Mother To The Subjects
Thimmanna Nayaka got together the chieftains
and brave soldiers from all parts of Keladi and raised an army. He marched
towards Bidanur. The soldiers of Bijapur, who were proud of their seizure
of Bidanur were marching towards Bhuvanagirii to capture it. In the midst
of the thick forest and in a narrow pass, the Sultan's soldiers fell into
the hands of the heroic Kannada warriors. The men of Keladli knew the terrain
quite well; they destroyed the Bijapur army and went to Bidanur. The people
there were overjoyed at the arrival of the Kannada soldiers. They opened
the gates wide and welcomed them.
The people of Keladi, one and all,
accepted Chennamma as their ruler. In 1671 Chennamma was crowned as the
Queen in the fortress of Bhuvanagiri. The Queen now took over the entire
adminis- tration into her hands. She honoured the chiefs and soldiers,
who had helped in the fight for Bidanur, suitably with money, gold, lands
and high offices. The kingdom had become worn out with chaos and misrule.
The Queen brought peace and happiness to it. She again enforced the system
which had been formulated by Shivappa Nayaka. She arranged forspecial temple
honours and worship with great pomp to the deities of Rameshwara, Aghoreshwara
and Goddess Mookambike, whose grace, she felt, had warded off all dangers.
She offered diamond-studded crowns and golden lamps to these deities.
The Queen also arrested both Bharame
Mavuta and Jannopant who were responsible for the death of her husband,
and put them to death. Those who had conspired against her and wanted to
usurp the kingdom were also punished and banished from the kingdom. Queen
Chennamma now ruled over the kingdom ably. She was like a goddess to the
virtuous and like destruction itself to the wicked. She had an 'Agrahara'
- an entire street with houses on either side - formed, and invited scholars
to settle down there. It was named 'Somashekharapura'. Day and night Chennamma
toiled for the welfare of the state.
With the consent of her people she
adopted as her son, a good boy, Basappa Nayaka by name. She expanded the
army and strengthened security at the borders. After her work for the kingdom,
Chennamma spent whatever leisure she had, in meditation and in acts of
charity and kindness. She gave gifts of lands to Mutts and religious institutions.
The Queen respected all the religions and was herself respected by everybody.