Rani Chennabhairadevi is known as "The Pepper Queen' (Raina da Pimenta) of India. Her reign lasted 54 years, the longest by an Indian queen. She ruled from Gerusoppa, capital of the Saluva dynasty, between the 15th and 16th centuries. Her kingdom extended from Goa to Bhatkal and Karwar, up to Malabar. This belt was known as pepper country, as the spice grew in the virgin forests. Shiploads of pepper, betel nut, timber and sandalwood were traded with the Portuguese, British, Dutch and Africans in exchange for precious metals and stones. Most of the trade happened through Mirjan port in Uttara Kannada. The queen resided at and controlled the pepper trade from Mirjan Fort on River Aganashini. The Portuguese and the Keladi kings tried to capture Gerusoppa which Chennabhairadevi thwarted twice. The Keladi kings joined with the Bilagi chieftains to defeat her; she was imprisoned and died in captivity at Keladi.
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