The history of Pudukkottai is divided into two phases, the first phase was from 1680 to 1800 and the second one was from 1800 to 1948. In the first phase, Pudukkottai was a feudatory of Ramnad and gradually expanded its territories to mould itself into a kingdom. In 1800, it came under the British East India Company’s subsidiary alliance system. From here, second phase of the Pudukkottai began and it ended in 1948 only after acceding with Union of India.
It was entitled to 17 gun salutes by the British authority. It was covered across a total area of 1,178 square miles and had a population of 438,648 in 1941. The capital city of the state was Pudukkottai town. Topographically, it extended from Trichinopoly district in the west, Tanjore district in the east and south-east till Sivaganga of Madura district in the south.
Raja Sri Raghunatha Raya Tondaiman was the feudatory chieftain of the Sethupathi of Ramnad in 1686. In 1639, Vijayanagar Emperor, Sriranga III gave him the title of Raya Rahutta Raya Vajridu Raya Mannida Raya and granted land for his bravery and military service. In 1686, he fought for Raja of Ramnad and in return he was granted with Thirumayam fort, estates and the title of ‘Raja of Pudukkottai’. He died in 1730 and was succeeded by his grandson, Vijaya Raghunatha Raya Tondaiman I. He had to face civil war immediately after his succession and fought with his uncle in order to secure his throne. In 1733, Anand Rao, Maratha General invaded, besieged, destroyed its defence and ravaged the state for over a year.