Kittur Rani Chennamma
14 November 1778
|Died||21 February 1829 (aged 50)|
|Other names||Rani Chennamma, Kittur Rani Chennamma|
|Known for||1824 Revolt against the British East India Company|
Kittur Chennamma (14 November 1778 – 21 February 1829) was the Indian Queen (Rani) of Kittur, a princely state in Karnataka. She led an armed resistance against the British East India Company (BEIC) in 1824 in defiance of the doctrine of lapse in an attempt to maintain Indian control over the region, in which she defeated them, but she died in the imprisonment of second rebellion by the British East India Company. One of the first female rulers to rebel against British rule, she became a folk hero in Karnataka and symbol of the independence movement in India.
Kittur Chennamma was born on 14 November 1778, in Kakati, a small village in the present Belagavi District of Karnataka, India. She belonged to the Lingayat community and received training in horse riding, sword fighting and archery from a young age. She married Raja Mallasarja of the Desai family at the age of 15. 
Chennamma's husband died in 1824, leaving her with a son and a state full of volatility. This was followed by her son's death in 1824. Rani Chennamma was left with the state of Kittur and an uphill task to maintain its independence from the British. Following the death of her husband and son, Rani Chennamma adopted Shivalingappa in the year 1824 and made him heir to the throne. This irked the East India Company, who ordered Shivalingappa's expulsion, on the pretext of the Doctrine of Lapse introduced by Lord Dalhousie, the then Governor General, to annex independent Indian States in 1848. This doctrine was based on the idea that in case the ruler of an independent state died childless, the right of ruling the State reverted or ‘lapsed’ to the sovereign. The state of Kittur came under the administration of Dharwad collectorate in charge of St John Thackeray of which Mr. Chaplin was the commissioner, both of whom did not recognize the new ruler and regent and notified Kittur to accept the British regime.
Rani Chennamma sent a letter to Mountstuart Elphinstone, Lieutenant-Governor of the Bombay Presidency pleading her cause, but the request was turned down, and war broke out. The British tried to steal the treasure and jewels of Kittur, valued at around 1.5 million rupees. They attacked with a force of 20,797 men and 437 guns, mainly from the third troop of Madras Native Horse Artillery. In the first round of war, during October 1824, British forces lost heavily and St John Thackeray, collector and political agent, was killed in the war. Amatur Balappa, a lieutenant of Chennamma, was mainly responsible for his killing and losses to British forces. Two British officers, Sir Walter Elliot and Mr. Stevenson were also taken as hostages. Rani Chennamma released them with an understanding with Chaplin that the war would be terminated but Chaplin continued the war with more forces. During the second assault, subcollector of Solapur, Munro, nephew of Thomas Munro was killed. Rani Chennamma fought fiercely with the aid of her deputy, Sangolli Rayanna, but was ultimately captured and imprisoned at Bailhongal Fort, where she died on 21 February 1829. Chennamma was also helped by Gurusiddappa in the war against British.
Sangolli Rayanna continued the guerrilla war to 1829, in vain, until his capture. Rani chennamma died due to health deterioration (But folklore says she died after knowing the news of Rayanna's capture by swallowing ring's diamond as she gave up the hope)  Rayanna wanted to install the adopted boy Shivalingappa as the ruler of Kittur, but Sangolli Rayanna was caught and hanged. Shivalingappa was arrested by the British. Chennamma's legacy and first victory are still commemorated in Kittur, during the Kittur Utsava held on 22–24 October every year.
Rani Chennamma's samadhi or burial place is in Bailhongal.
On 11 September 2007 a statue of Rani Chennamma was unveiled at the Indian Parliament Complex by Pratibha Patil, the first woman President of India. On the occasion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, BJP leader L. K. Advani, Karnataka Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy and others were present, marking the importance of the function. The statue was donated by Kittur Rani Chennamma Memorial Committee and sculpted by Vijay Gaur.
There are also statues commemorating her at Bengaluru, Belagavi, Kittur and Hubballi.
|author2=has generic name (help)