Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters


Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu

November 21, 2022 to November 21, 2023

In 1772 Kalaiyar Koil war against the British, King Muthuvaduganatha Udaiya Thevar of Sivaganga attained martyrdom, and Velu Nachiyar, the queen was informed about this tragedy while she was camping at Kollangudi. The queen and her six-year-old daughter Vellachi had no choice but to escape and prepare for a long battle ahead. British added by Nawab of Arcot were chasing, encircling, and making all efforts to eliminate her. A possible encounter was inevitable, but for the heroic sacrifice of Lady Udaiyal, who delayed the British Military movement by refusing to divulge the details of Queen Velu Nachiyar escape. The brave lady Udaiyal was cut into two pieces. Her sacrifice secured the life of Queen Velu Nachiyar and her daughter Vellachi and sealed the freedom of Sivaganga a few years from now. Velu Nachiyar and Vellachi successfully escaped and took refuge in Virupatchi near Dindigul under the protection of Palayakaarar Kopaala Naayakkar. She was indebted to the sacrifice of brave lady Udaiyal and paid her last respect and placed a center stone on her burial site as per Tamil custom. Queen Velu Nachiyar decided to raise an army of female warriors and named her after Udaiyal in respect of her supreme sacrifice. The brave lady Udaiyal is remembered as a village god in Kollangudi as “Vettu Udaiyal Kaali” (means kali who bore received and accepted cuts from a sword in saving Rani and thereby stood by the side of Dharmam).