Akka Mahadevi (ಅಕ್ಕ ಮಹಾದೇವಿ) or Mahadevi or Mahadeviyakkha, a brilliant medieval Kannada poet, rebel and mystic, was a prominent figure of the Veerashaiva Bhakti movement of the 12th century Karnataka. Her Vachanas in Kannada, a form of didactic poetry are considered her greatest contribution to Kannada Bhakti literature. It is said that she was the first woman to write Vachanas in Kannada literature. In all she wrote about 430 Vachanas which is relatively fewer than that compared to some other saints of her time. Yet the term 'Akka' (elder Sister) which is an honorific given to her by great Veerashaiva saints like Basavanna, Chenna Basavanna, Kinnari Bommayya, Siddharama, Allamaprabhu and Dasimayya speaks volumes of her contribution to the movement that was underway. She is in hindsight seen as a great and inspirational woman for Kannada literature and the history of Karnataka. She is said to have accepted the god Shiva ('Chenna Mallikarjuna') as her husband, traditionally understood as the 'madhura bhava' or 'madhurya' form of devotion (similar to how centuries later Meera, a 16th century saint, considered herself married to Krishna).
Born in Udutadi (or Udugani) near the ancient city of Banavasi (in Shikaripura taluk Shimoga district). Shelived in the 12th Century in the south of India. She worked for the welfare of women.
From an early age she was initiated into the worship of Shiva. She considered this initiation to b..