Dheeran Chinnamalai was an Indian revolutionary and chief of Kongu Nadu who revolted against the supremacy of British rule in India. He was a Palayakkarar in Tamil Nadu who fought against the British East India Company in the 18th century B. C.
He was born on 17th April 1756 in Melapalayam near Erode in Tamil Nadu. His birth name was Theerthagiri Sarkkarai Mandraadiyaar. He belonged to the famous Palaiya Kottai Pattakarar family. His parents are Rathnaswamy and Periyaatha. He had four brothers, Kudandiswamy, Thambi, Kilothar and Kuttiswamy and one sister Parvatham.
He got good training of Silambu and archery. He headed a huge army that fought in the Second Polygar War in 1801 to 1802. In late 1700s he Kongu Nadu was controlled by Mysore King Hyder Ali. When the diwan of Hyder Ali came to collect taxes from the farmers, he with his brothers seized the entire tax collected and distributed them back to the farmers. This incident took place between Sivan Malai and Chennimalai. He refused to accept the supremacy of Hyder Ali.
After the death of Hyder Ali on 12th July 1782, his son Tipu Sultan became the king of Mysore. He helped Tipu Sultan to gain victory in the battles at Chitheswaram, Mazahavalli and Srirangapatna by providing a big army of soldiers. More than 1000 Kongu Tamils joined the regiment of Tipu. After the death of Tipu he settled at Odanilai and fought with British at Cauvery, Odanilai and Arachalur.
As Dheeran Chinnamalai was running his own kingdom and did not respect the rules and regulations of the British East India Company they were annoyed. So they sent Colonel Makistan and his men to arrest him. Chinnamalai fought against him and won the battle. Again Captain Harris was sent to capture him. By his intelligence Chinnamalai was able to win this time also.
Velappan in the British army acted as an informer to Dheeran Chinnamalai. Later he was shot dead. After that the British arrested him and his brothers and kept them in the prison at Sankagiri. When they were asked to accept the rule of British they refused and so they were hanged by rope at the top of the Sankagiri fort on 31st July 1805