Dewan Bahadur Paradanda Ponappa
Paradanda Pradhan kalappa
Dewan Paradanḍa Ponnappa (1685-1736), is renowned as the kudi beera of our okka. Diwan Paradanda Ponappa was well known for his tactics, strategy and valor in all in the war front fights. And he was great diplomat and very good guerrilla warfare strategist.
- As a young man, he learnt thanthras and manthras from the thanthri at Kaleghat in Malabar.
- He was a soldier in the army of Siribayi Dodda Veerappa Raja, and rose to become a karyakara (Chief in the army).
- When Achu Nayaka of Kiggattnad, Kolakongi Nayaka of Kadiyathnaḍ, Utha Nayaka of Beppunad and Achu Nayaka of Anjigerinad refused to give the Raja taxes from their nads, the Raja wanted them captured. Paradanda Ponnappa accepted the challenge and with the help of an army of 100 men he killed Kolakongi Nayaka of Kadiyathnad and Achu Nayaka of Anjigerinad, and captured Achu Nayaka of Kiggattnad. Hearing this, Utha Nayaka ran away to Baithoor.
- The Raja made him a Diwan and gifted him 500 bhatti bhumi of Kolakongi Nayaka and 1000 bhatti bhūmi of the nad thakka Mukkatira okka (that had become extinct) in Kunjalageri, along with 10 families of Kembatti Poleyas and 100 varahas of Kanteeraya money.
- Ponnappa’s eldest son Annayya settled in Kunjalageri in 1718/1719, and took the mane peda of the extinct ‘Mukkatira’ okka.
- The Kunjalageri Mukkatira okka sing of the Paradanḍa okka first when singing their mane pat. Upto 1920, the Mukkatira okka used to go to Paradanḍa ainmane for Puthari. There is no inter-marriage between these two okkas.
- Diwan Paradanda Ponnappa raised his own army of 200 Kapalas and Paleyas and attacked the King’s men. After King Dodda Veerappa’s death, his grandson Chikka Veerappa, tried to get Diwan Paradanda Ponnappa killed, enticing him to come to the Nalnaḍ palace, saying he had arranged a bride for him. When Ponnappa realized that it was a trap, he escaped from the palace by transforming himself into a fly, using his thanthric knowledge. The king’s men followed him, and when back in human form he was drinking water from the Bitha Kolli stream, his friend from Mathanda family killed him. They then set fire to the Paradanḍa house and killed all the members of the okka there – it had 60 babies in the cradle then.
- It is said that Diwan Paradanda Ponnappa had three deep, cave-like hollows dug below the cattle shed to the north of the house. When enemies attacked his house,that is where he and the leaders of his army would hide and spring a surprise attack on the enemy.
- After Diwan Paradanda Ponnappa’s murder, the path kut murthis who were under his control began troubling the people of the village, especially the king’s karyakara Boieyadira Ayyanna who was in charge of that area. When they consulted the astrologer from Ammangeri they were told that this was caused by God Igguthappa’s anger, because there was no one from the Deva thakka Paradanḍa okka to officiate during his temple festivals. The king sent out a proclamation looking for any Paradanḍa survivor. It so happened that a Thennira lady married into the Paradanḍa okka had escaped the slaughter because she was pregnant at that time, and had gone with her first son to her parental home. After giving birth to another son she and her sons hid in the Kadlera (Gouda) house in Kuyyangeri to escape detection. On hearing the King’s proclamation, her sons Nandappa and Belliappa, who had been brought up as Kadlera boys, disclosed their identity. They were brought back to Naladi and were given all the land that had belonged to the Paradanda okka. The brothers built the second aimane here, a mund mane.