Tamilnadu - Tamilnadu Districts - Sivagangai District
Sivagangai District is an organizational district of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The city of Sivaganga is the district headquarters. It is bounded by Pudukkottai district on the Noth East, Tiruchirapalli district on the North, Ramanathapuram district on South East, Virudhunagar district on South West and Madurai District on the West. The founder of Sivagangai was Sasivarnana Periya Udaya Thevar and he was the first king of Sivagangai dynasty. The palace of the ex rulers of Sivagangai can be seen here i.e. the Sree Viswanatha and Sree Subramaniya temples. There is a big Teppakkulam or Tank in front of the palace, which adds to the splendor of the town.
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.
Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary is near to Tirupattur. This sanctuary attracts a number of migratory birds such as white ibis, asian openbill stork and night heron. Besides, endangered species such as painted stork, gray heron, darter, little cormorant, little egret, intermediate egret, cattle egret, common teal, spotbill, pintail and flamingos flock here. The best season to visit is November to February.
Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars (Nagarathar), a prosperous banking and business community. It is well known for its Chettinad cuisine which is very hot and spicy. It is one of the south Indian cuisines that have a large number of specialty restaurants. A typical meal will have meat, served on a banana leaf, with a large number of courses. Also the old Chettiar mansions are rich in heritage, art and architecture. Kanadukathan has one such beautiful palatial house. The affluence of the chettiars is shown off in their palatial houses. Carved teak wood doors and frames, marble floors, granite pillars, Belgian mirrors and Italian tiles are the norms.
There are also a few pandiya temples. The Karpaka Vinayakar Temple
and Sri Sowmiyanarayana Perumal Kovil in Thirukoshtiyur attracts large number of pilgrims.
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