Rani Velu Nachchiyar
A commemorative postage stamp on Velu Nachiyar, Queen of Sivaganga estate (1760-1790), first Indian queen to fight against British colonial power :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 31, 2008
Issued for : India Post is proud to commemorate one of the forgotten bravehearts of the eighteen century, especially as the country has celebrated 60 years of freedom, Rani Velu Nachchiyar.
Stamp : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
FDC & Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Printing Process : wet–offset
Printers : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
Name : Veera Mangai Velunachiyar
Born on Jan 3, 1730 at Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu, India
Died on Dec 25, 1796 at Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu, India
- The Story of Rani Velu Nachchiyar is an inspiring and touching chapter of bravery and valour against the East India Company which was consolidating its foothold in South India through a combination of cunning and brute force in the early eighteenth century. Mostly taking advantage of a lack of unity among the various small princely states, and the intrigues and treachery, that pervaded the atmosphere, the French, the Dutch and the British fixed alliances with various small princely states as fast as they changed sides, with a sole aim of stealing a march over their European competitors and gaining more and more territory. However, at times they met with terrific resistance from the Indians Rani Velu Nachchiyar being one such glorious example.
- The Queen Velu Nachchiyar was the daughter of King Sellamuthu Sethupathi of Ramanathapuram and Sakkandhi Muththaththai Nachchiyar. She was born in 1750. Sakkandhi was one of the auxiliary Palayams of Sivagangai State adjoining Sivagangai. Queen Velu Nachchiyar was very active and talented when she was young. She wanted to learn many languages and accordingly she learnt Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Urdu, English and French languages.
- She has studied the Sangam literary works, Silappadhikaram and Manimealai and also our epics like Ramayanam and Mahabharatham. Well versed in the art of warfare. This was the tradition followed by the family of Sethupathys, and accordingly, Velu Nachchiyar was well versed in all these aspects. She was married to Muthuvaduganathar and the couple was blessed with only one daughter.
- Muthuvaduganathar Thevar was the son of Sasivarna Periya Udaya Thevar the first independent king of Sivagangai State.
- He was in-charge of the administration of Sivagangai State from the year 1730 to 1750, though his father Sasivarna Thevar was the king. History was bestowed on him the distinction of being the ruler of Sivagangai state for the longest period from the year 1750 till he was killed in Kalaiyakoil in the year 1772. His death in the battle with the forces of Col. Smith in the year 1772 was the most grief-stricken incident in history.
- Queen Velu Nachchiyar and the most dependable and trustworthy Marudhu brothers escaped this slaughter.
- The death of her husband Muthu Vaduganathar was informed to Queen Velu Nachchiyar who was staying at that time in Kollangudi and she rush to Kalaiyarkovil fort.
- Velu Nachchiyar along with some body guards went to Virupakshi Palayam and sought asylum with Gopal Nayakkar. At the proper time Velu Nachchiyar along with a group of youngster of Sivagangai left the place and proceeded to meet Hyder Ali.
- The meeting of Velu Nachchiyar with Hyder Ali took place in Dindigul. The rule of Nawab of Arcot over Sivagangai which has already been weakened by the problems created by the revolutionary forces fumbled further on hearing about the assurance given by Hyder Ali to help Velu Nachchiyar. Though the Nawab tried to protect his interests with the help of the army of the East India Company all his efforts were defeated by the patriotic and loyal people of Sivagangai. After a period of eight years the flag of Nawab of Arcot was lowered from the flag post of Sivagangai palace and the Hanuman flag of Sivagangai was hoisted again under the reign of Velu Nachchiyar.
- Vengan Periya Udaya Thevar became king of Sivagangai as per the compromise formula suggested by the Englishmen. The adopted son of Velu Nachchiyar Padamathur Gowri Valluba Thevar escaped to Arantangi to protect his life.
- In the year 1790, Vellachhi Nachchiyar daughter of Velu Nachchiyar died under mysterious circumstances. Velu Nachchiyar became physically weak and sick because of the tremendous mental stress and strain to which she was subjected to for quite some time. A bishop by name Jose-de-pray arranged for the treatment of her heart ailment in France. It is presumed, but not confirmed that she would have gone to Paris in the year 1791. After a gap of three years Velu Nachchiyar appeared again in Sivagangai. As the situation for her continuous stay in Sivagangai was not conducive, she went to Virupakshi Palayam and stayed there. She died there on 25.12.1796.
- Text : As per the material provided by the proponent.