LONGEST RULE OF A TELUGU WOMAN IN THE WORLD (Post No.7393)

Compiled by london Swaminathan

Date – 28th December 2019

Post No.7393

contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

Longest ruling queen in the modern world is Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain. But she hasn’t got any powers like the old queens. She is a figurative head. But in ancient India, we had queens with absolute powers, who went to war with their enemies, fought actual battles and won or died in action. They crushed rebellions. We had powerful queens like Didda of Kashmir and Rudramba of Kakatiya dynasty.

IF WE TAKE THE ANCIENT WORLD, RUDRAMBA WAS THE LONGEST REIGHING QUEEN WHO RULED FROM 1262 TILL 1295.

Cleopatra , Didda of Kashmir, Rani Mangammal of Madurai, Rani Meenakshi of Madurai and many other queens ruled for lesser years than Rudramba . Modern queens of European countries hold decorative posts without much powers. They are not absolute monarchies.

Rudramba was the eldest daughter of Kakatiya king Ganapatideva, whom she succeeded on the throne and ruled over the kingdom for well over three decades. Ganapati had no male issues, but had two daughters

Rudraambaa

And

Ganapaambaa.

Both endowed with great intelligence and exceptional abilities. Determined to keep the sovereignty in his own family, he recognised Rudrambaa as his heir, and bestowing on her the Rudradeva Maharaja, he took special interest in her education and gave her practical training in administration  by associating her in his government  in the last years of his reign.

Rudraambaa ascended the throne on her father’s death in 1262 CE. She was not however accepted as sovereign by all sections of her subject immediately. The feudatory nobles of southern Andhra country , whom her father recently reduced to subjection, saw in the accession of a woman  to the throne  an excellent opportunity  to raise the flag of revolt  and regain their independence.  Of these the most important was the Kayastha chief  Ambadeva, who ruled a large part of the Rayalaseema from his capital Velluru near Cuddappah.  About the same time, Mahadeva, the Yadava king of Devagiri, taking advantage of the internal troubles, invaded the Kakatiya dominions from the west. As all the ministers and officers of the kingdom remained faithful to her, Rudramba was able not only to suppress the rebels and bring them back to subjection  but also to repel the Yadava monarch after inflicting a defeat on his forces. Peace and order was restored, and during the remaining years of her reign  till 1295 CE, she ruled in perfect security free from the attacks of enemies, both internal and external.

Rudramba was a wise ruler, who strove hard to promote the welfare of her subjects. She constructed tanks, canals and wells to provide water to the agriculturists; granted concessions to merchants to promote trade and industry; built hospitals and provided for their maintenance; endowed religious foundations with rich gifts of lands; and founded Brahmana settlements to encourage learning.

It was probably during Rudramba’s rule that the famous Venetian traveller Marco Polo passed through the coasted Andhra country and visited Motupalli and other important commercial centres of the kingdom. He bears testimony to the flourishing condition of its foreign trade and domestic industry, especially diamond mining, for which the kingdom was famous.

Rudramba married a K shatria prince called Virabhadraof the Eastern Chalukyan family. Like her father she had no sons; but she had two daughters Mummadamma and Ruyyamma. The former married a Chalukya prince called Mahadeva. They had a son named Prataapa rudra, whom Rudramba adopted and appointed heir apparent. Rudramba was a staunch Saivite , but was tolerant towards other sects.

An inscription from Malkapuram dated 1261 CE is of much interest and throws light  upon the nature of queen’s charities. It relates to the gift made by her, in accordance with the expressed wishes of her father, of the village of Mandaram on the southern bank of the Krishna  to the raja guru Visveshwara Shambu built a temple, round which grew a township inhabited  by  Brahmanas from different regions , artisans, musicians, dancers, village guards and servants , whom all the lands mentioned in the gift were distributed.  A hospital and a college were established in the town, and in the feeding houses people of all sects and castes were fed. Rudramba’s kingdom was then the live centre of the Pasupatha sect. She spent the last years of her life in meditation under the guidance of the Pasupatha priests.

Ganapaambaa

Ganapaambaa was the second daughter of the Kakatiya king Ganapati  and the younger sister of Rudramba of Warangal. Though not as famous as her elder sister, Ganapambaa deserves to be remembered  as one of the few Andhra women who actually wielded the sceptre and governed their kingdom in their own right.

Ganapambaa was married into the family of Kota chiefs, who ruled over the ‘six thousand country’ from their capital  Dharanikota on the Krishna. She ruled the ‘six thousand country’ after her husband’s death. She ruled the royal principality for well over forty years as its undisputed ruler.

G was a wise and enlightened ruler. She was a staunch Shaiva by faith. She built two temples to Shiva , one in memory of her husband and another in memory of her father. She set up gold kalashas /pitchers on the gopura of Amareshwara temple at Amaravati and granted an Agrahara to Brahmins. She spent her last days in peace and tranquillity in contemplation of Maheswara.

–SHUBAM–

Source book- Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Almora, 1953