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Who is Rani Velu Nachiyar?

Rani Velu Nachiyar (3 January 1730 – 25 December 1796) 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 known by Tamils as Veeramangai (“brave woman”).

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About Rani Velu Nachiar:

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. She married the king of Sivagangai, with whom she had a daughter.

When Velu Nachiyar found the place where the EIC stored some their ammunition, Her commander Kuyili made a suicide attack on the ammunition depot, blowing it up. Nachiyar reinherited the kingdom of her husband, and ruled it for ten more years. In 1790, she was succeeded by her daughter Vellacci. She granted powers to her daughter with the Marudu brothers to help with the administration of the kingdom. Velu Nachiyar died a few years later, on 25 December.

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