Pudukkottai is a town and a municipality in Pudukkottai district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Pudukkottai District was carved out of Tiruchirappalli and Thanjavur districts in January 1974. It is the administrative headquarters of Pudukkottai District.
The well known Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan was born in Pudukkotai.
The princely state of Pudukottai was created by Raghunatha Thondaiman.
Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati of Ramnad (1673–1708 A.D.) married Kathali Nachiar the sister of Thondaiman, he appointed his brother in law Raghunatha Thondaiman as a chief of the district of Pudukottai. Raghunatha Thondaiman was earlier ruling Thirumayam. In appreciation of Raghunatha Tondaman's services, Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati has given Pudukkottai as an honour for his services.
In later centuries, the Thondaiman rulers, while nominally feudatories of the Ramnad state, often pursued an independent foreign policy, a trend common in all parts of India at that time. After the death of Raghunatha Kilavan Setupati he become ruler of Pudukottai.
After becoming the ruler of Pudukottai, Raghunatha Thondaiman fought against the Nayaks of Tanjore in support of the Nayaks of Madurai and conquered Thirukkattupalli a very important place. Then there was a direct clash between Thondaimans of Pudukottai and the Nayaks rulers of Tanjore. Thondaiman conquered the west of Thirukkattupalli.
The next ruler Raja Vijaya Reghunatha Raya Thondaiman he helped Arcot Nawab against Hyder Ali the ruler of Mysore. He was also loyal towards the British Government. After some time, when Hyder Ali’s army tried to enter into Pudukkottai, Thondaiman's army defeated them and drove Hyder’s army away. Thondaiman captured Kilanilai and Aranthangi. He helped the British Government against Tipu Sultan.
Pudukkotai finally came under formal British protection. This was arguably unavoidable, since the Thondaimans were much menaced in that period by a resurgent Mysore ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan had sought to leverage the power of the French against his British adversaries, and Pudukkotai, in common with its neighbours such as Thanjavur and Travancore, found it expedient to ally with the British.
Raja Rajagopala Thondaiman (1928–1948) the last and ninth in the line of Thondaiman rulers, was selected by the British Government and was crowned when he was six years old. After Indian independence in 1947, the Pudukkottai Princely State was amalgamated with Indian Union on 04/03/1948 and became a division in Tiruchirappalli district. The long history of the Thondaimans rule came to an end.