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set the Dindigul Committee of 1796 (p. 18o ) at defiance and then
fled, leaving behind him an irrecoverable balance of 3,436 pagodas.
On the 4th August 1796 Government ordered the estate to be
forfeited. Thereafter, up to the fall of Seringapatam in 1799, a
detached post of the Dindigul garrison, consisting of a company of
sepoys under a British officer, was stationed in the place.

Kannivadi : Lies ten miles nearly due west of Dindigul, close
under the Palni Hills. It is the chief place in the zamindari of the
same name, which is the largest in the district, pays more than
twice as much peshkash as any other, and includes the whole of
the eastern end of the Lower I'alnis The Survey Account of 1816
says that in those days traces of old buildings and extensive forfi-
fications showed that the village originally stood in the narrow
valley about a mile to the west, then entirely deserted except by
wild elephants, and that in Pannairaalaiyur, on the hills above it
and approached by a difficult and fortified path, were the remains
of buildings to which the zamindars used to flee when harried by
the Mysoreans.

The village is not interesting, but the estate has a long history.
Until it was bought in a Court sale in 1900 by its present
proprietors, the Commercial Bank of India, it was owned by a
family of Tottiyan poligars whose traditions ^ go back five
centuries. Like other chiefs of this caste, say these chronicles, the
original ancestor of the family (with his two brothers, the first
poligars of Yirupdkshi and Idaiyankottai) fled in the fifteenth
century from the northern Deccan because the Musalmans there
coveted his womenkind ; was saved from pursuit by two accommo-
dating pongu trees on either side of an unfordable stream which
bowed their heads together to make a bridge for him but stood

' S«e the long acoount in the MackenBie MSS., iii, 417 ff.


erect again as soon as he had passed ; and settled in this district. CHAP. XV.
A descendant of his, Appaya Nayakkan, won the good graces of Dindigul.
Visvanatha of Vijayanagar (p. 41), was granted this estate on
the usual terms, cleared it of jungle and marauding Vedans and
Kalians, and eventually was entrusted with the defence of one of
the 72 bastions of the new Madura fort. A later scion of the line,
Chinna Kattira N^yakkan, founded Kannivadi. One night (goes
the story, which is still very popular) he saw the god of the
Madura temple and his wife strolling in the woods. She lingered
behind, and he called out to her ' Kanni vadi ! ' (meaning ' Come
along, girl! '), and she replied ' Nallam pillai' (or, 'All right,
dear.'). The poligar accordingly founded the Kannivadi and
Nallampillai villages in commemoration of this unique experience.
Another chief of the palaiyam was made head of the eighteen
poligars of Dindigul who figure so frequently in the old tales as
the defenders of this part of the country against incursions from
Mysore, and he and his descendants accompanied the Nayakkan
rulers of Madura on many of their various military expeditions.

After the decline and fall of the Nayakkans, the Kannivadi
poligar, like most of his fellows, aimed at semi-independence. In
1755 (p. 70) Haidar Ali marched to bring them to order, but
he was two months before he had cleared away the jungles
and obstacles which surrounded the Kannivadi stronghold. At
the end of that time the poligar promised to pay three lakhs of
chakrams, and produced 70,000 of them on the spot. He was,
however, eventually unable to find the remainder, and Haidar
sequestrated his estate and sent him under arrest to Bangalore.
The property was given back by the English in ] 783, resumed
again for arrears by Tipu in 1788, and once more restored by the
Company in 1790, when it formed one of the 26 palaiyams at that
time comprised in the Dindigul country. The poligar appears
to have misbehaved soon after, for he died in confinement in
1793. The chief of Virup4kshi claimed his estate, but by 1795
the property was back in the hands of the original family and was
described as ' a very fine little district in capital order.'

For many years thereafter it remained one of the fourteen
' unsettled palaiyams ' already referred to on p. 194 which always
paid the peshkash fixed by Air. Hurdis in 1802-03, even though
this had not been declared permanent and though no sanads had
been granted for them. In some ways, however, its case was an
exception, for it happened to be under attachment for arrears in
1817-18 when Mr. Eous Peter introduced his reductions in
Mr. Hurdis' assessment rates, and these reductions were extended
to it and prevailed until it was restored to the poligar's family (on

!^40 MADURA.

CHAP. XV. his paying tlie arrears due on it) in 1842-43, and from then
DiNDiGUL. onwards until 1862-63. By the latter year, the poligar was
deeply in debt and was compelled to lease his property. In 1867,
therefore, when Grovernment ordered (p. 195) that sanads should
be granted to certain others of the unsettled palaiyams on their
then existing peshkash, it was feared that to give Kannivadi a sanad
would lead to the dismemberment of the heavily-involved estate,
and for this and other reasons the case was held over to be further
considered when the next occasion for appointing a new poligar
should arise. The then proprietor died in 1881, but the estate was
still much encumbered and the sanad was again withhold. In 1895
the poligar borrowed some ten lakhs, on a mortgage of his estate,
from the Commercial Bank of India ; and this institution eventually
foreclosed, obtained a decree, and (there being no bidders) itself
bought in the property at the Court auction in August 1900. In
19U5, after considerable discussion, a permanent sanad for the
zamindari was granted to the Bank on the same peshkash which
had always been paid, namely, Ks. 38,080-9. The property is not
scheduled as impartible and inalienable in the Madras Impartible
Estates Act, 1904.

Kuvakkapatti : Fifteen miles in a direct line nearly north
of Dindigul ; population 1,262. Was formerly known as Palli-
yappanayakkanur, and was the chief village of a small palaiyam
of that name which was one of the 26 estates comprised in the
Dindigul province at the time of its acquisition by the Company
in 1 790. Palliyappa Ndyakkan was one of the first owners of this,
and is stated in one of the Mackenzie MSS. to have built the mud
fort the ruins of which still stand on the east of the village, and the
temple and mantapam adjoining it. In Haidar's expedition of
1755 the then poligar surrendered and promised to pay a fine. He
broke his word, and Haidar resumed his estate. The later history
of the property has been referred to on p. 183. After the
Company obtained the Dindigul country, the poligar was again
ousted for arrears and in 1795 he was reported not to live on his
property and to be much to blame for his neglect of it. One of
his descendants still draws a small allowance from Government
and his residence enjoys the courtesy title of ' palace. '

Madur : Seven miles east of Dindigul, population 1,743.
Formerly capital of one of the 26 palaiyams comprised in the
Dindigul province. Its history up to the advent of the Company
has been sketched on pp. 70 and 183. In 1795 Mr. Wynch
reported that it was in bad order owing to the indebtedness of its
owner, and it was resumed for arrears in 1796. The poligar then


collected and armed soiuo peons and went about the estate annopng CHAP. XV,
and intimidating- the ryots. The property escheated on failure of Dindigl-l.
heirs in the same year. It was in a most neglected state, the fields
being overrun with weeds and scrub. It suffered severely in the
great fever epidemic of 1811 ' which swept away the greatest part
of ' its inhabitants, and in I81l3 it was stated to be ' almost
desolated.' East of the adjoining village of Ramanadapuram, on a
low rock, is an ancient inscription which has long' remained
nndeciphered. M.ll.Ry. V. Venkayya states that it records the
building of a tank in the time of the Pandya king Maranjadaiyan,
who perhaps belonged to the middle of the ninth century A.D.

Marunuttu : Ten miles in a direct line south-east of Dindigul,
population 512. Formerly the chief village of one of the 26
palaiyams already several times referred to. The history of this
in pre-British days has been given on pp. 70 and l83. In 1795
it was reported to be a ' well ordered estate,' but in 1798 we find
the poligar charged with murder and other crimes and fleeing
from justice. Soon after, his property was forfeited, and in 1816
Marunuttu village was said to be desolate except for a few
Musalmans in a detached hamlet who .lived by trading with the
people on the Sirumalais.

Palakkanuttu (more usually spelt Palaganuth) is a village
of 4,848 inhabitants in the Kannivadi zamindari 15 miles west of
Dindigul on the Palni road, it contains a chattram, inscriptions in
which show that the part reserved for Brdhmans was built in 1840
from funds raised by Division Sheristadar Chintamani Venliata
Rao, and the non-Brdhman portion in 1813 by the wife of the
zamindar of Ayakkudi. The travellers' bungalow in the village is
located in an old building with an arched roof, half of which is
occupied by the police-station. Local tradition says that it was
constructed by the Robert Davidson who was Sub-Collector of
Dindigul from 1836 to 1837 and again from 1838 to 1841, died at
that town in the last of these years, and lies buried in the ceme-
tery at the foot of the fort rock there.

Gold has long been, and is still, washed from the alluvium and
sand of the red ground at the foot of both sides of the prominent
hill two miles north by west of the travellers' bungalow. It is
found in small particles and in such limited quantities that the
people who search for it do not make more tlian they woii\i by
manual labour of the ordinary kind.

The Rev. C. F. Muzzy of the American Mission, who first
drew public attention to the matter in 1856,^ suggested that if

^ M.J.L.8., xTii, 101.


342 IfADURA.

CHAP. XV. moderately doep shafts were snnk the yield would probably be
UiNniecL. greatly increased, but local report, says that this has since been tried
bj more than one European without success.

Sukkampatti : Two miles north of A ilur; population 2,439.
Formerly the chief place of one of the 26 palaiyams of the Dindi-
gul country. In 1755, during- Haidar's expedition against the
owners of these ''p. 70), this poligar sent a body of troops to the
help of the chief of Eriyodu, whom Haidar was attacking. These
were cut to pieces, and the poligar was fined 30,000 chakrams for
his audacity. As he did not pay the money, Haidar sequestered
his estate. This was restored by the English in 1783, resumed
again in 1785, given back once more by the Company in 1790, but
again sequestrated for arrears in 1795, being then ' in the greatest
disorder .' On this the poligar, like him of Madur, armed some
peons and went about for some tiire harrying the ryots and pre-
venting the collection of the Company's dues. The head of the
family still receives a small pension from Government.

Tadikkombu : About five miles north of Dindigul, population
5,o01. The village once gave its name to the head-quarter taluk
of the Dindigul province and the cutcherry was located there. It
possesses a temple to Alagar (Sundarardja Perumdl) which con-
tains the best sculpture in the taluk. Tlie work is of the later
N4yakkan style and among the inscriptions in the building is a
record dated 1029, in the time of Tirumala Nayakkan. The finest
carving is in the mantapam before the goddess' shrine, which is
supported by a series of big monolithic pillars about twelve feet
high fashioned into verj elaborate and spirited representations
of the incarnations of Vishnu and so on. Nearer the shrine is a
smaller and more ordinary inner mantapam. The entrance to this
is Hanked on either side by two notable pillars made of a handsome
marbled stone and consisting of a central square column sur-
rounded by eight graceful detached shafts all cut out of one
stone and all of different designs. The roof of this smaller manta-
pam has eaves quaintly fashioned to represent wooden rafters and
tie-pieces, exactly similar — though smaller and less carefully
executed — to the finer examples of the same artifice to be seen in
the temple ai Tiruvadur (see p. 290). On the east facade of the
main gopuram is another instance of the same unusual work, while
lying about in the temple courtyard are stones which evidently
once formed part of other eaves of this kind and are stated to
have fallen from the deserted shrine in the south- west corner of
this enclosure.



Tavasimadai : Ei^yht miles soutli-east of Dindij^ul, close under CilAP. XY.
the Sirumalais ; ]:)opalation 1,003. Once the capital of one of the Dindigul.
26 palaiyanis of Dindig-ul, tlie liistory of which has been sketched
on pp. 70 and 1 83 above. It was a very small property and in
1795 was reported to be assessed at a merely nominal peslikash.
In 1816 its whole population numbered only 312 souls. Its present
inhabitants, like those of several adjoining- villages, are largely
Eoman Catholics. Several burial-grounds of this sect are promi-
nently placed on the wide margins of the road from Kanivaipatti
to Dindigul.

The poligar is a Tottiyan and his family traditions ' tell the
same story of the advent of his forebears to this district as is re-
counted by other poligars of that caste and has already (p. 106)
been referred to.

Tavasimadai means ' pool of penance, ' and tlie legend goes
that the ancestor .of the family was doing penance by a pool when
his family god ' Chotala ' appeared and told him to found this
village and take his (the god's) name. 'All the poligars were
thereafter called Chotala, and the village so prospered that one of
its later owners was raised to the charge of one of the 72 bastions
of Madura. The existing representative of the line draws a small
pension from tiovernment.

V^dasandur: A union of 7,301 inhabitants, lying twelve
miles north of Dindigul. Station of a deputy tahsildar and a sub-
registrar. Popular legends say that this part of the country was
once inhabited by Vedans, a lawless set of people resembling the
Kalians, and that the name of the village is a corruption of Veda-
sandaiyur, the prefix being given it to distinguish it from several
other places called Sandaiy^r. This last word means ' market
village ' and Vedasandur still has the second largest weekly fair in
the district. In days gone by it was probably even more busy than
now, as it lay at the point of junction of the main roads to Palni
and was one of the chief halting-plnces for pilgrims to the shrine
there. Messrs. Turnbull and Keys give a grapliic description of
the crowds wliich even then assembled in the village, the warmth
of the welcome accorded them by the inhabitants (who hoped to
derive indirect religious merit thereby) and the pomp and cir-
cumstance with which the rich annual gifts to the Palni god sent
in those days by the Eajas of Tanjore and Pudukkottai were
escorted through tlie town in processions accompanied by
music and dancing-girls.

^ Maoken«ie M88., ii, 159-6G fcud Turubull and Ko)b' Survey Actount MS.


CHAP. XV. The place contains tlie ruins of an old fort whicli in 1815 had

DiNDiGi'L. ' a high cavalier in the centre, commanding a fine prospect of the
surrounding country,' and inside which is now grown some of the
best tobacco in the district ; and, just north-west of this, a darga
said to be erected over the remains of Hazarat Saiyad Arab Abdur
Eahim Auliah, concerning whom many fabulous stories are told
but whose fame seems to be on the decline.

0A2BTT&BR. 945


The taluk of Kodaikanal, constituted (see. p. 206) in 1889, con- CHAP. XV
sists of the Upper and Lower Palnis, of which some description K'odaikanai..
has already been given on pp. 3-6 above. The only place in it
deserving of separate mention is —

Kodaikanal : This sanitarium stands on the southern crest
of the Upper Palni plateau, immediately above Periyakulam town.
It averages about 7,000 feet above the sea, the Gr.T.S. at the
Eoman Catholic church (one of the highest buildings in it)
being 7,209 feet above the sea, and that at Tredis, the Uaja of
Pudukkottai's house (one of the least elevated of its residences),
being 6,8H2 feet. The travellers' bungalow at Periyakulam, five
miles from the foat of the hills, is 932 feet above mean sea level.

The European houses in Kodaikanal are mostly built round the
sides of an irregular basin, roughly a mile and a half long by a
mile wide, which is situated on the very edge of the precipitous
southern side of the Palnis. From the top of the southern rim of
this the plains are seen almost immediately below\ Its northern
side is high and steep ; on the west it is also bounded by a ridge
of considerable elevation ; but on the east the land falls rapidly
away to the Low^er Palnis, and discloses fine views of that range
and of the steep, square-topped peak of Perumdl hill (7,326 feet),
rising head and shoulders above all his fellows. On the inner slope
of the southern rim of the basin is a beautiful hanging wood wliich
is called the Kodai-kanal, or 'forest of creepers,^ and gives its name
to the place. The bottom of the basin was originally a swamp
with a small stream wandering through it. In 1863 — at the
suggestion, and largely at the expense, of Mr. (afterwards Sir
Verej Levinge, then Collector of Madura — this was formed into a
lake by banking up the stream. Down into this picturesque slieet
of water, froiu the sides of the basin, run several beautiful wooded
apurs on which stand some of the best houses in the place. They
cause the lake to assume a shape something like that of a star-fish ;
and thus, though nowhere much above half a mile across in a
straight line, it is about three miles round, measured along the
level road on its margin which follows its many indentations.

Above this ' Lake Road,' round the greater part of the sides
of the basin, are two other principal lines of communication — one
^boot half w&y up the slopes and called the ' Middle Lake Road '


CHAP. XV. and another still higher up them and known as the ' Upper Lake
Kodaikanai.. Road.' These three are connected by many cross roads. There
are five chief routes out of tlie station. To the south-west a new
road goes to the ' Pillar Roclcs ' referred to later ; to the west, a
track runs past the Observatory to the hill village of F^umbarai,
twelve miles away ; to the north a footpath leads through the
'Tinnevelly settlement' to Vilpatti, a village perched among
impossible precipices not far from a fine waterfall; to the east
' Law's ghat' (begun in 1*^75 by Major G. V. Law, and already
referred to on p. 155 above) winds down to 'Neutral Saddle'
at the foot of Perumal hill, the natural boundary between the
Upper and Lower Palnis ; and to the south is the only practicable
route from Kodaikanai to the plains, a steep bridle-path twelve
miles long which passes by the small hamlet of Shembaganur
directly below the station and then zigzags down precipitous slopes
to the travellers' bungalow at ' Kistnama Nayak's tope ' at the
foot of the hills.

At .Shembaganur (properly Champakanur, or ' magnolia
village') is a Jesuit theological college, a prominent object from
the bridle-path. It is built on land which was acquired by the
Jesuit Mission at various dates from 1878 onwards with the idea
of forming a great agricultural and industrial school on these
hills. Cinchona planting and other agricultural enterprises were
tried and failed, and eventually the idea was abandoned. In 1886
a bungalow was built on part of the land ; and in 1895 the erection
of this college was sanctioned by the mission authorities. It now
contains 50 students (20 of whom are French) who undergo a
varied course of tuition, lasting seven years, to fit them for work
in the various Jesuit missions in India and Ceylon. Kistnama
Nayak's tope (usually called ' the Tope ' for short) is said to have
been planted by, and named after, a relation of one of the ministers
of the Nayakkan kings of Madura who fled to Periyakulam after
the downfall of that dynasty. His descendants were village
munsifs of Vadakarai continuously up to as late as 1870.

A cart-road goes from the Tope to Periyakulam (five miles)
and thence to the nearest railway-station, Ammayanayakkanur, 28
miles further east. Visitors to Kodaikanai perform the 83 miles
from the station to the Tope in bullock-transits, and thence walk,
ride, or are carried in chairs, up the bridle-path. AU luggage,
supplies and necessaries have to be transported up this latter by
coolies, and great are the delays and inconveniences. The pro-
posed Yaigai valley railway from Dindigul to the head of the
Kambam valley, and the Attur ghdt road (both referred to in



* Rainfall

. of wet

in inches.









;'. 75














August ..


















Chapter VII abovo) will, it is hoped, remove in part what is at CHAP. XV.
present the greatest drawback to the ?anitarinni — its difficulty of Kolaikanal.

In point of climate, Kodaikanal is considered by many of its

admirers to rival Ootaca-
mund. Tlie rainfall, accord-
ing- to the fig-nres of fifteon
years,* is g-reater than that
of Ootacamnnd, but most of
it is received during- the
north-east monsoon wlien the
visitors are absent, instead
of with the south-west cur-
rent of June, July and
Aug-ust, as at Ootacaniund.
The mean humidity and the
mean daily range of toinjiera-
ture are smaller at Kodai-
kanal than in its rival, and
the cold in the wet months
is less bleak and searching-. The soil is also so g-ravelly that roads
and tonnis courts quicklj dry again after a shower. The place
moreover possesses the advantag-os that its native bazaar (and its
cemetery; are not situated within tlio basin of the lake and in sig-ht
of the residents, and that it commands a view over the ]ilains
which is comforting to thos^^ who ag-ree with Lucretius that it is
sweet to watch, from a safe spot, om^'s neighbour in distress.
Kodaikanal, however, is shut off from the beautiful wild land to
the westward by two successive high ridges beyond which few of
its inhabitants over p('notrat(\

In this wild country, and also nearer Kodaikanal, are very
many prehistoric kistvaons and dolmens. The first mention of
those on the western, or Travancore, si

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