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Velu Thampi Dalava

Mar 10, 2023

A Kalari Warrior and Notable Freedom Fighter

Velu Thampi Dalava, a notable kalari warrior and freedom fighter, led one of the most audacious uprisings against the British, which began as a direct result of the British Resident Macaulay's meddling in the affairs of Thiruvithamkur (present-day Trivandrum, Kerala) in 1808. The Kundara Proclamation of 1809 was a public call to arms, and thousands rallied behind him. At first, he received assistance from Kochi's Dewan, Paliath Achan, but he later waged a solitary campaign against the British. Despite his courage and military prowess, he was no match for the British Army's might and eventually fled the state. Reportedly, he committed suicide in March 1809. After the hostilities ended, most of his followers were either hanged or imprisoned. There were no uprisings of this magnitude in Kerala for the remainder of British rule.

Tragic End: The Fate of Velu Thampi and his Family

As the Prime Minister of Travancore, Velu Thampi Dalava grew tired of the East India Company's constant meddling in his kingdom's internal affairs. In 1809, he issued the famous Kundara Declaration, urging the people to rise up against the British. The people wholeheartedly joined him, but the British Army's sheer numbers made it an uneven battle. In an effort to protect his throne, the king declared Velu Thampi a traitor, and the loyal Velu Thampi committed suicide. His family members were exiled to the Maldives.


Velu Thampi Dalawa's Significance in India's Struggle for Independence

Velu Thampi Dalava, the Minister of Bala Rama Varma, the Maharaja of Travancore, is often regarded as a landmark figure in India's struggle for independence. However, it is yet to be historically classified as a part of the first phase of India's struggle for independence.

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