PUDUKKOTTAI AT A GLANCE
Pudukkottai District is a district of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The city of Pudukkottai is the district headquarters. It is also known colloquially as “Pudhugai.”
Pudukkottai district is bounded on the northeast and east by Thanjavur District, on the southeast by the Palk Strait, on the southwest by Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts, and on the west and northwest by Tiruchirappalli District.
The district has an area of 4663 km² with a coastline of 39 km. The district lies between 78° 25' and 79° 15' east longitude and between 9° 50' and 10° 40' of the north latitude. Many of the villages in the district are of ancient origin. The district was one of the homes of pre-historic man. The very large number of burial sites found in the northern and western parts of the district attest to this fact. The history of Pudukkottai is an epitome of the history of South India. In and around Pudukkottai there are many vestiges of the oldest habitations of man and some of the lithic records known in the south.
HISTROIC PLACES & EVENTS
The Pandyas, Cholas, Pallavas, Haysalas, Vijaynagar and Madurai Nayaks ruled over this part of the country and fostered its communual organisations, trade and industries. They embellished it with temples and monuments of outstanding merit. Augustus coin found in the Pudukottai Hoard. Sangam Tamil literature mentions some place names of the district. Oliyamangalam (Thirumayam Taluk) is called as Ollaiyur in Purananuru. It was the birthplace of the poet Ollaiyur Kilan Makan Perumchattan and Ollaiyur Thantha Budha Pandyan. Agananuru also mentions Ollaiyur. It seems to have been an important city of the Pandyas. Four other places also are found in the Sangam classics. They are Ambukkovil, the ancient Alumbil, referred to in Agananuru; Avur, the home of the poets Avurkilar, Avur Mulamkilar; Erichi, the ancient Erichalur which had been identified with Erichi Village in Pudukkottai - Aranthangi road (but, according to recent researches, a village near Illupur). It was probably the home of the poet Madalan Madurai Kumaranar. Avayapatti is traditionally associated with Avvaiyar, who is believed to have lived here for some time. The present-day district of Pudukkottai was part of the Pandya kingdom. Over the centuries, the district was ruled by a succession of South Indian dynasties which included the Cholas, Pallavas and Hoysalas.
The district became a part of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. The Vijayanagara empire fought many wars with the Muslim Deccan sultanates to its north, and in 1565 the allied sultanates decisively defeated Vijayanagara at the Battle of Talikota. The defeat weakened the Vijayanagara Empire, and regional governors, called Nayaks, became de facto local rulers in much of Southern India. Pudukkottai was ruled by the Nayaks of Madurai from the mid-16th century to the mid-17th century.
Pudukkottai has an average elevation of 100 metres (328 feet). The state consists mainly of an undulating plain, nowhere of great fertility and in many parts barren; it is interspersed with rocky hills, especially in the southwest. Granite and laterite are quarried, red ochre is worked, and silk and cotton fabrics, bell-metal vessels and perfumes are among the principal manufactures. There is also some export trade in groundnuts and tanning bark.