Puli Thevar (Tamil: புலித் தேவர்) was a poligar (or palayakarar) who ruled Nerkattumseval situated in the Sankarankoil taluk of Tamil Nadu. Puli Thevar who belongs to the warrior Maravar community was one of the earliest freedom fighters. He is one of the first Indian kings to have fought and defeated the British in India. He is one of the earliest opponents of the British rule in South India. He was involved in a vendetta with the Nawab of Arcot who was supported by the British. Thevar's prominent exploits were his confrontations with Marudhanayagam, who later rebelled against the British in the late 1750s and early 1760s. Nelkatumseval was the headquarters of Puli Thevar, the first chieftain in India to resist the British. The author of the Thirunelveli District Gazetteer, H.R. Pate, observes as follows: Nelkatumseval is chiefly memorable as having been in the eighteenth Century stronghold of the redoubtable Puli Thevar, who figured for many years as the leader of the Marava Confederacy against the troops of the Nawab and the Company. He had a shrewd insight into the political situation of the time and was a veritable thorn against the side of the Nawab's agents.