Rani Velu Nachiyar was the first queen of India, reigning from 1780 to 1790. She is known as the first Indian queen to wage war with the East India Company in India. Tamils revere her as Veeramangai (“brave woman”).
Rani Velu Nachiyar was born on 3 January 1730 in Ramanathapuram, Kingdom of Sivaganga (modern day Tamil Nadu, India). She was the daughter of Chellamuthu Sethupathy, the Raja of Sivaganga. Her mother was the daughter of the Palayakkarar of Sankarankoil.
Rani Velu Nachiyar was married to Muthuvaduganathaperiya Udaiyathevar, the Raja of Sivaganga in 1750. She was crowned as the queen of Sivaganga in 1780.
Rani Velu Nachiyar was the first Indian queen to wage war against the British East India Company in India. She formed an alliance with Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore, and waged a successful war against the British. She was successful in driving out the British from her kingdom and restoring her rule.
Rani Velu Nachiyar was a great warrior and a shrewd diplomat. She was also a great patron of art and literature. She was a great admirer of the Tamil language and literature and patronized many Tamil poets and writers.
Rani Velu Nachiyar died in 1790 and was succeeded by her son Vellacci. She is remembered as a brave and powerful queen who fought against the British and restored her kingdom. She is revered by Tamils as Veeramangai (“brave woman”) and is an inspiration to many women in India.