Onake Obavva

When Hyder Ali invaded the Chitradurga Fortress, Onake Obavva fought against him. She died in battle with the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore.


Onake is a Kannada word for pestle. Onake is a long wooden club used to crush rice grains. With her Onake in one hand, she fought with the mighty army of Haider Aly. Therefore, the legend was named Onake Obavva after the weapon.

About Onake Obavva

She was Kahale Mudda Hanuma’s wife. He was a soldier guarding the fortress. One day, Obavva heard the sound of Hyder Ali’s soldiers while drawing water. They tried to enter the fortress through a small hole. The hole was big enough for one person to crawl. When she heard the soldiers talking, she hurried home and told her husband about it. But since he was having lunch, she decided to fight them alone. She used her “mortar” (pestle) to kill the soldier. She beat all the soldiers on her head when they emerged from the opening. Then she dragged the bodies into the wall. When her husband arrived, she already had killed several soldiers of Hyder Ali. After Obavva’s attack, her husband went to the fort and warned the army.

Madakari Nayaka’s soldiers attacked and killed the Haider Ali army. However, she missed the last intruder and was killed by him. “Onake Obavva Kindi” is the name that has been given to the hole used by Hyder Ali’s soldiers.

About Onake Obavva Jayanti

The state government of Karnataka, in the year 2021, decided to celebrate Onake Obavva’s birth anniversary. It will be celebrated on 11th November every year.

Obavaa’s Significance

She is the epitome of Kannada’s pride and is celebrated with other warriors in Karnataka, such as Abbakka Rani the first Tuluva Queen on the coast of Karnataka who fought the Portuguese. Keladi Chennamma the Queen of the Kingdom of Keladi, best known in the fight against Aurangzeb of the Mughal Empire and Kittur Chennamma the Queen of Kittur, best known for the rebellion against the British East India Company in the year 1824.

In the year 2018, Chitradurga police, inspired by Onake Obavva, founded Obavva Pade, a group of female police officers who are supposed to educate  and protect women in the district.