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Sivaganga district,Tamilnadu

Sivagangai is a town and headquarters of the Sivaganga district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is also the headquarters of the Sivaganga taluk. The town is located at a distance of 48 km (30 mi) from Madurai and 449 km (279 mi) from the state capital Chennai.

Sivagangai kingdom was founded by Sasivarna Periya Oodaya Thevar in 1730. The town was subsequently ruled by his successors and ultimately by Velu Nachiyar under the stewardship of Maruthu Pandiyar. They were against the British Empire, but ultimately lost to them in 1790. The Company appointed Gowry Vallaba Periya Oodaya Thevar as the Zamindar of Sivaganga in 1801, whose successors continued with chaos until India’s independence in 1947. It was under Ramnad district until 1984 and subsequently a part of the newly formed Sivaganga district. The town is known for agriculture, metal working and weaving. The region around Sivaganga has considerable mineral deposits.

Sivaganga is administered by a municipality established in 1965. As of 2011, the municipality covered an area of 6.97 km2 (2.69 sq mi) and had a population of 40,403. Sivagangai comes under the Sivaganga assembly constituency which elects a member to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years and it is a part of the Sivaganga constituency which elects its Member of Parliament (MP) once in five years. Roadways are the major mode of transportation to the town and it also has rail connectivity. The nearest seaport, Thoothukudi Port, is located 189 km (117 mi) from Sivaganga, while the nearest airport, Madurai International Airport, is located 53 km (33 mi) from the town.

History

During the 17th century, Sivaganga was ruled by the Kingdom of Ramnad, which had its boundary spreading across modern day Sivaganga, Pudukkottai and Ramnathapuram. The seventh king of the empire, Ragunatha Sethupathy (also called Kelvan Sethupathy) ruled from 1674 to 1710 and was succeeded by his sister’s son Vijia Regunatha Sethupathy. He was succeeded by his son-in-law Sundareswara Regunatha Sethupathy in 1726. Bavani Sankara Thevan, the illegitimate son of Regunatha Sethupathy aligned with the Rajah of Tanjore to attack Ramnad. Though Bavani won, he did not honour the earlier decision to cede some portions of the empire to the King of Tanjore. He quarrelled with Sasivarna Periya Oodaya Thevar and sent him out of his province. Both Sasivarna and Kattaya Thevar, the brother of Sundareswara, aligned with the Rajah of Tanjore. Both of them conquered Bavani in 1730 with the help of the army of Tanjore. Kattaya Thevar divided the kingdom into five provinces and gave two to Sasivarna, who became the first king of Sivaganga. As per legend, Sasivarna built the Teppakulam and fort around the spring “Sivaganga”, where he met his spiritual guru Sathappier. As per another account, Sasivarna was appointed as the king by the Nawab of Carnatic.[4] Sasivarna died at around 1750 and his son Muthuvaduganatha Periya Udaya Thevar took over the reign. He was shot dead in 1780 by Nawab’s troops. His widow Velu Nachiyar and infant Vellachi fled the region and were aided by two maruthu brothers namely periya Maruthu and Chinna Maruthu. Velu Nachiyar ruled the region till 1790, when her daughter succeeded her. The brothers still continued the support the new queen. The brothers rebelled against the British East India Company and Nawab of Carnatic, who was supporting the Company. The brothers were later captured and hanged in Tirupathoor. The Company appointed Gowry Vallaba Periya Oodaya Thevar as the Zamindar of Sivaganga in 1801.

Places of interest
Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary

Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary, which is located near to Tirupattur,attracts a number of migratory birds such as white ibis, asian openbill stork and night heron, as well as some endangered species including the painted stork, gray heron, darter, little cormorant, little egret, intermediate egret, cattle egret, common teal, spotbill, pintail and flamingos.

The best season to visit is from November to February.
Chettinad

Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars (Nagarathar), a prosperous banking and business community. It is well known for its Chettinad cuisine, which is very hot and spicy. In fact, Chettinad has one of the South Indian cuisines with large number of specialty restaurants. A typical meal will have meat, a large number of courses, and is served on a banana leaf.Also, the old Chettiar mansions are rich in heritage, art and architecture. For example, Kanadukathan has one such beautiful palatial house.[citation needed] The affluence of the chettiars are shown off in their palatial houses. Carved teak wood doors and frames, marble floors, granite pillars, Belgian mirrors and Italian tiles are the norms.

Pandiyan temples
There are also a few Pandiyan temples. For instance, the Karpaka Vinayakar Temple and Sri Sowmiyanarayana Perumal Kovil in Thirukoshtiyur attract large number of pilgrims.
Other places of interest

  • Anjanamaar Panch Shaheedh Waliyullah dargah, Kannaar Street, Manamadurai.
  • Hazrat Syed Salaar Sha Shaheed Waliyullah, Raziyallah ta’ala anhu dargah, Pallichandai.
  • Ariyakudi in the South Tirupathi is a 400-year-old temple just 3 km away from Karaikudi.
  • Pillayarpatti Vinayagar Temple, Pillayarpatti, around 15 km away from Karaikudi.
  • Koviloor Temple, Karaikudi
  • Kandadevi Temple
  • Idaikattur Church
  • Kollangudi Vettudaiyar Kaliamman Temple
  • Kaleeswarar Temple
  • Nagarasivan Temple
  • Kundrakudi Temple
  • Kollakalaiamman Temple
  • Kallal Somasundaram Soundara Nayagi Temple and its Masimaham Festival mostly in the month of February every year.
  • Panchabhutheswaram, known as Vedhiyanendal Vilakku, is 5 km away from Manamadurai. It is on the way to Paramakudi via Elaiyankudi, the route in which Lord Rama went to Sri Lanka to confront Ravanan. More importantly, this place is known for its hard cut-rock (granite) temple dedicated to Shri Maha Panchamukha Prathyangira Devi. It also houses the big deity of the god. There are two more sannidhies for Lakshmi Ganapathi and Sornagarshna Bhairavar. It has come in a total area of about 5.5 acres (22,000 m2). Soon within the temple premises, ten more sannidhies are going to come for Dasamaha Vidya.
  • Madapuram Badrakali Amman temple[10] Madapuram
  • thayamangalam muthu mariyamman tample
  • thirumalai thirumal kovil