Velu Nachiyar Wiki, Age, Death, Husband, Children, Family, Biography & More

Velu Nachiyar, also known as “Veeramangai” (brave woman) by the Tamils, was the queen of Sivagangai, a zamindari estate in the Madura district of Madras Presidency. He made significant contributions in setting the initial stage for India’s independence from British rule. She worked with many freedom fighters and with their help she was successful in recapturing Sivagangai from the British. Her courage and determination made Rani Velu Nachiyar the first queen of India who fought against the British for India’s independence. Velu Nachiyar died on 25 December 1796 at the age of 66.


Velu Nachiyar was born on Tuesday, 3 January 1730 (age 66 at time of death) in Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai Kingdom, British India (now in Tamil Nadu, India). Although Velu was the princess of Ramanathapuram, she was not like any other princess. Since childhood, she was not only interested in martial arts like Valari and Silambam, but she also loved horse riding, fencing, archery and use of weapons and was an expert in fighting without any weapons and ammunition. Including her mother tongue, she was fluent in languages ​​like English, French and Urdu.


Velu was born and brought up in a Tamil royal family of Ramanathapuram in the Sivagangai Kingdom.

parents and siblings

Velu was born to King Chellamuthu Vijayaragunatha Sethupathi and Queen Sakandhimutthal of the Ramnad Empire. She was the only child of her parents.

husband and children

She married Muthu Vaduganatha Periyavudaya Thevar, the king of Sivagangai, at the age of 16 and gave birth to his only child, a daughter named Vellachi Nachiyar who later became the heir apparent of Sivagangai.

Ruled the Sivagangai Empire

A few years earlier, before his birth, a part of the land was separated from the Ramnad Kingdom and named the Sivaganga Kingdom, and Sashivarna Thevar became the king of the Sivaganga Kingdom. By the time she turned 16, her family started looking for an ideal partner for her. In 1746, the rulers of Ramnad and Sivagangai Kingdom decided to make a marriage agreement that Princess Velu would be married to Prince Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar of Sivagangai Kingdom. After some time she was married to Muthu Vaduganatha Periyavudaya Thevar, the king of Sivagangai. For about 20 years, the couple ruled the kingdom and lived happily with their family and the people of the kingdom until the British came and attacked Sivagangai.

A runaway queen who lost everything

When the British came to India, a few years later, they became allies of the Nawab of Arcot, Muhammad Ali Khan Walajah, and before attacking Sivagangai, they had already captured the Madurai Nayak kingdom, but the king of Sivagangai annexed it. Refused to give. His kingdom and then the war began. One day in 1772, the king of Sivagangai was going for his regular puja at the Shiva temple situated at Kalayar Kovil near Sivagangai. With the help of the Nawab of Arcot, the East India Company (EIC) attacked the temple and the Sivagangai kingdom. The British army under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Abraham Bonjour attacked the temple complex without being captured. The armless king did not know anything about the attack and was brutally killed. They looted all the jewelery from the temple including 50,000 gold coins. Another group of British soldiers commanded by Commander Joseph Smith attacked the Sivagangai Fort in the absence of the king. Many people lost their lives in that war, including the king himself. He had to flee with his young daughter with the help of his minister Dalavoy Thandavaraya Pillai.

See also  Alan Titchmarsh Wikipedia, Wife, Net Worth, Old, Married,

sacred oath of revenge

Even after killing the king of Sivagangai and snatching the throne from him, the Nawab, Muhammad Ali Khan Waljah, did not rest in peace. He wanted to wipe out the entire lineage of Muthu Vaduganatha Periyavudaya Thevar so that no one would ever try to inherit the throne from him in the future. Therefore, he decided to end the lives of the king’s widow, Velu, and his younger daughter, Vellachi. The vicious and cunning Nawab ordered to hunt down the queen and princess as soon as possible. Fortunately, both of them were not around at the time of the attack. However, the Maruthu brothers, two trusted chiefs and the queen became aware of the hunt. He went to Kollangudi and managed to help them escape to Dindigul, which was far beyond the reach of the Nawab’s troops. During his stay at Virupachi near Dindigul, he strengthened himself mentally and physically. Udayal, who was Velu’s trusted bodyguard, was harassed and forced to reveal the whereabouts of his queen, but the brave and dedicated Udayal did not reveal anything and was brutally murdered. When the queen received this news, she was devastated and in a fit of rage swore revenge on Udayal’s murderers, regaining her throne and making the British suffer for their actions.

widow turned warrior

For 8 years, she lived under the tutelage of Palaikarar Kopala Nayakkar in Virupachi, Dindigul. Everything was taken away from Queen Veru, both her husband and Sivaganga. She just wanted to avenge her husband’s murder and win back her kingdom. When she was planning against the British and how to lose her control over Sivagangai, she had to move around constantly changing her hideouts after a certain time period to stay safe from the EIC and prepare for the war . Meanwhile, the Nawab of Arcot changed the name of the state from Sivagangai to Hussain Nagar. There were three major cantonments into which the troops were divided, Periya Maruthu also known as Vellai Maruthu led the Valari Padai, Vala Padai was led under the guidance of Chinna Maruthu and formed the “Udaiyal Army” or “Udaiyal Padai Created an army named. The memory of his loyal bodyguard, an all-women army. He began recruiting various women and training them for the upcoming battle. Kuyili, who was a Dalit woman, was appointed as the commander of the army. Meanwhile, he met Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore and father of Tipu Sultan. When Velu asked him for help in fluent Urdu, he still refused, but later, after being impressed by him, he agreed to provide gunpowder weapons, training, 400 sovereigns of gold per month and 5000 soldiers including his infantry and cavalry. decided to. Apart from Hyder Ali, many feudal lords, Tipu Sultan, Maruthu brothers and Thandavarayan Pillai supported him in the fight against the British East India Company.

See also  Yamini Malhotra Wiki, Height, Age, Boyfriend, Family, Biography & More

Kuyili, Maruthu Bhai and other freedom fighters

Kuyili, Maruthu Bhai and other freedom fighters

Attack: Time to Seize the Throne!

For the next few years Rani Velu continued to conquer the territories she had previously lost. The first place reclaimed by him was the Kalaiya temple. By 1980, only Sivagangai was left to be conquered as he had better weapons than Velu and his army. Therefore, she came up with a concrete plan to win the battle against the British as she knew that it would not be easy to deceive them and this strategy was called ‘Chakra Vyuha’. His commander Kuyili and the queen decided that they would enter the fort on the occasion of Vijayadashami, when more people would come in and out of the fort to worship at the temple of Rajarajeshwari Amman than on any normal day, where there would be less checking custom- There will be customs and barricading. Which will make it easier to attack the fort. Commander Kuyili and his army entered the fort by disguising themselves as local women from a neighboring village. Before the British could understand anything, the queen’s trusted spies had informed Kuyili about the location of their ammunition. This was her only chance to win the battle, so without any delay, she poured a bucket full of ghee on her body, set herself on fire and went straight to the ammunition store. The entire storehouse was blown away and then Velu Nachiyar entered with his army and angrily attacked the British and killed everyone who came in his way. With that unforgettable explosion the British Empire’s rule over Sivagangai ended in 1780.

Come, fight and win!

Queen Velu recovered her husband’s kingdom and looked after it for the next ten years. He took the help of Marudhu brothers to look after the administration of the kingdom. The elder brother Periya Marudhu was appointed commander and the post of minister was given to the younger brother Chinna. In 1790, Velu’s only daughter Vellachi Nachiyar ascended the throne and became the second queen of Sivagangai. In 1796, the Queen died and she inscribed her name in golden letters among those who died for contributing to the movement for our country’s independence from the East India Company (EIC). She will always be remembered as a brave queen who was determined to free her kingdom and its people from the rule of the British at all costs. The people there still respect her and she remains a source of inspiration for them.

See also  Ritu Shivpuri Wiki, Height, Age, Husband, Family, Biography & More


Some sources say that in the last few years of the queen’s life, she suffered from heart disease and even traveled to France for treatment. Velu Nachiyar died on 25 December 1796 after living a restless life for 66 years.

Facts/General Knowledge

  • Shriram Sharma, who is a theater director, spent about 10 years researching the history of Rani. She directed a play on 21 August 2017, portraying the life story of Rani Velu Nachiyar through a grand dance ballet, staged at Narada Gana Sabha in Chennai, on 9 September 2017 in Mumbai and on 21 September 2017 in Delhi.
    Shriram Sharma's patriotic dance drama based on the life history of Velu Nachiyar

    Sriram Sharma’s patriotic dance drama, based on the life history of Velu Nachiyar

  • As a tribute to his contribution in the fight against the East India Company, a postage stamp was issued in his memory by the Government of India on 31 December 2008.
    Velu Nachchiyar postage stamp issued in 2008

    Postage stamp of Velu Nachchiyar was issued in 2008

  • Velu Nachiyar was the first queen of India who fought against the British and won. He fought them in 1780, 77 years before India’s First War of Independence.
  • Rani and her Dalit commander Kuyili were the first to record a suicide bombing in Indian history.
  • Professor ALI, a Tamil-American hip-hop artist, created a song dedicated to her titled “Our Queen” as a track on his album “Tamilmatic” in 2016.

YouTube video

  • On 18 July 2014, the Veeramangai Velu Nachiyar Memorial in Sivagangai was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, late Jayaram Jayalalitha. He also unveiled a bronze statue of the queen and announced that January 3 would be remembered as the birth anniversary of the brave queen Velu Nachiyar.
    6 feet bronze statue of Velu Nachiyar at Sivagangai

    6 feet bronze statue of Velu Nachiyar at Sivagangai

  • To thank Hyder Ali for supporting Velu Nachiyar amidst the war, he built a mosque to express his gratitude to him. Even after Hyder Ali’s death, he continued to have the same strong relations with his son Tipu Sultan.
  • Velu Nachiyar was a well-educated queen and was fluent in several languages, including Urdu, English and French.

Categories: Biography

Leave a Comment