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Muthu Vaduganathar

(★ – 1772) – (Tamilnadu)

Muthu Vaduganathar popurlarly known as Muthuvaduganatha Thevar, the second Raja of Sivagangai District in Tamil Nadu, India, was married to Rani Velu Nachiyar. Muthuvaduganatha Thevar initially offered commercial privileges to the Dutch when a similar proposal made to Colonel Heron and the British was declined. The British’s objective was to either make the ruler of Sivaganga pay tribute to the Nawab of Arcot or dissuade them from establishing relations with foreign powers like the Dutch. The British executed a two-pronged offensive strategy.

In June 1772, Joseph Smith and Benjour led an invasion of Sivaganga Palayam from the east and west, respectively. The region was characterized by thickets of cockspur thorn, with occasional villages and open spaces. In anticipation of the impending invasion, Muthuvaduganatha Thevar erected roadblocks, dug trenches, and established posts in the Kalayarkoil woods. On June 21, 1772, Smith and Benjour’s detachments combined and seized the town of Sivaganga. The following day, British forces advanced to Kalayarkoil and took control of the posts at Keeranoor and Sholapuram.

Benjour continued the campaign, ultimately engaging in a fierce battle with the main body of Sivaganga’s troops on June 25, 1772. It was in this heroic battle that Muthuvaduganatha Thevar, along with many of his followers, met their demise.