Ramachandra Tondaiman

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Ramachandra Tondaiman
Raja of Pudukkottai

Ramachandra Tondaiman.jpg

Ramachandra Tondaiman, Raja of Pudukkottai seated in his palace, 1858
Reign 13 July 1839 – 15 April 1886
Predecessor Raghunatha Tondaiman II
Successor Martanda Bhairava Tondaiman
Born(1829-10-20)20 October 1829
Pudukkottai, Pudukkottai state
Died 15 April 1886(1886-04-15) (aged 56)
Issue Kamalambal Rajammani Bayi Sahib,
Mangalambal Rajammani Bayi Sahib,
Sivarama Raghunatha Tondaiman,
Brihadambal Rajammani Bayi Sahib
House Pudukottai
Father Raghunatha Tondaiman
Mother Rani Kamalambal Ayi Sahib

Raja Sri Brahdamba Dasa Raja Ramachandra Tondaiman Bahadur (20 October 1829 – 15 April 1886) was the ruler of princely state of Pudukkottai from 13 July 1839 to 15 April 1886.


Early life

Ramachandra Tondaiman was born in Pudukkottai on 20n October 1829 to Raghunatha Tondaiman, the Raja of Pudukkottai and his second wife, Rani Kamalambal Ayi Sahib. [1] He was educated in private and succeeded to throne at the age of nine on the death of his father with the British political agent at Pudukkottai acting as the regent. [1]

Pudukkottai Town in Tamil Nadu, India

Pudukkottai is the administrative headquarters of Pudukkottai District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a big town located on the banks of River Vallaru, it has been ruled, at different times, by the Early Pandyas, Mutharaiyars, Thondaimans, and the British. It is situated about 395 kilometres (245 mi) southwest of the state capital Chennai and about 55 kilometres (34 mi) southeast of Tiruchirappalli. The people in the city are employed majorly in teritiary sector activities. Tamil Nadu's first women Asiad Santhi Soundarajan is from Pudukkottai.

Raja Monarch or princely ruler

Raja, is a title for a monarch or princely ruler in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

A regent is a person appointed to govern a state because the monarch is a minor, is absent or is incapacitated. The rule of a regent or regents is called a regency. A regent or regency council may be formed ad hoc or in accordance with a constitutional rule. "Regent" is sometimes a formal title. If the regent is holding his position due to his position in the line of succession, the compound term prince regent is often used; if the regent of a minor is his mother, she is often referred to as "queen regent".


Pudukkottai was administered by a regent in the early years of Ramachandra's reign. Soon after his accession, Ramachandra was awarded the style of "His Excellency" by the British government. [1] In 1844, Ramachandra, formally, assumed control of the government. [1]

Excellency honorific style

Excellency is an honorific style given to certain high-level officers of a sovereign state, officials of an international organization, or members of an aristocracy. Once entitled to the title "Excellency", the holder usually retains the right to that courtesy throughout their lifetime, although in some cases the title is attached to a particular office, and is held only for the duration of that office.

Ramachandra's administration was allegedly marked by extravagance and financial mismanagement. [2] He was punished by the British government who twice revoked the permission to use the style "His Excellency" in 1859 and 1873. [1] In 1878, at the advice of Sir T. Madhava Rao, the Madras government appointed A. Seshayya Sastri, former Diwan of Travancore as the Diwan of Pudukkottai. [2] Sastri reformed the administration and rebuilt the city of Pudukkottai as per modern principles of town planning. The Pudukulam and Pallavankulam tanks in the city were renovated and a Post and Telegraph Office was inaugurated in 1884. [2] At Sastri's suggestion, Ramachandra renovated many Hindu temples in the state. In 1881, Ramachandra officially adopted the hereditary title "Brihadambadas" with the consent of Sastri. [3]

A. Seshayya Sastri Diwan of Travancore

Sir Amaravati Seshayya Sastri, or Sashiah Sastri, was an Indian administrator who served as the Diwan of Travancore from May 1872 to 4 May 1877 and as the Diwan of Pudukkottai from 1878 to 1894. He is credited with having modernized the city of Pudukkottai.

Travancore historic state in India

The Kingdom of Travancore (Thiruvithamkoor) was an Indian kingdom from 1500 until 1949. It was ruled by the Travancore Royal Family from Padmanabhapuram, and later Thiruvananthapuram. At its zenith, the kingdom covered most of modern-day central and southern Kerala with the Thachudaya Kaimal's enclave of Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikkam temple in the neighbouring Kingdom of Cochin, as well as the district of Kanyakumari, now in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The official flag of the state was red with a dextrally-coiled silver conch shell at its center. In the early 19th century, the kingdom became a princely state of the British Empire. The Travancore Government took many progressive steps on the socio-economic front and during the reign of Maharajah Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, Travancore became the second most prosperous princely state in British India, with reputed achievements in education, political administration, public work and social reforms.

Ramachandra was awarded the style "His Highness" on 16 May 1884 along with an 11-gun salute. [1] He was awarded the Prince of Wales medal in 1875 and the Empress of India Medal in gold in 1877. [1]

Prince of Wales title granted to princes born in Wales

Prince of Wales was a title granted to princes born in Wales from the 12th century onwards; the term replaced the use of the word king. One of the last Welsh princes, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in battle in 1282 by Edward I, King of England, whose son Edward was invested as the first English Prince of Wales in 1301.

Empress of India Medal

The Empress of India Medal, also referred to as KIH Medal, was a commemorative medal awarded to mark the occasion of the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India in 1877. It was the first wearable medal issued to mark a commemorative occasion within the British Empire. The medal was awarded in gold to Indian princes or senior officials and in silver to select British and Indian military officers and civilians, as well as one soldier from each British and Indian regiments serving in India at the time of the proclamation celebrations of the 1877 Delhi Durbar.


HH Subbamma Bai Sahib Rani of Pudukottai,consort of Ramachandra Tondaiman HH Subbamma Bai Sahib Rani of Pudukottai.jpg
HH Subbamma Bai Sahib Rani of Pudukottai,consort of Ramachandra Tondaiman

Ramachandra Tondaiman married Rani Brihadambal Rajammani Bayi Sahib on 13 June 1845. [1] The couple had two daughters.

Ramachandra married for a second time, to Janaki Subbammal, the eldest daughter of the zamindar of Neduvasal on 31 August 1848. [1] The couple had a son and a daughter

Since Sivarama Raghunatha Tondaiman, Ramachandra Tondaiman's only son predeceased him, Ramachandra adopted Martanda Bhairava Tondaiman, son of his daughter Brihadambal, and designated him heir-apparent to the throne. [1]

Patronage of music

Ramachandra Tondaiman patronised music and organised Carnatic music concerts in his palace. [4] Ramachandra Tondaiman, himself, was a prolific composer and set his drama Kuruvaji Nataka to music and had it enacted at the Viralimalai Murugan temple. [5]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Pudukkottai 3". Tondaiman Dynasty. Christopher Buyers.
  2. 1 2 3 "The architect of Pudukkottai". The Hindu. 9 April 2000.
  3. Waghorne, Joanne Punzo (1989). "From Robber Baron to Royal Servant?". In Alf Hiltebeitel. Criminal Gods and Demon Devotees: Essays on the Guardians of Popular Hinduism. SUNY PRESS. pp. 405–426. ISBN   0-88706-981-9.
  4. Kuppuswamy, Gowri; Hariharan, Muthuswamy (1982). Glimpses of Indian music. Sundeep. p. 79.
  5. Rajagopalan, N. (1992). "Cradles of Music II". Another Garland: Biographical Dictionary of Carnatic Composers & Musicians, Book II. Carnatic Classicals. pp. 77–78.

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