Chokkanatha Nayak

Chokkanatha Nayak (1662—1682) succeeded his father Muttu Alkadri Nayak,as the ruler of the Madurai Nayak dynasty, when he was sixteen years old. This young ruler began his reign with an ill-considered attempt to drive out the Muslim troops, despatching a large army against the Gingee fortress. His general, however, sold himself to the enemy and wasted time and money in a long and unprofitable campaign which was little but pretence. Chokkanatha was also harassed by a domestic conspiracy, in which the same unfaithful general took a prominent part, and though he detected and quashed this, the general went over openly to the Muslims and induced them to join in an assault upon Trichinopoly, in which they had the countenance, if not the practical assistance, of the Nayakkan (Nayak ruler) of Tanjore. The officers whom Chokkanatha entrusted with the duty of repelling the attack again were disloyal, and it was not until he himself finally took command of the army that the Muslim invaders were driven back to Tanjore and eventually to Gingee.

So far things had not gone so badly, but in the next or the following year (1663 or 1664) Chokkanatha paid a heavy price for his temporary success. The Muslims burst into the Trichinopoly and Madura districts and devastated the country with almost incredible cruelty. They again besieged Trichinoploy, and this time Chokkanatha had to buy them off with a large sum. He consoled himself by punishing the Nayakkan of Tanjore for assisting them, and he attempted similar reprisals on the Setupati of Ramnad, who had failed to help him in repelling them. This latter enterprise was unsuccessful, for though Chokkanatha succeeded in taking several forts in the Marava country, he was baffled by the guerilla tactics of his adversary, and had to retire without obtaining that chief’s submission. This Campaign aspired the Setupati to form a new kingdom.


Read more about Chokkanatha NayakConquest and Loss of Tanjore, Attacked By Mysore and The Marathas, The Marathas Seize His Country, Bibliography

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