The Vijayanagara Empire

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Bhadra, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    vijayanagaran activities in shrI lankA


    Since the vijayan colonization of lankA several south India empires have extended their sway over lankA. On occasions, the lankans too invaded or interfered with the mainland, most famous occasion being the invasion of parAkramabAhu. Due to some prominent historians underplaying or outright ignoring the vijayanagaran forays into lankA, I too was misled into believing this was an unimportant facet of their military and cultural expansion. But an impressive collection of lankan gems that I had seen in the karnATa country from the vijayanagaran period kept coming to mind and culminated in more detailed look at the activities of vijayanagara in shrI lankA. Further even the biased Islamic and Christian sources had recorded the activities of vijayanagara in lankA, suggesting it was not something minor to be brushed aside.

    -kumAra kampaNa, the hero of Madhurai, the destroyer of the Army of Islam, had planned a large-scale invasion of shrI lankA to bring it under vijyanagaran control. However, he died just before the invasion and it was called off. Nevertheless the lankan rAjan bhuvanaikabAhu-V sent an embassy with gifts to maintain status quo with vijayanagara.

    -In 1385 CE virupAkSha, was sent by his father harihara-II to bring lankA to pay tribute. He invaded the island with an amphibious force and forced bhuvanaikabAhu to accept vijayanagaran overlordship. He appears to have taken the state of Yazhpanam (Jaffna) and brought it under direct vijayanagaran rule and used it to exert pressure on bhuvanaikabAhu. In support of this we note that a source mentioned by the learned historian SK Aiyangar, the nArAyaNIvilAsaM states that virUpAkSha set up a pillar of victory in lankA. We note that around this time harihara-II took the grandiose title of pUrva-pashchima-dakShiNa-samudrAdhIshvara. Copper plates found at Alampundi in the drAviDa country state that virUpAkSha acting on behalf of his father conquered the siMhala-s and brought gemstones for his father from there. The Portuguese sources also mention the conquest of lankA by a hindu king whose name is hopelessly corrupted and state that the rulers of Jaffna were karnATa-s.

    -In 1424 CE devarAya-II came to power and appears to have strengthened the navy by appointing a special naval command under the nAvigaDa-prabhu. Initially, the naval force appears to have been active on the Andhra coast as devarAya dispatched ambitious naval expeditions against Burma. These invasions landed on the Pegu and Tenasserim coasts and forced the Mon kingdom to become a tributary of vijayanagara and possibly even under direct vijayanagaran control. In 1440 CE a conflict appears to have emerged over the lankan non-payment of tribute during devarAya-II’s reign. As a consequence a lankan spice ship was captured and impounded by the vijayanagaran naval force. In response parAkramabAhu-II hoping to relive the memories of eponymous predecessor launched a naval expedition against the mainland and plundered Adhirampattinam. In response, devarAya sent his mahApradhAni (prime minister) lakShmaNa-daNDanAyaka to punish the lankans. In 1442 CE reconquered Adhirampattinam and launched an invasion into lankA. The lankans were defeated in battle fought south of Jaffna in 1443CE. Originally lakShmaNa intended to completely conquer lankA and bring it under direct vijayanagaran rule. However, the alarming news of the great Jihad being launched deep into vijayanagaran territory by the Bahmanid sultan reached him just then. So he accepted the tributes of parAkramabAhu-II and returned to the capital to reorganize the army to fight the Moslem invasion. This is supported an inscription near Chengalapattu in the Tamil country that mentions devarAya having subjugated the siMhala-s. Even an Islamic source (Abdur Razzak the Turk from Iran) and a Portuguese reports the same. Both these sources also report the subjugation of Pegu and Tenaserim in Southern Burma by devarAya. In the Burman accounts after the death of the king rAjAdhirAT of Mons we notice that there was break before the king rAma-rAjadhirAT takes the throne. This break corresponds to the vijayanagaran subjugation of the Burman coast, probably taking advantage of the internal conflict there.
    -With the death of devarAya-II the advancing Islamic Jihad pulverized the Vijayanagarans and their empire began shrinking rapidly even as they fought to barely stave off the annual jihads of the Bahmanids. In this phase Lanka had entirely slipped out of Vijayanagaran control.
    -Finally when Vijayanagara was revived under the great kR^iShNadevarAya he decided revive the control of Lanka. For this he asked the powerful governor of Pudukotai, narasingharAyar to organize a force for looking into the Lankan affairs.

    -Around that time (1521CE) the siMhala king vijayabAhu raised a cry for help as he was invaded by the Portuguese armada. The Christian terrorists asked him to convert to catholicism or face death and launched a massive attack on him. The siMhala-s begged to the sAmUthiri of the chera country to come to his aid. In the past 20 years the sAmUthiri was raising a naval force to complement his army of skilled nAyar warriors to deal with the Christian threat from the west. The Christians had bombed Kodungallur in 1504CE and the sAmUthiri’s navy had been engaged a fierce naval campaign in which he was facing the adverse edge of the Christian armada. To shore up his naval defenses the samUthiri tried to form an alliance with the Osman Turk navy against the Christians. However, the Christians managed to make a landing at Kollam and demolished a shAstA temple and built a church atop it. But at this point the sAmUthiri deployed his force of elite nAyar warriors who made a clean sweep of the Portuguese fort at Kollam, exterminated the Christians and demolished their church. Soon after this strike the Christians signed a peace treaty with the Hindus to secure their trade in the west coast. But the king of Portugal sent an armada under Menezes to wage holy war on the Hindus. The Portuguese in a move to outflank the Hindus tried to conquer Lanka in an amphibious attack with several guns. With the call for help coming, kR^iShNadevarAya who was the overlord of the sAmUthiri sent a force to aid in this battle against the Christians in Lanka. The sAmUthiri’s navy and the vijayanagaran land force successfully thwarted the Portuguese attempt. However, soon after this there was an intercine war of succession in Lanka that resulted in the division of the land among the vijayabAhu’s sons.

    -In 1525CE the Portuguese fleet decided to punish the chera-s for thwarting them at Lanka and set forth to attack Kozhikode. But the sAmUthiri had by then developed a sufficiently strong navy and won a major victory at sea against the Christians.

    -In 1533 CE taking advantage of the intercine war in Lanka the Tamil general narasingharAyar invaded Lanka and made it a tributary of kR^iShNadeva rAya. These activities are supported by the Pudukotai inscription of narasingharAyar and the Piranmalai inscription mentioning kR^iShNadeva sending a force during the time of the Portuguese invasion attempt.

    -In 1564 CE before setting forth to face the Moslems in that fateful encounter rAmarAya dispatched a force of 20000 men under kR^iShNappA nAyaka of Madhurai to bring Lanka under direct vijayanagaran control. He routed the Lankan king and also a large Portuguese force that tried to intervene and claim to be legitimate rulers of Lanka. He deposed the siMhala rAjan and placed his brother vijaya gopAla nAyaka as the viceroy of lankA. But the victory was to be last flash of the greater Vijayanagara as Hampi itself was destroyed by the Mohammedans a few months later.

    -1567CE vIra vasantarAya, vijayanagaran general was still trying to enforce the empire’s rule in Lanka, but with the empire facing an existential struggle against the army of Islam this hold was soon lost.



    ~ by mAnasa-taraMgiNI on October 11, 2009.


    vijayanagaran activities in shrI lankA « mAnasa-taraMgiNI
     
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  3. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    The Sri Lankans Kings married my ancestors the Madurai Kamma nayaks for prestige do not remember who they exactly married will dig in for more details regarding this.Vijayanagar is esentially a Telugu war lord Kingdom dominated by Kamma,Velama,Kapu nayaks my family traces its origin from one such Nayak.The whole of Tamil Nadu was infact protected by Kamma nayaks even after the fall of Vijaynagara this is the reason why we find Kammavar telugu naidus/Nayaks/Nayakars in TN.This legacy along with Periyar gives them immense prestige in TN
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  4. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Our friend Heinz is mortally afraid that Madurai walas will again capture entire Sri Lanka !!
     
  5. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Yeah, Vijayanagar was pretty much a Telugu kingdom. Maintaining control over the other vassals of South India was always a challenge and this internal infighting ultimately contributed to Vijayanagar's downfall.
     
  6. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Actually before the fall of Vijayanagar, the Cholas and Pandyas were still around as feudatories. But they went into oblivion after establishment of the nayaks in TN.
    But the caste that represented the Pandyan elite once again became powerful under the rule of Tirumala nayak. After Tirumala nayak they only became more powerful.
    Chola dynasty disappeared.But I personally don't mind that or the rise of Nayaks since it created some favorable caste power equations that are present today in TN.
     
  7. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    What are the chances of repeat of Vijaynagar on Sri Lanka if the Heinz Guderian types multiply there ??
     
  8. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Vijayangar was not ruthless enough against Lanka.

    If any repeat happens it should be a repeat of Chola invasion.
     
  9. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Entirely dependent how much the Lankans piss-off South-Indians.A pissed of South-Indian unleashes organized violence in a very meticulous manner which is extremely dangerous
     
  10. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Actually the Nayaks started gaining respect after they slaughtered the feudatories of Deccan Sultanates in Madurai.Gangadevis Maduravijayam gives us a good account of this story.The Nayaks never exactly subdued the Tamizh they ruled the Tamizh through respect.The tamizh actually wanted social security and the Nayaks somehow provided that until the advent of the British.Tamizh are too a bloodthisrty bunch to be ruled by force
     
  11. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Interesting facts about Vijayanagar empire -

    1> There were 4 dynasties Sangama , Saluva, Tuluva and Aravidu. Founded by Harihara Raya and his brother Bukka were according to different accounts either commanders in Hoysala army or Warangal army. Supposed to belong to Kuruba(sheep herder) community taken under the wing of Sage Vidyaranya who identified them as future kings.

    2> Founding of Vijayanagar Empire (from wikipedia)

    Harihara Raya I and Bukka Raya I were two Kannada Hoysala Dynasty Army Chiefs. After the Kakatiyas were defeated by Muslim sultans, Harahara and Bukka were forced to convert to Islam. Vidyaranya identified them, reconverted them back and asked them to identify a place to establish a Hindu empire.

    When they were traveling, they found a place where a rabbit was chasing a dog. When Vidyaranya was told about the miracle at this place, he planned to establish the kingdom there. As Vidyaranya was also a great astrologer, he as identified a muhurta (auspicious time) for laying the foundation stone, so that the empire would last for 2000 years. When everything was set, the guru told his students that he would go over the next hill, observe the celestial star positions and blow the shankha, or conch shell horn, at which moment the students should lay the foundation stone. After some time, Harihara and Bukka heard a sound of conch and the laid the foundation stone. After a few minutes, they heard another sound. Later the guru asked them for which sound they laid the stone, to which they replied, the first one. The guru calculated the horoscope for the time at which the first sound was heard. He predicted that the empire would last for only two hundred years. The first blow of conch was by a Jangama-Devaru (one who begs). It is said that before the event had happened, Vidyaranya, seeing the Muslim genocide of Hindus, did tapas (Meditation) for Bhuvaneswari Devi (the goddess of the Earth). When she appeared, he asked her for a Hindu empire for 2000 years, but she said that the time does not favor Hindus and gave the boon for only 200 years.

    3> The famous Krishnadevaraya belonged to the Tuluva dynasty and supposed be from to Bunt community from coastal Karnataka who speak Tulu. The last dynasty Aravidu started by ALiya Rama Raya, the son-in-law of the last Tuluva king (aLiya means son-in-law in Kannada).
     
  12. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    I was not talking about 1300s. Back then the Cholas and Pandyas had almost been destroyed by the Sultans. What the Vijayanagar rulers did by liberating Madurai was a great thing for South India as a whole.

    I was talking about events post 1565. Before Talikota Vijayanagar rule was not direct in TN, but post talikota Nayak rule was direct by replacing the Pandya and Chola feudatories but I don't know whether there was any war.

    In the earlier comment I meant the desccendants of the Pandyas beacame powerfull during the reign of Tirumala nayak.
    I was refering to the Maravars of south TN, 20,000 of whom were fielded by Tirumala Nayak to defeat an invading army from Mysore.
    He also gave the title Sethupathi to the Maravar leader. The Ramanathpuram royal family are Sethupathis.

    I think Nayak rule was better than Maratha rule in Tanjore.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  13. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Was Vijayangar, Telugu or Kannada? I have been confused for a long time.
     
  14. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    It is a Telugu Kakatiya Chieftains who started the Dynasty .Gradually it became a war state which mainly had Kamma,reddy,kapu,velama nayaks as underlings
     
  15. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    [​IMG]

    Bahmanai-Vijaynagara war at #70, 0.5million
     
  16. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    IF not for Venkatapathy Rayulus narcissim and Pig headedness the Mughal and Sultanates would have been wiped out from India
     
  17. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Its given as 0.5 million.
     
  18. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The founders of Vijayanagar Samraju, Harihara Raya and Bukka Raya, were originally officers under the Kakatiyas. Essentially Vijayanagar can be considered a continuation of the Kakatiya Kingdom.
     
  19. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    That's what I wrote, rank #70 (in descending order of deaths) and 0.5 million deaths (in total)
     
  20. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Vijayanagar Empire had Cannons and Muskets even at the end of the 1400s. There are Historical records of them having used guns in a large scale in the beginning of the 1500s.
    Heck even Pirates along the coast of south India were familiar with guns.

    But what do our "national" history textbooks say_ Babur introduced artillery in India!!!
    Such a blatant lie is fed into young minds in school.
     
  21. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Only the kings in Kandyan era married nayaks... even that was a political move to control the Kandyan radalas (lords)

    learn history Bhadra..... btw why would I worry about madurai walas who couldn't even create a independent Tamil state in British raj....

    pathetic.... so again a chola massacre............ by a Sinhalese people....

    like LTTE?
     

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