Origin of Palayam
The Vijayanagar rulers appointed Nayaks in their provinces. The Nayak of Madurai in turn appointed Palayakkarar. Viswanatha became the Nayak of Madurai in 1529. He noticed that he could not control the chieftain who wanted more powers in their provinces.
So with the consultation of his minister Ariyanatha Mudaliyar, Viswanatha instituted Palayakkarar system in 1529. The whole country was divided into 72 Palayams and each one was put under a Palayakkarar. Palayakkarar was the holder of a territory or a Palayam. These Palayams were held in military tenure and extended their full co-operation to be need of the Nayaks. The Palayakkarars collected taxes, of which one third was given to the Nayak of Madurai another one third for the expenditure of the army and rest was kept for themselves.