arms. The weaker side 
for the time being seems to have quietly given place to the stronger. 

I have mentioned already from time to time such particulars, illus- 
trative of the relation subsisting between Tinnevelly and Travancore, 
as seemed to be necessary for the comprehension of Tinnevelly history, 
but I here subjoin the notices I find in P. Shangoonny Menon's His- 
tory of Travancore, in which events are narrated from a more distinc- 
tively Travancorian point of view. In a few cases I may seem to go 
over the same ground, but it will be found that the Travancore accounts 
are fuller and more numerous. 

Travancore Possessions in Tinnevelly in the loth and \%th Centuries proved 

by Inscriptions. 

" 1 . An inscription on the inner stone wall of the (Shermadevy) Chera 
Maha-Devi Pagoda, dated Malayalam or Kollumyear 614 (1439 A.D.), 
commemorating a grant by the Travancore king Chera Oodiah Mar- 
thanda Yurmah to the pagoda at that place while the grantor was resid- 
ing in the Chera Maha-Devi Palace. 

" 2- 1469 A D ® n thelarge bell at Thrikanankudy (Tirukurungudi), 
denoting that the bell was presented by the Travancore king Adithiya 

"3. ^k) a'd ' Commemorating a grant to the pagoda by king Mar- Inscriptions 

thanda Yurmah while residing in the Yeera Pandyan Palace at 



Appendix I. 


Gains and 

annals when 

688 M.E. _. 
4 - 1513 a.D. Commemorating a grant of land to the pagoda at 

Mannarkovil by the same king Marthanda Vurniah, and also making 
provisions for lighting a lamp in the palace where the king's uncle died. 

"5. - - 32 A ' D ' Commemorating a grant of land to the pagoda of 

Chera-Chola Pandyeswaram in Thrikaloor near Alwar Tinnevelly, by 
Marthanda Vurmah, Rajah of Travancore." — Shangoonny Menon's 
History of Travancore, pp. 34, 35. 

The Mannarkovil mentioned in the fourth inscription is a village in 
the Ambasamudram Taluk. 

Shermadevy is properly Cheran-Maha-d§vi, that is, (the temple of) 
the Maha-clevT, that is, Parvati, worshipped by the Cheran, the king 
of the Western or Malay alam State. It is stated by the Travancore 
historian that the king of Chera occasionally resided there. 

"In Chera-Maha-Devi, Thencasi, Kalacaud, Thrikanankudy, Val- 
liyoor, &c, the Travancore Rajahs resided up to the seventeenth 
century, a fact clearly proved by documents and inscriptions." — p. 34. 

Referring to the reign of Chera Udaya Martanda Varma, who 
reigned, it is said, for 62 years, from 1382 to 1444, the historian 
says : — 

" During the reign of this sovereign all the south-eastern possessions 
of Travancore on the Tinnevelly side were regained, and the sovereign 
often resided at Yalliyoor and Cheran-Maha-Devi. 

' ' In consequence of the mild and unwarlike disposition of this king, 
some of the subordinate chiefs in the east became refractory, and 
there was constant fighting, and latterly, while this sovereign was 
residing at Trevandrum, the chief of Eettiapuram invaded Valliyoor, 
and the king's nephew being defeated in battle, fearing disgrace, 
committed suicide. 

" In these places, several grants of land made by this Kulasekhara 
Perumal remain, some of which we have already noticed. ChSra- 
Maha-DSvi was his favourite residence, and consequently, this 
sovereign was called Chera Udaya Marthanda Vurmah. 

"Towards the close of his reign, suspecting unfair proceedings on 
the part of the chief men of the Pandyan State, the residence of the 
Royal family was removed to Elayadathunaud Ilottarakaray ; and a 
Governor was appointed to rule Valliyoor and other possessions in 
the east. 

"This sovereign died in 619 M.E. (1444 A.D.), at the ripe age of 
seventy-eight years." — p. 95. 

From the commencement of the 18th century the Travancore annals 
become historical. Prior to that time they are evidently more or less 

The author admits that " from 1458 to 1680, a period of about two 
and a quarter centuries, no detailed accounts of the reigns of the 
sovereigns can be found, except a list of their names, the dates of 
their accession to the musnud, and the period of their reign. " 


Appeal for help to the Nayakm of Madura, whose headquarters were at Appendix I. 

that time in Trichinopoly. 

" His Highness was a close observer of the difficulties and dangers 
to which his nephew was subjected by the Ettu Veetil Pillamar and 
Madempimar, and he was determined to punish them fur their disloy- 
alty and rebellious conduct. 

" His Highness, in consultation with his intelligent nephew, pro- Appeal to 
ceededin901 M.E (1726 A. D.) to Trichinopoly with some of the Trichinopoly 
officers of the State. He entered into a treaty with the Madura Govern- ' L p * 
ment and secured its support by offering to renew the lapsed attach- 
ment to that crown, and to bind himself to pay a certain sum of money 
annually. At the same time, a suitable force was applied for to punish 
and bring to their senses the Madempimar and other refractory chiefs. 
After some discussion and preliminary enquiries, the sovereign was 
successful in obtaining a force consisting of one thousand cavalry, 
under the command of M. Vencatapathy Naiken, and two thousand 
Carnatic sepoys, headed by Thripathy Naiken, and others, in charge 
of fifty sirdars, including Eaghava Iyen and Subba Iyen, &c. 

"On the arrival of this force in Travancore, all the Madempimar and 
other refractory chiefs and insurgents fled, and consequently there 
was no work for the army, which was however retained for the purpose 
of overawing the insurgents." — History, p. 109. 

" The late Eama Vurmah Eajah was compelled in 901 M.E. to 
proceed to the Pandyan (Nayaka) capital (Trichinopoly), and to enter 
into an agreement with the Pandyan Government, by which he 
promised to pay an annual tribute of about 3,000 rupees and obtained 
from the Governor a force of 1,000 horse and 2,000 foot, for the pur- 
pose of overawing the turbulent chiefs and nobles. 

" The pay of this contingent, as well as the annual tribute, was in Trichinopoly 
arrears for a few months, when the Maha Eajah ascended the throne, Contingent, 
and on the demand of the troops for their pay and the tribute, His 
Highness referred them to his Dalawah, Arumugam Pillay, who, on 
delaying paj'inent, was seized and removed to Thrikanamkudy hy the 
force, whereupon he borrowed money from the Kottar merchants and 
others, and adjusted most part of the pressing demands. The Dala- 
wah was however still detained by the force at Thrikanamkudy. 1 

"In the meanwhile His Highness commissioned Cumai-aswamy 
Pillay, the Commander-in-Chief, and Thanu Pillay, his assistant, to raise 
an army of Maravers and a few hundred horse, to raise up barriers in the 
shape of mud walls between Kadakaray and Mantharamputhur Arain- 
boly, and Cape Comorin ; to construct special gates for passages, and to 
guard them by companies of Maravers and troopers. These arrange- 
ments were effectually carried out in the course of a few months, and 
Travancore was secured against the attacks of foreign invaders. 

" Cumaraswamy Pillay, with a force of Maravers, was then ordered Maravar 
by the Maha Eajah to proceed to Thrikanamkudy for the purpose of 100 P 8, 
releasing the Dalawah, and that brave officer executed the command 

1 Tirukurungndi, a town in the south of Tinnevelly. 


Appendix I. with promptness and vigour. The Maha Rajah was extremely pleased 
with him, as he had by this exploit extricated the Dalawah from a 
painfully embarrassing position, and removed the burden of care and 
anxiety that weighed upon his head. 

" The Maha Rajah then thought that he could safely do away with 
the Trichinopoly force and ordered it to march back to that town. His 
Highness communicated his resolution to the Pandyan Government, 
and requested the Governor to release His Highness from the condi- 
tions entered into with the former by the late Maha Rajah. 
A rival " The feudatory chiefs and nobles, after the withdrawal of the Trichi- 

embassy to n0 p ly contingent force, began to rebel again, and as they had always 
been striving to get their independence, they combined and formed a 
confederacy as before, and were joined by the two sons of the late 
sovereign, known by the names of Kunju Thambies alias Papu 
Thamby and Ramen Thamby, who held high rank among the nobles 
during the lifetime of their father and were in affluent circumstances. 
But they were now reduced to the level of the ordinary nobles of the 
country and they felt their degradation keenly. The confederates 
sympathised with them, and considering them proper instruments for 
overthrowing the royal authority, they persuaded them to claim their 
father's throne ; and one of them (Papu Thamby) being furnished 
with sufficient means, proceeded to Trichinopoly in 905 M.E. (1730 
A.D.), and represented to the Pandyan Governor his imaginary 
grievances, saying that great injustice was done to him by the king- 
dom being forcibly usurped by Marthanda Vurmah. He entered into 
certain terms with that chief to put him in possession of the kingdom. 
The Governor, annoyed by the refusal of pajmient of the peishkush 
and the dismissal of the contingent forces by Marthanda Vurmah 
Maha Rajah, readily listened to Papu Thamby's false representations. 
" The Governor ordered one of his agents Alagappa Moodelliar to 
proceed with a sufficient number of men and horses to Travancore, 
and institute enquiries into the claims of Papu Thamby, giving him 
authority to enforce the same if found valid. 

" The Moodelliar set out from Trichinopoly, accompanied by Papu 
Thamby and arrived at Udayagherry, where he commenced to institute 
the enquiry into the claims of the Thamby. The Maha Rajah, on 
learning this, deputed the State Secretary Rama Iyen and his assistant 
Narayana Iyen to the Moodelliar, and they were furnished with valid 
documents to prove the absurdity and fictitious character of Papu 
Thamby's claims. 

" While Papu Thamby was utterly unable to produce any document- 
ary evidence in support of his pretended rights, Rama Pyen fully proved 
the claims of the Maha Rajah to his uncle's throne. The Moodelliar 
was very indignant with Papu Thamby, and his false complaint was 
at once rejected. He was told that he should be loyal and obedient 
to his king in accordance with the customs of the country. 

" The Maha Rajah informed the Moodelliar of the renewed outbreak 
of a rebellious spirit among his chiefs, and asked him to place one 
half of his force at nis Highness' disposal. The Moodelliar complied 
with this request and returned to Trichinopoly loaded with presents. 


" Though, the Maha Rajah was enraged with the conduct of the Appendix I. 
Kunju Thambies and the chiefs and nobles, yet His Highness pre- 
tended to be indifferent about the matter. As His Highness had the 
strong support of the Trichinopoly force, besides his own Maraver 
troops, he directed his attention to certain important affairs of govern- 
ment in which he was engaged before the peace of his kingdom was 
menaced by the plots of his enemies." — History of Travancore, pp. 

Help obtained fr 07)i TinneveUy Maracas. 

" Notwithstanding the death of the Rajah, the spirit of the Kay em- Aid from 
kulam army was not thoroughly broken, for the fallen Rajah's younger TinneveUy 
brother succeeded, and he being more obstinate and courageous than 
his late brother, the war was continued with redoubled vigour. The 
Maha Rajah repaired to Quilon, accompanied by the heir apparent, 
who infused fresh courage into the Travancore army. A special body 
of recruits was raised for the war with Kayemkulam. Secretary Rama 
Iyen, finding that the army in the field could not successfully with- 
stand the Kayemkulam force without sufficient reinforcement, pro- 
ceeded to Tmnevelly, brought a regiment of Maravers under the 
command of Ponnam Pandya Deven, procured a thousand mounted 
sepoys from some of the Palayapattucar (Poligars), and marched the 
reinforcement by the hill roads through Kottarakaray. After holding 
a consultation among the officers, including the Dalaway and the 
Sthanapathy, Rama Iyen assumed the chief command of the army. 
In the battle the next day he distinguished himself with signal success, 
and the Kayemkulam force met with a defeat for the first time. But 
the war continued, and Rama Iyen's army began to gain ground 
slowly and to advance into the Kayemkulam territories day by day." 

Annexations in TinneveUy. 

"In 909 M.E. (1734 A.D.) the Maha Rajah annexed Elayada 
Swaroopam, embracing Shencottah, Clangaud, Kerkudi, Valliyoor, on 
the TinneveUy side, and Kottarakaray, Pathanapuram, &c, on the 
northern limits of Travancore. The Rajah Veera Kerala Vurmah, 
who was in charge of those territories, was a relative of Travancore 
and died leaving as his successor a princess. The administration of 
the State was conducted by a Sarvadhikariakar, a very unscrupulous 
person, and anarchy began to prevail in the province. The Maha 
Rajah called the minister to Trevandrum and pointed out to him 
various instances of rnal-adininistration and banished him from the 
country in disgrace. A proper and fit man was appointed to the res- 
ponsible post of Sarvadhikariakar to the State, and the Maha Rajah 
took the government of the principality into his own hands, advising 
the Ranee to come and reside at Trevandrum, or to remain at Kottara- 
karay in her own palace as she pleased. The Ranee preferred the 
latter course." — p. 129. 



Invasion of 



The enemy- 
bought off. 

Appendix I. Irruption of Chunda Sahib and Bada Sahib. 

" About this time, a strong party of marauders, headed by Chunda 
Sahib and Bada Sahib, relatives of Dost Ali Khan, the Nabob of 
Arcot, who were permitted to wander about for the purpose of securing 
a principality for the Nabob's son, and also to plunder for themselves 
in the dominions of the native princes, entered the territories of 
Travancore by the Aramboly gate. They took possession of Nager- 
coil, Sucheendrum, and the rich town of Kottar : they plundered the 
shrine at Sucheendrum ; burnt the great car ; mutilated many of the 
images of the pagoda ; and perpetrated many other deeds of atrocity 
and devastation, the favourite process generally adopted by the 
Mussulman chiefs. 

" Rama Iyen Dalawah was ordered to march an army and drive the 
marauders out of Travancore, but on meeting them he found them 
powerful in horse, and his own force no match for the Mussulmans. 
However, the Dalawah challenged them and commenced a battle, but 
his exertions were not attended with his usual success. But the 
Dalawah had reason to know that the object of the party was princi- 
pally to secure pecuniary gain, and consequently they were made to 
retreat without offering resistance to his army." — p. 138. 

Collision with the Nawab. 

" During the continuance of war in North Travancore, several 
changes took place in the government of the Pandyan provinces, 
including Madura, Trichinopoly, &c, and the sovereignty finally fell 
into the hands of the Nabob of the Carnatic. The Maha Eajah's 
attention having been directed, for a long time past, to the manage- 
ment of the internal affairs of his kingdom and the suppression of the 
rebellion in the north, he had neglected adopting measures for the pro- 
tection and maintenance of his eastern possessions, including Valliyoor, 

Possessions in Kalacaud, &c. The Nabob's Governor at Trichinopoly took advantage 
of this opportunity and annexed those tracts to the Madura province, 
and thus the Maha Rajah was deprived of those places for a long 

"In 927 M.E. (1752 A.D.) Moodemiah, the Nabob's Viceroy at 
Trichinopoly, growing powerful, established himself as an independent 
chief, and being a very covetous man, disposed of villages and terri- 
tories on receiving sufficient consideration for them. The Maha 
Rajah, understanding this disposition of Moodemiah, deputed Rama 
Iyen Dalawah to Tinnevelly, where Moodemiah had arrived on a visit. 
The Dalawah represented the Maha Rajah's ancient claims to the 

Negotiations, territories in the east. Possession of the country lying between Cape 
Comorin and Kalacaud, to the extent of about 30 miles, including 
Valliyoor, w r as obtained for a sufficiently large consideration. Rama 
Iyen Dalawah returned to Trevandrum after stationing about 2,000 of 
the Travancore Maha Rajah's force at Kalacaud, for the protection of 
the districts thus purchased by Travancore. 

" In 930 M.E. (1755 A.D.) Mahomed Ali, the Nabob of the Carnatic, 
wished to supplant Moodemiah, who had proved refractory and had 



proclaimed himself the sole ruler of the Pandyan empire. The Nabob Appendix I. 
appointed his General, Maphnz Khan, to supersede Moodemiah, and 
sent him with a small force requesting the Nabob's allies, the English 
at Madras, to send a detachment to assist the Khan, not only in 
assuming his office, but also in bringing the inhabitants into sub- 
jection. Colonel Heron, with 500 Europeans and 2,000 Natives, was 
ordered to Trichinopoly under the pretext of assisting Maphuz Khan, 
but probably the English too had an eye on the beautiful and highly 
productive Pandyan empire, comprising the rich countries of Madura, 
Trichinopoly and Tinnevelly. The allied forces arrived at Tinnevelly 
Kumbham 930 M.E. (March 1755 A.D.) after having reduced Madura 
on their way. When this intelligence reached Kalacaud the Travan- 
core garrison, consisting of 2,000 sepoys stationed in that fort, was 
alarmed and finding that they were no match for the combined forces 
of the Nabob and the English, the Travancore commandant abandoned Travancori- 
the fort and Kalacaud, and withdrew the garrison to Thovalay. In ans re tj eat 
Meenam-madom (April) Maphuz Khan, after taking charge of the kadu. 
fort and establishing his authority there, went to Tinnevelly and 
Colonel Heron returned with the English force to Trichinopoly. 

" Moodemiah, who fled from Tinnevelly after his defeat, found an 
asylum under the protection of Pulithaver, a Poligar, and on the 
departure of the English troops from Tinnevelly to Trichinopoly, he 
applied to the Maha Rajah for assistance and urged on him to take 
back the lost territory of Kalacaud. Pulithaver also offered his 
resistance, as that Poligar was for a long time dependent on Travan- 
core. A strong force, consisting of 2,000 infantry and an equal 
number of cavalry, was despatched from Travancore, accompanied by Kalakadu 
the prince and Moodemiah, and without much resistance Kalacaud regained, 
was taken. The Maha Rajah, however, thinking that such a proceed- 
ing would offend the English Government, ordered the withdrawal 
of his troops for some time, and postponed all operations till he made 
himself sure that the retaking of his usurped territories would not 
offend the English. The Maha Rajah subsequently ordered back a 
sufficient force, under the command of Captain D'Lanoy assisted by 
the Poligar Pulithaver. Maphuz Khan's troops were defeated, the 
Kalacaud fort captured, and the 500 infantry and 200 cavalry, who 
defended it, were taken prisoners. Thus the Maha Rajah once more 
recovered Kalacaud and all the territories appertaining to it. The 
Travancore kingdom now extended from Periar in the north to Kala- 
caud in the south." — p. 162. 

treaty with tht Nawab. 

" It has been already said that during the reign of the former 
Rajahs, Travancore had made an agreement with the Governor of the 
Pandyan empire at Trichinopoly, promising to pay a nominal annual 
tribute for obtaining military aid, but subsequently, the Nabob of 
the Carnatic having taken the direct government of that empire, the 
Maha Rajah considered it wise and prudent to renew this treaty 
directly with the Nabob, which was accordingly done upon more 



Appexi.ix I. favourable terms and conditions. By this treaty the powerful aid of 
one of the greatest potentates of Southern India was secured to 
Subsidy to Travancore, which was bound to pay to the Nabob 6,000 rupees, and 
the Nawab. a tribute in the shape of an elephant annually, the Nabob promising 
to afford every protection to Travancore from foreign and local 
enemies. Thus Travancore became perfectly secure, having two power- 
ful allies to guard and protect her, the Nabob in the east and the 
Dutch in the west, while the English merchants at Anjengo were also 
read)' to assist her when needed." — p. 172. 

Maphuz Khan and Yiisuf Khan. 

" Maphuz Khan Sahib, the Governor of the Pandyan empire, 
under the Carnatic Nabob, who was stationed at Trichinopoly, 
rebelled against his master and made a descent on Kalacaud, the 
eastern possession of the Maha Rajah, at the western frontier of 
Tinnevelly. He attacked the Travancore garrison stationed there and 
drove them into the Aramboly lines, following them up with the 
Khan's forces. The Maha Rajah hearing this ordered one of his 
native commandants named Thamby Kumaren Chempaka Ramen 
Pillay, who was then stationed at Trevandrum, to march with his 
force to meet the invading army. He started at once and the battle 
Battle* with which took place when this worthy warrior met the enemy was so 
the Muham- severe and decisive, that the Mahomedan chief was obliged to beat 
madans. & retreat from the Aramboly lines ; but the Khan not only retained 

possession of Kalacaud, but assumed possession of the district of 
Shencottah and all the other eastern districts belonging to Travan- 

" The Maha Rajah represented this matter to the Nabob, who was 
already so seriously displeased with the Khan, on account of his 
disobedient and refractory conduct, that he had it in contemplation 
to appoint a new Governor in the room of Maphuz Khan. A very 
able man named Yusuff Khan was appointed and sent as successor to 
the rebellious Maphuz Khan. 

'• Yusuff Khan on coming to Trichinopoly found it difficult to subdue 
the refractory Governor and sought the Maha Rajah's assistance. 
The Carnatic Nabob and the English East India. Company at Madras 
rerpiested His nighness at the same time to co-operate with Yusuff 
Khan in the subjection of the refractory Khan, and the Maha Rajah 
gladly acceded to their wishes. 
Yusuf Khan's " Eive thousand men, under the command of Thamby Kumaren 
:m ". v Chempaka Ramen, then stationed at Thovalay, were ordered to join 

Yusuff, and 10,000 men from Quilon were sent through the Ariencavu 
Pass to Shencottah. Yusuff was now at the head of a powerful army 
consisting of 20,000 men, which enabled him to drive away the Poligar 
of Wadakaray, and subsequently Maphuz Khan fled from the position 
lie hitherto held and Yusuff established his power. 

"As a grateful acknowledgment of the readiness with which the 
Maha Rajah lent his assistance, Yusuff Khan restored all His High- 
n.-ss' eastern possessions, and Kalacaud again became a part of His 
Highness' dominions. 


" The Maha Rajah, however, did not retain possession of Kalacaud Appendix I. 
for any lengthened period ; for His Highness lost this portion of his 
territories under very peculiar circumstances. Ynsnlf Khan, the Yusuf 
Nabob's Governor, in his turn became disobedient to his master and r ^|!j| i( 8 jn 
began to endeavour to shake off the Nabob's authority and establish 
himself as an independent chief ; to accomplish this object Yusuff 
secured aid from the French in India. 

"In 937 M.E. (1762 A.D.) a joint force of the Nabob and the 
English was sent against Yusuff, and the Travancore Maha Rajah was 
also requested to co-operate with his army, which was to take possession 
of Madura and Tinnevelly and capture Yusuff Khan. The Khan had 
already applied to the Maha Rajah for assistance, offering all the 
territories west of the town of Tinnevelly, including Palamcottah, 
which had once belonged to Travancore, in return for the help His 
Highness woidd give him towards the retention of the Pandyan pro- 
vinces under Yusuff' s independent possession ; but the wise Maha 
Rajah declared that whatever may be the prospect of gain before him 
by aiding Yusuff, His Highness would not go against his old ally the 
Nabob, and would not take arms against the English. 

" The Maha Rajah sent a strong force to Trichinopoly to co-operate 
with the combined force against Yusixff, and that rebel, finding that 
resistance would be of no avail, gave himself up and was hanged by 
the Nabob's order in 1762 A.D. 

" Yusuff Khan's successor thought it proper to assume possession of 
all the countries lying on the eastern side of the ghauts, as belonging 
to the Pandyan empire, and accordingly not only Kalacaud, but also 
Shencottah and all the other eastern possessions of Travancore were 
annexed to the Nabob's dominions. 

" The Maha Rajah despatched a special messenger, Manik Lalla by The Nawab 
name, to Madras, and represented the injustice of the Nabob's officers s ? lzes posses- 
in unlawfully annexing territories belonging to Travancore, but the 
Mussulman potentate, intoxicated with his recent victories and the 
punishment awarded to Yusuff, would not listen to the representations 
of the Maha Rajah's agent, and His Highness was therefore under the 
necessity of seeking the mediation of the Governor of Madras, who, 
though he once confirmed the claims of the Maha Rajah to the 
districts of Kalacaud and other eastern possessions, now wavered in his 
opinion. After a good deal of discussion, the Nabob agreed to restore 
some of the Travancore territories, including Shencottah, Cape Com- 
orin. &c. 

" The Mahamedan chief did not appear to be satisfied with the Tho claim to 
unlawful annexation of the Kalacaud District, which was the legiti- Iv;lli,k;illu - 
mate possession of Travancore from time immemorial, and was recently 
acquired by purchase from Moodemiah. That purchase was confirmed 
by two of his successors, the Nabob himself, and by the Honourable 
East India Company. The Nabob now pressed a demand for the few 
previous years' revenue on the Kalacaud District. 

" A settlement was effected by the inforcpssion of the Governor of 
Madras, Mr. Robert Palk. who, after arranging matters with the 
Nabob, wrote to His Highuoss in 17fi.s AD. in reply to a communica- 



The claim to 



Appendix I. tion from the latter, to the effect that the English Company had taken 
some steps in restraining the victorious Nabob from further hostilities, 
in putting a check to his demands, and also in advising him to 
conclude the treaty. For such services Travancore was reminded of the 
debt it owed to the Honorable East India Company, and the Governor 
hoped that the Company would be amply rewarded for their assistance. 

" The sagacious Maha Rajah saw the desirability of adopting the 
Governor's suggestion and the necessity of entering into a treaty with 
the Nabob, against whom resistance was at that critical period almost 

" The principal conditions of the treaty with the Nabob were, that 
Travancore should renounce all claims to the Kalacaud District ; that 
His Highness should increase the tribute to 15,000 rupees ; that he 
should pay two lakhs of rupees in liquidation of some pretended 
demands on the Maha Rajah in connexion with the Kalacaud District ; 
that he shoidd never assist any of the Poligars against the Nabob ; 
that the Maha Eajah shoidd assist the Nabob with an army in his war 
against Madura and Tinnevelly ; and that the Nabob shoidd assist 
Travancore against all her enemies, foreign as well as internal." — 
p. 197. 

Travancore Contingent sent to assist the British Forces. 

11 Intimation of the unwarrantable proceedings of Hyder Ali Khan 
was given by the Maha Kajah to the Governor of Madras, as also to 
the Bombay and Bengal Government, and a general war against 
Hyder resulted. 

" The Maha Eajah was asked by the Government of the Honourable 
East India Company to co-operate with the Company's army, and His 
Highness most willingly consented to do so, entailing thereby great 
loss of money and life. 

" The war was continued by the East India Company and the Maha 
Eajah assisted them to the extent that lay in his power. Travancore 
regiments of infantry and cavalry placed at the disposal of divisional 
commanders of the Company were taken to distant places, such as 
Calicut, Palghaut, Tinnevelly, &c, &c, and they were ' universally 
allowed to have behaved remarkably well.' 

" After strongly fortifying the northern and eastern frontiers of 
Travancore, the Maha Eajah sent a portion of his army under ablo 
officers to the north, to co-operate with the Bombay army, under 
Major Abington at Calicut. His Highness' troops were engaged in 
tho war and were successful in thoir united actions. Another portion 
of the Travancore army which was despatched to co-operate with tho 
British army in Tinnevelly against Hyder was stationed at that town 
for a period of two years." — p. 205. 

Journey of the Maha Rajah through Tinnevelly, frc, to Rdmesvaram. 

• En the year 959 M.E. (1784 A.D.) His Highness the Maha Eajah, 
partly to perform a religious ceremony and partly to satisfy his 
curiosity to see some other parts of the country in the east and south 
of Travancore, proposed making a pilgrimage to Ramaswaram and 

aid against 
Hyder Ali. 


seeing the districts of Tinnevelly and Madura on las way to and from Appendix I. 
that renowned resort of Hindu pilgrims. 

" But before starting from Trevandrum on tins pilgrimage, His 
Highness had to take the precaution of effecting some arrangements 
through tho means of His Highness' allies, the English East India 
Company and the Nabob of the Carnatic. The districts through which 
His Highness had to travel to Ramaswaram, viz., Tinnevelly and 
Madura, though subject to the sovereignty of the Nabob, were 
divided and were in the possession of Palayapattacars (roligars), the Dangers from 
majority of whom Avere rude and lawless chieftains. ongars. 

'' His Highness obtained the assistance of a few companies of sepoys 
of the English East India Company and some responsible officers from 
the Nabob's Government to escort him to Ramaswaram. With these 
and a large portion of His Highness' own army and a number of 
followers, he set out with all the pomp and grandeur usually attending 
the movements of Indian sovereigns of the rank and celebrity of the 
Maha Eajah. 

" His Highness took great care to inspect and examine all the Examination 
important irrigation works, roads and bridges, sathrums or choultries of Public 
built for the comfort and convenience of the public in Tinnevelly 
and Madura, this being the chief object for which he undertook the 

" His Highness reached Ramaswaram in good health and performed 
the ablutions and other ceremonies there : and after spending a large 
sum in ceremonies and charities, returned, taking care to visit every 
place of note, to his own capital (Trevandrum), quite delighted with 
all he saw during a very agreeable journey. 

" His Highness lost no time in turning to account the knowledge of 
irrigation works, &c, he had acquired during the tour, and introduced 
improvements in several works of this description in the southern 
districts comprising Nanjenaud, &c." 

Major Banner man, the first Representative of the British Government in 
Travancore, in 1788 and 1789. 

" The Maha Rajah, with his usual prudence and faithful attach- Tippu's 
mcnt to his allies the English, resolved to see no messenger of the proposals. 
Sultan or receive any communication from him, except in the presence 
of a British officer. His Highness wrote to the Governor of Madras, 
Sir Archibald Campbell, to depute an officer of integrity and ability 
to the Maha Rajah's court, with whom His Highness might consult 
on some important points connected with the Sultan's mission. The 
Governor was quite delighted with the Maha Rajah's prudence and 
w r isdom and ordered Major Bannerman, then stationed at Palamcottah, 
to proceed to the Maha Rajah's court with a small detachment under 
his command." — p. 211. 

TI>- first British Resident in Trwancwe. 

■ According to the agreement, two regiments commanded by 
Captain Knoz wen tatkw ■ Aycottah in the northern frontier 


Appendix I. of Travancore in the year 964 M.E. (1788 A.D.). At the same time, 
as a medium for communicating between the Maha Rajah and the 
Madras Government, Mr. George Powney, a civil officer under the 
English East India Company, was also stationed in Travancore. He 
may he reckoned as the first Political Resident and British representa- 
tive in the Maha Rajah's Court." — p. 219. 

Mr. Powney was Collector of Tinnevelly from 1794. The celebrated 

Colonel Macaulay was Resident of Travancore from 1800. 

New treaty In 1805 a force was suddenly collected in Tinnevelly under General 

1805° m MacDowel for the purpose of compelling the Rajah to sign a new 

treaty with the British Government. The Rajah at length consented 

to sign the treaty and the force was countermanded. — See pp. 310-323. 

Insurrection in Travancore ; attack on tiie Resident ; taking of 
the Travancore Lines in 1809. 

The commotions in Travancore out of which the war arose com- 
menced in 1808. The management of affairs in Travancore had been 
for some time in an unsatisfactory state, whereupon the British 
Resident interfered. The Dewan was irritated and dragged his 
master into hostility to the English. He intrigued with the Dewan 
of Cochin and with the French. A vessel with thirty-one privates 
and a surgeon belonging to the 1 2th Regiment put into Allippie. The 
men were decoyed on shore, tied in couples back to back, and with 
stones tied round their necks were thrown into the backwater. This 
massacre was perpetrated by the Dewan's brother. The Resident's 
house at Cochin was attacked and he escaped with difficulty. Sir 
G. Barlow was then Governor of Madras and took prompt measures to 
suppress the rebellion and restore the authority of the English Govern- 
ment. A considerable force was sent to enforce obedience, and the 
forces of the Travancore State were assembled for the purpose of 
preventing their entrance into the country. The rebellion was 
disowned by the Raja of Travancore of that time, Rama Varum, who 
attributed the whole blame to his ministers, but the forces of the 
State were sot in motion in resistance to the authority of the English 
as completely as if the Raja himself had been the leader of the 

I here quote the information given us in Shungoony Menon's 
History of Travancore : — 
Causes of the " Paliathu Monon deputed a private messenger to Quilon, with a 
outbreak. secret despatch to Valu Thamby Dulawah and the leaders of the 
disaffected military, proposing to them the massacre of the British 
Resident and his small garrison in the fort at Cochin, and offering his 
co-operation in the affair. 

" These officials were delighted at such a desirable proposal from the 
Cochin minister, and Valu Thamby, from his own vanity, thought- 
lessness, and desiro of revenge, agreed to the proposal, and a pro- 
gramme was arranged between the two ministers. A short account of 
this has been thus recorded by Lieutenant, now Colonel, Horsley : 
■ We are unable to trace the successive step- that led to the war, or 



more properly the insurrection, which took place in 1808; but it is Appendix I. 
perhaps to be attributed less to the people in general, who had every- 
thing- to lose from any change which should extinguish British 
influence, than to the Rajah and to his principal native servants, 
provoked as they were at a control that threatened to moderate their 
excesses. The Cochin minister seems to have been implicated in 
those transactions. The character of this personage and the cautious 
manner in which he conducted these measures, countenance suspicion, 
that he was one of the most zealous and artful promoters of the 
troubles that ensued.' 

" The Dewan now determined to resort to hostilities, though in a The Dewan 
covert way. He issued secret orders for the recruiting of Nairs and see s a ies 
people of other castes and the strengthening of fortifications and the 
storms; of ammunition. He wrote to the Isle of France and the 
Zamorin of Calicut for aid, and warlike preparations were made by 
the Cochin minister Paliathu Menon. 

"The Resident little knew of these internal arrangements. He 
continued, as usual, to press the Dewan and the Maha Rajah for the 
payment of arrears. The Madras Government continued their demand 
upon the Maha Rajah for immediate payment. 

" The Dewan had by this time formed the resolution of assassinating pi t to 
the Resident. But he still feigned that he was using all his endea- ^g^* 3 
vours to cause the early payment of arrears, and on the Resident's 
demanding either the liquidation of the amount or a change in the 
ministry, the Dewan pretended that he was on the point of retiring, 
and wrote to Colonel Macaulay that he would start for Calicut and take 
up his residence there on a pension, and asked him for a party 
of British troops to escort him thither, his object being to draw the best 
part of the Resident's escort from Cochin to Alleppey, where the 
Dewan was then located. 

"Yalu Thamby issued orders to the garrison at Alleppey and 
Paravoor and sent a detachment from Quilon preparatory to making a 
sudden descent upon the fort at Cochin for the massacre of the 
Resident together with Cunju Krishna Menon, arranging at the same 
time for the attack on the British garrison at Quilon, which was 
stationed there under the command of Colonel Chalmers. 

" The detachment moved from Quilon and Alleppey in covered boats, Failure of 
accompanied by Vycome Padmanabha Pillay, an intimate friend of the 2***™ °" the 
Dewan, who acted as his chief secretar} r , and the troops collected in the 
northern districts under the command of Cunju Cuty Pillay Sarvadhi- 
kariakar, stationed at Alangaud, also moved in covered boats to 
Cochin, and both the forces effected a junction at Calvathi, at about 
midnight on the 28th December. The}- surrounded Colonel Macaulay's 
house and opened fire. The sudden report of musketry at an unusual 
hour surprised Colonel Macaulay, and with the assistance of a confi- 
dential Portuguese clerk he managed to conceal himself, and in the 
morning got on board a pattimar at first, and subsequently on board 
the British ship " Piedmontese," which had just reached the Cochin 
roads ; Cunju Krishna Menon also effected his escape uninjured, and 
joined Colonel Macaulay on board the ship. 



Appendix I. 

Massacre of 
officers and 

The Resi- 
dent's report 
to Govern- 

" The Travancore sepoys overpowered the few British sepoys who 
formed the Resident's escort, killing many who resisted, and after- 
wards entered Colonel Macaulay's residence, ransacked the house, 
murdered the domestic servants and others whom they found in the 
house, and afterwards returned, considerably chagrined at not finding 
the Resident and Cunju Krishna Menon. 

' ' The disappointment consequent on this attempt to murder Colonel 
Macaulay had cast a great gloom and dread among all the Travancore 
officials. Nevertheless, they prepared themselves for a defence 
against the attack which they expected every moment. They com- 
mitted depredations in the town of Cochin, and returned to Travan- 
core the next day. Valu Thamby foresaw the result and quitted 
Alleppey at once and proceeded to Quilon. 

" During this interval, three European military officers, including 
Surgeon Hume, together with a lady in one party, and twelve 
European soldiers of His Majesty's 12th Regiment, and thirty-three 
sepoys forming another party, were proceeding from Quilon to Cochin, 
and on coming near Poracaud, they were taken up by the military 
who had been scattered over those parts in large bodies, and who 
now began to exhibit a declared enmity towards the Company's 
people. In consultation with the ministerial officials stationed at 
Alleppey, all these were confined, the first party in the Poracaud 
bankshall, and the second at Alleppey. Subsequently the matter was 
reported to Valu Thamby Dalawah, with an application for his sanc- 
tion for the immediate execution of those unfortunate and innocent 
men. The hard-hearted minister, who was a perfect stranger to 
mercy, sanctioned the wholesale murder of the helpless party without 
the least hesitation, and the unfortunate and unoffending men were 
all cruelly murdered there. 1 The three officers were butchered in cold 
blood at the sea-beach at Poracaud, and the European soldiers and 
sepoys were consigned to the bottom of the Pallathurthee river, on 
the eastern side of Alleppey. The lady was allowed to proceed to 
Cochin unhurt, it being contrary to the laws of Travancore to kill 
women, and she was besides in bad health, and many of the local 
officials pitied her weak and helpless condition. 

" The Resident lost no time in despatching a report to the Madras 
Government on the subject, and the following is an abstract of the 
report with which we were kindly furnished, together with a copy of 
the proclamation, issued under date the loth January 1809, by the 
Government, by Mr. Ballard, the late British Resident in Travan- 
core : — 

" ' For some days past, I had been engaged in negotiation with the 
Dewan at his own earnest solicitation, and had concluded everything 
to his own entire satisfaction, and was waiting only his arrival from 
Alleppey to carry into execution the measure upon which ho had 

1 "This information was given to us by one Ramalingum, Major Sobudar of 
M.N. I. Regiment VI, who accompanied these three unfortunate gentlemen and 

the sickly lady, and was present when they were murdered. He was then a dress, 
ing boy under Colonel Chalmers." — p. 337. 


resolved on removing to Calicut, and had at his earnest request weak- Appendix I. 
ened the party with me to provide for his security, and had at his 
suggestion placed my boats and palanquins in convenient places to 
take him on with comfort and expedition. When a little past mid- 
night, a party of Nayrs to the number of about one thousand, headed 
by the Dewan's confidential friend Pulpnabha Pillay and by the 
Minister of the Rajah of Cochin, surrounded my house to prevent all 
escape, and commenced a smart fire of musketry at every opening, 
first disarming the guard and killing a few who attempted resistance, 
and then broke into the place to destroy me ; their design was provi- 
dentially and somewhat miraculously defeated, and after having 
broken open every place and package, pillaging the house of the 
whole of my effects, they withdrew at break of day. The chief incon- 
venience at present attending this proceeds from the loss of books of 
record and official papers, but as the Dewan has now broken out into 
open rebellion, and will be likely to assemble his followers on every 
side in the hope of producing an impression on the subsidiary force, 
I have sent to Colonel Cuppage a request to embark without delay 
for Quilon all force that he can spare.' There had been a simul- 
taneous attack on the subsidiary force at Quilon on the morning of the 
29th December 1808. The Dewan arrived at Quilon, and encouraged 
the Travancore force concentrated thereabouts, and then proceeded to 
Kundaray, east of Quilon, whence he issued a proclamation." — p. 335. 
See this proclamation in History of Travancore, p. 339. 

" By the Dalawah's strongly worded and powerful proclamation, 
the whole populace of Travancore was incensed and disaffected, and a 
revolt against the British force stationed at Quilon took place at once. 
The cantonment was attacked by large bodies of militia, assisted by Quilon troops 
the Travancore regular troops stationed about Quilon, but they were attacked - 
repulsed as often as they attacked by the able Commandant Colonel 
Chalmers. The failure of the attempt to murder Colonel Macaulay 
had not totally disheartened the Sarvadhikariakar of Alangaud, as he 
appears to have entertained hopes of success again. About 2,000 
men, consisting of regular infantry and militia and the rabble, were 
kept up in the vicinity of Cochin, and the town was visited by them 
now and then. The Cochin minister, Paliathu Menon, had also col- 
lected a force of about 2,000 men and kept them also in the neigh- 
bourhood to attack the town. The Judges and other Company's 
officers closed their offices and many of the inhabitants and merchants 
left Cochin for Calicut, and the fear of a combined rebellion in 
Travancore and Cochin against the English East India Company now 
became general. But the arrival of Lieutenant-Colonel Cuppage on 
the northern frontier, and of Major Hewitt's detachment at Cochin, 
with whom the Travancoreans had fought and failed, discouraged the Reinforce- 
northern Travancore force entirely, and they retreated to the south, ment. 
thus leaving Cochin safe and secure in the hands of the Company. 

" At Quilon the action under Colonel Chalmers was decisive, for on 
the 18th January the Dewan's force was completely defeated during 
a contest which lasted six hours." 



Appendix I. The inhabitants of Tinnevelly warned by the Madras Government not to take 

part in the Rebellion. 

" The Madras Government published the following proclamation 
in Tinnevelly and Malabar, which completely quieted the population 
of those districts : — 


" ' The Honourable the Governor in Council of Fort St. George having been 
informed that the Dewan of Travancore has been endeavouring by artful intrigues 
to excite the inhabitants of Tinnevelly to rise in arms against the British Govern- 
ment, the Governor in Council thinks it proper to caution the inhabitants of Tinne- 
velly against listening to the delusive insinuations which the Dewan of Travancore 
has endeavoured to disseminate. The Governor in Council has no doubt that the 
inhabitants of that province will be sensible of their own interests and will continue 
to enjoy in tranquillity the advantages which they possess under the protection of 
the British Government. 

" ' Dated in Fort St. George, the 15th day of January 1809.' " 

—Page 345. 

Proclamation of the Madras Government to the inhabitants of Travancore. 

" The Government published the following proclamation on the 
17th January 1809 for the information of the people of Travancore : — 


" ' It is known to the inhabitants of Travancore that during many years the closest 
alliance has subsisted between the British Government and the Government of the 
Travancore country ; that the British troops have long been employed in defence o 
Travancore, and that it was by the exertion of the British armies that Travancore 
was saved from subjection to the power of Tippoo Sultan. 

" ' Under these circumstances, the Honorable the Governor in Council of Fort St. 
George has heard with extreme surprise, that military preparations of great extent 
have lately taken place in Travancore for purposes hostile to the interests of the 
British Government ; that the person of the British Resident has been attacked by 
the Travancore troops ; and that an assault has been made on the subsidiary force 
stationed at Quilon. 

" ' The Honorable the Governor in Council has reason to believe that these unprece- 
dented outrages have proceeded from the desperate intrigues of the Dewan of Tra- 
vancore, who has been also endeavouring by injurious insinuation to excite rebellion 
in the territories of the Honourable Company. In order that the daring plans of 
A force to be the Dewan may be defeated, the Honorable the Governor in Council has directed a 
sent to restore i ar g e body of troops to move into Travancore, who will, in a short time, put an end 
or( *er. to the power of the Dewan, and to restore order and peace in the country of Tra- 

vancore. The Honorable the Governor in Council thinks it proper at the samo 
time to make known to the inhabitants of Travancore that the approach of the 
British troops need occasion no alarm in the minds of those inhabitants who conduct 
themselves peaceably. The British Government has no other view in directing the 
movements of troops than to rescue the Rajah of Travancore from the influence of 
the Dewan, to put an end to the power of that dangerous minister, and to re-estab- 
lish the connection of the two Governments on a secure and happy foundation. 

" ' The Honourable the Governor in Council calls on the inhabitants of Travancore 
toco-operate in accomplishing these objects, and such of the inhabitants as shall not 
oppose the advance of the British troops may be assured of the entire protection of 


their persons and property ; particular orders will also be given to give no disturb- Appendix I, 
ance to the Brahmins and religious establishments throughout the Travancore country. 

" ' Dated in Fort St. George, the 17th day of January 1809. 

" ' Published by order of the Honourable Governor in Council. 

(Signed) C. BUCHAN, 
Chief Secretary to Government.'' " 

—Page 346. 

" The Travancore minister and his colleagues, as well as the military 
officials, had not to wait long for their fate, for a British force, under 
the command of the Honorable Colonel St. Leger, arrived at the 
southern frontier of Travancore and commenced an attack on the 
Araniboby lines and forced an entrance into the forts on the 10th 
February 1809. 

" Yalu Thamby Dalawah, who was at that time near the Aramboly 
garrison to support the operations, found it impossible to resist the 
British soldiers, and therefore had escaped to Trevandrum hastily." 
—Page 347. 

Taking of the Travancore Lines. 

Our information with regard to the principal event of the war, the General 
taking of the Travancore Lines, is derived mainly from General Weleh# 
Welsh's Military Reminiscences. General (then Major) Welsh was the 
officer by whom the lines were stormed, and it will be remembered 
that it is to the same soldier and author that we are indebted for the 
fullest account of the last Poligar war. 

The force, assembled for the purpose of asserting the authority of 
the English Government, was under the command of the Honorable 
Colonel St. Leger. When Major Welsh joined the force on the 5th 
February 1809 it was encamped six miles from Aramboly (properly 
Aravay-moli) on the Tinnevelly side of the pass. The lines by which Description of 
the entrance into Travancore through the pass was defended were the lines, 
about two miles in length, stretching across the gap from one range 
of mountains to another. They included a rugged hill to the south- 
ward, strongly fortified, and a sti'ong rock about half way called the 
northern redoubt. The works consisted of small well-built bastions 
for two and three guns, joined at intervals by strong curtains, the 
whole cannon-proof and protected by a thick hedge of thorn bushes, 
the approach to which was difficult from the wildness of the country. 
Major Welsh proposed, and the Commanding Officer reluctantly con- 
sented, that an attempt should be made to take the lines by escalade ; 
and on the 10th of February this daring feat was accomplished. The 
southern fortified hill was escaladed during the night, and though 
defended by fifty pieces of cannon and ten thousand men the whole 
lines were in the possession of the English force by eight o'clock a.m. 
The approach was so difficult that it took six hours scrambling to 
reach the foot of the walls, but the troops had escaladed the southern 
redoubt before their approach was suspected. As soon as it was seen 
that Major Welsh had secured a footing in that commanding position s ucc „ ss f u i 
a detachment was sent to his aid, whereupon he stormed and carried assault. 






Appendix I. the main lines, including the fortified gate. The northern redoubt 
was then abandoned, and the Travancore troops fled in all possible 
directions, leaving the English in possession of the whole of the lines, 
the arsenal, and the stores. Before evening the English force was 
encamped two miles inside the Ararnboly gate. 

On the 17th the army commenced its march for Trevandrum, the 
Travancore capital. The only resistance they met with was on the 
morning of the same day at a village where they had to cross the 
Susendram river, on the further side of which a portion of the Travan- 
core force was posted in a strong position on a high bank. The 
Travancoreans were routed and dispersed with much loss to them and 
some to our troops. Nine guns were taken and the large villages of 
Cotaur and Nagercoil fell into the hands of the English. This was 
the last action fought and the last blood shed in this brief war. The 
English marched steadily forward, taking possession in their way of 
the abandoned forts of Oodagherry and Palpanavaram, but before they 
reached the capital an armistice was proclaimed. On the arrival of 
the troops at the capital it was found that within the Raja's palace 
walls an arsenal had been provided containing 140 pieces of service- 
able cannon, 14,000 stand of arms, and abundance of ammunition, all 
which the Raja was obliged to deliver up to the English. The late 
Dewan, the author of the rebellion, was speedily traced to the interior 
of a pagoda with brazen doors, and while the troops were breaking 
open the doors he killed himself. His brothers and six accomplices 
were taken alive and hanged at Quilon in front of the 12th Regiment, 
in the murder of the men belonging to which they had participated. 
Colonel Macaulay, the Resident, had now landed from a vessel of war 
in which he had some time before made his escape from Cochin when 
the rebellion broke out. Immediately on his arrival at the capital a 
new Dewan was appointed and new arrangements made for securing 

Trevandrum. the peace of the country. Whilst the British force was approaching 
from the eastward through the Travancore lines the subsidiary force at 
Quilon was by no means idle. Shut up in the heart of a difficult coun- 
try, with the inhabitants all in arms against them, they had had several 
severe actions, in which they were invariably victorious. Nevertheless 
their situation was daily becoming more critical until the news of 
the capture of the Aramboly lines reached the masses by which they 
were surrounded, when, giving up every hope of further success, they 
dispersed in all directions. 

General Welsh states that those lines had up to that time been 
deemed impregnable, and that Tippu Sultan in the zenith of his power 
had been repulsed from them with considerable loss. He adds that 
it was natural therefore that the report of their capture should at once 
decide the fate of the kingdom. The capture of the Aramboly lines 
was a brave achievement and undoubtedly decided the fate of the king- 
dom, but the General was mistaken in supposing that these were the 
lines from which Tippu was repulsed. The lines he failed to take 
were those on the northern frontier between Travancore and Cochin. 
This event occurred long before in December 1789. 

Events at 


The following particulars are from Shungoonny Menon's History : — Appendix I. 

" The Colonel afterwards marched to Trevandrum, and on reaching 
the neighbourhood, encamped at a place called Pappenecode, when 
the Malm Rajah sent a deputation headed by His Highness' favourite 
Ummany Thamby alias Marthanden Eravy, who conveyed to the 
Colonel His Highness' extreme regret at the occurrence of the insur- 
rection created by Dewan Valu Thamby, and of the adoption of 
measures for the Dewan's apprehension and delivery. Colonel 
Macaulay arrived in the camp on the 3rd March. Arrangements 
were made for the apprehension of the minister. A party of Travan- 
core and British officers was despatched in pursuit of the Dalawah, 
and a reward of (50,000) fifty thousand rupees was offered for his 

"Ummany Thamby, the head of the deputation, was appointed Flight of the 
Dewan on the 18th March 1809 with the full concurrence of the British Dewan. 
Government, and he at once sent persons in pursuit of the Dalawah. 
The runaway Dalawah wandered in the jungles about Vallicote in the 
Kunnathoor district. He was hotly pursued by the officers even here. 
From this place he came to Munnady, in the same district, and took 
refuge in a vacant house belonging to a Potty. The servant of Valu 
Thamby, who wandered in the streets there with his master's silver 
and gold utensils, was seen by the officers and apprehended, and he 
revealed to them the Thamby's hiding-place. He then fled to the 
Bhagavathi pagoda at Munnady with his brother Padmanabhen 
Thamby and determined to put an end to his existence. He asked 
his brother to stab him. This the brother refused to do at first, when 
the Dalawah plunged his own dagger in his bosom. But as the self- 
inflicted wound did not prove mortal, he cried out to his brother ' cut 
my neck,' which request the brother complied with, and in one stroke 
severed the neck from the body. By that time the pursuers reached Death of the 
the pagoda and forced open the door, when they found the lifeless body Dewan. 
of Valu Thamby and his brother standing close to it with a drawn 
sword. The brother was seized and the body removed to Trevandrum, 
where it was exposed on a gibbet at Kunnammalay for public execra- 
tion. Lord Minto, the then Governor-General, most strongly con- 
demned this insult offered to the body of such a great man as Valu 

" The deceased Dalawah's brother Padmanabhen Thamby was 
hanged on the 10th of April, in the presence of the 12th Regiment at 
Quilon, on the supposition that he took part in the assassination of 
Surgeon Hume, and also in the most cruel and inhuman act of the 
drowning at Pullathurthee of a detachment of the 12th Regiment. 

" Ummany Thamby Dewan was dreaded by the relatives of the late 
minister, and his house was razed to the ground and plantain and 
castor trees planted thereon. 

" Most of the relatives were transported to the Maldives, but after Fate of the 
going a certain distance stress of weather compelled them to touch at rest of tne 
Tuticorin. Some appear to have committed suicide, some died in 



Appendix I. prison, while the rest were flogged and banished. All these were done 
by Valu Thamby's successor Ummany Thaniby. 

" Several of the promoters of the insurrection, chief among whom 
was Vycome Padmanabha Pillay, the murderer of the Europeans at 
Poracaud, Alleppey, &c, were punished by being publicly hanged 
at Quilon, Poracaud and, the spots where the Europeans 
were massacred." — p. 349. 



Political Results. 

The political and financial results of the rebellion appear in Aitchi- 
son's Treaties, Vol. V. The Raja was obliged to pay the expenses 
incurred by the British Government in this expedition, and a brigade 
was left at Quilon as a subsidiary force, agreeably to the treaty con- 
cluded in November 1795. The debts thus incurred were but tardily 
discharged, and the British Government were about to assume the 
internal administration of the country as the only means of insuring 
their satisfactory settlement when the Raja died in 181 1. The Raja 
was succeeded by Latchmi Rani, who, according to the peculiar custom 
of the family of Travancore, assumed charge of the Government until 
a male heir was born. She held it till 1814, during which time the 
British Resident, Colonel Munro. acted also as Minister, and by his 
judicious measures completely relieved the conditio a of the country. 
Latchmi Rani was succeeded by her eldest son, and the country was, 
during his minority, successfully managed by her sister as Regent, 
under the counsels of the British Resident. 


I subjoin some particulars respecting Shenkotta. 

On the cession of Tinnevelly to the British Government by the 
Nawab of the Carnatic in 1801 it was found that the Nawab claimed 
the district of Shenkottai, a portion of Travancore situated to the east 
of the ghauts, as one of his Zemindarifis. It was asserted also that 
this claim was admitted by the Rajah of Travancore, who had regu- 
larly paid peshcush as Zemindar of Shenkottai to the Nawab's Govern- 

The Travancore authorities do not admit that Shenkottai was ever 
a Zemindary under the Nawab, and the following is Sir Madava 
Row's statement of the case in his manuscript history. Some of the 
facts have already been quoted from Shungoonny Menon : — 

" Mahomed Yusuf Khan, generalissimo of the forces of the Nawab 
of the Carnatic, incurred his master's displeasure, in consequence of 
which by the assistance of the English he was captured and hanged. 
Travancore having befriended Yusuf Khan, though only as the gene- 
ral of Mahomed Ali, the Nawab in revenge annexed Kalakadu and 
Shenkotta again to the Carnatic. 

" But an ambassador, Manika Bhatta, was sent to Madras to the 
Nawab, and with the assistance of the English succeeded in obtaining 
the restoration of Shenkotta. not however till Kalakadu was ceded and 


the Nawab, flushed with victory, exacted a tribute of 3,000 Vella Appendix I. 
fauams a year as a compensation to his Government for the restora- 
tion of Shenkotta. 

" This continued to be paid to the Nawab till the Carnatic was ceded 
to the British. Thereafter the payment was made to them instead, 
and to this day it is incorporated with, and is a component part of, the 
subsidy of 8,00,000 rupees paid to the British Government." 

It will be seen from the above statement that the only real discre- 
pancy between the two representations relates to the use of one word, 
the word "Zemindar." Muhammad Yusuf Khan was executed in 
1764, so that the relation described above as subsisting between Shen- 
kottai and the Nawab lasted for 37 years. 



TnERE was a very severe flood in Tinnevelly on the 6th Decern- Appendix II. 
ber 1810, "the like of which," Mr. Hepburn the Collector says, 
" has not occurred within the memory of man." The river bank was 
breached in many places, and most of the tanks and water channels 
were breached. 500 houses were carried away in the town of Alvar 

In March 1811 the Collector reports that there had been another 
very heavy fall of rain for ten days in the end of February. This was 
a very unusual season for heavy rain and floods. He adds that this 
unusual rain has rendered the season unhealthy, particularly in the 
vicinity of the hills and along the sea-coast, where the mortality 
amongst the natives had been excessive. 

On the 6th of April the Collector reports that rain had set in again 
in March and was continuing till the date of his letter. There was 
almost continuous rain for nearly three months, in February, March 
and April. The pestilential fever also had greatly increased and the 
mortality was frightful. In one village, that of Selvamarudur, in the 
Calcaud Taluk (near Edeyengoody) visited by his assistant Mr. Han- 
bury, 50 houses were found entirely empty, and in every house in the 
village some had died. In other villages he found that a few of the 
inhabitants had fled and that all the rest were dead. A peon was sent 
to a village to make a demand for assessment and found the whole of 
the village officers and all the respectable inhabitants dead. In many 
places the grain rotted in the ground for want of hands to reap and 
gather it in. 

Two causes for the fever had been suggested. One was that it arose 
from exhalations from the salt marshes near the sea, the smell arising 
from which was very dreadful. The other that it had travelled to 
Tinnevelly from Coimbatore, Dindigul and Madura, where it was said 
to have broken out first. The latter was tho general opinion of the 



Appendix II. natives. They said every individual amongst the pilgrims who went 
to Pulney and other sacred places in that region died on his return to 
his village. This origin of the fever was confirmed, they thought, by 
the circumstance that the fever was particularly fatal in the vicinity of 
the mountains. 

A Medical Committee was convened to consider the condition of each 
of the districts affected by the pestilence. It assembled at Bhavany 
8th May 1811. All that they could do was to prescribe the use of 
such preventives and such remedies as would naturally suggest 
themselves. They could not make the pestilential air wholesome, and 
the natives generally would be found too poor and too much attached 
to custom to avail themselves of most of the recommendations. The 
Committee recommended that the natives should build better houses, 
that the floor of their houses should be raised above the ground, that 
the}' should sleep on cots, with mattresses of twisted straw and cover- 
lets, that they should clothe themselves more warmly, that they should 
use a sort of sandal for the feet, that they should not go out in the 
morning till the heavy fogs had been dispelled by the sun, and that 
they should eat better food. Amongst the remedies they recom- 
mended the only febrifuge was the bark of the Nim or Margosa. 

In Dindigul the number of persons who fell victims to the pestilence 
in the course of nine months was not less than 34,000. Another 
authority estimates the number at one in thirteen of the population, 
but the calculation seems hardly reliable, seeing that in some places 
half the population were said to have died. In Madura the worst of 
the epidemic was before May in 1811. Tire epidemic, however, broke 
out again with great violence in 1812, and in the town of Raninad, 
during the three months between December 1812 and February 1813, 
one in six were reported to have died. 

Letters from Mr. Hepburn, the Collector, to tlie Board of Revenue, in 1811. 

"2. The epidemical disease which forms the subject of these letters 
first became of sufficient importance in the month of February to 
attract attention and to impede the usual regularity of the collections. 
At first it was, however, principally prevalent in the Streevilliputtilr 
District, which joins the taluks of Madura and lies near the hills, the 
course of which it followed to the southward, where it has since pre- 
vailed very universally. Soon afterwards it broke out in the vicinity 
of the sea-coast and committed great ravages in the Punjamahl and 
Calacaud Taluks. To enable the Board, however, the better to trace 
its progress, I have the honor to enclose a small sketch of the province 
with the different taluks marked out, which will make the subject more 
easily understood. 

" 3. When the Medical Committee which is ordered here shall have 
investigated the subject they will no doubt, with the aid of the science 
which they possess, be able to account satisfactorily for the mortality 
which has occurred ; yet it is to be apprehended that the principal 
cause of it is to be looked for in the very uncommon circumstances of 
the season. The Board recollect the great destruction of houses 
reported in consequence of the inundation in December last, and the 


loss of huts was still greater. After that fall of rain the weather still Appendix II. 
continued hot and close, in the early part of the nights in particular, 
attended with very heavy dews towards morning. The heat of the 
early part of the night indeed caused many of the natives who had 
houses to sleep in the open air, by which they became exposed, while 
their bodies were still hot, to the chilling damps towards morning, 
which in all probability was the cause of the fever which succeeded, 
and of those whose houses had been destroyed many were obliged to 
do so from having no shelter to cover them. The rain soon after com- 
menced and continued for three months, and generally the people were 
found totally unprovided against it ; and to such as had no houses was 
added the misfortune of worse than ordinary food, as they often 
could not dry their grain to convert it into rice, having no place to 
preserve it in from the rain, in consequence of which they were 
deprived of almost every comfort they are in the habit of enjoying. 
That these causes operated in a considerable degree appears from 
the mortality having been much greater amongst the lower classes of 
people, particularly toddy-drawers, who live in temporary cabins 
made of cadjan only, most of which were destroyed in the monsoon, 
than amongst the better description of the inhabitants who live in 
good houses. 

" 4. Whether in addition to these causes the disease was infectious 
and imported from Madura and Dindigul it is impossible for me to 
say. The natives have a strong impression that it was, which certainly 
seems in some degree confirmed by the mortality amongst the pil- 
grims who have returned from Pulney in the Dindigul District ; but 
to decide the question requires the exercise of a professional know- 
ledge, which can only be expected from the report of the Medical 
Committee upon the subject. At first the disease was very rapidly 
fatal. The patient was seized with it on one day, had often a sort of 
fit or convulsion the second day, and generally died on the third. If 
he survived the ninth day he generally got over it, but was left in a 
state of great debility from the fever, which lasted from a fortnight to 
a month afterwards. At first the return of the fever was diurnal, but 
afterwards it only recurred once every other clay, and in the cases 
where it proved fatal was often attended with a bloody flux. Such is 
the account which I have been able to obtain of this awful visitation, 
and whether the opinions formed are correct or not will hereafter be 
seen from the report of the medical men soon expected here. I can 
however say with great truth that they have been stimulated by the 
greatest interest and anxiety in the subject and that they have occu- 
pied my best attention. 

•••".. Within these last ten days the land winds have set in. which 
hold out the most anxious hope that the change of weather will 
produce an alleviation of the disease ; as yet it is still however repre- 
sented to be very prevalent, and although there are instances of speedy 
deaths from it, yet I hope that there is room to think the general 
features of it are beginning to change, and that of those taken ill the 
number of deaths is smaller, although the patients are still left in a 
state of great weakness from the wasting of a long-continued periodi- 



Appendix II. cal fever, which renders them unahle for a length of time to attend to 
their usual duties and occupations ; and from the protracted nature of 
the disease, it is frequent that the whole numbers of a family are to he 
found in one or other of the stages of the disease. The season is also 
still very extraordinary, as the land winds which in general blow with 
considerable violence are remarkably mild with frequent lulls and a 
heavy thick oppressive atmosphere. Had there not been a very 
violent squall, although of short duration, on the 29th ultimo, the 
6tate of the weather is such as to give rise to the apprehension that the 
whole will conclude with some violent convulsion of nature. 

"6. On enquiring of the people whether such a calamity was ever 
experienced here before, they state that they remember a very 
unhealthy season about thirty-four years ago, but that its effects were 
not so general nor so fatal as in the present instance. This assertion 
is corroborated by a passage in Orme's History of Hindustan, in which 
the Board will find it mentioned in paragraph 2nd, page 201, old edi- 
tion, that in the month of March 1757 a very unusual fall of rain had 
taken place in the province of Tinnevelly, which lasted for two days, 
and in addition to the damage done to the crops, had brought on an 
epidemic sickness which carried off numbers of the inhabitants by 
sudden deaths. The whole description, which is of some length, bears 
a strong resemblance to the present season, only that the calamity 
was not of the same extent. If two days rain, however, at that time 
could produce the effects recorded, some estimate may be formed of 
those arising from three months of such frequent and equally 
unseasonable rains. 

"7. As before stated the disease was first reported in February to be 
so general in the district of Strivaleputtur as to cause considerable 
interruption to the collections. It was then however principally 
confined to the villages near the hills, in which it prevailed so gene- 
rally that the peons could not go to demand the revenue, most of those 
who had been in the villages near the hills being laid up by the fever. 
To the end of February the fever still continued in this district and 
had spread all over it on the 26th March ; the Tasildar reported that 
in many instances the crops were left uncut upon the ground for want 
of people to reap them, and that from the number of those whose 
business it was to collect and remit the revenue being sick great 
interruption was at present experienced in the collections. 

" 8. From Strivaleputtur the disease followed the course of the hills 
to Tenkashee, which has suffered in a very severe degree from it. as 
also the intermediate pollams shown in the accompanying sketch. 
Towards the end of February or beginning of March it had become 
very prevalent, and in the course of that month the Tasildar reported 
the number of deaths in the cusbah was from 10 to 15 daily, and in 
the other villages in proportion, and that many people had left tho 
district for fear of the infection. He also represented that the crops 
were left standing on the ground for want of people to cut them, and 
that there were not people enough who were free from fever to attend 
tho sick and hum the dead, and if he senl his peons to demand the 
revenue they generally found the people in a state rendering them 

HISTORY 01 IINMA Kill 275 

entirely incapable of attending to their concerns. Oi' all the taluks Appenmx II. 

this one has suffered most in proportion to its population from the 


" 9. In Brummadaspuram the people were represented to have been 
rather sickly since the month of November last, hut the epidemical fever 
does not seem to have made a very alarming progress till the beginning 
of March. Since that time the Tasildar represents the people to have 
suffered much, and he mentions many of the villages where there are 
not people enough to attend the sick and to burn the dead. The 
Board will observe a village of the name of Kuddyum in this neigh- 
bourhood. In this village, which was a very fine one, it is computed 
that about a thousand people have been carried off by the fever. Of 
these there were forty families of Brahmans, of whom twenty-six are 
entirely swept away, eight have deserted, and of the others about 
one half of the numbers of each family are dead. 

"10. In Sharrinmadavy the fever was later in commencing, and no 
representations of its having reached a serious height were made till 
the beginning of April. A great many people have had the disease, 
but as far as can be learnt the mortality does not aptpear to have been 
so great as in some of the other districts. 

"11. In Nellumbalam, with the exception of the town of Tinnevelly, 
the disease does not appear to have commenced so early as in the 
vicinity of the hills. In the month of April, however, it was repre- 
sented as very generally prevalent, most of the people being sick 
and many having died. In the town of Tinnevelly, as before reported, 
the deaths are estimated for a considerable time to have amounted to 
fifteen or twenty people a day. The town is still unhealthy, but the 
cases of sudden death are decreased, as is also the number of casual- 

"12. In the districts of Vedoogramem, Streeviguntam, Gungundam 
and Alwar Tinnevelly the disease has been much less destructive than 
in the others, although there has been a considerable degree of sick- 
ness, which has incapacitated the people from attending to their 

"13. It has already been stated that the disease early began to make 
its appearance on the sea-coast. How this is to be accounted for it is 
difficult to say, unless it arose from that part of the country having 
suffered much from the inundation in December and the houses of the 
people not being so good or durable as in the interior. There are 
also a great number of toddy-drawers who reside in huts made of 
cadjans only on the coast, most of which were destroyed in the monsoon 
and the people left exposed. Many of the salt marshes were also 
overflowed in the monsoon, the exhalation from which is very offensive. 
The mortality therefore all along the coast to Cape Oomorin has been 
very great, and the district of Calcaud being bounded by the hills 
upon the other side has from these two causes suffered most severely 
from the fever. The Tasildar mentions many villages which are 
nearly depopulated, and almost all his peons have been sick. In addi- 
tion to these misfortunes the small-pox has lately made its appearance 
iu the Punjamahl Taluk, but it has not yet done much mischief. 


Appendix II. This disease is probably imported from Travancore where I have been 
informed it is now raging, but it does not appear that the fever which 
has committed such ravages here has extended itself to that country, 
where the seasons are remarkable for their regularity. 

"14. The taluk of Shankaranainarkovil is the only one which now 
remains to be noticed, and although surrounded by those parts which 
suffered most severely from the fever, it is extraordinary that till near 
the end of April it was only experienced in a comparatively slight 
degree and the deaths very few. On the 22nd of that month, however, 
it was represented as having become very general, and that a number 
of people were dying suddenly as in the other districts where it first 
broke out. The last accounts state it still continues. 

" 15. The above is a statement of the progress of the disease in the 
different parts of the province, as reported to me by the public officers 
and ascertained as correctly as possible from the best information 
which it has otherwise been in my power to collect and in compliance 
with the Board's orders. Instructions have been sent to endeavour to 
ascertain as near as possible the actual number of people who have 
fallen victims to this calamity. There has not yet, however, been time 
for a compliance with these orders from the state in which the people 
are whose duty it is to furnish them, and also from the dislike which 
the people of this country have in general to all enquiries of this 
nature, and they consequently evince much unwillingness to furnish 
Hny information respecting it. Independent of these circumstances it 
ie to be apprehended that any account recorded just now would be 
liable to inaccuracy, as in many places where the fever began the 
people left their villages until the disease should subside. As soon, 
however, as any return is obtained which can be depended upon, the 
Board shall immediately be furnished with it." 



App. III. The Pandya country, especially as was natural Madura itself, the 
capital of the country and the abode of its kings, abounded in authors. 
It might with equal propriety be said to have abounded in poets, 
almost every ancient Tamil composition having been in verse. Ma- 
dura became celebrated in Tamil literary circles for its so-called 
" college." This college, however, was not a teaching institution, but 
an association of poets, who gave their imprimatur to works they 
considered classical by giving the writer a place on their board, which 
was literally a board, viz., the board on which they sat when they 
met, represented afterwards to have been a miraculous diamond bench 
capable of expanding and contracting. The name for this college, 

Mrulura Sangam (Sanskrit), has the same meaning as the Latin collegium. 

College. \'\z., an association or society of learned men. Tradition says that 

there were three such colleges at Madura at different times, and that 


it was to the last of them that Tirurvalluvar, the celebrated author of App. III. 
the Rural, was admitted. Another of the accepted poets was the 
author of the Naladiyar. Tiruvalluvar (a name which means the 
sacred Paraiya priest) is esteemed the prince of Tamil poets ; but 
having- been a Paraiya, it was not without a miracle wrought in his 
favour that he was allowed a place on the much-coveted bench. All 
this passes current freely in popular tradition, but it is impossible 
now to ascertain how much truth these legends contain. It is the less 
necessary for our present purpose to endeavour to ascertain this, 
seeing that none of the great writers of that time is said to have 
belonged to Tinnevelly. It is true that Tinnevelly boasts in the 
possession of Agastyar-malai, the place to which the great rishi 
Agastya, styled " the Southern Sage " and " the Tamil Sage," retired Aga&tya. 
alter having not only invented Tamil grammar but the Tamil lan- 
guage itself, and also that works are still extant — grammars and books 
of medicine, alchymy, and mystic theology — which are commonly 
attributed to him. When I have mentioned, however, that all this 
is related and believed without a particle of evidence in its favour, 
and against every conceivable probability, I think I have done enough. 
A considerable number of Tamil compositions of some degree of 
merit are attributed on sufficient evidence to persons who are known 
to have belonged to Tinnevelly, but there are only four of these which 
could fairly claim a place in a history of Tamil literature. 


I. The first and probably the oldest of these is a portion of the 
great Yaishnava composition called the great Prabandham or Tixu- 
vay-moli, the words of the Sacred Mouth. The whole work contains 
4,000 verses, 1,000 of which are attributed to a native of Tinnevelly - 
This was Nammalvar, one of the twelve Alvars or disciples (Alvar 
means one who profoundly humbled himself) of Eamanuja Acharya, 
the founder of the Sri-vaishnava or Visisht-advaita school of Hindu 
theosophy. The Brahman adherents of this school are called in the 
Tamil country Aiyangars. The age of the Alvars is not certainly 
known, but it must have been subsequent to the age of their master Alvar-tiruna- 
Ramanuja, who flourished about the beginning or middle of the 12th gari. 
century A.D. The Tinnevelly Alvar gave his name to Alvar Tiruna- 
gari, a place called also, but erroneously, Alvar Tinnevelly. The 
oldest name of this place is Kurugur or Kurugapuri. In later times 
the name which I have found in inscriptions is Tenkarai (the South- 
bank, equivalent to the English Southwark), a name which survives 
as the name of the taluk in which this place is included. It was 
called by this name in contradistinction to Srl-vaikuntham, a still 
more considerable town on the northern bank. Alvar Tirunagari, 
the name by which it is now called, the meaning of which is the holy 
ei y of the Alvar, is one of the principal Vaishnava holy places in 
Tinnevelly, with a population of 5,600. The real name of the Alvar 
of this place is said to have been Jadakopa, a common name now 
amongst Vaishnavas, and his father is said to have been one Kari 


App. III. Maran, a scion of the Pandya dynasty. Maran means Pandyan. 
Nammalvar means onr Alvar, and this title is said to have been con- 
ferred upon him by Vishnu himself, as a mark of special confidence 
and favour. Though only one in twelve of the Alvars, his share in 
the hymns of the great Prabandhani was one part in four. 

Translation of the Mahabharata. 

II. The second important composition attributed to a native of 
Tinnevelly is the Tamil poetical translation of the Maha-bharata, or 
at least of the greater part of it, which is believed to have been wait- 
ten at Srl-villiputtur, by a Vaishnava Brahman called Sarva Bhauma 1 
Aiyangar. From the name of the place to which he belonged he is 
commonly called Villiputtiirar. Possibly at the time the poem became 
famous Sri, sacred, had not been commonly prefixed to the name of 
the place. At present if the Sri were omitted, the name would not 
be recognised. The poet is sometimes called an Alvar, but this is 
only out of respect, as the title is also sometimes given to Kambar, 
the author of the Tamil poetical version of the Ramayana. The 
Tamil Maha-bharata is not considered by any means equal in beauty 
to the Tamil Ramayana, which stands, with the Ohintamani and the 
Kural, in the very first rank of Tamil poems, but it is considered 
notwithstanding a very fine composition. Portions of it have fre- 
quently been prescribed for the study of candidates for University 

The date of the author of this work is unknown, but it is never 
Sn-villiput- supposed to be very early. Pandits generally suppose that he lived 
tur - two or three hundred years ago, which seems probable enough and 

would place him in the age of the Nayaka rulers of Madura. Villi- 
puttfir means the new town of the bow-man, and of course a legend — 
several legends indeed — are related to account for this name and 
explain who the bow-man was. It has received the title of Sri, 
sacred, on account of its Vaishnava temple, which is a holy place 
of some celebrity, ranking perhaps with that at Alvar Tirunagari. 
Tirumalai Nayaka, the celebrated ruler of Madura, had a palace in 
this place, which is still shown. In the Government Records the 
name of the place appears as^Nachiyar Kovil, with a population of 
over 14,000. 


III. The third literary character belonging to Tinnevelly whose 
name claims to occupy a place in the literary history of the Tamil 
country is a commentator on the Kural called Parimelalagar. I should 
hardly have thought of placing a mere commentator in this rank, 
were it not that his urai or commentary is considered the first of its 
kind. According to the opinion of the Tamil people the best of all 
poems is Tiruvalluvar's Kural, and the best of all commentaries is 

1 Sarva Bhauma means possessing tho whole world or known throughout the 
whole world. 


Parimelalagar's commentary thereon. The date of this writer is App. III. 
unknown, but he is believed by some to have lived in the Karisal- 
Kadu, or black cotton soil country, in the northern part of Tinnevelly. 
In the Northern Tamil country I have always heard Parimelalagar 
represented to have been a Brahman, but some Pandits in Tinnevelly 
— not themselves Shanars — maintain that he was a Shanar guru. 
Others assert that he was neither a Brahman nor a Shanar, but a 

Niti-nen -v ifakkam . 

IV. Perhaps the latest of the Tinnevelly literary celebrities was 
the author of the Niti-neri-vilakkam, a work consisting of ethical 
stanzas, arranged more or less after the fashion of the Kural and the 
Naladiyar. These stanzas have secured themselves a good place in 
general estimation, but few of them rise to the highest order of 
originality and merit. They are frequently made use of in University 
examinations. The author was a Saiva ascetic, a Vellala by caste, 
called Kumara-guru-pai-a-Tambiran. Tambiran, his lordship, is the 
usual title of the head of a Saiva monastery. Our author however 
was not the head of any monastery, but seems to have had the title 
conferred upon him as a term of respect. Compare the use of Abbe 
amongst the French. He is sometimes called also Kumara-guru-para- 
Swamigal. Swamigal is the honorific plural of Swami, lord. KumS- 
ra-guru-para belonged to Sri-vaikuntham, a well-known town on the Sri-vaikun- 
northern bank of the Tamraparni. This has always been a place of * ham ' 
some importance, and is now the capital of the Tenkarai Taluk. The 
name by which it is called denotes that it is a holy place amongst the 
Vaishnavas. Vaikuutham is the name of Vishnu's heaven. The 
population of the place is upwards of 7,000. Kumara-guru-para- 
Tambiran is said to have nourished during the reign of Tirumalai 
Nayaka, the celebrated king of Madura. If so, he is to be placed 
between A.D. 1623 and 1659. 



I am anxious to obtain some information as to the extent of the area App. IV. 
within which sepulchral urns, like those to which I am about to refer, 
are found. 

The urns I refer to are large earthenware jars containing fragments 
of human bones, generally in a very decayed state. They are of 
various sizes, corresponding with the age of the person whose remains 
were to be disposed of. The largest I have found was eleven feet in 
circumference, and the smallest have been between four and five. 
The shape varies a little within certain limits, so that I have not 
found any two urns perfectly alike, but the type generally adhered to 
is that of the large earthen jars (in Tamil kunai) with which the Shape of urns, 



Mode of inter- 

App. IV. peojile in tins neighbourhood draw water from wells for their cultiva- 
tion. The urn is without handles, feet, or cover. It swells out 
towards the middle and terminates in a point, so that it is only when 
it is surrounded with earth that it keeps an upright position. The 
urns do much credit to the workmanship of the people by whom they 
were made, being made of better-tempered clay, better burnt, and 
much stronger than any of the pottery made in these times in this 
part of India. They would contain a human body easily enough in a 
doubled-up position, if it could be got inside, but the mouth is gene- 
rally so narrow that this would present some difficulty. One opinion 
is that the bones were denuded of flesh and separated before they 
were packed into the urns. Generally decay is found to have 
advanced so far that theories respecting the mode in which the body 
was put in can neither be verified nor disproved. Fragments only of 
the harder bones remain, and the urn seems to contain little more 
than a mass of earth. In one instance I found the bones partially 
petrified, and therefore almost perfect, though they had fallen asunder ; 
but this was the large eleven-feet urn referred to above, dis- 
covered at Korkai, so that in this instance it was conceivable that the 
body had been placed in it entire. The skull was nearly perfect— a 
skull of a low type. At Ilanji, near Courtallum, on opening an urn 
distinct traces of the shape of a skeleton were discovered. The skull 
was found resting on the sternum, and on each side of the sternum 
was a tibia. It appeared clear, therefore, in this case, that the body 
had been doubled up and forced in head foremost, though it was not 
clear how the shoulders could have got in. The bones were of the 
consistence of ochre, and crumbled to pieces when they were taken 
out. Nothing could be preserved but a piece of the skull and the 
teeth, which were those of an adult. Dr. Fry, Surgeon to the Eesi- 
dent of Travancore, who was present at the find, pointed out that 
the molars had been worn down by eating grain, and that the edges of 
the front teeth also had been worn down by biting some kind of 
parched pulse. Afterwards, on examining the mouths of some natives, 
I found their front teetli worn down a little in the same manner, and 
as they admitted, from the same cause. I have not noticed any trace 
of the bones in these urns having been calcined. I believe they were 
not. Cremation, I think, was not then in use. 

In addition to human bones a few small earthen vessels are found 
in most of the jars. Sometimes such vessels are arranged outside 
instead of being placed inside. These vessels are of various shapes, 
all more or less elegant, and all appear to have been highly polished. 
At first I supposed they had been glazed, but I have been informed 
by Dr. Hunter, late of the Madras School of Arts, that what 1 noticed 
\v;is a polish, not a true glaze. Whatever it was, I have not noticed 
anything of the kind in tho native pottery of these parts and these 
times. In many cases the polish or glaze is black, and the decay of 
these blackened vossels seems to have given rise to the supposition 
that the bones had sometimes been calcined. 
Description On the accompanying plate (see Indian Antiquary for October 1877) 

of contonts. ar0 sketches of five of these little vessels. "When these have been 

istics of the 

human re- 

HISTORY 01 281 

shown to natives, the}' say that one appears to have been an oil vessel, Apr. IV. 
and another a spittoon ! The use of the vessel with the lid is 
unknown. In these times such vessels would be made of bell-metal, 
not of pottery. We may conclude that the object in view in placing 
these vessels in the urn was that the ghost of the departed might be 
supplied with the ghosts of eatables and drinkables, together with the 
ghosts of suitable vessels for eating and drinking out of, in the other 
world. Small stones about the size of a cocoanut are generally found 
heaped round the mouth of the urn, and the discovery of such stones 
ranged in a circle, corresponding to the circular mouth of the urn, will 
be found to be a reason for suspecting the existence of an urn under- 

The natives of these times know nothing whatever of the people by 
whom this singular mode of sepulture was practised, or of the time 
when they lived. They do not identify them with the Samanas — 
that is, the Jainas and Buddhists lumped together — about whom 
tolerably distinct traditions survive, nor does there appear to be any- 
thing in or about the jars distinctively Jaina or Buddhistic. There is 
a myth current amongst the natives, it is true, respecting the people Native 
who were buried in these jars, but this myth seems to me merely a con- theories, 
f ession of their ignorance. They say that in the Tretayuga — that is, 
about a million of years ago— people used to live to a great age, but 
that however old they were they did not die, but the older they grew 
the smaller they became. They got so small at length that to keep 
them out of the way of harm it was necessary to place them in the little 
triangular niches in the walls of native houses in which the lamp is 
kept. At length when the younger people could no longer bear the 
trouble of looking after their dwarf ancestors, tbey placed them in 
earthen jars, put with them in the jars a number of little vessels 
containing rice, water, oil, &c, and buried them in a sort of cemetery 
near the village. 

The name by which these urns are called in the Tamil country does Interpreta- 
not throw much light on their origin. This name assumes three tlon of names, 
forms. In the Tamil dictionary it is madarnadakkattali. A more 
common form of this is madamadakkan-dali, the meaning of both 
which forms is the same, viz., the tali or large jar which boils over. 
The meaning attributed to this by some natives is rather far-fetched, 
viz., that the little people who were placed in them used sometimes 
to come out of the jars and sit about, as if they had boiled over out 
of them. The form of this word in use amongst the common p eople 
seems capable of a more rational interpretation. This is madamat- 
tan-dali, or more properly madonmattan-dfdi. Madonmatta (Sansk.) 
means ' insane,' but it is sometimes used in Tamil to mean ' very 
large,' as in the Tamil version of the Panchatantra, where it is used 
to denote a very large jungle. The great size of the urn being its 
principal characteristic, it would seem that the name in use amongst 
the common people is, after all, better warranted than that which is 
used by those who are regarded as correct speakers. 

Who the people were who buried their dead in these urns is a p eop i e j ntci ._ 

problem yet unsolved. The only points that can be regarded as cer- red not 
1 op pygmies. 


App. IV. tain are those which have been ascertained by the internal evidence 
of the urns and their contents themselves. From this it is clear that 
the people buried in them were not pygmies, but of the same size as 
people of the present time. How they were put in may be mysterious, 
but there is no doubt about the size of their bones. The skulls were 
similar to those of the present time. The teeth also were worn down, 
like those of the existing race of natives, by eating grain. In a jar 
opened by Mr. Stuart, then Acting Collector of Tinnevelly, and Dr. 
Jagor, of Berlin, at Aditta-nalliir near Pudugudi, a head of millet was 
found. The grain had disappeared, but the husks remained. In one 
opened by myself at the same place a small copper bangle was 
found. Copper is not now used for this purpose. 

The unknown people must have lived in villages, the jars being 
found, not one here and another there, but arranged side by side in 
considerable numbers, as woidd naturally be done in a cemetery or 
burial-ground. They were also a comparatively civilized people, as is 
evident from the excellence of their pottery, and the traces of iron 
implements or weapons which have sometimes been found in the jars. 
The conclusion from all this which seems to me most probable is that 
they were the ancestors of the people now living in the same neigh- 
bourhood. If this were the true explanation, it is singular that no 
relic, trace, or tradition of such a mode of sepulture has survived to 
the present day. And yet, if we were to adojit the supposition that 
they were an alien race, it would be still more difficult to conjecture 
who they were, where they came from, and why they disappeared. 
Whoever those people were, judging from the rites of sepulture 
prevailing amongst them, I think it may be regarded as certain that 
Not Hindus they were not ' Hindus ; ' that is, that they were not adherents of the 
by religion. Brahmanical religion commonly called Hindiiism. If so they must 
have lived at that early period when Brahmanical Hinduism was as 
yet unknown, or at least when it had not yet become the religion of 
the country. This supposition would carry the urns back to a high 
antiquity, possibly even an antiquity higher than the Christian era. 

I have myself seen these urns both in the Tinnevelly and Madura 
Districts and in Northern and Southern Travancore, that is. on both 
sides of the Southern Ghats, and I am anxious to ascertain in what 
other districts of India they are found. If the area within which they 
aro found can be accurately traced, some light may be thrown thereby 
on their history. 



Aiiindix V. I quote here, in confirmation of statements made in various places 

in the body of the work, an article which appeared in the Indian 

Antiquary for March 1877. 

identified " * v '^' t ''' 1 ' Korkai once many years ago, and, though my visit was 

a hurried our, yet from what I saw, and from the inquiries I made, I 


camo to the conclusion that Korkai (in Tamil properly Kolkai, euplio- Appendix V. 
nized into Korkai), though now so insignificant, was to be identi- 
fied with the KoA^ot of the Greeks, which Lassen had identified 
with Kllakarai, a place on the Ramnad or Madura coast. The Greeks 
came to KoA.^01 to purchase pearls, certainly soon after the Chris- 
tian era, probably many years before, and represented it as the 
headquarters of the pearl trade between Capo Kumarl and the place 
they called Kwpu, properly Koti, now Ramesvaram, which was also 
an emporium of the same trade. It must have been regarded as a 
considerable place at that time, seeing that from its name they called 
the Gulf of Manar the Kolchic Gulf. This was the Korkai to which 
all native traditions pointed as the cradle of South Indian civilization, 
the place where the three brothers Cheran, Cholan, and Pandiyan 
were said to have been born and brought up, and from whence they set 
forth to form dynasties and kingdoms, — or, as might more readily be 
admitted, the place where the rule of the Pandyas commenced, and 
from whence they afterwards migrated to Madura. The meaning of 
the name Korkai is ' an army, a camp.' The interest of this identi- Kayal. 
fication was heightened by the conclusion at which I arrived at tho 
same time, that an insignificant place called Old Kayal, about half- 
way between Korkai and the sea, was to be identified with the Cael 
of Marco Polo, the most important city and seaport on the eastern 
coast of India during the Middle Ages. (See Colonel Yule's Marco 
Polo.) The sites of two famous places were thus discovered in the 
same neighbourhood, and a glance at the geology of the neighbour- 
hood disclosed the reason why each had been abandoned in turn. 
Both places are situated on the delta of the Tamraparni, — Korkai 
within five, Kayal within two, miles of the sea, — and each was origi- 
nally on the sea-coast. As the silt accumulated in the soa near the 
mouth of the river, or as the land rose, or from both causes, Korkai 
was found at length to be too far inland for the convenience of a sea- 
borne trade, and Kayal (meaning a 'lagoon opening into the sea') 
rose in its stead on the sea-shore, and attained perhaps to still greater 
dimensions. Kayal carried on an immense direct trade with China 
and Arabia, the evidences of which — broken pieces of China and 
Arabian pottery— are found lying all over the open plain on which the Retirement of 
city stood. In time, however, through the continuous operation of the sea from 
the same causes, Kayal came to be too far from the sea ; and accord- a 

ingly, shortly after the Portuguese arrived on the Coromandel Coast, 
they abandoned Kayal, and established themselves instead at Tuticorin, 
which has ever since been the principal seaport of Tinnevelly, there 
being no river near to silt up the harbour and roads. It would seem 
as if Korkai, though probably never so important an emporium of 
trade as Kayal, must at one time have been nearly as large. This is 
proved by tho relics of pottery, &c, scattered about the country for 
miles, and especially by tho circumstance that places, such as Akka- 
salai ('the mint'), which are now at a distance from Korkai, are 
ascertained, by the inscriptions I have found on the walls of tho 
temples, to have been portions of Korkai originally 




at Korkai. 

Geology of 


AiiiMux V. " Whilst in Korkai and the neighbourhood I employed ten or twelve 
coolies for four days to niake excavations here and there, under the 
superintendence of one of my assistants ; whilst it was made the duty 
of the choir boys — much more a pleasure to them than a duty — to 
examine every shovelful of the earth that was thrown up, to see 
whether it contained any objects of interest. The Collector of the 
district kindly sent me a peon, to let the people of the place see that 
nothing illegal or improper was going to be done, and in return I 
sent him a list of the articles found, though unfortunately they were 
of no particular interest. 

" The geology of the place seemed to me more interesting than its 
antiqxuties. The whole of the country in this neighbourhood is 
included in the delta of the Tamraparni, the great river of Tinnevelly ; 
and this place is situated in the last formed portion of the delta. 
lowest and nearest the sea, so that the mode in which the delta was 
formed, which is doubtless more or less the mode in which all deltas 
have been formed, could be easily studied. The upper stratum is 
composed of stiff alluvial clay, which had been brought down by the 
river and deposited in the bed of the adjacent sea. Every portion of 
this alluvium contains sea-shells in great abundance, — not merely sea- 
shore shells, but deep-sea shells, such as the chatd- and the pearl 
oyster. So abundant are they that in places where the surface of the 
ground has been washed away by rain, and cultivation has not been 
carried on, the white shell-covered surface glitters almost like water 
in the moonlight, and in some places as you walk along the roads, 
especially near Maramangalam, the shells go crackling under your 
feet, as they would by the sea-shore when the tide is out. This being 
the last formed portion of the delta, the alluvial stratum is very 
shallow. The average depth cannot be more than six feet, and at the 
bottoms of tanks I have found it no more than three. Underneath 
this I invariably found a layer of grit-stone (called by the people 
1 salt-stone '), rarely more than a foot in thickness, composed of the 
larger grains of sea-sand, such as lie on the surface, mixed with com- 
minuted shells. This had evidently been the surface of the ancient 
sea-bed, for underneath I invariably came upon beautiful white sea- 
sand in smaller grains, containing great quantities of unbroken shells. 
Doubtless the grit-stone had been formed by the infiltration of the 
alluvium from above. I found it impossible to ascertain the depth of 
the sand, or what it rested on, for after digging into it for a few feet 
the hole always got filled with water, and tho water flowed in so fast 
that baling out was useless. Strange to say, some of the shells I 
found in this ancient sea-bed retained a portion of their original 
Recent colour. One in particular — a Conus — looked as if it had been alive 

appearance of 0H ] V a f ew years ago. What makes this so remarkable is that this 
portion of tho delta must have been inhabited at least 2,500 years 
ago, and it must have been many ages earlier when the deposition of 
the alluvium commenced. 
No traces ol " 1 hoped by making excavations in Korkai and the neighbourhood 
thoGreeka. tQ fin( j Bome ira , r ., ,,f )],, Greeks, but in this I was doomed to be 



disappointed. The ancient level of the village is about eight feet Appendix V. 
below its presenl level, which, of itself is a proof of great antiquity. 
When the diggers reached this depth they invariably found traces of 
human habitations, shreds of Indian pottery, Arc, but nothing of the 
nature I hoped to find. On the surface we found two Singhalese 
copper coins (I conclude them to be Singhalese from the management 
of the drapery), but the inscriptions were quite obliterated. I also 
found two images of Buddha, sitting, in his usual attitude of contem- 
plation. One of them was out in the fields, the other in the village. * ma £f of 
I suspected that the latter was worshipped, though it was known to 
belong to a different religion. The people strenuously denied this, 
but one morning when I happened to pass I saw a garland of flowers 
which had been placed by some person round its neck. The person who 
did so evidently thought that if ever Buddha got his head above water 
again, he had a chance of being remembered for good! The most 
interesting things that were found were three of those mysterious 
sepulchral urns which have hitherto puzzled everybody. The natives 
know nothing about them, and the common opinion amongst Euro- 
peans is that they pertained to a race which died out, but of which 
no relic remains except these urns. The urns are made of a pecu- 
liarly good variety of the ordinary pottery of the country, but there 
are always some little vessels found inside, some of which are beauti- 
fully shaped, with a polish or glaze which the potters of these days 
cannot imitate. Two of the urns I found contained no bones, but only 
traces of bone-dust ; but one, a monster urn, 1 1 feet in circumference Sepulchral 
— unfortunately found broken — contained a complete set of entire ums - 
human bones, including a perfect skull. The circumstances in which 
this urn was found were very interesting. The people to whom it 
belonged had dug down through the alluvial soil of the delta and the 
grit-stone till they came to the white sea-sand, and in this they had 
deposited the urn. The grit-stone had then partially reformed all 
round, and I found the cavity of the skull filled up with grit-stone. 
All the bones were more or less petrified. The notion "invariably 
entertained by the natives of these days is that the people buried in Petrified 
these urns were a race of pygmies, but the bones found in this urn human o 01108 - 
were admitted by the natives who were standing about when it was 
opened to be those of a full-grown man of the usual size. Strange 
to say, a deputation of women came to my tent one day for the 
purpose of seeing the bones. 

" I visited Old Kayal (Marco Polo's Gael) twice, and set my excava- Explorations 
tors at work for a day in a place about two miles from the present in K&yal. 
village, which represents only the western boundary of the ancient 
city. At a depth of three feet beneath the present surface they came 
on the ehunammed floor of a houso, but found nothing of importance. 
The extent of the site of Kayal was so great that it would take a 
month, instead of a single day merely, to explore it properly. I 
found, however, the whole surface of the ground, literally for miles, 
covered with evidences of the perfect truth of Marco Polo's statements 
respecting the trade of the place, confirmed by those of the Muham- 
madan historians According t< thosi statements, Kayal was 



China and 
pottery . 


Appendix V. frequented by great numbers of vessels from the Arabian coast and 
from China — {junks) — in one of which latter Marco Polo himself 
arrived ; and accordingly I picked up everywhere on the open plain 
broken pieces of China porcelain of all qualities, and broken pieces of 
Arabian pottery. I could easily, if I had chosen, have collected a 
cart-load, but the pieces had been broken again and again by the 
plough and the feet of bullocks, so that, though the material in each 
case was obvious enough, all trace of the shape of the article had 
disappeared. Old Kayal, or what remains of it, is now inhabited 
almost exclusively by Labbis (native Muhammadans) and Eoman 
Catholic fishermen. 

" The people of these parts, as generally throughout India, have not 
the remotest notion of the object Europeans have in view in searching 
for antiquities. Whatever we may say, they think our real object is 
to endeavour to discover hidden treasures ; and this they consider a 
very risky business, for all hidden treasures are in the custody of 
demons, who will not allow them to be rifled with impunity. At 
Korkai, before my explorations commenced, many of the people 
expressed an earnest hope that I woidd not make any excavations 
near any temple or image, because, although very likely there might 
be treasure underneath, the demons in charge would be so enraged 
that they woidd destroy the village outright. I assured the rjeople 
that I would take care not to come near any temple or image, and I 

scrupulously kept my word. My old friend M of Arumuga- 

mangalam professes to have received a dreadful fright some } r ears ago 
from the demons that watch over hidden treasure, when he helped 
the then Collector of Tinnevelly, Mr. Packle, to make some explora- 
tions near Kayal. The night after the first day's exploration a she- 
demon appeared to him in a dream, and asked him in terrible tones 
how he dared to meddle with her treasures. In the morning when he 
awoke, he found — dreadful to relate — that his feet were fastened 
round the back of his neck in such a way that he was unable to loose 
them without assistance ! I need scarcely add that no further part in 
the exploration was taken by him. I wanted him to tell me the story ; 
but he was afraid, I suppose, I should laugh at him. and so I failed ; 
but he told it quite gravely to my assistants, and has told the story so 
often that he evidently believes it himself now. Even Europeans, it 
seems, are not quite so free from danger as they suppose. Many 
years ago there was a Collector of Tinnevelly, it is said, who deter- 
mined to dig for the treasure which was believed to have been hidden 
in a certain place by a woman who intended to make use of it in some 
subsequent birth, and which for the time being, of cotirse, was under 
the custody of demons. lie was warned that something dreadful would 
happen, but, being a European, he did not care. lie pitched his tent 
near the place, and the whole of the first day was occupied by himself, 
his peons, and his coolies in digging. At length, as night drew on, 
they came to a carefully built stone receptacle; and. justly concluding 
that this was the place where the treasure was hidden, the Collector 
861 a watch over it and went to Bleep in his tent, with the intention of 
opening the -tone receptacle the next morning. The next morning 

occurrence to 
an explorer. 


came, and the Collector found himself, not in his tent, but in bed in Appendix V. 
his own bungalow many miles away at Palamcotta ; the tent was found 
pitched at the other side of the river, and of the excavations that had 
been made the previous day not a trace remained !" 

Discovery of Arabic Coins. 

Some years ago a considerable quantity of Muhammadan gold coins 
was discovered in Tinnevelly near an old road leading from Kayal. 
So far as appears all the coins — which with one exception are 
Arabic — belonged to the 13th century A.D. and probably therefore 
were brought to India by Arab merchants some time before Marco 
Polo's visit in 1292. They were discovered by coolies engaged in 
digging the southern channel leading from Pudugudi, at the southern 
end of the Srivaikunthani anicut, in the direction of Tiruchendur. 
The nearest village to the spot was Tentirupati or Tentiruperai, the 
nearest town Alvar Tirunagari. The channel was being carried 
through a road when the vessel containing the coins was discovered 
several feet beneath the surface. Kayal lies to the north of the 
Tamraparnl near the sea, and this place lay to the south some distance 
inland, but as the road under which they were found led from Kayal 
to Kayalpattanam and Kulasekharapattanam, places where Arab 
merchants resided and traded even then, I think we are warranted in 
connecting the find with Marco Polo's Kayal. Doubtless the treasure 
was buried in the hurry of some alarm of robbers or local war, 
and we may conclude from the owners never having returned and 
taken it away that the alarm proved only too well founded, and that 
the owners lost their lives as well as their treasure. 

I here quote the account of the discovery furnished to the Board of 
Revenue by Mr. E. K. Puckle, Collector of the district, on the 25th 
October 1873 : 

" On the 25th December (1872) last a gang of labourers while 
engaged on cutting a channel connected with the Strivaiguntam 
Anicut Project came upon a large copper pot filled with gold ingots 
and coins. The pot was of large size, capable of holding six Madras 
measures of grain, and from the marks inside it must have been filled 
with treasure. 

" 2. The probable value of the treasure is estimated at a lakh of 

"3. The labourers divided the spoil and made off with it, but the 
matter soon became public and the Tahsildar succeeded in recovering 
Rupees 8,000 worth of coin and ingots. This was mostly recovered 
from a little girl who ran away from her house with a chatty which 
fell, broke, and scattered the gold in front of the officials who were 
coming to search. 

" 4. The rest was quickly buried or melted down, and all traces of it 
were lost. I am told, however, that the share of one of the labourers, 
which he deposited with a kavalgar, who afterwards denied having 
received it, was worth 900 rupees, so, as there were twenty labourers 
besides headmen to share the spoil, the find must have been very 


Appendix V. " 5. On hearing of the discovery I notified the course to he pursued 
under the Act, hut nothing was given up. The treasure recovered 
was deposited with the Civil Court, and the case was inquired into 
after due notification. The Court has decided, as per proceeding 
enclosed, that the terms of the Act were sufficiently observed and that 
the treasure should he restored to the finders. 

" 6. This treasure was buried in the sandy tract between the coast 
and the large town of Alwartirunagari, some fifteen miles from the 
mouth of the Tambrapurni. It was found near an old avenue leading- 
inland from what was once the city of Kayal, and this treasure was 
probably buried some hundreds of years ago. 

" 7. The coins are principally Arabic, but one is European. This, 
as far as can be ascertained, is a coin of Joanna of Castile, A.D. 1236. 
Some of the Arabic coins are still older : one hears the impress of the 
Mahomedan year 71, and another bears the name of Sultan Salaudeen, 
who may be the Saladin of history." 

I here add the description of the coins sent to the Madras Govern- 
ment Museum by Mr. Puckle, kindly furnished to me by Dr. G. Bidie, 
Superintendent of tho Museum. 

" The coins are 31 in number, and the inscriptions are in Arabic or 
Kufic, with one exception, viz., that of a coin of Peter of Aragon, the 
legend on which is Latin in Gothic character. All the Kalifat coins, 
with the exception of nine, have been deciphered and belong to the 
13th century. So of course does that of Peter of Aragon, it being 
after 1276. There is a doubt about some of the dates, but none are 
apparently later than 1300." 









25 1 

Abdurrazzak, Quatremere's publication 


Abington, Major, App. 

Abiral Khan 

Achehan-kdvil, pass 

Adam's Bridge . . 

Adansonia Digitate at Taticorin 

Adithiya Nurmah, App. 

Aditta-nallur, 5 sepulchral urns at, App. 282 

' Agastier,' Agastya'a hill .. 6, 15 

Agastva, App. . . . . . . . . 277 

Agnew, Colonel 94, 203 

Ahava Malla, Rajendra Chola's victory 

Aiyangars, App. 
Alam Khan, a soldier of fortune 

— deputed by Chanda Saheb to take 

charge of Tinnevelly 
Alangaud, App. 
Alauddin, his army 
Algapa (Alagappa) Mudali 

— 126, App. " 

Alleppey, App. 
AHi Saheb 
Alvar Kurichi 

— Tirunagari 
Alvar Tinnevelly (Alvar Tirunagari), 

the Dutch troops proceed to 

— plundered by Kattaboma's people . . 

— named after the Tinnevelly Alvar, 


Ambalakadu . . . . 


Amir Khusru, the Muhammadan histo- 


Anicuts, list of those in Tinnevelly on 
the Tamraparni 

Anjengo, Yusuf receives help from . . 

— letters from Madras to Bombay sent 


— Orine said to have been born at 
Anna Deva Raja, king of Vijayanaga- 

Antonio Criminalis, Xavier's successor, 

his death 
Anw ir-u-din 

— appointed Nawab 
Arabic coins, discovery of, App. 
Aramboly, pass 

— App 

Argalic Gulf, the, or Palk Strait 

Argalon, a district 


Ariyanayakapuram, anient 

Arjuna, his intermarriage with the 

Pandyaa .. .. ,. .. 1! 





. 78 
. 263 
34, 49 
. 114 
. 254 
. 263 
. 115 
. 115 
. 79 












Arnold, Father 233 

Arumugamangalam, App. . . . . 286 

Arumugam Pillay, App. . . . . 253 

Arya Nayaka . . . . . . . . 67 

Aryans . . . . . . . . . . 1 

Asoka, his inscription at Girnar . . 9 

Atabek Abu Bakr 39 

Aitchison, his Treaties, App. . . . . 270 

Ati-Vira-rama Pandya . . . . 27 

Ati-Vira Parakrama Pandya . . 49 

Augustus, the Pandyas embassy to . . 16 

Avudeiyarpuram, Poligar of . . 95 

Avur 241 

Aycottah, App. .. .. ..261 

Babhruvahana . . . . . . ..13 

Bada Saheb 87 

Badagas . . . . . . . . . . 47 

— motives of the . . . . . . 70 

— inroads of the . . . . 69 

— ravages of the . . . . 69 

— explanation of the hostility of the. 71 

Baggott, Mr . . . . 83 

Bahrein, one of the isles in the Persian 

Gulf 39 

Baldaeus, a Dutch Missionary . . 237 

Ballalas, the, kings of Dwara-samu- 

dra 30, 34 

— defeat of . . . . . . . . 44 

— end of the dvnasty of . . 44 

Ballard, Mr., App. " 264 

Balmain, Mr 162 

Bannerman, Major .. .. 94, 166 

— events preceding his expedition . . 173 

— his letter to the Secretary to Gov- 

ernment . . . . . , . . 183 

— particulars of his expedition .. 183 

— his success .. .. .. .. 193 

— the first representative of the Bri- 

tish Government in Travancore, 


Baobab, an African tree at Tuticorin 
Barbosa, a Portuguese Captain 

— his information 
Barlow, Sir G., App. .. 
Barretto, Bishop of Cochin 
Barrington, Captain 
Bassorah, letters sent home vid 
Batavia, the Museum at 
Berkatoolah (Barakat-ulla) 
Beschi, Father . . . , 

— a Tamil scholar 

— memoirs of 

— his stations 

— his 1 if . - in danger 

— acquired his Tamil in Tinnevelly 

— his flight on the approach of Mah- 


— his last days at Manapar 

— his de ith 


















24 2 



Beschi, his grave . . . . . . 243 

— period after . . . . . . . . 243 

Bettelar 40 

Bettigo, the, of the Greeks . . . . 11 

Bhagavati . . . . . . ..21 

Bharadwaja Gothram . . . . 65 

Bharata, his behaviour to his brother 

Rama an instance of filial duty 155 
Bidie, Dr. G., Superintendent of the 

Madras Museum, App 288 

Bilcliffe, Captain 142 

— Commandant at Pal amcottah .. 144 

— directed to make over Tuticorin . . 155 
Birch, Lieutenant . . . . . . 205 

Birdhul .. ..34 

Blacker, Captain .. .. ..152 

— his battalion placed at Sankaranai- 

yanarkovil . . . . . . . . 158 

— wounded . . . . . . . . 205 

Board of Revenue constituted at Mad- 
ras in 1786 158 

— Letter to the Madras Government 

from the .. .. .. ..175 

Bombay, learned Natives of . . . . 2 

— postal communication between 

Madras and .. .. .. 139 

Brahmans from the north . . . . 4 

— self-sacrifice of one at Srivilliputtur 113 
Braithwaite, Major .. .. ..140 

Brandolini, Father, founder of the con- 
gregation at Vadakankulam . . 240 

Bridges, Colonel, Commandant of Pa- 

lamcottah .. .. .. .. 158 

Brihat-samhita, one of the works of 

Varaha-mihira . . . . . . 26 

Broun, Dr., Astronomer . . . . 6 

Browne, Captain .. .. ..138 

— engages the Poligars against Hyder 139 

— ordered to Madras . . . . . . 139 

Buddhamitra, the Buddhist Gramma- 
rian . . . . . . . . 29 

Bukka Rayar, the first Rayar of Vija- 

yanagara . . . . . . 52 

Burnell, Dr 27, 29 

— his researches . . . . . . 31 

— his succession of Cholas . . 32 
Buxy (Bakhshi) a Muhammadan Com- 
mander-in-Chief .. .. ..133 


Calancandan (Kollamkondan), the Poli- 

gar of 102, 133 

Calcutta, learned Natives of . . . . 2 

Caldwell, Colonel 66 

Caliar Covil (Kalaiyarkovil) .. ..210 

Calliaud, Captain .. ., ..100 

— his plans . . . . . . ..113 

"Cambo-Naig" (Kamaiya Nayaka) .. 139 
Campbell, Colonel Donald, his cam- 
paign . . . . . . ..135 

— his care for the people . . . . 137 

— Sir Archibald, App. .. .. 261 

— Captain Graham .. .. ..151 

" Canadian, "anicut .. .. ..44 

Cape Comorin . . . . . . . . 3 

— as known to ihr Greeks .. .. 10 

— its description in the Pcriplus . . 19 

Casamajor, Mr., introduced spices at 

Courtallura . . . . . . 9,160 

Cashmere, Raja-taranginl of . . . . I 

" Cawn, the," the Nawab's Manager. . 156 
Ceylon, Maha-wanso of . . . . 1 

— the Shanars from . . . . . . 4 

— later names of . . . . . . 9 

— the great reservoirs of . . 14 

— help obtained from . . . . 202 
Chalmers, Colonel, App. . . . . 263 
Chalukya, the country . . . . 28 
Chanda Saheb at Trichinopoly . . 85 

— his treachery . . . . . . 85 

— seizes the kingdom . . . . 86 

— invasion of the south, App. . , 256 
Chandra-sekhai'a, king of Madura . . 55 
Chandragiri, the forts of Velur and . . 48 

— grant of Madras to the English by 

the Raja of . . . . 50 

Chennappa, the name of the founder of 

Madras 50 

Cbera-Maha Devi, Sathram at . . 65 

Cheras, the legendary origin of the . . 12 

— boundary between the Pandyas and 

the . . . . . . . . . . 25 

Cheran Perumal Rajah . . 65 

" Cheroker " (Servaikar), or Minister 

of Shivagangai . . . . ..170 

Chera-Chola Pandyeswaram, App. . . 251 
Chin and Machin . . . . 39 

Chintamani, the, App. .. ... .. 278 

Chitrangada, Arj una's wife .. .. 13 

Chittar, the 8, 1 1 

Chokkampatti . . . . . . 98 

— siege of the fort . . . . . . 149 

— support given to the Government by 

the Poligar ot 1 79 

Cholas, the history of the . . . . 2 

— legendary origin of the . . . . 12 

— their occupation . . . . 27 

— conquest over the . . . . . . 48 

Cbola, Rajendra . . . . 27 

— Karikala 29 

— Vlra 29 

— Vikrama . . . . . . 29 

— Pandyas . . . . . . 30 

— Sundara Pandya . . . . 30 

Christians, the Native . . . . . . 199 

Clarke, Lieutenant, the murder of . . 177 
Clason, Lieutenant . . . . . . 203 

Olive, Lord 180 

Clorinda 244 

Cochin, the Portuguese at . . 68 

— embassy of the Paravas to 68 

— printing at . . . . 72 
Cochrane, Mr., the first Collector of 

Tinnevclly alone .. .. ..231 

Colchic Gulf, the 18 

Coleroon, properly Kollidam . . . . 18 

Colombo, a Dutch force from . . 124 

— spices brought to Tinnevelly from. 141 
Columbus . . . . . . 23 

Colt Raja, the 14 1 

" Collerics," who they were .. .. 103 

— description of armed .. ..103 

— assemblage of .. .. .. 138 

Oomari, kingdom of . . . . . . 67 

"Combutur" .. .. .. ..77 

Comftri (properly Kamudi) .. .. 209 



University of 



Comrah (Kamudi) 
Convocation of the 

Madras in 1879 
Cooke, Captain 

— ordered to Madras 

Cornwallis, Lord, Governor-General, 
an account of the conduct of the 
Tinnevelly Poligars sent to 

Cosmas Indicopleustes 

Courtallum, falls of 

— spices introduced at, by Mr. 


— Trikudam, a poetical name of 

— temple at 
dimming. Paymaster 
C unningham, Ensign 
Cuppage, Colonel, App. 


Dallas, Lieutenant 
Dalavay Mudali 

— the Hindu renter 
Dalrymple, Lieutenant-Colonel 

Daust Ali 

David, the first Shanar Protestant 

Deva, caste title of Maravas . . 
Dey, Lieutenant H. 
Dhairyanatha Svami (yar), Native 

name adopted hy Beschi 
Dhanush koti 
Dighton, Captain 
D'Lanoy, Captain, App. 
Doctrina Christiana 
Donald Camphell, Major 

— officer in command in Madura 

Durga, the goddess 


Dutch, Tuticorin under the 

— factories 

— Tuticorin taken by the 

— monopoly in the fishery 

— alliance with Poligars against the 


— invasion of the 

— force from Colombo 

— their estimate of Hyder 

— their alliance with the Poligars 

— meditated cession of Tinnevelly to 

the , . . . . , 

— intolerance of the 

— the kingdom of 

— Ramanuja's flight to 

— list of the kings of . . 

— the Kannadi kings of 


. 142 





























Easaltaver (probably Isvara Devar) . . 121 
Edeyengoody, pestilential fever near, 

App. .." 271 

Eidington, Captain, succeeds Captain 

Cooke . . . . . . , . 140 


Elayirampannai. the Poligar of . . 178 

Elliot's Muhammadan Historians . . 35 
Elphinstone, Colonel . . . . . . 149 

English, the Dutch alliance with Poli- 
gars against the . . . . . . 82 

— garrison . . . , . . . . 91 
Epic poems or Puranaa . . . , l 
Epiodoros, the island of , . 20 
Ettaiyapuram, Zemindar of . . . . 49 

— origin of 49 

— rebellion of . . . . . . 59 

— the Poligar of .. .. ..100 

— the great rival of Panjalamkurichi. 173 

— assistance of .. .. ., ..184 
Ettappa Nayaka 173 


Ferishta .. .. .. ., ..44 

Flint, Major, attempts to reduce Poli- 
gar fort 133 

— his unsuccessful campaign .. ..134 
Flos Sanctorum . . . . , , 72 
Foulsum, Ensign .. .. ,. 133 
Francis Mancias . . . . . . 76 

— Xavier's letter to , . . . 234 
Eraser, Lieutenant . . . . . , 204 
Frederic, Csesar, a Venetian merchant. 73 
French, the, Yusuf's negotiations with. 129 

— treachery of their commander .. 129 
Frischman, Captain, Commandant at 

Palamcotta .. .. .. 132, 138 

Fry, Dr ' 280 

Fullarton, Colonel, his description of 
•Tinnevelly 106 

— invited by Mr. Irwin to reduce the 

Poligars . . . . . . . , 148 

— marches into Tinnevelly . . . . 149 

— attacks Panjalamkurichi . . . . 149 

— attacks Si vagiri .. .. ..151 

— success of his expedition . . . . 153 

— his threat .. .. .. ..153 

— Torin's opinion of the results of his 

lenity 160 


Gangadaram . . . . . . ..113 

Gangaikkondan, a station on the Tinne- 
velly line of rail . . . . . . 31 

— battle at . . . . , . ..112 

Gardiner, Captain .. .. ..152 

Gibbings, Captain .. .. ., 145 

Gilchrist, Lieutenant . . . . . . 204 

Gnana-sambandha, a great Saiva 

teacher . . . . . , . . 32 

Goanese Church at Tuticorin . . 78 

Gopala Pillai 65 

Graham, Major .. .. ,. ..217 

Grant, Lieutenant James . . . , 200 

Greeks, first visited India . . . . 9 

— the Solen of the . . . . . . 10 

— the Bettigo of the . . . . . , \ 1 

— information about Korkai furnished 

by the _ 17 

— Cape Comorin as known to the . . 19 

— Paumben as known to the .. 21 




and Madura 

Greeks, " The Pandion 

as known to the 
— courageous act of a mariner of the. 
Groves, Mr., landed at Tuticorin 
Guerrero, his "Relation" of the Mis 

Gurukkalpatti, Beschi imprisoned at . . 


Halcott, Captain 

Haleyabidu, " the old abode " of the 


Han bury, Mr., App. 


Hanxleden, Father 

Harper, Captain, sets out to the relief 

of Kalakadu 

— in command of Major Flint's rear 


— appointed to establish a cantonment 

in Sankaranaiyanarkovil 

Hastings, Governor-General, endea- 
vours to enter into a treaty with 
the Dutch 

Hazard, Captain 

Henrique Henriquez, Father, buried at 

Hepburn, Mr., Collector, App. ., 

Heracles, the Indian 

Heron, Colonel, his expedition 

— took Kovilgudi 

— his dishonourable conduct . . 

— his fruitless delay 

— his fate 
Hewitt, Major, App. 
Hindus, insults offered to 
Hippalus, a Greek mariner, his coura- 
geous act 

Hobart, Lord 

" Hookoometron," Raja (Hukumat 

Hopkins, Captain, from Vellore, suc- 
ceeds Captain Cooke 

Horslcy, Colonel 

Hough, Chaplain at Palamcotta 

Hughes, Mr., his screw 

— his account of the last Poligar war. 
■ — his opinion 

Hume, Surgeon, App. 

Hunter, Dr., App. 

Ilurmuz, one of the isles of Persian 


Hussein Mahomed Khan 

Hyder Ali, his communication with the 


— behaviour of the Poligars towards . . 

— Dutch estimate of 

— Travancore aid against, App. 

— Hazardinari, a Muhamniadan army 





























Ibn Batuta, Commissioner 
Emperor of Delhi . . 

from the 


Iktibar Khan, the XawaVs Manager in 

Tinnevelly .. ., .. ..156 

Ilanji, urns discorered at, App. . . 280 

Innes, Colonel, junction of Colonel 

Martinz with his force , . . . 210 

Innis, Lieutenant .. .. ..91 

Irwin, Mr. . . . . . . . . 82 

— Mr. Proctor's successor . . . . 143 

— commission to . . . . . . 146 

— instructions to . . . . . . 146 

— enters on his duties . . . . . , 147 

— invites Colonel Fullarton . . . . 148 

— his policy .. .. ., ..154 

— his forebodings . . . , , , 156 


Jackson, Mr., Collector .. .. 165 

— his proceedings disapproved . . 174 

— his severity . . . . . . . . 176 

— his character . . . . . . 177 

Jacobs, Captain .. .. ..151 

Jaga Vira Ettappa Nayakar . . . . 236 

Jagor, Dr., stone implements taken to 

Berlin by . . . . . . 4 

App. 282 
Jainas, Sundara Pandya's zeal against 

the 32 

Jesuits, letters of the . . . . 55 

Joannes Gonsalves, printer of Tamil . . 72 


Kadalgudi, failure of attack on .. 198 
Kafur, his invasion in 131 1 .. ..42 
Kaittar 160 

— Kattaboma executed at .. ..183 

— force assembled at . . . . 205 

— proclamation of Major Bannerman 

written from . . . . . . 188 

— interview with the Tinnevelly Poli- 

gars at . . , . . . . . 190 

— R. C. congregation at . . . . 236 
K&laiyarkovil, the capture of .. 216 

— meaning of . . . . . . 220 

— attack on the place . . . . 220 

— description of . . . . . . 221 

— events that followed the capture of. 221 
Kalakadu, incursions of the Travancore 

troops into the districts about . . Ill 

— taken by Mahfuz Khan . . ..116 

— wholly assumed by Travancore .. 126 

— protection of the country of . . 132 

— Captain Harper sets out to the relief 

of 132 

— held by Travancorians .. ..132 

— tho Travancore troop6 retire from. . 132 

— Vira P&ndyan Palace at, App. .. 251 
— regained, App. .. .. .. 257 

— Travancorians' retreat from, App . . 257 

— the claim to, App. .. .. .. 259 

Kallars, country of the .. ..49 

Kales Dewar, the 30 

Kalhatu, one of the isles of Persian 

Gulf 39 




K&lidftsa 7 

Kalinga, country, or Northern Circara. 28 
Kamaiyanayakanpatti . . . . 236 

Kambar, the Tamil poet . . 28 

— his Ramayana . . . . 29 
Kampana Udaiyar . . . . 52 
Kamudi, fort at 209 

— attack on .. .. .. ..215 

Kanikkaras (hereditary proprietors of 

land), hill tribes .. .. .. 4 

Kannadian anicut . . . . . . 64 

— its legend 

Kantimati 88 

Karikala Ch&la 29 

— Chola, an ardent Saiva . . . . 43 
Kamataka . . . . . . 44 

Karttakkal 62 

Karuttaiva, the last Kattaboma Naya- 
ka ". . .. .". .. . . 172 

Kattaboma Nayaka, history of the 

family 172 

— his treaty with the Dutch . . . . 154 

— conduct of . . 173 

— breaks away from the Collector .. 174 

— defended by Government .. ..174 
— condemned .. .. .. .. 175 

— Mr. Lushington's dealings with . . 178 

— taken 187 

— assembly to witness the execution of 187 

— sentence on read .. .. .. 187 

— execution of . . . . . . 188 

— reasons for his taking refuge in 



Katyayana, the immediate successor of 

Panini . . . . . . 12 

Kaval, different kinds of . . . . 104 

Kavalgars, the, Lushington's dealings 

with 224 

— remuneration of . . . . . . 224 

Kayal 18 

— visited by Marco Polo . . 37 

— Portuguese notice of . . . . 37 

— meaning of . . . . 37 

— trade of 38 

— Marco Polo's notice of . . 38 

— the principal port of Ma'bar . . 39 

— relics of . . . . . . ..41 

— the king of Travancore at . . . . 67 

— explorations at, App. . . . . 285 
Kayalpattanam . . . . 41 
Kearns, Mr., his account of Major 

Bannerman's expedition .. ..179 

— substance of the last canto of the Pan- 

jalamkurichi Sindhu as given by 208 

Kgrak 12 

Khan Saheb, see Muhammad Yusuf 

Khurasan, Irak and . . . . 39 

Kilakarai . . . . . . 40 

Kis, an island in the Persian Gulf . . 38 
Knowle, Lieutenant . . . . . . 195 

Knox, Captain, App. . . . . . . 261 

Kola 12 

Kulotunga Chola 29 

Kollamkondan .. .. .. ..119 

Kollarpatti, capture of .. .. 101 

— imprisonment of tbe Poli^ar at . . 154 

— assistance given to Kattaboma by 

the Poligar of 178 








Kopparakesara Varma 


Korkai, excavations at, App. 

— geology of 

— the first settlement of civilized men 

in Tinnevelly 

— Cheran, Cholan and Paudyan at 

— information about it furnished by 

the Greeks . . 

— situation of 

— Kayal and 

— discovery of a large urn at, App. 

— explorations at, App. 

— identified, App. 
Korkai-all, ruler of Korkai 
Kory, identity of Kolis and 
Kottar, in South Travancore 

— capture of, App. 
Kovilgudi, Heron took 
Krishna Rayar . . . . . . 48 



Kubja, or Sundara, the last Pandya 

— or Kun 
Kuda-nadu, App. 
Kulasekhara, the supposed founder of 

the Pandya dynasty 
Kulasekhara Deva 
Kumaramuttu Ettappa Nayaka 
Kuinara Krishnappa Nayaka i. 
Kumara Krishnappa Nayaka : . 
Kumara-guru-para-Tambiran, App. 
Kumari or Kumari, in Indian literature. 

— not a river, but a place on the sea 

Kumaraswami Nayaka, the dumb boy 
Kunti, the mother of the Pandava 

brothers . . . . . . . . 7 

Rural, the, App. . . . . 277, 278 

Kurugur (or Kurugapuri), old name of 

Alvar Tirunagari, App. 
Kuttralam, meaning of the name of 
























Landon, Mi-., Collector .. .. 162 

Lawrence, General . . . . 93 

— his force . . . . . . ..129 

Light, Mr. William, Paymaster at 

Palamcotta .. .. ..141 

— spices introduced into Tinnevelly 

by .. ..141 

Lockman, his travels of the Jesuits . . 79 

Lunchoten, his map . . . . 78 

Lushington, his letter .. .. ..125 

— Collector 166 

— his dealings with Kattaboma . . 178 

— his policy . . . . . . . . 215 

— his dealings with the Kavalgars . . 223 
Lyne, Lieutenant . . . . . . 200 






Mannar, settlements in the Gulf of . . 


— baptisms in 


Macartney, Lord 


Mannftrkovil, the pagoda at, App. 


— commission issued by 


Mapillai Vanniyan . . . , 


Macaulay, Major 


— Dgvar 


— moves to Kaittar 



■ — Resident in Travancore, App. 


Maran, the 


Ma'bar, origin of term 


Maravas, the, caste peculiar to Southern 

MacDowel, General, App. 




Machln and Chin 


— from the Ramnad country 


Mackenzie, MSS. 


— of Nangungri 


Macleod, appointed Collector of Madura 


— exception of them 


Madhava Rau, Sir 


Marchand, a French Commander 


Madras, postal communication between 

Marco-Polo, the Venetian traveller . . 


Bombay and 


— his Sonder Bandi 


Madura, Tinnevelly originally a por- 

— Kayal visited by 


tion of 


— his notice of Kayal . . 


— visit of Arjuna to 


— his arrival in India 


— as known to the Greeks 


Marten, Mr., appointed Paymaster 


— Purana 


Martin, Father, a French Missionary . . 


— the Sthala Purana of 


— his account of the pearl fishery in 

— mosque in . . . . . . . . 




— the Nayakas of 


Martinz, Colonel 


— list of the Nayakas of 


— his junction with Colonel Innes's 

— end of the rule of the Nayakas of . . 


force . . . . , . 


— importance of 


Marudappa Sgrvaikaras 


— fears for 


Marudu, origin of the title 


— to be defended 


— Velli 


— financial value of 


- - Chinna 


— surrender of 


Marudur, anicut . . . . 66, 


— College, App. 


Marudus, the village of the 


Maha-wanso, of Ceylon 


— explanation of the hostility of the . . 


Note . . 


— end of the 


Mahabharata, the Tamraparni in the. . 


Max Muller, Professor 


Maha Raja Prathapa Rudra of Velur . . 


Maxwell, Colonel, his expedition 


Mahendra (Mahgndragiri) 


— his settlement 


Mahfuz Khan, his expedition . . 


Mayilfirum Perumal Mudali 


— his policy 




— defeat of his troops 


McLeod, Major, disputes between him 

• — his victory near Tinnevelly 


and the Paymaster 


— his misgovernment 


M'Donell, Captain 


— Puli Devar's dealings with 


Meckern, Mr., the Dutch Governor at 

— takes the field 




— his attempted treachery 


Megasthenes, information collected 

— his exactions 


.by •• . •• 


— proposals about 


Meir Jaffier, his behaviour 


Mahrattas, at Trichinopoly 


Melmandai, the side of the Govern- 

— arrival of the army of the 


ment taken by the Poligar of 


— in possession of sovereign power . . 


— flight to Ramnad of the Poligar of. . 


Mailapur, or St. Thome 


— reward to the Poligar of 


Malayarasas (hill kings) 


Melur, district, harassed with Colle- 

Malik Naib, or Malik Kafur . . 

ries . . 


— his invasion 


— Mr. Irwin at 


Malik-ul-Islam Jamaluddin 




Manapar (Manapadu) 


Michael Vaz, Father 


— demolition of the Dutch factory at.. 


— Paravas baptised by 


Manapar . . 




— the Dutch force landed at 


Mir Ghulam Hussein Khan 


Mangalam, advance of forces to 


Missions, Roman Catholic 




— on the coast in 1600 




— of the Church of England 


Manika Bhatta, App. 


Monson, Colonel 


Maniyatchi, the side of the Govern- 



ment taken by the Poligar of 


Mooro, Mr. 


— flight to Palamcotta of the Poligar 

Morari Rau 




Mudali the renter, his proposals 


— roward to the Poligar of 


Mudali. the agreement with the 


Mannar, the pearl fishery in the Gull 

— influential position of the 




Mudalur, establishment of 





Muhammad AH, Nawab of Arcot, the 

protege of the English . . . . 85 

— Toghlak 42 

— Yusuf Khan, career of . . 92 

— called to help the English .. 118 

— his expedition against the Poligars. 1 1 9 

— alliance of the king of Travancore 

and 120 

— receives supplies .. ., ..122 

— his return . . . . . . . . 123 

— his enforced inactivity .. ..123 

— his preparation against the Dutch. . 124 

— his operations renewed . . . . 125 

— with the Puli Devar . . . . 125 

— his administration . . . . . . 126 

— his rebellion .. .. .. 127 

— his offer to rent the province . . 127 

— his position .. .. .. . ,~127 

— suspicions of the Government of his 

designs . . . . . . . . 128 

— his reasons for rebelling .. ..128 

— his forces .. .. .. ..128 

— his negotiations with the French . . 129 

— his death 129 

— results of his death .. .. ..130 

— his successors . . . . . . 130 

— state of Madura after his death . . 131 

— events following his death . . . . 132 

— Mosque of 130 

— Barki 96 

— Mainach . . . . . . . . 96 

Muhammadan, invasion of Travan- 
core 87 

Muhammadans, their historians . . 32 

— interregnum . . . . . . 42 

— pain the upper hand for a time . . 42 

Mukkani . . . . 12 

Mukkuvas, the . . . . . . 233 

Munro, Colonel, App. . . . . 270 

Murdoos, the 210,212 

Musgrove, Colonel .. .. ..115 

Mu8Soo Mursan (Monsieur Marchand) . . 130 
Muttukrishnapuram, the temple at . . 90 

Muttusami Pillai, A 239 

Mysoreans, hostilities of the . . . . 294 

Nabi cawn catteck (Nabi Khan 

Kattak) 96, 111 

Nachiyar Kovil, App. . . . . 278 

Nadamundulum (Nadumandalam) . . 99 
Naduvakurichi .. .. .. 117 

Nagalapuram, assistance given to Katta- 

boma by the Poligar of .. ..178 

— Major Bannerman takes possession of. 185 
Nagama Nayaka . . . , 55 

Nagercoil, App. . . . . . . 256 

— capture of, App. . . . . . . 268 

Naglppore (Nagalapuram), Colonel 

Fullarton's march through . . 149 

N&ladiy&r, App. .. .. .. 277 

Naluknttai, an expedition planned for 

the reduction of the Poligar at . . 140 
Namasivavam. author of the Panja- 

hmkurchi Sindhu , . . . 207 


Nammalvftr, App. .. .. .. 277 

Nanguneri, the Maravars of . . . . 223 

— exception of the Maravars in 
Nanji-nadu, the Tamil portion of 

South Travancore . . . . 3, 25 

— App. . . 251 

Narasinga, kingdom of . . 49 

Nattukkdttai Chetties, an old custom 

prevalent amongst the . . 24 

Nattam 97 

Nawab, the, of Arcot . . 61 

— commencement of the rule of the. 87 

— the rival Nawab . . . . 87 

— revenue administration in Tinne- 

velly by the .. .. ..125 

— complaints of Government against 

the 133 

— his relation with the Poligars . . 156 

— his debts 169 

— effects of his rule .. .. .. 157 

Nayakas . . . . . . . . . .4,47 

— sources of the history of . . 55 

— commencement of the rule of 55 

— list of the . . . . . . . . 60 

— did not style themselves kings . . 61 

— titles 6i 

— reputation of the . . . . . . 62 

- characteristics of the rule of 62 

Nellicotah in Tinnevelly, capture of . . 94 

— in Sivaganga . . . . ..214 

Nellitangaville (Nelkattan sevval) . . 95 

— the Poligar of . . . . . . 97 

— Mahf uz Khan retired to . . ..116 

— the Colleries retired to .. ..121 

— Yusuf's force stationed towards . . 125 
Nelson, his Madura Manual . . . . 27 

— remarks of 127, 130 

Nicolans Damascenus . . . . . . 17 

Niti-neri-vilakkam, App. . . . . 279 

Nixon, Lieutenant-Colonel . . . . 144 

Nizam, approach of the . . . . 87 

Oakes, Mr. . . . . . . . . 155 

— resumes his post of Paymaster in 

Palamcotta . . . . . . 158 

Oodagherry, taken possession of by the 

English, App 268 

Ootoomaly (Uttumalai) . . . . 162 

Orme, his valuable help . . . . 87 

Orpen, Mr 144 

Otrampatti . . . . . . . . 200 

Ottapidarum, the present taluk town 

of" 93 

— concealment of the dumb brother at. 207 
Ovidiapuram (Avudaiyarpuram) . . 162 


Painter, Captain, killed .. ..134 

Palamcotta, the rainfall at . . . . 6 

— the strongest fort south of Madura. 89 

— meaning and origin of the name of. 9s 

— fort of 112 



to, in Swartz's 

Palamcotta, the besieged 

— protection of 

— armed followers of the Poligars 


— first reference 


— earliest date in the church-yard at. 

— spices in 

— congregation and church in 

— escape of Poligars from jail 
Palavur, anicut 

Palk, Mr. Robert, App. 

— Strait, the, or Argalic Gulf 
Pallas, the 

Pallemery (Pallimadai) 


" P&ndion," "the," as known to the 

Pandiyan-tlvu, the island of the Pan- 

Pandukabhaya . . 
• Pandya,' derivation of 

— Kulasekhara is the supposed founder 

of this dynasty 

— list of kings 

— Ati-vlra-rama 

— Vlra 

— Vikrama 

— Sundara 
Pandyas, the 

— legendary origin of the 

— Arj una's intermarriage with the . . 

— intercourse of the early Singhalese 

with the 

— Greek Notices of the 

— their embassy to Augustus 

— boundaries of their country 

— boundary between the Chgras and 

the .. _ .. 

— names of their early kings unknown. 

— Indian references to the 

— conquests over the 

— dated inscriptions of the later 

— the last of the 

— reputation of 

PandyeSvara, Siva so called, Note 
Panialam crutch (Panjalam kurichl), 

the Poligar of 

— meaning of the name 

— assault on 

— succession of the Poligars of 

— attempt to take 

— the two brothers of 

— arrival of troops at 

— retreat from 

— return to 

— march to 

— epic of 

— fate of 

— concealment of the dumb brother in 

— the cemetery at 
Papa-nasakam, one of the falls of the 

Paraiyas, the 

. 118 
. 132 















Parftkrama PftnHya 
— his accession . . 

42, 52 

Parakrama Ponnan Perumal 

— Kasi Kapda 
Paralia, Greek name for coast 
Paravas, complaints of the . . 145, 

— baptism on the Tinnevelly coast of 


Parimelalagar, App. 

Parish, Mr., Head Assistant Collector 

— appointed Collector of Ramnad 

Paulinus a Sancto Bartolomaeo 
Paumben, as known to the Greeks 

— the channel 

— naval success of Master Attendant 

Peramally, capture of a fortified pagoda 


— meaning of . . . . 
Periplus Maris Erythraei, the 
Permattoor Odeya Tavar 
Peutinger Tables, the 
Pickard, Captain 
Poligars or Palaiyakaras, Dumber of 

the .. 

— origin of the 

— investiture of the 

— etymology of 

— defence of the system of 

— the western . . 

— the eastern 

— relation of Poligar to his lord 

— plundering habits of the 

— anarchy of their districts . . 

— ordered out of Tinnevelly town 

— of Sivagiri 

— submission of Ettaiyapuram 

— confederacy of the eastern 

— \usufs expedition against the 

— of Uttumalai 

— depredations of the 

— armed followers of the, near Palam 


— Hyder Ali's communication with . 

— their behaviour towards Hyder 

— Dutch alliance with 

— strength of the 

— terms offered to the 

— the Nawab's relations with the 

— proposed disarming of the 

— political position of their country 

prior to the commencement of the 
last Poligar wars 

— armed retainers of the 

— Welsh's estimate of the 
— . future condition of the 

— a permanent assessment promised to 

Ponnam Pandya Devan, App. 
Portuguese, notice of Kayal by the 

— missionaries 

— arrival of the 

— at Cochin 

— on the coast of Tinnevelly 

— the first expedition of the . . 

— the, in power along the coast 

— the policy of the 

— claim of ownership of pearl fisher 


. 53 
. 53 





































1 N I> E X. 



Portuguese, annuls of the . . 72 

— Tuticorin under the . . 73 

— date of their establishment in Tuti- 

corin . . . . . . 75 

Porus or Pandion . . . . . . 16 

Potigai, the mountain . . . . 6 

Powney, Mr. George, Collector . . 164 

— the first Resident in Travancore, 

App. . . 262 

Proctor, Mr. George, the first civil 

officer appointed to Tinnevelly . . 143 

— dissatisfaction with .. .. .. 145 

— ordered to leave . . . . . . 147 

Ptolemv, the Geographer .. .. 18 

Puckle, Mr. R. K., Note .. . . 54 

— coins, App. . . . . . . • • 287 

Puli Dfivar, his fort . . . . . . 96 

— his character .. ..114 

— his dealings with Mahfuz Khan . . 114 

— Yusuf and the . . . . . . 125 

— a military guard sent to occupy the 

fort of 160 

Punnaikkayal . . 37 

— demolition of the Dutch factory at. 145 

— Xavier's letter to Francis Mancias 

at . . 234 

— Criminalis supposed to have died at. 236 
Puraaaa. or Epic poems . . . . 1 

— lists of kings in the Madura . . 27 

— Tiruvilaivadal . . . . . . 27 

— Sthala 32 

— Tiruttondar 32 

Purattaya-nadu, App. .. ..251 

Puthugudi, stone implements near . . 4 

— anicut . . . . . . . . 66 

QuatremSre . . . . . . . . 37 

Quilon — " eras " .. .. ..64 

Quilon, attack on the troops at, App. . 265 
— the brothers of the rebellious Dewan 

of Travancore hanged at, App. .. 268 


Raghuvamsa, Tamraparnl in the . . 7 

Rais of Ma' bar . . 34 

Raja-tarangini, of Cevlon, Note . . 1 

Raja Hukumat Ram ' .. .. 126,140 

Raja Palaiyam, Major Flint retires to. 
Rajendra Chola . . 

— his victory over Ahava-malla 

— temple to . . . . 

— various shapes of his name 
Rama, Bharata's behaviour to . . 
Ramanuja, the great Vaishnava 


— his date 

— his flight to Dvftrasamudra 

— founder of a school of Hindu Theo- 

sophy, App. 
R&m&yana. date of the Tamil 





Ramnad, Zemindari of . . 56 

— Raja of . . 93 

— note on its separation from Tinne- 

velly 231 

— the Maravas of . . . . 42 

— epidemic in, App. . . . . . . 272 

RamSSvararn, in the island of Paumben. 21 
Rashiduddin, the Muhammadan histo- 
rian . . . . . . . . 32 

Rayar, Krishna . . . . . . . . 48 

Renter, the, his oppressions . . . . 107 

Rice, his Mvsore inscriptions . . . . 44 

Robert de Nobili .. .. 71,233 

Rumbold, Lieutenant .. .. ..115 


Sadag6par Antadi 

Safdar Ali 

Saha-dgva, one of the Panda va brothers 


Samara Kolahala 

Sandracottus (Chandragupta) 

Sankaralingani Pillai 

Sankaranaiyanarkovil . . 

— cantonment at 

— Major Sheppard at . . 
" Seilan," the island of 
Seleucus Nicator 
Selvamarudur, a place near Edeyen- 

goody, visited by Mr. Hanbury, 

App. . 

Sembagatavi tlrtham 

Seringapatam, troops set free by the 
taking of 

Seshavarna Deva, founder of the sepa- 
rate dynasty of Sivagangai 

Settur, abandonment of 

— troubles at 

Setupati, the, the Poligar of Ramnad. . 

Shaik Jumaluddin 

Shanars, the, from Ceylon . . . . 

— commencement of the Christianiza- 

tion of 

— first convert among 
Shangoonny Menon, P., his history of 

Travancore, App. 
Shattoor (Settur, not Sattur) . . 
Shencottah, the Travancorians proceed 

to their own country through the 

pass of . . • • 

— particulars respecting, App. 

Shepherd, Lieutenant 

Sheppard, Major 

ShfermadSvi (Cheran-ma-dfivi), atone 

implements near 
" Sherewele," the " Murdoss "and 
Singhalese, accounts . . . ■ . . 

— the, their intercourse with the Pa Q - 

dyas . . . . • • • • • • 

Siruvayal, the village of the Marudu 3 . 

— burning of 

Sitheath (Sittuttu ?) 

Sivagangai, Zemindari of 

— transfer of the war to 



































Sivagangai, description of .. ..211 

— the people of . . . . ..211 

— usurpation in .. .. ..211 

— reasons for Kattaboma's taking 

refuge in . . . . . . .214 

— ■ conditions offered to the rulers of . . 211 
Sivagiri, abandonment of . . ..136 

— expedition against . . . . . . 140 

— attack on . . . . . . ..151 

— Maxwell's expedition against the 

Poligar of .. .. .. .. 161 

— rebellious conduct of the Poligar's 

son at . . . . . . . . 165 

Sivarama Talaivan . . . . . . 144 

Sivattaiya Nayaka .. .. ..173 

— capture of . . . . . . . . 223 

Solen, the, of the Greeks . . . . 10 

— the river . . . . . . ..17 

Sonagarpattanam . . . . 37 

Sorandai .. .. .. .. ..117 

Spalding, Lieutenant . . . . . . 204 

Srivilliputtur, palace at . . . . 61 

— Yusuf Khan and troops at . . ..110 
— • self-sacrifice of a Brahman at ..113 

— capture of Sivattaiya near . . . . 223 

— epidemic in, App. . . . . . . 272 

— the translation of the Mahabharata 

at, App 278 

Srivaikuntham, inscriptions at . . 53 

— Flint marches from . . . . . . 133 

— defence of . . . . . . ..199 

— plundered by Kattaboma's people . . 163 
Srl-Vlra Bavivarma . . . . . . 67 

Sfl-vaikuntham, App. . . . . . . 279 

Stevenson, Major .. .. .. 162 

Sthala Puiana of Madura . . . . 27 

Strabo 17 

Stuart, Mr. A.J. 59 

— his account of the Poligars and their 

system of Kaval . . . . ..105 

— his account of the Zemindars of the 

present time . . . . . . 105 

Subrahmanya Pillai, his guilt and sen- 
tence . . . . . . ..185 

Sulivan, Mr. John 147 

Sundara Pandya, sources of informa- 
tion about . . . . . . 32 

— his zeal against the Jainas . . . . 32 

— the last name in the list . . 32 

— his war with his brother . . 33 

— his Muhammadan Ministers . . 34 

— his brothers . . . . . . 35 

— his date still a desideratum . . 35 
Sundara Pandya Nayaka hanged at 

Gopalpuram .. .. ..183 

Suppa Nayaka, head of the Panjalam- 
kurichi Poligars during two rebel- 
lions .. .. .. ..173 

Sin -jjuddin . . . . . . 34 

Suttamalli, anient . . . . 66 

Swartz, his visit . . . . 155, 244 


TaUi, a fishing village, Note . . ..70 

— Jesuits in . . .. . . . . 243 

Tahivankottai, the side of the Govern- 
ment taken by the Poligar of . . 179 


Talikota 49 

Tamraparni, the, the great river of 

Tinnevelly . . . . . . . . 5 

— attraction of the . . . . . . 5 

— description of the . . . . . . 5 

— origin of the . . . . . . . . 6 

— in Indian literature . , . . . . 7 

— Lassen's reference to the . . . . 7 

— in the Mahabharata . . . . . . 7 

— in the Baghuvamsa . . . . . . 7 

— sacred bathing places on the . . 7 

— falls of the . . . . . . . . 8 

— mouth of the . . . . . . 9 

— meaning and origin of the name . . 9 

— Greek name for the . . . . 10 

— the chanks near the mouth of the . . 11 

— anicuts on the . . . . . . 63 

Taprobane, Ceylon . . . . . . 11 

Taylor, his Historical Manuscripts . . 42 

Tembavani, the, Beschi's poem .. 238 

Tenkarai, App. . . . . . . 277 

Tenkasi, inscription at . . . . . . 53 

— ancient fort of . . . . . . 54 

— cinnamon cultivation extended to . . 160 
Ten-Pandi, meaning of . . . . 3 

Tentirupferai, App. . . . . . . 287 

Tinnevelly, originally a portion of 

Madura . . . . . . . . 3 

— earliest inhabitants of . . . . 4 

— Korkai, the first settlement of civil- 

ised men in . . . . . . 9 

— in the Rara&yana . . . . . . 15 

— Greek trade with the coast of . . 22 

— Canarese traces in . . . . . . 44 

— Royal representatives in . . 60 

— the Portuguese on the coast of . . 67 

— town of . . . . . . 88 

— always a place of importance . . 88 

— meaning of .. .. .. ..88 

— first help rendered by the East India 

Company to the Nawab's Govern- 
ment in . . . . . . 91 

— Pollams, proclamation by the 

Collector to all Poligars, &c, 

within the 180 

— first English expedition into .. 91 

— the first Englishman in .. .. 91 

— Colonel Fullarton's description of . . 106 
<— productiveness of .. .. .. 1q7 

— bad government neutralises its 

advantages .. .. .. ..107 

— financial value of 

— revenue administration by the 

Nawab in 

— burning of the cutcherry at 126, 

— meditated cession of 
■ — first Collector of 

— Colonel Fullarton's march into 

— its political position prior to the 

commencement of the last Poligar 

— note on the separation of Ramnad 

from . . 

— inscriptions in, App. 
— floods and pestilential fever in, App. 

— sepulchral urns in, App. 
Tippu Sultan 

— his designs 

— fears of 








Tippu, his proposals, App. .. ..261 

Tirancourchy (Tarankurichi) .. ..116 
Tiruvadi Desam . . . . 65 

Tirukurungudi .. .. .. ..132 

— fort, erected by Sivarama .. ..144 

— the large bell at, App. .. .. 251 
Tirumalai N&yaka .. .. ..60 

buildings erected by . . 61 

Tirumangalam .. .. .. .. 153 

Tiruppuvanam, in the Madura District. 30 

Thuttondar, Purauam 

Tiruvalluvar, the author of the Kural, 

App. 277 

Tiruvilaiyadal, Purana . . . . 27 
Tittarappa Mudali 125 

— Mr. Torin's endeavours to induce 

him to refund the ta xes . . . . 1 60 

Tondi, the Bay of, or Palk Strait ... 21 

— small naval war in .. .. ..215 

Tondiman, country of .. .. ..128 

Torin, Mr. 66 

— Collector under the Assumption . . 159 

— his opinion of the results of Fullar- 

ton's lenity .. .. .. 160 

Travancore, proposals of . . . . 121 

— retirement of the troops from . . 132 

— its possessions in Tinnevelly, App. . . 251 

— insurrection in, App. . . . . 262 

— king of . . . . . . 26 

— power of the king of . . 67 

— designs of the Nayakas on 70 

— Xavier's appeal to the king of 69 

— army . . . . . . . . 97 

— troops retii'e .. .. ..97 

— troops . . . . . . ..120 

— alliance of Yusuf and the king of . . 120 
Trevandrum, march of the army 

towards, App. . . . . . 268 

— events at, App. . . . . . . 268 

Trichendur, the temple at . . . . 18 

Trichinopoly . . . . . . 36 

— Chanda Saheb at . . . . . , 85 

— Mahrattas at . . . . . . . . 86 

— a rival embassy to, App. . . . . 254 
Trimolipa (Tirumalaiyappa) Mudali . . 145 
Tundi or Kadal-tundi, a sea-port town 

on the Western Coast, Note . . 216 

Tunga-bhadrft, the banks of the Pampft 

or . . . . . . . . . . 45 

Turnbull, Mr., a surveyor .. ..54 

Tuticorin, under the Portuguese . . 73 

— date of the establishment of the 

Portuguese in . . . , 75 

— meaning of the name of . . 75 

— harbour . . . . . . 75 

— first reliable notices of . . 76 

— governor of . . . . 76 

— taken by the " Badages " .. .. 77 

— later notices of . . . . 78 

— taken by the Dutch 78 

— under the Dutch . . . . 78 

— population of . . . . 79 

— appearance of . . . . 79 

— dates relating to . . . . 83 

— during the Poligar war .. ..83 

— Mr. Groves at 83 

— in 1801 84 

— at present . . . . . . 84 

— capture of . . . . ..Ill 

Tuticorin, complaints of the Paravas 
at .. .. .. .. .. 145 

— given up .. .. .. .. 155 

— minor rebels sent to . . . . 222, 235 


Udaiya Deva, the family title of the 

Sivagangai Poligar .. ..210 

Udaya M&rt&nda Varma, who reigned 

from 1537-1560 70 

— App. 252 

Umai . . . . 206 

ITttumalai, the Poligar at . . . . 165 


Vadagherr y ( Vadagarai) .. ..116 

Vadakankulam, congregation founded 
by Brandolini at . . . . . . 240 

— the Jesuits in . . . . . . 243 

Vadugarpatti . . . . . . . . 24 1 

Vadugas . . . . . . 62, 69 

. . 79 
.. 135 


— forsaken by the enemy 
Vakeels, the (Note 1) 
Valuti-kal, " the Pandya king's way " 

" Note .. ' 25 

Vallabha Dfiva 53 

Vanatirtham, one of the falls of the 

Vanniyan caste 
Varaha-mihira, Brihat-Samhita, one of 

the works of 
Varma, Kshatriya title 
Vanatirtham, one of the falls of the 

Varthema, Barbosa and 
Vasco da Gama, the Rote'iro of 

— his information 
Vasudevanallur, attack on 

— Ensign Foulsum's attempt to relieve 

it from the Poligars 

Vedalai, Antonio said to have died at . . 


Vellai Marudu 

Vellalas, the 

Vejjaru, the river, the northern boun- 
dary of the Pandya country 

Velur, the forts of Chandragiri and . . 

Vembar . . 

— baptisms in 
Vesey, Captain 
Vijaya „ 11, 12, 

— his marriage 
Vijaya-Nagara, the kingdom of 

— names of 

— origin of 

— list of the kings of . . 

— Dr. Burnell's list of the kings of . . 

— overthrow of 

— supremacy of 

— on. 

tin of the intervention of 












I X D T. X. 

Page i 
Vijaya-Nagara .. .. .. ..61 

— Rayas of . . . . . . . . 70 | 

— Collectors of the taxes at 69 i 
Vijayaranga-Chokka-natha . . . . 85 < 
Vikrama Pandi 53, 70 

— Pandya 27 

Virach&liyam, a tamil work . . . . 31 
Viramaha-muni, title of Beschi . . 241 
Vira Narasimha Rayar , . . . 48 
Yirapandiyanpattanam . . 78 

Vira Pandya 27 

— his palace at Kalacadu, App. . . 251 
Vira Pandya Kattaboma .. ..172 
Vira-Pandya-puram . . . . 27 
Virappa Nayaka . . . • 33, 60 
Viraraghava Mudaliar . . . . 60 
Vira-sekhara, the king of Tan j ore . . 55 

Virupakshi Poligar 210 

Vishnu Varddhana . . . . 43 

Visvanatha Nayaka .. .. ..55 

— his policy . . . . . . 56 

— his plan of conciliation . . . . 57 


Walter Elliott, Sir, a coin belonging 

to 27 

Warangal . . . . . . . . 45 

Washinelore (Vasudfivanallur) .. 122 

Wassaf , the Muhammadan historian . . 32 

— his account . . . . . . 39 

Welsh, General, his account of the last 

Poligar war . . . . ..194 

— his error .. .. .. ..199 

— ■ his estimate of the Poligars . . 209 

— his account of the taking of the 

Travancore Lines, App. . . . . 267 

Wheeler, Lieutenant . . . . . . 144 

Wilks, General . . . . . . . . 44 


Wilson, Professor, his anticipations . , 228 
Wood, Colonel, in command at Trichi- 

nopoly .. .. .. ..138 

Woodoocaud (Orkadu) .. .. ..162 

Xavier, The " Badages "of . . 

— his appeal to the king of Travan- 

core . . 

— his efforts for the relief of his 


— his authority . . 

— his arrival and work 

— estimate of 

— visits from village to village 

— his administration . . 

— his successor's death 

— the period after 


Yajur Veda 

Yaksha, demon princess 

Yudhishtira, son of Kunti 

Yule, Colonel 

Yusuf Khan, Muhammad 

See under Muhammad Yusuf Khan. 


Zeilan (Ceylon), the island of 
Zemindar of Ettaiyftpuram 

— of Uttumalai 

— of Singampatti 

— of Orkad 
Zemindaries, number of 







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