(Last Updated on : 12/04/2012)
Ramachandra Tondaiman, formally known as Raja Sri Brahdamba Dasa Raja Ramachandra Tondaiman Bahadur, was the ruler or Raja of the princely state of Pudukkottai
, which is currently located in the present district of Pudukkottai
in Tamil Nadu
. He ruled over the region from July 13, 1839 to April 15, 1886. The ruler was born in Pudukkottai state on 20th October 1829 as the son of the Raja of the princely state of Pudukkottai, Raghunatha Tondaiman, and Rani Kamalambal Ayi Sahib, his 2nd wife. Ramachandra Tondaiman received private education during his early years. After the death of his father, he succeeded to the royal throne, when he was merely 9 years of age. As he was still a minor at the age of his succession, he ruled under the British political agent, also known as Resident of British India
, at Pudukkottai, who served as the Regent. He was invested with full ruling powers after he reached the age of majority.
Rule of Ramachandra Tondaiman
Raja Sri Brahdamba Dasa Raja Ramachandra Tondaiman Bahadur officially ascended the throne and assumed full control of the state government in the year 1844. After his accession, the ruler of the princely state of Pudukkottai was honoured with the title and style of His Excellency by the British government of India
. Ramachandra Tondaiman was an extravagant and a reckless ruler and during his reign, the administration of the princely state suffered to a great extent. He focused more on his personal improvement than the development of the state and the betterment of his subjects. Moreover the financial condition of the state also deteriorated due to mismanagement. The British East India Company
punished him due to his negligence and twice revoked the use the style, His Excellency, in the years 1859 and 1873.
A Seshayya Sastri, who was the former Diwan of Travancore, was appointed as the Diwan of Pudukkottai by the government of Madras in 1878. As the new Diwan, he took various steps to reform and improve the administration of the state, and reconstructed the city of Pudukkottai with contemporary principles of town planning. The Pallavankulam and Pudukulam reservoirs were renovated and also introduced a Post and Telegraph Office in the year 1884. Seshayya Sastri also suggested Ramachandra Tondaiman to renovate the various Hindu temples in the princely state of Pudukkottai. The Raja later officially adopted the traditional title of Brihadambadas in the year 1881, with the approval of the Diwan of Pudukkottai
Personal Life of Ramachandra Tondaiman
On 13 June 1845, Raja Ramachandra Tondaiman of Pudukkottai was married to Rani Brihadambal Rajammani Bayi Sahib. They had two daughters, namely, Kamalambal Rajammani Bayi Sahib and Mangalambal Rajammani Bayi Sahib. Later, he was married for a second time to the eldest daughter of the zamindar of Neduvasal, Janaki Subbammal, on 31st August 1848. The royal couple had a daughter and a son, Brihadambal Rajammani Bayi Sahib and Sivarama Raghunatha Tondaiman.
As his only son, Sivarama Raghunatha Tondaiman, died before him, Ramachandra Tondaiman adopted Martanda Bhairava Tondaiman, who was the son of Brihadambal, his daughter. Ramachandra Tondaiman died on 15th April 1886 and Martanda Bhairava became the heir apparent to the throne.
Honours of Ramachandra Tondaiman
On 16 May 1884, Raja Sri Ramachandra Tondaiman was honoured with the style His Highness. He was also given a personal salute of 11 guns. Tondaiman also received the Prince of Wales medal in the year 1875 and the Kaiser-i-Hind gold medal in the year 1877.