“The heroism of a handful of Travancoreans – just twenty in number – is not less glorious than that of the 300 Spartans who defended the Persian invasion”.
Tipu Sultan planned for the invasion of Kingdom of Travancore for many years and as a start he tried to invade the defence fortification (Nedumkotta or Travancore Lines) at the northern border of Travancore Kingdom. (presently Thrissur district of Kerala) .
The fort was defended by a few Travancore Warriors stationed, and they used pounder gun as a cover followed by sword fight. Tipu Sultan’s top commanders were severely wounded and Tipu Sultan himself got severely injured, which, it is believed, made him lame for the rest of his life.
Tipu Sultan’s army faced severe casualties and the rest of the troops retreated. Felt terribly humiliated over his ignominious defeat, Tipu Sultan returned with reinforcements and advanced by conquering the fort and further invaded areas of northern travancore. Tipu Sultan’s army now devastated the whole of northern Travancore, set houses on fire, plundered and destroyed whatever they could lay their hands on, committed various atrocities, desecrated temples and churches.
Finding it impossible to resist Tipu Sultan’s invasion the two commanders of Travancore army, Kunju Kutty Pillai and Vaikom Padmanabha Pillai, both of Nandyat Kalari of Vaikom, of Travancore army with their fighters pulled out some large boulders from the natural dam Bhoothathankettu resulting in breaking the dam.
Water burst out resulting in massive flash floods washing away Tipu Sultan’s arms and troops. Meanwhile Travancore army was able to rope in reinforcements and was prepared to obstruct Tipu Sultan from proceeding further into Travancore.
Tipu Sultan found it difficult to further proceed to Travancore and feared of losing the battle to the Travancore Army and retreated.
The Travancore Army under the magnanimous and brave ruler Dharma Raja (Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma) was able to defend the motherland and protect the great legacy of Kingdom of Travancore.
“The unfeared valor of Travancore Army is unheard or forgotten.”