Dheeran Chinnamalai

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Dheeran Chinnamalai Gavundar
Chieftain of Kongu Nadu
Dheeran Chinnamalai1.jpg
Statue of Dheeran Chinnamalai at Odanilai
SuccessorBritish Rule
Born(1756-04-17)17 April 1756
Melapalayam, Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu
Died31 July 1805(1805-07-31) (aged 49)
Sankagiri, Tamil Nadu
Burial31 July 1805
Full name
Theerthagiri Sarkkarai Mandradiyaar
FatherRathinam Sarkkarai Mandraadiyaar

Dheeran Chinnamalai Gavundar (17 April 1756 – 31 July 1805) was a Tamil chieftain and Palayakkarar who fought against the British East India Company rule during the struggle for Indian independence.

Early life[edit]

Dheeran Chinnamalai Gavundar was born on 17 April 1756 in Melapalayam near Kangeyam in Tamil Nadu. His birth name was as Theerthagiri Sarkkarai Mandradiyaar and his parents were Rathinam Sarkkarai Mandraadiyaar and Periyaathaal. He had three brothers Kulandhaisamy, Kiledhar, Kuttysamy and a sister Maragadham. [1]

Polygar wars[edit]

Dheeran Chinnamalai Gavundar was one of the main commanders in the Polygar Wars, notably during the Second Polygar War that took place in 1801–1802. He was trained by French military in modern warfare alongside Tipu Sultan to fight against the British East India company and helped in victories against the British at Chitheswaram, Mazahavalli and Srirangapatna.

After Kattabomman and Tipu Sultan's deaths, Chinnamalai sought the help of Marathas and Maruthu Pandiyar to attack the British at Coimbatore in 1800. British forces managed to stop the armies of the allies and hence Chinnamalai was forced to attack Coimbatore on his own. His army was defeated and he escaped from the British forces.[2] Chinnamalai engaged in guerrilla warfare and defeated the British in battles at Cauvery in 1801, Odanilai in 1802 and Arachalur in 1804.[1]


Chinnamalai was betrayed by his cook Nallapan and was captured and imprisoned by the British sepoys in 1805.[2] He was forced to obey the british rules and pay tribute to them. But, he refused for their rules and was finally hanged at Sankagiri Fort along with his two brothers on 31 July 1805 on the day of Aadi Perukku.[1][2][3]


Dheeran Chinnamalai memorial at Sankagiri

Statues and memorials commemorating Dheeran Chinnamalai Gavundar exist in Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Erode and Odanilai.[4][1][5] On 31 July 2005, a commemorative postage stamp commemorating him was released by India Post.[6][7]

Until 1997, Tiruchirapalli division of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation was known as Dheeran Chinnamalai Transport Corporation.[8] Until 1996, Karur district was known as Dheeran Chinnamalai district.[9][10] The headquarters of Erode Municipal Corporation are named after him.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "Dheeran Chinnamalai statue to be installed in Odanilai soon". The Hindu. 10 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "Chinnamalai, a lesser-known freedom fighter of Kongu soil". The Hindu. 2 August 2008.
  3. ^ Ram Govardhan (2001). Rough with the Smooth. Leadstart publishing. p. 212. ISBN 9789381115619.
  4. ^ "Memorial of Dheeran Chinnamalai set for face lift". Times of India. 18 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Government to construct manimandapam for Sivaji". The Hindu. 26 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Stamp on Dheeran Chinnamalai released". The Hindu. 1 August 2005.
  7. ^ "Postage Stamps". postagestamps.gov.in. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  8. ^ P. Jegadish Gandhi (1 January 1998). State Transport undertakings. Deep and Deep. ISBN 9788176290845.
  9. ^ Records of Geological Survey Volume 130, Parts 5-6. Government of India. 1997.
  10. ^ Viswanathan (2005). Dalits in Dravidian land:Frontline reports on Anti-Dalit violence in Tamil Nadu, 1995-2004. Navayana. ISBN 9788189059057.
  11. ^ "In memory of a valiant Kongu Chieftain". Times of India. 5 April 2012.