|Capital||Tondai Nadu (Thondaimandalam)|
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|History of Tamil Nadu|
Members of the Tondaiman family were Tamil rulers of the ancient Tondai Nadu division of Tamilakkam. They ruled with the Pallava dynasty, which controlled northern Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and had its capital at Kanchipuram. Hundreds of records and edicts exist pertaining to the Tondaiman rulers.
Kalingathuparani was written by Jayamkondar in praise of Karunagara Tondaiman for the victory over Kalinga (present day Orissa). He was a Pallava prince, serving under Kulothunga Chola I as a Thalaphathy. Karunagara ngs toThondaiman is also known as Vandai arasan.
The poet Kambar wrote "Silaiezhupathy" about Karunagara Thondaimanvanniyan he belongs to Vanniar or Vannia (alt. sp. Vanniyar) (Tamil: வன்னியர்) is a title of a feudal chief in medieval Sri Lanka who ruled the Vannimai regions as tribute payers to the Jaffna kingdom. They were intermittently subdued by other powers before being recovered. Vanniar is recorded as that of a name of a caste amongst Sri Lankan Tamils in the Vanni District of northern Sri Lanka during the early 1900s. It is no longer used as a name of a caste or as chiefs in Sri Lanka. There are number of origin theories for the feudal chiefs - connected to the Koneswaram shrine, as the Vanniyar caste coming from modern Tamil Nadu state or as an indigenous formation.
The Aranthangi Tondaimans ruled Aranthangi from the 15th to the 18th centuries as feudal chiefs under the Pandyas and the Vijayanagar rulers. There are references to the Aranthangi Tondaimans in temple inscriptions at Avudayarkovil, Alappiranathan, Palaiyavanam, Pillaivayal, Aranthangi, Kovilur[disambiguation needed], Paramandur, Palankarai, Piranmalai, Thiruvarankulam and Kurumbur. Similarly, the Aranthangi Tondaimans were an independent line of chieftains ruling from Aranthangi; they flourished about 200 years before the rule of the Thondaimans of Pudukottai (which began about 1640).
The Aranthangi Thondaimans were the chief patrons of the Avudayarkovil temple, and liberally donated to its maintenance (as indicated by copper plates in the possession of the Tiruvavaduthurai Adheenam). They donated land to the Tiruvarur, Rameswaram, Kanchipuram and Benares temples. About 25 copper plates indicating grants from the Aranthangi Thondaimans have been recorded so far; 16 are in the Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam.
Pudukkottai Tondaman dynasty
The princely state of Pudukkottai was created by Raghunatha Tondaiman, a Kallar ruler of Pudukkottai. Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati of Ramnad (1673–1708) married Kathali Nachiar (Tondaiman's sister), who appointed his brother-in-law Raghunatha Thondaiman as chief of the Pudukottai district. Raghunatha Tondaiman (son of Avudai Raghunatha Thondaiman) earlier ruled Thirumayam. In appreciation for Raghunatha Tondaman's services, Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati gave him Pudukkottai.
In later centuries the Tondaiman rulers, while nominally feudatories of the Ramnad state, often pursued an independent foreign policy (a trend common in all parts of India at that time). After becoming ruler of Pudukottai, Raghunatha Tondaiman fought against the Nayaks of Tanjore in support of the Nayaks of Madurai and conquered Thirukkattupalli. A clash followed between the Tondaimans of Pudukottai and the Nayak rulers of Tanjore, and Tondaimans conquered the west of Thirukkattupalli.
The next ruler, Vijaya Reghunatha Raya Tondaiman, helped Nawab of Arcot against Hyder Ali (ruler of the Mysore Kingdom) and was loyal to the British government. When Hyder Ali’s army tried to enter Pudukkottai, the Tondaiman army drove Hyder’s army away. Tondaiman captured Kilanilai and Aranthangi, and assisted the British government against Tipu Sultan.
Pudukkotai came under formal British protection. This was arguably unavoidable, since the Thondaimans were menaced during that period by a resurgent Mysore ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan tried to leverage the power of the French against his British adversaries, and Pudukkotai (in common with its neighbours such as Thanjavur and Travancore) found it expedient to ally with the British.
Raja Rajagopala Thondaiman (1928–1948), the ninth (and last) in the line of Tondaiman rulers, was selected by the British government and was crowned at six years of age. After Indian independence in 1947, the Pudukkottai Princely State was amalgamated with the Indian Union in 1948 and became part of the Tiruchirappalli district; the long history of Tondaiman rule came to an end. Some settlements of this dynasty may still be found near Tanjaore. In early 1700 the Cholas built a temple in Madivala, which is now within the Bangalore city limits. This temple is still visited by Kathiravans who belong to this group.
During the early part of Tondaiman rule, people of the Pudukkottai region led a normal life; kings concentrated on political matters and the people’s welfare. Choultries were built for pilgrims. In the later part of their rule, due to famine the people suffered. Heavy rains and floods damaged the city of Pudukkottai, spreading disease. Later, Pudukkottai was modernized; a new school was opened, water tanks were built and the population was vaccinated against smallpox.
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