Rani Chennamma


Commemorating the 200th anniversary of Rani Chennamma’s  rebellion, social groups across India are organizing a national campaign called “Naanoo Rani Chennamma” (I am Rani Chennamma too).

Rani Chennamma

Rani Chennamma (23 October 1778 – 21 February 1829) was the Indian Queen of Kittur, a former princely state in present-day Karnataka. She led an armed resistance against the British East India Company, in defiance of the Paramountcy, in an attempt to retain control over her dominion. She defeated the Company In the first revolt, but died as a prisoner of war after the second rebellion.


Early life

Rani Chennamma was born on 23 October 1778 in the town of Kakati, near Belgaum, Karnataka. She was the daughter of Desai Mallasarja and his wife, Venkatalakshmi. Mallasarja was a chieftain who served under the Raja of Kittur. Chennamma was educated in Kannada, Sanskrit, and Marathi. She was also trained in horse riding, swordsmanship, and archery.


Marriage and family

In 1793, Chennamma was married to Raja Mallasarja of Kittur. The couple had one son, Shivalingappa. Mallasarja died in 1816, leaving Chennamma to rule Kittur as regent for her young son.

Rani of Kittur

As Rani of Kittur, Chennamma was a strong and capable ruler. She was known for her administrative skills, her military prowess, and her devotion to her ppeople In 1824, the British East India Company began to assert its dominance over the princely states of India. The Company demanded that Kittur pay tribute and accept a British Resident in the state. Chennamma refused to comply with these demands.


First Anglo-Kittur War

In 1824, the British East India Company launched an attack on Kittur. Chennamma led her forces in a fierce resistance, but they were eventually defeated. The British captured Kittur and imprisoned Chennamma.


Second Anglo-Kittur War

In 1829, Chennamma escaped from prison and led a second revolt against the British. She was joined by her deputy, Sangolli Rayanna. The rebels fought bravely, but they were again defeated by the British.


Chennamma was captured and imprisoned at Bailhongal Fort, where she died on 21 February 1829.


Rani Chennamma is remembered as a folk hero in Karnataka. She is an important symbol of the Indian independence movement. Her courage and determination continue to inspire people all over India.