Vijayanagar Empire

The Vijayanagar Empire also called the Karnata Kingdom, covered much of the region of South India, controlling the lands of the modern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, and some parts of Telangana, and Maharashtra.
विजयनगर साम्राज्य भारत के डेक्कन क्षेत्र में स्थित था। यह 1336 में संगमा राजवंश के दो भाई हरिहर राय और बुक्का राय, द्वारा स्थापित किया गया था, जो वाल्मीकि समुदाय के सदस्य थे और उन्होंने valmiki होने का दावा किया था। विजयनगर साम्राज्य मध्यकालीन का एक साम्राज्य था। इसके राजाओं ने 310 वर्ष तक राज किया।

Vijayanagar Empire

  • It was founded in 1336 by Harihara and Bukka (with the blessings of Guru Vidyaranya) of the Sangama dynasty who originally served under the Kakatiya rulers of Warangal.
  • They later proclaimed their independence and founded a new city on the south bank of the Tungabhadra River named it “Vijayanagar” (City of Victory)
  • Early Vijayanagar rulers were followers of Saivism. Virupaksha was their family God. Later they came under the influence of Vaishnavism. However, Siva continued to be worshipped.
  • There was constant conflict between the Vijayanagar Empire and the Bahamani kingdom over Raichur doab (the fertile region between Krishna and Tungabhadra), Tungabhadra doab (fertile areas of Krishna-Godavari delta) & Marathwada.
  • In the south, its main rivals were the Sultans of Madurai.
  • During the reign of Rama Raya, the combined forces of Bijapur, Ahmednagar, Golkonda, and Bidar defeated him at the Battle of Talaikotta in 1565 which marked the end of the Vijayanagar Empire.
  • The last ruler of Vijayanagar was Sri Ranga III.
  • Harihara and Bukka were helped and inspired by contemporary scholars and a saint Vidyaranya for the establishment of their kingdom.
Vijayanagar Empire (1336 -1646 AD)

Four Dynasties ruled Vijayanagar from A.D. 1336 TO 1672:

  1. Sangama Dynasty (1336-1485)
    • Sangama was the first dynasty to rule over the Vijayanagar empire. The founders of the empire, Harihar I, and Bukka belonged to this dynasty. It ruled from 1334 AD to 1485 AD.
  2. Saluva Dynasty (1485-1505)
    • The Saluva dynasty, founded by Narasimha, succeeded the Sangama dynasty as the second dynasty of the empire. It ruled from 1485 to 1505 AD. They ruled over almost the whole of South India.
  3. Tuluva Dynasty (1505-1570)
    • Tuluva, founded by Vir Narsimha, was the third dynasty, which ruled Vijayanagar Empire. It was ruled by the Tuluva dynasty. The most famous king of the Vijayanagar Empire, Krishna Deva Raya belonged to this dynasty.
  4. Aravidu Dynasty (1570-1650)
    • Aravidu, founded by Tirumala, was the fourth and last Hindu dynasty to rule the Vijayanagar kingdom in South India.

Vijayanagar Empire Mindmap

Sangam Dynasty

  • Harihara raya was first ruler. Vijayanagar and Bahamani conflict started during his time.
  • Bukaraya ascended the throne after Hariharan.
  • Bukka’s son kamparaya annexed Madurai. This episode was written by Gangadevi (wife of kamparaya) as Madhuravijayam in Sanskrit.
  • He captured revatidweepa (Goa).
  • He created the Pansupari bazaar in Hampi
  • Bukaraya was succeeded by Hariharan 2 and later Devaraya came to power
  • Devaraya 1 was the first important king. He was the first to construct a dam across the river Tungabhadra
  • Devarya 1 was defeated by Bahaman sultan Feroz shah 1.
  • The greatest ruler of the Sangama dynasty was Deva Raya II.
  • He inducted Muslim archers into the army.
  • He was the first Vijayanagara ruler to collect tributes from Cylon.
  • After his death, the Sangama dynasty became weak.
  • The last king virupaksharaya was dethroned by his commander Saluva Narsimharaya 1, and he started Saluva dynastic rule.

Praudhadevaraya (Devaraya II)

  • The most famous king from the Sangama dynasty.
  • Titles: ‘Elephant Hunter’, ‘Dakshinapathada Chakravarthi’.
  • Extended Vijayanagara from Gulbarga to Sri Lanka & Telangana to Kerala.
  • His commander: Lakkanna Dandesha.

Saluva Dynasty

  • Narasimha Raya 2 was the greatest in saluva dynasty.
  • Annamcharaya lived during this time period.
  • After the death of Narasimha 2, Narasa nayaka installed his son veeranarsimha on the throne.
  • Veeranarasimha started the rule of the Tuluva dynasty.

Conflict Between Vijayanagar & Bahamanis

There were constant conflicts between the Vijayanagar and the Bahamani kingdoms over the control of Raichur doab which was the land between rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra. This area was fertile and rich in mineral resources. The famous diamond mines of Golconda were located in the eastern part of the doab region. The geography of both the kingdoms was such that expansion was possible only across Tungabhadra in the Deccan. It appears that the battles between the two were not conclusive and the status quo was maintained

Tuluva dynasty

  • After the death of Veeranarasimha, prime minister Thimmarasu installed Krishnadevaraya on the throne.
  • Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529) was the greatest in this dynasty.
  • He was a great commander and an efficient administrator. He fought a series of wars with the independent kingdoms that came on the ruins of the Bahamani kingdom, maintained law and order, and dealt with the Portuguese influence in the Deccan.
  • He completely shattered the Adil Shahi forces of Bijapur first and attacked Gulbarga and set free three Bahamani princes who were imprisoned there. He helped them in recovering the throne of Gulbarga and Krishna Deva himself took the title of Yavanarajya sthapanacharya.
  • He started his eastern campaign in 1513 AD.
  • Udayagiri was the first fort to be captured by Krishnadevaraya.
  • He defeated Prataparudra Gajapati of Orissa.
  • He married Gajapati princess Tukkadevi or Annapurnadevi.
  • Raichur’s campaign in 1520 was his last campaign. He defeated Ismail Adil shah.
  • Portuguese governor Alfanso de Alburque concluded a treaty with Krishnadevaraya.
  • In 1510 Portuguese captured Goa from Bijapur Sultan.
  • He was a great patron of literature and art and he was known as Andhra Bhoja
  • Eight eminent scholars known as Ashtadiggajas were at his royal court.
  • Due to the death of his son, Krishnadevaraya received a nervous breakdown and passed away in 1529.
  • After his death, Achyutadeva and Sadashivraya succeeded to the throne.
  • During the reign of Rama Raya, the Bahaman confederacy (combined forces of Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Golkonda, and Bidar) defeated him(Ramaraya) at the Battle of Talaikote in 1565.
  • Rama Raya was imprisoned and executed. The city of Vijayanagar was destroyed. This battle was generally considered to mark the end of the Vijayanagar Empire.
  • However, the Vijayanagar kingdom existed under the Aravidu dynasty for about another century.

Krishna Devaraya (1509-1529 AD)

  • The most famous king Vijayanagara Empire (from the Tuluva dynasty). He is also known as Andhra Bhoja. Waged war against the Bahamani kingdom & kept them under check.
  • Liberated Mohammad Shah & assumed the title “Yavanarjya Prathishtapanacharya”.
  • The author of Manu Charitramu was the greatest among Ashtadiggajas.
  • His empire extended from the river Krishna in the north to River Cauvery in the south; the Arabian Sea in the west to the Bay of Bengal in the east.
  • He had a cordial relationship with the Portuguese.
  • He authored “Amuktamalyada” (Telgu work on polity) and “Jambavati Kalyanam” (Sanskrit drama).
  • Krishna Deva Raya was a great builder as well. He built the Hazara Rama temple and the Vittalaswami temple.
  • Patronized Telugu, Kannada, Sanskrit, and Tamil scholars & poets.
  • He had 8 eminent scholars ‘Ashtadiggajas’ at his royal court.
  • He built a new city called Nagalapuram in memory of his queen Nagaladevi.

ASHTADIGGAJAS of Krishna Devaraya

A group of eight scholars adorned Krishna deva Raya’s court and they were:

  1. Allasani Peddanna – the author of Manucharitram, was also known as Andhra
  2. Nandi Thimmana – the author of Parijathapaharanam
  3. Madayagari Mallana
  4. Dhurjati
  5. Ayyalaraju Ramabhadrudu
  6. Pingali Surana
  7. RamarajaBhushana
  8. Tenali Ramakrishna

Aravidu Dynasty

  • Thirumala, Sri Ranga, and Venkata II were the important rulers of this dynasty.
  • Venkata II was contemporary to Akbar. He shifted the capital city to
  • The last ruler of the Vijayanagar kingdom was Sri Ranga III.
  • Sri Ranga was defeated by Mir Jumla of Golconda in the battle of Vandavasi in 1647.
  • The Vijayanagar empire came to an end with this.

Administration of Vijayanagar Empire

  • The king enjoyed absolute authority in executive, judicial & legislative matters.
  • The succession to the throne was hereditary.
  • Administrative units are divided into Mandalams, Nadus, Sthalas, and finally Gramas.
  • Mandaleshwar or Nayaka was the governor of Mandalam.
  • He had considerable autonomy- had the right to issue coins of small denominations & right to impose a new tax or remit the old one.
  • Sources of income: land revenue, tributes, and gifts from vassals and feudal chiefs, customs at ports, & taxes on various professions.
  • The army consisted of cavalry, infantry, artillery, and elephants.
  • Nayankar System – The top-grade officers of the army were known as Nayaks/Poligars.
  • They were granted land in lieu of their services which were called Amaram.
  • Manyams were tax-free lands.
  • A body of 12 functionaries known as Ayangars, conducted village affairs.

Socio-Economic Condition of Vijayanagar

  • The Sangama rulers were chiefly Saivaites and Virupaksha was their family deity.
  • Women occupied high positions and took an active part in the political, social, and literary life of the empire.
  • Women even went to battles.
  • It was the only empire in Medieval India that employed women in state services.
  • Widow re-marriage was promoted.
  • The chief gold coin was the Varaha or pagoda. The Perta was half a Varaha. Fanam was one-tenth a pertha.
  • Tar was a silver coin. Jittal was a copper coin.
  • The chief items of export were cotton, silk, spices, rice, saltpeter, and sugar.
  • The imports consisted of horses, pearls, copper, coral, etc.
  • The art of shipbuilding had developed.

Cultural Contribution of the Vijayanagar Empire

The chief characteristics of the Vijayanagara architecture were the construction of tall Raya Gopurams or gateways and the Kalyanamandapam with carved pillars in the temple premises.
The sculptures on the pillars were carved with distinctive features.
The horse was the most common animal found in these pillars.
The most important temples built were: Vittalaswamy and Hazara Ramaswamy temples, and the Stone chariot at Hampi.
The Varadharaja and Ekamparanatha temples at Kanchipuram.
Different languages such as Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, and Tamil flourished in the regions

Foreign Traveller Visited Vijayanagar

Foreign Traveller Visited Vijayanagar


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