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Gopal Naicker Memorial ready for inauguration

Staff Reporter
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: Aesthetically decorated Gopal Naicker Memorial, constructed at a cost of Rs.69 lakh at Virupatchi near the temple town, is ready for inauguration.

A statue of Gopal Naicker was installed at the centre of the hall and photographs of various historical events that took place during his period were displayed in the main hall for public view, according to A. Mani, Executive Engineer, Public Works Department.

Narrating the history, he said that Gopal Naicker was the king of Virupatchi fort in Oddanchatram block. When Hyder Ali brought Dindigul fort under his control, he deputed his brother-in-law Chanda Sahib, to rule the entire area comprising 18 palayams. Virupatchi was one of these palayams.

Gopal Naicker was one of the prime warriors during the freedom struggle. He had an excellent relationship with kings and warriors like Deeran Chinnamalai, Velu Nachiar, Maruthu brothers and Kerala Varma and opposed the British empire in the 18{+t}{+h}century till his death.

Queen Velu Nachiar stayed in Dindigul and Virupatchi forts after getting prior permission from Hyder Ali. At that time, Gopal Naicker had extended all assistance to Velu Nachiar.

He also joined hands with Maruthu brothers and Velu Nachiar in restoring the Sivaganga fort which was occupied by the British in 1772. The army of the trio chased the British army away from Sivaganga district. Later, Gopal Naicker returned to Virupatchi with his army.

A joint war strategy was also chalked out by a team led by Deeran Chinnamalai in Dindigul in 1800 to defeat the British Army stationed in Coimbatore after the demise of Kattabommu in 1798 and Tipu Sultan in 1799. The kings who took part in the war meeting were Gopal Naicker, Velu Nachiar, Maruthu brothers, Maratha Chieftain of Mysore, Appachi Gounder in Paramathivelur and Jonny Jonkhan of Athoor in Salem, Kerala Varma and Chanda Sahib and Kumara Vellai in Perundurai. The team chalked out a war strategy on June 3, 1800 in the Dindigul fort to defeat the British. Thousands of youths were also recruited in Dindigul for the combined force. After this war, many youths were hanged and some shipped to Australia. Later, Deeran Chinnamalai fled away. Again, Deeran Chinnamalai waged wars against the British in the Cauvery basin in 1801, Odarnilai in 1802 and Arasur in 1804. Gopal Naicker shouldered with Deeran Chinnamalai in these wars.

Gopal Naicker provided shelter to Deeran Chinnamalai who fled away from his kingdom after the war with the British. Later, the British Army caught Deeran Chinnamalai while he was bathing in Thalaikuthu falls at Virupatchi. Later, Gopal Naicker was hanged on a tamarind tree on the banks of Gopalasamudram, a big tank and the prime drinking water source to entire Dindigul town till the 1970s, he added.

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