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Rani Velu Nachiyar

Published: 10th Jan, 2022


Recently, Prime Minister Modi paid tributes to Rani Velu Nachiyar on her birth anniversary.


  • Rani Velu Nachiyar was the 18th century queen from Sivagangai district in Tamil Nadu, who fought against British rule to recapture her kingdom. 
    • She was known as the first queen to fight against the colonial power during that time.
  • Velu Nachiyar was born on 3 January in 1730 AD to the royal couple Mannar Sellamuthu Sethupathy and Sakandi Muthal. As she had no brothers, she was brought up like a prince.
  • She was the first Indian queen to wage war with the East India Company in India. 
  • She is known by Tamils as Veeramangai (“brave woman”).
  • At the age of 16, Velu Nachiyar was married to Sivagangai Mannar Muthuvaduganathur, following which they had a daughter who was named Vellachi.
  • In 1772, the British troops and the Nawab of Arcot came together and invaded Sivagangai. During the Kalaiyar Koil war, Muthu Vaduga Arthur died fighting for his kingdom.
  • During this period, she formed an army and sought an alliance with Hyder Ali with the aim of launching a campaign against the East India Company in 1780.

  • She was trained in war match weapons usage, martial arts like Valari, Silambam (fighting using the stick), horse riding and archery.
    • She was a scholar in many languages and she had proficiency with languages like French, English and Urdu.
  • In collaboration with Hyder Ali and Gopala Nayaker, she waged a war against the British and emerged victoriously.
    • During her reign, the queen also formed a women's only army called Udaiyaal.
  • For more than 10 years, Velu Nachiyar proudly ruled Sivagangai before she died in 1796 of an illness.

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