This land has always been at the side of people who’re willing to wake up and stand for the god within. In our education system, we’ve been fed up with stories of restlessness and failure when we’re to look for freedom fighters that stood up against colonialism. But, there is lots of history that has been kept behind from your eyes.

Admiral and Queen Abbakka Chowta is one of a warrior class who’s always been victorious in every aspect and conquered herself to an extent that she can be compared with a Phoenix. The Chowtas follow a maternal lineage, King Tirumalaraya III of Ullal (in the state of Karnataka, India); crowned his niece Abbakka in 1525, right after that she faced an attack from the Portuguese who totally underestimated her valour. She fought with them and repelled them out of her kingdom.

When they occupied the Mangalore port and destroyed it, Queen Abbakka fought furiously and defeated the colonials again. Later on, she successfully defeated them in all of their repeated attacks. At one time, the man who once her husband, betrayed and joined with the colonials, Her fortress was circled and she had to hide in a mosque. Then, she rebelled overnight with just 200 soldiers on her side; sacking the Portuguese generals even the Viceroy himself was worried. He sent a large army in 1570 on her. She gathered the armies of other kingdoms and repelled the enemy after a long labour. After that, either at the end of 1570 or in 1581, a similar attack came where again Ullal has been captured and the Queen was captivated and said to have been attacked. But, she got resurrected and conquered death like a phoenix. She also repelled a massive naval fleet of Portuguese in 1618.  In 2012, the Indian Navy introduced a patrolling vessel in honour of her name.

Among the travellers who visited India from Europe, Pietro Della Valle earns a special place as he mostly focussed on the miraculous aspects of the Middle East and the Far East, especially India. During his travels in India, somewhere around 1621 and 1624, he met Queen Abbakka, and was awestruck to see her radiance blended in the commonality of that period. She’s approximately over 115 years by then.

-Viswanath Venkat Dasari