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Velu Thampi Dalawa; greatness marked in stone

When time threatens to eclipse the greatness of some, an old statue serves as a reminder of their goodness and their sacrifice. Velu Thampi Dalawa was the Travancore prime minister during the reign of Bala Rama Varma Kulasekhara Perumal (1802 and 1809). He led the first and the only rebellion in Kerala against the British which started as a direct fall out of the Resident Macauly's interference in the internal affairs of Travancore. He made a public call to arms in January 11, 1809, in what came to be known as the Kundara Proclamation. His army though trained well, could not stand up to the British might and he fled his kingdom and committed suicide at a Bhagawati Temple north of the capital.

Velu Thampi was an able but tough administrator. His reforms include making primary education compulsory, establishment of schools, re-survey and reclamation of barren land, construction of canals and roads, and establishment of touring law courts to hear grievances and pronounce immediate judgments. Assessment of tax based on yield was his innovation. His administrative reforms helped in improving trade and commerce. He was also a strict law enforcer; flogging, cutting of ears and nose and nailing law breakers to trees were common during his Diwanship.

This old statue of Velu Thampi Dalawa is situated at Mannadi in Pathanamthitta.

Getting there:
Mannadi or Mannady is situated on Main Central Rd, about 15 km from Kottarakkara KSRTC bus terminal.
Nearest railway station: Kollam, via Main Central Rd, about 40 km
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International airport, via Salem-Kochi-Kanyakumari Hwy, about 83 km.