Onake Obavva

When we think of empires of the bygone years, the first thought which comes to mind is of warriors, fighters on horses, and those magnum opus wars. Many great fighters like Rani Laxmibai, Tipu Sultan, etc. are there in our history books and also have made a place in our minds. One such example is of the courage and bravery shown by Onake Obavva, who herself is a figure to reckon with in the state of Karnataka.

Onake Obavva and the history of Chitradurga Fort go hand in hand. She is known as a Karnataka Warrior who withstood Hyder Ali’s cruel soldiers till her last breath.

Freedom fighters and their contributions are an important part of Modern Indian History for UPSC Preparation. Candidates can get details about the Women Freedom Fighters at the linked article.

Modern Indian History is a vast and important section of the General Studies Paper 1 in the UPSC Syllabus. The historical backdrop of the Indian Freedom Struggle would be incomplete without citing the contributions of women.

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Onake Obavva Jayanthi

Onake Obavva date of birth is 11th November. The Karnataka Government took up the initiative to celebrate Onake Obavva Jayanti from 2021. Recently, PM Narendra Modi also remembered Obavva for her good deeds and described her as a symbol of Nari Shakti.

Onake Obavva was an untrained woman of fights who could turn the tide if the situation demanded. Being the female pride of Karnataka and the whole country, Onake Obavva’s name is always included among the most daring, fearless champions ever.

Also, IAS and government exam aspirants must go through the list of important days and dates of national and international importance for the exam preparation.

Significance of the Chitradurga Fort and Obavva’s Valour

Located 70 km northwest of Bangalore is the huge Chitradurga Fort. It is known for its fierce battles as it was between two powerful kingdoms of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Ruled by the Nayakas – Madakari Nayaka IV in the 18th century, Hyder Ali was the ruler of Mysore who decided to attack the fort one day. But, little did he know about the walls of the fort, which were secure and extremely well built. All numerous efforts went into vain. Hyder Ali never has ambitions to succeed and conquer the fort. In one such instance, a man who was a regular visitor at the fort found out that there was a hole in the fort amongst the rocks. That was it, and Hyder Ali’s soldiers went ahead to attack the fort.

The fort was always guarded by Kahale Mudda Hanuma, Onake Obavva’s husband. Her story of bravery is well etched into people’s minds and is amongst the top episodes in the folklore of Karnataka.

As her husband had gone for lunch, Obavva decided to safeguard the fort. In the meantime, as she went ahead to fetch some water for her husband, she noticed Hydel Ali’s army trying to penetrate the fort through the hole. She intelligently used the Onake or pestle to kill the soldiers one by one by hitting them on the head. Such was her brilliance that she quietly moved the dead soldiers without raising any suspicions to the rest of the troops.

She didn’t have any prior training in warfare, yet she didn’t let herself down and continued the lone fight till her last moment. She laid her life down with her bravery and saved the fort from Hyder Ali’s clutches for that day.

Given below are a few other related links for candidate’s reference:

Battle of Pollilur

Who helped Hyder Ali during wars?

Who were the enemies of Hyder Ali?

Who was the father of Hyder Ali?

Which region did Hyder Ali agree to cede to the Marathas?

First Anglo Mysore War & Second Anglo Mysore War

Obavva’s Unmatched Legacy

Obavanna Kindi- The crevice guarded by her is now named in her honour. To keep her legacy alive, Chitradurga Fort Onake Obavva has a stadium, Veere Vanithe Onake Obavva Stadium, named after her. A statue made by Ashok Gudigar is placed in front of the District Commissioner’s office in Chitradurga. In fact, in 2019, a movie named Chitradurga Onake Obavva shows her true intentions and her love for the fort. Her efforts were picturized in the song ‘Nagarahavu’.

Obavva Pade – All Women Squad:

Obavva Pade, Inspired by her, is an all-women squad that started to protect and educate women as they interact with children in schools amongst others to train in self-defense. It also works on the issue of crimes against women and makes sure that all the public places in Karnataka are safe and accessible to them. These initiatives have been implemented by the Bengaluru West division and Shivamogga district police.

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