Sources of Vijayanagar empire
- Krishnadevaraya’s → Amukthamalyada,
- Gangadevi’s → Maduravijayam & Allasani Peddanna’s → Manucharitam
Foreign travelers visited the Vijayanagar Empire and their accounts:
- Moroccan traveler → Ibn Battuta,
- Venetian traveler → Nicolo de Conti,
- Persian traveler → Abdur Razzak & Portuguese traveler → Domingo Paes.
- Hampi ruins and other monuments of Vijayanagar provide
- Numerous coins issued by the Vijayanagar rulers contain figures and legends explaining their tittles and achievements.
Vijayanagar Empire (1336 – 1565 AD)
Vijayanagar city was founded by Hari hara I & Bukka raya, Son’s of Sangama.
Both were feudatories of Kakatiya & later became ministers in the court of Kampili.
This empire mainly ruled by 4 distinct dynasties viz.. Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva & Aravidu
Sangama dynasty (1336 – 1485 AD)
Harihara I & Bukka raya founded the Vijayanagar empire.
Vijayanagar & Bahamani frequently got conflicts with each other.
They mainly fight on these 3 areas : Raichur doab (Between Krishna & Godavari), Krishna – Godavari delta and Marathawad.
Bukka raya I (1356 – 79)
He strengthened the city of Vidyanagar & renamed it as Vijayanagar.
He restored harmony between the warring Vaishanavas and the Jains.
Deva Raya I (1406 – 22)
His greatest achievement was his irrigation works where a dam was construct across the river Tungabhadra.
Nicolo de conti visited vijayanagar during his reign.
Deva Raya II (1423 – 46)
Ahmad Shah I invaded Vijayanagar & extracted a war protection.
He began the practice of employing Muslim cavalrymen & archers in the army.
He was called Praudh Deva Raya.
In his inscriptions he has the title of Gajabetekara means Elephants hunter.
He was a staunch follower of Shaivism.
Dindima & Srinatha were his famous court-poets.
Srinatha was given the title of “Kavisarvabhauma”
Abdur Razzak, the envoy of Shah Rukh visited Vijayanagar During his reign.
Saluva dynasty (1486 – 1505 AD)
Saluva Narasimha (1486 – 91)
He was the founder of Saluva dynasty.
Tirumal (1491) & Immadi Narasimha (1491 – 1505)
Both were minors during the regency of Narsa Nayaka.
Vasco da gama landed in Calicut in 1498 during his reign.
Tuluva dynasty (1505 – 70 AD)
Vira Narasimha (1505 – 09 AD)
Son of Narsa nayaka
He became king after the assassination of Immadi Narasimha.
He was founder of Tuluva dynasty.
He was the greatest ruler of Tuluva dynasty & Vijayanagar empire.
He maintained friendly relationship with Albuquerque, the Portuguese governor, whose ambassador Friar Luis resided in Vijayanagar.
He won Gajapathi kingdom and Vijayanagar emerged as strongest during his reign.
He built the Vijay Mahal (House of Victory ), the Hazara Ramaswamy temple & the Vithal Swami temple.
He took the titles of Yavanraja sthapnacharya (restrorer of the Yavana Kingom), Abhinava Bhoja, Andhra Bhoj & Andhra Pitamaha.
He wrote “Amuktamalyada” in Telugu & “Jambavati Kalyanam” in Sanskrit.
His court was adorned by “Ashtadiggajas.”
Tenali Ramakrishna wrote Panduranga Mahatyam & Peddana wrote Manucharitam.
Duarte Barbosa & Dominigo Paes, Portuguese travelers visited Vijayanagar during his reign.
And also Farnao Nunij, a Portuguese horse trader, visited Vijayanagar during his reign.
Sadashiva Raya (1543 – 76)
Real power was exercised by Rama raya & his brothers.
The five successor states of the Bahamani empire were divided through his Rama raya’s diplomacy.
Battle of Talikota or Battle of Rakshasa – Tangadi fought on 1565.
Rama Raja was taken prisoner & executed by Hussain Nizam shah I.
Vijayanagar, the pride of medieval world, was mercilessly destroyed.
Caesear Fredrick, a Portuguese traveler, Visited Vijayanagar in 1567 – 68 during his reign.
Aravidu Dynasty (1570 – 1650 AD)
Tirumala Raya, the brother of Rama Raja, ruled the kingdom in the name of Sadashiva Raya.
His shifted his capital Vijanagar to Penugonda.
|Mandalam (i.e Province)||Mandaleswar|
|Nadu (i.e District)||Naaduprabhu|
|Gram (i.e Village)||Gauda|
Nayankar system: Special feature of Provincial administration.
Ayangar system: Special feature of Village administration. In which a body of 12 funtionaries, known as ayangars, conducted village affairs.
- king was assisted by a council of ministers in his day to day administration.
- They were given granted tax free lands “Manyams”
- Vijayanagar rulers issued gold coins called Varahas & Pagadas.
- Perta was half a Varaha & Fanam was one tenth of Varaha.
- All were of gold mixed alloy.
- Tar was a silver coin & Jital was a copper coin.
Allasani Peddanna in his Manucharitam refers the existence of 4 castes –
- Vaisyas &
- Silk and cotton clothes were mainly used for dress. Perfumes, flowers and ornaments were used by the people.
- Paes mentions of the beautiful houses of the rich and the large number of their household servants. Nicolo Conti refers to the prevalence of slavery.
- Sangama rulers were chiefly Saivaites and Virupaksha was their family deity.
- But other dynasties were Vaishnavites. Srivaishnavism of Ramanuja was very popular.
- But all kings were tolerant towards other religions.
- Borbosa referred to the religious freedom enjoyed by everyone. Muslims were employed in the administration and they were freely allowed to build mosques and worship.
- Gangadevi, wife of Kumarakampana authored the famous work Maduravijayam.
- Hannamma and Thirumalamma were famous poets of this period.
- Devadasi system, Polygamy & sati were prevalent.
- According to the accounts of the foreign travelers, the Vijayanagar Empire was one of the wealthiest parts of the world at that time.
- Agriculture continued to be the chief occupation of the people.
- New tanks were built and dams were constructed across the rivers like Tunghabadra. Nuniz refers to the excavation of canals.
- Diamond mines were located in Kurnool and Anantapur district.
- There were a number of seaports on the Malabar coast, the chief being Cannanore.
- Commercial contacts with Arabia, Persia, South Africa and Portugal on the west and with Burma, Malay peninsula and China on the east flourished.
- Temple building activity further gained momentum during the Vijayanagar rule.
- 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.
- Large mandapams contain one hundred pillars as well as one thousand pillars in some big temples. These mandapams were used for seating the deity on festival occasions.
- The most important temples of the Vijayanagar style were found in the Hampi ruins or the city of Vijayanagar.
- Vittalaswamy and Hazara Ramaswamy temples were the best examples of this style
- The Varadharaja and Ekamparanatha temples at Kanchipuram stand as examples for the magnificence of the Vijayanagara style of temple architecture.
- The Raya Gopurams at Thiruvannamalai and Chidambaram speak the glorious epoch of Vijayanagar.
- The metal images of Krishna Deva Raya and his queens at Tirupati are examples for casting of metal images.