Rani Abbakka

The Warrior Queen Who Defeated Portuguese

When Rani Abbakka was crowned the queen of Ullal, she decided she would completely stop paying the Portuguese the tribute that all the local rulers paid them. In 1555, a Portuguese envoy was sent to Rani Abbakka to remind her to pay up. Abbakka firmly refused to bow to their demands. The furious Portuguese army planned to capture Ullal at once. The Portuguese had built a fort in Mangalore, which gave them the military advantage against Ullal. However, inspired by their queen, the soldiers of Ullal fought bravely in the battle and ultimately captured the Mangalore fort from the Portuguese. The Portuguese ended up surrendering to the fearless soldiers and beating a hasty retreat.

Warrior Queen Abbakka
The Warrior Queen Who Defeated Portuguese

In those times, the Portuguese suppressed any attempts of the rulers to have direct trade with other foreign countries. Rani Abbakka was determined to trade on her own terms for the benefit of her own people, not according to the rules set by the Portuguese. This spark of rebellion against colonialism coming from a queen not only stunned the Portuguese but also some of her own feeble ministers.

Though Rani Abbakka followed the path of Jainism, her administration and army consisted of people from all sects and castes, including Hindus, and Muslims. Interestingly, during her rule, even men belonging to the Beary community served as seamen in her naval force. She forged alliances with the Zamorin of Calicut to strengthen her rule. When the Portuguese managed to capture the city of Ullal in 1557, she did not think twice about taking refuge in a mosque. That very same night, she gathered around two hundred of her soldiers and retaliated against the Portuguese. In the battle that ensued, Abbakka Rani won her kingdom back.

Rani Abbakka was considered the biggest threat for the Portuguese during her time and was one of the earliest torchbearers of the Indian freedom movement. Hail the feisty queen who broke all barriers and crushed the Portuguese power in India

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