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Tamil Nadu

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Sivaganga

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Sivaganga District
     

Sivaganga District has been carved out from composite Ramnad District as per G.O. MS. No. 1122 Rev. Dept. Dated. 6.7.84 and the District was functioning from 15.3.85 as per G.O Ms.No. 346 Rev. dept. Dated: 8.3.85.

THE HISTORY OF SIVAGANGA:

The Kingdom of Ramnad originally comprised of the territories of Ramnad, Sivaganga and Pudukottai of today. Regunatha Sethupathy alias Kilavan Sethupathy, the 7th King of Ramnad reigned between 1674 and 1710. Kilavan Sethupathy, came to know of the bravery and valour of Peria Oodaya Thevar of Nalukottai, 4 Kilometres from Sholapuram near Sivaganga.
The King assigned to Peria Oodaya Thevar of Nalukottai a portion of land sufficient to maintain 1000 armed men. Vijaya Regunatha Sethupathy became the 8th King of Ramnad in 1710 after the death of Kilavan Sethupathy. The King gave in marriage his daughter AKILANDESWARI NACHIAR, to Sasivarna Thevar, the son of Nalukottai Peria Oodaya Thevar. The King gave Sasivarna Thevar lands as dowry, free of taxation, sufficient to maintain 1,000 men. He placed him in charge of the fortresses of Piranmalai, Tiruppathur, Sholapuram and Tiruppuvanam as well as the harbour of Thondi. Meanwhile Bhavani Sankaran, the son of Kilavan Sethupathy conquered Ramnad territory and arrested Sundareswara Regunatha Sethupathy, the 9th King of Ramnad. Bhavani Sankaran proclaimed himself as the Rajah of Ramnad. He became the 10th king of Ramnad and he reigned from 1726 to 1729. He quarrelled with Sasivarna Peria Oodaya Thevar of Nalukottai and drove him out of his Nalukottai palayam. Kattaya Thevan, the brother of the late Sundareswara Regunatha Sethupathy fled from Ramnad and sought refuge with the Rajah of Tanjore Tuljaji. While Sasivarna Thevar was passing through the jungles of Kalayarkoi, he met a Gnani (sage) named Sattappiah, who was performing Thapas (meditation) under a jambool tree near a spring called `SIVAGANGA' . The deposed king prostrated himself before him and narrated all the previous incidents of his life. The Gnani whispered a certain mantra in his ears (Mantra Opadesam) and advised him to go to Tanjore and kill a ferocious tiger which was kept by the Rajah especially to test the bravery of men. Sasivarna Thevar went to Tanjore. There he became acquainted with Kattaya Thevan a refugee like himself. Satisfied with the good behaviour of Sasivarma Thevar and Kattaya Thevan, the Rajah of Tanjore wanted to help them to regain the States again, ordered his DALAVOY to go with a large army to invade Bhavani Sankaran. Sasivarna Thevar and Kattaya Thevan at once proceeded to Ramnad with a large army furnished by the king of Tanjore. They defeated Bhavani Sankaran at the battle of Uraiyur and captured Ramnad in 1730. Thus Kattaya Thevan became the 11th King of Ramnad.


1st RAJAH SASIVARNA THEVAR (1730 - 1750 )

Kattaya Thevan divided Ramnad into five parts and retained three for himself. He granted the two parts to Sasivarna Thevar of Nalukottai conferring on him the title of "Rajah Muthu Vijaya Regunatha Peria Oodaya Thevar".

2nd RAJAH - MUTHU VADUGANATHA PERIA OODAYA THEVAR (1750 - 1772).

Sasivarna Peria Oodaya Thevar died in or about the year 1750. He was succeeded by his only son Muthu Vaduganatha Peria Oodaya Thevar. He was the second Rajah of Sivaganga. His wife Rani Velu Nachiar acted as "friend, Philosopher and guide" to him. Tandavaraya Pillai was the able minister of Sivaganga country. Muthu Vaduganatha Peria Oodaya Thevar granted commercial facilities to the Dutch only after the English rejected a similar offer, made to Colonel Heron. Further the aim of the English was to oblige the ruler of Sivaganga to serve the Nawab or to pay tribute to him or to dissuade them from establishing relations with foreign powers like the Dutch. A two pronged offensive was made by the English. Joseph Smith from the east and Benjour from the west invaded Sivaganga Palayam in June 1772. The country was full of bushes of cockspur thorn, though there were villages and open spaces here and there. Rajah Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar, in anticipation of the invasion, erected barriers on the roads, dug trenches and established posts in the woods of Kalayarkoil. On the 21st of June of 1772 the detatchment of Smith and Benjour effected a junction and occupied the town of Sivaganga. The next day, the English forces marched to Kalayarkoil and captured the posts of Keeranoor and Sholapuram. Now, Benjour continuing the operations came into conflict with the main body of the troops of Sivaganga on the 25th June 1772. Muthu Vaduganatha Rajah with many of his followers fell dead in that heroic battle. The heroic activities shown in the battle field by Velu Nachiar is praised by the Historians. The widow queen Velu Nachiar and daughter Vellachi Nachiar with Tandavaraya Pillai fled to Virupakshi in Dindigul. Later they were joined by the two able Servaigarars Vellai Marudu and Chinna Marudhu.

3rd RANI VELU NACHIAR (1772 - 1780)

Rani Velu Nachiar and her daughter Vellachi Nachiar lived under the protection of Hyder Ali at Virupakshi near Dindigul. Frustrated by the joining of forces against him, the Nawab ordered that Velu Nachiar and Marudhu Brothers were permitted to return to Sivaganga and rule the country subject to payment of Kist to the Nawab. Abiding by this Order, Rani Velu Nachiar accompanied by Marudu brothers and Vellachi Nachiar entered Sivaganga. An agreement was reached where by Rani Velu Nachiar was permitted to govern the Sivaganga Country and Chinna Marudu, the younger was appointed her minister and the elder Vellai Marudu as the Commander-in-chief. Thus the widow Queen Velu Nachiar succeeded her husband in 1780.
The Queen Velu Nachiar granted powers to Marudhu Brothers to administer the country in 1780. Velu Nachiar died a few years later, but the exact date of her death is not known (it was about 1790). Marudu brothers are the sons of Udayar Servai alias Mookiah Palaniappan Servai and Anandayer alias Ponnathal. They are native of Kongulu street of Ramnad. They belonged neither to the family of the ancient poligars nor to their division of the caste.

Marudu Brothers

Servaikaran was the caste title and Marudu the family name. The Marudu Brothers served under Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar. Later they were elevated to the position of Commanders. Boomerangs are peculiar to India. Two forms of this weapons are used in India. These weapons are commonly made of wood. It is cresent-shaped on end being heavier than the other and the outer edge is sharpened. Their name in Tamil is VALARI stick. It is said that Marudu Brothers were experts in the art of throwing the valari stick. It is said that Marudus used Valari in the POLIGAR wars against the English. The Marudu brothers with 12,000 armed men surrounded Sivaganga and plundered the Nawab's territories. The Nawab on the 10th of March 1789 appealed to the Madras Council for aid. On 29th April 1789, the British forces attacked Kollangudi. It was defeated by a large body of Marudu's troops. He was in close association with Veera Pandiya Kattabomman of Panchalankurichi. Kattabomman held frequent consultations with Marudhus. After the execution of Kattabomman in 17th October 1799 at Kayattar, Chinna Marudhu gave asylum to Kattabomman's brother Oomadurai (dumb brother). He issued an epoch-making Jumboo Deweepa proclamation to the people in the island of Jamboo the peninsular South India to fight against the English whether they were Hindus, Mussalamans or Christians. At last the Marudhu Pandiyars fell a victim to the cause of liberating the motherland from the English supremacy. Marudu Pandiyan the popular leader of the rebels, together with his gallant brother Vellai Marudu were executed on the ruins of fort at Tiruppathur in SIVAGANGA District on 24th October 1801. They showed their determination and spirit at the outset of the final struggle of 1801 by setting their handsome village Siruvayal on fire to prevent its being made use of by the English forces.
Marudu brothers were not only warriers and noted for bravery, but they were very great Administrators. During the period from 1783 to 1801, they worked for the welfare of the people and the Sivaganga Seemai was reported as fertile. They constructed many notable temples (i.e Kalayarkoil) Ooranis and Tanks. 
After, so many successions of legal heirs ruled the estate, lastly, Sri D.S. Karthikeya Venkatachalapathy Rajah succeeded to the estate of late Sri. D. Shanmuga Rajah and he was the Hereditary Trustee of Sivaganga. Devasthanam and Chatrams consisting of 108 temples, 22 Kattalais and 20 Chatrams. Sri. D.S. Karthikeya Venkatachalapathy Rajah passed away in 30.8.1986 leaving a daughter named Tmt.. Maduranthagi Nachiyar as his heir. At present, Tmt. Maduranthagi Nachiyar is administering the Sivaganga Estate , Sivaganga Devasthanam and Chatram of Sivaganga Royal Family now. Based on the "District Gazette" 1990 of Ramanathapuram, and the history of Sivaganga maintained by Samasthanam, Sivaganga District has been formed mostly with an area of entire Sivaganga Zamin and part of Ramnad Zamin.


Institutions

ALAGAPPA UNIVERSITY  - KARAIKUDI

Alagappa University is located on a sprawling and ideally suited expanse of about 420 acres in the business town of Karaikudi in Sivaganga District in Tamil Nadu. Karaikudi is 400 Km South of Madras , in the Madras - Rameswaram line and is accessible from Tiruchirappalli and Madurai in about 2hrs. by road/rail.
This seat of higher education has emerged from the galaxy of institutions initially founded by Dr. RM. Alagappa Chettiar.
Alagappa University was brought into existence by a special Act of the Government of Tamil Nadu in May 1985 with the objective of fostering research, development and dissemination of knowledge in various branches of learning.
Alagappa University, hitherto of unitary type has been converted into an affiliating type, by the Tamil Nadu Universities Act, 2002, with a view to widen the horizon of its academic activities by bringing into its jurisdiction, the Arts and Science colleges in the Districts of Ramanathapuram and Sivagangai. Further, as per this Act, the Government colleges in the above districts have become the constituent colleges of Alagappa University.
As a member of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), as well as the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), it has rewarding relations with other academic institutions, research laboratories and industrial establishments that promise a spectacular feature.
The University's motto is Excellence in Action" and the University keeps before it the vision of excellence in all spheres of its action.
Dr. RM. Alagappa Chettiar was born in Kottaiyur near Karaikudi of Sivagangai District in Tamil Nadu.He was a great philanthropist, eminent educationist, and a multi faceted versatile personality.

CECRI

Central Electrochemical Research Institute is one of the chain of forty national laboratories under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. (CSIR) New Delhi. Founded on 25th July 1948 at Karaikudi in Tamilnadu, it came into existence on the January 1953. During the last fifty years CECRI has been recognised as the premier institution for R&D in the field of Electrochemical Science and Technology not only in India but also in the South East Asia, with a total strength of over 600 personnel comprising scientists, engineers, technologists, skilled workers, administrative and other staff, with a combined laboratory space of 4,00,000 sq.ft. in a campus of 300 acres. There are Four extension centers for CECRI located at Chennai, Cochin, Mandapam and Tuticorin.

Places of Piligrimage

PILLAIYARPATTI TEMPLE

Pillaiyarpatti temple is a rock - cut temple located about 12 kms from Karaikudi on the Karaikudi Madurai road.It was built after hewing a hillock by the early Pandiya kings and the image of Karpaga Vinayaka and that of a Siva Linga were carved out of a stone by a sculptor called Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan who put his signature on a stone inscription found even today in the sanctum. He put his signature in Tamil Language which was in use between 2nd and 5th century AD. It can be concluded that the icon of Karpaga Vinayaka must have been carved around 4th century AD. This temple is 1,600 years old. The 14 stone inscriptions found in this temple, dated between 400 AD and 1238 AD reveal that the place was known as Ekkattur Thiruveengaikudi Maruthankudi Raja Narayanapuram before it came to be called Pillaiyarpatti.

KALEESWARAR TEMPLE

The holy temple KALAIYARKOIL is in Sivagangai District. It is 18 K.M east of Sivagangai, 30 K.M west of Devakottai on the Devakottai – Manamadurai Road and 66 KM south – east of Madurai – Tondi Toad. “KALAIYARKOIL” derived its name from the KALEESWARAR temple of the place.
The temple of Kalaiyarkoil is a very large and handsome building surrounded by a strong stone-wall about 18 feet in height.
Kalaiyarkoil has two Rajagopuram viz big and small one.
There is a big Tank on the Southern side of the Temple.

KANDADEVI TEMPLE

The Village Kandadevi is situated 3 Km away from Devakottai Town. Here the Temple is called as Arulmigu Sowarna  Moortheeswarar alias Siragilinather. The Amman is called as PeriyaNayaki Amman. This is 350 years old Temple. The Temple is maintained by Sivaganga Devasthanam, which is one amoung 84 Temples. The Temple is owned by the Sivagangai Raja legal heirs. Here Hanuman told to Rama as kanden deviyai. Hence this place is called as Kandadevi. The Aanni Urchavam is very famous festival for this temple, which is celebrated in every year, during the month of June by the people of 75 Villages.

THIRUKOSTIYUR TEMPLE

This is important  of 108 Vaishnava temples. The Alwar  Ramanujar   has visited and prayed GOD Sri Vishnu. The God name is "Swamiya Narayana Perumal". TheGOD is in five floors. This is famous South Thiruppathi. During every year, MASI MAGAM TEPPAM is celebrated here.

NAGARASIVAN TEMPLE

KARAIKUDI
 

KOVILUR TEMPLE

NEAR  KARAIKUDI. The Koviloor temple of "Sri Kotravaleeswarar" was initially built by one Pandiya King "Veerasekara Pandiyan" approximately thousand years ago. At that time Koviloor was known as Saliwadi (Land of Rice) and Kalani Vasal (Land of Agriculture). It had been a laterite construction.
Later during the 18th century, His Holiness Shri la Sri Mukthiramalinga Gnana Desika Swamigal had started reconstruction work. Simultaneously he had established our Vedanta Mutt, when it came to be known as Koviloor.
Once Pandiya King Veerasekaran went for hunting near Saliwadi village and lost his sword and later recovered. He ordered the construction of the temple and named the deity as Kotravaleeswarar or Raja Katka Parameshwar (God who saved King's sword, valour and there by citizens)
A legend explains how merciful and considerate has been the Goddess towards the truthful devotees. In ancient times there was a devotee by name Sivagupthan, living at Saliwadi with his wife Sudanmai and daughter Aradhanavalli. One day Sudanmai asked her daughter to go to their farm to protect the rice grains from birds. At noon, the mother went to the farm and fed her child with curd rice. The child relished the food and happily ate it.
But to the surprise of Sudanami, after some time Aradhavalli came running and requested for lunch. On enquiry it was explained that she had not gone to the farm at all, instead gone to play with her friends. Immediately Sivagupthan and Sudanmai realised that Mother Universe had come down to save their rice grains. They rushed to the temple and saw the Mother sitting with a smile and remains of curd rice on her lips. From that day onwards She came to be known as "Thirunellai Amman" (Goddess who saved rice grain). Koviloor Math is situated 2 km west of Karaikudi, an important town in the Chettinadu area. This Math was the first to translate Vedantha texts into Tamil for the benefit of Tamil speaking population. It was established by Tavathiru Muthuramalinga Gnanadesikar known as Koviloor Andavar. He was
responsible for the stone structure of the temple at Koviloor. He got the Vedanta teachings systematized in a similar manner as university syllabus and set them in sixteen books, so that numerous disciples could be taught. Many students learn Vedanta here without any discrimination. Many of them also established Maths in their own places under the lead. This Aadheenam is reverved by the Nagarathars of Nattukottai ( Chettinadu).



IDAIKATTUR CHURCH

Idaikattur Church is the Sacred Heart Shrine Built with full of arts in Gothic architectural style on the model of the
RHEIMS cathedral in France. All those beautiful statues were brought
from France 110 Years back to Idaikattur. The reason is that only in this shrine there are the Relics
(things connected with)of 40 saints kept on the main altar. Secondly, there is a historical event which took place 110 years back, when this Church was built that 9 choirs (hundreds) of angels appeared and solved a great problem.
The Location of the shrine: It is 36 K.m away from Madurai on the way to Ramnad or Rameshwaram main road. Stop at Muthanendal.

KUNDRAKUDI TEMPLE

Arultharu Shanmuganathan Holy Temple is situated at 10 Kms from Karaikudi, Sivaganga District. Built around the year 1000 Lord Shanmuganathan is the presiding deity and the History is refered to Mayuragiri Puranam. Marudhu Pandiyars Kings of Sivaganga renovated the Temple in thier days. Important festivals include Thaipusam in January, Panguni Uthram in March, Thirukarthikai in November, and Kandha Shasti in November prayers in temple bring releif from diseases and mental worries. The Devotees are blessed with good Children.

CHETTINAD

Karaikudi and 74 other villages comprise Chettinad, the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars. The Chettiars were a prosperous banking community who ventured overseas to do business in Southeast Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Their legacies are the fascinating houses of Chettinad they built. These are houses have to be seen to be believed and this would justify a trip to Chettinad






 
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