The Marudhu Pandiyar brothers (Periya Marudhu and Chinna Marudhu) ruled Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu, India, towards the end of the 18th century. They were the first to issue a proclamation of independence from the colonial British rule from Trichy Thiruvarangam Temple, Tamil Nadu on 10 June 1801, 56 years before what is generally said to be the First War of Indian Independence which broke out mainly in Northern India in 1857.
Periya and Chinna Marudhu were the sons of Udayar Servai, also known as Mookiah Palaniappan, and Anandayer, also known as Ponnathal. The elder brother was born on 15 December 1748 in the small hamlet of Narikkudi near Aruppukkottai in then Ramnad state (now Virudhunagar district); the younger was born in Ramnad in 1753. Their father was a General in the Ramnad state military and he moved his family to Virudhunagar from Narikkudi.
The Marudhu brothers were trained in native martial arts at Surankottai, which traditionally served as a training centre for the Ramnad army. Muthu Vaduganadhathevar, the Raja of Sivagangai, a principal state near Ramnad,, came to know of their brave and courageous deeds and requested the Ramnad king to assign them to serve the Sivaganga state army.
The Marudhu Pandiyars, along with the war leader Sivanandi and many of their family members, were captured at Cholapuram. They were hanged in the fort of Tirupputhur, in what is now Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu, on 24 October 1801.[dead link]
- Indian independence activists
- Veerapandiya Kattabomman
- Dheeran Chinnamalai
- Kalayar Kovil
- Rani Velu Nachiar
- Veeran Sundaralingam