Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ancestors of Greeks Spartans(Warriors) and Athenians(Sea-farers)


மீனாட்சி அம்மன் (கொற்றவை அரசி)
Who is the Ancestor of Greeks Spartans(Warriors) and Athenians(Sea-farers) whose were the lineage of Minoan Kingdom or the Kingdom Meenakshi amman world dominance victory

The Founder of greeks were the Kottravai(durga) Worshippers of Palai(desert-land) Called Maravars(Warriors) and Paravars(Sea-farers) of Neithal(sea-land) who spread the female Goddess worship in the world

Minova God is Meenakshi Amman The Women God Ruler whose orgin from madurai Tamil Nadu from Pandyan Kingdom win the whole world. who found the kingdom in Europe and Egypt. The lineage of Meenakshi amman are Maravars and Paravars are Mother lineage people emerge in europe as rulers and god warriors.

மினோவா கடவுள்(மதுரை மீனாட்சி)

Who is this mystery goddess? The serpent-wielding woman of Crete.

This serpent-wielding Goddess belongs to the Minoan culture which pre-dated the Greeks in that part of the Mediterranean. The Minoan Culture was contemporaneous with ancient Egypt and Sumer, but their writings remain undeciphered. (Photo by Chris 73, Wikimedia Commons.)

What’s her name and what divine power did she represent? No one knows.  Whoever made her did so in about 1600 BC on Crete, during a time when a people called the Minoans lived there.  They did leave writings, called Linear A, but no one has deciphered them.
When women ruled the world? The impressive and predominantly feminine nature of the artwork of the Minoans excited the imaginations of those who first saw it.  There was a popular theory, circulating from the late 1800s that the earliest cultures of Europe were matriarchal and that they had religions based – literally – on sex.  These had been replaced, one way or another (but probably in a way that involved a lot of blood and gore), by patriarchal civilization. This idea was very exciting to the Victorian mind, naturally.  Sex and violence sold a story just as well a century ago as it does today.  Anyway, the man who discovered the relics of ancient Crete believed he had found proof that this theory was correct.
What do we really know about the people who made the Snake Goddess? The short answer is: not much.  The longer answer is that she was found at the palace of Knossos on the island of Crete, where a major urban seafaring culture thrived from about 3,000 BC until its overthrow by the early Greeks in about 1400 BCArchaeologist Arthur Evans began excavating their remains in 1900 and dubbed them the Minoans after the Greek legend of King Minos of Crete.  The most extreme claims about this culture, made by Evans, were that it was the clearest known example of a matriarchal civilization and that it was an entirely or almost entirely peaceful civilization.  Most scholars feel these claims are exaggerated. It’s worth noting, however that no one has ever actually disprovedthis theory.  They’ve only — correctly — pointed out that there is no real proof the mythical matriarchy existed on Crete (or elsewhere.)
Leaving aside the matriarchal controversy, we are on much more solid ground in asserting the following very remarkable traits of this ancient culture:
1- The Minoans were a highly developed ancient urban culture whose wealthy civilization was built on a foundation of trade. They traded widely throughout the eastern Mediterranean, as far away as Palestine and Turkey and were even trading with Egypt at the time the Great Pyramids were being built.
2- There is little evidence of this being a warrior culture. Though some more recently discovered fortifications and weapons suggest it was not purely pacifistic, its artwork and other remains show no glorification of warriors, no hint of war, and no suggestion of killing or capturing enemies such as became highly favored topics in the art of the cultures of other places and of Greece in later times.
3- This society was relatively egalitarian.  Uncovered remains of their dwellings show that there was a much more narrow gap between rich and poor than would be common in later civilizations — including our own.
4- We can’t say for certain what the political structure of the Minoans was, but thereligion, according to the artwork which has been found here, appears to have involved primarily goddesses and to have been  run by women.
So, a culture based on trade not conquest, where equality rather than hierarchy was the norm, and with a religion based on goddess worship run by women.  That’s radical enough, frankly, for me.  Riane Eisler, in The Chalice and the Blade, recommended the ancient Cretans as a model for our own cultural self improvement.  I tend to agree.
What happened to the Minoans? The Minoan civilization had a string of bad luck in the middle of the second millenium BC (the 1,000’s). The beginning of the end for them happened when the Minoan owned island of Santorini suffered one of the largest volcanic eruptions on Earth in recorded history. The explosion turned most of the nice circular island into a thin C shape and then triggered a massive tsunami which wiped out the coastal cities of Minoan Crete.  Remember this was a  culture whose economy was based on seafaring trade, so that was probably a pretty big blow.  Not long afterward the Minoans were conquered by the Myceneans, a warrior people who were the original Greeks.  These were the people Homer later said fought the Trojan War.  Their culture was probably originally quite different from Minoan as their early ancestors were Indo-Europeans (nomadic, possibly patriarchal people from eastern Europe whose language is at the root of the languages now spoken throughout the western world).  But as warriors often do, they seem to have adopted a lot from the more advanced culture of the people they conquered.
Did they abandon or continue worship of the Snake Goddess? And if they continued it, did they give her a Greek name  still familiar to us today? Could one of the Olympians be a Minoan memory? The Myceneans left writings which have been translated, called Linear B. Already here, according to these, are Poseidon and Zeus, as well as several goddesses. If they wrote down the Snake Goddess’ name, then the suspects for mystery goddess include:  Diwia, a feminine form of Zeus’ name; Diktynna, a mountain and hunting goddess; a minor Greek goddess of childbirth; one of the Furies; and a Lady (Potnia) of the Labyrinth (Ariadne?). The Snake Goddess could be any of these or none, but I’ve left out my prime suspect. One more name on the list is Potnia Atana, most likely an early version of Lady Athena.  Athena, of course is the Goddess of Wisdom, so if she were originally the Minoan Snake Goddess, then the Minoan Snake Goddess might well be the original Goddess of Wisdom.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll leave you with my final thought in the form of two pictures–one, again, the snake goddess, and next to it, for comparison, a picture I also included in my most recent post discussing the relationship of Athena and the snake-headed Medusa:A seafaring Island Nation has many casualties at sea from storms. It is logical that the Matriarchal culture is a logical result of this condition. Inheritance, land ownership, proprietary trade contacts are all passed down to the mother or wife of the Sailor/captain of the ship. one only needs to look at early Cape Cod history through the epitaphs on the early gravestones to see the often catastrophic losses of husbands and sons at sea. homes and wealth stayed with the widow even if she re-married. It was exactly the same with the “Kfier” or Minoan culture. Female centered religious rites were the norm. Queen Jezebel is an additional example of the same cultural ethos which was the last surviving matriarchy. Even Moses was well aware of the snake as an integral part of the faith . I have been doing extensive research on the subject for some time.While it’s tempting to call this very powerful image of a trancing/invoking Priestess a Goddess, it’s wrong to slap a Greek Goddess’s name on a Cretan statue whose sophisticated culture predated the marauding Greeks by centuries. In Egypt there are ancient murals depicting stylish Egyptian women sporting the latest in Crete fashion. Sir Arthur Evans was so desperate to find Kind Minos (or evidence of any king really) on the heavily female-image laden Crete Islands that he painted over what was originally an ornately clothed female acrobat (on Cretan wall murals, women were -always- painted with white skin, men with red skin) & called it a “Prince.” Totally made up. Evans deservedly got a lot of flack later for his unprofessional “restoration jobs.” But it’s sad how history tends to gloss over Arthur Evans even greater faux pas of naming the “Minoan” culture after a mythical king (from a legend told by Greeks) whose remains were never found on those islands.
Palaces (anaktora) are the best-known Minoan building types excavated on Crete. They are monumental buildings serving administrative purposes, as evidenced by the largearchives unearthed by archaeologists. Each of the palaces excavated to date has its own unique features, but they also share features that set them apart from other structures. The palaces are often multi-storied, with interior and exterior staircases, light wells, massive columns, storage magazines, and courtyards.


The term "Minoan" refers to the mythic "king" Minos of Knossos; who first coined the term is debated. It is commonly attributed to famed Minoan archeologist Arthur Evans (1851-1941).[5] Minos was associated in Greek myth with the labyrinth, which Evans identified with the site at Knossos. However, Karl Hoeck used the name Das Minoische Kretas in 1825 for Volume II of his major work, Kreta, which would appear to be the first known use of the term Minoan to mean ancient Cretan. Likely, Arthur Evans read the book, continuing the use of the term in his own writings and findings. [6] Evans said:[7]
"To this early civilization of Crete as a whole I have proposed — and the suggestion has been generally adopted by the archaeologists of this and other countries — to apply the name 'Minoan.'"
Evans claims to have applied it, but not to have invented it. Hoeck had in mind the Crete of mythology. He had no idea that the archaeological Crete had existed. Evans' 1931 claim that the term was "unminted" before his use of it has been tagged a "brazen suggestion" by Karadimas and Momigliano.[6] However, Evans' statement applies to archaeological contexts. Since he was the one who discovered the civilization, and the term could not have been in use to mean it previously, he did coin that specific meaning.
What -is- found on the islands of Crete & the Palace/Temple of Knossos are murals & pottery showing scenes of two priestess/queens processing through their city in a chariot, two women of high status standing atop the highest city wall seeing off their navy, many coins, engravings, etc depicting priestesses/goddesses in ritual, & the evocative female statuary you’ve mentioned above. If any culture could be construed as matriarchal/matrilineal, Crete is a strong contender, especially if you can get it through your head that most matrilineal cultures are usually more gender-equitable than patriarchal ones. Be they the hunter gatherer tribes like the Dobe Kung! & Hadza, sophisticated queenships of the Ashanti & the Sudan, the priestess/shamans of ancient Thrace, or the matrilineal Korean & Native American cultures with their clan mothers, the argument of whether matriarchal/matrilineal cultures existed should be a moot point well proven by now.


  Minoan chronology
3650–3000 BCEEMIPrepalatial
2900–2300 BCEEMII
2300–2160 BCEEMIII
2160–1900 BCEMMIA
1900–1800 BCEMMIBProtopalatial
(Old Palace Period)
1800–1700 BCEMMII
1700–1640 BCEMMIIIANeopalatial
(New Palace Period)
1640–1600 BCEMMIIIB
1600–1480 BCELMIA
1480–1425 BCELMIB
1425–1390 BCELMIIPostpalatial
(At Knossos, Final Palace Period)
1390–1370 BCELMIIIA1
1370–1340 BCELMIIIA2
1340–1190 BCELMIIIB
1190–1170 BCELMIIIC
1100 BCESubminoan
The oldest evidence of inhabitants on Crete are preceramicNeolithic farming community remains that date to approximately 7000 BCE.[13] A comparative study of DNA haplogroups of modern Cretan men showed that a male founder group, from Anatolia or the Levant, is shared with the Greeks.[14] The neolithic population dwelt in open villages. Fishermen's huts were built on the shores, while the fertile Mesara Plain was used for agriculture.[15]
The Bronze Age began in Crete around 2700 BCE.[16] In the late 3rd millennium BCE, several localities on the island developed into centers of commerce and handwork. This enabled the upper classes to continuously practice leadership activities and to expand their influence. It is likely that the original hierarchies of the local elites were replaced by monarchist power structures – a precondition for the creation of the great palaces.[17] From the Early Bronze Age (3500 BCE to 2600 BCE), the Minoan civilization on Crete showed a promise of greatness.[18]
At the end of the MMII period (1700 BCE), there was a large disturbance in Crete, probably an earthquake, or possibly an invasion from Anatolia.[19] The palaces at Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, and Kato Zakros were destroyed. But with the start of the Neopalatial period, population increased again,[20] the palaces were rebuilt on a larger scale and new settlements were built all over the island. This period (the 17th and 16th centuries BCE, MM III / Neopalatial) represents the apex of the Minoan civilization. There was another natural catastrophe around 1600 BCE, possibly an eruption of the Thera volcano. The Minoans rebuilt the palaces, however they drastically changed.[17][21]

The influence of the Minoan civilization outside Crete has been seen in the evidence of valuable Minoan handicraft items on the Greek mainland. It is likely that the ruling house of Mycenae was connected to the Minoan trade network. After around 1700 BCE, the material culture on the Greek mainland achieved a new level due to Minoan influence.[17] Connections between Egypt and Crete are prominent. Minoan ceramics are found in Egyptian cities and the Minoans imported several items from Egypt, especially papyrus, as well as architectural and artistic ideas. The Egyptian hieroglyphs served as a model for the Minoan pictographic writing, from which the famous Linear A and Linear B writing systems later developed.[15]Bengtson has also demonstrated Minoan influence among Canaanite artifacts.
Around 1450 BCE, Minoan culture experienced a turning point due to a natural catastrophe, possibly an earthquake. Another eruption of the Thera volcano has been linked to this downfall, but its dating and implications remain controversial. Several important palaces in locations such as Mallia, Tylissos, Phaistos, Hagia Triade as well as the living quarters of Knossos were destroyed. The palace in Knossos seems to have remained largely intact. This resulted in the Dynasty in Knossos being able to spread its influence over large parts of Crete, until it was overrun by Mycenaean Greeks.[17]
The Minoan palace sites were occupied by the Mycenaeans around 1420 BCE[22] (1375 BCE according to other sources),[17] who adapted the Linear A Minoan script to the needs of their own Mycenaean language. It was a form of Greek, which was written in Linear B. The first such archive anywhere is in the LMII-era "Room of the Chariot Tablets". The Mycenaeans generally tended to adapt, rather than destroy, Minoan culture, religion and art.[23] They continued to operate the economic system and bureaucracy of the Minoans.[17]
During LMIIIA:1, Amenhotep III at Kom el-Hatan took note of k-f-t-w (Kaftor) as one of the "Secret Lands of the North of Asia". Also mentioned are Cretan cities, such as Ἀμνισός (Amnisos), Φαιστός (Phaistos), Κυδωνία (Kydonia) and Kνωσσός (Knossos) and some toponyms reconstructed as belonging to the Cyclades or the Greek mainland. If the values of these Egyptian names are accurate, then this Pharaoh did not privilege LMIII Knossos above the other states in the region.
After about a century of partial recovery, most Cretan cities and palaces went into decline in the 13th century BC (LHIIIB/LMIIIB). The last Linear A archives date to LMIIIA (contemporary with LHIIIA).
Knossos remained an administrative center until 1200 BCE. The last of the Minoan sites was the defensive mountain site ofKarfi, a refuge site which displays vestiges of Minoan civilization almost into the Iron Age.[24]

Here again, with snakes in hand, and an animal which appears to be a cat on her head, the ancient Minoan Snake Goddess.

And here, for comparison, the picture I posted two days ago of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. In this statue, created 1200 years later than the Snake Goddess, Athena is pictured with a snake by her side and a cat woman (Sphinx, a lion goddess) on her head. Coincidence? You decide.

  1.  "Ancient Crete" in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics, offers a scholarly guide to the academic literature on this topic.
  2. Jump up^ Durant, Will (1939). "The Life of Greece"The Story of Civilization II. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 21.
  3. Jump up^ Wilford, J.N., "On Crete, New Evidence of Very Ancient Mariners"The New York Times, Feb 2010
  4. Jump up^ Bowner, B., "Hominids Went Out of Africa on Rafts",Wired, Jan 2010
  5. Jump up^ John Bennet, "Minoan civilization", Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed., p. 985.
  6. Jump up to:a b Karadimas, Nektarios; Momigliano, Nicoletta (2004)."On the Term 'Minoan' before Evans's Work in Crete (1894)" (PDF)Studi micenei ed egeo-anatolici (Roma: Edizione del 'Ateneo) 46 (2): 243–258.
  7. Jump up^ Evans 1921, p. 1.
  8. Jump up^ Manning, Sturt W; Ramsey, CB; Kutschera, W; Higham, T; Kromer, B; Steier, P; Wild, EM (2006). "Chronology for the Aegean Late Bronze Age 1700-1400 BCE"Science(American Association for the Advancement of Science)312 (5773): 565–569. Bibcode:2006Sci...312..565M.doi:10.1126/science.1125682PMID 16645092. Retrieved 2007-03-10.
  9. Jump up^ Friedrich, Walter L; Kromer, B; Friedrich, M; Heinemeier, J; Pfeiffer, T; Talamo, S (2006). "Santorini Eruption Radiocarbon Dated to 1627–1600 B.C"Science(American Association for the Advancement of Science)312 (5773): 548. doi:10.1126/science.1125087.PMID 16645088. Retrieved 2007-03-10.
  10. Jump up^ "Chronology"Thera Foundation. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  11. Jump up^ Balter, M (2006). "New Carbon Dates Support Revised 

RAMNAD (Zamindari) Princely state records in British

Sethupathi: The dynasty of Ramnad, Guardians of Rama Sethu for Centuries
Dhananjaya Bhat in Deccan Herald goes back into history to take a look at 'Sethupatis', the royal family who guarded the Rama Sethu.

Today when the description of Rama and creation of the Rama Sethu as a myth is creating a furore, it is interesting to note that for thousands of years, there was a royal family in South India with its headquarters at Ramanathapuram near Rameshwaram, known as the Sethupati Rajas or the guardians of the Sethu. Like the Maharajas of Kashi in North India, the specific task of these kings was to guard the sanctity of Rameshwaram temple and protect the Sethu – now so much under the limelight.

In fact even today, though the famous Rameshwaram temple (which technically belonged to the Sethupatis) is administered by the Government of Tamil Nadu, the head of the Sethupati dynasty, at present Rajeshwari Nachiar, is the hereditary head of the temple’s board of trustees.
Detailed information about the Sethupathis is available in the ‘Ramnad Manual’ maintained by Tamil Nadu archives. It states that, “The Sethupatis built several chattrams (dharmsalas) along the main roads of the pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. Roads were opened through the forests. Immense sums were spent on the restoration of the Rameshwaram temples, which were falling into ruins, and the splendid Chockattan Mantapam or the cloistered precincts of the temple at Rameshwaram being finally completed by the Sethupati representatives..” Although the dynasty claims that they are mentioned in the 2000-year-old sagas of Tamil literature, as the brave Marava community guarding the Sethu since the times of Rama, the first historical reference comes only in the 11th century AD, when Chola king Rajaraja made the head of Marava community as Sethupati to protect the pilgrims to Rameshwaram temple and the Rama Sethu.

The temple complex itself was built by Sethupati rulers in the 12th century, with Sethupathy Maravar beginning the construction of the grand Ramanathaswamy temple. Then again reference is made in A D1434 to the repair of the temple walls by the head of the Sethupati clan, known as Udayan Sethupati. Geologists state that till AD1480, when a tsunami damaged the present Rama Sethu, one could walk from India to Sri Lanka on the Sethu!

But only from AD 1605, we find detailed history of these chiefs, who are described as masters of Sethu and their kingdom described as Sethu Nadu (Land of Sethu). After the destruction of the Vijayanagar empire in 1565, their viceroy in South India, the the Nayak ruler of Madurai, re-appointed head of the same Marava community as the Sethupatis.

The most important of these monarchs was the Raghunatha Sethupati II alias Kilavan Sethupati (1671 AD to 1710 AD), who ensured that Sethupatis with their fiefdom over the area known as Ramnad, remained all powerful. It was during his time, that the magnificent still existing palace of Ramlingavilasam was created as the residence of the Sethupatis. No other palace in Tamil Nadu has such extensive mural paintings. As soon as you enter the Mahamandapam, you are surrounded by murals that glint like gem-encrusted jewels on the walls. Some are dull and faded, while others flash forth their brilliance, even 300 years after they were executed. In 1978, the Sethupati family, unable to maintain the palace handed it over to the Government of Tamil Nadu.

But in the18th century, the British entered the politics of South India and as a measure to reduce the importance of the Sethupatis, they were demoted as mere zamindars under the British in1803. Of all the services, this royal family has done to India, the most important was that of financing the visit of Swami Vivekananda in 1893 to Chicago, to address the World Religions Conference. Swami Vivekananda reached Ramnathapuram in 1892 and met the then scion, Bhaskara Sethupati at his palace, and stayed there as the official guest for eight days.
Kalinga Magha was a prince from the Kingdom of Kalinga which was in the Orissa state of modern India. His family was connected to the rulers of Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu. Kalinga Magha’s relatives of Ramanathapuram administered the famous temple of Rameswaram.
Kalinga Magha landed in Karainagar in 1215 AD with a large army of 24,000 soldiers mostly recruited from Chola and Pandyan territories. He camped his soldiers in Karainagar and Vallipuram and brought the Jaffna principality and the chieftaincies in Vanni under his control.

Initially, it was Bhaskara Setupati as the Raja of Ramnad, who had earlier decided to go to US to attend the Parliament of Religions as the representative of Hinduism. But after conversing with Swami Vivekananda, he decided that Swamiji was the right person to attend the conference.

Vivekananda decided to accept the Raja’s offer. When Vivekananda returned from USA after his grand success, as he was about to land at Rameshwaram, the overjoyed Raja was waiting with his entourage to give him a royal welcome. Because of the achievement of Swamiji and as well as the regard, the Raja had for him, he bowed his head and offered it as step for Vivekananda to get down from the boat. But, Swamiji tactfully avoided this offer, by jumping from the boat to the land. Then the Raja unyoked the bullocks from Vivekananda’s ceremonial chariot and pulled the conveyance manually with his entourage, till it reached his palace. Later he erected a victory pillar of 25 feet height with the Upanishad expression Satyameva Jayate to commemorate the success of Swami Vivekananda at Chicago.

After Indian Independence, the Sethupatis still retained their importance in the politics of Tamil Nadu. In fact Shanmuga Raja Sethupati won the elections to the Tamil Nadu Assembly and held the seat thrice from 1951 to 1967, besides being a minister in the Rajagopalachari Ministry of 1952. He was well-known in horse racing circles and had a stable of over 50 horses in Calcutta and a huge garage of cars in Madras, including Rolls Royces and a Bentley. But the abolition of zamindaries by the Government of India, removed all sources of their wealth and today, the former Sethupatis are just well-known prominent magnates of Tamil Nadu.

AREA: 6,089.09 km2 VILLAGES: 2,162 REVENUE: 338,686 (1872) ACCESSION: 1948 
LOCATION: Tamil Naidu (Ramnadapuram Dist.) DYNASTY: Sethupati/Thevar RELIGION: Hindu 
CAPITAL: Ramanathapuram POPULATION: 723,886 (1901) TRIBUTE: Rs3.75 lakhs (1904)

PRESENT RULER: Raja KUMARAN SETHUPATHI, 11th and present Zamindar of Ramnad since 1979
President of the Tamil Sangam, married Rani Lakshmi Kumari
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: The Kingdom, founded in 1590, became a Zamindari Estate under the Perminent Settlement of 1801, and thus became non-sovereign (along with all other Estates which survived until 1948 in Madras Presidency, India). Ramnad was one of the largest and most populous estates in the Madras Presidency and was a permanently settled Zamindari in the Ramnad subdivision of the Madura district of the erstwhile Madras Presidency in British India. It comprises the southern and eastern parts of Madura district. The first historical reference to the Sethupati (= protector of the bridge or Lord of the Sethu, a region now in Tamil Naidu) comes in the 11th century AD, when Chola king Rajaraja made the head of Marava community (also known as the Kingdom of the Greater Marava) as Sethupati to protect the pilgrims to Rameshwaram temple and the Rama Sethu, later he was officially recognized as Sethupathi by the Nayak king of Madurai, and in return, the Chief of Ramnad recognized the sovereignty of the Nayak king over his lands. When the power of the Nayak kings of Madurai began to decline in the late 17th century, the chieftains of Ramnad asserted their independence. The British took control of the administration of Ramanathapuram in 1795. It was demoted to a Zamindari in 1803 and Rani Mangaleswari Nachchiyar was made a Zamindarani. Ramnad and Sivaganga continued to be Zamins till the system of Zamindari was abolished in 1948 after India attained Independence. Rulers and estate holders were....
Raja SADASICA THEVAR SETHUPATI, 1st Raja of Ramnad 1590/1623, he was named as the 1st Sethupati.
Raja KOOTEN SETHUPATI, 2nd Raja of Ramnad 1623/1637
Raja DALAVAI SETHUPATI, 3rd Raja of Ramnad 1637/1638 (deposed)(first time)
Unknown 1638/1640
Raja Dalavai Sethupati. Raja of Ramnad 1640/- (second time)
Raja DANO KANTHA SETHUPATI, 4th Raja of Ramnad -/1659
Raja RAGHUNATHA SETHUPATI I, 5th Raja of Ramnad 1659/1685
Raja (name unknown) SETHUPATI, 6th Raja of Ramnad in 1685 (he reigned about 2 months)
Raja (name unknown) SETHUPATI, 7th Raja of Ramnad 1685/1686 (he reigned 3 months)
Raja RAGHUNATHA SETHUPATI II [Kilavan Sethupati], 7th (8th) Raja of Ramnad 1673/1710 or 1670/1708 or 1686/1710, he crowned himself Raja of Ramnad and changed his seat from Pogalur to Ramnad close to the east coast, where he erected massive fortifications to protect his capital; it was during his rule, that the magnificent still existing palace of Ramlingavilasam was created as the residence of the Sethupati Dynasty; he supported the Nayak King of Madurai against Rustam Khan, later he was granted the title of Para Rajakesari (Lion to alien kings) by Raja Chokkanatha Nayak; he constructed a dam across the Vaigai River; married Rani Kathali Nachiyar, sister of Raja Raghunatha Raya, 1st Tondaiman Raja of Pudukottai, and had adoptive issue.
o (A) Raja Muthu Vijaya Raghunatha Sethupati (qv)
Raja MUTHU VIJAYARAGHUNATHA SETHUPATI, 8th (9th) Raja of Ramnad 1710/1725 or 1708/1720, married and had issue.
o Akilandeshwari Nachiyar, married Sasivarna Thevar, 1st Zamindar of Sivaganga, and the son of Nalukottai Peria Oodaya Thevar.
Raja SUNDARESWARA RAGHUNATHA SETHUPATI, 9th Raja of Ramnad 1725/1726, during his reign he lost the Aranthangi region in the northern part of Ramnad in 1725, to the Raja of Tanjore, and later the Sivaganga region in the western part of Ramnad was also lost.
Raja BHAVANI SANKARAN SETHUPATI, 10th Raja of Ramnad 1726/1729 or 1720/-
Raja KATTAYA THEVAN SETHUPATI, 11th Raja of Ramnad 1730/1761 (brother of  Raja Sundareswara Raghunatha Sethupati)
REGENT 1761/1772, Rani Muthu Tiruveya Naiker, she was deposed and placed in jail, where she died.
Raja MUTHU RAMALINGA SETHUPATI I, 12th (13th) Raja of Ramnad 1761/1772 (first time), deposed by the British authorities for misrule in 1772 and jailed for eight years, and his sister was placed in charge of the state, but it was no longer sovereign.
REGENT 1772/1780, sister of the Raja
Raja Muthu Ramalinga Setupati I, Raja of Ramnad 1780/1795 (deposed) (second time)
Rani Mangaleswari Nachiyar, 13th Rani of Ramnad 1795/1803 and 1st Zamindarani of Ramnad 1803/1807, by a sanad of 1803, the state was reduced to the status of a zamindari.
Raja ANNASAMI SETHUPATI, 2nd Zamindar of Ramnad 1807/1820
Raja RAMASWAMI SETHUPATI, 3rd Zamindar of Ramnad 1820/1830, married Rani Parvata Vardhani Nachhiyar [Parvathivardhini] (qv), sister of Kottasami Thevar, and had adoptive issue. He died sp in 1830.
o (A) Ponnuswami Thevar, Zamindar of Palavanatham, born 1837, he acted as estate manager during the minority of his younger brother, married and had issue, three sons. He died 1870.
(name unknown) Thevar, married and had issue.
(name unknown) Thevar, he was adopted by the Rani of Raja Bhaskara Sethupati, and succeeded as Rajarajeswara Muthu Ramalinga Sethupati III (see below)
Pandithurai Thevar [Ukkira Pandya] (third son), Zamindar of Palavanatham/Pazhavanattam 1884/1911, born 21st March 1867 in Palavanatham, a zamin in the then Ramanathapuram district, educated privately by English and indian tutors, he founded the 4th Tamil Sangam at Madurai; he constructed Somasundara Vilasam Mansion in Ramnad. He died 2nd December 1911.
o (A) Raja Muthu Ramalinga Sethupati II (qv)
Raja DORAI RAJA MUTHU CHELLA THEVAR SETHUPATI, 4th Zamindar of Ramnad 1830/1845
Rani Parvatha Vardhani Ammal Nachchiyar, 5th Zamindarani of Ramnad 1845/1862, she adopted the younger son of her sister; married Raja Ramaswami Sethupati, Zamindar of Ramnad, and had adoptive issue.
o (A) Raja Muthu Ramalinga Sethupati II (qv)
Raja MUTHU RAMALINGA SETHUPATI II, 6th Zamindar of Ramnad 1862/1873, born 1841, he was adept in the arts and a great lover of music; married, Rani Muthathaal Nacciyar, and had issue. He died 15th March 1873.
o Raja Bhaskara Sethupati (qv)
COURT OF WARDS [15.3.1873] - [xx.10.1889]
Raja BHASKARA SETHUPATI [Hiranyagarbhayaji Ravikula Muthuvijaya Raghunatha Bhaskara], 7th Zamindar of Ramnad [xx.10.1889] - [27.12.1903], born 3rd November 1868, installed 3rd April 1889, Manager of Rameswaram 1895/1901 and a leader of the Maravar community; he was educated in Madras in both the English language and in Western manners by his English tutor who also taught him English literature and music; his great philanthropy (he funded many charitable activities and        events), combined with inherited debts and costs of litigation, bankrupted the estate, forcing the Raja to place the estate in a trust for his son in 1895; married 1888, Rani Sivabhagyam Nacciar, daughter of one of his kinsmen, and had issue, two sons. He died 27th December 1903.
o Rajarajesvara Dorai Muthu Ramalinga Sethupati III (qv)
Raja RAJARAJESVARA MUTHU RAMALINGA SETHUPATI III [alias Muthu Ramalinga Dorai Avergal], 8th Zamindar of Ramnad 1903/1929, married and had issue. He died 1929.
o The Hon. Sri. Raja Sri Shanmugha Rajeswara [Naganatha] Sethupati (qv)
The Hon. Sri. Raja Sri SHANMUGHA RAJESWARA NAGANATHA SETHUPATI, 9th Zamindar of Ramnad 1929/1967, born 9th November 1909, graduated in Law; M.L.A. (Madras) 1951/1967; Minister, House Rent Control [10.4.1952] - [13.9.1953]; Minister, Public Works, Accomodation Control [9.10.1953] - [12.4.1954]; Minister, Public Works, Accomodation Control, Engineering Colleges, Stationery and Printing, [1.3.1956] - [31.3.1957]; a thoroughbred race-horse owner with a stable of over 50 horses in Calcutta; owner of an extensive car collection of Bentleys and Rolls Royces; a First Class cricketer for the Madras Cricket Team; married and had issue as well as further issue. He died 4th March 1967. 
o Raja Ramanatha Sethupati (qv)
o Rajkumari Latha Sethupati (by a secondary union), born 1957, she is a well-known film actress, starring in over 100 Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam movies, and who was ancouraged by her aunt, actress Kamala Kotnis, to enter films at a young age, her first film being Ulagam Sutram Valiban, (1973); she won a Filmfare Award for her performance in Vattathukkul Sadhuram and the Kalaimamani award was bestowed upon her by the State Government of Tamil Nadu for her achievements in the film industry; married and has issue.
COURT OF WARDS 1935/1945 due to a number of disputes and lengthy court cases.
Raja RAMANATHA SETHUPATI, 10th Zamindar of Ramnad 1967/1979, married Rani Indira Devi, and had issue. He died 1979.
o Rajkumari Rajeswari Nachiyar, 11th Zamindarani of Ramnad 1979/-, she assumed the hereditary title of the ruler of Ramnad on the death of her father, in opposition to her cousin, and is the managing trustee of a number of temples and the palaces owned by the family.
Raja KUMARAN SETHUPATI, 11th Zamindar of Ramnad (see above)
The Poligar System in the Tamil Country : Its Origin
and Growth.
By C. S. Srinivasachari, M.A.
Professor of History, Pachaiyappa’s College , Madras
[ A paper read at the Eleventh Public Meeting of the Indian Historical
Records Commission, held at Nagpur in December 1928]
This was published by the Government Of India Press – Calcutta in 1929 .
It is being brought back to e-book format in memory of Prof.C.S.Srinivasachari by
VenuGopalaswamy Educational Trust ( VGET ) – Hosur , Tamilnadu, India in 2011 
The Poligar System in the Tamil Country : Its Origin and Growth.
(By C. S. Srinivasachari, M.A.)
The Madura country, as organised by Visvanatha Nayak, the son of Nagama Nayak,
and the founder of the Nayak rule of that region (cir 1529-1564 A. D.) stretched from
Cape Comorin to Valikondapuram on the north and from Coimbatore, Erode, and the
Western Ghats Rameswaram and the sea on the east, according to the Mrtyunjaya
translated by W. Taylor. Visvanatha and his chief co-adjutor, Ariyanaatha
(or Ariyanayaga) Mudali who combined in himself the double offices of commander-in--
chief and prime-minister (Dalavay and Pradhaani) were very efficient administrators and
restored order in the country by the institution of the Paalaiyam2
system of
administration as the most practical solution of the difficulties. Visvanatha was trained in
the administrative system of the Vijayanagara Empire and "made his mark in applying
its principles in a systematic manner". The chronicles of the time attribute a larger share
of constructive work to Ariyanaatha than even to Visvanaatha, in the matter of the
establishment of the Palaiyakar (Poligar) system. 3
The number of Poligars in Tinnevelly and Madura is considerable even to-day; and the
title is said by Colonel M. Wilks to have been given by the Vijayanagara Kings to the
chiefs of the Telugu colonies planted in the neighbouring provinces for the purpose of
overawing the original inhabitants. Visvanatha Nayak had brought with him to Madura a
large number of his own dependents and adherents whom he had to reward; besides
these there were the old hereditary Tamil chieftains and the Telugu adventurers who
had previously settled in the land and whose good-will it was necessary for him to
secure; and above all there were the impoverished and discontented adherents of the
ancient Pandyas whom he had practically abolished as well as " the bold and turbulent
Canarese and Telugu adventurers who had seized with a strong grip the northern and
western divisions of country".
J Taylor-Oriental Historical Mss. (1835), Vol. II, pp. 117-8; and Satyanatha Aiyer -- History of the Nayaks
of Madura; 1924-pp. 55-56.
“Although the system was not completely new, in as much as we find some Palalyakarans in the
southern country before the enthronement of Visvanaatha nevertheless to him was due its institution as a
permanent and efficient body for the administration of the country and for the defence of the Capital."-H.
Heras. The Aravidu Dynasty Vijayanagar; (Vol. I), p. 134. The Palayam system grew up in the Mysore
and Carnataca regions as well and spread even up to the Ceded Districts.
These Poligars, predecessors of the present Zamindars of Tinnevelly; Ramnad Madura and Tricinopoly
districts, still look upon Ariyanaatha as a sort of patron saint, and in the words of Nelson (The Madura
Country, A Manual; 1868-Part III, page 90) pray to him as the founder of their order. Tradition makes
much of him and his equestrian statute in the Puthu Mantapam at Madura was erected by the greatest of
the Nayaks and is still crowned with garlands by the hero-worshippers of to-day. His achievements are
summarised by Taylor (Oriental Historical Mss., Vol. II, pp. 15 et seg.) and by Nelson, according to whom
“if he (Ariyanaatha) lived long enough, he lived not one moment too long". Aryanatha died in 1600, in ripe
old age, after having been at the helm of nearly half a century. 
The Poligar system was the solution of Visvanaatha and Ariyanaatha of the difficult
problem of reconciling the conflicting interests of all these classes; its object was to
enrich and ennoble the most powerful of each class, and at the same time to secure
their and their descendants' allegiance.4
The details of the scheme of the institution of Poligars as given in the chronicles are
thus condensed by Nelson. There were 72 bastions to the fort of Madura and each one
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 had
to pay a fixed annual tribute and to supply besides a quota of cavalry and troops and
maintain peace over a particular tract of country. In return he was given charge of aI
number of villages proportioned to his rank as well as the title of Paalaiiyakaran
(Poligar), besides other valuable gifts and privileges. The sources of Nelson's
information are now somewhat discounted in their historical value. "All that can be
regarded as probable is that the existence of the Poligars as a class dates from the
period of the commencement of the rule of the Nayakas. Very few of the Zamindars
(the principal exception is the Sethupathi of Ramnad) can claim that their estates or
chief-ships were conferred upon them, prior to the Nayaka period by the old Pandya
Kings". 5
The term poligar is peculiar to the Madras Presidency; and "the persons so called were properly
subordinate feudal chiefs occupying tracts more or less wild and generally of predatory habits in former
days; they are now much the same as Zamindars in the highest use of the term. The word is Tamil
Paalaiyakaran, the holder of a Paalaiyum or feudal estate; Tel. Paalegadu; and thence Mahr. Palegar;
the English form being no doubt taken from one of tho two latter ".-Yule and Burnell-Hobson-Jobson-New
edition by W. Crooke (1903, p. 718). In Tamil the word Paalaiyam means the country or district of a
feudal chieftain-a camp, or town, or village surrounded with stones; and Paalaiyappattu means a town or
village governed by a Poligar or his estate. (M. Winslow; A Comprehensive Tamil and English Dictionary
of High and Low Tamil (1862), p.766.)
Poligar according to Wilson (A Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms of British India; 1855; p. 391)
means a petty chieftain in the south of India especially in Carnatac, occupying chiefly tracts of hill and
forest, subject to pay tribute and service to the paramount state, but seldom paying either, and more or
less independent, subsisting in a great measure by plunder .... these have now subsided into peaceable
The Poligars founded by the dynasty of the Madura Nayaks are known by the name of Southern
Poligars; many of them are of the Totier caste and preserve the language of their ancestors as distinct
from that of the Tamils. (Vide Mark Wilks: Historical Sketches of the South of India in an attempt to trace
the History of Mysoor; 2nd Edn., Vol. I, p. 34, note.)
Caldwell gives the literal meaning of Palaiyakara as the holder of a camp and secondly as the holder of a
barony or military tenure. The English seem to have taken their favourite name Poligar, not from the
Tamil Paalaiyakara, but from the Telugu Paalegadu, or the Canarese Paalegara, the meaning of which is
the same. Similarly the Anglo-Indian word Pollam (Poligar's holding) is derived rather from the Telugu
Paalemu than from the Tamil paalayam. (History of Tinnevelly-p. 58.) According to the Fifth Report from
the Select Committee on the Affairs of the East India Company (1812), Vol. ll. Madras Presidency-the
Poligars were military chieftains bearing a strong affinity to the Zamindars of the Northern Circars, whose
origin may be traced to similar events and causes. Some were leaders of banditti or freebooters, others
derived their descent from ancient rajahs or from those who held high offices of trust under the IIilldu
dynasties (ed. of 1866, Vol. II, pp. 88-89).
H Calunull-A Political ancl General History of the District of Tinnevelly, 1881, pp. 57-58. - 
A list of the names of the chiefs actually appointed by Visvaaatha and Ariyanatha
can be made out from the materials contained in Ward's Survey and in the two lists
published in Taylor's Oriental Historical M anuscripts (Vol. II, pp. 160-8) as well from an
unpublished Mackenzie Manuscript. Many of these chiefs arc called Nayakkars6
; one is
a Reddiyar, another is a Tondaimanar and others are Kaunder, Servai, Tevar, and
Nayanar. The actual number must have frequently fluctuated. Taylor's list divides the
fiefs into nine secions, beginning with the kingdom of Malayalam (Travancore) and the
principalities of Ramnad, Sivaganga, and Pudukkotta, which were "like adopted children
of the Madura Government".7
Ramnad was founded in the year 1605 by
Mthukrishnappa rather restored to the ancient line of the Sethupathis-guardians of the
Isthmus of Rameswara, (according to the manuscript history of the Carnataka
Governors, and the account of the Sethupathis, translated by Taylor and the historical
memorandum furnished to Nelson by Ponnuswamy Thevan, the then manager of the
Zamindari). The ancient line of the Sethupathis had always been dependent on the
Pandya and had been in existence for centuries before Sadeika Thevan Udaiyan
Sethupathi was crowned as Sethupathi by the Nayak; and Sivaganga was an off-shoot
from Ramnad; and it dates as a Zamindari only from about 1730 A. D.; from which time
Ramnad came to be known as the Great Marava, and Sivaganga as the lesser Marava
or Nalukottai. The Tondaimans of Pudukkotta got first into prominence on account of
their services to the Nayaks; and Pudukkotta, was given the same rank as Travancore,
Ramnad, and Sivaganga-the, four being called the adopted sons of the Kings of
Madura", while the other chieftains were called Paalaiyakaara servants.
Dr. Caldwell condemns the system of poligars as having been productive of great evil;
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 power, 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
The Tottiyars are, according to H. A. Stuart, writing in theMadras Census Report of 1891, a caste of
Telugu cultivators settled in the districts of Madura, Tinnevelly, Coimbatore, and Salem; and they are
probably the descendants of Poligars and soldiers of the Nayakkan Kings of Vijayanagar who conquered
the Madura country about the beginning of the 16th century. The traditional story of their migration to the
Madura district is given in several of the Mackenzie Manuscripts. They are also called Ka mbalattans, and
they reverence the Pongu Tree (Pongamia Glabra) and believe themselves to have originally lived north
of the Tungabhadra river from where they migrated and took service under the Kings of Vijayanagar.
There are two sections of them, cultivators and petty Zamindars and those who wander about begging
and doing menial work. They are divided into endogamous sects, and their most important sub-divisions
correspond to the Telugu Gollas and Yerragollas. (Thurston and Rangachari-Castes and Tribes of South
IndIa, 1909, Vo!' VIl, pp. 183-197.)
Besides the first section comprising these, the second section contains the palaiyams of Ariyatur
(Malava Rayar or Nainar, Turaiyur (Reddiyar), Iluppaiyur, Kulattur, and Kattalur-Perambur. In the
succeeding sections are included the paalayams of Periyakulam, Sivagiri, Ettaiyapuram, Seitur,
Uttumalai, Kadambur, Maniacchi, Talaiankottai, Singampatti, Urkadu, Kuruvikkulam, Palani, etc. The list
should have been suhject to perpetual fluctuations, being "increased or diminished with the absence or
existence of any one preponderating power among them". •Wilson's Historical Sketch of the Kingdom of
Pandya (Eng. Tamil Ed.)-p. 43. 
unpopularity and the expense of the collection. The Poligar considered his territory as a
Paaliam or encampment, and the Nayak rulers and their successors (the Nawabs) did
not attempt to exercise or even to claim the right of exercising civil or criminal
jurisdiction in the limits of his poligars' dominions. If his tribute were paid and his
feudatory sent him assistance in his wars, his demands were satisfied.8
In the time of the famous Tirumala Nayak, (1623-59) the greater part of the lands
constituting the several territories under his rule were held as military fiefs by the
Poligars; the Sethupathi of Ramnad (the Great Marava of early Anglo-Indian historians)
did him homage, but paid no tribute and the ruler of Travancore paid tribute only when
compelled; and the others were held under a fairly firm grip.
Every considerable town and village in the Nayak Kingdom was fortified and garrisoned
with regular troops, artillery, trained elephants and horses; and a dalakartan was in
charge of the defences of each town and responsible for its safety. Madura was also
under a dalakartan who commanded the garrison and the police of the capital and
became a most powerful official before the commencement of the 18th century. The
Poligars in order to perform their military duties effectually, were to keep in perpetual
readiness a kind of militia properly equipped for service and ready to take the field at a
moment's notice. "This militia was exceedingly numerous, in fact nearly all the ablebodied
ryots resident in the Poligar's dominions were militia men and liable to be called
out whenever there was danger of invasion or a prospect of foreign service". Some of
the nobles other than the Poligars, who lived at the capital, held large estates subject to
military service and maintained regiments of infantry and cavalry. Some of the Poligars
were placed in authority over others and they were made answerable for the good
conduct of their subordinates. Thus the Sethupathi of Ramnad was the head of a
section of them; the Poligar of Dindigal was the chief of 18 Poligars and "occupied a
most distinguished position in the time of Tirumala". Whenever troops were required by
the Nayak for military operations the Dalavay (Dalakartan) of Madura sent requisitions
to such and such Poligars, to furnish so many armed men within a certain time; the
Poligars immediately sent round orders to the dalakartans and headmen of the towns
and villages; and on the day named, or soon afterwards, the levies were ready for
service and in marching order. In times of pressing necessity the Sethupathi and every
great leader of men in the kingdom would be called to arms, and swarms of troops
would hurry to the king's asistance from every quarter. The soldiers of the Poligars were
mostly ryots supporting themselves by lands granted to them rent-free on condition of
rendering niilitary service and received only batta when on march; while the expense of
maintaining them in efficiency was very trifling. The defects of such an organisation
A very considerable portion of the country south of Trichinopoly had thus passed into tho hands of the
Poligars. Hardly anything remained in the hands of the sovereign In the Madura and Dindigul regions;
while all the country north of the Tamraparani river was in the hands of Poligars. The Palaiyam
organisation likewise spread into the Carnatic and Mysore regions as well. 
have been well pointed out by Nelson.9
The Poligar's men exercised police duties not only in their own villages but presumed to
protect the property of the inhabitants and travellers in the adjoining villages and roads.
This extension of authority wholly based on encroachment was converted into a pretext,
“for the most severe oppressions of the people in the form of fees and ready money
collections".10 They also claimed rights over lands in the circar villages which they
presumed to hold as rent-free. This was partially caused by the fact that the Pollam
lands were indiscriminately intermixed in many places with the circar villages and to
some extent caused by the Poligars being allowed by the Nawab's Government to farm
the lands in those villages. They frequently ejected the ryots from the lands of which
they themselves held the inam rights and acquired a permanent interest in the kaual
9 Apart from the lack of training and discipline characteristic of such troops "they were kept in order only
so long as their leaders continued to be animated by a common hope of plunder and personal
advancement, or restrained by a common fear of the enemy, or of the king's vengeance. A jealous quarrel
among the leading chiefs or the retirement from the scene of action of one or two Poligars, who fancied
themselves slighted or ill-used, would be amply sufficient to break up a force in the presence of the
enemy or even in the very hour of success. Consequently however numerous might be the king's
battalions, however brave his generals and officers, he could never for a single moment feel absolutely
safe or regard even the slightest indications of disaffection with indifference. This was a fatal obstacle in
the way of Madura becoming a first-rate Hindu Power and ultimately, as we shall see, contributed not a
little to the bringing about her downfall". (The Madura Country, A Manual; Part III, p. 158).
10 The power exercised by the Poligars of the Carnatic (the dominions of Nawah Muhammad Ali) in regard
to police and the manner in which it was exercised either. to raise revenue or to augment their influence is
described in the report of Mr. Lushington, tho Collector of the Poligar Peshcush in the Southern Districts,
dated 20th August 1799. The Poligars collected two sorts of fees, as district-watchers and villagewatchers.
The village fees known as Tallum Kaval were of a much older creation than the Poligar's
influence and authority, "being coeval with the establishment of villages and constituting the feud for the
support of the tallian; or officers of police". The Poligars had so encroached upon and assumed these
rights that more than four-fifths of the villages in Tinnevelly had come under their influence and their
peons had superseded the talliars or' retained them on condition of receiving from them a share of their
perquisites. The Desha Kaval ordistrict watching-fees originated either from a grant of the ruler or from
the voluntary action of the villagers, who, being unable to protect themselves, submitted to such
contributions. In later times these were levied by the Poligars from defenceless villagers as the price of
forbearing to plunder them.
"These contributions consisted in payments of money, grain, plough, or cattle, and various other articles,
and were made by armed peons detached from the fort of the Poligar for that purpose; they were not
regulated by any fixed principle; but the amount depended upon the conscience of the Poligar; and when
the payment of them was resisted or not quickly submitted to it was enforced by torture and the whip; the
whole village was put into confinement; every occupation was interdicted, the cattle pounded, and the
inhabitants taken captive into the pollam, lands or murdered .... The fees and collections thus made on
account of the police, were exclusive of other assessments to which the inhabitants of the neighbouring
circar villages were subject equally with those in the pollams, under various pretences such as hunting,
batta, marriage expenses, and presents" :--The Fifth Report from the Select Committee on the Affairs of
the East India Company (1812), Vol. II, Madras Presidency (1866 edn.), pp. 89-90. 
When the Poligars of the Carnatic including the Southern Districts were transferred to
the control of the Company in 1792 by a treaty concluded with the Nawab, 11 the
Company regarded them as usurpers of authority, but subject to the Nawab whose
camp they were bound to attend whenever they were summoned with a military force
proportioned to their power and territory. They had been a perpetual source of violence
and distraction to the weak government of the Nawab upon whose officers they
frequently retaliated. He had frequently tried to interfere with them but not to much
purpose. As early as 1756, i.e., soon after Muhammad Ali was firmly established in the
Nawabship, the English resolved to take more decisive action with regard to the political
settlement of the Madura and Tinnevelly country. Orme describes in a detailed and
admirable manner the desultory warfare that had to be waged by the "Company officers,
Caillaud and Yusuf Khan, who, according to Malcolm, was the bravest and ablest of the
native soldiers that ever served the English in India "-against the Poligars and their
tools, the Mussalman adventurers from the Nawab's court. In 1760 Hyder Ali, having
made a secret alliance with the French, fought with some Poligars whose estates lay
between Dindigul (already in the possession of Mysore) and Trichinopoly. Yusuf Khan
made himself very powerful in Madura, subdued most of the Poligars, over-ran the
Sivaganga and Ramnad countries and even exacted tribute from the Rajah of
Travancore. The capture of Pondicherry by the English in January 1761 and the
departure of Mahfuz Khan, the rebellious brother of the Nawab, from the Tinnevelly
country where he was so long giving trouble, had damped the rebellious ardour of very
many Poligars. The subsequent rebellion of Yusuf Khan, his besiegement in Madura by
an army of English soldiers and Maravas, and his subsequent execution which at this
distance of time seems all but inexcusable, should not blind us to the fact that it was for
the first time during his governorship of Madura, the tribute from the Poligars was
regularly collected, the property of individuals was secured from the depredations of the
Kallars (the Colleries of Orme) and the public revenue was greatly augmented.12
The subsequent administration of the Madura country under the Nawab continued to be
troubled as before, while the situation grew worse after Hyder's celebrated invasion at
the Carnatic in 1780. The campaign of Col. Fullarton in 1783 into the country south of
Trichinopoly following on the Assignment Treaty of 1781 produced some quiet as was
reflected in his report of 1785 on the state of the country.13
After the Company took up the management of the Carnatic, the Court of Directors
11 Schedule o. 1, showing the list of Poligars with the amount of their respective tributes
or peshcush,
according to the 5th article of the treaty and article 3 empowering the Company to garrison all the
forts in
and exercise full authority oyer the Carnatic in Aitchison.-A Collection of Treaties, Engagements,
Sanads reluting to India and the Neighbouring Countries, Vol. X (4th Edn., pp. 49 and 54-55).
12 John Sullivan's Tracts upon India, 1795 (p. 142) quoted as Appendix F in S.Charles Hill's Yusuf
the Rebel Commandant,. (1914).
13 A view of the English interest in India ( Republished in Madras in 1867 ) 
issued a despatch in 1795 in which they entered into a very full discussion of the
principles underlying the treaty of 1792 and of the rights acquired by the Madras
Government to reform the administration of the Poligar possessions. An interesting
report was submitted by the Board of Revenue on this subject in 1797 and a minute was
afterwards recorded by Lord Hobart in which he pointed out to the Court of Directors the
means by which the Poligars might be rendered useful subjects and obedient tributaries
of the British Government. The Directors expressed their agreement with the views of
Lord Hobart, and in the despatch of 5th June 1799 insisted on "the absolute
suppression of the military power of the Poligars and on the substitution of a pecuniary
tribute, more proportionate than the ordinary peshcush to the revenues of their pollams,
and more adequate to the public demands for defraying the expenses of general
protection and government".
The Collectors of the Southern and Western Poligar countries were ordered to report
fully on the military establishments of the Poligars and the mode of their maintenance as
well as on the revenue and other resources of each Poligar, and on the nature of the
various oppressions to which the inhabitants were subjected. The events preceding
Major Bannerman's expedition on the so-called Bannerman-Poligar War which centered
round the conduct of Kattaboma Nayak, the Poligar of Panjalam-Kurichi, convinced
Government that the time had come to fully and finally vindicate their authority and quell
the rebellious spirit that was beginning to spread; but they temporised a little till
Seringapatam was taken and their anxieties had vanished. Major Bannerman restored
peace in soome measure; but within two years there had to be waged another Poligar
War which has been well described in the Military Reminiscences of General Welsh
who was Staff Officer to the Commander throughout the campaign. After the final
suppression of this rebellion Government, in a proclamation dated 1st December 1801,
suppressed the use of all weapons of defense and promised besides a general amnesty
a permanent assessment to the Poligars on the principles of Zamindari Tenure.
According to Bishop Caldwell, writing in 1881, the most remarkable of the changes
brought about is that of the Poligar himself. "The Poligar has become a Zamindar and
has changed his nature as well as his name. One can scarcely believe it possible that
the peaceful Nayaka and Marava Zamindars of the present day are the lineal
descendants of those turbulent and apparently untamable 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? The change brought amongst the poorer
classes 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 be fairly 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" .14
14 A Political and General History of the District of Tinnevelly (p. 219).