Veerapandiya Kattabomman (Sivaji Ganesan), the king of Panchalankurichi, is a brave fighter and a devotee of his family deity, Lord Murugan of Tiruchendur. On receiving the news of a robbery in his territory, Kattabomman and his retinue set out incognito to capture the robbers. When the robbers are captured, they confess that they had been hired by the British to create unrest in Kattabomman's domain. They also tell him that the British had enticed the neighbouring chieftain, Ettappan (V. K. Ramasamy), to help them in their endeavour to annexe Panchalankurichi. Ettappan was promised that an additional two villages would be added to his land by the British, as a price for his betrayal. Ettappan, in disguise, goes to Kattabomman's court and tries to frighten him by extolling the omnipotence of the British. Kattabomman is indignant and tears off Ettappan's fake beard, but spares him because he had come to his court as an ambassador.