Veera Rani Abbakka Devi or Abbakka Mahadevi was the queen of Tulunadu who fought the Portuguese in the latter half of the 16th century. She belonged to the Jain Chowta dynasty who ruled over the area from the temple town of Moodabidri. The port town of Ullal served as their subsidiary capital. The Portuguese made several attempts to capture Ullal as it was strategically placed. But Abbakka repulsed each of their attacks for over four decades. For her bravery, she came to be known as Abhaya Rani. She was also one of the earliest Indians to fight the colonial powers and is sometimes regarded as the ‘first woman freedom fighter of India.
Though it is the second daughter who was the most courageous, the folklore treats all three Abbakkas as one great Queen and a brilliant personality Abbakka Mahadevi or Rani Abbakka. In this article also she is being treated as a single character – Abbakka Rani.
Ullal fort, the capital of Abbakka’s kingdom, is located just a few kilometers away from the city of Mangalore, on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It is a historical as well as a pilgrim spot because of the beautiful Shiva Temple built by the Queen and a unique natural rock, called the Rudra Rock. The rock appears to change colours every second, as the sweater splashes on it.
According to local legends. Abbakka was an extraordinary child and as she grew up showed signs of being a visionary. there was no equal to her in military science and warfare, mainly in archery and sword fighting. Her father encouraged her in this and after she was well versed in all areas, she was married to a neighbouring local king of Bangher. The marriage did no last long with Abbakka breaking the ties by returning the jewels given by his to her. The husband thus nurtured revenge against Abbakka and later on joined the Portuguese in a treaty, to fight Abbakka.