The highlight of the seventh anniversary of Tiruchi Mavatta Nadaka Nadigargal Sangam was the staging of the historical play ‘Nayakka Mahadevi’ by Tiruchi Annai Nadaka Manram.
The story was a tragic royal love affair involving two kingdoms of Madurai and Thanjavur.
Sokkanathan, who ruled Madurai, happened to see the eye catching portrait of Mohanangi, daughter of Vijayaragavan, king of Thanjavur, and fell in love with her. As both kingdoms were at loggerheads and had fought each other earlier, the well wishers of King Sokkanathan ruled out his marriage with Mohanangi.
Undeterred, King Sokkanathan sent his faithful minister Venkatakrishna Nayak to Thanjavur to convince King Vijayaraghavan. The Thanjavur king accused Sokkanathan of betraying him by extending support to the Marathi warrior Sakkoji, when he invaded Thanjavur, and declared he was no match for his daughter.
King Sokkanathan was taken aback when the emissary informed him about the refusal. He alleged that King Vijayaragavan had forgotten the assistance rendered by him when Bijapur Sulthan invaded Thanjavur.
Unable to bear the humiliation, King Sokkanathan declared war instantaly on Thanjavur.
In the fierce battle that ensued he defeated his foe. Enraged by this, the defeated Thanjavur king sets fire to his household where the womenfolk of the royal family resided and princess Mohanangi was one among those who was charred to death.
As per the last wish of Mohanangi, King Sokkanathan marries Mangammal, daughter of Thanjavur’s military chief. It was this Mangammal, who later attained the fame as Rani Mangammal and ruled Madurai with pomp and distinction.
M. S. Mohamed Masthan besides directing the play also donned the role of king Vijayaraghavan. Tiruchi George was in charge of story and dialogue. V. P. C. Sekar excelled in the role of Madurai king, Srirangam N. Kannan as the emissary minister, S. Viji as Mohanangi and Santhisri as Mangammal.