Sivaganga estate

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Permanently settled estate of Sivaganga
Independent kingdom till 1773.
Permanently settled zamindari from 1803.
Capital Sivaganga
Languages Tamil, English
Religion Hindu
Government Monarchy until 1773, zamindari from 1803
 •  Established 1725
 •  Disestablished 1947

The estate of Sivaganga (Tamil: சிவகங்கை ஜமீன்), also known as Kingdom of the Lesser Marava, was a permanently settled zamindari estate in the Ramnad sub-division of Madura district, Madras Presidency, British India. Along the estate of Ramnad, it formed one of the two zamindari estates of Ramnad subdivision.

The Sivaganga estate was ruled by a branch of the Marava royal family of Ramnad. The kingdom was reduced to a zamindari by the British in 1803. The zamindari was abolished through socialist reform on India's independence.


The estate of Sivaganga was located in the Ramnad subdivision of Madura district, Madras Presidency. It was situated between 9 degree 30' and 10 degree 17' N latitude and 78 degree 5' and 78 degree 58' E longitude. The zamindari covered an area of 1,680 square miles (4,400 km2). It was bound by Pudukkottai state on the north, Madura district on the west, Tinnevely district on the south and Ramnad estate on the east. The estate paid an annual tribute of Rs. 3 lakh.


As per the 1901 census, the estate had a total population of 394,206.


The Sivaganga estate was sub-divided into Sivaganga, Tirupattur and Tirubuvanam tehsils. The headquarters of the zamindari was the town of Sivagangai.


The Pudukkottai and Sivaganga regions were actually parts of the kingdom of Ramnad when it became independent in the 1680s. In 1725, Ramnad was invaded by the polygar of Nalkottai who captured two-fifths of the kingdom including the territory of Sivaganga. Since then, occasionally, Ramnad was referred to as the kingdom of the Greater Marava and Sivaganga, the kingdom of the Lesser Marava. In 1773, the British conquered Sivaganga and killed Muthu Vaduganatha Periyavudaya Thevar, the king of Sivaganga. His widow, queen Velu Nachiyar, fled to Dindigul and lived under the protection of Hyder Ali. During her exile, she formed an armed force and alliance with Gopala Nayaker and Hyder Ali. In 1780, she became the first queen in India, who fight against the British colonial power. Accompanied by Maruthu brothers she recaptured Sivaganga and make her daughter to heir. According to East India Company documents, the queen died under somewhat suspicious circumstances.[1]

In 1803, the British restored the rightful heir Udayathevan on the throne. The kingdom was subsequently reduced to a zamindari by the permanent settlement of Lord Wellesley. The estate was ruled by the descendants of Udayathevan till India's independence when the zamindari was abolished.


  • Muthu Vijaya Raghunatha Periyavudaya Thevar (1730-1750)
  • Muthu Vaduganatha Periyavudaya Thevar (1750-1780)
  • Velu Nachiyar (1780-1790)
  • Vellacci (1790-1793)
  • Vangam Periya Udaya Thevar (1793-1801)


  1. ^ "Memorial planned for Velu Nachiyar". The Hindu. 3 November 2012. 
  • Imperial Gazetteer of India. 1908.