Chennamma tactfully negotiated trade
treaties with the Arabs and the Portuguese to carry on trade along the
seacoast under her rule. It was very convenient - and also profitable -
to import the various commodities her kingdom needed. She traded with the
Arabs for horses so necessary for the protection of Keladi. The Arabs and
the Portuguese bought the rice and the pepper grown in the MaInad areas.
This enriched the kingdom.
Meanwhile Basappa Nayaka, the adopted
son, had come of age. Trained by Chennamma, he was now learned in statecraft.
He was courteous, virtuous and valiant. The Queen had the confidence that
he could rule the kingdom well. She made over to him the major share in
She then spent most of her time in
the service of others. She also went on a pilgrimage and visited the Aghoreshwara.
Temple at Ikkeri, the Mookambike Temple at Kollur and.the Sharadamba Temple
at Shringeri. She gifted lands to the temples she visited to that worship
could go on in these temples round the year.
Meanwhile she also captured Hulikere
near Basavapattana. The fort there was in ruins. She got it rebuilt. After
came to the throne, he renamed it.
Chennagiri in honour of his mother.
Queen Chennamma got a beautiful chariot
made and dedicated it to the temple of Lord Neelakanteshwara of Venipura
Bidanur. She made arrangements for
the Neelakanteshwara, fair to be held every year. She gave liberal gifts
of land and gold to the temple of her family deity Rameshwara and Veerabhadreshwara
of Keladi and also to the temple of Goddess Mookambike of Kollur, so that
the worship in those temples might go on without any difficulty. The tower
of the Veera- bhadreshwara Temple at Keladi was rebuilt by her and a flag-pillar
was erected. She offered gifts to the temples at Kashi, Rameshwara, Shrishaila
and Tirupati. She also built monasteries for the Veershaiva monks and Agraharas
for Shaivas and Vaishnavas.
She ruled over Keladi very ably and
nobly from 1671 to 1696. Her life was a life of fame and grandeur. She
was always pious and god-fearing.
When she was on her death-bed, the
righteous Queen called her son and said, "Basappa Nayaka, the task of protecting
and developing the kingdom of Keladi founded by Chowdappa Nayaka, is now
yours. Conduct yourself according to the words of our saints. Let your
speech be a string of pearl3. Never should you sin, and you must live to
uphold truth, kindness and righteousness. Do not waste time in bad habits.
Devote your time to good deeds. Look after the people of Keladi as your
children. You must share their joys and sorrows. Earn a good name, and
bring fame to the royal house and to the kingdom.
"Let Keladi State be the home of happiness.
Let the people be satisfied and joyful. And may God bless you."
The pious and virtuous woman, the brave
and intelligent Queen, breathed her last in Shravana, a holy month of Hindus.
Basappa Nayaka and the people of Keladi were in deep grief. Chennamma was
laid to rest in the Koppalu monastery in Bidanur.