Statue of Rani Rudhramadevi
|Died||1289 A.D november
Rudrama Devi was known as Rudrāṃbā at birth. Her father was Ganapatideva, the emperor of the Kakatiya dynasty who ruled from Orugallu, now known as Warangal, in Telangana . Rudrama was formally designated as a son through the ancient Putrika ceremony and given the male name of Rudradeva.
Rudrama Devi had begun to rule the kingdom jointly with her father as his co-regent from 1259-60 under the name of Rudradeva Maharaja. In the first two or three years of their joint rule, the kingdom was thrown into confusion and disorder due to Jatavarma Sundara Pandya I's invasion and the disastrous defeat of the Kakatiyas and their allies on the battle field of Muttukur, near Nellore. Though Ganapatideva was ultimately successful in turning back the tide of invasion, yet he suffered loss of territory and prestige and his hold over his feudatories and nobles was shaken. Under these circumstances, he retired from active politics.
Rudramma Devi succeeded her father to the Kakatiya throne at the age of 14, assuming the title Rani (Queen) and the name Rudradeva. Though she assumed full sovereignty in 1262-63 AD, she was not the crowned queen until 1269, which was when her father died. Her nomination and accession to the throne was not entirely accepted; indeed, some people had turned against Ganapatideva even during his lifetime because of his decision to appoint a woman as his heir. On her accession some nobles who were unwilling to submit to a woman's authority, took up arms against her.
Ekamranatha's Pratapachantra refers to her step-brothers, Hariharadeva and Murarideva, ousting her and capturing Orugallu, and depicts Rudrama effectively tackling them with the help of the citizens and some powerful supporters. However, no other evidence is available to prove the existence of her step-brothers. Even if it is believed that some intransigent nobles and close relations rebelled against her authority, the Kayastha chief Jannigedeva and his younger brothers, Tripurari and Ambadeva, Recherla Prasaditya and Reddy chiefs such as Gona Gannaya were firmly loyal to the queen, espoused her cause and helped her to defeat the rebels.
The important people in her life were Shivadesikulu, a minister who served the dynasty, and Annamambikadevi, who was the wife of Gona Gannaya Reddy.
Rudramadevi was married to Virabhadra, a Vengi Chalukya (a branch of the Chalukyas of Badami) prince of Nidadavolu. The couple were childless and so adopted two daughters, Mummadmba and Ruyyamba. Those daughters married Mahadeva II, who was Virabhadra's brother(which seems improbable as Mahadeva II as claimed in the article will be a Paternal Uncle, such marriages have prohibited by patriarchal Hindu law.Mahadeva II might be a cousin of Rudramadevi and of Kakatiya lineage as mentioned in the inscription found in Tumkru, Epigraphica Karnataka.Vol XII 1921-22 No.14. Page27.) and Anayyadeva of Kolanu dynasty, respectively. As mentioned in the Juttiga inscription, "Virabhadreshvara of Chalukyavamsha shared the burden of his kingdom with Rudramadevi, the daughter of Gaanapati of Kakatiyas, and ruled the earth".
In popular culture
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- Julius Jolly (1885) Outlines of an History of the Hindu Law of Partition, Inheritance, and Adoption:As Contained in the Original Sanskrit Treatises, Thacker, Spink and Company, pp. 144–150:
'Rani Rudhramadevi An appointed daughter is either one who has been charged by a father devoid of male issue to perform the customary obsequies to him after his death, and, consequently, to become his heir himself. ... In the first case, the Putrikā herself came to be regarded as a son and to take a very high rank among the twelve sons. ... The son of the appointed daughter, Putrikāputra, is universally mentioned as an heir.'
- Bilkees I. Latif (2010). Forgotten. Penguin Books India. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-14-306454-1.
- Kolluru Suryanarayana (1986). History of the minor Chāḷukya families in medieval Āndhradēśa. B.R. Pub. Corp. ISBN 978-81-7018-330-3.
- "Anushka to do a Tamil-Telugu period film?". Times of India. 6 October 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012.