Battle of Raichur between the Vijayanagar Dynasty and Bijapur Dynasty in 16th century

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Bhoja, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Bhoja

    Bhoja Regular Member

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    The battle of Raichur fought by Sri Krishnadevaraya, King of Vijayanagar empire and Ismail Adil Shah, the king of Bijapur. was a turning point in the history of south India in the 16th century.
    The fort of Raichur was built by Kakatiya king Rudra in 1284 CE which passed on to the Vijayanagar kingdom after the decline of Kakatiyas. Ever since, the fort has been under dispute for nearly two centuries. The fort was captured by Bahmanis in 1323 CE. Saluva Narasimha Raya expressed a wish in his testament that the city of Raichur be recaptured. This has been in the mind of Krishnadevaraya since his coronation in 1509. In the year 1520 Krishnadevaraya sent Seyed Maraikar, a Muslim in his service to Goa with a large sum of money to buy horses. Maraikar instead went to Adil Khan with the money and offered his services. Krishnadevaraya made a demand that Maraikar be returned along with the money which was duly refused. During the period of peace Krishnadevaraya made extensive preparations for a grand attack on Raichur doab. After the court decided that Raichur should be attacked the king invited all commanders (Nayakas) in his service to take part in the battle.
    The King performed elaborate prayers in the temples and left the city of Vijayanagar with his troops. Fifty thousand scouts went three leagues (5.556 km is one league) in front of the army. Their job was to spy out the country in front and always maintain that distance. On the flanks of the scouts two thousand horsemen armed with bows advanced. A great number of merchants with necessary supplies for the army also accompanied. The army consisted of about a million of men, if the camp-followers be included. The fighting men numbered about 736,000 with 32,600 horses and 550 elephants.
    The chief of the guard Pemmasani Ramalinga Nayaka (also known as Kamma Nayaka) led the advance with thirty thousand infantry (archers, men with shields, musketeers and lancers) and a thousand horse and his elephants. After him went the contingents of Timmappa Nayaka, Adapa Nayaka, Kumara Virayya, and Ganda Raya, the governor of the city of Vijayanagar. The other well-known nayakas were Rana Jagadeva, Rayachuri Rami Nayudu, Hande Mallaraya, Boya Ramappa, Saluva Nayudu, Tipparasu Ayyappa Nayudu, Kotikam Viswanatha Nayudu,Chevvappa Nayudu, Akkappa Nayudu, Krishnappa Nayudu, Velugoti Yachama Nayudu, Kannada Basavappa Nayakka, Saluva Mekaraja, Matla Ananta Raja, Bommireddy Nagareddy, Basava Reddy, Vithalappa Nayudu and Veerama Raja. All their soldiers were well armed, the archers and musketeers with their quilted tunics and the shieldmen with their swords and poignards in their girdles. The shields were so large that there was no need for armour to protect the body. The horses were in full clothing and elephants had large howdahs from which four men fight on each side of them. The elephants were completely clothed. Sharp knives were fastened to their tusks. Several cannon were also taken. About twenty thousand washermen and courtesans accompanied the army. In the rear with the king, but always on the road in front of him, twelve thousand men with leather water bags placed themselves along the road to give water to those in need.
    The King proceeded until he arrived at the town of Mallayyabanda (Maliyabad), which is a league from the city of Raichur. A royal tent was pitched behind a makeshift hedge of brush-wood and thorns. The army was given rest to overcome the fatigue of the march.
    The army upon nearing the fort of Raichur pitched the camp on the eastern side of that citadel and began the siege. After an interval Raya received intelligence of the arrival of Adil Shah on the north side of the Krishna, with an army of 140,000 horse and foot. The sultan rested his troops for a few days, crossed the river, advanced to within nine miles of Raichur and entrenched himself there leaving the river about five miles behind him.
    Nuniz described the atmosphere in the camp of Raya:
    “--where the supplies were so great that you could find everything that you wanted, where you saw the goldsmiths and artisans at work as if in a city, where you will find all kinds of precious stones offered for sale, and where no one who did not understand the meaning of what he saw would ever dream that a war was going on, but would think that he was in a prosperous city”.

    On Saturday morning, May 19, in the year 1520 CE the forces became engaged. Raya’s army made a tremendous noise heralding the engagement. The extraordinary noise made by the drums, trumpets and shouts of the men was so great so that even the birds fell down into the soldiers' hands stricken with terror and “it seemed as if the sky would fall to the earth” and "if you asked anything, you could not hear yourself speak, and you had to ask by signs”.
    Krishnadevaraya ordered an advance to his immediate front of the two forward divisions. Their attack was successful and the Muslims were driven back to their trenches. The Sultan opened fire from the guns that he had previously held in reserve and caused great loss in the close ranks of the Hindus. The Raya's troops fell back in face of formidable bombardment and at once the Muslims charged them. The retreat was changed to a rout, and for a mile and a half to their direct front the Sultan’s cavalry chased the Raya’s forces belonging to the first line. Krishnadevaraya, who commanded the second line, rallied the troops, collected about him a number of the nayaks, and determined to face death with the bravery that had always characterized him, plunged into the battle. Mounting his horse, he ordered a forward movement of the whole of his remaining divisions, and charged the now disordered ranks of the Muslims. This resulted in complete success and the Sultan’s army got scattered and fled before the Hindu onslaught way back to, and into the river, where a great slaughter took place.
    Krishnadevaraya then crossed the river and seized the Shah's camp, while the Shah himself with the help of Asad Khan escaped and fled from the field on an elephant.
    While being driven back towards the river, Salabat Khan, the Shah's general, made a valiant attempt to retrieve the fortunes of the day. Salabat Khan lost his horse, but at once mounted another and pressed on. The little force was, however, surrounded and annihilated. The general was made prisoner. Krishnadevaraya, flushed with victory, returned at once to the attack of Raichur and the fortress was captured. The assistance rendered by some Portuguese, headed by Christovao de Figueiredo was noteworthy in this context. The Portuguese with their arquebusses picked off the defenders from the walls, and thus enabled the besiegers to approach close to the lines of fortification and pull down the stones. Driven to desperation, and their governor being slain, the garrison surrendered.


    When the city of Raichur surrendered Krishnadevaraya made a triumphal entry into it, and treated the garrison with kindness and consideration. The other Muslim kings sent envoys to the emperor on hearing of his success and received a haughty reply. Krishnadevaraya then returned to Vijayanagar and held a great celebration. An ambassador arrived from the defeated Shah and was treated with scant courtesy for more than a month. The king sent an answer that if Adil Shah would come to him, do obeisance, and kiss his foot, his lands would be restored to him. The submission never took place. Krishnadevaraya now led his army as far north as Bijapur and occupied it. He took prisoner three sons of a former king of the Bahmani dynasty, who had been held captive by the Adil Shah and he proclaimed the eldest as king of the Deccan. This attempt to subvert the rule of the five Sultans who had established themselves on the ruins of the single Deccan sovereignty only resulted in stiffening their hostility towards their common foe.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
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  3. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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    this last line is important---for this battle did not have far reaching effects . within less than 50 years from this battle the five sultans came together to destroy the empire of vijaynagar .

    one wonders why krishnadevraya had to show kindness to the defeated foe and not murder and kill his people . for when the sultans conquered vijaynagar , they showed no mercy to the beaten foe .

    in fact krishnadevaraya should have destroyed bijapur as a kingdom itself and incorporated its territories into vijaynagar . that would have reduced one foe . this ' hindu kindness ' is a common thread all over whenever hindus won a victory . they literally wasted the victory by showing mercy and kindness to the beaten opponent .

    did the opponent show similar mercy ?? NO........
     
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  4. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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    Description of destruction of vijaynagar in OXFORD HISTORY OF INDIA which I have copied from the book in my possession( written by vincent smith )--

    this is the description in the book of the muslim's destruction of the great south indian hindu city of vijaynagar. i am giving you as a example of muslim atrocities recorded in the book.


    here is it-


    -( after the defeat of the hindu army in the battle of talikota) the princes fled from the city with all their countless treasures loaded upon more than five hundred elephants , and the proud capital city lay at the mercy of the victors.

    the plunder was so great that every man in the muslim army became rich in gold , jewels , effects, tents , arms horses and above all hindu slaves;as the sultans left every person in possesion of what he had aquired only taking elephants for their own use.

    ruin of vijaynagar---

    the ruin brought upon the magnificient city may be described in the words of sewell, who was familiar with the scene of the desolation.

    when the princes fled with their treasures ,

    then a panic seized the city......no reatreat ,no flight was possible except for a few, for the pack oxen and carts had almost all followed the forces to the war and had not returned. nothing could be done but to bury all the treasures , arm the younger men and wait. next day the place became a prey to the robber tribes and jungle people of the neighbourhood. hordes of brinjaris , kurubas and the like pounced upon the hapless city, and carried off great quantities of riches. couto notes at least six concerted attacks on the city.

    next day however , saw the begining of the end. the victorious mussalmans had halted on the field of battle for rest and refreshment , but now they had reached the capital ,and from that time forward for a space of five months vijaynagar knew no rest.

    the enemy had come to destroy ,and they carried out their object rentlessly....NEVER PERHAPS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD HAS SUCH HAVOC BEEN WROUGHT , AND WROUGHT SO SUDDENLY, ON SO SPLENDID A CITY ; TEEMING WITH A WEALTHY AND INDUSTRIOUS POPULATION IN THE FULL PLENITUDE OF PROSPERITY ONE DAY, AND ON THE NEXT SEIZED , PILLAGED , AND REDUCED TO RUINS ,AMID SCENES OF SAVAGE MASSACRE AND HORRORS BEGGARING DESCRIPTION.

    vincent smith then says that the words of a hebrew prothet lamenting the destruction of jerusalem by muslim invaders apply to vijaynagar too----

    " how doth the city sit solitary , that was full of people ! how she is become as a widow! she that was great among the nations and a princess among the provinces , how is she become tributary !....the young and the old lie dead on the ground on thr streets: my virgins and and young men are fallen by the sword.........how is the gold become dim! how has the value of the most fine gold changed ! the stones of the sanctuary are poured in the top of every street."
     
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