Great Personalities of India

Onake Obavva – Brave Women Who Saved Many Lives in Kingdom

Onake Obavva an epitome of Kannada female fighters is known for her fighting off enemy soldiers from Hyder Ali single-handled.

Onake Obavva Information

  • Name: Onake Obavva
  • Born: 18th Century
  • Husband: Kahale Mudda Hanuma
  • Died: 1779, Chitradurga

Chitradurga Kingdom

The Nayaka Dynasty was one of the dynasties that ruled the Chitradurga Kingdom until the late 1700s. And during the reign of last Nayaka Ruler Madakari Nayaka, Chitradurga fort was besieged by the troops of Hyder Ali from the Mysore Kingdom. Hyder Ali had tried to attack the fort multiple times but the fort was well built that Hyder Ali could not successfully attack the Chitradurga Fort for 4 times. 

One day a soldier from Hyder Ali’s army saw a small crack that is suitable for a person to enter the fort and informed the king, Hyder Ali with this small bit of information planned to attack the fort one more time and he sent his army of soldiers through the crevice of the fort.

Story of Obavva

Kahale Mudda Hanuma, a sentry of Chitradurga fort was guarding the crevice inside the fort and his wife was Onake Obavva.

One afternoon during lunchtime, Kahale Mudda Hanuma went out to have lunch while Obavva went out to fetch drinking water, and on her way back she saw soldiers from Hyder Ali entering the fort with that small gap.

That small gap required a lot of climbs and only 1 person can fit and enter the fort. When she noticed soldiers entering the fort, she immediately took Onake which is a pestle used to pound paddy and other grains, and stuck their head which killed them instantly. 

She had no prior experience in war and she anticipated more soldiers so she silently hid the dead bodies and stood guard at the crevice. And true to her anticipation, more soldiers were crawling which she pounded on their head and dragged their bodies aside.

 When Kahale Mudda Hanuma returned to the crevice after lunch he was shocked to see Obavva standing there with a blood-soaked dress and hands and immediately sounded alert of war and warned others to prepare for battle.

Obavva died the same day however, the cause of death was unknown but the heroic act delayed Hyder Ali’s plan to siege the fort but the last ruler of Chitradurga lost against the Mysore kingdom. 

Obavva displayed exemplary courage who fought the army alone and single-handed however, due to the fact that the battle was lost one could not mar the achievement of Onake Obavva. But with no prior experience in war, she did the task with little resources that she had, and that gives us the lesson of not getting discouraged and to face any challenge with the resources.

Tourism and Legacy

You can still visit the crevice where Obavva killed the soldiers and it is now referred to as Obavvana Kindi. She is a fearless lady and she has a stadium in Chitradurga under her name. In the year 2019, a motion picture movie named Chitradurgada Onake Obavva is based on the legacy of Onake Obavva. 

[ Also Checkout: List of Great Freedom Fighters From Karnataka ]

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