sun set at Ullal beach
Abbakkarani of Ullal can perhaps be proclaimed the first promoter of Women’s liberation. A regular firebrand, the people of Ullal look upon her with much pride. A Jain Princess of 16th century, she came to the throne on the death of her sister. She was married to the Bangar King of Mangalore, but the marriage was not a success. In a few years the couple was estranged with the queen returning to her beloved Ullal. The reason for the grouse was, the queen was averse to the payment of subsidy demanded by the Portuguese
Several punitive expeditions were sent against her, which she repulsed successfully with the help of the Zamorin of Calicut. Another expedition sent under Jaoa Piexoto in 1566 ended in disaster for the Portuguese. With only her Moghveer warriors she surrounded the Portuguese frigate at night. Using stealth and cunning, she took them by surprise and inflicted a crushing defeat on them. Incensed by the defeat made all the more insulting at the hands of a woman, the Portuguese sent a veritable armada under the leadership of the Portuguese Governor himself. While the queen met with initial success, she was betrayed, so some say, by her own people for a casket of silver. However, the army of the queen was thoroughly outnumbered. What ensured was a bloody massacre with the queen escaping to the hills, a fugitive. Another version has it that the queen had taken her own life rather than give herself up to the enemy which really seems more in keeping with her character.
The only vestige of this vivacious and courageous queen remains in the ruins of the Abbakkarani temple. A Jain temple with a statue of Lokeshwar in the inner sanctum, it has a dilapidated and forlorn appearance. Further to the south is a deep moat which legend has it as part of Abbakkarani’s palace that is now non-existent. Overrun by slender casuarina trees, one can imagine the brave spirit of the queen hovering over Ullal.
Today Ullal remains a vibrant fishing village. It is fast developing into a satellite town of Mangalore. It is put on the tourist map of the world by the location of the Summer sands beach resort which is to the south of the fishing village, popularly known as Chotamangalore. Tourists from all parts of the world come to enjoy the balmy air and few return without paying homage at the shrine of this legendary queen.
Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: rosemary a pai