THE THONDAIMANS OF PUDUKOTTAI
Kilavan Sethupathi established a new Pudukottai Kingdom and made his son Raghunatha Raja Thondaman as its first ruler.
After becoming the ruler of Pudukottai, Raghunatha Thondaiman fought against the Nayaks of Tanjore in support of the Nayaks of Madurai and conquered Thirukkattupalli a very important place. Then there was a direct clash between Thondaimans of Pudukottai and the Nayaks rulers of Tanjore. Thondaiman conquered the west of Thirukkattupalli. The Pudukottai Thondaiman’s army defeated a combined army of the Maravas of Ramnad and Marathas of Tanjore. With this victorious experience the Pudukkotai Raja supported poligas. Pudukottai was made as the capital of the Thondaiman’s Kingdom.
Thondaiman helped Arcot Nawab against Hyder Ali the ruler of Mysore. He was also loyal towards the British Government. After some time, when Hyder Ali’s army tried to enter into Pudukkottai, the Thondaiman’s army successfully defeated them and drove Hyder’s army away. Thondaiman captured Kilanilai and Aranthangi. He helped the British Government against Tipu Sultan. Raja Raghunatha Thondaiman died in1789. As he had no male issue, he was succeeded by his uncle’s son Vijaya Raghunatha Thondaiman.
During the early part of Thondaiman’s rule people of Pudukkottai region led normal life. Kings concentrated more on political matters and also on the people’s welfare. Choultries were built for pilgrims. In the later part of their rule due to famine people faced many types of sufferings. Heavy rain and flood damaged the city of Pudukkottai and natural diseases were there. Later after sometime city of Pudukkottai was modernized. New school was opened. Tanks were built to increase water supply. Vaccination was introduced against small Pox. Many reforms were introduced during he last phase of their reign.