• If this info is true .. i am really surprised .. having seen and heard the
    Shivaji version of Kattabomman .. this katta bommu version is very difficult
    to digest .....
    Tippu Sultan story is also totally against what is being protrayed or
    taught in schools
    >history is often about what a majority wants to
    >hear and not the real truth.
    This is 100 % true ..
  • dear kamal
    most of the info on kattabomman was obtained from the walls of the
    memorial in panchalan kurichi.

    and another thing Kamal, just dont imagine the actual scenario by
    watching the movie v.p.kattabomman.
    you will be in for a shock when you see actual panchalangkurichi.
    I took my son there once and was shocked at the small size

    his comment was " enna appa fort is smaller than my school"

    and there was some truth in it.the movie had been done with a
    truckload of imagination.
  • Dear Venkat
    our people did have a vivid imagination but to think a pro tamil DMK
    movement would have glorified him as a martyr and name a tarnsport corp
    and district after him is a bit un imaginable...
    So there must have been some bits of truth in his legend But I have
    been to kayathar and i did feel bad See the monument they have for
    Wllace in stirling and all that was in Kayathar was virtually nothing
  • Dear Sri

    the kattabomman legend was started by the theru koothu movement and
    came into the drama companies ahead of the dmk movement

    but making a pakka telugu speak the most remembered tamil vasanam of
    the century was an achievement- dont you think so.

    if you exclude the telugu contributions tamilnadu will have very

    some of our greatest temples were built( or rebuilt) during naik
    period.most of our feudal kings of the previous centuries were telugu.

    but it was kannadasan who felt kattabomman had been blown out of
    proportion and tried to bring into light the achievements of the
    marudu brothers whose opposition to the british was on a much larger
  • Dear Sri

    some info I gathered on kattabomman- the man

    Paanchalankurichi is a hamlet 18 kms from Thoothukkudi. It was here
    that Veerapandian, the 47th king of Paanchalankurichi was born on
    January 3rd, 1760 to Jagaveera Kattabomman and Aarmugathammal.
    The Kattabommans traced their ancestry to Bommu, who was a minister
    in King Jagaveera Pandian's durbar in Azhagiya Veerapandiapuram, as
    Ottapidaram of today was known as.
    Bommu, or Gettibommu was he was called, had migrated from the
    Vijayanagar region of what is Andhra Pradesh today and was a fearless
    warrior as well. After Jagaveera Pandiyan died issueless, Bommu
    ascended the throne.
    Veerapandian became the king of Panchalankurichi on February 7, 1790,
    and ruled for 9 years
    The TN Government has propagated the memory of Kattabomman by
    erecting (in 1974) a memorial fort in his honour in
    Paanchalankurichi. Sri Devi Jakkammal Temple, the hereditary Goddess
    of Kattabomman, is located near the fort.

    To observe the bicentenary on 16th October 1999 of Kattabomman's
    hanging, the Central Government brought out a postal stamp in his

    there are seven living direct descendents of the Kattabomman
    family.The Government pays each of them a monthly pension of Rs. 500,

    Sree Vaikuntham which constitutes the first of the nine Nava
    Thiruppatis in Thirunelveli district in the belt between Thirunelveli
    and the coastal shrine of Thiruchendur. This temple witnessed the
    battle between the valiant Veerapandya Kattabomman and the British,
    where the British used this temple as a fortress. Battle marks are
    seen on the temple's door.
  • Dear Sri

    kattabomman the movie and sivagangai seemai

    the film kattabomman was not without its share of controversies.
    Denouncing the glorification of Kattabomman, Thamizhvaanan
    wrote "kattabomman telungan! koLLaikkaran! avanukku munbE pulithEvan
    engiRa veera maRavan pOraadinaan!"
    Kannadasan claimed that the Maruthu brothers were the true sons of
    the soil who raised their voice against the British. And to bolster
    his claim, he set about making the movie `sivagangai seemai'.
    veerapaNdiya kattabomman was released on May 6, 1959, and sivagangai
    seemai was released on May 19, 1959.
    Kannadasan Productions' Sivagangai Seemai- 1959 was Kannadasan's
    labour of love, He wrote the script & lyrics; and produced the film.
    It was his second venture in the wake of the success of Maalaiyitta
    Mangai the previous year. Sivagangai Seemai was directed by
    K.Shankar, and had a talented star cast led by T.K.Bagavathi, SSR,
    P.S.Veerappa, S.Varalakshmi, Kumari Kamala, M.N.Rajam and others.
    Unfortunately for Kannadasan, Sivagangai Seemai was consigned back
    to the cans within no time of its release while the successful
    Veerapandiya Kattabomman was acclaimed as a magnum opus. Kannadasan
    ended up with a huge financial loss.
    Sivagangai Seemai still remains among the best historical films made
    in Tamil. Kannadasan's native soil was the canvas, and he was
    familiar with its history and geography. He had a keen sense of the
    period, and his passion ensured that Sivagangai Seemai was much more
    than a commonplace costume drama.
  • I am from Sivagangai. My grandfather, who had tutored
    3 generations of the Rajas of Sivagangai was the
    source of information for Kannadasan. I have heard
    from my grandmother that whenever Kannadasan came to
    our house to learn and discuss historical matters with
    him, the womenfolk of the house and street used to
    sort of go away, as he was a "nasthik" at that time
    and used to write on women in a not so dignified way..
    at that time. So, many people told my thatha not to
    co-operate with him, as he may not put the things in
    the right perspective. Still, my thatha liked working
    with him, understanding his genuine feeling for
    Marudhu Pandiyar and they had worked together for days

    Of course, no acknowledgement was made anywhere in the
    movie for all the help rendered is another thing which
    we Indians are used to.

    In fact, Kaviyogi Maharshi Suddhanandha Bharathi had
    written a full-fledged drama on Marudhu Sahodharargal,
    which is full of actual facts dramatised very well.

    The present family members of Sivaganga Samasthanam
    are associated with Suddhananda Bharathiyar's school
    at Cholapuram, near Sivagangai.

    With regards,
  • Panchalankurichi is visited mostly by school children
    where they can see paintings ( recent) depicting life
    of Kattabomman. There is a watchman who takes you
    around the painting repeating what is written there in
    Tamil and asks you for money at the end of the trip.

    Just outside, there is temple of Jakkamma and ruins of
    the palace of Kattabomman. One interesting thing about
    the place is, there is a spot which is very cool even
    in the hot afternoon of May ( when we were there).
    This is open to sky, but the stone is very cool. You
    can feel it with your bare foot. The next stone is
    very hot. This one is absolutely chill.....

    A person who claimed that he is descendent of
    Kattabomman ( he had the relevant document issued by
    Govt.) tells you stories of Kattabomman and told us
    about this stone which was part of the Andhapuram,
    which was sort of air-coolled. This guy has got a lot
    of rare issues of history based books which God knows
    he procured from where.

    Sad part is, at the end of the discussion, he
    literally begs you for money. You are left with a
    mixed feeling of .............

    With regards,

  • Dear uma
    the present sivaganga royal family has not descended from the maruthu
    brothers. their descendants live in an area called aranmanai
    they are still honoured on the ther thiruvizha of kalayar koil every
    may month

    kattabomman had no great conquest except occasional raids into
    ettayapuram zamin
    whereas maruthu sakotharakal even held madurai for some time.

    but all said and done kattabomman was a brave warrior who defended
    his rights against an alien.
    and ettayapuram which was reportedly responsible for his death
    repented in a great way??????
    know what????

    subramania bharathi was born there.
  • I remember reading a book by tamilvanan called as 'Kattabomman

    In that book late tamilvanan says that kattabomman wasnt a hero.The
    movie showed him as a revolutionary leader but whereas in reality he
    was running after banerman requesting him to postpone tax payments
    says tamilvanan.

    The fall of kattabomman was a result of his infighting with
    ettayapuram maharaja it seems.

    Was kattabomman popular before the movie came?Or was he raised to cult
    status because of the movie?was he a real freedom fighter or a local
    king who lost the game with ettayapuram raja?

    I find it difficult to accept pre 1857 kings as freedom fighters.They
    never had any dreams of indian indpendence.They wanted to rule their
    province independently and dint give a damn when other indian kings
    were attacked.Tippu opposed british when they attacked him but kept
    quiet when marathas and other kings were defeated by british.

    British were very much an indian kingdom then.Other kings saw them as
    another indian kingdom and frequently entered into agreements and
    friendships with them.Those who fought with british were later on
    raised to cult status.

    In reality no king thought beyond his samasthanam.1857 was first
    attempt to chase away british from whole of india.
  • We went to Ettayapuram thinking that we would get to
    see Bharathiyar's house in all its glory ( I dont mean
    richness..... I mean well preserved, respected and
    valued). Unfortunately, the guy who is supposed to
    come and open did not come beyond the appointed time.
    We made 3 repeated trips on the same day, but still it
    was not open. Compare this with the way Shakespeare's
    house is treated in England!!

    Why are we like this??? The neighbour of this great
    house, where a man like Bharathiyar lived, does not
    want to even open his house to answer our questions.
    He is happy watching a stupid serial in Sun TV when a
    group of us want some information from him as to the
    timings of the place... this house has been taken over
    by Govt and it employs a man to show it around. Still,
    this is the condition!

    Yes, I know Sivagangai Samasthanam has no connection
    with Marudhu Pandiyar. But they had access to a lot of
    valuable historical data which they did not really
    value! Their tutor had read almost all of them and
    knew more about Marudhu Pandyas!!

    With regards,

  • sampaththukku oru salaaam

    he has hit the nail on its head

    we as students of history should realise there was no entity called
    india till just before the british left.
    and the indianness started with 1857.

    kattabomman and maruthu pandyar were feudatories of the arcot nawab a
    remnant of the mughal empire. when arcot transferred its powers to
    the british rose these problems.

    i distinctly remember having read that kattabomman visited fort st
    george as a valued guest of the british a few years before he turned

    > Was kattabomman popular before the movie came?Or was he raised to
    > status because of the movie?was he a real freedom fighter or a local
    > king who lost the game with ettayapuram raja?

    kattabomman and the ettappaa business must be after independence when
    we were hunting for heroes.

    perhaps Bharathiyar would never have been in the employ of the
    ettayapuram if he had beleived it had betrayed kattabomman.(????)
  • Dear Venkatesh,
    Nice and Good info thrown..
    After reading all your emails. now I got one more doubt in my mind? what is
    true history abt maruthu pandiyar and katta bommu.
    In schools they tought us only wrong history.. poor teachers..
  • Venkatesh,

    many of ur icons are false gods.For example janshi rani laxmi bhai.She
    is hailed as something great,but she never had any dream for
    independent india or independent jhansi state.Her reason for joining
    the sepoy mutiny was that british refused to accept her adopted son as
    king.She was about to lose her province anyway.So she joined mutiny in
    1857.Had british allowed her adopted son to rule the kingdom,she would
    not have joined the mutiny.

    In many ways we should thank god that 1857 mutiny failed.had it
    succeeded now jhansi,ayodhya,bengal,punjab etc would have been
    seperate countries.we would have had 1000 countries in place of
    India.To go from arcot to pudukottai we would have needed passport
    and visa.Maybe we would have become a federation in the euro model but
    chances for that is very,very less.

    A country needs heroes.Unfortunately in our country we have very few
    'all india level heroes'.Gandhi,Nehru,nethaji,...the list becomes very
    thin after these 3 names.

    Leaders like kamarajar,muthuramalinga thevar,VOC,ambethkar,marshall
    nesamani ponnaya,rajaji have become icons for their respective
    castes.Periyar,veer savarkar,indira,baktavatsalam etc have become
    icons only for their parties.Tippu sultan and satrapathi shivaji are
    hailed only by specific religions.Depending on which party comes to
    power these icons are either hailed or degraded.

    Even kings of past are hailed as icons of their community.This makes
    other castes to immediatly detest the kings.Our politicians also
    played a major role in this.Theeran chinnamalai became theeran
    chiinamalai gounder,king alagumuthu became alagumuthu kon and we even
    had sambuvarayar mavattam before some time.
  • true
    most of the indian kings were tyrants and bled the country dry.
    the lives of the princes was crazy.
    debauchery and lavishness bled the country.

    thats a different subject altogether but the charecter of the kings
    was nothing to boast of.

    the british did a favour holding us together till we realised there
    was unity in diersity. and today we blame them for partion without
    hailing them for unification
  • Dear Venkatesh and Sampath
    You have to read Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapieere and Larry Collins and the Chapter on Indian princes will tell you all the stupid and egotistic practices the then kings had
    In Siraisalai the english lady remarks to mohanlal charector you keep talking about free India but was therea country called India till the british came?
    It hurts its Sad but its the truth
  • -Dear Sri

    freedom at midnight was the book that changed my outlook on gandhi.I
    read it in school.

    to me he changed from a whimsical and weak leader into a man with
    mammoth who could match machivelli for every move.
    he was not weak I realised but acting so.( when he spurned violence)

    words like " he humbled the empire with a glass of water and
    bicarbonate of soda( gandhi used to take this during his fasts)
    still are fresh in my mind.
  • "Freedom at Midnight" had its impact on me as well. I dont remember the
    entire content of the book (I usually have a poor memory) but I
    finished it at a stretch when i was doing my PG. i remember tears
    rolling down my cheeks as I keep reading. I have cried like anything.
    What an humble soul Gandhi was. Due to its impact I was mad with Gandhi
    those days, that my friends used to tease me (Even today) as Pseudo
    Gandhi, because for them I talk about gandhi but dont practice (I am
    short tempered) :) .

    But later, I did found or felt that i found some mistakes in gandhi as
    well. No human is perfect. Kamal's "Hey Ram" really had an impact on
    me, a mixed impact.
  • -Hai sathish

    now that you talk of "hey ram" the main point of the story was
    lifted from the novel delhi by khuswantsingh.

    when one hindu refugee from pakistan wants to assasinate gandhi and
    just before he pulls out his gun nathuram godse does.
  • Dear Sri

    In 1857 war Bahadur Shah was declared as emperor

    so there was a possibiltiy "united India"
  • dear sankaran

    when bahadur shah was declared emperor the marathas had come to the
    very gates of delhi

    the mughal empire was but a few villages

    the scindias of gwalior were all powerful

    one should read khuswant sings "delhi"
    he describes the siege and fall of delhi from the eyes of a sikh the soldiers rejoice the fall of the city where their
    guru's were killed.

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