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Velu Nachiyar

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Rani Velu Nachiyar
Queen of Sivagangai
Princess of Ramanathapuram
Velu Nachchiyar 2008 stamp of India.jpg
Velu Nachchiyar on a 2008 stamp of India
Reignc. 1780-c. 1790[1]
SuccessorVellacci[1]
Born3 January 1730
Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died25 December 1796 (1796-12-26) (aged 66)
Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu, India
FatherChellamuthu vijayaragunatha Sethupathy
MotherMuthathal Nachiyar

Rani Velu Nachiyar (3 January 1730 – 25 December 1796) was a queen of Sivaganga estate from c. 1780–1790. She was the first queen to fight against the British colonial power in India.[2][3] She is known by Tamils as Veeramangai ("brave woman").[4]

Life

Velu Nachiyar was the princess of Ramanathapuram and the only child of Raja Chellamuthu Vijayaragunatha Sethupathy and Rani Sakandhimuthathal of the Ramnad kingdom.

Nachiyar was trained in war match weapons usage, martial arts like Valari, Silambam (fighting using stick), horse riding and archery. She was a scholar in many languages and she had proficiency with languages like French, English and Urdu.[3] She married the king of Sivagangai, with whom she had a daughter. When her husband, MuthuvaduganathaperiyaUdaiya Thevar, was killed by British soldiers and the son of the Nawab of Arcot, she was drawn into battle. She escaped with her daughter .[5]

During this period, she formed an army and sought an alliance with Gopala Nayaker and Hyder Ali with the aim of attacking the British, whom she did successfully fight in 1780. When Velu Nachiyar found the place where the British stored their ammunition, she arranged a suicide attack successfully.[6][7][8]. Nachiyar was one of the few rulers who regained her kingdom, and ruled it for ten more years.[9] In 1790, the throne was inherited by her daughter Vellacci.[1]

Velu Nachiyar was the first queen to fight for the freedom from the British in India. She granted powers to the Marudu brothers to administer the country in 1780. Velu Nachiyar died a few years later, on 25 December 1796.[10]T

Popular culture

On 31 December 2008, a commemorative postage stamp in her name was released.[11]

OVM Dance Academy of Chennai presenting "VELU NACHIYAR" a Grand Dance Ballet on Sivaganga Queen.

Professor A.L.I., a Tamil-American hip-hop artist, released a song dedicated to Velu Nachiyar entitled "Our Queen" as part of his Tamilmatic album in 2016.[12]

On 21 August 2017, a grand dance ballet was conducted in Naradha Gana Sabha in Chennai depicting the life history of the queen Velu Nachiyar. The play was directed by Sriram Sharma, who researched on the Queen's life history for almost a decade.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c K. R. Venkatarama Ayyar (1938) A Manual of the Pudukkóttai State. Sri Brihadamba State Press. p.720
  2. ^ Rohini Ramakrishnan (10 August 2010) Women who made a difference. The Hindu.
  3. ^ a b Remembering Queen Velu Nachiyar of Sivagangai, the first queen to fight the British. The News Minute. 3 January 2017
  4. ^ "Veeramangai Velu Nachiyar". The Hindu Business Line. Chennai, India. 18 January 2019.
  5. ^ Soma Basu (24 December 2007). "Uphill, for history's sake". The Hindu. India.
  6. ^ "Of woman power and Tamizh glory". IBN Live. Chennai, India. 14 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Tamil Nadu to build memorial for freedom fighter Kuyili". Times of India. Chennai, India. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  8. ^ "A Durga A Day-Day 6: Mata Katyayini-Rani Velu Nachiyar and Kuyili". Chennai, India. 15 October 2018.
  9. ^ Rohini Ramakrishnan (14 August 2010) Women who made a difference. The Hindu.
  10. ^ "History-Sivaganga district". Sivaganga dist. – Tamil Nadu govt., India. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  11. ^ "India Post – Stamps 2008". Postal department, Government of India.
  12. ^ "International Women's Day Dedication to Queen Velu Nachiyar". professorali.com. 7 March 2016.