What an exciting find from the Archaeological Survey of India? Do you know that a rare sculpture of an ancient Indian queen has been discovered recently?
But, what is her name? And, what is her story?
The legendary Queen Rudramma
It is a pity that we know hardly anything about this brave lady. She and her ancestors ruled their lands for more than 175 years and Rudramma particularly shone like a diamond.
Dear readers, one of the main reasons why I write this blog is to introduce you to the unknown history of India and ger secret travel destinations. This particular blog post is about one such diamond- Rudra Mahadevi or Rudramma.
Now let us go 720 years back. Let us reverse the wheel of time.
The Grand Kakatiyas
Seven centuries back, Andhra Pradesh was ruled by the Kakatiyas. This dynasty had made Warangal as their capital and was always at wars with the neighboring kingdoms of Odisha and the Yadavas of Devgiri.
The Kakatiyas founded their kingdom sometime in the late 1150s and went on to rule it till 1323 when they fell to the Tughlaqs.
Some people say that the Kakatiyas were the original masters of the Koh-i-Noor diamond now in the custody of Queen Elizabeth.
But I am digressing. This is the story of Rudramma.
This girl was born to her father who was the king of the Kakatiya kingdom. Since she was her parents’ only child, they were worried about the future of their kingdom.
Who would take care of it, the king often wondered?
The ministers advised the king to make his daughter the successor. But they also said that the girl should dress up like a man.
You know, deep down we still think that women are inferior to men.
Anyways, the daughter became a ‘boy’ and started ruling her father’s kingdom as Prince Rudra Deva.
To become a ‘boy’, Rudrama had to undergo a ‘Putrika’ ceremony.
The prince finally became the king of the Kakatiyas upon the death of her father sometime in the 1160s. But it was not an easy transition.
Rudrama was clever enough to understand that the aristocrats of her kingdom would never accept her as their master. Therefore she thought of another way to get support from her people.
The kingdom was in need of fresh warriors who could also double up as farmers. Rudrama seized the initiative and started hiring common farmers as soldiers. In return, she gave them a part of the land revenue from their farms. This was an ingenious move and Rudrama became a much-loved person in her kingdom.
Rudramma became a powerful queen of her age. She defeated her enemies and made her kingdom secure and prosperous. The Kakatiyas under this queen were one of the most powerful dynasties in India during the 13th century.
Marco Polo has given a glowing account of this ancient Indian queen Rudramma in his travelogues.
While Rudramma emerged a winner in many of her battles with her enemies, she could not win one particular battle- the one against her own subordinate, Ambadev. He killed her in a battle that was eventually won by the Kakatiyas.
You can also read the following articles on this ancient Indian queen;
Recently, a sculpture depicting the last battle of Rudramma with her enemy was discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India. You can read the story here > http://www.thehindu.com/news/two-sculptures-of-rani-rudrama-devi-shed-light-on-her-death/article21268201.ece