Rani Velu Nachiyar
12th 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.