Friday, June 24, 2016

Ettayapuram, Thoothukudi

Ettayapuram, Thoothukudi 
Ettayapuram is a panchayat town in Thoothukudi district of TamilnaduIndia. It is the birthplace of Tamil poets Mahakavi Bharathiyar and Umaru Pulavar. Muthuswami Dikshitar, One of the triad of Carnatic music was patronized in his final years by the ruler of Ettayapuram.

Ettayapuram was originally Ilasanadu, which was ruled by the Pandya Kings. After the Pandyas, Ettappan was appointed as Zamindar by Madurai Nayak dynasty under the supervision of Vijayanagara Empire. After 150 years of rule by the descendants of Ettappan, Ilasanadu became Ettayapuram in 1565.

Ettayapuram Estate
Ettaiyapuram estate was a zamindari estate situated in the Ottapidaram taluk of the erstwhile Tinnevely district. The estate covered an area of 570 square miles (1,500 km2) and 374 villages and in 1901, had a population of 154,000. The headquarters of the estate was the town of Ettaiyapuram.

The estate was ruled by the Telugu Nayak Balija Naidu dynasty whose ancestors hailed from Chandragiri in present-day Andhra Pradesh. During an invasion of Alauddin Khilji, Kumaramuttu Nayak Balija Naidu the founder of the dynasty migrated from Chandragiri to Tirunelveli where he was granted the region comprising the later-established Ettaiyapuram estate. The town of Ettaiyapuram was established in 1567.

List of Zamindars
·        Muthu Jagavira Rama Kumara Ettappa Naicker Balija Naidu
·        Jagavirarama Venkateswara Ettapa Nayakar Balija Naidu Aiyan
·        Jagavirarama Kumara Ettappa Nayakar Balija Naidu Aiyan
·        Jagavira Rama Venkateswara Ettappa Nayakkar Balija Naidu Aiyan
·        Muthuswami Jagavira Rama Ettappa Nayakar Balija Naidu Aiyan
·        Jagavira Rama Kumara Ettappa Nayakkar Balija Naidu Aiyan
Civic administration
Ettayapuram is a town panchayat that is part of the Thoothukudi district, which was carved out of the erstwhile Tirunelveli district. It was in Kovilpatti constituency till 2006 general Elections and now it comes under the Vilathikulam constituency of assembly from 2011 Elections.
As of 2001 India census, Ettayapuram had a population of 12,800. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Ettayapuram has an average literacy rate of 69%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 61%. In Ettayapuram, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.
People of Ettayapuram are primarily engaged in weaving, making matches and agriculture. Traditional weavers weave cotton yarn using handlooms. Small companies operate power looms and allied trades of preparing the thread for weaving and dyeing. The other major industry is the manufacture of match boxes, which includes manufacturing small boxes that contain matchsticks, preparing match sticks and loading them on to the matchboxes.

The area of land under cultivation has fallen due to failing rains and relatively poor soil fertility. The soil type is black soil, which supports crops like kezhvaragukambucholamcotton and sunflower. Kanni breed of goats, a drought-resistant variety reared for its meat, is most common in this region.
Places of interest
Bharathiyar House:
For brief details, please refer below link;
Bharathiyar Mani Mandapam:
For brief details, please refer below link;
Muthuswamy Dikshitar's Memorial:
For brief details, please refer below link;
Umaru Pulavar Memorial:
For brief details, please refer below link;
Ettappan's Palace:
For brief details, please refer below link;
Other places of Interest:
·        Kali Temple
·        Vandimalaya Sametha Vandimalaichiamman Temple
·        Sri Suppusamy Samathi
·        Vetkaliamman Temple
·        The Great Pandyan Pond
·        Jemini & Savithri drinking Water Tank
Notable people
Subramanya Bharathi, better known as Mahakavi Bharathiyar was born here on 11 December 1882. A prolific writer, philosopher and a great visionary of immense genius and perspicacity, Bharathiyar was also one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement in South India. Ettappan, after whom the place was named, carried a negative impression as he gave away the information regarding Veerapandiya Kattabomman's whereabouts to the British, which eventually led to his arrest and hanging.

Ettappan became a metaphor for a traitor. His namesake descendants were involved in welfare activities including arrangements for water supply through huge tanks and patronized poets and musicians including Bharathi and Muthuswami Dikshitar.

Ettayapuram is connected to MaduraiThoothukudiRameshwaram and Tirunelveli by road. The nearest railway station is Kovilpatti, which is 15 km from Ettayapuram.

Ettayapuram Palace, Ettayapuram

Ettayapuram Palace, Ettayapuram 
Ettaiyapuram Palace located in the town of Ettaiyapuram in Tuticorin district is a famous tourist spot. During the region of Pandyas at Madurai, people from Chandragiri near Chittoor of Andhra Pradesh were brought and posted as “watch keepers (DhisaiKavalars) of Ilasanadu”. This was later called as Ettayapuram. When the local chiefs refused to pay the taxes to the Pandya kingdom, Ettappan at Ilasanadu collected the taxes with the help of his army. Later Pandya king appointed Ettappan as a ruler of the place. After the rule of 150 years Ettayapuram was formed in 1565 in this place.

Ettaiyapuram Palace is one of the most famous tourist spots of Thoothukudi and is located at a distance of about 35 Km from the city center. Ettaiyapuram is known for depicting the cultural history of Tamil Nadu. You might find a lot of peacocks in the compound of this place. The advantage attached with visiting this place is that it is in its original state yet and you would get to see the architecture of Pandyas kingdom all by yourself along with the peacocks.

The Ettayapuram palace is only a stone's throw from Bharathiyar house but no one seems to know exactly where their king once lived. The area was fenced with big broken gate. Inside, past a wide, empty area and a palatial mansion that seems uninhabited, is a white, domed building in a corner besides what seems to be a broken down stable.

One look at this enormous white-stone palace, with its tapering, circular domes, intricate floral carvings along the walls, shuttered windows, and stone lion turrets, and this was the home of the Raja of Ettayapuram. Legend has it that Ettappan had given out information about the whereabouts of Veerapandiya Kattabomman (who was in hiding) to the British and this caused the brave heart’s death by hanging. The area surrounding this grand, dilapidated palace is empty. 

Umaru Pulavar Memorial, Ettayapuram

Umaru Pulavar Memorial, Ettayapuram
The memorial, an imposing two-storied building, was inaugurated with much fanfare in October 2007. The then DMK government under M Karunanidhi promised that the memorial would be turned into a research centre and houses a public library with a collection of 5,000 books, including the works of the great poet. Five years later, the place is deserted, the huge hall empty. Residents on Umaru Pulavar Street, where the memorial is located, don’t know if a library is planned here. According to them it is the dargah of Umaru Pulavar and they are not aware that a library will be set up inside.

The memorial built at a cost of Rs 22.5 lakh is maintained by the information and public relations department of the state government. The first floor of the building, where the library was supposed to come up, has gathered dust over the years and not even a single book has been collected so far. Apart from the well-maintained grave, the building doesn’t have any furniture or facilities for the visitors. “Till date no funds has been allotted for the library and not a single book has been collected by the government.
Interestingly, the building is just two streets away from the house of Subramania Bharati, who hails from the same place. The house where the great modern Tamil poet lived has been turned into a museum with rare photographs and manuscripts. It was after a huge public demand to honour Umaru Pulavar that the then chief minister MGR laid the foundation stone for a memorial in 1981.

While the poet faces neglect at his birth place, in faraway Singapore, fans of the poet have set up a world-class library as a tribute to his contribution to the Tamil literature. The memorial was inaugurated on 29th Oct 2007 by the Honorable speaker Thiru R Avudaiappan, Government of Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly. Memorial is maintained by the Information and Public Relations Department under the direct supervision of the District Public Relation Officer. 
Umaru Pulavar:
Umaru Pulavar was a Tamil Muslim poet from TamilnaduIndia. Umaru Pulavar was born in 1642 in the town of Ettayapuram in district. He is celebrated as one of the greatest Islamic Poets of India. The forefathers of the poet came to Tamil Nadu to sell perfumes and settled in Nagalapuram, before moving to Ettayapuram where the poet was born. Umaru Pulavar’s literary talents flourished under Kadikai Muthu Pulavar that is only in Tamil language, court poet of the Ettayapuram Zamin. At the age of 16, Umaru Pulavar stole the national limelight by winning a literary debate with Vallai Varundhi, a renowned poet from North India. Umaru Pulavar was then made the court poet of the Ettayapuram Zamin. But he was not able to learn Arabic grammar. While learning the Arabic language his master went for his essential work for earning money.
Seerapuranam considered to be one of the best works by him, depicts the history related to Nabi Mohammed, and it contains 5,027 poems in three ‘Kandams’ (parts), which are Vilathathu Kandam, Noobuvathu Kandam and Hijurathu Kandam. Each of the ‘Kandams’ narrates various stages of the life of Nabi. Muthu Mozhil Malai and Sethakathi wedding poems are among his other literary works.
His memorial at Ettayapuram in Tuticorin district was renovated by the government of Tamil Nadu and was declared open by the then Speaker of legislative assembly and the then ministers. The Umaru pulavar Tamil language center in Singapore named after the scholar strives for providing quality education in Tamil language in Singapore. A social welfare trust by name "Omar - Bharathi Educational Trust" is constituted at Thirupuvanam Pudur in the regard of both the poets from Ettayapuram. The trust has also opened branches in Ariyalur district and in Theni district. The Islamiya ilakkiya Kazhagam gives award every year to eminent Tamil scholars in the name of Umaru Pulavar.

Muthuswamy Dikshitar's Memorial, Ettayapuram

Muthuswamy Dikshitar's Memorial, Ettayapuram 
Muthuswamy Dikshitar's Memorial is located at Ettayapuram, located 15 km from Kovilpatti en route Tuticorin. This place has a mantapam, simple in design and appearance and the decoration was minimal for the occasion. The “Temple of Dikshitar” has many of his songs painted on the walls with their meanings written in Tamil and each small room (kutil) is named after the relatives of Dikshitar.

Muthuswami Dikshitar (March 24, 1775 – October 21, 1835) was a South Indian poet and composer and is one of the Musical Trinity of Carnatic music. His compositions, of which around 500 are commonly known, are noted for their contemplative nature and for capturing the essence of the raga forms through the vainika (veena) style that emphasizes gamakas. They are typically in a slower speed (chowka kala). He is also known by his signature name of Guruguha which is also his mudra (can be found in every one of his songs). His compositions are widely sung and played in classical concerts of Carnatic music.
The musical trinity consists of Dikshitar, Tyagaraja (1767–1847), and Syama Sastri (1762–1827) although, unlike the Telugu compositions of the others, his compositions are predominantly in Sanskrit. He also had composed some of his Kritis in Manipravalam (admixture of Tamil and Sanskrit).
Muthuswami Dikshitar was born in Tiruvarur (of Thiruvarur district in what is now the state of Tamilnadu) to a Tamil Iyer Brahmin couple Ramaswami Dikshitar(discoverer of Raaga Hamsadwani) and Subbamma, as the eldest son. According to the account of Subbarama Dikshitar, Muthuswami Dikshitar was born in the Manmatha year, in the month of Tamil Panguni under the asterism Krittikaa. He was named after the temple deity, Muthukumaraswamy; legend has it that he was born after his parents prayed for a child in the Vaitheeswaran Temple. He had two younger brothers Baluswami, Chinnaswami and a sister Balambal.

In keeping with the tradition, Muthuswami learnt the Sanskrit language, Vedas and other important religious texts. He obtained his preliminary musical education from his father. While he was still in his teens, his father sent him on a pilgrimage with a wandering monk named Chidambaranatha Yogi to gain musical and philosophical knowledge. Over the course of this pilgrimage, he visited many places in North India and acquired a broad outlook that is reflected in many of his compositions. During their stay in Kashi (Varanasi), his guru Chidambaranatha Yogi, presented Dikshitar with a unique Veena and died shortly thereafter. The Samadhi of Chidambaranatha Yogi can still be seen in Sri Chakra Lingeswarar temple at the Hanuman Ghat area in Varanasi.
On Deepavali day, in 1835, Dikshithar performed puja as usual and asked his students to sing the song "Meenakshi Me Mudam" in the raga purvikalyani raga. As his students sang the lines "Meena lochani pasa mochani" he raised his hands and saying "Sive Pahi" and left his mortal coil.  His Samadhi is at Ettayapuram (Mahakavi Bharathi’s Birth Place), between Kovilpatti (14 km) and Tuticorin.