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105,984 in 1901. They then included 3,750 Christians (291 of
whom were Europeans, Americans or Eurasians) and as many as
9,122 Muhammadans, but practically all the rest were Hindus and a
large proportion of these last were Brahmans. The population
has more than doubled in the last 30 years, for it numbered only
51,987 at the census of 1871, rose to 73,807 in 1881 and to
87,248 in 1891.

Being the chief place in the district, Madura is the head-
quarters of all the usual othcers. It stands on the main line


'.^58 MADUtlA.

CHAP. XV. of tlie South Indian Railway 345 miles from Madras, and from
Mapura. it runs the branch line to Mandapam which is being extended to
the island of Ramesvaram and may one day pass across to Ceylon.
It possesses a travellers' bungalow, rooms for Europeans at the
railway-station, and many chattrams for natives. The chief of
these last is that opposite the station which was founded and
endowed from funds left by Queen Mangammdil and is still called
oy her name. It has already been referred to on p. 157.

The history of the town is bound up with that of the district,
and has already been sketched in Chapter II. The Christian
missions in it are referred to in Chapter III ; its arts, industries
and trade in Chapter VI (some account of the Patnulkarans who
do so much of the weaving is given in Chapter III) ; its medical
and educational institutions (including the ancient Sangams) are
mentioned in Chapters TX and X respectively ; the jail in Chapter
XIII ; and the municipal council and the waterworks in Chapter
XIV. It is enough to add here that the town is the industrial,
educational and religious centre of the district.

Madura stands on the right bank of the Vaigai. In the
neighbourhood rise three small but prominent hiUs, which are
called the Anaimalai, Pasumalai and Nagamalai from their sup-
posed resemblance to an elephant, a cow and a snake respectively,
and which are severally referred to on pp. 254, 278 and 7.
It lies low and the ground rises away from it on all sides but the
south. The Gr.T.S. on the south gopuram of the great Minakshi
temple referred to later is 4*^4 feet above the sea, but this tower
is itself some i 50 feet above the ground, and the town is thus only
about 330 feet above sea-level. It is further hedged about with
many plantations of cocoanut palms and other trees and is thus a
hot and relaxing place. Statistics of its temperature have already
been given on p. 13 above.

It consists (see the map attached) of three main parts — the
crowded native town built on and around the site of its old fort
referred to below, a series of European bungalows in large com-
pounds (and many smaller houses) lining both sides of the road
which runs south-eastwards to the beautiful Vandiy^r Teppa-
kuliun and thence to Ramnad, and the new quarter which has
recently been established for the residences of officials on the old
race-course on the other (north) side of the river. This last is
connected with the other two by a bridge over the Vaigai which
was completed in 1889 and has been referred to above on p. 156.
The view up the river from this is one of the most charming in
the district. It is framed on either side by the tall towers of the

^ ■•

I. Mangammal's Chattram

2. Post Office

3. Railway Hospital

4. West Market
Telegraph Office
Municipal Hospital
Maternity Hospital
Perumal Tennple
Protestant Church
Edward Park
Collector's Office
Minakshi Temple

13. "Mangammal's Palace"*'

14. Elephant Stone
Municipal Market
Blackburne's Lamp
East Gate Church
American Mission Compound
R. C. Church
Police Head Quarters Office



Reg: No. 8869
Copies. 500


Exec. Engr's bungalow,.-: ri- ^/i'

_.\\-t: - -'-r,"' Q.Dist~ "Forest Officer's bungalow

./^Police Superintendent's bungalow

C //"O U R S e'.'iV^*
' 'Sengulam

rtirjTiru mala Nayakkan's Palace

Former Judges' bungalow^Kij'

Teppakulam bungalow |


♦H To Mandapam

Chains 10 5

Scale of Miles

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Chains or I Mile

Photo-Print. Survey Office, Madras.

aAZBTTlBR, 250

great temple and the palms leaning forward over the stream ; in CHAT'. X\
the foreground stand the little stone Maya mantapam to whicli the MAl)UK^
image of Siva is taken at the great Chittrai feast mentioned later,
and a crowd of gaily-dressed people bathing or washing freshly-
dyed cloths ; further off carts pass slowly across the old causeway
and a temple elephant placidly takes his morning bath ; while
in the ultimate background rises the dim blue sky-line of the
Palni hills.

Of the old bungalows along the Kamnad road little that is
reliable has been gathered. The history of the European Club
(which possesses a racquet-court and swimming-bath) is referred
to on p. 172. The house in the compound of which stands
the famous banyan tree (shading an area 60 yards in diameter
and possessing a main stem 70 feet in circumference) belongs to a
branch of the family of the Haja of Eamnad and was for very
many years the residence of the Collector of the district and,
afterwards, of a series of its Judges. The bungalow facing the
Teppakulam was similarly occupied by a series of Collectors
and Judges. It now belongs to the Raja of Ramnad, who
bought it from the Lessees of Sivaganga. They in their turn
obtained it from the family of Mr. Robert Fischer of Madura,
to whom it was given by Rani Kattama Ndchiyar of Sivaganga in
recognition of services performed in the famous civil suit about
the possession of that zamindari which was fought as far as the
Privy Council. Who originally built it is not clear. Its
swimming-bath ' is shown by a tablet therein to have been con-
structed in 1 8 1 4 by Rous Peter, Collector of the district from
1812 to 1828, and official records show that he built at least
a part of the house. 'I 'he newer south wing was added by Mr. Gr. F.
Fischer, father of Mr. Robert Fischer.

Rous Peter is the best remembered of all the old Collectors of
Madura, and vernacular ballads are still sung in his honour. He
lived in princely style, was of a most bountiful disposition (both the
Minakshi temple and the Alagarkovil possess valuable jewels
which he gave them) and did great things in ridding the hiUs
round Kannivddi, Periyakulam and Bodinayakkanur (compare
p. 315) of the elephants which in those days infested them and
the country below them. I'he people nicknamed him ' Peter
Pandya.' He died in Madura on 6th August 1828 and was
buried in the heart of tlie town outside the tlien Protestant
church. This had been put up the year before ^ (largely at
his expense) to replace a small building which had been erected

^ Tha Ghurth in Atadraa, by Rev. F. Penny (Smith, Elder. 1904), 667 ff.


CHAP. XV. by public subscription about 1800 — ' a very plain structure,'
Madura. according to Ward's Survey Account. In 1874 it was pulled

down and tbe present St. George's Churcli (consecrated in 1881)

was constructed on the site— from designs by Mr. Chisbolm tbe
well-known Grovemment Architect — by Mr. Robert Fischer
and bis sister Mrs. Foulkes in memory of tbeir father Mr. Greorge
Frederick Fischer who died in I8t)7 and is buried beside Rous
Peter. The new church was so built as to enclose the two graves,
and these now lie behind the altar. The European cemetery
proper is near the railway-station and contains tombstones to many
soldiers and civilians of the early days of the Company's rule.

The wildest stories about Eous Peter's end are current in
Madura and it has been stated in print that he was charged with
defalcations and, when a Commissioner came down to make
enquiries, committed suicide. Official records ' tell a different tale.
It appears that he kept his own money and Government's mixed
together in a manner which Account Codes have now rendered
impossible, and sent to his treasury whenever he wanted any cash.
In 1819, nine years before his death, he realised that he had
drawn more in this way than he was entitled to, and made cut a
memorandum, the envelope of which was marked ' not to be opened
till my death,' admittiug this fact and his carelessness, protesting
before God his freedom from any dishonest intent, promising to
take steps to mend matters, and making over to Government on
his demise such part of his property as might ^be sufficient to
make up any deficit which should then appear. His method of
endeavouring to replace the missing money was to give his cash-
keeper large sums out of the treasury with instructions to trade
with it and apply the profits towards meeting the deficiency !

He was ill for a week before his death and his Assistant Col-
lector was apparently with him when he died. The next day the
Judge, in taking over his papers officially, came upon the memo-
randum mentioned above, and the enquiries which resulted
disclosed a deficit in the treasury of Es. 7,79,000. How much of
this Eous Peter had himself spent, could never be ascertained ;
but much of it wus shown to have been embezzled by the treasury
officials, who had taken every advantage of their Collector's
casual ways. Five of these individuals were sentenced to
imprisonment — some of them to five years in irons. Rous Peter's
estate was confiscated. It was worth between seventy thousand
«knd a lakh of rupees, and included jewels valued at Es. 10,000,

^ E.M.C. of August and September 1828 and lubRequent papers.

ajMETTBBB. 261

plate to about the same amount, ' innumerable ' pictures, and CHAP. XV.
many guns and rifles. maduba.

On the other side of the Vaigai, the first European houses
reached are ' Fletcher's bungalow ' and the ' Vadakarai (' north
bank ') bungalow/ both standing close to the head of the bridge.
The former was built by the Court of Wards from the funds of the
Sivaganga estate for the gentleman whose name it still bears, who
was tutor to the then minor zamindar — the last of the ' usurper '
zamindars who were ousted by the decision in the great suit
already mentioned. It is at present the District Board's office.
The latter is known to the nnti\ es as ' Cherry's bungalow ' and
occupies the site of a smaller house put up by the officer of that
name who was 'Register of the Zillah' in 18U9 and subsequent
years and acted once as Judge in 1810, It passed afterwards to
the Sivaganga estate, and the high wall which encloses it was
built by the zamindar mentioned above when he resided there
with the ladies of his famil}'.

Further north, on higher, gravelly gi'ouud, are the new
bungalows which have been erected for the kludge, Executive
Engineer, District Medical and Sanitary Officer, Forest Officer
and Superintendent of Police. The idea of moving the residences
of these officers from their former uosatisfaciory positions on the
other side of the river originated with Colonel Kilgour, Super-
intendent of Police, in 1895 and in the same year Groverumcnt —
one of the Members of which was then Sir Henry Bliss, a former
Collector of the district — approved the proposal. Sufficient land
was acquired round about the site to prevent any future incursion
of native huts, and the five houses were finished by 1902.

It was at first proposed that a residence should also be built
in the vicinity for the Collector, in place of the inconvenient (if
interesting) native building called the Tamakamin which he now
lives. But eventually it was decided^ to add to that building
instead of abandoning it, to construct to the south of it new
quarters for the Collector's office and its various branches and for
the tahsildar, in place of the badly arranged native buildings in
the town now occupied by them, and to erect a new block near
the race course for the district and other civil courts which are
at present held in the town in Tirumala Nayakkan's palace
referred to below. Madura has thus an unrivalled opportunity of
laying out a new official quarter, and it only remains to ensure

» G.Os., No8. 102, Educational, dated llfch February 190*, and 456, Public,
dated 24th Jane 1905.


CHAP. XV. that this 18 not invaded by the usual bazaars and huts. Work on
Madura. the Tamakam has already been begun.

Tamakamu (or Tamagamu) is a Telugu word, and means '
a summer-house, or building having a roof supported on pillars
but no walls. The oldest part of the Tamakam, the present
drawing-room, is just such a building. It is constructed on the
top of a square mound of earth (about fifteen feet high and faced
outside with stone) and its roof is a masonry dome 21^ feet across
supported on the crowns of crenulated arches sprung on to square
pillars, and surrounded by three other rows of pillars with similar
arching arranged in the form of a square and supporting separate
small truncated I'oofs. Its existing walls are clearly a later
addition. The ceiling of the dome is of painted chunam, is exactly
similar in design to several of those in Tirumala Ndyakkan's
palace, and represents an inverted lotus blossom. Who oi'iginally
constructed this room is not known. Tradition assigns it
impartially to both 'L'irumala Nayakkan and Queen Mangammdl,
but since these two personages are popularly credited with almost
every other undertaking in and about Madura, this goes for little.
Rumour also says that it was built as a kind of grand stand from
wliich gladiatorial exhibitions and the like might be witnessed.

It is not until the beginning of the last century that official
records throw any light on the history of the Tamakam. In a
letter to the Court of Directors, dated London, 2nd June 1826,
Sir Alexander Johnston (late Chief Justice of Ceylon, etc. — see
Dictionary of Nniional Biography) stated that in 1782 his father,
Mr. Samuel Johnston, Paymaster at Madura, finding his house
in Madura fort very unhealthy, asked the Nawab of Arcot, then
sovereign of the country, to let hira have the Tamakam as a
residence. The building is referred to in the records as ' an old
choultry ' and as ' the choultry called Fort Defiance,' the latter
name being apparently due to the fact ^ that it had been an outpost
in the siege of Madura in 1764 referred to on p. &Q, Sir
Alexander said that when this application was made, the place
' had been deserted upwards of a century and was ... in
so desolate and so ruinous a state as to be of no value whatever'
and that the Nawab accordingly made his father a present of it.
Mr. Johnston spent five or six thousand pagodas in clearing the
jungle round the building and turning it into a habitation, and
lived there with his family till his transfer to Trichinopoly in

* C. P. Brown's Telugu-English Dictionary, citing the Dipika, a, Teluga
dictionary of ]816.

* Yibart'i Hiit. of Madras Sngineors (W. H. Alien, 1881), 84.


1787, While he was there the heart of the great Montrose, which CHAP. XV.
was in his keeping, was stolen by Maravan burglars for the sake Madura.
of the silver casket in which it was enshrined.^ In a subsequent *
letter to the Directors, Sir Alexander added that it had been
the intention of his parents and of iiis ' early instructor Colonel
Mackenzie (the well-known collector of the ' Mackenzie MSS.'),
under whose scientific advice it was laid out,^ to turn the build-
ing into a place where natives might be instructed in European
arts, sciences and literature, and that among tlie Mackenzie MSS.
were two drawings of it, ' the one made by the Colonel before,
and the other after, he had repaired and laid out the house for
Mr. Johnston.'' These drawings would have thrown much light
on the interesting question of the extent to which the Tama-
kam is indebted to Native and European architects respectively,
but they are not to be found among the Mackenzie MSS. either
in Madras or at the India Ojffice.

When Mr. Johnston was transferred he allowed liis friend and
successor P^dr. Vaughan to occupy the building, which was then
commonly known as ' John.^ton House.' In 1791 he went to
England, where he soon afterwards died without making any
disposition of the property.

In 1802 Mr. Hurdis, then (Collector, obtained from the
Company a grant of the building and the land on which it stood.
His application describes the former as ' an old choultry on the
top of which Mr. Hurdis is building three sleeping rooms. The
body of the choultry in good repair, but the upper part one entire
ruin.' In 1806 he sold the property to Government for 2,650

In 1826 in the letter already cited, and again in 1834, Sir
Alexander Johnston claimed that the place was his mother's
property and not Government's (since Mr. Hurdis had no title)
and stated that he wished to recover it to carry out tlie educational
scJieme above indicated. The correspondence which ensued ^
shows that the building had been used siuce its purchase by
Government ' as a Court House either for the Judge or Register '
and that two bungalows for the Sadr Amins and a small jail (which
was afterwards used as a hen-house and the site of which is now
occupied by the Union Club) had been built near it. In 18o8
the courts were moved to Tirumala Ndyakkan's palace and in

' For unimpeanliable evidence of this curious fact, see Mr. J. D. Roes' To\i,r»
in India, 188G-90 (Madras Govcrnnieufc Press, 1891), p. fi;}.

* Latter to th« Sooretarj at the India Hoaso, No. 350, dated 9th Februarj

264 MADUBl.

CHAP. XV. 1 857 the sub-judges were reported to have lived rent-free in the
Maduka. house for many years. One of them, Mr. Phillips, had ' added a
^ room ' to it. In 1859 they were requii'edto pay a rent of Es. 42.
In 1864 the District Judge was there.

The Directors' reply (dated 31st August 1839) to Sir Alexan-
der's claim to the house was that, without admitting his title as a
matter of right, they were prepared to make it over to him' for
the purpose of its being converted into a place for native
education.' No action was however tak^n on this until 1871,
when Sir Alexander's son, Mr. P. F. Campbell- Johnston, suggested
that the rent of the building might be applied to endowing a
scholarship. Government agreed, and a deed of conveyance and
trust was drawn up founding the existing ' Johnston of Carnsalloch
scholarships.' These at first consisted of the rent received for the
building less the amount expended in keeping it in repair, but the
present arrangement is that as i'ar as possible the annual payment
to the University of Madras of Es. 480 for the maintenance of
the endowment shall be regarded as a first charge on the rent
received .

Thereafter the building was occupied for short periods by
different officers and then remained empty for many years. The
Government proposed to insist on the Judge living there, and when
Lord Napier vi.'^ited Madura in 1871 he gave personal instructions
regarding alterations in it, Mr. Chisholm's estimates for which
amounted to Es. 22,000. But the Judge protested so strongly
against being obliged to reside across the Vaigai that nothing was
done. In 1877 the place was put in order and occupied for a year
by the District Engineer. Mr. C. S. Crole (1882 to le86) was
apparently the first Collector to reside in it and since then his
successors have always lived there. As has been stated, it is most
inconveniently arranged and until the bridge over the Yaigai
was built its situation was equally unfortunate, as when there were
floods in the river the Collector's letters and papers had to be sent
to him on one of the temple elephants.

Immediately west of the Tamakam is the People's Park, a
piece of fenced and planted ground about 7U acres in extent. It
w^as formed in 1883 through the elibrts of Mr. Crole with subscrip-
tions received from the Nattukottai Chettis and some of the
zamindars and wealthy natives of the district, and was handed over
to the municipahty, in whose name patta for it now stands. It
was formally opened by Lord Dufferin when he visited Madura in
December 1886. The part of it immediately to the north-east of

S O r REG N0.88G

isoeV coprES.500

rXr^X or MAIMTR^ in 1757.

6 . Jbri'n^.

r>uf JTr^ir^,


the Tainakam was set aside from tlie outset for agricuUnral expori- fUAP. XV.
ir.onts 'ind.'M- a Farm Committee, vrhicli em]iloyer| a trained agrienl- MinrRx,
tnrist and erect(>d sundry Luildinfrs. This Lody effected littU> of
note and in 1890 it lianded over ilio land and Ijuihlinrrs fo tlie
District Board to serve as an agricultural Lranch of the Teclinical
institute. The soil is wretched and tlie scheme was a failure, and
in 1900 the Board gave Lack the property to the council. In 1S04
this latter lent it without charge to the Board for five years for the
use of the Veterinary dispensary which is now located there.
Tlie Union Club for native gentlemen, just west of the Tamakara
compound, was founded under Mr. Crole's auspices in 18S3. The
land was granted on patta in that year and the building was
completed in 1884.

Just west of the main gate of the People's Park is the hamlet
of Goripalaiyam in which is the most revered mosque in the town.
In this are two tombs which are traditionally stated to be those of
a king named AUa-ud-din and of his brother Shams-ud-din. It is
not clear who these personages were. A. long Tamil inscription on
a pillar within the building (dated 1574-75 and confirming a grant
to the institution of six villages originally given it by one of the
P^ndyan kings) calls the place the ' mosque of the Delhi Orukol
Sultan,' but this expression is obscure. Ihe cliief peculiarity of
the building is that its domed roof — which is as much as 22 feet
from base to apex and 69 feet in circumference — is (or is declared
to be) made of one single block of stone. It is so covered with
whitewash that proof of the assertion is difficult of attainment.

Eeturning across the river, one re-enters the native town. This
(see the map above) is laid out on an unusual plan, all the main
streets running roughly parallel with the walls of the great temple
which stands in the centre of it. Thus there is a North Mdsi street
(so called because the god used to be taken through it in the month
of Mdsi, February- March) and also^a South, East^ and West, Mdsi
street. Similarly there are four Avani streets rather nearer the
temple, four Chittrai streets just outside it and four A.di streets
within its walls. The history of the town has already been sketched
in Chapter IT, where will be found (p. 64) some account of the
fortifications which formerly defended it. A comparison of the
attached map of the place in 1757 ^ with the plan of it as it stands
to-day wiU show better than any verbal description the original
position and extent of these defences. It will be noticed that tlie
number of the bastions was 72, and the inference is that little
radical change had been effected since the time when Yisvandtha

' Taken from Carubritlge's War in India.



OnAP. XV. Nayalckan (see p. 42) first built the fort in 1559. The walls were
jrAiurA. roughly rectangular and again ran parallel to those of the temple.
At the four points of the compass, and at the angle next the river,
wore gates througli the ramparts. A picture in the possession of
Mr. Robert Fischer of Madura — copied from one in the India Office
and representing the town of Madura from the south-east at the
time of a siege by some British force (probably the attack of
1763-64) — gives some idea of the appearance of the walls. They
were faced with stone and crowned with a loop-holed parapet of
red brick, and closely resembled those still standing at Alagarkovil.
Outside them was a ditch and broad glacis.

They remained in existence until the middle of the last century
and are chiefly responsible for the present crowded state of the
town and the absence in it of any open spaces worth the name. In
1837 Mr. John Blackburne, the then Collector, proposed to Govern-
ment that, to improve the health of the place, the ramparts should
be thrown into the ditch and the ground levelled by convict labour.
This was agreed to, but so many of the convicts were then engaged
in cutting the Pamban channel that work went on very slowly.
In 1841, therefore, Mr. Blackburne obtained sanction to a different
method of procedure. He marked off the rampart, ditch and
glacis into sections, and sold these by auction on condition that
the purchasers lowered the glacis, threw the ramparts into the
ditch (reserving their stone facing for Government) and built the
new houses in regular lines and with tiled roofs. In doing this

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