The great King Krishnadevaraya was one of the most powerful king of the Vijayanagar empire who took the empire to its highest peak during 1509 AD – 1530 A.D. His military achievements had made Vijayanagar empire to go its higher peak in the 16th century .
Krishnadevaraya’s achievements were comprised of international trade of spices , ornaments , military conquest , erecting temples and Gopurams , patronizing arts and literature , irrigation facilities , well – strategize agriculture, making huge tanks , imposing tax for generating revenues and providing stable governancy .
Very few people know that the best dialogue which was delivered in the battlefield of blockbuster movie Baahubali was taken from the real life incident of Krishnadevaraya . We will discuss his character and his dialogue in detail during his expedition in Raichoor .
We will also talk about the heroic figures who established the foundation of Vijayanagar empire .
|Hampi , karnataka
|Narasa Nayaka and Nagala Devi
|Strongest king of the Vijayanagar empire
He belonged to the tuluvas dynasty . He succeeded Vir Narasimha , his brother after his death.
When he took the charge of Vijayanagar Empire most of the territories of southern India were scattered and under the hands of Islamic invaders ( Turks ) . By the strong will-persistent and fearless attitude towards invaders made him a great warrior .
His chief minister , Timmayya, was considered to be his left hand .
He was title with the names like Andhra Bhoja , Mooru Rayara Ganda and Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana .
All kinds of arts and crafts and erecting temples and Towers , tanks and towns , sculptures , music and architecture flourished in his Kingdom like never before.
It could be assumed from the inscription which is in Pampapati temple at Hampi that after getting access to the throne , he celebrated it by building a hall of assembly and a “ gopura “ or tower .
History of Krishnadevaraya
He was born in 1471 A.D. in Hampi ,Karnataka and was the second child of Narasa Nayaka and Nagala Devi . He became the ruler of southern India in 1509 AD and reigned till 1530 A.D.
When we talk about Krishnadevaraya history , we found that he was a very impactful king .In his early age , he was trained under Appaji who was a great minister in his time .
Since childhood he had started to carry the princely behaviour and great determination towards his duty . He was also a good wrestler .
He was of medium height with fair complexion and heroic figure. He had a friendly gesture for people who came to visit his kingdom .
He was a great admirer of Vikramaditya and Bhoja . He considered them as his role model in leading the successful administration and war.He had great sense of acting spontaneously .
His administration was so powerful that not even a single successor of his , was able to restore it like him. He had great vision of doing justice to the people and had an extremely observant eye to evaluate his services which he provided to the people of his kingdom.
According to an eminent traveller of Portuguese , named Domingos , the city of Krishnadevaraya was the best city in the world he had ever seen or read before .
He also added that he had great hold on his military and a very good diplomacy sense .He himself used to train the soldiers with best techniques and defence .
Krishnadevaraya was a great temple guy who used to visit temples on a regular basis . He had erected many temples and buildings in his tenure . He was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and followed Vaishnavism strictly .His many of the images explain his devotion towards Vaishnavism .
achievements of Krishnadevaraya
- One of the biggest achievements of Krishnadevaraya was his multiple international trading with China , Alexandria , Europe , Mozambique , Myanmar , Iran which had increased revenue multiple times.
2 . Krishnadevaraya had issued different coins with obverse of Lord Venkateshwara , Uma and Maheswara , Balakrishna, Vrishabha and Garuda .
3 . Multiple temples and Gopuram , towers and towns , tanks , sculpture , architechture , music , arts and literature flourished during his reign .
4 . He had done a fantastic job in the shrine of Vithala at Hampi by beautiful carvings .
5 . Krishnadevaraya had authored Rasamanjari ,Madalasa charitra , Satyavadhuprinanambu , Sakala Kathasara sangraha, Suktinaipunigrana chintamani , telugu work Amuktamalyada and also a play called Zambavati kalyana.
6 . Precious stones, jewels , diamonds , silk , Scarlet cloth , coral , copper , vermilion , Ruby , emerald , saffron , rose water , pepper , opium , Sandalwood , camphor , musk and many more things were traded frequently during Krishnadevaraya’s reign .
7 . The fertility of the soil was very high for cultivation which was used to harvest rice , corn , grains , beans , pulse , moong , barely and other crops according to seasons . Harvesting of cottons was also at its peak.
8 . A Portuguese writer Barbosa had visited Vijayanagar Empire during the time of Krishnadevaraya in 1514 AD had explained in his writings about the magnificent palaces, outspread streets and all kinds of facilities available for the people of the kingdom .
9 . A traveller named Domingos Paes had said that when he climbed on a hill from where he could take a look of Vijayanagar empire but wasn’t able because empire lies between several ranges of hill but whatever his eyes captured during that movement , he described it as the city as big as Rome .
Military achievements of Krishnadevaraya
When Krishnadevaraya took the control of Vijayanagar empire , it wasn’t in a good condition . He faced troubled from chieftains of ummatur , the Gajapatis of odisha , Bahmani forces who was spreading jihad, muslim invaders pressure coming from north and controlling the power of Portuguese who had started to control the routes and maritime trade of west coast . Krishnadevaraya handled the whole situation brilliantly and took the spark of vijayanagar empire to its highest peak.
Krishnadevaraya took back the territories one by one from the possession of Islamic invaders which were lost by his preceding king Vir Narashimha with the help of his well-equipped and well trained armed forces . He had great diplomatic skill which helped him in making peace with Gajapati . He didn’t loose any war during any of his expedition which made him a great warrior of Vijayanagar empire .
He lost no time and sent his nephew and two of his brothers to the fortress of Chandragiri .
He started his campaign to take back the possession of the lost territories . Some of the greatest military achievements of Krishnadevaraya :
- Udaygiri ( 1513 AD – 1514 AD )
- Pangal ( 1512 AD )
- Sivanadamudra ( 1512 )
- Kalyani ( 1514 )
- Gulburga ( 1514 )
- Kondaveedu ( 1515 AD )
- Meduru ( 1515 AD )
- Kondapalli ( 1516 AD )
- Bidar (1516 AD )
- Kalinga ( 1516 AD )
- Raichoor ( 1520 AD )
- Bijapur ( 1514 )
In 1514 A.D. Krishna Deva Raya annexed Bijapur , which was then in the possession of Adil Shah ,with a massive army .
In retaliation , Adil Shah also sent a huge army to stop Krishna from passing the river . It was then seen that both of their armies came to the battlefield of Jamkhandi and a horrific war took place between them.
At the end of the war , Krishna got the victory due to his gallantry and genius warfare skill .
After defeating Aadil Khan , Qutub Khan , and Nizam-ul-Mulk , Krishnadevaraya continued his expedition towards Kalinga .
In response , Pratap Rudra prepared his huge army which was comprised of Lords like Balbhadrapatra , Ranarangapatra , Vajra Musthi Patra and many more . Many valorous kings joined him with their huge army .
Getting aware of this news , Krishnadevaraya understood it better that it wouldn’t be an easy task to conquer this territory . But as we have mentioned already that his chief minister , Timmayya was considered to be his left hand for his great cleverence .
He played a trick to confuse the King and their Lords by sending a letter that contained a treasonable character which compelled them to leave their lords and presented them like a prisoner .
In the same manner Pratap Rudra was also tricked and compelled him to take the shelter in the Vindhya jungles . And this was how he succeeded in taking the charge of Kalinga .
Peace with Gajapati
Krishnadevaraya took the charge of Kalinga just to show his power and conveyed his message to not mess with him like an enemy but to work together to extend and protect the glory of the territory to its highest peak .
It was clear from the message which Krishnadevaraya had sent to the king Pratap Rudra who was wandering in the jungles of Vindhya . Through his letter , it was known that he didn’t have any intention to frighten the people of his Kingdom in any way .
He further mentioned that if Pratap Rudra wanted to get back his territory, he would happily hand it over to him without any condition.
Imbibed with the gratitude and courtesy which was shown by Krishna towards him , made his soul to return back to his kingdom and continued his ruling .
Overjoyed with the respect which he received from Krishna , he decided to marry his daughter to Krishna with great celebration . And this is how the peace between two Hindu Kings established.
Krishna Deva raya also returned back his conquest territory which was north of the river .
Raichur war with Adil Shah
To take back the possession of Raichur ( Raichoor ) , then was in the hands of Adil Shah , Krishnadevaraya started his expedition with a huge Army of 28 ,600 cavalry , infantry of 573000 , 586 elephants and also 40 trained Portuguese artillery men .
He also got the corporation from the chief of bankapur and dambal. Their armies too joined Krishnadevaraya Army .
In retaliation , Adil shah also prepared his best army force of 120000 foot , 150 elephants and 18000 cavalry and many more .
As the war began , Adil Shah’s army started to dominate the warfield by opening the fire of their whole artillery on Krishna’s army .
This attack caused a severe damage to his soldiers . They got frightened and felt terrifying in leading their footsteps further towards the army of Adil Shah and gradually started to flee from the battlefield.
After sensing the critical situation of his soldiers , Krishna gave his finger ring to one his pages and told him to give it to the queen and prepared herself for Jauhar because he might die during the war.
And after this he roared like a lion and cried out loudly from mounting horse .
“ Those who have backed off their leg from war and are fleeing , are traitors . Since death is inevitable And we all have to die one day , it’s better to die Midway like a brave soldier who is in charge than waiting like a coward to die .
Now the day has come when Adil shah could boast that he has slain the greatest leader of the world but he would never boast that he had vanquished him . “
With these words he moved his horse towards his officers and called out loudly “ who will stand with me ? “
These words of him were so impactful and powerful that his most of the soldiers immediately stood with him like a rock to fight back with endless power and enthusiasm .
At the same time he ordered to slay all those Hindus too who cowardly leaving the battlefield without any mercy .
The attack on Adil Shah’s army was so horrendous and terrifying by Krishnadevaraya‘s Army that they couldn’t bear it for a long time . They started to search for a space where they could hide .
Finally this war became one of the biggest victories in the life of Krishnadevaraya .
To make the Vijayanagar empire powerful , Krishnadevaraya started his trade with multiple outside countries , hired well- skilled people to look into the cultivation , started the revenue settlement , established many temples ,towers , buildings and took a great interest in art and literature .
Many great travellers like Barbosa , Domingos Paes who visited his Kingdom during his reign were amazed to see the powerful administration runned by Krishnadevaraya .
He always used to have 900 elephants , 20000 horses , 100000 soldiers in his immediate response . People from different creeds like Moors , Christians and Jentile , used to live here happily .
Below we will discuss in detail about his administration :
- revenue settlement
- erecting buildings and Towers
- establishing temples
- Art and literature
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He personally used to train the soldiers with advanced techniques . The soldiers were well-trained in archery , arms , artillery , horse riding and swording .
His military was very powerful . Statesman or legislative like Timmayya And fighters like Kondamarasa , Tipparasa , Apparasa , Adiyappa Naik , Sadashiva Raya Naik , Ramalinga Naik , Bacharasa , Basavarasa , Triambakarassa were the most valorous and courageous people in his military .
Also new ideas were brought up to raise and marshalling the Troops . The Portuguese also had trained Hindu soldiers in some of their specific techniques to tackle the adverse situation .
Art and literature
Krishnadevaraya had great leaning towards art and literature . Poets , priests ( Brahman ) , philosophers had a pronounced place in his Court.
They all were highly admired individuals .
Great Hindu Sage vallabhbhacharya who was a vedantic philosopher of Sudh Advaita and founder of pushtimarga of vaishnavism travelled all way to receive Krishna’s tribute and to give his blessing to him for serving the motherland .
The eight poets of Krishnadevaraya in his court were :
- Allasani Peddanna
- Bhattu Murthy
- Nandi Timmanna
- Pinagali Surama
Tenali Ramakrishnan was the most famous court poet of Krishnadevaraya for his jokes and unmatched sense of humor of all time . Multiple serials were telecasted which shows his popularity among people till today .
Lolla Lakshmidhara was known for his enormous work in the field of astronomy , astrology , theology and law .
Krishnadevaraya took his last breath in 1530 A.D. when he was preparing for the war .He fell seriously sick and finally left his body .As he had no son except 11 months old , he found his younger brother Achyuta Raya as the best choice to succeed him .
His death had left such a void in the period of Vijayanagar Empire that none of his succeeding kings was able to fill up the gap .
Now below , briefly describing the beginning of Vijayanagar Empire so that one can have better understanding of Vijaynaga empire .
The rise of Vijayanagar Empire
The great vijayanagar empire was founded by two fearless brothers , Harihara ( Hakka ) and Bukka ,the son of Sangama ,with the blessings of their Guru Vidyaranya in 1336 A.D. These two brothers were once the captives under Muhammad Bin Tughlaq who had shattered down the Anegundi territory to its maximum in 1327 AD after defeating the king Ramanatha.
They were released in 1336 A.D. to rule Anegundi under the feudatories of Delhi Sultanate but under the guidance of the illustrious sage , Vidyaranya ,they renounced Islam which they had accepted when they were prisoners and again accepted Hinduism and decided to take back their motherland from the cruel invaders and established a Hindu kingdom.
Harihara celebrated this coronation in the presence of God Virupaksha on 18th April 1336 . This was how the foundation of Vijayanagar empire came into existence and the successor kings of vijayanagar empire started to take back the control of south in their own hand . Harihara became the first king of the Vijayanagar empire who ruled from (1336 – 1357 AD ).
Number of kings who ruled Vijayanagar empire were Harihara I , Bukka I , Harihara II ,Virupaksha , Bukka II ,Devaraya I , Vir Vijaya raya , Devaraya II , Vijayaraya II ,Mallikarjuna ,Saluva Narashimha , Vir Narasimha , Krishnadevaraya ,Achyuta raya ,Venkata I , Rama raya .
Ramaraya became the last king of the Vijayanagar empire . The fall of Vijaynagar empire happened in 1565 AD by the merciless and ruthless and hammer – blows of Deccan Sultanates.
Note : First Johar had been performed by the wives of king Ramantha in 1327 A.D. in the fortress of kumata.
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