Viswanatha Nayaka, for whatever reasons, divided his kingdom into 72 Palem(district)s, each headed by a Palegadu/Palayagadu/Polygar. Lifting directly from the Kakatiya administration(either they themselves are Kakatiya Nayak descendants or had someone close to them like the Sri Kalahasti-Chengalpattu-Vandavasi Velama Nayaks who are descended from Kakatiya Nayaks. After all, he is from the Vijayanagar Court and would have heard about it anywhere), Tirumala Nayaka complemented the 72 Polygars by 72 bastions in Madurai fort, each assigned to each Polygar. The Nayak himself being Telugu and the fall of Gandikota brought loads of Telugu warriors of note into Tamil territory, it can be safely assumed that the Polygars were predominantly Telugu and Tamil. The noise made during the times of Puli Thevar and Veerapandya Katta Bommanna made them disproportionately popular and only their subdue gave any meaning to the British rule in the area.
Below is the list of the Palems. My list is 74 in number – obviously, two are rouge entries and this can serve as a basis for someone to dig deeper. Another thing to note is that this list gives us an approximate limit of Tirumala Nayaka’s domains with regard to Gingee/Thanjavur/Mysore and Kerala.
Malayalam Nanjinattu Rasa
Sivagangai Udaya Thevar