Visit the vestiges of a glorious past

Visit the vestiges of a glorious past

Ullal, a small town located a few kilometers away from Mangalore has a history to be proud of. The then princely state of Rani Abbakka-the queen who knew no fear, Ullal still carries a great legacy with it.

A small portion of the damaged Ullal fort near a basadi which has been renovated.If Somanatheshwara temple in Someshwara in Ullal, one of the historical temples, stands as a epitome of Rani Abbakka’s devotion to Lord Someshwara and the way in which she protected the temple from Portuguese attacks, there are a few more monuments in Ullal which have just gone unrecognised because of their dilapidated condition.

Those who visit Someshwara beach seeking a good holiday by the sea shore, can have a glimpse at the life story of Rani Abbakka and significance of Ullal princely state by looking at the remains of Abbakka’s kingdom. Abbakka’s fort in Ullal, near the Someshwara temple has a long story to tell. Built out of clay bricks, the fort which has been demolished now is left with only a few brick structures lying here and there merely giving a clue of the famous Ullal fort which once existed.

Ullal fort which was a defensive structure for Rani Abbakka and her kingdom during her regime centuries back was repeatedly attacked by the Portuguese. Despite several attempts of Rani Abbakka to protect the fort from the onslaught of Portuguese, the fort could not withstand the attacks and the heavy rains, thus reducing into pieces.

The history has it that Ullal fort was first attacked and damaged by the Portuguese in 1556, which was followed by the second attack in 1558. After the second attack, queen Abbakka took up a few measures to protect her fort by fixing ‘firangis’ around the fort. However, her efforts went in vain as the fort witnessed several more attacks during the next few years.

At present, most of the Ullal fort land is occupied by private individuals and the remains of the fort are found here and there in Ullal, including near the Someshwara temple.

Nine lakes

The nine lakes which were formed during the Abbakka’s reign too tell the story of how water needs were met during 15th Century.

However, out of nine lakes in Ullal, five lakes have been closed now and among the four remaining lakes, three lakes are used for agriculture purpose, while the remaining one lake is used during Somanatheshwara temple annual fair, where the God’s statue is bathed every year.

Speaking to City Herald, Veerarani Abbakka Utsava Samiti General Secretary Bhaskar Rai Kukkuvalli said that the Samiti has planned to build a monument of Abbakka in Ullal so that the great life story of queen Abbakka could be narrated to the people.

“With the Ullal fort, nine lakes and all other historical structures of Rani Abbakka’s period being destroyed, there is a necessity to revamp the legacy of Ullal town which could be possible by building a monument. In fact, with the Veerarani Abbakka Utsava celebrating its 10th  year in 2013, we have planned an agenda and submitted it to the government during the recently held Abbakka Utsava. If the plan is approved and fund is granted, then the Samiti can keep a step forward,” he said.