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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Thiruvallikkeni Thanga Yanai vahanam - Vizianagaram connection !

The Battle of Padmanabha occurred in Padmanabham, Visakhapatnam district (modern Andhra Pradesh) on 10 July 1794. This was fought between  Zamindari of Vizianagaram led by Vijayram Raj II and East India Company Madras Presidency Forces led by Colonel Pendargast, on behalf of the British Governor of Madras, Sir Charles Oakly. The British emerged victorious and the zamindar was shot dead in the middle of the battle. As a consequence of the war, Vizianagaram was ceded to the British territories and became a tributary estate or Zamindari. 

**Nothing much could be traced about :  Her Highness Sri Maharajakumari Kasahi Bha of Vijiyanagaram /  Sri Appalakonda Yarambhi Devi Devi Maharani of Madhogadiriva State  

Among the major attractions of Brahmothsavam is the beautiful vahanams – the Yanai (Elephant) vahanam is very majestic and gold-plated.  It is in a sitting posture!  

 திருவல்லிக்கேணியில் சிறப்புற நடைபெறும் ப்ரம்மோத்சவத்தில் ஆறாம் நாள்  இரவு 28.4.2024   கம்பீரமான  யானை வாகனம்.  திருவல்லிக்கேணி யானை வாஹனம் அமர்ந்த நிலையில், தங்க பூச்சுடன் ஜொலிக்கும். வாகனத்தின் மீது வெண்பட்டுடுத்தி, வாகனத்தின் மீது பெருமாள் பின்னர் பட்டர் அமர்ந்து சாமரம் வீசி வருவது தனி சிறப்பு. யானை வாயில் வாழை மரங்கள் வைத்து, நிஜமான களிறு ஓடி வருவதைப் போல் இருக்கும்.    

Elephants always attract me.  An adult African elephant's trunk is about seven feet (two meters) long! It's actually an elongated nose and upper lip. Like most noses, trunks are for smelling. When an elephant drinks, it sucks as much as 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of water into its trunk at a time. Then it curls its trunk under, sticks the tip of its trunk into its mouth, and blows -  out comes the water, right down the elephant's throat.  

தமிழ் மொழியில் பல சொற்களுக்கு இரண்டு அல்லது மேற்பட்ட பொருள்கள் உண்டு.  வேழம் என்பது யானையைக் குறிக்கும்.  வேழம் என்பது கரும்பு, ஒரு புல்வகையும் கூட.   பாணன் மன்னனிடம் சென்று பாடி பரிசு பெற்று வந்து தம் மனைவியிடம் பெருமிதத்துடன், 'வேழம் கிடைத்தது' என்று சொல்ல,  புலமையும் நகைச்சுவையும் வாய்ந்த மனைவியோ - அதை கடித்து தின்பதற்கு  பற்கள்  வேண்டுமே என இயம்பினாராம். 

Here are some photos of Yanai vahana purappadu on day 6 of Sri Parthasarathi Perumal Brahmothsavam on 28.04.2024.

Some web searches took me to the genealogy of the family as  set out at the end of a very old Court  judgment not only bringing out relationships but also glimpse  of  the Vizianagaram Estate was held by different holders from time to time. Narayana Gajapathi Raj may be regarded as the founder of the family. His son succeeded  the estate on the estate on the death of his father in 1845 and to be seen as  the real maker of the fortunes of this family. He managed the estate from 1845 to 1879 and during the course of his management he bought a large amount of property, movable and immovable including a large estate in and around Banaras. At his death he left behind him his only son Ananda Gajapathi Raj and his daughter Appala Kondayamba I. Appala Kondayamba I subsequently became the Maharani of Rewa. Ananda Gajapathi Raj died issueless on 23rd May 1897 Before his death, he had executed a will bequeathing all his properties to his maternal uncle''s son Chitti Babu.-Later on December 18, 1897, Ananda Gajapathi Raj''s mother Alak Rajeswari I adopted Chitti Babu to her husband, so that as a result of his adoption, Chitti Babu became the adoptive brother of Ananda Gajapathi Raj who had executed a will in his favour before his death.   Alak Rajeswari I died in 1901 after executing a will by which she gave a life estate in her properties to her daughter, the Maharani of Rewa, and the remainder to the children of Chitti Babu.     During Chitti Babu''s life-time the Impartible Estates Acts passed by the Madras Legislature in 1902, 1903 and 1904 came into force.   In 1935, the Vizianagaram Estate and the other properties belonging to Alak Narayana went under the management of the Court of Wards and continued to be in such management till they were handed over to Alak Narayana''s son Viziaram Gajapathi Raj.   

Visakhapatnam (popularly Vizag),  located on the coast of Bay of Bengal in the north eastern region of the state of Andhra.  The city was ruled by Andhra Kings of Vengi and Pallavas. The city is named after Sri Vishaka Varma. The British captured Visakhapatnam after the 1804 Battle of Vizagapatam, and it remained under British colonial rule until India's independence in 1947 which was a part of the Northern Circars.  Part of the city is known by its colonial British name, Waltair; during the colonial era, the city's hub was the Waltair railway station and the surrounding part of the city is still called Waltair. 

Nearer Vizag lies this historic place with - Nagavali, Vegavathi, Gomukhi, Suvarnamukhi, Champavathi and Gosthani rivers flowing through.  The city of rivers was earlier under the rule of  Hindu emperors of Kalinga.  The area including Srikakulam in the north was integral part of the domain of Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi during the rule of Kubja Vishnuvardhana (624- 641). During his rule the Vengi kingdom  expanded from Srikakulam in the north to Nellore in the south. They patronised Telugu. Later the areas were under the rule of Kakatiya Dynasty of Warangal.   There was  the rule of illustrious Krishna Deva Raya too. During last century,  the area was a part of British – Northern Circars.  

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Vijay Ananda Gajapathi Raju [1905-1965] famously  Maharajkumar of Vizianagram or Vizzy, an administrator and politician, played Cricket too.  Vizzy was the second son of Pusapati Vijaya Rama Gajapathi Raju, the ruler of Vizianagaram. He had the  title Maharajkumar (prince) – and he  married the eldest daughter of the ruler of the zamindari estate of Kashipur.  Vizzy organised his cricket team in 1926 and constructed a ground in his palace compounds   He could not make it to the first tour to England but was named the Captain for the 1936 tour of England,  and there are some references to lobbying and not cricketing reasons.  The team reportedly was divided and there were some controversies too, the one involving Lala Amarnath, much spoken about.   Though India lost the series, Vizzy was knighted.  Vizzy was to later renounce his knighthood in July 1947.  He played 3 tests in that tour aggregating 33 runs. 

**if you are wondering what this piece of history is all about – the references in para 2 are found in the yanai vahanam of Sri Parthasarathi thirukovil, mentioned as donors, perhaps dating closer to a century or so.  The temple at Thiruvallikkeni is more than a thousand and few centuries ancient and there have been donors / devotees from far off places too !!

adiyen Srinivasa dhasan
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar

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