Sunday, 7 July 2019

Historical Thirumayam Fort near Pudukkotai, Tamil Nadu

Thirumayam Fort, Pudukottai distt. TN
Centuries ago when Monarchy was ruling the roost, the rulers were particular about expanding their lands by way of raiding other ruler's kingdom. The king  had to safeguard his family and his subjects in the midst of constant threats from enemies . So construction of forts and royal palaces, etc with built-in facilities within it became inevitable. The Thirumayam fort  came up here  to meet an emergency situation. 
Thirumayam Fort, Pudukottai distt. TN

Temple water tank. Thirumayam fort.
 Thirumayam Fort, an ancient monument situated in
Thirumayam town on the  Pudukkottai-Karaikudi Highway in Pudukkottai District of Tamil Nadu  is an ancient monument steeped  history.  Built in 
Thirumayam Fort, Pudukottai distt. TN
 the year1687 by Raghunatha Raya Tondaiman, the Raja of Ramnad Vijaya Raghunatha Sethupathi became his successor.  The fort was  renovated by Archaeological Survey of India in 2012 to maintain its heritage value. It was here  Oomathurai (alias Duraisingam), the younger brother of Panchalamkurichi chieftain Kattabomman was  imprisoned inside the fort. Oomathurai was a great warrior and fought wars along with Kattabomman against the East India company's army. The English company, that got the rights to collect taxes on behalf of Arcot Nawab, demanded land taxes (Kisti) which the Palayakarar chieftain refused to pay. Both Kattabomman and his brother Oomathurai were executed by the British, the latter was hanged to death on  16 November 1801. Reason: They revolted against the company rule. 
British colonial period canpon. Thirumayam fort. TN
British colonial period canponThirumayam fort. TN
The fort  that was originally built as  a 'ring fort' with seven concentric walls has only four surviving ones now. The three rings did not survive either due to war or internal strife or vagaries of weather. Built on a 40 acre plot, the fort is made of  small blocks of stone along with bricks and   has an entrance on three sides - north, south and east.  As in many forts, there are 6 canons (of British period) mounted  at the gate. The original size of the fort was  two times greater than the  present one. The main entrance to the  fort is  one km away from the present structure. 
There  are  shrines dedicated to Hanuman, Sakthi, Ganapathi, Karuppar (guardian deities of the fort)  on the south side and  to Bhairava on the north side. On the western side atop the rock there is a rock-cut cave  that houses a lingam on yonipitha.  The south side has  two rock cut temples dedicated to Sri Sathyamurthy and Sri Uyyavanda Nachiar while the other one is dedicated to Sri Sathyagireeswarar and Sri Venuvaneeswari. The former is vaishnavite place of worship and the latter is that of Easwaran (Shiva).   There is a bastion on the summit with cannon that belongs to the British era.

The English company, after the fall of Kattabomman's fort at Panchalamkuruchi near Tirunelveli, was after Oomathurai, because he acted against the interest of the British. Oomathurai was at large for some time and finally he was captured and jailed here. This fort is also called  Oomayan Kottai (Kottai in Tamil means fort) and is 18 km from Pudukkotai town on the way to Tirupathur town.