Veera Pandya Katta Bommana was a warrior king of Telugu Mutharacha orgin. Both KATTA and BOMMANA are the surnames of Telugu Mutharacha community. This can be ascertained from the list of Surnames published in this website itself. It is said that the court language of Kattabommu was TELUGU.
Kattabomman was said to be a palayakar / poligar and the people of palayakars are a subsect of Muthuraja in Tamilnadu today.
Veerapandya Kattabomman was born in Tamil Nadu to Aadi Kattabommu and Aarumugathammal on January 3, 1760 and became the 47th king of Panchalankurichi at an age of 30. Veerapandya Kattabomman’s father Aadi Kattabommu was a minister in the court of Jagaveera Pandyan, a desendent in the Pandya line. Jagaveera pandyan was issueless and declared Kattabomman as his successor. Since Kattabomman was the first of the new clan, he came to be known as Adi Kattabomman.
Aadi = Beginning = Starting = First one in the line
Eighteen kilometres north west of Tirunelveli lies the hamlet of Panchalankurichi, a place of historical significance. The chieftains ruling Panchalankurichi put up stiff resistance against the East India Company, between 1798 and 1801.
Veerapandiya Kattabomman was a fearless chieftain who refused to bow down to the demands of the British for agricultural tax on native land, a brave warrior who laid down his life for his motherland. The fight he launched in Panchalankurichi has been hailed as the inspiration behind the first battle of independence of 1857, which the British called the Sepoy Mutiny.
Azhagiya Veerapandiapuram (Ottapidaram of today) was ruled by Jagaveera Pandiyan. He had a minister Bommu who had migrated from Andhra Pradesh to Tamil Nadu and a brave warrior. He was known as Gettibommu in Telugu to describe his strength and fighting qualities. This, over a period of time, became Kattabomman in Tamil. Kattabomman ascended the throne after Jagaveera Pandiyan, who had no issue, and later came to be known as Adi Kattabomman, the first of the clan of Kattabomman.
Legend has it that during a hunting trip into the forests of Salikulam (close to Azhagiya Pandiyapuram) Kattabomman watched the spectacle of a hare chasing seven hounds. Kattabomman was amazed at this miracle. Believing that the land possessed great powers that could instil courage in people, he built his fort there and named it Panchalankurichi.
Born in this clan of Adi Kattabomman was Veerapandiyan on January 3, 1760 the 47th king of Panchalankurichi to Jagaveera Kattabomman and Arumugathammal. He had two younger brothers Dalavai Kumarasami and Duraisingam. Veerapandiyan was fondly called Karuthaiah (the black prince), and Dalavai Kumarasami, Sivathaiah (the white prince). Duraisingam, a good orator, earned the sobriquet Oomaidurai, which actually meant the very opposite the dumb prince.
On February 2, 1790, Veerapandiyan, thirty, became the king of Panchalankurichi. The Nawab of Arcot who had borrowed huge sums of money from the East India Company gave them the right to collect taxes and levies from the southern region in lieu of the money he had borrowed. The East India Company took advantage of the situation and plundered all the wealth of the people in the name of tax collection. All the poligars paid taxes except Veerapandiyan.
Poligars Palayakarars = Palayakkarars => Palayakkarans
Palayam = Mutha = a group villages forming an administrative unit in feudal system.
Kattabomman refused to pay his dues and for a long time refused to meet Jackson the Collector of the East India Company. Finally, he met Jackson at Ramalinga Vilasam, the palace of Sethupathi of Ramanathapuram. The meeting ended in a skirmish in which the Deputy Commandant of the Company’s forces, Clarke was slain. Kattabomman and his men fought their way to freedom and safety, but Thanapathi Pillai, Kattabomman’s secretary was taken prisoner.
The Commission of Enquiry that went into the incident fixed the blame on Jackson and relieved him of his post, thinking the Company’s plan to take over the entire country gradually could be marred by Jackson’s fight with Veerapandiya Kattabomman. The new Collector of Tirunelveli wrote to Kattabomman calling him for a meeting on 16th March, 1799. Kattabomman wrote back citing the extreme drought conditions for the delay in the payment of dues and also demanded that all that was robbed off him at Ramanathapuram be restored to him. The Collector wanted the ruling house of Sethupathis to prevent Kattabomman from aligning himself with the enemies of the Company and decided to attack Kattabomman.
Kattabomman refused to meet the Collector and a fight broke out. Under Major Bannerman, the army stood at all the four entrances of Panchalankurichi’s fort. At the southern end, Lieutenant Collins was on the attack. When the fort’s southern doors opened, he was killed by Kattabomman’s warriors.
After suffering heavy losses, the British decided to wait for reinforcements from Palayamkottai. Sensing that his fort could not survive a barrage from heavy cannons, Kattabomman left the fort that night.
A price was set on Kattabomman’s head. Thanapathi Pillai and 16 others were taken prisoners. Thanapathi Pillai was executed and his head perched on a bamboo pole was displayed at Panchalankurichi. Veerapandiya Kattabomman stayed at Kolarpatti at Rajagopala Naicker’s house where the forces surrounded the house.
Kattabomman and his aides fled from there …
…and took refuge in the Thirukalambur forests close to Pudukkottai. Bannerman ordered the ruler of Pudukkottai to arrest Kattabomman. Accordingly, Kattabomman was captured and on October 16, 1799 the case was taken up (nearly three weeks after his arrest near Pudukkottai). After a summary trial, Kattabomman was hanged unceremoniously on a tamarind tree. He was publicly hanged near Kayattar Fort, close to the town of Tirunelveli, in front of fellow poligars who had been summoned to witness the execution…” Subramania Pillai, a close associate of Kattabomma Nayak, was also publicly hanged and his head was fixed on a pike at Panchalamkurichi. Soundra Pandian Nayak, another rebel leader, was brutally done to death by having his brains dashed against a village wall.
The fort of Panchalankurichi was razed to the ground and all of Kattabomman’s wealth was looted by the English soldiers. A fort constructed by the Tamil Nadu Government at Panchalankurichi in 1972 stands as a monument to this great hero from the south who played a pivotal role in the freedom movement of our country. ”
THE RELATION BETWEEN SERVAIKARS AND KATTABOMMANS:
Marudhu Pandiar of Ramnad kingdom accepted Omaidurai, brother of Veerapandia Kattabomman as refugee. But, took this reason to invade, English attacked Sivaganga in 1801 with powerful army.
Marudhu Pandiar brothers and many of his family members were caught by the English army and ended their life by hanging.
The brothers were the last heroes from Devar community who did armed rebellion against the East India Company of English people.
Servai is one of the surnames of Muthurajas and land owning community in Tamilnadu. Servai is also known as Agamudayar.
Servai = Agamudayar.
Agamudayar, Marvar and Kallar together are known as Mukkulathor. Agamudayars often classify themselves as Rajakula-Agamudayars and Thevar-Agamudayars.
Servai = Thevar = Agamudayar.
Thevar = Thevan = Devar
The close relation of servais of Ramnad with Kattabommans indicate that Kattabommans also belong to the same caste. This point is also well proved in the article on Kattabomman published in this website.