Side by side with these, the supreme position held by women as
administrators and rulers of land cannot escape our attention. Here we have instances of
Women who acquired the right to sovereignty by virtue, of their marriage and ruled
Women who got their right to sovereignty by virtue of their birth; and
Women who ruled along with their husbands.
These are obtained from inscription and Tamrasosasanas, or copper-plate
grants, which are considered as legal records for granting lands or villages to a grantee,
who is generally a learned Brahmin. Unless these are executed by an actual ruler or with
his consent such grants of lands or villages are not considered as valid. From these
grants we can infer whether they were de facto rulers or not.
To the first category belongs the grant of Tribhuvana Mahadevi, the
daughter of Rajamalla, a king of Southern India and wife of
Lalitabharadeva of the Kara
family of Guhesvarapataka. After the death of her husband the feudatory chiefs approached
her with a request to accept the sovereignty and cited the instance of Devi Gosvamini,
who belonged to the same family and administered her kingdom under similar circumstances.
In compliance with their request she ascended the lion-throne like
Katyayani. After her, her stepson came to the throne and was succeeded by his Queen. The
next notable instance is that of Dandi Mahadevi, who obtained her right to rule by birth.
She was a virgin and ruled the kingdom on her own authority though she had a brother who
succeeded her. She belonged to Kara family. Both these queens were independent sovereigns
and issued charters on their sole authority and also bore the title Paramabhattarika