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Who was Rani Velu Nachiyar?

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From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Velu Nachiyar

Mains level : Not Much

The Prime Minister has paid tributes to Rani Velu Nachiyar on her birth anniversary.

Velu Nachiyar (1730-1796)

  • Rani Velu Nachiyar was a queen of Sivaganga estate from c. 1780–1790.
  • She was the first Indian queen to wage war with the East India Company in India.
  • She is widely known as Veeramangai (“brave woman”).

Her legend

[A] Early life

  • Velu Nachiyar was the princess of Ramanathapuram and the only child of King Chellamuthu Vijayaragunatha Sethupathy and Queen Sakandhimuthathal of the Ramnad kingdom.
  • Nachiyar was trained in many methods of combat, including war match weapons usage, martial arts like Valari, Silambam, horse riding, and archery.
  • She was a scholar in many languages and was proficient in languages like French, English and Urdu.

[B] Battles fought

  • 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.
  • When her husband, Muthu Vaduganatha Periyavudaya Thevar was killed in a battle with EIC soldiers, she was drawn into the conflict.
  • When Velu Nachiyar found the place where the EIC stored some of their ammunition, she arranged a suicide attack on the location, blowing it up.

 

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