Vijayanagar Kingdom

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Vijayanagar Empire

Map of Vijayanagar Empire
  • Bukka, Harihar and the three other Sangama brothers including Kampana, Mudappa and Marappa joined the services of Hoysala king Vira Ballala III.
  • Ballala established the fortified city on the Tungabhadra River across Anegondi that was to become Vijainagar.
  • The city was then called Virupaksha-pattana.
  • Harihar and Bukka were appointed to govern this city.
  • Later the Tughluq forces made five Sangama brothers:
    • Bukka, Harihar,
    • Kampana, Mudappa and
    • Marappa imprisoners.
  • They were later converted to Islam and were employed by the Sultan to govern the newly conquered Kampili territories.
  • Later under the guidance of Madhavacharya or Vidyaranya, they founded the Vijayanagar Empire.

Sangama Dynasty (1336 - 1485)

(L) Hariharal (1336 - 1356)

  • Following die Kakatiya model, he organised the country into Sthalas, Nadus and Simas.
  • He laid the foundation of a new capital, which he called Vijaya or Vidyanagara.
  • He strengthened the forts of Badami, and the fort of Udayagiri and entrusted their administration to his younger brother Kampana.
  • In 1347, he annexed Kadamba territories.
  • Anantarasa Chikka Udaiya was his minister.

(2) Bukka Rai (1356 - 1377)

  • He sent an expedition against Rajanarayana Samb-huvaraya.
  • He was involved in a war against the Bahamani King Muhammed Shah I.
  • He sent embassies to China.
  • He was the guardian of religious rights and privileges of all religions.
  • He assumed the title of Vedamarga-Pratishthapak or the establisher of Ten Path of the Vedas, and gathered together all the scholars.
  • Sayanacharya was his minister who has written a commentary on Vedas.
  • Nachana Soma, a great telugu poet lived under him.

(3) Harihara U (1377 - 1404)

  • Adopted the title: Maharajadhiraj and Prame-shvara.
  • Responsible for the southern expedition.
  • Made positive efforts to uplift the quality of life and academics.
  • According to Ferishta the Bahmani king Mjahid Shah invaded his empire.
  • Between 1404 and 1406 AD war of succession took place between his three sons: Virupakshai, Bukka II and Devaraya I.

(4) Devaraya I (1406 - 1422)

  • Faced war with Bahmani Sultans, the Velamas of Rachakonda and Reddis of Kondavidu.
  • According to Ferishta Firoz Shah Bahmani defeated him but later on he took his revenge and defeated Bahmanis.
  • Realised the value of Cavalry.
  • He was an ardent Saivite.
  • Srinath, the author of Harivilasam lived during his reign.
  • According to Vidyaranya-Kalajana, Ramchandra and
  • Vijaya I succeeded him.

(5) Devraya B (1423 - 1445)

  • Earned the title “Gajabetekara” (the Elephant hunter)
  • Bahmani Sultan Ahmed shifted his capital from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1424 and this gave an edge to Vijayanagar over Bahmanis.
  • Annexed Kondavidu (Andhra) , attacked Gajapati kingdom (Orissa) and brought all Kerala states except Zamorin of Calicut under his suzerainty.
  • Lakkana Dannaik, the Diwan and C-in-C attacked Ceylon.
  • He wrote ‘Mahanataka Suddhanidi’ in Sanskrit.

(6) Mallikarjun (1446 - 1485)

  • Gajapati and the Bahmani Sultan made a joint attack on him.
  • He was assassinated by his cousin Virupaksha II

(7) Virupaksha II (1465 - 1485)

  • Captured Goa.
  • The Arabian horse trade was dislocated during his reign.

Saluva Dynasty (1485 - 1505)

(8) Narasimha Saluva (1485 - 1490)

  • Son of Saluva Gunda, the chief of Udayagiri in Chittoor.
  • Mallikarjuna՚s younger son, Rajashekhar, sought refuge in his court.
  • Conquered the Andhra kingdom.
  • Bahmani Empire was on the brink of collapse.

(9) Narsa Nayak (1490 - 1503)

  • He was called the Rakshakarta (protector) and Swami.
  • He installed Timma and became defacto.
  • Tuvalus (1505 - 1570)

(10) Vira Narasimha (1505 - 1509)

  • fought against Yusuf Adil Shah.
  • Took keen interest in the welfare of the Rayats.
  • Abolished Marriage tax.

(11) Krishna Deva Raya (1509 - 1529)

  • Earned the title ‘Yavan-araja Sthapanacharya’ or restorer of Yavana Kingdom.
  • Also known as Abhinav Bhoja and honoured as Andhra Pitamabhas.
  • His political ideas are contained in his telugu work Amuktamalyada.
  • Vyasaraja was his Rajguru and royal teacher.
  • His court literatteur used to be known as Ashtadi-ggajas.
  • Invaded Krishna-Tunga-bhadra Doab and captured Raichur.
  • Gangaraja of Ummattur was compelled to transfer his capital to Sivasamudram.
  • He wrested Udayagiri, Kondavidu, Kondapalli and then Bezwada and humiliated Gajpati Prataparudra of Orissa.
  • He defeated Quli Qutub Shah of Golconda and Bijapur when the latter attacked Saluva Timma. He also conquered Raichur Doab and defeated Ismail Adil Shah of Bijapur.
  • Krishna Dev Rai had amicable relations with Portuguese and became the first king to conclude a treaty. The treaty included common enmity with Bijapur and supply of imported horses by the Portuguese.

(12) Achyutadevaraya (1530 - 1542)

  • Ramaraya, the son in law of Krishna Dev Raya, proclaimed the infant son of the latter as emperor and began to rule in his name.

(13) Sadashiva and Ramaraya (1543 - 1564)

  • Sent China Timma to subjugate several chiefs of South,
  • Concluded treaty with Portuguese J. D. Castro.
  • Invaded Bidar and made Barid Shah his vassal.
  • Battle of Rakshi-Tangadi or Talikota took place between a confederacy of Bijapur, Ahmadnagar and Golcunda.
  • (14) Sadashiva andTirumala (1566 - 1570) Aravidus (1570 - 1649) Founded by Ramaraya՚s brother Tirumala.

(15) Sriranga (1572 - 1585)

(16) VenkataB (1586 - 1614)

  • Not only reconquered most of the territories but also controlled a number of Palayagirs.
  • Allowed Portuguese to build Churches at Vellore.
  • Switched over to Vaishnavism, Lord Venka-taesvara of Tirupati and replaced Virupaksha (the Saivism) .
  • Shifted his capital to Chandragiri.
  • In 1605 the Dutch opened factories at Nizampatnam and Masulipatnam.
  • He was followed by Ramad-evraya, Venkata III and Sriranga in. Later the forces of Mir Jumla, Mustafa Khan ruined the Vijaynagar Empire. Administration:
  • It was the nearest approach to a war-state ever made by a Hindu kingdom.

Central Administration

  • Basically it was a monarchic system with the only exception that the law of heredity was not strictly adhered to.
  • The civil administration as well as the army organisation was based on Hindu feudal system.
  • Feudal vassals were called Amarnayakas.
  • King was called Karyakarta.
  • Important ministers: Dandanatha and Sayan during Harihar and Bukka. Dannayaka during Devaraya Iandn.
  • Secretariat was called Diwankhana.
  • Sarvanayaka was the Chief Secretary of the empire.
  • Karanikam was the accountant.

Provincial Administration

  • Provinces were called Rajayas, Mandalam (Tamil) , Chavadi and Pithikas (Karnataka) and important provinces were Udayagiri, Penukonda, Raichur.
  • Provinces had fair amount of freedom and autonomy: they had their own courts, appointed own officials, and maintained their own army. They issued their own coins, though of smaller denomination.
  • Nayankara System: Vijayanagar is also called Nayaka kingdom. Important Nayaks were Madurai (under Tirumala Nayaka) , Tanjavur, Gingee, Ikkeri (under Venkatappa Nayak) and Mysore. This system was a significant modification of the segmentary state of the Cholas.

Military Administration

  • The military department was called Kandachara, which was headed by Dandanayaka.
  • King granted amaram or territory with a fixed revenue to military chiefs; the chiefs were called Palaiyagar or the Nayak.
  • Chariots were not the component of the army.
  • Forts were of four kinds:
  • Sthala Durga,
  • Giri Durga,
  • Jala Durga and
  • Vana Durga.

Local Administration

  • Provinces were divided into Districts called Kottam or Kurram, and the Districts were divided into Nadus (taluks) , and Nadus were divided into Aimbadin Melagram (a unit of 50 villages) and agrama or grama were the lowest units.
  • Brahmadeya villages were known as Chaturvedi-mangalam; administered by sabhas or assemblies. Ayagar System:
  • It was introduced by Krishna Dev Raya. It was a system inherited from Cholas for the maintenance of services of value to an entire village from the services of which the entire village benefited.
  • Every village was a separate unit and a body of 12 functionaries who were collectively known as Ayagar system conducted its affair.
  • The transfer of land and grant could not take place without the cognizance of these functionaries.

Local Officers

  1. Parupatayagar: representative of the king or a Governor; he was also the chief tax collector; he was also the incharge of the general administartion of the forts.
  2. Adhikari: attesting partition deeds arid confirming land grants.
  3. Antrimars: controlled the working of village assemblies and other local organisations.
  4. Nattunayakars: he was superintending of Nadus.
  5. Sthalgaudikas: Rendered yeoman service; like constructing towers of forts.
  6. Senabovas: accountants.
  7. Madhyastha: mediator in connection with real estate transfer.
  8. Kavalkars: performed under Nayaks paid by villagers and performed police duty.
  9. Padikaval: sometimes the villages sold the right of policing.
  10. Arasu-svatantram: the taxes collected from the villagers to pay the police.
  11. Periyanathuvelan: Attestation of documents. Other features:
  12. The Nadu was the assembly of a large territorial division and enjoyed power similar to that of village assembly.
  13. The members of the Nadu were called Nattavars.
  14. During Vijaynagar rule, temples enjoyed quasi-political powers.
  15. Temple grants were called Sarvamanya.
  16. Sthanikas were the incharge of management of temples.
  17. Asthavana was the land revenue department.
  18. Scavengers were exempted from taxation.
  19. Taxation varied from 1/6 to 1/2 of the produce.
  20. Tax collected in cash is called Siddhaya.
  21. House tax was called Vasal Panam.
  22. Nadalavukal, Rajavtha-dankol, Gandaryaagandakol were various types of measuring rods.
  23. The society was divided into two broad groups: Valangai (the right; agriculturists) and Idangai (the left; non agriculturists, mainly traders) .
  24. Slavery was present and was called Besvagga.
  25. Kuttagai was the lease system of cultivation.
  26. Varam was the system of sharing of agricultural income between landlord and tenant.

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