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ropeway and through Bodinayakkaniir to the railway at Amma-
yanuyakkanur, and nearly all the grain and other necessaries
required for the numerous labourers and staif on the properties
goes up to the hills by the same route. A proposal to constitute
the town a municipality has been negatived, see p. 221.

"^1 he B6dinayalckan6r estate is one of the most ancient in all
the district. According to the traditions of the family, its original
founder, a Tottiyan named Chakku Nayakkan, emigrated to this
part of the world from Gooty in Anantapur district early in the
fourteenth century, to avoid the Musalmans of the Deccan who
were then passing soutliwards. A long list of his many successors
is stiU preserved. He is reputed to have first come to the notice
of the powers in this country by slaying a ferocious wild boar for
the destruction of which the Raja of Travancore, who then ruled
in these parts, had long in vain offered a large reward. He over-
came it in single combat and brought it half alive and half dead
to the Kaja, who was so delighted with his prowess that he gave
him many presents and marks of honour, and conferred this estate
upon him on condition that 100 pons should be paid each time the
succession devolved on a new heir. This sign of vassalage has
survived down to modern times, and whenever a new zamindar of
Bodinayakkanur succeeds, he sends a present of money to the
Maharaja of Travancore and receives in return a gold bangle and
other gifts. On. the last of these occasions (in 1879) an elephant
was added to these.

Chila Bodi Nayakkan, who is said to have come into the
property in 1487, similarly attained fame by his personal strength
and bravery. He overcame one Malla Khan, an athlete who was
champion of all the Vijayauagar territory, and the then king
conferred many fresh honowrs upon him and directed that his
estate should be known thenceforth as Bodinayakkanur. After
Visvanatha (p. 41) had conquered the Madura country, the then
poligar, Bangaru Muttu, was appointed to the charge of one of the
bastions of the new foi-t at its capital. He was of a devout dispo-
sition and did much for the Siva temple at Periyakulam, building,
among other additions, the porch which is still called the Bodina-
yakkanur mantapam. Another of the line who is still remembered
is the Eaju Nayakkan who succeeded in 1642. A representation of
him is sculptured iu the local Subrahmanya temple and his portrait



appears ia tlie eutranco liall of tlie zamindar's palace. He was so
devout that wlien a lilind girl went to tlie goddess Minakslii at
Madura aud prayed to have lier vision restored, that deitj gave her
back the sight of one eye and told her to go to Eaju Nayakkan
to get the other cured. The poligar's faith was such that he was
able to work this miracle, and he was ever afterwards known as
Kan-kodutta Raju, or ' Raju the eye-restorer.'

These ancient fables are merely a specimen of more which
might be added to show the antiquity of the family and the esti-
mation in which it once was held. Its subsequent doings have
sometimes been less exemplary. After the Dindigul country fell
into the power of Mysore, the then poligar refused to pay tribute
and in 17o5 he was attacked by Haidar Ali and forced to flee.
His estate was confiscated. Its later history up to the acquisition
of the Dindigul country by the Company in 1790, when it formed
one of the 26 Dindigul palaiyams, has already been referred to
on p. 183. In 179') the then poligar, Tirumala Bodi Nayakkan,
aided by his neighbour of Yadakarai, resisted the Collector's
march through this part of the district and fired upon his
peons. He was reported to have armed over 600 men. He
subsequently repented and was restored to favour and in 1807
we find his son helping Eous Peter (see p. 259) in his elejihant-
shooting expeditions and being presented in return with a gold
jewel and an elephant-calf. Thereafter the estate remained for
many years one of the ' unsettled palaiyams ' referred to on p. 19-J.
In the fifties of the last century the then poligar, Bangaru Tiru-
mala Bodi, built the existing most effective anient across the
Teniyar, and he also made the tank which bears his name and the
zamindars' present palace. He died in October 1862, lea^dng an
infant son Kamarnja Pandya, and the estate was under the Court
of Wards until the boy attained his majority in October 1879.
He was granted a permanent sanad for his property in 1880. He
is remembered for the great graft mango topes he planted along
the banks of the Teniyar. After his death in 1888 his widow
Kamulu Ammal, the present zamindarni, succeeded.

In 1889 Kandasdmi Nayakkan, her husband's cousin, filed a
suit claiming the zamindari. In consideration of his relinquish-
ment of his pretensions, the village of Bhutipuram was granted
him, and this was separately registered and assessed in 1897. In
1896, in somewhat similar circumstances, the village of Domba-
cheri was ordered by the courts to be separately registered and
assessed. Other litigation as to the possession of the zamindari
is still proceeding. Until a few years ago the] property was




CHAP. XV. mortgaged witli possession to Mr. .Robert Fisclier of Madura,
but it has now been redeemed. In 1900 the zaraindarni gave the


town its present liospital.

Chinnamantir : Twentj-two miles south-west from Perlja-
kulam along the road to Uttamapalaijaui ; a prosperous union of
10,270 inhabitants. It is said to get its name from a Cliinnama
Najak, who flourished in the time of Queen Mangammal of
Madura and founded the place and brouglit Bi-ahmans to it.
Brahmans are still prominent among its inhabitants. So are
Musalmans, and tliey have a fine new mosque. Much land to the
west of the village is grown with paddy irrigated from a channel
from the Suruli river. Half a mile to the north-west, among some
more rice-fields and surrounded by a grove, is the Eajasimhesvara
teniple, in which there are several inscriptions as jet undeciphered
and the car festival at wliich is largely attended. It is said to
have been founded by a Pandya king named Eajasimha, who
fled hither to escape a Musalman invasion of his territories.

D^Vadanapatti : Seven miles east-north-east of Periya-
kulam, on the road to Ammayanayakkanur ; population 6,310;
travellers' bungalow. It lies close under the Murugumalai spur
of the Palnis and from it runs the easiest path to the fine fall of
the Manjalar on that range. The place is widely known for its
temple to Kamakshi Amman, the peculiarity about which is that
its shrine, which must never be roofed with anything but thatch,
is always kept closed, the worship being done in front of its
great doors. The pujari (a Tottiyan by caste, who possesses a
copper record purporting to be a grant to the temple by Tirumala
Nayakkan) is declared to have a vision telling him when the roof
needs repairs and he then fasts, enters the shrine blindfolded
and does what is necessary.

Devadanapatti was once the chief village of one of the twenty-
six palaiyams of Dindigul the history of which, up to the acquisition
of the province by the Company in 1790, has already been referred
to on p. 183. It was ownerless for many years, was claimed
by the poligar of Sandaiyiir in 1795 and escheated to Govern-
ment soon after for want of heirs. The remains of the poligar's
old fort may still be traced about a mile to the north of the
village on the right bank of the Manjalar.

Erasakkanayakkanur : Four miles east of Uttamapalaiyam,

on no main road ; population 7,079. Chief village of the zamindari

of the same name, which includes a considerable area at the foot

f the slopes of the High Wavy Mountain. The correspondence



regarding the bonndary dispute connected with part of this will be CHAP. XY.
found in Gr.O., No. 1287, Kevenue, dated 20th November 1882, Periya-
and the previous papers. The zamindari was one of the 26 kolam.
palaiyams of Dindigul the history of which has been alluded to on
pp. 70 and 18-S. After tlie Company acquii'ed that province it
was foy many years one of tlie ' unsettled palaiyams, ' see p. 194.
Between 1858 and 1863 it was under the management of the
Court of Wards. The present proprietor is the widow of the last
holder and is named Akkalu Ammnl.

Gantamanayakkanur : A zamindari which includes the
south-east corner of the taluk and the beautiful Taruslianad valley.
It was one of the 26 palaiyams of Dindigul, and after the country
was acquired by the Company continued for many years as one
of the ' unsettled palaiyams.' Hardly anything seems to be
on record about its early history, but a fragment among the
Mackenzie MSS. states that its founder came from the Deccan and
was placed in charge of one of the bastions of Madura by
Visvanatha Niiyakkan.

So mucli of it consists of unprofitable JriLls that it has never
been in a particularly flourishing condition. In 1795 the Collector
reported that it was ' in very bad order ' ; Ward's Survey Account
of 1821 notes that several of the villages lying near the hills
(Rajadani and Teppampatti for example) showed signs of having
once been better off, and mentions the constant ravages of the
elephants in parts of the estate: in 1862 the Collector said that
the poverty of the soil, the unhealthiness of the country and the
incapacity of the proprietor had resulted in the ryots being heavily
in arrear with their assessments and at open enmity with their
landlord; and finally in April 1896 fifteen of the twenty-one
villages of tlie estate (the pcslikash on which was Rs. 10,663 out
of a total of Rs. 13,415) were sold in execution of a decree
obtained by the Commercial Bank of India and were purchased
by the Court of Wards on behalf of the minor zamindar of
Ettaiyapuram in Tinnevelly. In 1897 these were separately regis-
tered and assessed under the name of the Vallanadi sub-division of
the estate. Vallanadi (otherwise called Gantamandyakkanur) was
the capital of the property, and the zamindar has accordingly
removed his residence to Teppampatti. Ward's Survey Account
says that in the hills east of this village in a narrow vaDey is a
stream called Mavuttu {' the mango spring '), which flows down
from a ruined temple over a fall about 100 feet high, and has the
property of ' petrifying ' articles placed in it. The liead waters
f the Suruli are stated to possess a similar power.




The Varustianad ( ' rain country ') valley is so called from tlie old
village of that name wliicla stands almost in tlie middle of it, buried
in the jungle, on the right bank of a fine bend in the Vaigai river
there. In 1 821 there were still some 30 families living in this place,
but it is now practically deserted except that a Ravutan who is the
renter of the forest produce of the valley lives there with his coolies
for part of the year. Local tradition declares this desolation to be
the result of a curse pronounced by a shepherd who was cruelly
ill-treated by a former zamindar, but the malariousness of the
place is sufficient to account for it. The ruins of old Yarushanad
include the remains of a temple, a stone-faced tank, a stone oil-mill,
a stone trough ten feet long and several curious stone pillars
(mdlai) similar to that referred to in the account of M argaiyankottai
below, and also several neglected tanks and a breached anient.
North and north-east of them, similarly overrun with jungle, lie
the ruins of Narasingapuram, another deserted village, and its
mouldering fort.

Gudalur : A union of 10,202 inhabitants, lying about S8 miles

south-south-west of Periyakulam and five from the head of the

Kambam valley. East of it is a Forest rest-house. Many of its

people belong to the Canarese-speaking caste of Kappiliyans. In

former days, it is said, the town was much larger than it is now,

and foundations of ruined houses are often dug into in its outskirts.

Ward's Survey Account of 1821 says that the village was then

' almost in ruins ' and contained only 30 families. This place and

Xambam (see below) were of old respectively the chief villages

of two estates which were included in the 2fi palaiyams of the

Dindigul province. When Haidar Ali of Mysore marched in

1755 to reduce the refractory Dindigul poligars to order, the

owners of these two properties came to his camp and agreed to

pay their arrears. Both of them broke their promises and fled ;

and their palaiyams were consequently confiscated and ever after

remained part of the Sirkar land. When the Company acquired

the Dindigul country in 1790, the Ea ja of Travancore declared

(see p. 184) that both estates belonged to him, and a great deal

of correspondence and trouble occurred before he at last handed

them over. It appears that the ancestors of the present chief of

Piiniyar in Travancore held the Gudalur palaiyam, and the Alagar

temple in the town is said to have been built by them. When,

last year, it was re-opened after the completion of the recent

extensive repairs to it, the present chief came down for the

kunibhdbh ishekam ceremony.

Kambam: A union of 12,737 inhabitants six miles south-
south-west of Uttamapalaiyam on the road to the Periyar ;


travellers' bungalow. A large proportion of its people are CHAP, xv.
Canarese-speaking Kappiliyans. Local tradition says that the Peuiya-
Anuppans, another Canarese caste, were in great strength here ^ulam.
in olden dajs, and that quarrels arose between the two bodies
in the course of which the chief of the Kappiliyans, Eamachcha
Kavundan, was killed. With his dying breath he cursed the
Anuppans and thenceforth they never prospered and now not
one of them is left in the town. A fig tree to the east of the
village is shown as marking the place where Eamachcha's body
was burned ; near it is his tank, the Eamachchankulam ; and
under the bank of this is his math where his ashes were deposited.
Not far off is the new cattle shed which the Kappiliyans have
built for the breeding-herd already referred to on p. 20 above.

The early history of Kambam is similar to that of Gudalur
already sketched above. The Puniyar chief is said to have built
the two dilapidated temples which stand in the ruined fort to
the east of the town and are now being repaired. One of these
was originally founded, goes the story, because a goddess
appeared there to a wandering bangle-seller. She asked him to
sell her a pair of bangles and he, taking her for an ordinary
mortal, slipped two on her wrists. To his amazement she then
held out her other two arms and asked for a second pair for them,
and he then realized who his customer really was.

At the northern end of the place, west of the main road, are
two stones beariug representations of armed men. They are
apparently memorials to departed heroes, similar to the lirakals
so common in the Deccan. One of them has been surrounded
with a brick building and a visit to it is said to be a good remedy
for malaria. Close by are two kistvaens. In the fields, stands
a group of five little shrines which are said to mark places where
satis were committed.

Kombai : Four miles north-west of Uttamapalaiyam, close
under the great wall of the Travancore hills which here shuts in
that side of the Kambam valley; population G,211. The well-
known Kombai (or ' poligar ') dogs came originally from here and
can still with some difficulty be obtained. No one takes much
interest in breedinfjc them now, but old papers say that in days
gone by the poligars of this part of the country valued a good
dog so highly that they would even exchange a horse for one.
On the small hill south of the village which is crowned by a
conspicuous banyan stands a little shrine near an immense
overhanging rock,


CHAP. XV. The village gave its name to an estate wliicli was one of tlie

Periya- 26 palaiyams of Dindigul referred to on pp. 70 and 183 above.
KULA.M. j^g earlj history is unknoven. Unlike the majority of their
confreres in this district, who are Telugu Tottiyans by caste, its
poligars were Canarese Kappiliyans, and there is a vague tradition
that they came from the Mysore country via Conjeeveram. There
are many members of their caste in the neighbourhood still. After
the Company acquired the Dindigul province the then poligar,
Appaji Kavundan, became troublesome, and in May 1795 he
was stirring up disturbances in this Kambam valley. Eventually
the estate was resumed and an allowance was granted to
the dispossessed proprietor. A descendant of his still draws a

Margaiyankottai :' Four miles north-north-east of Uttama-
palaiyam ; population 2,929. East of it, under a small brick
mantapam, is perhaps the best executed of the many ' nidlrxi stones '
which are common in these parts and are memorials of the dead
erected by the T6ttiyans. Mdlai means ' garland ', and the name
is due to the fact that floral tributes are (or should be) periodically
placed upon such stones. Most of them are slabs with carving
« on only one side, but this one is square, and each of its four

sides bears three sculptured panels one above the other.

Eound these mdlai slabs is a sort of Tottiyan mausoleum, a
plain slab being erected whenever a member of the family dies.
In a small grove in Uttappanayakkanur in Tirumangalam taluk
is one used only by the Tottiyan zamindars, in which are placed
the memorial slabs of the zamindars of that village and also of
Doddappanayakkanur, Jotilnayakkanur and Elumalai.

Near the Margaiyankottai mdlai stone is a sati stone of the
pattern usual in this district, representing the husband and
the devoted wife seated side by side, each with one leg tucked
under them and the other hanging down.

Periyakulam : A municipality of 17,960 inhabitants; head-
quarters of the tahsildar and of a district munsif, a sub-magistrate
and a sub-registrar ; contains a bungalow belonging to the
Bodinayakkanur estate which Europeans may occujiy with per-
mission, and a chattram. Tlie place is most picturesquely situated
on the palm-fringed banks of the Varahanadi, with the great wall
of the Palnis immediately north of it. It is an important centre
for the trade of that range, the foot of the bridle-path to
Kodaikanal being only five miles to the north of it. The scheme
for supplying it with water has been referred to on p. 226 above.



The town consists of three villages, Tenkarai, Vadakarai and CHAP. XV.
Kaikulankulam, of which the first (as its name implies) is on the Perita-
south bank of the river and the other two on the north. All these
are overcrowded and intersected only by narrow lanes, and the
town has a bad name for cholera. In 1882 a fire swept through
the huddled liouses and burnt 800 of them with all their contents,
the heat and smoke preventing any chance of saving property in
such cramped quarters. New building-sites have, however, been
recently acquired by the municipality to the east and south and
are being sold as need arises. There are, however, two pleasant
roads in the place; namely, those which run westwards to the
hills on either side of tlie river. The northern of these passes
through some excellent topes and the other runs along the bank
of the picturesque river, past the more open quarter where the
public offices.stand, to the Siva temple (which contains inscriptions
of Chola times), the Periyakulara ('big tank') which gives the
place its name (by the north corner of the embankment of which
stands perhaps the biggest tamarind in the district), and the
Chidambara tirtham, a small, comparatively modern, stone-faced
tank supplied through a cow's mouth, which is a popular place
for the morning's bath.

T^varam: Seven miles north-west of Uttamapiilaiyam, popu-
lation 10,293. Chief village of the small zamindari of the same
name, the present holder of which is Bangaru Ammal, daughter of
the last proprietor and a Tottiyan by caste. This was another
of the 20 palaiyams of Dindigul referred to on pp. 70 and 183.
After the Company acquired that country it remained for many
years one of the ' unsettled palaiyams ' mentioned on p. 194, but
it was eventually granted a sanad.

Uttamapalaiyam : Lies twenty-eight miles south-south-west
of Periyakulam down the Kambam valley road on the left bank
of the Suruli, the bridge over which was built in 1893 ; a union
of 10,009 inhabitants ; station of the deputy tahsildar and of a
sub-registrar ; travellers' bungalow. The name means ' best estate '
and is declared to have been given to the place bj the Pandava
brothers (less venturesome authorities say by Ilaidar Ali of Mysore)
in recognition of its excellent position and climate It is the
first large town down the valley which is benefited by tlic Periyar
water, and since this was let into the Suruli the i>!aco has rapidly
increased in wealth, importance and size. The growth in tlo
population in the ten years ending with 1901 was 22 per cent, and
in the 30 years from 1871 to 1901 as much as 57 per cent.



CHAP. XV. 'JMie Kalahastlsvara temple in tlio town is said to get its name

Pkriya- from the fact that a fervent devotee of the well-knov.'n shrine at

■ Kjilahasti in North Arcot was iuformed in a vision that he need no

longer continue to travel the long journey to that place, since the
god could Le worshipped at this spot with equal efficacy, lie
accordingly founded and named this temple. An inscrijDtion in
tlie building testifies to a gift to it by Queen Mangammal and
the authorities possess a copper grant in its favour made by
the last of the iS'ayakkans, the Vangaru Tirumala referred to on
p. 56 above. Near its main entrance is a stone slab on which is cut a
figure of Garuda (the celestial kite and enemy of all serpents), two
crossed triangles with a circle in the middle of them, and certain
mystic letters. People who were bitten by snakes are declared to
have formerly derived much benefit from walking thrice round
this and striking their foreheads against tlie circle after each
circumambiilation, but a baiidgi moved the stone to see if there
was any treasure hidden under it, and its virtue has since

At tlie Draupadi shrine there is an annual fire- walking
ceremony. Curiously enough^ a Braliman widow is the only
person who is allowed to give the idols their annual cleansing.
Near the building is a raantapam said to have been erected by a
Italian who came to rob it but was struck blind as he approached.
South of the town, west of the main road and perhaps a quarter
of a mile from the travellers' bungalow, are two sati stones.

Just north of it, on the flat face of one of a series of huge
boulders near the Karuppan temple, is one of the best series of
sculptures of nude Jain tirthankaras to be found in the district.
They are arranged in two rows, one above the other, and there are
long Vatteluttu inscriptions round about them. In the upper row
are eleven figures, two about eighteen inches high and the others
rather smaller. Some are standing and others are sitting in the
usual cross-legged contemplative attitude ; some have hooded
serpents above their heads and some the trijDle crown ; some are
unattended and others have smaller figures on either side of them.
In the lower row are eight more figures of a very similar descrip-
tion. The space covered by the whole series is some twenty-one
feet by ten.

Vadakarai ('north bank') now forms part of that portion
of Perivakulam municipality wliich lies north of the Varahanadi, but
it was once the chief village of a palaiyam of the same name.
According to one of the Mackenzie M SS , the original founder
of this was Eamabhadra Nayaka, a Balija by caste, who came



from the Yijajanagar country with Ndg-ama Navakkan (p. 41). CRAP. X7.

Ho scorns to have been greatly trusted, as lie was appointed Perita-

to act for the latter while lie was awaj on a jnlgrimage to

Benares; subsequently helped to arrange niattors between him

and his son ; and was eventually made collector of the revenue of

Madui-a. Later on he showed mucli personal bravery in an attack

on the fort of Kambam, pFpssing forward notwithstanding a

wound in the face and being the first to plant a flag on the

ramparts. For this exploit he was granted the Vadakarai estate.

A successor of his was subsequently given chai'ge of one of the 72

bastions of Madura. One of the best remembered of the poligars

who followed is the Mochi Nayaka who succeeded in 15 '9. He

is said to have obtained an addition to his estate by his prowess in

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