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as the basis upon which the revenue should be collected, all that
had been done was to deduct 16 per cent, from the proposed total
revenue of fasli 1214, which was a higher figure than had ever
been actually collected while the country was under the Compan) .
Consequently the margin of profit left to the zamindars was very
small, and as a series of bad seasons had followed the comjiletion
of the permanent settlement they had collapsed under tlie losses
which these had involved. Mr. Hodgson concluded by recommend-
ing that as the permanent settlement liad thus failed it should be
replaced by the system of leasing out each village separately for a
fixed term.

The Government approved his conclusions and suggestions, and
wrote a despatch on iho matter to the Directors which largely
reproduced them both. From fasli 1217 (1807-08) the system of
renting out the various villages for a term of three years was
introduced under Mr. Parish's suj^ervision. The result was a
slight increase in the amount of ihe revenue realised over that




The district



Mr. Hodg-
son's roporfc
npon it.


village leases,





Mr. Kou8



in the






whicli would have been received under the permanent settlement,
bat this was counterbalanced by the higher charges of management
and collection which the more detailed system involved.

From 1812, the year when the triennial village leases expired,
to 1828 (with the exception of one short interval) the Collector of
the district was Mr. Eons Peter, a gentleman who made himself
extremely popular among the natives of the district and is still
(see p. 25i^>) well remembered in Madura.

The triennial leases had been almost as serious a failure as the
attempted permanent settlement ; and on their expiry a ryotwari
settlement, based on Mr. Hurdis' survey, was introduced. This
system has continued to the present day. In 1823 Mr. Rous Peter
proposed to the Board of Revenue that the assessments of the
Dindigul country should be revised and lowered. He considered
that they had proved themselves to be higher than the ryots could
afford, and that they were moreover unequal in their incidence
owing to imperfections in the land classification effected by Mr.
Hurdis. He was of opinion that to remedy matters a reclassifica-
tion of the whole country was necessary.

His suggestions were sanctioned by the authorities at Madras
with but little discussion, and were carried out.

They were, however, insufficient to meet the needs of the case ;
and in October 1831 the then Collector, Mr. Viveash, submitted
for the consideration of the Board of Revenue yet another scheme
for the reduction of the Dindigul assessments which he appears to
have carried out in part in anticipation of sanction. He pointed out
that Mr. Hurdis' rates had been prescribed without ever consider-
ing whether the result of them was to biing the revenue demanded
from any particular tract or zamindari above the figures prevailing
imder former governments, so that in many cases, when compared
with such figures, they were clearly excessive. He instanced the
case of kasba Tadikkombu, the amount collected from which had
been 4,637 chakrams in fasli 1183 under the renter Mir Sahib
already mentioned ; 4,508 chakrams on an average during six
years under the renter iSaiyad Sahib ; 3,296 chakrams on an
average in the eighteen years from fasli 1194 ; but 4,999 chakrams
in fasli 1212 under Mr. Hurdis.

Mr. Yiveash said he had followed the methods and rules which
had been adopted in the Ceded districts, and had assembled before
him the village headmen, karnams and ryots of each zamindari or
estate, together with experienced ryots of neighbouring taluks to



act as arbitrators, and had required tliem to revise the classification CHAP. XI.
of all land cultivated in fasli 1236 (1826-27), a good year, with Ekvenub

reference to such sets of accounts as were available, to the assess-

ments of neighbouring tracts and to their own personal experience.
He went on to say that —

' After the rates of Mr. Kurdis had thus been revised, T considered,
with reference to the collections of Fuslj 1236, the average collections
of former years, and the opinions of the experienced Natamgars,
whether any, and if any, what addition should be made to the total
revenue of each taluq resulting from the revised rates of the ryots in
Cutcherry, and the addition was then made to the villages, and the
fields of each village, by the Natamgars, Kurnums, and Eyots, who,
aware that what one gained another would lose, took special care that
the additional revenue was fairly imposed. The accounts were then
brought to me, the rcA'ised rates read over, the ryots were questioned
if any of the villages or lands had been favoured, and, on their
expressing themselves and signing a document to the contrary, they

were dismissed The basis of the revised assessment

is the Hoolcos assessment of Mr. Hurdis revised and corrected by
the instrumentality of the ryots themselves; whilst loss of revenue was
prevented by fixing the total bereez of the district with reference to
average collections, and checks were provided against inequality in
the assessment by leaving the ryots themselves to distribute the total

Apparently no definite orders were ever passed on this report of
Mr. Viveash's.

In March 1854 Mr. Parker, the then Collector, submitted for Abolition of
the consideration of the Board a plan for the abolition of an
exceptional tax known as vdnpayir which was levied on the culti-
vation of certain specially valuable kinds of produce (such as
betel, plantains, turmeric, chillies and brinjals) when grown on
wet land, and a similar extra assessment which was levied on
garden dry land planted with these same crops. The rates at
which the vdnfmjir tax was imposed varied in a complicated
manner from taluk to taluk and with the nature of the crop. Mr.
Parker considered that only the ordinary wet land and garden dry
land assessments, respectively, should be charged in these two
cases. He urged that the extra rate was objectionable on the
ground that it violated the accepted principle that the land, and
not the particular product raised, should be taxed, that it restricted
the ryots' methods, that it raised the price of very necessary articles
of food and that it occasioned vexatious inquisitions into the
ryots' doings and complications in the accounts. The Board
agreed with him, and shortly afterwards also sanctioned the










discontinnance of an extra tax whicli was being- similarly levied on
tobacco in certain parts of the district.

In 1861 Grovernment asked the Board to report on certain
questions which had been left undetermined for many years ;
namely, the position of what were termed the ' unsettled pdlaiyams'
(also spplt ' poliems ' and ' poUams ') in this and other districts,
the expediency of granting them permanent sanads, and the
terms on which this might be done.

It will be remembered (see p. 183 above) that when the Din.
digul country was first acquired by the Company it contained 26
palaiyams or zamindari estates. By 1803, when Mr. Hurdis
wrote his great report on the settlement of the district, twelve of
these had come under Government management - three of them
(Eriy6du, Palni and Virtipakshi) having been forfeited for rebellion ;
three more ( Devadanapatti, Madlir and R ettayambadi) having
escheated for want of heirs ; and six (Idaiyankottai, Nilakk6t-
tai, PaUiyappanayakkanur, Sandaiytir, Sukkdmpatti and another)
having been resumed for arrears. These twelve, together with
the Government lands, were carved up into the forty zamindaris
already mentioned, and were either handed over to their former
owners or were sold to sundry purchasers under the idea that a
permanent settlement would thus be established. Their fate has
already been sketched above.

The other fourteen estates were left in the hands of their
owners and charged a peshkash assessed at 70 per cent, of their
value as ascertained by Mr. Hurdis' survey and settlement of
fasli 1212. Similar arrangements were made by Mr. Hurdis and
his successor Mr. Parish with respect to the sixteen other palai-
yams in the Madura country proper — ' the ten poliems of Madura
and the six poliems of Manapara,' as they are called in the old
records. In 1816, several of these thirty estates were in arrear
with their peshkash and Government authorised the Collector in
future to take such properties under his own management and
allow the ejected poligars a m^likhana allowance of ten per cent,
on the net proceeds of the palaiyams. This course continued to
be followed until 1840. In that year Government called upon the
owners of estates thus under attachment either to pay up the
arrears or to agree to surrender their properties on condition of
continuing to receive the malikh^na they were then getting ; and
said that the palaiyams of those who would not consent to either
alternative would be sold in satisfaction of the arrears due upon
tnem. Several of the poligars accordingly gave up their estates



* Ammayunayakkaudr.









D od dappaniy ak kantir .









and the owner of Kannivadi paid
up the arrears due by him. 8uch
of tlie other palaiyams as neither
escheated on failure of heirs
nor were resumed for arrears j
continued to pay the peshkash
originally fixed by Messrs.
Hurdis and Parish, even though
this had not been formally
declared permanent and though
no sanads had been granted for
them.^ By 1865 eighteen * of
the original thirty palaiyamSj as
well as the mittahs of Velur and
Eettayambadi in the Palni taluk >
were still in existence.
In that year (in answer to the orders of Government above
mentioned) the Board of Eevenue reviewed in an elaborate
proceedings ^ the history and position of these estates and recom-
mended that permanent sanads should be granted to the owners of
such of them as were willing to accept such grants and to execute
the corresponding kabuliyats ; and that, for reasons stated, the
peshkash should in no ease be enhanced. Government agreed.
The owners of one t of the two mittahs and of fourteen + of the

eighteen palaiyams accepted this
invitation and applied for sanads.
In August 1867 Grovernment
ordered that the case of Velur
should receive further considera-
tion, postponed orders in the
cases of Bodindyakkanur, Ganta-
manayakkanur, Uttappandyakka-
ntir, and Sirupalai (the owners
of which were minors) and also
of Kannivddi (which, see p. 239,
was exceptionally situated), but
sanctioned the issue of sanads
in the remaining nine cases. In

' Forty blank sanads (with their corresponding kabuliyats) wore sent to
Mr. Parish in 1805 for distribution to ' the mittahdars in Dindigul,' but the
estates were continually being resumed and resold and Air. Parish as a faot
never even filled up these documents — much less issued them. Except one
which was lost and another which had been abstracted by the record-keeper
and made over to a pretender to the Ki'lakkottai estate, the whole of them lay in
the Collector's records uutil 183b, when thoy were torn up.

* Printed in G.O., No. 2730, Kevenuc, dated 10th Noyember 1865.1

cm I'. XI.


t 761dr.

X Amniayanayakkanur.

Jot ilnayakkandr.





tion in the

Difficulties at
the outset.

* Kanuiv^di.

t P6raiy6r.

subsequent years sanads were also granted to all tlie other estates
except (apparently) Sirup^lai. Statistics regarding the various
zamindaris now in existence will be found in the separate
Appendix to this Grazetteer and some account of each of them

is given in Chapter XV below.
Of the eighteen estates and two
mittahs mentioned above as
being included in the district in
V6idr. * 1865^ all except five* have been

declared impartible and inalienable by the Madras Impartible

Estates Act, 1904, and the same
declaration has been made re-
garding three f others which were
transferred to the district from
TinneveUy in 1859.

We may now turn to the revenue history of the Madura
country from the time when it came into British hands.

As has already (p. 69) been seen, this practically became
part of the territories of the British in 1 790, when the Company
assumed its revenues from the Naw4b by proclamation and
Mr. McLeod was appointed Collector of it.

His responsibilities within it appear to have been limited at
first to receiving the rent from the man, Muttu Irulappa Pillai,
to whom it had been leased, and to watching the Company's
pecuniary interests, but the difficulties in Madura soon became
almost as serious as those which had been experienced at the
outset of the administration of the Dindigul country.

Early in 1791 the renter appears to have been guilty of
tyrannical and extortionate conduct and to have provoked the
Kalians to commit a series of outrages. The Collector reported
that it was necessary to station sufficient troops at Anaiyiir (in
Tirumangalam) and Melur (at which latter place there were
already two companies of sepoys) to keep these people in order,
and that the Anaiyur Kalians were in the habit of making
predatory excursions through both the Dindigul and Madura
provinces because there was no force there which was adequate to
overawe them. In June 1791 the renter was deprived of his farm
and much correspondence "followed regarding his conduct and
pecuniary liabilities. Grovernment resolved that thenceforth the
country should be leased out in a number of small farms and not
again to a single individual,

Three years later, in June 1794, Mr. McLeod seems to have
ceased to be Collector at Madura, and to have been in charge of



Dindigui onlj. Apparently, indeed, Madura was left for a timft
without any Collector at all, for in October 1795 the Collector of
Dindigui complained of tlie outrages committed by the Kalians,
stated that the turbulent individuals all belonged to the Madura
country, and urged that the faujdar of the Nawab of Arcot, who
was in charge of that tract, ought to be required to keep them in
order. He said that the road from Dindigui to Kambam was
altogether unsafe, and that it was necessary to station troops along
it in the Kambam valley.

In July 1801, as has already (p. 71) been seen, the Madura
country, which was then under the management of the amildar
of the Nawdb of Arcot, was formally ceded by treaty by the
Nawab to the Company ; and a proclamation was issued constitut-
ing Mr. Hurdis, the Collector of Dindigui, as Collector of the
whole of the Madura district. Government informed that officer
that there was no reason to expect any opposition to the transfer,
but that the troops quartered in the south of the Presidency w^ould
be at his disposal if necessary ; and directed him to use his own
discretion as to maintaining for a time or disbanding at once the
regular troops and sihbandi, or armed police, which had been
kept up by the Naw4b. Mr. Hurdis set a native commandant
named Nattam Khan to watcli the Kalians, kept on the Naw^b's
tahsildars for a time, obtained the revenue accounts from these and
others of that potentate's officers and organized taluk establishments
in all parts except Melur, where the Kalians were apparently
exceptionally troublesome.

His first jamabandi of the country was begun towards the end
of 1801 (fasli 1211) and merely retained the customary rates of
assessment and avoided any sweeping changes. His report on
this, his letter of 20th July 1802 on the improved settlement he
afterwards introduced in this same fasli, and a third report, dated
4th May 1803, and dealing with the jamabandi of fasli 1212
(1802-03), are the chief authorities regarding his administration of
the country. They cannot be said to be perspicuous documents. Mr.
Nelson spent much labour in the ' endeavour to illumine to some
little extent their dark and apparently unfathomable depths ' and
came to the conclusion that ' the mode in which its (the Madura
country's) settlement was effected is to this day a mystery.'

The reports speak of the following different kinds of lands and
land tenure, some of which are of interest : (I) Sirkar, or ordinary
Government, land, (2) Hafta devasidnam, (3) Sibbandi poriippu,
(4) Jivitham, (5) Poruppu villages, (6) Church mdniyams, (7)
Chattram, (8) ^rai-lcatlalai, (9) Arai-kat alai \i}Aa,ges^ {IQ) Ardha-
mdniyam, (11) Palaiyam, and (12) Inani.



cession of the

Early settlo-
iiients in it.

The rarious
land tenures.






Hafta ^

The first of these, oi-dinary Government land, was divided inro
(a^ wet, (A) dry, and (o) betel, land.

The revenue on wet land was collected according to one of two
methods. Under the former of these, which was called dttu-Tcdl-
pcUhanaii) and was followed only in the case of land watered from a
river channel, the customary swaiantratns and rassums (which Mr.
Hardis, after much enquiry, had fixed at 12 J per cent, of the
whole) were first deducted from the gross produce of each field
and distributed to their owners, and then the remaining produce
was divided in equal shares between Grovernment and the culti-
vator. The Government share was either handed over in kind, or
paid for in cash at a price fixed by the Collector. Under the
latter of the two methods of collecting the revenue on wet land,
which was called mdnacdripat and was applied only to land under
rain-fed tanks, the gross produce was equally divided between
Grovernment and the cultivator without any deduction for swatan-
trams being made.

The revenue on dry land was collected in money and was either
assessed on the acreage cultivated (at what rates does not appear)
or in a lump sum on each village as a whole, without reference to
the area tilled therein. These latter villages were called katiu-
kutiagai, or fixed rent, villages.

Betel land was reported to have been assessed on the principles
followed under the Nawdb's government, but what these were
was not explained. The assessments collected in this year 1801
on the various fields, calculated almost at haphazard though they
were, were duly recorded and remained for years afterwards the
revenue always demanded on those fields.

The hafta devaddnam (seven temples) land was land granted for
the upkeep of the worship and ceremonies at the following seven
temples : those of Minakshi at Madura (the great temple), JCallar
Alagarsvdmi and Kudal Alagarsvami, and those at Tirupparan-
kunram, Tenkarai, Tiruvedagam and Kuraviturai. Who origi-
nally made these grants is not now ascertainable. It was per-
haps Tirumala Nayakkan. Nor is their subsequent fate clear, as
accounts differ. Perhaps some of them were usurped during the
troublous times immediately following the disruption of the Vijaya-
nagar empire. When Chanda Sahib obtained possession of the
Madura kingdom (see p 58) he is said to have seized what
remained of them ; and his proceedings rendered it necessary for
the managers of the Minakshi temple to close that institution and
to hurriedly remove the idols and the entire establishment to
Manamadura in the Sivaganga zamindari, where, it is said, they
remained for twoiyears and three months, the expenses of maintain-


ing the customary worship being met by the Setupati of Eamnad. CHAP. XI.

After the capture of Chanda Sahib (see p. 69), Morari Kao, it is Kkveme

stated, effected the return to Madura of the idols and establishment '"^"" ^ "

and the restoration of part, if not all, of the land which Chanda

Sahib had taken from the temple. Subsequently much of the

property was again lost, but when Muhammad Yusuf Khan (who

was by birth a Vellala and therefore, though by faith a Musalman,

kindly disposed towards Hindu temples) came to Madura (see

p. 06), he is declared to have retained possession of the whole of

it, but to have made, in his first year, a grant of 12,000 chakrams

for the support of the seven temples and, in the succeeding years,

an allotment of 6,000 chakrams. When Mr. Hurdis took charge

of the country he found that what was then called the hafta

devastdnam land yielded the Grovernment a revenue of Rs. 50,292,

and he proposed to the Board that it should be retained in the

hands of Grovernment and that an annual permanent allowance

of 12,000 chakrams should be made to the seven temples.

The Board ordered the Collector to restore to the temples ' the
lands resumed from the pagodas by the late government,^ but
for some reason not now traceable Mr. Hurdis never carried out
these instructions and (though the question of its disposal was
raised in 1849 and again in 1859) the hafta devastdnam land
remains in the hands of Government. It had long ceased to be a
religious endowment, and formed part of the resources of the
State at the time of the cession of the district.

Sihbandi poriippu land was that in the occupation of indivi- sniandi
duals belonging to the establishment {sib1>andi) of the great voruppu.
Minakshi temple at Madura. It is said that Yusuf Khan imposed
on this a poruppu, or fixed tribute, of an arbitrary nature in
order to make up the grant of 6,000 chakrams which he accorded
to the great temple at Madura. In Mr. Hurdis' time this
poruppu amounted to as much as 5,506 chakrams, and it was
excluded by him from his revenue demand.

Jivitham land was that which had been held by military jivitham,
peons for subsistence. Holding the opinion that the peons were
no longer required, Mr. Hurdis resumed it all and added its
assessment to the revenue demand.

Poruppu villages appear to have been those which were Poruppu
originally granted free to Brahmans but were afterwards taxed tillages,
with a quit-rent, or poruppu, by later rulers,

' Church mdniyams * seem to have included in a general way Chnrch
all land which was lield by the temples, or by Brahmans or others "'""'ya*"*-
connected therewith, and was not subject to the ordinary full












Defects of the

Cliattram laud was that granted for the purpose of perpetuaiij
maintaining certain eliattrams, or rest-houses, for travellers. As
has been mentioned on p. 157 above, the grantees had in manj
instances altogether ignored their trusts and treated the land
as their private property, guarding themselves by bribes to the
authorities against interference with their dishonesty.

Arai-kattalai land was apparently [that granted and added to
temple property to pay for the performance of certain religious
acts, among them the celebration of worship for the benefit of
the soul of the departed grantor. Mr. Hurdis found that, as in
the case of the chattram land, many of these grants had been
improperly alienated by the dishonest servants of their nominal
managers, and that the proceeds of them were no longer devoted
to the purposes for which they were originally intended,

Arai-kattalai villages were said to be those which had been
granted rent-free to individuals in order that they might transfer
them to the temples and thus obtain credit for a religious act. The
transfers effected in accordance with tha grants had in most cases
been merely nominal and colourable, and the villages remained the
property of the grantees. The fiction of transfer had, however,
the advantage of obtaining for the villages that protection which
was often accorded to temple property, though in some cases this

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