Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Onake Obavva

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Name  Onake Obavva
Died  Chitradurga
Spouse  Mudda Hanuma
A lady wearing a fancy dress of an Onake Obavva.

Similar  Madakari Nayaka, Kittur Chennamma, Abbakka Chowta, Keladi Chennamma, Hyder Ali
Community  Holayas (Chalavadi)

Spouse  Kahale Mudda Hanuma

Born  11 November

Onake obavva performed by niveditha

Onake Obavva (18th Century) (Kannada: ಓಬವ್ವ; Hindi: ओबव्वा) was a woman who fought the forces of Hyder Ali single-handedly with a pestle (Onake) in the kingdom of Chitradurga of Karnataka, India. Her husband was a guard of a watchtower in the rocky fort of Chitradurga. In the state of Karnataka, she is celebrated along with Abbakka Rani, Keladi Chennamma and Kittur Chennamma, as the foremost women warriors and patriots.


Onake Obavva, a Hindu warrior who fought the forces of Hyder Ali single-handedly with a pestle in the kingdom of Chitradurga of Karnataka, India.

Onake obavva of chitradurga vob

Heroics of Obavva

Onake Obavva, was a Hindu warrior who fought with a long pestle, wearing an orange and yellow dress and wearing gold accessories.

During the reign of Madakari Nayaka, the city of Chitradurga was besieged by the troops of Hyder Ali (1754-1779). 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 (Kahale Mudda Hanuma, 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 from a pond which was near the hole in the rocks, halfway up the hill. 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. Mudda Hanuma, 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. She belonged to the Holayas (Chalavadi) community. 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.

A poster showing the great and fearless Onake Obavva.

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. 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.

Onake Obavva, a Hindu warrior who fought with a pestle, wearing an Indian traditional dress with gold accessories.

Onake Obavva holding a big pestle.

Statue of an Onake Obavva

Statue of an Onake Obavva

A young lady wearing an Indian traditional dress.


Onake Obavva Wikipedia