Kittur Utsav : Kittur fest on the lines of Hampi Utsav ON OCTOBER 23 AND 24
Rani Chennamma of Kittur :80 (1778-1829) received training in horse riding , sword fighting and archery in her young age. She was married to Raja Mullasarja of Kittur, a princely state in Belgaum in Karnataka. Her husband died in 1816. Her only son died in 1824. Chennamma adopted Shivalingappa as her son and made him heir to the throne. The British did not accept this and ordered the expulsion of Shivalingappa. The Rani defied the order. A great battle ensued. The Rani fought the British with great courage and skill. She could not, however, hold out for long. She was taken captive and lodged in Bailhongal Fort where she died in early 1829.
Rani Chennamma’s home exists only in folklore
|Rani Chennamma’s descendants want the Government to take over the land Her descendants want the Government to take over the land and build a memorial|
IN NEGLECT: The birthplace of Kittur Rani Chennamma at Kakati near Belgaum. — Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash
BELGAUM: Kakati, the place where Kittur Rani Chennamma was born and grew up, may soon become nothing more than a name from the past if it continues to face callous neglect.
There will be nothing left but ruins of the fortress where Chennamma’s forefathers stored arms and evolved strategies against their enemies.
The palace where little Chennamma must have led a privileged childhood has been taken over by the present owners, who bought the crumbling edifice in an auction about 50 years ago. They never lived in Kakati, and today the one-and-a-half-acre plot is covered by overgrowth and some trees.
The majestic arches and pillars, the meeting hall and the massive yard where a couple of elephants could amble into can only be imagined.
Nearly 20 families belonging to the Desai clan live in the village and they all have one wish — that the Government should take over the land, build a memorial for Chennamma at her birthplace, and organise an annual Kakati Utsav to coincide with the Kittur Utsav every year. Leelavathi Desai, whose husband took great deal of interest in keeping the hoary history of the family and its legendary queen alive, says: “The Chief Minister promised that he would visit the village and spend some time with us.”
As it happens, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has been dashing up and down the highway several times in the past week, just a stone’s throw away from the village street of Kakati, but has not been able to find time to visit the place, much to the chagrin of the Desais.
S.D. Patil, who runs a clinic at Kakati and is president of Veer Rani Kittur Chennamma Samiti, relates a string of interesting facts about the village. It is dominated by Marathi-speaking people. Only 40 per cent of the 20,000 residents are Kannadigas. The gram panchayat has an equal number of Marathis and Kannadigas, and it took a 25-year struggle before the gram panchayat sanctioned a statue of Chennamma for the village, which was unveiled last year by Governor T.N. Chaturvedi. Ms. Leelavathi’s brother-in-law, Sadanand Desai, who lives in the U.S., maintains a website dedicated to Chennamma and the clan. But with the last bit of the palace having disappeared 20 years ago, they have to rely on history passed down in the oral tradition.
The journey of the great queen begins
SYMBOL OF VALOUR: The statue of Kittur Rani Chennamma which will be installed in Delhi.
Kittur (Belgaum Dt.): The atmosphere in Kittur town was filled with excitement as the life-sized statue of Kittur Rani Chennamma began its journey by road to New Delhi on Sunday.
On reaching the national capital after 10 days, the magnificent statue of Rani Chennamma astride a horse will be installed on the premises of the Parliament House. This would mark the realisation of a longstanding dream of the people of the State.
The statue, which was sculpted at Miraj in Maharashtra, was brought here for a ceremonial farewell. Although there was widespread enthusiasm among the people, the official ceremony turned out to be a somewhat dull affair, thanks to the absence of many prominent personalities from Belgaum district.
Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Basavaraj Horatti, Suresh Marihal, MLA for Kittur, and Vishwanath Mamne, MLA for Savadatti, were the only prominent persons present.
Minister for Social Welfare Balachandra L. Jarkiholi, who is from the district, the Lok Sabha members from the district Suresh C. Angadi and Ramesh Jigajinagi and the Kanara Lok Sabha (covering Kittur Assembly segment of Belgaum district) member Anantkumar Hegde, and 18 other legislators from the district were conspicuous by their absence. Tatyasaheb Desai, a descendant of Rani Chennamma was present.
Later, talking to The Hindu, Kittur Rani Chennamma Smarak Samiti president Shivanand Koujalgi, former MP, said the State Government had contributed Rs.10 lakhs for the project.
A sum of Rs. 16 lakhs was spent on the statue.
The parents of children studying in the Kittur Rani Chennamma Residential School contributed handsomely for the project and there were generous donations from the local people. The statue has been beautifully sculpted by Vijay Gujar.
But one is disappointed that the hand wielding the sword has not been raised high. When asked, Mr. Gujar attributed the change in the design to the suggestion of the samiti members.
Rani Chennamma was born in 1978. She was married to Raja Mallasarja, one of the illustrious rulers of the princely state of Kittur in Belgaum district.
After the death of her husband in 1816, the young queen took over the reins of the state.
The then collector at Dharwad Thackeray held the adoption of Shivaling Rudrasarja as her son invalid. This enraged the queen.
In the battle that followed the British army was defeated and Thackeray was killed on October 23, 1824.
On December 3, 1824 the British with their superior weaponry defeated the Kittur army and took Rani Chennamma captive, by deception.
The Kittur territory was merged with Belgaum district and the queen was kept in confinement at Bailhongal where she breathed her last on February 21, 1829.
Her revolt against the British imperialism became legendary with Rani Chennamma being glorified as the first woman freedom fighter of India.
ON OCTOBER 23 AND 24, 2006
|Kittur fest on the lines of Hampi Utsav|
The State government has decided to celebrate Kittur Utsav in a grand manner and on the lines of Hampi Utsav this time round.
A series of programmes are slated to be held during the two-day Utsav at Kittur on October 23 and 24. Noted artists, litterateurs and ministers from the State and Union Cabinet will figure in the programmes to be held during the festival.
The festival will be inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Planning M V Rajasekaran at a function scheduled at 5 pm. Kittur MLA Suresh Marihal will preside over the function. Before inauguration of the Utsav, a torch (Vijay Jyoti) will be taken from the grave of Rani Chennamma at Bailhongal to Kittur. The Vijay Jyoti will be taken to Kittur after a function at Bailhongal at 8 am on October 23.
The State government is spending Rs 1.5 crore for the development of the historic fort and palace of Rani Chennamma at Kittur and also the museum in the fort premises. The State government has already begun developing these structures which were in a pathetic state for several decades.
The Archaeological department will spend Rs 1 crore while the department of Tourism will spend Rs 50 lakh towards development of the historic town. A sum of Rs 45 lakh will be spent on development of the ruined fort and Rs 15 lakh on the historic palace, by the Archaeological department. Another Rs 30 lakh will be spent on improvement and renovation of the museum.
KITTUR RANI CHENNAMMA (1778 – 1829)
Chennamma received training in horse riding , sword fighting and archery in her young age. She was married to Raja Mullasarja of Kittur, a princely state of Belgaum in Karnataka. Her husband died in 1816. Her only son died in 1824. Chennamma adopted Shivalingappa as her son and made him heir to the throne. The British did not accept this and ordered the expulsion of Shivalingappa. The Rani defied the order. A great battle ensued. The Rani fought the British with great courage and skill. She could not, however, hold out for long. She was taken captive and lodged in Bailhongal Fort where she died on 21-02-1829.http://www.geocities.com/dakshina_kan_pa/art31/women1.htm
|Chalukyas ruled Dharwad during 12th century. A stone inscription indicates that there was ruler by the name BhaskaraDeva in 1117 AD. Later Dharwad became a part of the Vijayanagara empire. After then fall of the Vijayanagara empire(1453 AD), Bijapur’s Adil Shah captured Dharwad and built a fort. The fort area was called MannaKille, and later Nazratabad. With this fort , the strategic importance of Dharwad increased and it thus became part of everyone’s empire, Auranjeb, Shivaji ,Auranjeb’s son Mu Azam, Peshwe Balaji Rao, Hidar Ali, Tipu Sultan and finally British.|
During early 19th century , when British were expanding their kingdom , they faced lot of opposition from local rulers.To mention two of them, Baba Saheb of Naragund and Kittur Rani Chennamma.
Dharwad was peaceful for much part of late the 19th century. During those times, the British started English Medium school in Dharwad in 1848 and in 1856, started town municipality. Later in 1863, the Bassel Mission organization started another school. In 1867 British opened another school, Varmal school, which later on became known as Training college. In 1883, the municipality area included Sidapur, Lakamanhalli, Haveri Pete, Bagtalan, Madihal, Galaganjikop, Malapur, Kamalapur, Narayanpur, Saptapur, Atti kolla and Hosayellapur. The British government also established the Railway station in 1888.
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