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Sangolli Rayanna (Kannada ಸಂಗೊಳ್ಳಿ ರಾಯಣ್ಣ )(B: 15-Aug-1798 – D: 26-Jan-1831) was a prominent freedom fighter from Karnataka, India. He fought the British till his death. He was the army chief of the Kingdom of Kittur ruled at the time by Rani Chennamma. Rayanna was born in the small village of Sangolli, he belonged to the Kuruba Gowda caste and hence a warrior. A film was made on his life and achievements.

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Kittur War

When the British wanted to secede the kingdom to their empire by putting forward the doctrine of lapse as Rani Chennamma’s son was adopted, the queen refused to secede her kingdom after her husband’s death. Aided by Rayanna, she fought British bravely but was defeated and imprisoned.

Rayannas Guerrilla War

Sangolli Rayanna continued to fight the British. His land was confiscated, and of what remained of it was heavily taxed. He taxed the landlords and built up an army from the masses. He used guerrilla tactics to attack government property; burnt land records and extracted huge sums of money from notorious landlords and bureaucrats. Rayanna is considered by many historians as the pioneer of guerrilla warfare in India. He continued this warfare till 1829.

The landlords along with the British forced his father in law Laxman to cheat Sangolli Rayanna. When Rayanna was having a bath, the British army attacked. By that time Rayanna's sword was in Laxman's hand. When Rayanna asked him to give the sword, Laxman gave it to British army and they arrested Rayanna and hanged.

Finally, he was captured by treachery and hanged in Nandagad in Belgaum district. At the time of being hanged he said "My last wish is to be born again in the country to fight against the British and drive them away from our sacred soil".

Ballads

The famous Gee Gee songs (Ballad) are heroic verses composed on Kittur Chennamma, Sangolli Rayanna and other valiant characters from the noble stock of pre-independence Karnataka.

External links

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