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Encyclopedia > Polygar Wars

Polygar War or Palalakarar Wars refers to the wars fought between the Polygars(a.k.aPalayakarars) of Madurai and West Tamil Nadu regions,in the extreme south of Indiaand the British colonial forces from March 1801 to May 1802.The British finally won after carrying out long and difficult protracted jungle campaigns against the Polygar armies and finally defeated them.Many lives were lost on bith sides and the Victory over Polygars made large part of territories coming under British control. A poligar or polygar is the title of a class of officials or chiefs who governed portions of southern India from the 16th to the 18th centuries. ... Madurai   (மதுைர in Tamil; IPA: ) is a city[] and a municipal corporation with a population of more than 0. ... Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ... Motto: Satyameva Jayate (Sanskrit) सत्यमेव जयते  (DevanāgarÄ«) Truth Alone Triumphs Anthem: Jana Mana   Capital New Delhi Largest city Mumbai (Bombay) Official languages Hindi, English + 21 other official languages Government Federal republic  - President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam  - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Independence from the UK   - Declared 15 August 1947   - Republic 26... The Union Jack, flag of the newly formed United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. ... --69. ... Box Log Falls, Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia Jungle refers usually to a dense forest in a hot climate. ...


First Polygar War 1799

The war between the British and Kattabomman Nayak of Panchalankurichi Palayam in then Tirunelveli region is often classified as the First Polygar war. In 1799, a brief meeting (over pending taxes) between Kattabomman and the British ended in a bloody encounter in which the British commander of the forces was slain by the former. A price was put on Kattabomman head prompting many Polygars to an open rebellion.

After a series of battles in the Panchalankurichi fort, with additional reinforcements from Trichrapalli Kattabomman was defeated, but the later escaped to jungles in Pudukottai country. Here he was captured by Pudukottai rajah (after an agreement with the British), and after a summary trail Kattabomman was publicly hanged near Kayattar Fort, close to the town of Kovilpatti, in front of fellow polygars who had been summoned to witness the execution.

Subramania Pillai, a close associate of Kattabomman Nayak, was also publicly hanged and his head was fixed on a pike at Panchalankurichi to public view. Soundra Pandian Nayak, another rebel leader, was brutally done to death by having his head dashed against a village wall. Kattabomman’s brother Oomaidurai was imprisoned in Palayankottai prison, while the fort was razed to ground and his wealth looted by the troops.

Second Polygar War 1800-1802

The second war was more stealthy and covert in nature. The leaders operated more cohesive and united with people from Kerala and Mysore taking part. Also it marked the joining of entire west Tamil Nadu, Malabar and south Mysore regions (which was under British domain after the death of Tipu Sultan).

The Palayakarrar army initially made surprise attacks in night to the British barracks causing heavy damage, but went into a full scale war after the death of Tipu Sultan. The war often classified as guerilla warefare in nature,made the British troops difficult to suppress. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A barracks housing conscripts of Norrbottens regemente in Boden, Sweden. ... A potrait of Tippu Sultan by Edward Orme (1774 -1822). ...

The Palayakarrars were all in control of their forts, had artillery and even had a weapon manufacturing unit in Salem and Dindigul jungles. They also received Clandestine training from the French in Karur areas. The confederacy of the new forces consisted of Marudhu Pandian Brothers of Sivaganga, Gopal Nayak of Dindigul, Kerala Verma of Malabar and Krishnappa Nayak and Dhoondaji of Mysore. The word Salem can have many meanings. ... Dindigul is a city and municipality in the Tamil Nadu state of southern India. ... Karur is a city in Tamil Nadu state of southern India. ... Sivaganga is a town in Tamil Nadu state of southern India. ... Dindigul is a city and municipality in the Tamil Nadu state of southern India. ... Bekal Fort Beach, Kerala Malabar (Malayalam: മലബാര്‍ ) is a region of southern India, lying between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, and comprising the northern half of the state of Kerala. ... Mysore   or MaisÅ«ru (Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು) is the second largest city in the Indian state of Karnataka. ...

The rebellion broke out in Coimbatore in 1800, soon spreading to Ramanathapuram and Madurai regions. By mid 1801, it spread to remaining provinces (barring Tanjore, Arcot and Madras) in Tamil Nadu. Coimbatore   (Tamil: கோயம்பத்தூர்), also known as Kovai (Tamil: கோவை), is a major industrial city in India. ... Ramanathapuram  , also known as Ramnad, is a city and a municipality in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. ... Madurai   (மதுைர in Tamil; IPA: ) is a city[] and a municipal corporation with a population of more than 0. ... Thanjavur, also known as Tanjore, is a city in Tamil Nadu, in southeastern India. ... Arcot is a city and metropolitan district in Vellore District of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. ... Madras refers to: the Indian city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras, the former Indian state, now known as Tamil Nadu (Plural of Madra): Ancient people of Iranian affinites, who lived in northwest Panjab in the Uttarapatha division of ancient India. ...

A band of the Polygar troops attacked and captured Palayamkottai Prison, freed Oomathurai (brother of Kattabomman). In February 1801, Oomathurai, emerging as a key leader, with over two hundred men; by a clever stratagem took control of Panchalankurichi Fort, in which Oomathurai's relatives were imprisoned. Palayamkottai is a town in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. ...

The British columns were exposed throughout the operations to constant harassing attacks; and usually had to cut their way through almost impenetrable jungles and getting fired on from under cover on all sides.


The British finally won after an expensive campaign.It took more than a year to bring the war to an end after difficult and protracted jungle campaigns. Several of the leaders were captured and hanged. And most of the members were taken captives, banished once for all to Andaman Islands. Box Log Falls, Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia Jungle refers usually to a dense forest in a hot climate. ... This article or section may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to be clearer or more simplified. ...

Causes for Defeat

One reason was superior artillery of the British; compared to the Polygar troops who country had made gunfire artillery, barring a few received from erstwhile Tipu Sultans army.

In Malabar regions they were let down by other landlords who aligned with the British.Also the British made better deals with some Pallayakars, offering them the just introduced Zamindari Titles. Since the war was only regional in nature the British could mobilize armies from other regions namely Madras and from their new allies Pudukottai, Tanjore and Travancore. The Zamindari System is a kind of feudal system, introduced by the Mughals to collect taxes from peasants. ... Flag for former princely state of Travancore Travancore or Thiruvithaamkoor (Malayalam: തിരുവിതാങ്കൂര്‍ [], തിരുവിതാംകൂര്‍ [], തിരുവിതാങ്കോട് []) was a princely state in India with its capital at Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). ...

Several of the Pallayakars who opposed the British were either subdued using force or banished once for all from their native lands. Some other who submitted before the British were granted Zamindari status.

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  Results from FactBites:
Muhammed Yusuf Khan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2578 words)
The British and the Arcot Nawab used him to suppress lot of Polygars (Palayakkarar) in the South Tamilnadu.Later was entrusted in administrating the Madurai country when the Madurai Nayaks rule ended.
Each polygar was granted a territory or palayam (usually consisting of a few villages), in return for military service and tribute.
The Polygars (local governors of earlier Nayaks) from Tirunelvelly, Madurai regions and Sivaganga and Ramnad Zamindaris, were unwilling to pay (kappam) taxes to the weak Nawab, nor ever recognized the British in the guise of tax collector.
  More results at FactBites »



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