Rani Abbakka Chowta (1525-1570)
- November 3, 2020
By Srinidhi Murthi
Rani Abbakka Chowta belonged to the Chowta dynasty who ruled over parts of coastal Karnataka. She was popular as Abhaya Rani for her fierce and feisty nature, her decisions and actions ultimately paving the way for the Indian freedom movement. Rani Abbakka was one of the earliest freedom fighters who rebelled against foreign invaders and colonialism. Determined to avenge the defeat of her mother at the hands of Portuguese, she strived hard to drive the Portuguese completely out of Mangalore. Ultimately fulfilling her dream of a free kingdom, she won the respect of her people and is held in high regard and cherished in her hometown of Ullal even today.
RANI ABBAKKA WASN’T SCARED OF ANYONE
Illustration: M.K. Basha | Script: Subba Rao
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.
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 Portug...