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Sangolli plaque uprooted in treasure hunt

BELGAUM: Call it the Unnao effect. Unidentified miscreants uprooted a memorial plaque of 19th-century freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna in a bid to scoop out hidden treasure from a tract of land in Belgaum district on Monday.

According to police, the car-borne miscreants swooped down on Amatur village in Bailhongal taluk, 46km from Belgaum, between 2am and 4am on Monday, removed the stone installed several decades ago and started digging up the area where the plaque stood.

Sangolli Rayanna is the right-hand man of Kittur Rani Channamma, and the legend has it that he gave away riches to his followers before taking on the British. It’s widely believed — and without conclusion — that the treasure is buried in Amatur.

It is said Rayanna presented a 25-acre land to his sister Thayavva, and its ownership is now with one of the descendants, Ramappa Ningappa Rogannavar. The five-foot-long-and-two-foot-wide memorial stone has carvings of the sun and moon in the top, and depicts a sword-wielding Sangolli Rayanna in the middle. Family members said the stone may have been installed some time after 1831.

Kranteveera Sangolli Rayanna Samadhi - Nandgad | memorial › IndiaKarnatakaKhanapur
Kranteveera Sangolli Rayanna Samadhi Sangolli Rayanna's mortal remains lie buried below this Banyan tree.

Sangolli Rayanna

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'Krantiveer' Sangolli Rayanna
Kannadda ಸಂಗೊಳ್ಳಿ ರಾಯಣ್ಣ
Born August 15, 1798
Birthplace Sangolli, Kingdom of Kittur
(Present-day Belgum, Karnataka, India)
Died January 26, 1831
Place of death Nandagad
(Present-day Karnataka, India)
Religious beliefs Hinduism
Sangolli Rayanna (Kannada: ಸಂಗೊಳ್ಳಿ ರಾಯಣ್ಣ) (15 August 1798 – 26 January 1831) was a prominent warrior from Karnataka, India. Rayanna was born on 15th Aug 1798.[citation needed] 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. Rayanna belonged to Kuruba caste.[1] His life was the subject of the 2012 Kannada film Kranthi veera Sangolli Rayanna.

Rayanna's Guerilla War

Sangolli Rayanna also participated in the 1824 rebellion and was arrested by the British, who released him later. He continued to fight the British and wanted to install adopted son Shivalingappa as the ruler of Kittur.[2] He mobilised local people and started a guerilla type war against the British.[2] He and his "army" moved from place to place, burnt government offices, waylaid British troops and plundered treasuries.[2] 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 guerilla warfare in India.[3] 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.[2] Shivalingappa, the boy who was supposed to be the new ruler, was also arrested by the British.[2]
Rayanna was executed by hanging to death from a Banyan tree about 4 kilometers from Nandagad in Belgaum district on 26th Jan 1831. [4]
Rayanna was helped by Gajaveera, a Siddi warrior, in his revolt against the British in 1829-30.[5]

Memorial to Rayanna

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. An Ashoka Stambha was installed near the tree. 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.[6] A community hall, built in commemoration of Rayanna at Sangolli serves the villagers of Sangolli.[6]

In popular culture


The Gee Gee songs (Ballad) are heroic folklore verses composed in North Karnataka[7] and several such songs are sung about Kittur Chennamma, Sangolli Rayanna and other figures of pre-independence Karnataka.[8]

Motion picture

In 1967, a motion picture was produced on his life history.[9] Again in 2012, his life was the subject of another Kannada-language motion picture "Kraanthiveera Sangolli Rayanna" (Legendary Warrior Sangolli Rayanna), directed by Naganna and starring Darshan Thoogudeep, Jayaprada and Nikita Thukral.[9]


  1. Jump up ^ India. Parliament. House of the People, India. Parliament. Lok Sabha (1999). Lok Sabha Debates. New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat. p. 524.
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Gopalakrishnan(Editor), Subramanian; Gopalakrishnan, edited by S. (2007). The South Indian rebellions : before and after 1800 (1st ed. ed.). Chennai: Palaniappa Brothers. p. 103. ISBN 9788183795005.
  3. Jump up ^ Freedom fighters of India, Volume 3 edited by Lion M. G. Agrawal
  4. Jump up ^ R P, Sambasadashiva Reddy. "Miscellany". Deccan Herald, Bangalore. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  5. Jump up ^ Ali, Shanti Sadiq (1996). The African dispersal in the Deccan : from medieval to modern times. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan. p. 232. ISBN 9788125004851.
  6. ^ Jump up to: a b Siddeshwar. "Sangolli, Turmari and Hunsikatti". Siddeshwar,Karnatakatravel. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  7. Jump up ^ Khajane, Muralidhara (8 April 2008). "We’ve come for your vote…". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  8. Jump up ^ Datta, Amaresh (Ed.) (1988). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: devraj to jyoti, Volume 2. New Dehi: Sahitya Akademi. p. 1293. ISBN 9788126011940.
  9. ^ Jump up to: a b Khajane, Muralidhara (31 October 2012). "Rajyotsava release for Sangolli Rayanna". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 November 2012.

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