I have read the story of onake obavva as a kid in text books and the story has stuck on to me.
Hyder Ali planned to attack the fort of Chitradurga , during the reign of Madakari Nayaka. He found the fort impenetrable. But one day, one of Hyder Ali's men saw a woman going into a small hole in the rocks and enter the fort.
Hyder Ali's army planned to enter the fort through that hole. The hole was always guarded from the inside.
One day the guard who was on vigil left the hole and sat to have his lunch.His wife Obavva , a devoted wife went to get some water for her husband and on hearing a noise reached the hole. She saw Hyder Ali's men slowly crawling inside the hole trying to enter into the fort, She did not want to trouble her husband who has been on vigil for long hours and has only now sat down to eat. So she quietly reached the hole with a onake (wooden pestle used to pound grains) in her hand . As soon as the enemy soldier's head appeared out of the hole she hit it hard with her onake and dragged the body out of the hole. The next soldier now entered noiselessly without any suspicion and became a victim of Obavva's onake.Soon she had them in a heap around her.
Unknown to Obavva one man had already escaped into the fort before she came to the hole. That soldier came back in search of the other men and when he saw Obavva striking the soldiers, struck her from behind with a knife , Obavva fell, but not before raising the alarm and warning her husband .By her brave efforts Obawa helped repel Hyder Ali's army.
Obavva is since a legend known for her pure heart and bravery, and occupies a special place in the hearts of the people and the history of Karnataka.