HOME
The Info List - Battle Of Colachel


--- Advertisement ---



Maritime contacts Sangam period Tamilakam Cheras Ays Ezhil Malai Confluence of religions Venad
Venad
- Kingdom of Quilon Calicut Kolattunadu Cochin Minor principalities Portuguese period Dutch period Rise of Travancore Mysorean interlude British Period Battle of Quilon Communism in Kerala Unification of Kerala

Other topics Geography Economy Architecture Forts

v t e

The Battle of Colachel
Battle of Colachel
(or Battle of Kulachal) was fought on 10 August 1741 [O.S. 31 July 1741][1][2] between the Indian kingdom of Travancore
Travancore
and the Dutch East India
India
Company, during the Travancore-Dutch War. The Dutch never recovered from the defeat; and no longer posed a large colonial threat to India.

Contents

1 Background 2 The Battle 3 Impact of the battle 4 Tributes 5 See also 6 References 7 Additional reading 8 External links

Background[edit] Almost all the pepper that the Dutch imported into their country came from the kingdom of Odanad, which had its capital in Kayamkulam. When Marthanda Varma
Marthanda Varma
gained control of the Thrippapur Swaroopam and broke free from the kingdom of Venad, he started a policy of assimilating neighboring kingdoms into his new kingdom of Travancore. In a series of battles, Marthanda Varma
Marthanda Varma
annexed the kingdoms of Attingal
Attingal
and Venad itself. On the pretext that the king of Odanad
Odanad
was involved in certain conspiracies against him, Marthanda Varma
Marthanda Varma
began a military campaign against Odanad
Odanad
with the aim of incorporating the kingdom into Travancore. A key element of the Raja's army during the battle of Colachel was his personal guard, known as the Travancore
Travancore
Nair
Nair
Brigade or locally known as the Nair
Nair
Pattalam. This unit was later integrated into the Indian Army as the 9th Battalion Madras Regiment and the 16th Battalion Madras Regiment in 1954. This expansionary policy of Maharaja endangered the Dutch East India Company's interests since they feared that the British, who had already signed a treaty with Marthanda Varma, would gain the rights to the pepper trade in the Malabar area, thus ending the Dutch monopoly. With this threat to their commercial interests in view, the Dutch Governor of Ceylon Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff
Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff
wrote to Marthanda Varma demanding that he should end the aggression against Kayamkulam. Marthanda Varma
Marthanda Varma
wrote back to Van Imhoff, ordering him not to interfere in matters that did not concern him. In a subsequent meeting, Imhoff demanded that Marthanda Varma
Marthanda Varma
restore the annexed Odanad
Odanad
to its former ruling princess, threatening to invade Travancore
Travancore
should he refuse. Marthanda Varma
Marthanda Varma
countered that he would overcome any Dutch forces that were sent to his kingdom, going on to say that he was considering an invasion of Europe.[3] Thus, the interview ended in tension and subsequently led to the Travancore-Dutch War. In 1741, the Dutch installed a princess of the Elayadathu Swarupam as the ruler of Kottarakara
Kottarakara
in defiance of the demands of Marthanda Varma. The Travancore
Travancore
army inflicted a crushing defeat upon the combined Kottarakara-Dutch armies and assimilated Kottarakara
Kottarakara
into Travancore, forcing the Dutch to retreat to Cochin. Following this, Marthanda Varma
Marthanda Varma
captured all of the Dutch forts in the area. The Battle[edit] Following the losses that the Dutch and their allies had suffered in the war, a force of Dutch marines from Ceylon under the leadership of a Flemish commander, Captain Eustachius De Lannoy
Eustachius De Lannoy
(also spelt D'lennoy) landed with artillery in Kulachal. After fortifying the port, they went on to capture villages such as Thengapattanam and Eraniel. The Dutch captured the territory up to Padmanabhapuram
Padmanabhapuram
and laid siege to the Kalkulam (Padmanabhapuram) fort. Marthanda Varma, who had been camping in Trivandrum, promptly marched south with his army and his timely arrival prevented the capture of Kalkulam fort by the Dutch, who, in turn, were forced to retreat to their defensive positions in Kulachal. Ramayyan Dalwa too had brought his troops of infantry, cavalry and artillery from the campaigns in the north of the State. A number of native boats were manned with Travancore
Travancore
soldiers and the native fishermen to monitor and harass the Dutch.[4] On 10 August 1741 (27th of Audy in Malayalm calendar) both the armies met in battle. The Dutch force formed up in fighting order and the Travancore army charged them and broke their lines.[5] Marthanda Varma's army won a decisive victory over the Dutch, capturing a large number of Dutch soldiers; apart from the rank and file, 24 officers including Eustachius De Lannoy
Eustachius De Lannoy
and his second in command, Donadi were taken prisoner.[6][7] On 14 August 1741 (31st of Audy), the siege of the Colachel defenses took place and the Dutch positions fell in a matter of hours. The Dutch ships sailed for Cochin, leaving behind 389 muskets and some artillery. Impact of the battle[edit] The battle of Colachel was, in the words of the noted historian, Professor A. Sreedhara Menon:

A disaster of the first magnitude for the Dutch, the battle of Colachel shattered for all time their dream of the conquest of Kerala.

Despite participating in favour of the enemies of Travancore
Travancore
in the subsequent battles, right up to the battle of Ambalapuzha (1756), the battle of Colachel was a death blow to the power the Dutch East India company in the Malabar coast. Subsequent peace treaties with Travancore
Travancore
saw the transfer of the remaining Dutch forts which were incorporated into the Nedumkotta
Nedumkotta
lines. In addition to the destruction of the Dutch East India
India
Company's designs in the Malabar coast, the capture of the leaders of the expedition, Eustachius De Lannoy
Eustachius De Lannoy
and his second in command Donadi, were very beneficial to the kingdom of Travancore. When De Lannoy and Donadi were paroled, they took up service with Travancore
Travancore
and modernized the Travancore
Travancore
Army (which, till then, had been armed mainly with melee weapons) into an effective fighting force. De Lannoy was initially entrusted with the training of a few companies of the Maharajah's bodyguards and he did this with such an excellence that he was entrusted with modernizing the entire Travancore
Travancore
army.[8] De Lennoy modernized the existing firearms and introduced better artillery and, more importantly, trained the Travancore
Travancore
army in the European style of military drill and military tactics. He carried out his orders with such sincerity and devotion that he rapidly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the "Valia Kapitaan" (Commander in Chief) of the Tranvancore military and was given the Udayagiri Fort, locally known as the "Dillanai kotta" (De Lennoy's fort), near Padmanabhapuram, to reside. He was one of the commanders of the Tranvancore army during the decisive battle of Ambalapuzha where his erstwhile employers were fighting on behalf of Cochin and her allies. Following Travancore's victory over Cochin and her allies, the Dutch signed a peace treaty with Travancore
Travancore
and later sold their forts which were incorporated by De Lannoy into the Northern Lines (the Nedumkotta) that guarded the northern border of Travancore. The Travancore
Travancore
military that De Lannoy was instrumental in modernizing, went on to conquer more than half of the modern state of Kerala, and the Nedumkotta
Nedumkotta
forts De Lannoy had designed, held up the advance of Tipu Sultan's French trained army during the Third Anglo-Mysore War
Third Anglo-Mysore War
in 1791 AD till the British East India
India
Company joined the war in support of Travancore. Donadi ended up as an officer in the Travancore
Travancore
army and it seems that the rest of the Dutch prisoners took up service with the Maharajah's forces and their descendants were present up to 1878 in Travancore.[9] Another direct outcome of the event at Kulachal was the takeover of the black pepper trade by the state of Travancore. This development was to have serious repercussions on the Dutch and the trading world of Kerala
Kerala
at large. In 1753 the Dutch signed the Treaty of Mavelikkara with the Dutch agreeing not to obstruct the Raja's expansion, and in turn, to sell to him arms and ammunition. This marked the beginning of the end of Dutch influence in India. The VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or the Dutch East India
India
Company) continued to sell Indonesian spices and sugar in Kerala
Kerala
until 1795, at which time the English conquest of the Kingdom of Kochi ended their rule in India. Tributes[edit]

The Indian government has built a pillar of victory in Kulachal to commemorate the event. The Indian Post Department released a Rupee 5 stamp on 1 April 2004 to commemorate the tercentenary (300th anniversary) of the raising of the 9th Battalion of Madras Regiment. The Parade Ground of Pangode Military Camp is named as Kulachal Ground.

See also[edit]

Battle of Diu Battle of Swally

References[edit]

^ Ministry of Defence, Newsletter "Sainik Samachar", 15 April 2004 ^ The Hindu, "Army celebrates anniversary of Colachel battle", 31 July 2010 ^ Koshy, M. O. (1989). The Dutch Power in Kerala, 1729-1758. Mittal Publications. p. 61. ISBN 978-81-7099-136-6.  ^ pages 134-135, A history of Travancore
Travancore
from earliest times, P. Shungoony Menon, 1878, published by Higginbothams and Co, Madras ^ page 135, A history of Travancore
Travancore
from earliest times, P. Shungoony Menon, 1878, published by Higginbothams and Co, Madras ^ A survey of Kerala
Kerala
History, by Prof A. Sreedhara Menon, published by Viswanathan publishers, Madras, 1996, pp287 ^ Page 342, The Travancore
Travancore
State Manual, by V. Nagam Aiya, 1906, Travancore
Travancore
Government Press ^ pages 136-137, A history of Travancore
Travancore
from earliest times, P. Shungoony Menon, 1878, published by Higginbothams and Co, Madras ^ pages 136, A history of Travancore
Travancore
from earliest times, P. Shungoony Menon, 1878, published by Higginbothams and Co, Madras

Additional reading[edit]

Nagam ayya." Travancore
Travancore
state manual" Iyer, Dr. S. Krishna. Travancore-Dutch Relations, Nagercoil: CBH Publications, 1994, 164 pgs. ISBN 81-85381-42-9 Menor, Sheela. Military History of Travancore
Travancore
with special reference to the Nayar Brigade, Ethiraj College for Women, 1995 Menon, Dr. Sreedhara. A survey of Kerala
Kerala
history, S. Viswanathan Printers and Publishers, 1996. http://www.hindu.com/yw/2004/07/24/stories/2004072401210200.htm http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/01/stories/2010080154870200.htm

External links[edit]

[1] TANAp-a National Archives of Netherlands
Netherlands
project Rediff.com [2]

v t e

Kerala
Kerala
topics

History

Sangam period Edakkal Caves Ariyannur Umbrellas Kudakkallu Parambu Chovvanur burial cave Chera Venad
Venad
Swaroopam Kerala
Kerala
school Battle of Kulachal Anglo-Mysore Wars Battle of Quilon Vaikom Satyagraham Perumpadapu Swaroopam Malabar Migration

Government Politics

Agencies Chief Ministers Governors Legislative Assembly Panchayat elections Saptakakshi Munnani Aikya Munnani Left Democratic Front United Democratic Front Politicians

Geography

Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve Ashtamudi Lake Backwaters Districts Eravikulam National Park Flora and fauna Malabar Coast Marayoor Nelliampathi
Nelliampathi
Mountains Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Nilgiri Hills Palakkad Gap Protected areas Vembanad Lake

Demographics Economy Religion

Malayalis Namboothiris Ambalavasis Samanthas Nairs Saint Thomas Christians Kerala
Kerala
Iyers Ezhavas Cochin Jews Jainism in Kerala Pulayar Dravidians Mappilas Adivasis Scheduled Tribes Kerala
Kerala
model Tourism Education

colleges and universities

Culture

Arts Architecture Cuisine Kalarippayattu Literature Sarpam Thullal Triumvirate poets Vallamkali

Dance / Drama / Cinema

Kathakali Kolkali Koodiyattam Mohiniyattam Margamkali Ottamthullal Theyyam Cinema of Kerala

Festivals

Vishu Onam Pooram

Languages

Malayalam Malayalam
Malayalam
calendar Mappila dialect Suriyani Malayalam Judeo-Malayalam Irula language

Music

Chenda
Chenda
(Thayambaka) Kolkali Panchari melam Panchavadyam Sopanam

Organisations/Agencies

NSS SNDP

Tourism

Alappuzha Athirappilly Falls Beaches in Kerala Bekal Kerala
Kerala
Backwaters Kollam Islands of Kollam Kovalam Munnar Estuaries of Paravur Visitor attractions in Thrissur Tourism in Thiruvananthapuram Vallamkali Wa

.