History

The history of Dindigul is centered on the fort over the small rock hill and fort. Dindigul region was the border of the three prominent kingdoms of South India, the Pandyas, Cheras and Cholas. During the first century A.D., the Chola king Karikal Cholan captured the Pandya kingdom and Dindigul came under the Chola rule. During the sixth century, the Pallavas took over most provinces of Southern India and Dindugul was under the rule of Pallavas until Cholas regained the state in the 9th century and the Pandyas regained control by the 13th century.

In the 14th century, most of Tamil Nadu kingdoms were under Delhi Sultanites with Madurai Sultanate ruling this region between 1335–1378. By end of 1378 the Muslim rulers were defeated by Vijayanagara army and later established their rule.

In 1559 Madurai Nayaks, till then part of Vijayanagara empire became powerful and with Dindigul became a strategic gateway to their kingdom from North . After the death of King Viswanatha Nayak in 1563, Muthukrisna Nayakka became the king of kingdom in 1602 A.D who built the strong hill fort in 1605 A.D. He also built a fort at the bottom of the hill. Muthuveerappa Nayak and Thirumalai Nayak followed Muthukrishna Nayak. Dindigul came to prominence once again during Nayaks rule of Madurai under Thirumalai Nayak. After his immediate unsuccessful successors, Rani Mangammal became the ruler of the region who ruled efficiently.

Under Mysore Rayas and Hyder Ali

In 1742, the Mysore army under the leadership of Venkata Raya conquered Dindigul. He governed Dindigul as a representative of Maharaja of Mysore. There were Eighteen Palayams (a small region consists of few villages) during his reign and all these palayams were under Dindigul Semai with Dindiguls capital. These palayams wanted to be independent and refused to pay taxes to venkatarayer. In 1748, Venkatappa was made governor of the region in place of Venkatarayer, who also failed. In 1755, Mysore Maharaja sent Haider Ali to Dindigul to handle the situation. Later Haider Ali became the de facto ruler of Mysore and in 1777, he appointed Purshana Mirsaheb as governor of Dindigul. He strengthened the fort. His wife Ameer-um-Nisha-Begam died during her delivery and her tomb is now called Begambur. In 1783 British army, led by captain long invaded Dindigul. In 1784, after an agreement between the Mysore province and British army, Dindigul was restored by Mysore province. In 1788, Tipu Sultan, the Son of Haider Ali, was crowned as King of Dindigul.

Under British

In 1790, James Stewart of the British army gained control over Dindigul by invading it in the second war of Mysore. In a pact made in 1792, Tipu ceded Dindigul along with the fort to the English. Dindigul is the first region to come under English rule in the Madurai District. In 1798, the British army strengthened the hill fort with cannons and built sentinel rooms in every corner. The British army, under statten stayed at Dindigul fort from 1798 to 1859. After that Madurai was made headquarters of the British army and Dindigul was attached to it as a taluk. Dindigul was under the rule of the British Until India got our Independence on 15 August 1947.

The fort played a major role during the Polygar wars, between the Palayakarars, Tipu Sultan duo aided by the French against the British, during the last decades of the 18th century. The polygar of Virupachi, Gopal Nayak commanded the Dindugal division of Polygars, and during the wars aided the Sivaganga queen Queen Velu Nachiyar and her commanders Maruthu Pandiyar Brothers to stay in the fort after permission from Hyder Ali.