Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna

Sangolli Rayanna at Majestic, BangaloreSangolli Rayanna (Kannada: ಸಂಗೊಳ್ಳಿ ರಾಯಣ್ಣ)  (15 August 1798 – 26 January 1831) was a prominent warrior from Karnataka, India. He was the army chief of the Kingdom of Kittur ruled at the time by Rani Chennamma and fought the British East India Company till his death.

When the British wanted to annex the kingdom to their empire in 1824, the queen of Kittur, Rani Chennamma, refused to secede her kingdom after her husband’s death. Chennamma fought the British, defeated them – causing huge damage – and killed Thackeray, taking two British officers as prisoners. The British renewed their attack and annexed the kingdom of Chennamma in 1824. Sangolli Rayanna also participated in the 1824 rebellion and was arrested by the British, who released him later. He mobilized local people and started a guerrilla type war against the British. He and his “army” moved from place to place, burnt government offices, waylaid British troops and plundered treasuries. Most of his land was confiscated and what remained of it was heavily taxed. He taxed the landlords and built up an army from the masses. Rayanna is considered by many historians to be the pioneer of guerrilla warfare in India. The British troops could not defeat him in open battle. Hence, by treachery, he was caught in April 1830 and tried by the British; and sentenced to death. Rayanna was executed by hanging to death from a Banyan tree about 4 kilometers from Nandagad in Belgaum district on 26th Jan 1831. Note that we celebrate Republic Day on the same day.

Rayanna’s mortal remains were buried near Nandagad. Legend says that a close associate of Rayanna planted a Banyan sapling on his grave. Unlike the usual 6 foot grave, Rayanna’s grave is 8 feet long because Rayanna was tall – more than 7 feet. The tree is fully grown and stands to this day. A small temple in the name of Sangolli Rayanna was constructed at Sangolli village, in which stands a statue of Rayanna flanked by two wooden weights used for body building. One of the wooden weights is original, i.e., it was used by Rayanna himself for body building.

— Information from Wikipedia —

 This statue is located at the north corner of the Bangalore (BMTC) Kempegowda bus stand.



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