Nair soldiers -1800 to Madras regiment

The 9th Batallion of the Madras Regiment was raised in 1704
East India Company Sepoys (Indian infantrymen) in red coats outside Tipu Sultan's former summer palace in Bangalore, 1804

 (304 years back) as the personal bodyguard of Sree Anizham Thirunal.

Marthanda Vurmah Maha Rajah.png Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma I 1729–1758


Simkin prints of Indian Regiments

The Queens Own Madras Sappers and Miners, Review Order by Richard Simkin (P)

Madras Regiment.Org - 3rd Battalion (ex 79th Carnatic Inf)

2005- Brig K,Brig Jaspal Singh at DSOI Delhi
 Image result for The 9th Battalion of the Madras RegimentSketches of Kerala

The Nair Brigade - 9th battalion of the Madras Regiment- after the famous battle of Ichhogil Bund on Sept. 22, 1965 under the command of Lt. Col.
 Kerala Police History & Archives

Travancore Police in Royal Duties
 Image result for The 9th Battalion of the Madras RegimentThe Hindu : Selfless service

When my niece went to Udaipur to attend the Tercentenary celebrations of the 9th Battalion of the Madras Regiment (Travancore) on April 1, I did not attach
 Image result for THE NAIR PATTALAM

Thiruvathamkoor Nair Pattalam (Travancore State Army), also known as the Nair Brigade and which served as the Maharaja’s personal guard.


This was the brigade that trounced the Dutch forces at Colachel ending their Indian dream and later defeated Tipu’s army at Nedumkotta. The Nair Brigade merged into the Indian Army after Independence to become the 9th Battalion of the Madras Regiment.

Then known as Nair Pattalam and subsequently as the 1st Batallion of the Nair Brigade, and later on as 1st Batallion Travancore Nair Infantry, the unit has seen action in the IInd World War, the 1965 and 1971 Indo Pak wars as well as in Nagaland.

During days of Venad, the Army (King's Armed forces) were a mix of all key communities.... It wasn't called Nair Pada etc.. The Nair Pada were specifically used by Nair Armies supplied to the King as Mercenaries in event of a war by local chieftains etc. However the King's elite bodyguards were normally Nairs, due to caste issues of being them inside the Palace, within King's chambers etc.

Nair Brigadeas commonly said were the key armed forces only during reign of Marthanda Varma when Travancore as a state rose untill start of 20th century, when Travancore and Cochin opened its armed forces to all castes (hence changing the name from Nair Brigades to State Forces- like Royal Travancore Armed Forces as in 1926 or Cochin State Forces as in 1930s)

Apart from Nair army, there were many auxiliary forces too... You need to remember, there was no centralized army for Venad kings untill Marthanda Varma came and even so, only after Thripadidanam (Surrender of state) to Sree Padmanabha, an unified army came into existence.

Before that, its various chieftains who pledge the loyalty to a king and they supply Armed forces from their local schools... In Central Kerala as well as Northern Kerala, there were lot of Non Nair schools of Kalari, which trains young men and supply forces to local chieftains... When these small chiefdoms were annexed, say Ambalapuzha, Kayamkulam, Kottakara, Muvattupuzha etc to Travancore Kingdom, they all became part of Travancore army which now has a Main army under Marthanada Varma which was Nair Brigade, Auxiliary forces etc to raise.

The Main Travancore Army after formation of Travancore state was only Nair Brigade and its admission was reserved only to Nairs (Under Dharma Raja, he elevated numerous families by conferring Pilla status and later started identifying themselves as Pillas).

The Auxiliary forces became part of internal forces and soon part of Police, reserves etc... The color of turbans were used to distinguish Nair Army and others... Red turbans were for Nair forces while Yellow, Dark Blue etc for Auxiliary forces...
Zamorins army was instead called as 'Lokar' which included men from all prominent warrior casts. What was this Nair pada called when Marthanda Varma had ezhava Army chief's like Ranakeerthi Chekavar (Chief Commander of Marthanda Varma’s army), Akathiyadi Panicker (Chief army Commander of Kottarakkara kingdom), Ambanattu Panicker (landlord and chief army commander of Chempakassery kingdom)by sanjupalayat__________________
Traditional Uniform of Nair Brigade:-

(Used as part of Velakalli- a traditional war dance performed by Nair Soldiers after victory in their uniforms before their presiding deity.... Recently as part of temple celebrations, a major performance were recreated before Sree Padmanabha temple)

The uniform features a White Mundu with Red Kacha (a piece of cloth tightly held around waist to hold the mundu and prevent sword piercing), a red band around the body and the Red Turban with yellow strip.

There is one more factor in Kerala Military tactics... Ever since defeat of Mahodayapuram by Chola Army into Chera Capital, Kerala never had a huge centralized permanent army before Marthanda Varma formed so.

For each battles, the King raises army from local schools and form large number and attack... Nairs Army were specialized in extreme gurellia techniques. They were compartively smaller in number, but highly trained to attack and run... One of the official slogan of Nair army was Adikku-Kollu-Oddu (Attack-Kill-Run).... We must remember, Dharma Raja faced the mighty Tipu Sultan and his huge Mysore Army numbering in Lakh with less than 10,000 Men... But that was enough as they were specialized in attack and run tactic, which really surprised Tipu.

Sir Hector Munro, a Scotsman who was ninth Commander-in-Chief of India, who fought against the Nayars with the Madras Army in 1761 said:

"They lurk behind sand banks and bushes, then they appear like bees..they point their guns and fire them well.” The losses were said to have been heavy on the British side and it was recorded that a single Nair soldier killed 5 British Highlanders in a lightning blitz.
Nair Army rarely assembles and then charge directly. The topography of Kerala also prevents so and any such attacks only ends in direct defeat... Zamorin assembled one Lakh men in Battle of Kochi and charged to Kochi.. But less than 250 Artillery men and 100 Nair army along with Naval units of Portuguese was enough to make Zamorin retreat, because in our topography, a direct face to face attack is too dangerous....

The success of Battle of Colachel

Battle of Colachel - Wikipedia, the free

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Eustachius De Lannoy's Surrender at the Battle of Colachel

Image result for Battle of Kundara   Velu Thampi Dalawa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Career as Dalawa

and failure at Battle of Kundara was owing to the same factor.
Velu Thampi Dalawa and the Paliath Achan, Govindan Menon, met and decided on the extirpation of the British Resident and end of British supremacy in their respective states. Velu Thampi organised recruits, strengthened forts and stored up ammunition while similar preparations was made by the Paliath Achan in Cochin. Velu Thampi applied to the Zamorin of Calicut and to the French for assistance, but both did not acknowledge the request. The plan of the Paliath Achan and Velu Thampi was to unitedly attack the Fort of Cochin and murder the British Resident Major Macaulay and Kunju Krishna Menon. Another force was appointed to attack the British garrison at Quilon. This was in the year 1807. This battle is known as Battle of Quilon.[6]
The Resident realised the object of the simultaneous preparations on Travancore and Cochin and immediately wrote to the Madras government for reinforcements. The British 12th Regiment and two native battalions were ordered to aid the Resident. Velu Thampi pretended great alarm at these preparations and begged permission to resign his office and retire to Malabar in the British territories. The same was agreed upon and on 28 December 1808 Velu Thampi was to be escorted to Malabar. The intention of Velu Thampi however was to divert the Resident's forces away from Cochin in which he succeeded. That night a body of armed men led the Paliath Achan, surrounded the Residency at Bolghatty Palace and surprised the Resident, who was under the impression that the menace of Velu Thampi was finally over. The Resident and Kunju Krishna Menon however succeeded in escape and reached Quilon. Velu Thampi ordered his Nairs to attack them at Quilon.
The Nayar troops attacked the Subsidiary force of the British at Quilon. In spite of greater numbers, the troops were not organised and lacked communications with a leader and hence for the night on 30 December 1808 the British Indian troops under Colonel Chalmers held their ground. The Dalawa collected a force of three thousand men and again attacked the British Indian troops on 15 January 1809. The British organised their Indians armies strategically and had better artillery support enabling them to repulse the attack by the Nair warriors. The British Indian regiments in Cochin were attacked by the Paliath Achan but here too he was repulsed. In all these battles, the British were helped by treachery within the Dalawa's camp which forewarned them of the Dalawa's battle plans.
Velu Thampi then went to Kundara where he made his famous proclamation in January 1809 urging the people to fight the British. The proclamation had its effect and the whole country rose like one man against the British. This was now a desperate game being played by Velu Thampi. He exploited the religious orthodoxy of the people by making them believe the British were Christian missionaries. The proclamation even influenced the Maharajah at Trivandrum. Wholesale butchery of foreigners took place in Travancore, thereby disgracing the cause of the rebellion. The British realised that the Dalawa was now desperate.

The 16th Batallion of the Madras Regiment was formerly known as the 2nd Travancore Nayar Infantry and actually served in a current hot spot, Basra in Iraq[that time known as mesopotamia]

First World War battles in the Middle East | WW1 battles - Telegraph
Indian First World War soldiers, Basra
1916,Indian Army soldiers from the 37th Indian Brigade,3rd Indian Division,Basra in Mesopotamia.