Madurai During The Rule Of Arcot Nawabs

During the later half period of the Mogul Emperor Aurangazip the Mogul army invaded the Tamil areas under the army general Zulfikar Khan. In 1698 the army fought with the Marathis who were ruling at Cheerchi and defeated them. Zulfikar Khan was appointed as Karnataka Nawab (1698) to rule the Mogul areas in Karnataka. Zulfikur Khan sent his army to Tamil Nadu. At that time the Madurai Naicker Queen Rani Mangammal (1689 - 1707) was ruling with TRICHY as capital. She surrended to the Moguls and agreed to pay the Royalities. After Zulfikii Khan, Dawoot Khan was appointed as Karnataka Nawab to rule with Arcot as capital.

During the rule of Arcot Nawab Dost Ali (1732 - 1740) Madurai Naicker Queen Meenakshi was ruling from TRICHY . In order to remove her and come to power Bangaru of Naicker class sought the help of Arcot Nawab through his general Sardan with heavy bribing. Bangaru Naicker established his rule in Madurai against the Queen Meenakshi. Naranappa Iyer became his minister. Bangaru Naicker then attacked Trichy with the helps of Palayakkarar and the Mysore army (1733). But the army of Meenakshi was successful enough to safe guard her Trichy Fort against her enemies. The Arcot Nawab Sabdar Ali declared Bangaru as "King of Madurai" and thus queen Mangammal was ruling from Trichy and Bangaru Naicker from Madurai (1733).

When Bangaru Naicker again tried to attack Trichy, Queen Meenakshi, in turn, sought the help of another army general Santa Sahib. She was helped by the army of Santa Sahib to devastate the invader of Bangaru. Bangaru Naicker was got imprisoned by the army of Nawab. But, in 1736, the unfaithful Santa Sahib joined Bangaru Naicker and attacked Trichy suddenly and captured it. Queen Meenakshi was imprisoned. At this time Vijayakumaran, son of Bangaru was declared the king of Madurai by the Naicker leaders. So Santa Sahib attacked Madurai and captured. Then Santa Sahib declared himself as Madurai Nawab.

It was thus Madurai came under the rule of Arcot Nawab by the Mogul army general Santa Sahib. Because of the courageous Santa Sahib and the weak rule of Queen Meenakshi, the Madurai Naicker rule which was strong for 207 years came to an end in 1736.

In 1736, the rule of Arcot Nawab was established in Madurai. The defeated Bangaru Naicker sought the help of Maratis who were ruling with Puna as capital in order to over throw the Nawab's rule at Madurai. The Maratis who were interested in establishing their influence in South, made use of this opportunity to help Bangaru and invaded Karnataka. Dost Ali, the KarnatakaNawab was killed in the battle. The Marathis then invaded South and captured Trichy. The brother of Santa Sahib was also defeated and Madurai also came under the Maratis. MARARI RAO was appointed as Marathy governor at Trichy in 1741. Santa Sahib was arrested and taken to Satara. Appaji Rao was appointed as governor of Madurai. Due to the victory of the Maratis the rule of Arcot Nawab was removed, but the scheme of Bangaru was not successful. Marathis started ruling in Madurai.

In 1736 when Santa Sahib was invading Madurai, it is said that several idols of Meenakshi temple were taken to Mana Madurai for safety and were brought back in 1741 after the defeat of Santa Sahib by the Marathis.

The rule of the Marathis at Madurai did not last long, Hyderabad Nizam Azafza who was the Subedar of Deccan, wriggled out from the Mogul domination and started ruling independently Karnataka came under the direct rule of Hyderabad Nizam. To establish his supermacy in Karnataka Hyderabad Nizam invaded South, defeated the Marathis and captured Trichy, in 1743. The rule of the Marathis ended in Madurai and Trichy. The Nizam appointed Qwaza Abdulla as a governor of the areas of Karnataka won over by him. After him, Anwarudeen became the Arcot Nawab. He established his influence in Madurai and the rest of Karnataka.

The Europeans who came to India for Commerce had several fights for commercial and political reasons. The English and the French had fought 3 times in Karnataka called Karnataka battles. Anwarudeen Wallaja was the Karnataka Nawab at that time. Santa Sahib who was captured earlier by the Marathis was released in 1748. He sought the help of Mussafir Jang of Hyderabad Nizam and the French and joined the second Karnata battle at Ambur. Nawab Anwarudeen was killed and his eldest son was arested. Another son of Anwarudeen fled to Trichy and established his rule there. Santa Sahib became Arcot Nawab.

Alam Khan, the general of Santa Sahib marched with his army to the South and captured Madurai Fort from the army of Anwarudeen. To obtain the good will of Madurai people he appointed Vijayakumaran (son of Bangaru) as a puppet king. Mudimai came as a general to Santa Sahib after Alam Khan. He tried to over throw the Madurai king Vijaya Kumaran. Vijayakumaran lost his post in 1751.

Mohammed Ali was hiding in Trichy Fort which was seized by the armies of the French and of Santa Sahib in 1751. Mohammed Ali sought the help of the British at this time and obtained. One English Division under CLIVE seized Arcot and captured it (1751). The British army defeated Santa Sahib and released the seize of Trichy also. Santa Sahib was killed in 1752. Mohammed Ali became Arcot Nawab.

Mohammed Ali agreed to give Madurai to the Mysore king who had helped him in the Karnataka war. Hence in 1752 the Mysore army captured Madurai. But the people of Madurai revolted against the rule of Kukku Sahib the Mysore general. At this time Vijayakumaran was declared as the king of Madurai by the Palayakkarars. But Mayana, the general of Santa Sahib recaptured Madurai from the Naicker king.

Mohammed Ali who wanted to establish hie power in Madurai sent his army to South under the leaderships of his Mabuskhan, English general Heron and Khan Sahib (in 1755).
This army captured Madurai Fort without much resistance. Mayna escaped (1755). After this the responsibiltiy of governing Madurai and Thirunelveli areas was handed over to Mabuskhan. Burgadulla was appointed as governor of Madurai. But Mabuskhan was an inefficient administrator. In 1757 Hyder Ali invaded South and was victorious upto Cholavandan near Madurai. But his invasion of Madurai was spoiled by the general Khan Sahib. Seeing the inefficient administration of Mabuskhan the East India Company appointed Khan Sahib as the governor of Madurai (1759).