Great Personalities of India

Kittur Rani Chennamma – Queen of Kittur (Women Freedom Fighter)

Born in the month of October 1788, Kitturu Chennamma is famously remembered for her fight with the British East India Company along with her army and that too with defiance against the Doctrine of Lapse to retain control of her territory.

She was defeated in the second war against the British and died in Prison. She was one of the first female fighters in India to resist British colonization and she is a national heroine who is well known in Karnataka. She is a symbol of the Independence Movement in India.

Kittur Rani Chennamma Information

Name: Kittur Chennamma
Born: 23 October 1778, Belgaum
Died: 2 February 1829, Bailhongal
Spouse: Raja Mallasarja (m. 1793–1816)
Children Shivalingappa

Chennamma’s Early Life

Kittur Rani Chennamma was born on 23rd October 1788 in Kakati, which is located in the present Belgaum District, Karnataka. She was well versed in Horse riding, sword fighting, and archery from a very young age.

Chennamma married Raja Mallasarja of the Desai family who died in the year 1824 leaving her son and the state and soon her son also died in the year 1824. Now Rani Chennamma was alone and she was left with the state of Kittur to be saved from the British.

Fight With British Started

She adopted Shivalingappa in the year 1824 to make him heir to the throne which irked East India Company as it was against the Doctrine of Lapse. And under this context, the Kittur State came under the control of the Dharwad collectorate where the in-charge did not accept the new ruler and asked the state to come under British Control.

Rani Chennamma did not accept this and sent a letter to Lieutenant-Governor of the Bombay Presidency however the request was turned down and what followed was the war. The first war between the British and the State of Kittur was fought heavily where British forces lost the war when St John Thackeray, collector, and a political agent was killed in the war, Sir Walter Elliot and Mr. Stevenson two British officers were also taken as hostages who were released soon.

Her Last Days

During the second war with the British, Chennamma fought fiercely but was captured by the British Forces and was imprisoned at Bailhongal Fort where she died in the year 1829 because of false news delivered by the British that Rayanna has died, hearing this news Chennama had the only hope who is no more she decided to die.

Sangolli Rayanna who was a loyal lieutenant of Chennamma’s army came to see her death by changing his looks, there he decided he will fight till his last breath against the British, so he continued the war, and later he was captured and hanged.

She was one of the first female freedom fighters who is still remembered due to her clever war against the British and also opposing the British against their ownership of land. Due to the war, the state of Kittur lost a huge amount of treasury and jewels which is valued at 1.5 million rupees.

[ Also Checkout: Freedom Fighters of Karnataka ]

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