Sandhana Kaadu is a Tamil television serial that was aired on Makkal TV. The serial was under the direction of V. Gauthaman and director Tamilkumaran. It is produced by a popular film producer, Thanu.
It is based on the life of the Indian forest bandit, Veerappan. For more than 10 years, Veerappan has been disregarding the government of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. He killed more than 184 people which are mostly the police officers. He also killed 200 elephants and smuggled ivory which costs US 2,600,000. He also rob an approximately 10K tons of sandalwood that costs US$22,000,000. Anyone who can capture him will get a reward of ₹50-million. In year 2000, Veerappan also kidnapped the popular Kannada actor, Rajkumar and held him for over 100 days. He is asking for justice on the Cauvery Water dispute in Tamil Nadu and he wants to make Tamil as the 2nd language of Karnataka. He also demanded for the release of some Tamil rebels that was jailed in Tamil Nadu. He was paid 300, 000,000 rupees or equivalent to $6.5 for the release of Rajkumar. Veerappan was killed on October 18, 2004 by the police team.
Muthulakshmi is the wife of Veerappan, sought a ban for airing the serial. She wants her name to be cleared before the production can air the show. But later, Madras High Court allowed the telecast of Sandhana Kaadu, after the channel presented an undertaking that no scenes will portray the life of Muthulaksmi and her daughters.
Sandhana Kaadu or Sandalwood Forest was broadcasted and runs over 125 episodes. The directors spent three years on researching about the life of Veerappan. They spent 110 days in the forest and shoot in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The production of the serial tries to portray the life of the smuggler, Veerappan as a South Robinhood and they emphasizes on depicting the good side of Veerappan. They also show an amended version of his death by poisoning himself instead of being killed by the police team. They also focused on several unknown facts on Veerappan’s life and present the positive side of him by presenting him as a savior of the poor people, who is always willing to assist and protect them.
Karate Raja played the main lead role in the serial. Sandhana Kaadu was supposedly be aired in 2007 but due to the appeal of Muthulakshmi, it started airing on July 26, 2008. In spite of all the controversies, the serial became very popular especially in South India. There are even some rumors that after the serial ended, Muthulakshmi was not satisfied with the serial and she will make a film about the life of Veerapan under the direction of
Ram Gopal Varma.