Fifty six years before the Great Revolt, the warrior queen of Kittur from southern India waged a heroic war against the British.
This Queen of Kittur was known as Kittur Rani Channamma. She was born in 1778 CE and was married to Raja Mallasaraja. During that time Kittur was a small princely state in Belgum district. Rani Channamma received training in archery, sword fighting, horse riding and statecraft.
After the death of her husband and son (Shivalinga Rudradarja) in 1816 and 1824 CE, Rani Channamma took over the as regent of the state on behalf of Shivalinga Rudradarja’s adopted son, Shivalinagappa. This adoption faced a resistance from the British due to the Doctrine of Lapse.
In 1824, Rani Channamma personally led a force to resist this foreign domination and defeated British’s. The defeat at the hands of smaller kingdom like Kittur was not accepted to mighty East India Company, the Commissioner of Deccan, Chaplin collected a huge force against Kittur in December 1824 CE.
The forces of Kittur were overpowered by the combine forces of British’s with help of Divided and Rule policy. Rani Channamma was kept as prisoner in Bailhongal Fort where she died on February 21, 1829 CE.
Today on 23rd October 1824, Rani Channamma fought with the British forces for the freedom of her Kingdom. To celebrate the bravery of this great daughter of India, India Post has issued a commemorative stamp in 1977.