A couple of days back a friend of mine presented me a special cover of MANGALAPEX-2003 issued on 15 January 2003, in tribute to Veera Rani Abbakka Devi. Honestly speaking, I was not known, till I got this special cover, about this valiant lady who fought the Portuguese invaders during the later half of 16th century and regarded by many as the "First woman freedom fighter of India". The pictorial cancellation depicts 'men-of-war' at the Mangalore coastal area of the Arabian sea.
Veera Rani Abbakka Rani or Abbakka Mahadevi was the queen of Ullal (1594-1640). Veera Rani belonged to the 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 ('The fearless queen'). Source; Wikipedia.
In a fitting tribute, the first of the five IPVs (Inshore Patrol Vessel) for the Indian Coast Guard, launched on 28 May 2009, at Hindustan Shipyard Limited, Visakhapatnam, was named after "Rani Abbakka". The vessel, meeting International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standards, was built for dual class certification by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Indian Registered Shipping (IRS). It was a high speed patrol vessel built of light steel hull and fitted with water jet propulsion system to get high speed operations at 34 knots.