|Palaiyakkarar of Tenkasi|
|Reign||Ended 16 October 1799|
Tamil Nadu, India)
|Died||16 October 1799 (aged 39)|
Kayatharu, Tinnively District, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Thoothukudi District,
Tamil Nadu, India)
|Father||Jagaveera Kattabomman|
Veerapandiya Kattabomman was an 18th-century Palayakarrar and king of Panchalankurichi in Tamil Nadu, India. He refused to accept the sovereignty of the British East India Company and waged a war against them. He was captured by the British with the help of the ruler of the kingdom of Pudukottai, Vijaya Raghunatha Tondaiman, and at the age of 39 he was hanged at Kayathar on 16 October 1799.
He was a Vatuka (northerner), a loose term for a group of Telugu-speaking castes which includes families who claim to have moved south to settle in the arid Tirunelveli region after the collapse of the Nayaka-controlled Vijayanagara Empire in 1565. They had previously had some prominence in the imperial court and may have been adept at farming in dry conditions, although it is also possible that they had no choice but to settle where they did because the other significant community of Tirunelveli – the Maravars – had already occupied the more favourable areas. Kattabomman was a member of the Rajakambalam Nayakkar caste who are shepherds, with the other two Vadugan communities being the Kammavars and the Reddies.
The historian Susan Bayly says that Kattabomman is considered a Robin Hood-like figure in local folklore and is the subject of several traditional narrative ballads in the kummi verse form. The site of his execution at Kayathar has become a "powerful local shrine" and at one time sheep were sacrificed there. The Government of Tamil Nadu maintains a memorial at Kayathar and the remnants of the old fort at Panchalankurichi is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. In 2006, the Tirunelveli district administration organised a festival at Panchalankurichi on his birth anniversary.
To commemorate the bicentenary of Kattabomman's hanging, the Government of India released a postal stamp in his honour on 16 October 1999. The Indian Navy communications centre at Vijayanarayanam is named INS Kattabomman.
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- Dheeran Chinnamalai
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- Oomaithurai, Veerapandiya Kattabomman's younger brother
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