Dheeran Chinnamalai

Dheeran Chinnamalai
Pattakarar of Palayakottai, Kangayam Nadu
Dheeran Chinnamalai1.jpg
Statue of Dheeran Chinnamalai Gounder at Odanilai modelled after actor Sivakumar's drawing
Predecessor 1756-1799 Mysore Kingdom, 1799-1804 Polygar self rule
Successor British Rule
Born (1756-04-17)17 April 1756
Melapalayam or Kasbah Palayakottai, Kangeyam, Tamil Nadu (erstwhile Mysore Kingdom)
Died 31 July 1805(1805-07-31) (aged 49)
Sankagiri, Salem district, Tamil Nadu or Karumalai, Oddanchatram, Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu (Madras Presidency)
Burial 03 August 1805
Odanilai, Arachalur, Erode district, Tamil Nadu
Full name
Theerthagiri Sarkarai Uthama Kaminda Manradiar
Father Rathina Sarkarai Uthama Kaminda Manradiar
Mother Periyatha

Dheeran Chinnamalai (17 April 1756 – 31 July 1805) was a Palayakkarar Pattakarar of Kongu Nadu, (Western Tamilnadu) who fought against the British East India Company

Early life

Dheeran Chinnamalai was born on 17 April 1756 in present-day Kangeyam, Erode district. His birth name was Theerthagiri.[1] There are no documented information about chinnamalai's life and all of the information comes from oration in folklore

Polygar wars

Chinnamalai is said to be one of the commanders in the Polygar Wars, notably during the Second Polygar War that took place in 1801–1802.[citation needed]

Despite having contemporary mentions of his name with other Poligar,there are no first hand accounts of him being involved in the polgar wars.[2]

After Kattabomman and Tipu Sultan's deaths in 1799, Chinnamalai sought the help of Dhondia Wagh and Maruthu Pandiyar and lead the local Pattakarars Polygars, notably Varanavasi Gounder and Vella Gounder of Erode, Chinnamalai's sister's husband Kumara Vellai of Perundurai, Appachi Gounder of Paramathi-Velur, Aravakurichi Periya Thambi, Somandurai Muchadayandi Vanaraya Gounder of Pollachi and the Naicker Polygars of Dhali, Virupakshi and Ramagiri among others ,to attack the British at Coimbatore in 1800.[citation needed]

British forces managed to stop the armies of the allies and hence Chinnamalai was forced to attack Coimbatore alongwith the above Kongu Nadu Polygars . His army was defeated and he escaped from the British forces.[3] Chinnamalai engaged in guerrilla warfare and defeated the British in battles at Cauvery in 1801, Odanilai kangeyam in 1802 and Arachalur in 1804.[1]


Chinnamalai was betrayed by his cook Nallapan and was captured by the British sepoys in 1805. Nallappan usurped the title of Nallasenapthi Sarkarai Manradiar with British support.[citation needed] According to Pulavar S.Raju, he was hanged at Sankagiri Fort on aug 02 1805, as also were his two brothers.[3][4]


Dheeran Chinnamalai memorial at Sankagiri

Statues and memorials commemorating Chinnamalai exist in Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Erode and Odanilai.[1][5]

On 31 July 2005, a commemorative postage stamp commemorating him was released by India Post.[6]

Until 1997, Tiruchirapalli division of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation was known as Dheeran Chinnamalai Transport Corporation.[7][page needed]

The headquarter of Erode Municipal Corporation was named after him.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Dheeran Chinnamalai statue to be installed in Odanilai soon". The Hindu. 10 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007.
  2. ^ Welsh, James (1830). Military Reminiscences: Extracted from a Journal of Nearly Forty Years' Active Service in the East Indies. pp. 81–135. ISBN 1298702763.
  3. ^ a b "Chinnamalai, a lesser-known freedom fighter of Kongu soil". The Hindu. 2 August 2008.
  4. ^ a b "In memory of a valiant Kongu Chieftain". The Times of India. 5 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Memorial of Dheeran Chinnamalai set for face lift". The Times of India. 18 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Postage Stamps". postagestamps.gov.in. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  7. ^ P. Jegadish Gandhi (1998). State Transport undertakings. Deep and Deep. ISBN 9788176290845.