Ammachi plavu (Mother jackfruit tree) in his teen ages Marthandavarma was chased by these cronies of the conspirators and he had to escape from them by hiding in a big pothole in a jackfruit tree. This tree stood at the premises of the Sri Krishna temple at Neyyattinkara was live until recent times. People treated as a divine tree which saved the life of their beloved king. They named the tree as “Ammatchi plavu”, giving the tree the status of mother.
At the time of his taking over the reign, the economy was in shambles, army was obsolete and internal strife was rampant. As per the agreement reached between his uncle Ramavarma three thousand Rupees were to be paid to the king of Trichinapally as royalty. There was not even money to pay for the soldiers, and they became rebellious. Some soldiers captured his minister and kept him captive. Marthandavarma who never stooped before threats, he did not choose to negotiate with the captors, but sent an army and released him by force. This was perhaps the first challenge he had successfully overcome.
Marthandavarma inherited the throne from king Ramavarma his uncle as per the traditions existed. The two sons (Pappu thambi and Raman thambi)of the former king were angered at this and they were up in arms against the king from the very beginning. They conspired with the feudal land lords to eliminate the king. They approached the Pandya king of Trichinapally and complained that the king has illegitimately occupied the throne which was due to them. The Pandya king who also had scores to settle (as the royalty due to him was overdue) sent an army (under Alagappa Muthaliar) to Travancore. The master strategist in Marthandavarma was able to convince the chief of the army about the legitimacy of him in occupying the throne. Relevant records also were produced to substantiate his arguments.
He took timely and brutal actions against the culprits sending right signals to the opponents that the king meant business. The message was loud and clear “don’t meddle with me”. Some of the feudal lords failed to sense it had to pay for it. One day while Marthandavarma was relaxing at Nagercoil palace Pappu thambi and Ramanthambi tried to sneak in to the palace. The smart king who was aware of the plots was prepared. Papputhambi was killed by the guards at the entrance itself. The other one stormed in to the king’s room, tried to cut the king with his sword, but the sword struck on the ceiling of the room. The king sprang on him and sent his personal knife straight in to Ramanthambi’s heart (this incidence took place on 1733 AD.
The Kulatchal War.August 10, 1741.
Marthandavarma’s next target was Elayidathu swaroopam, a small kingdom where after the death of the ruling king the Dutch sponsored a lady to wear the crown. (This action was against the wish of Marthandavarma). The queen fled along with the Dutch securities to
Marthandavarma was not scared, even though he was an ardent believer in god, he used the help of Muslin and Christian sharpshooters to take on the poison arrow shooters. Varma won the battle and his commanders entered the Ambalpuzha palace. There the king, unaware of what was happening was going on outside was enjoying himself by playing chess! The “chess player” was immediately parceled and forwarded to
By 1754 AD it was the turn of the Samoothiri of Calicut, who enjoyed more clout among the small kings had begun to raise his head, he conspired with the small kings of the southern parts like Ettumanoor and Changanacherry etc. The kings under the influence of Samoothiri raised flags of descent. In the next year (1755 AD.), Samoothiri overcome by his big ego was stupid enough to send a big consignment of army through sea to conquer Travancore. Poor Samoothiri did not foresee that he was putting his hands in to the mouth of a tiger. Marthandavarma’s army was waiting in the seashore to give a “warm welcome” to the Samoothire’s hopless consignment. Most of the
Victory to Marthandavarma Maharaja!!!!!!!