திரு . தளவாய் வேலுதம்பி

திரு . தளவாய் வேலுதம்பி

 

Velayudhan Chempakaraman Thampi was born in the village of Kalkulam to Sri Kunjumayitti Pillai and his wife Valliyamma Pillai Thankachi on the 6th of May 1765, at Thalakulam Valiyaveedu, near the town of Nagercoil (around 16 km from Nagercoil) in present day Indian state of Tamil Nadu which then comprised a southern district of the Travancore country.
He came from a family that had been honoured with the high title of Chempakaraman for their services to the state by Maharajah Marthanda Varma.
Velayudhan Thampi, better known as Velu Thampi, was appointed a Kariakkar or Tahsildar at Mavelikkara during the initial years of the reign of Maharajah Bala Rama Varma.

Bala Rama Varma was one of Travancore's least popular sovereigns whose reign was marked by unrest and various internal and external problems to the state.
He became King at the young age of sixteen and came under the influence of a corrupt nobleman known as Jayanthan Sankaran Nampoothiri from Calicut, in the Zamorins kingdom.
One of the first acts of atrocities during his reign was the murder of Raja Kesavadas,the existing Dewan of Travancore.Sankaran Nampoothiri was then appointed as Dewan (Prime minister) with two other ministers.
Due to corruption, soon the treasury was empty. So they decided to collect money by ordering the Tahsildars (District Officers) of the districts to pay large amounts of money which they determined without any reference to the revenue of the districts.
They were called to the palace and told to pay the amount. Velu Thampi who was the Tahasildar of a southern district was called and ordered to pay Rs.3000 to which he responded asking for three days time.
Velu Thampi returned to the district gathered the people together {most of them nanjil vellalar}  and there was an uprising.
People from all parts of the State joined together and surrounded the palace demanding an immediate dismissal of Jayanthan Sankaran Nampoothiri and banish him from the country.
They also demanded that his two ministers to be brought to a public place, flogged and cut off their ears.
The punishments were immediately carried out and the two ministers were put in jail at Trivandrum. Later Velu Thampi was appointed the Dalawa of Travancore.

After Velu Thampi became Dalawa of Travancore he faced serious opposition from two relatives of the late Raja Kesavadas who applied for help to get rid of Velu Thampi from their associates at Bombay. These letters were intercepted and presented to the Maharajah in a negative light, who ordered the immediate execution of the two men, Chempakaraman Kumaran Pillai and Erayiman Pillai. Having cleared his way, Velu Thampi became the Dalawa facing no more opposition. The Madras Government sanctioned his appointment within a few months.

Velu Thampi was not an able statesman like Ramayyan Dalawa or Raja Kesavadas his immediate two predecessors. He was of rebellious nature. Within three years of the death of Raja Kesavadas the country was plagued with corruption and various problems caused by the banished Namboodiri Dalawa.
Velu Thampi resorted to harsh punishments with a view to improve situations in his country. Flogging, cutting of the ears and nose, nailing people to trees etc. were some of the punishments adopted during his reign as Dalawa. The harshness however had its effect and peace and order was restored within the state within a year of Velu Thampi's accession to Dalawaship.

The sword that was used by Velu Thampi Dalawa to fight against British imperialism, was kept with the Kilimanoor royal family, for about 150 years. It was presented in 1957, to India's then president Rajendra Prasad by a member of the royal family.

On June 20, 2010 it was brought back to Kerala and was placed at his ancestral house at Tripthi Shastamangalam, Trivandrum.

In memory of the courage of Velu Thampi Dalawa, the Kerala State Government instituted a memorial, a research center, a museum, a park and a statue at Mannadi. Another statue of Velu Thampi Dalawa can be found in front of the "old secretariat" of Kerala in Trivandrum.
 

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