Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Unsung Heroes Detail

Muthuvaduganatha Thevar

Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu

November 21, 2022 to November 21, 2023

Muthuvaduganatha Thevar (1750- 1772) was the second Raja of Sivagangai, his wife Rani Velu Nachiyar. Muthuvaduganatha Thevar granted commercial facilities to the Dutch only after the British rejected a similar offer, made to Colonel Heron. Further, the aim of the British was to make the ruler of Sivaganga pay tribute to the Nawab of Arcot or to dissuade them from establishing relations with foreign powers like the Dutch. A two-pronged offensive was made by the British. 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. Muthuvaduganatha Thevar, in anticipation of the invasion, erected barriers on the roads, dug trenches, and established posts in the woods of Kalayarkoil. On 21 June 1772, the detachment of Smith and Benjour joined forces and occupied the town of Sivaganga. The next day, the British forces marched to Kalayarkoil and captured the posts of Keeranoor and Sholapuram. Benjour continuing the operations came into conflict with the main body of the troops of Sivaganga on 25 June 1772. Muthuvaduganatha Thevar with many of his followers fell dead in that heroic battle.