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Onake Obavvana kindi inside Chitradurga Fort

Onake Obavva (18th Century) (Kannada: ಓಬವ್ವ) was a woman who fought the forces of Hyder Ali single-handedly with a pestle (Onake)[1] in the kingdom of Chitradurga of Karnataka, India. Her husband was a guard of a watchtower in the rocky fort of Chitradurga.[2]

Heroics of Obavva[edit]

During the reign of Madakari Nayaka, the city of Chitradurga was besieged by the troops of Hyder Ali(1720-1782). A chance sighting of a man entering the Chitradurga fort through a hole in the rocks led to a plan by Hyder Ali to send his soldiers through that hole. The Guard (Kalanayak who was on duty near that hole) had gone home to have his lunch. During his meal he needed some water to drink, so his wife Obavva went to collect water in a pot[2] from a pond which was near the hole in the rocks, halfway up the hill.[3] She noticed the army trying to enter the fort through the hole. She used the Onake or pestle (a wooden long club meant for pounding paddy grains) to kill the soldiers one by one by hitting them on the head and then quietly moving the dead without raising the suspicions of the rest of the troops. Kalanayak, Obavva's husband, returned from lunch, was shocked to see Obavva standing with a blood stained Onake and several of the enemies' dead bodies around her. Later, the same day, she was found dead either due to shock or having been killed by the enemy soldiers.[1] She belonged to the beda community.[4] Though her brave attempt saved the fort this time, Madakari could not resist the attack by Hyder Ali during 1779, when the fort of Chitradurga was lost to Hyder Ali.

She is considered to be the epitome of Kannada female pride. The hole through which Hyder Ali's soldiers sneaked is called Onake Obavvana Kindi (kindi=hole) or Onake kindi.[4] Her heroic effort is depicted in a famous song-sequence in Nagarahavu picture directed by Puttanna Kanagal. The sports stadium in Chitradurga - Veera Vanithe Onake Obavva Stadium, is named after her.[5]


  1. ^ a b Cathy Spagnoli, Paramasivam Samanna. Jasmine and Coconuts: South Indian Tales (1999 ed.). Englewood,USA: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9781563085765. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b March of Mysore Vol.3 (1966 ed.). Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Hayavadana Rao, Conjeevaram. History of Mysore (1399-1799 AD) 1766-1799. Vol.3. Bangalore: Govt. of Mysore. p. 260. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b B.N, Sri Sathyan, ed. (1967). Mysore State Gazetteer - Chitradurga District. Vol.4. Bangalore: Govt. of Mysore. p. 393. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  5. ^ John, Jijo K. Studies in South. vol2, issue 1 (2005 ed.). Bangalore: Printnet Info Services Pvt Ltd. p. 24. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onake_Obavva — Please support Wikipedia.
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11 news items


Thu, 11 Jun 2015 03:30:00 -0700

"Rejected Princesses" has been illustrating stories about princesses who'll never have movies made about them. (With a book to follow soon!) 0 Notes; 0 Pin. 36 Plus. 457 Tweet. 2.0k Like. 169 Share. Although it bears a man's name in the title, Mad Max ...

Times of India

Times of India
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 13:19:55 -0700

Razia Sultana Rudrama Devi Rani Velu Nachiyar Chand Bibi Abbakka Rani Tarabai Bibi Dalair Kaur Mai Bhago Malalai of Maiwand Onake Obavva Begum Samru Kittur Chennamma Rani Lakshmibai Rani Durgavati Keladi Chennamma Belawadi Mallamma.
The Hindu
Thu, 07 Mar 2013 04:51:36 -0800

The impregnable fort is witness to not just battles but to legends, the famous being of Onake Obavva. She single-handedly defeated Hyder Ali's soldiers who tried to attack the fort. The journey through the fort, though tiring, leaves me energised to ...
The New Indian Express
Sun, 05 Jan 2014 18:26:15 -0800

Disha Manjunath as Onake Obavva of Chitradurga excelled. Folk art Kamasle was also included in the dance Drama. The young dancers Disha Manjunath, Shalini, Rajesh, Prerana, Chaya, Yash -wini, Varshini, Ramya R, Ramya T, Raashi, Kshitija, Jeevitha, ...

lanacion.com (Argentina)

lanacion.com (Argentina)
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 21:52:30 -0700

"Onake" Obavva vivía en la ciudad fortaleza de Chitradurga, en un tiempo duro de su historia. Hyder Ali, uno de los guerreros más poderosos de su tiempo, había estado a cargo del ejército, conquistando una ciudad tras otra. Chitradurga, por suerte ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Fri, 01 Nov 2013 20:56:15 -0700

The song narrates sacrifice of a woman, who was the wife of a guard at a chieftain's port at Chitradurga, called Onake Obavva in protecting the chieftain's port. This song was so deep rooted in the hearts, that two women at the maidan were seen wiping ...
Sun, 17 Nov 2013 02:10:54 -0800

Several children participated in this competition depicting various characters like Kittur Chennamma, Krishna, Onake Obavva, Shakunthala, Sai Baba, Tipu Sultan, snake charmer, and astrologer. Veteran actor Gopinath Bhat, RJ Vishwas Kamath, and Tulu ...
Deccan Herald
Mon, 31 Oct 2011 11:52:08 -0700

These are places like Karwar which had once inspired Rabindranath Tagore to write, or the rocky fort of Chitradurga which tells the brave story of Onake Obavva who fought Hyder Ali's forces, or Begur, where an inscription mentions the name Bengalooru ...

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