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Current Affairs

Onake Obavva

Date: 12 November 2021 Tags: Historical Places

Issue

The Karnataka government will be celebrating the birth anniversary of Onake Obavva every year on November 11th throughout the state.

 

Background

The birth celebrations of Obavva will be state-sponsored by the Kannada and culture department.

 

Details

Onake Obavva is remembered as a warrior-woman who fought Hyder Ali’s forces single-handedly in Chitradurga using a pestle (‘onake’ in Kannada).

 

History of Obavva

  • Obavva lived in Chitradurga fort, known as Elusuttina Kote, (the fort of seven circles in Kannada). The fort was ruled by Madakari Nayaka.

  • The fort was attacked by the ruler of Mysore and father of Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali. Obavva died fighting trying to defend the fort single-handedly.

 

Protecting the fort

  • Obavva was the wife of a soldier guarding the fort, Kahale Mudda Hanuma. She overheard enemy soldiers planning to enter the fort through a small secret tunnel.

  • She decided to alert her husband about the danger but found him having lunch. She decided to fight them alone using an ‘onake’ or pestle.

  • She hid next to the secret hole and killed each soldier trying to enter the fort by hitting them on head and dragging their body inside.

  • Many of Hyder Ali’s soldiers were already killed by the time her husband discovered the bodies and alerted his soldiers.

  • Obavva was killed during the same time when she failed to spot another Hyder Ali’s soldier, who in turn killed her.

 

Legacy of Obavva

  • She is celebrated as a great warrior along with queens of Karnataka such as Keladi Chennamma, Abbakka Rani and Kittur Chennamma.

  • Obavva’s courage and strength is depicted in folklores. The hole through which soldiers entered the fort is named as ‘Onake Obavvana Kindi’ (kindi means hole in Kannada).

 

Honours

The state government of Karnataka has formed ‘Obavva squads’ to protect and educate women. This includes patrolling the cities to look out for incidents such as eve-teasing, drug abuse, sexual exploitation etc.