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Descendants of a general preserve three royal swords

Staff Reporter
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Offered to General Babuji Sayabhu by King Gopal Nayakkar

The three swords offered to General Babuji Sayabhu by King Gopal Nayakkar.
The three swords offered to General Babuji Sayabhu by King Gopal Nayakkar.

Two researchers and a history professor on Saturday had a rare chance to look at three 250-year-old swords, offered to General Babuji Sayabhu by King of Virupatchi Gopal Nayakkar, who spearheaded many wars against the British, at Poduvarpatti near here.

King Gopal Nayakkar, who ruled the area between 1762 and 1801, was instrumental in mobilising a force roping in Dheeran Chinnamalai of Erode and Thundaji and fought against the British in Coimbatore.

While the biggest sword is 94 centimetre long and 4.5 cm wide, the second is 84 cm long and 4.5 mm wide. The smallest of them is 75 cm long and 4.5 mm wide.

A 15-cm-long aesthetically carved handles of all the three swords exhibit excellence and their royal background.

Researchers A. Nandhi Varman and S. Magudeeswaran and APA College History Professor Ravichandran said these three swords were preserved in a dargha at Poduvarpatti in Palani block. They are being guarded by the descendants of Babuji Sayabhu. The history associated with the swords was known only to them and the villagers.

Offering royal swords to the best warriors was a custom practised by the kings in that period, they said.

The descendants brought these swords from the guarded place once a year for public view.

The swords were taken out in a procession on horseback on ‘Sandhana Koodu’ festival day. Hundreds of people from the village paid their respects to these swords on that day, they said.

King Gopal Nayakkar set up a memorial at the village and donated 60 acres to the general’s descendants to maintain the memorial. Proceeds from the land could be used for maintaining the memorial. The king also mentioned in an order that the donated land could neither be sold nor be pledged.

The descendants offered some portion of land for public use and retained the rest for their use.

The present generation of descendants has been preserving a palm leaf document and a stone inscription confirming the donation of the land by the king to the general’s family.

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