The Sethupathis are a Tamil clan of the Maravar community native to the Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu, India.They were from the 17th century considered independent kings who ruled the Ramnad kingdom, also known as Maravar country. Among the seventy two poligars of the region, the Sethupathi stood first. This special position was conferred not based upon the revenue that his kingdom generated but because of his military prowess. Back in the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Sethupathi ruler could mobilize a considerable army, about 30,000 to 40,000 strong at short notice(one week).
Under the Madurai Nayak king Muthukrishnappa Nayak, the first recorded Sethupathi, Saidaika kuravar who assumed the title Udaiyan Rakunatha Sethupathi was installed as ruler from 1606–1621.The Sethupathis who were under the suzerainty of the Madurai Nayak, gained its full independence in 1702. The Ramnad Kingdom lost its independence under British Empire and became a Zamindari divided into the Ramnad estate also called Greater Marava and Sivaganga estate also called Little Marava/Koravar.
The title Sethupathi is a Tamil term meaning "Lord of Sethu",where Sethu refers to Adam's Bridge, a chain of limestone shoals from Rameswaram Island in India to Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. The Maravar clan from 5th century CE were patrons of the Ramanathaswamy Temple, which is also known as Sethu and thereupon assumed the title Sethupathi.
The title "Sethu Kavalar" meaning "Guardian of Sethu" was a title used by the Aryacakravarti dynasty of Jaffna Kingdom, who also used the term "Sethu" on their coin on account of being related to the Sethupathis.
The rulers of Ramnad and Sivaganga region of early l7th Century were called Sethupathis. The Nayak ruler Muthukrishnappa Nayak reestablished the ancient line of sethupathys who were the chieftains under the pandyas in the beginning of 17th century as protector and guardian of the pilgrims to Sethusamudram and Rameswaram. The protector of Sethusamudram was called as Sethupathy. Sadaikkathevar was a loyal subordinate of the Nayaks. He emerged as the chief of the poligas. Sethupathis were maravas of Ramnad, Madurai and Tirunelveli. They had Ramnad as their official headquarters. Sadaikkathevar and his son KuttanSethupathi acted as Sethupathis and extended protection to the pilgrims who visited Rameswaram. Apart from giving protection two Sethupathis did religious services to the Ramanathaswamy temple at Rameswaram. The Sethupathis also issued copper coins until they became Zamindar in the 18th century, the coins depict horses and peacocks with deity on the obverse and the name Sethupathi in Tamil on the reverse.
Sadaikka Thevar (1636 AD To 1645 )AD. Kuttan Sethupathi made his adopted son Sadaikkathevar II as the next ruler. This was opposed by Kuttan Sethupathi’s natural son Thambi, Thirumalai Nayak supported the claim of Thambi. The ruler Sadaikka thevar was dethroned and jailed. Thambi was made as Sethupathi. Thambi was not competent. Sadaikkathevar’s nephews Raghunathathevar and Narayanathevar rebelled against Thambi’s rule. Accepting the popular representation, Thirumalai Nayak released Sadaikkathevar from Jail and made him Sethupathi after dismissing Thambi from the throne Sadiakkathevar constructed a new Chokkanatha temple at Rameswaram. He did lot of Charitable and public works
Raghunatha Sethupathi (1645 AD to 1670 AD) was loyal to the Nayak ruler. He helped the Nayaks by defeating the Muslims under Kutbkhan and the poligar of Ettapuram. In appreciation help the Nayak ruler gave the privilege of celebrating Navarathri festival at the capital city. The Nayak ruler also donated places like Thirubhuvanam, Mannar Koil Tiruchuli to Sethupathi. He successfully annexed Devakottai and Aranthangi. He helped Thirumalai Nayak in his war against Mysore army. Thirumalai Nayak recognized the valuable military services of Raghunatha Sethupathi and conferred the title Thirumalai Sethupathi on him. Sethupathis loyalty towards the Nayaks was over with Thirumalai Nayak.
Raghunatha Sethupathi recaptured all the forts and places from the Nayaks and became an independent ruler. Raghunatha Sethupathi patronized art and literature. He made Tamil as official language of his court. He encouraged Tamil poets namely Alagiya Chitramabala Kavirayar and Amirtha Kavirayar. He constructed the Second prakaram (outer courtyard) of the Ramanathswami temple in Rameswaram. The famous poet Thayumanavar spent his last days under the Patronage of Raghunatha Sethupathi. After Raghunatha Sethupathi both Surya thevar and Athana thevar were in power for a very short duration in 1670.
Kizhavan Sethupathi (1671 AD to 1710 AD) was the greatest ruler among the tamil kings. He was the seventh king of Ramnad.He was helpful to Chokkanatha Nayak. The Nayak king conferred him a title Para Rajakesari (Lion to alien kings). He annexed some territories of Madurai Kingdom. Aranthangi, Thirumayam, Piranmalai. He opposed the spread of Christian missionary activities. Kizhavan Sethupathi liberated the Marava country from the control of Madurai Nayak. After defeating Rani Mangammal’s army, he declared independent Marava country in 1707. He shifted his headquarters from Pughalur to Ramnad. Kilavan Sethupathi established the Nalcottal palayam (later Sivaganga) and appointed Udaya Thevar as governor. He served well for the development of Hinduism. He endowed villages to a temple at Thiruvadanai and Kalaiyar Koil. He constructed a fort around the Ramanathapuram, the capital city. He constructed a dam across the Vaigai. His rule was marked as the golden age of the Maravas. Kilavan Sethupathi was succeeded by Bhavani Shankarathevar and Thandathevar.
Vijayaraghunatha Sethupathi became the 8th King of Ramnad in 1710 after the death of Kilavan Sethupathy.After Kilavan Sethupathi the kingdom was divided into two new Sivaganga Kingdom emerged. During the later period of Sethupathi’s rule, the Ramnad was reduced to a zamin level. Then it was brought under the control of the Britishers. Finally it became a part of the Indian Union. Among the later Sethupathis, Bhaskara Sethupathy was an exceptionally enlightened zamindar. And his brother '''RAJA DHINAGARA SETHUPATHI''' were English educated rulers. Raja Dhinagara sethypathy become the zamindar after Bhaskara Sethypathy passed away from 1903. He honored Swami Vivekananda who attended the parliament of Religion at Chicago. on return of Swami Vivekananda both zamindars maeda great agenda on that day, for this they made a memorial Piller on 'SIGIL RAJA' Street, Now the street is called in the Name of SWAMY VIVEKANANDHA SALAI. The social life under Sethupathi’s rule was good.
Ramanathapuram, also known as Ramnad, is a town and a municipality in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the administrative headquarters of Ramanathapuram district and the second largest town in Ramanathapuram district. As of 2011 census, the town had a population of 61,440.Density of population: 320 people per square kilometer; Literacy Rate: 81.48% - Male: 87.89%, Female: 74.93%; Male Female Ratio: 1000:977.Ramanathapuram is the top producer of chilli pepper in Tamil Nadu. It is connected to other cities by NH-49.
Sivaganga is a municipality in the Sivaganga district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is also the headquarters of the Sivaganga District. The town is located at a distance of 48 km (30 mi) from Madurai and 449 km (279 mi) from the state capital Chennai. It is an important town in this district for official and commercial purposes. Its nickname was Sivaganga Seemai.
Ramanathapuram District is an administrative district of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The town of Ramanathapuram is the district headquarters. Ramanthapuram District has an area of 4123 km2. It is bounded on the north by Sivaganga District, on the northeast by Pudukkottai District, on the east by the Palk Strait, on the south by the Gulf of Mannar, on the west by Thoothukudi District, and on the northwest by Virudhunagar District. The district contains the Pamban Bridge, an east-west chain of low islands and shallow reefs that extend between India and the island nation of Sri Lanka, and separate the Palk Strait from the Gulf of Mannar. The Palk Strait is navigable only by shallow-draft vessels. As of 2011, Ramanathapuram district had a population of 1,353,445 with a sex-ratio of 983 females for every 1,000 males.
Sivaganga District is an administrative district in Tamil Nadu state. Sivaganga is the district headquarters.It is bounded by Pudukkottai district on the Northeast, Tiruchirapalli district on the North, Ramanathapuram district on South East, Virudhunagar district on South West and Madurai District on the West. Karaikudi is the most populous centre in the district. The area's other larger towns include Sivagangai, Kalayar Kovil, Devakottai, Manamadurai, and Tirupattur. As of 2011, the district had a population of 1,339,101 with a sex-ratio of 1,003 females for every 1,000 males.
Rani Mangammal was a queen regent on behalf of her grandson, in the Madurai Nayak kingdom in present-day Madurai, India, in 1689—1704. She was a popular administrator and is still widely remembered as a maker of roads and avenues, and a builder of temples, tanks and choultries with many of her public works still in use. She is also known for her diplomatic and political skills and successful military campaigns. The capital of Madurai Kingdom during her times was Tiruchy.
Maravar is a branch of Mukkulathor/ Thevar Community Tamil community in the state of Tamil Nadu. These people are one of the three branches of the Mukkulathor . Members of the Maravar community often use the honorific title Thevar.
Pradani Muthirulappa Pillai, son of Sundra Pandya Pillai, of the 18th century was a minister of Ramnad during the reign of Muthuramalinga Sethupathy. As the king was a minor, just an infant, the pradani took over the controls of a languishing kingdom and brought order and a sense of well-being by his careful planning and introduction of several tax and revenue reforms. Due to ideological differences that arose between the king and himself, he was forced to retire from his position in disgrace, was labelled as a traitor of India, and was forgotten. The Ramnad Manual amply records his administrative prowess and tax reforms.
Bangaru Thirumalai Nayak, also known as Bangaru Tirumalai and Vangaru Thirumala, was a member of Madurai Nayak royal family and Governor/Commander of the Madurai Nayak King Vijaya Ranga Chokkanatha (1704–1731). His son, a young boy was adopted and crowned to the Madurai Throne, with the queen Meenakshi as queen regent, when the Madurai king died without heir. Strife between Bangaru Thirumalai and queen Meenakshi would later erupt into many battles leading to the downfall of the dynasty. Later, through marriage alliances with the Sinhalese royalty, relatives of Bangaru Thirumala came to rule the Kandy kingdom in Sri Lanka. They ruled till 1815 when the last king, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was deposed and taken captive by the British. He was exiled to Vellore Fort from Kandy.
The Madurai Nayaks were Tamil rulers from around 1529 until 1736, of a region comprising most of modern-day Tamil Nadu, India, with Madurai as their capital. The Nayak reign was an era noted for its achievement in arts, cultural and administrative reforms, revitalization of temples previously ransacked by the Delhi Sultans, and inauguration of a unique architectural style.
Serfoji I Bhonsle (1675–1728), also spelt as Sarabhoji I Bhonsle, was the son of the Maratha ruler of Thanjavur Ekoji I and the Raja of Thanjavur from 1712 to 1728. He was the third Raja of the Bhonsle dynasty of Thanjavur. He consolidated the hold of Marathas over Thanjavur and patronised arts and literature.
Sriman Hiranyagarbha Ravikula Raja Muthu Vijaya Raghunatha Raja Raghunatha Deva Kilavan Setupati was first Raja of Ramnad. He ruled from 1673 to 1708 and oversaw the growth of the feudal chieftainship of Ramnad into a powerful kingdom. He rescued the Nayak of Madurai from the tyranny of Rustam Khan and also successfully campaigned against the King of Thanjavur, who later ceded all his territories.
The Thondaman Dynasty is south Indian dynasty of chieftains who ruled the region in and around Pudukottai from the 17th to 20th century. It was founded by Raghunatha Thondaiman, the brother-in-law of the then Raja of Ramnad, Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati.
The estate of Ramnad was a permanently settled zamindari estate that existed in the Ramnad subdivision of the Madurai district and later Ramnad district of the erstwhile Madras Presidency in British India from 1801 to 1949.
The estate of Sivaganga, as per British records also known as Kingdom of the Lesser Marava, was a permanently settled zamindari estate in the Ramnad sub-division of Madura district, Madras Presidency, British India. Along the estate of Ramnad, it formed one of the two zamindari estates of Ramnad subdivision.
Ramaiyan, Ramayyan or Ramappaiyyan was a general who served under the Madurai Nayak king Thirumalai Nayak. He is the subject of the Tamil ballad Ramayyan Ammanai.
Thalaivankottai is traditionally recognized as one of the 72 Palaiyams of Madurai. This Maravar Palaiyam was located in the Sivagiri Taluk, at the foot of the Western Ghats, in the Tirunelveli province of the Nayak kingdom of Madurai. The time difference is 20 minutes with normal Indian time.
Raja Sri Raghunatha Raya Tondaiman (1641-1730) was the ruler of the Pudukkottai kingdom from 1686 to 1730. Starting his career as a feudatory chieftain of the Sethupathi of Ramnad, in 1686, Raghunatha Raya Tondaiman was recognised as the independent ruler of Pudukkottai by the Sethupathi for the services he had rendered him.
The Marava War of Succession was the war of succession between, Vijayaraghunatha Sethupathi the heir apparent and eldest son of Raghunatha Kilavan and Tanda Thevar for the throne of Ramnad kingdom, also known as the Maravar Kingdom. The war of succession and the ensuing civil war lasted from 1720 to 1729 and resulted in the partitioning of the Ramnad kingdom reducing its power and influence.
Vijayaraghunatha Sethupathi was the ruler of the Kingdom of Ramnad from 1710 to 1720. He was son of Raghunatha Kilavan, the founder of the kingdom.