Occasionally when writing about history, you manage to accidentally get the jump on someone, fortunately for myself and my readers, I’ve stumbled into such a situation here, with Rudrama Devi. Devi is not the most well known name outside of India, but with a major motion picture made on a whopping budget of $8.9 million due to be released in June 2014 ($9 million isn’t exactly Avatar, but it does put the movie around 2,700th on the list of movie budgets all time and make it a serious movie, not just some back yard second rate production). With the movie set to release in just a few months, you’ll already have a good grasp of who Rudrama Devi was, and what her contributions to the world were.
Devi was born Rudramba, to King Ganapathideva of the Kakatiya dynasty, however as a child she was designated a son, since the King had no sons, and her name was changed to Rudradeva, a male name. When Devi was just fourteen years old, her father died and she succeeded him to the throne, becoming one of very few Queens in all of Indian history, as well as the history of the Kakatiya dynasty. While there were some grumblings about the leadership of the group being given to a woman-and one so young at that-Rudrama quickly proved herself by quelling uprisings within their current territory, and putting down invasions from the nearby Chola and Seuna dynasties. In doing so, she showed herself to be a capable fighter and military leader, earning the respect of her followers.
Devi went on to make her mark as one of the most prominent rulers of the Kakatiya dynasty, finishing “Warangal Fort”, a project started by her father in the capital of the Kakatiya territory. Ruins of the fort still stand today, and can be seen in the picture below. She died in 1289, while attempting to put down a revolt by Ambadeva, a rebel chief of the Kayastha. She was succeeded by her grandson, Prataparudra.