Velu Nachiyar- Brave Queen of Tamil Nadu

by Dec 25, 2020

Hello friends, today I will present the biography of a heroine of the Indian freedom struggle to you. There have been many freedom fighters in Indian History whom we have forgotten over time. Velu Nachiyar is one such freedom fighter.


Velu Nachiyar was also one of the somewhat unknown freedom fighters in the Indian freedom struggle. Although she did not gain prominence in the Indian freedom struggle, his prowess was no less than that of any so-called freedom fighter.

When the Britisher tried to establish a stronghold in India, they were vehemently opposed by the local rulers. However, the Indian rulers could not survive due to the sophisticated weapons, deceit, and cunning politics of the Britisher.

Velu Nachiyar is credited with winning the battle against the British for the first time in such an adverse situation. She achieved this feat merely 77 years before the uprising of 1857.

Due to such a powerful personality, she became known in South India as “Veeramangai” which means brave women. Hence she comes under one of the brave women freedom fighters.

Indian Stamp issued in 2008 in honor of Velu Nachiyar

Image Credits: India Post, Government of India, Source: Wikimedia

The First Suicide Bombing

The first known suicide bombing in History was planned by
Velu Nachiyar, along with his Chief Commander Quili. She was the only child of King Chellalamuthu Vijayaraghunatha Sethupati and queen Rani Sakandimuthal of the Ramnad (Ramanathapuram) kingdom of the Madras (now Chennai).

The royal family left no stone unturned in their upbringing. At that time, she did not see the discrimination that would happen to a girl or a woman. On the contrary, his parents raised her as a responsible heir.

Along with his martial arts education, she also learned the horse riding and archery. She was also proficient in Valari (Sickle Throwing) and Silambam (Stick Fight).

Having political relations with foreigners, he learned French, Urdu and some other languages ​​along with English.

Image Credits: Nileshantony92, Source: Wikimedia

She married Muthuvaduganathaperiya Udaiyathevar, the king of Sivagangai. After marriage, she had a daughter, but her happiness did not last long. Because, in the war against the British, her husband died during the battle. In this war, Muthuvaduganathaperiya was against the son of Nawab Arcot along with the British.

After this, Velu Nachiyar herself prepared for the war.

The enemy of the enemy is a friend.

Like the above thought, she becomes the friend of the enemy of Navab who was Palayakaarar Kopaala Naayakkar. Velu Nachiyar managed to leave out Shivgangai with her daughter and took refuge of Dindigulnaresh Palayakaarar Kopaala Naayakkar.

Image Credits: Nileshantony92, Source: Wikimedia

After joining Naayakkar of Virupachi, she fought many battles against Nawab Arcot and British in eight years. Disappointed, the Nawab finally allowed Velu Nachiyar and Maruthu Brothers to return to Sivagangai and rule with certain conditions. One of their conditions was that they should give some instalment (revenue) to the Nawab. Accepting these conditions, Rani Velu Nachiyar and Maruthu brothers return to Sivagangai.

Velu Nachiyar: The Empress of Sivagangai

Under the agreement, Velu Nachiyar was declared the queen of Sivagangai and allowed to rule. At that time, Rani Velu Nachiyar appointed the younger brother of the Maruthu brothers as a minister and the elder brother as a general.

Thus, Velu Nachiyar, after her husband, ruled Sivagangai in an orderly manner. In the year 1780, Queen Velu Nachiyar gave the Maruthu brothers an authority to run the government programmatically. Velu Nachiyar passed away on December 25, 1796.

Maruthu brothers

Image Credits: Kanna19993, Source: Wikimedia

Children of Ponnathal (Anandayer) and Chief Palaniappan Servai (Udayar Servai) were known as Maruthu brothers. The Maruthu brothers were initially from Kongulu in Ramnad (Ramanathapuram).

They were assumed as associated with the Polygar clan or their caste running in Tamil Nadu since ancient times. But, according to historical documents, they had nothing to do with their clan. According to the evidence, his caste is Servaikaran, and his last name is Maruthu.

Performed by Maruthu Brothers under Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar. Among them, the elder brother was then appointed as the commander of Sivagangai. The Boomerangs were truly great weapon for India. Those miraculous wooden weapons gave impetus to the development of new weapons in India.

Boomerangs are made sharper from the outside and heavier than the last. Also called Valari (stick) in Tamil. The Maruthu Brothers were believed to be proficient in driving Valari. At the same time, it is believed that Valari was also used by the Maruthu Brothers in the British-Polygar War.

Among the Maruthu brothers’ feats, the siege of Sivagangai and the plunder of the territory of the Nawab of Arcot were notable. They laid siege with 12,000 soldiers, which blown the sleep of Nawab.

The Nawab, therefore, immediately appealed to the Madras Council for help. British troops attacked Kollangudi on April 29, 1789. Even then, the Maruthu brothers had defeated the British in this war.

According to historians, the Maruthu brothers had a close relation with Veera Pandya Kattaboman. Kattaboman was the Polygar (ruler) of Panchalankurichi. The Maruthu brothers often had political discussions with Kattaboman at the fort at Panchalankurichi.

Featured Image Credits: Shakthi Thevar, Source: Wikimedia

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