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About Course

After the Sangama Dynasties numerous dynasties started to rule in Vijaynagar one after another. this lessons helps to understand the different internecine wars that followed among the succesors after the death of the king and the eventual collapse of the former dynassties by another new dynasties that rule over Vijaynagar.


Saluva is neither a family name nor a clan name. It is a military title meaning the ‘hawk’.These Saluva traced their descent from the yadavas and claimed Kalyani as their place of origin. Narasimha by blood was distantly connected with the Sangama dynasty, an uncle of his by the name of Tippa of Tekel married Harina, a sister of Deva Raya II. Thus he was the cousin to Virupaksha, the last king of that house. But his real claim to the throne was his right to conquest and the universal choice of the people.
Saluva Narasimha(1485-90)
Narasimha began as a small chieftain in about 1456, and by 1485 had put together a large dominion as a result of conquests in the south, as well as campaigns against Orissa; and, although nominally subordinate to Virupaksha, he was performing more extensive military and administrative functions than was his superior. Virupaksha was murdered by one of his sons—who was in turn murdered by his brother—Saluva Narasimha (1485–90) stepped in to remove the new ruler and to begin his own dynasty. An inscription of the Saka year 1395, which corresponds to A.D. 1472 — 73, speaks of Narasimha as a great lord, but a great lord only and so does another of A.D. 1482 — 83. In one of A.D. 1495 — 96, however, he is called “MAHA-RAYA,” or the “king.” But although the exact date of the usurpation and the exact relationship of the usurper to the deposed king may be difficult to ascertain, the fact remains that Narasimha actually became sovereign about this time, that Muhammadan aggression was stayed by his power and the force of his arms, and that the empire of Vijayanagar was under him once more consolidated Saluva Narasimha enjoyed the confidence of the people Usurpation was easier than consolidation, Narasimha spent his reign in relatively successful campaigns to reduce his vassals throughout the kingdom to submission and in unsuccessful attempts to stop the encroachment of the king of Orissa. Narasimha also opened new ports on the west coast so that he could revive the horse trade, which had fallen into Bahmanī hands, and he generally revitalized the army. By 1490 the process of centralization had begun again, and both internal and external political circumstances soon would combine to create better opportunities than ever before. He recovered most of the revolted provinces during his six years rule, though the Raichur Doab remained under the control of the Bahamanis and Udayagiri under that of the Raja of Orissa. At his death in 1491, following the siege of Udayagiri (and his own imprisonment there) by Orissa, Narasimha left his kingdom in the hands of his trusted general Narasa Nayaka, whom he had appointed regent for his two young sons, who claimed descent from a dynasty which ruled over the Tuluva country. Epigraphic evidence disproves the statement of the Muhammadan historians and of Nuniz, that Narasa Nayaka murderd the two sons of his master and Usurped the throne for himself. In reality he remained loyal to the dynasty of his master. The minister in effect ruled Vijayanagar from 1490 until his own death in 1503. Court intrigues led to the murder of the elder prince by one of Narasa’s rivals and to the capture and virtual imprisonment of the younger prince (officially enthroned as Immadi Narasimha) by Narasa in 1492 and managed the affairs of the state as the de facto ruler. It was only when he himself died that his son Vira Narasimha , deposed the last Saluva dynasty in A.D. 1505 and seized the throne for himself. This “ second Usurpation” led to the direct rule of the Tuluva dynasty.
Early in his regency, Narasa Saluva had the opportunity to take advantage of the beginning of the disintegration of the Bahmanī sultanate. He invaded the disputed Tungabhadra-Krishna Doab in 1492–93 at the invitation of the Bahmanī minister, Qāsim Barīd, who was trying to subdue the newly independent Yūsuf ʿĀdil Khan of Bijapur. Narasa took the strategic forts of Raichur and Mudgal; and, although they were lost again in 1502, the growing disunity of the emerging Muslim polities would provide many similar opportunities in the future.
Narasa Saluva also campaigned in the south to restore effective control, which had not existed in many areas since the raid from Orissa in 1463–64. He compelled most of the chiefs and provincial governors to recognize his suzerainty in both Tamil country and Karnataka and nearly restored the old boundaries of the kingdom (some eastern districts were still held by Orissa). By 1503 Narasa had practically completed the process of reconsolidation with which Saluva Narasimha Raya had charged him, although trade restrictions and other impositions by the Portuguese had significantly compromised Vijayanagar’s prestige. He also had made virtually certain that his own line rather than that of his old master would continue to rule. It was during the reigns of his sons that Vijayanagar rose to new heights of political power and cultural eminence.
The third dynasty of Vijaynagar is known by the name of Tuluva. Tulu is a geographical subdivision of Kanataka coinciding with the south Kanara district. The word Tuluva includes all the natives of Tulu regions.
Narasa’s eldest son and successor, best known as Vira Narasimha (1503–09), ended the sham of regency. After ordering the by-then grown Immadi Narasimha’s murder in 1505, he ascended the throne and inaugurated the Tuluva dynasty, the third dynasty of Vijayanagar. The usurpation again provoked opposition, which the new king spent most of his reign attempting to quell. He was successful except in subduing the rebellious chiefs of Ummattur and Seringapatam in the south and in recovering Goa from the Portuguese, with whom, however, he was able to establish relations to obtain a supply of better horses. By this time the Bahmanī wars, in which the successor states had joined, had become a series of annual jihads, or holy wars, maintaining the Bahmanī’s virtual control over the doab forts. Vira Narasimha is described on some copper plates and also by Nuniz as a pious king who distributed gifts as sacred place.
Vira Narasimha was succeeded by his younger brother Krishna Deva Raya(1509-1530) by far the greatest rule of Vijaynagar, and one of the most famous kings in the history of India. He assumed the tile of Yavanasrajyasthapanacharya and is also known as ‘Andhra Bhoja’, for his patronage of art and literature and also as ‘Abhinava Bhoja’, Krishna Deva Raya was a contemporary of Babur. So, when the First Battle of Panipat(1526) was fought, Krishnadeva Raya was was the ruler of Vijayanagar in the southern India. An inscription in the Pampapati temple at Hampe states that on the occasion of a festival in honour of the coronation of Krishna Deva Raya, the king built a hall of assembly and a GOPURA or tower there. Krishna Raya seems to have possessed a very striking personality, to judge from the glowing description given by Paes, who saw him about the year 1520. Krishna Deva was not only monarch DE JURE, but was in very practical fact an absolute sovereign, of extensive power and strong personal influence. He was the real ruler. He was physically strong in his best days, and kept his strength up to the highest pitch by hard bodily exercise. He rose early, and developed all his muscles by the use of Indian clubs and the use of the sword; he was a fine rider, and was blessed with a noble presence which favourably impressed all who came in contact with him. He commanded his immense armies in person, was able, brave, and statesmanlike, and was a man of much gentleness and generosity of character. He was beloved by all and respected by all. Paes writes of him that he was “gallant and perfect in all things.” The only blot is, that after his great success over the Muhammadan king he grew to be haughty and insolent in his demands. No monarch such as the Adil Shah could brook for a moment such a humiliation as was implied by a peace the condition of which was that he should kiss his triumphant enemy’s foot; and it was beyond all doubt this and similar contemptuous arrogance on the part of successive Hindu rulers that finally led, forty years later, to the downfall of the Hindu empire. All Southern India was under Krishna Deva’s sway, and several quasi-independent chiefs were his vassals. These were, according to Nuniz, the chief of Seringapatam, and those of Bankapur, Garsopa, Calicut, Bhatkal, and Barkur.
He first turned his attention towards suppressing the feudatories in the central portion of his empire before Trying to meet his great rivals in the north. Leaving his headquarters towards the end of 1510, he marched against the refractory chief of Ummattur in Southern Mysore and captured the fortress of Sivasamudram(1511-1512) other neighbouring chiefs were also reduced to obedience.
In 1512 Krishna Deva Raya moved towards the Bijapur frontier and took possession of Raichur. Under the advice of his able and experienced minister and general, Saluva Timma, he did not invade the Muhammadan territories but turned against Gajapati Prataparudra of Orissa in 1513 with a view to recovering the territories that his predecessors had captured from Vijaynagar during the reign of the last rulers of the first dynasty.
In 1513 A.D. he marched against Udayagiri, in the present district of Nellore, an exceedingly strong hill-fortress then under the king of Orissa, and after the successful termination of the war he brought with him from a temple on the hill a statue of the god Krishna, which he set up at Vijayanagar and endowed with a grant of lands. This is commemorated by a long inscription still in existence at the capital. It was then that the great temple of Krishnasvami was built, which, though now in ruins, is still one of the most interesting objects in the city. This is also attested by a long inscription on stone, still in its place. The king further built the temple of Hazara Ramasvami near, or in, his palace enclosure, at the same time.

Nuniz relates that at Udayagiri Krishna Raya captured an aunt of the king of Orissa and took her prisoner to Vijayanagar. He next proceeded against Kondavid, another very strong hill-fortress also in possession of the king of Orissa, where he met and defeated the king in person in a pitched battle, and captured the citadel after a two months’ siege. He left Saluva Timma here as a governor of the conquered provinces, and went in pursuit of his enemy northwards. Nuniz says that Saluva Timma appointed his own brother captain of Kondavid, but an inscription at that place gives us the name of this man as Nadendla Gopamantri, and calls him a nephew of Timma. Kondavid seems to have been under the kings of Orissa since A.D. 1454; its capture by Krishna Deva took place in 1515. By the first half of the next year he had captured the strong fortress of Kondavidu and other fortresses of lesser importance in the neighbourhood, in spite of the fact that the Raja of Orissa had received assistance from the Sultans of Golkunda and Bidar. He also took as captives the Gajapati prince, Virabhadra and some other Orissa nobles. The prince was appointed by him as governor of a province. In his third campaign against the King of Orissa, Krishna Deva Raya encamped at Bezwade, laid siege to Kondapalli and captured it. The wife and a son other than Prince Virabhadra of the Raja of Orissa and some Orissa nobles and generals fell into his hands on this occasion also. He then advanced eastwards as far as Simhachalam in the Vizagapatam district and forced his Orissan contemporary to come to terms.
The last great military achievement of Krishna Deva Raya was his victory over Ismail Adil Shah near Raichur on the 19th March, 1520, when the later attempted to recover the Raichur Doab. He is said to have overrun the Bijapur territory and to have razed to the ground the fortress of Gulbarga. In short, the military conquests of Krishan Deva Raya enabled him to humble the pride of his northern foes and to extend the limits of his Empire upto the South Konkan in the west, Vizagapatam in the east and the extreme border of the peninsula in the south, while some islands and coasts f the Indian Ocean were within its spheres of influence. During the last years of his life he devoted his attention to the organisation of the empire in all respects and to works of peaceful administration.

Krishna Deva Raya maintained friendly relations with the Portuguese and granted them some concessions In 1510 the Portuguese governor, Albuquierque, solicited his permission to build a fort at Bhatkal, which was granted after the Portuguese had captured Goa from the Muslims. The Portuguese traveller, paes, praised him in eloquent terms, “ He is the most learned and perfect king that could possibly be, cheerful of disposition and very merry; he is one that seeks to honour foreigners and recives them kindly: asking all about their affairs whatever their condition maybe. He is a great ruler and a man of much justice, but subject to certain fits of rage.. he is by rank a greater lord than any, by reason of what he possessed in armies and territories, but it seems that he has in fact nothing compared to what a man like him ought to have, so gallant and perfect is he in all things.”
The reign of Krisna Deva Raya not only marked the climax in the territorial expansion of the vijaynagar empire, but was also remarkable for the encouragement and development of art and letters. Himself an accomplished scholar, the raya was a generous patron of learning He respected all sects of the Hindu religious zeal and catholicity. His personal leanings were in favour of Vaishnavism. Portuguese travellers Domingo Paes and Durate Barbosa visted his court and have left accounts. The accounts from this period by the Portuguese travellers Domingos Pais and Duarte Barbosa depict a thriving city and kingdom under a highly venerated and capable ruler. Krishna Deva Raya’s scholarship and patronage of Telugu and Sanskrit literature have become symbols of Telugu pride and cultural traditions

About 1524–25 Krishna Deva abdicated and had his young son crowned king. His son died shortly thereafter, however, reportedly poisoned by the jealous former chief minister. Krishna Deva imprisoned the minister and his family and dealt successfully with a serious rebellion three years later—when one of the minister’s sons escaped—as well as with Ismāʿīl ʿĀdil Shah’s attempt to take advantage of Krishna Deva’s troubles to recoup his position. Krishna Deva’s death in 1529 or 1530 ended the period of the kingdom’s greatest military and administrative success.
Krishna Deva Raya was succeeded by his half brother, Achyuta Raya, who as epigraphic and literary evidences shows was not “altogether the craven that he is represented by Nuniz to have been”. He chastised the rebel viceroy of Madurai and reduced to obedience the Raja of Travancor, who had given shelter to the former. But he soon committed the blunder of relaxing his personal hold on the administration which fell under the control of his two brothers-in-law, both named Tirumala. This irritated the other viceroys, who formed a rival party under the leadership of three brothers, Rama, Tirumala and Venkata of the Arivadu dynasty, connected by marriage with the reigning Tuluva dynasty. The kingdom was consequently plunged into troubles which continued throughout the whole course of the imperial history and did not cease till it entirely disappeared.
After the death of Achyuta Raya in A.D. 1541 or 1542, his son Venkatadri or Venkata I, ascended the throne, but his reign did not last for more than six months and the crown then passed to Sadasiva, a nephew of Achyuta, Sadasiva Raya was a mere puppet in the hands of his minister, Rama Raya of the Arivaidu dynasty, who was a de facto ruler of the state. Sadasiva, was only nominally king, the whole power of the state being in the hands of Rama Raya and his two brothers, Tirumala and Venkatadri. That Sadasiva was recognised by everyone as the real sovereign is shown by a large number of inscriptions, ranging from1542 to 1568 Rama Raya was endowed with ability and was determined to restore the power of the Vijaynagar Empire which had sunk low after the death of the Krishna Deva Raya
One important feature of Krisna Deva Raya ‘s policy was his active interference in the quarrels among the Deccan Sultanate, in alliance with one and then with another. His active interference in the quarrels a,ong the Deccan Sultanates, in alliance first and then with another. His enterprise were, indeed, successful for the time being. But these made him over confident and haughty and ultimately proved to be a cause of disaster for the empire.
Battle of Talikota(1565)
In 1543 Rama Raya formed an alliance with Ahmadnagar and Golkunda with a view to attack Bijapur. But his object was baffled by the diplomacy of the Bijapur minister, Asad Khan, who concluded peace separately with Burhan Nizam Shah and Rama Raya and thus broke up the coalition. A change of alliance took place in 1558, when Bijapur, Golkunda and Vijaynagar alienated the people of Ahmadnagar. the haughty conduct of the Vijaynagar army kindled the long standing hostility of the Sultanates of the Deccan against Vijaynagar, and all with the exception of Berar, joined in a coalition against Vijaynagara, which was cemented by matrimonial alliances. The allied Deccan Sultans fought against Vijaynagar on 23rd Janaury, 1565, at a site marked by the two villages of Raksas and Tagdi. This battle resulted in the defeat of Vijaynagar army with immense losses. Rama Raya was captured and killed, but his brother Tirumala escaped to the south with the king and much of the royal treasure.
The magnificent city of Vijaynagar was sacked and deprived of its splendour by the invading army in a manner which has been described by Sewell as “the third day saw the beginning of the end. The victorious Mussalmans had halted on the field of battle for rest and refreshment, but now they have reached the capital and from that time forward for a space of five months Vijaynagar knew no rest. The enemy have come to destroy and they carried out their object relentlessly…. nothing seem to escape them. They broke up the pavilion standing on the huge platform from which the kings used to watch the festivals and overthrew a;; the carved work. They lit huge fires in the magnificently decorated buildings forming the temple of Vithalasvami near the river and smashed the exquisite stone sculptures. With fire and sword, with crowbars and axes, they carried on day after day their work of destruction. Never perhaps in the history of the world has such havoc been wrought so suddenly, on so splendid a city; teeming with a wealthy and industrious population in the full plenitude of prosperity one day, and the on the next seized, pillaged and reduced to ruins amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beggaring descriptions.”
The battle of Talikota is indeed one of the decisive battles in the history of India. It destroyed the chance of Hindu supremacy in the south, which was left open to the Invasions of the rulers of new Turkish dynasty, till the rise of the Maratha power in the seventeenth century.

The victorious Sutanate did not gain much as a result of this battle. The alliance was soon dissolved and there was a recrudescence of jealousy. This afforded the Vijaynagar Empire for recuperation under Rama Raya’s brother Tirumala. He returned to Vijaynagar after the Muslims had left it, after a short stay there went to Penugonda and restored the prestige and power of the Empire to such an extent as to be able to interfere in the affairs of Muslim kingdoms. Towards the end of his reign, in about A.D. 1570, he deposed Sadasiva and Usurped the throne for the Arivadu dynasty to which he belonged. His son and successor Ranga II, who had his headquarters at Chandragiri and died aftr a glorious reign in A.D. 1614. He may be regarded as the last great ruler of Vijyanagar, who kept the empire intact with the exception that in A.D. 1612 Raja Oediyar founded, with his permission, the kingdom of Mysore, on the extinction of the viceroyalty of Srirangapatan. His death was the signal for the dismemberment of the Empire. It was followed by a war of succession, and the conquest rise of disintegrating forces which could not be checked by Ranga III, the last important ruler of Vijaynagar, due to the selfish attitude of the rebel vassals of the Empire and the ambition of the Muslim states of Bijapur and Golkunda. Thus the Hindu feudatories of the Vijaynagar Empire proved to be the enemies in the long run. Their “insane pride, blind selfishness, disloyalty and mutual dissensions” largely facilitated the conquest of the Hindu Deccan by the Muslim States of Bijapur and Golkunda. Further subordinate viceroys, like the Chiefs of Seringapatam and Bednur( Kejadi, Ikkeri) and the Naiks of Madurai and tanjore , carved out independent kingdoms for themselves.


What Will I Learn?

  • understand the rise of the different dynasties that rule in Vijaynagar empire

About the instructor

Hoipi Haokip

Assistant Professor

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5 Courses

9 students


Material Includes

  • Notes and maps outline


  • To enable the students in understanding the political history of the different dynassties that came up one after another which rule over Vijaynagar one after another.

Target Audience

  • History Gradutes students