About Pudukkottai District

Pudukkottai District is one among 32 districts in Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The city of Pudukkottai is the district headquarters. It is also called colloquially as Pudhugai. Pudukkottai district is one of the least urbanized districts in Tamil Nadu. Pudukkottai district is surrounded on the northeast and east by Thanjavur District, on the southeast by the Palk Strait, on the southwest by Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts, and on the west and northwest by Tiruchirappalli District. According to Indian Census 2011, this district had a population of 16, 18,345 with a gender-ratio of 1,015 females for every 1,000 males. It has long history like Thanjavur, Madurai, Nilgiris, etc. The average literacy rate of the district is 77.96%.

A Brief History Of Pudukkottai District

Pudukkottai has long history like other districts in the Tamil Nadu. The princely state of Pudukkottai was formed by Raghunatha Thondaiman. Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati of Ramnad (1673–1708 A.D.) married Kathali Nachiar, the sister of Thondaiman. He was appointed his brother-in-law, Raghunatha Thondaiman, as a chief of the district of Pudukkottai. Raghunatha Thondaiman earlier had ruled Thirumayam. In gratitude of Raghunatha Thondaiman's services, Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati gave Pudukkottai as an honor for his services.

In later centuries, the Thondaiman rulers, while nominally feudatories of the Ramnad state, frequently pursued an independent foreign policy, a trend common in all parts of India at that time. After the fatality of Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati Raghunatha Thondaiman become ruler of Pudukkottai. After becoming the ruler of Pudukkottai, Thondaiman fought against the Nayaks of Tanjore in support of the Nayaks of Madurai and overwhelmed Thirukkattupalli, a very significant place. Then there was a direct fight between the Thondaiman of Pudukkottai and the Nayaks, rulers of Tanjore. Thondaiman overwhelmed the west of Thirukkattupalli. The next ruler, Raja Vijaya Raghunatha Raya Thondaiman, helped the Arcot Nawab against Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore.

He was also faithful to the British Government. After some time, when Hyder Ali’s army tried to enter Pudukkottai, Thondaiman's army overwhelmed them and drove Hyder’s army away. Thondaiman conquered Kilanilai and Aranthangi. He helped the British government against Tippu Sultan also. Pudukkotai finally came under formal British protection. This was debatably unavoidable, since the Thondaimans were much menaced in that period by a resurgent Mysore, ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. When Tippu Sultan was required influencing the power of the French against his British adversaries, Pudukkotai, in common with its neighbors’, such as Thanjavur and Travancore, found it convenient to ally with the British.

Raja Rajagopala Thondaiman (1928–1948), the last and 9th in the line of Thondaiman rulers, was selected by the British Government and was crowned when he was six years old. After Indian independence in 1947, the Pudukkottai Princely State was annexed with the Indian Union on April 3, 1948 and became a division in Tiruchirappalli district. The long history of the Thondaiman’s' rule came to an end.