Fall & Resurrection of Vijayanagara Kingdom:Venkatapati Deva Raya-saviour of Southern India(Part-II)[Continued from: Fall & Resurrection of Vijayanagara Kingdom:Venkatapati Deva Raya-saviour of Southern India (Part-I)]
Thanks to our history books, we learnt that Vijyanagara kingdom fell after its defeat in the Battle of Talikota. But is it true? Let us study further. May be the truth is much different.
It is indeed true that the period from 1565 to 1585 was two decades of misfortune and agony for the Vijayanagara kingdom. But Tirumala Raya, the successor of Rama Raya, tried to re-establish the Hindu rule of Vijayanagara. He himself lost one of his eyes and one of his sons in the Battle of Talikota, but he never lost his spirit. But luck was not with him. Due to incessant harassment from the sultans of Bijapur and Golconda, he was forced to shift his capital to Penukonda, thus effectively ending any attempt to regain Raichur doab. He suffered many setbacks and lost Adoni. Turkal, Dharwad and Bankapur to Sultan Adil Shah of Bijapur. Eventually he died after handing over a rapidly shrinking kingdom to his son Ranga Raya.
Ranga Raya inherited the indomitable spirit of his father, Tirumala Raya. But he also inherited his ill fate. His fortune turned to worse year after year. Initially he was able to regain the forts lost to Golkonda, but could not held these. Nayak rulers at the western part of the kingdom did not get his support at the time of need and eventually had to accept the supremacy of Portuguese. When Adil Shah attacked Penukonda, he was able to defend the city, but some of his landlords later joined hands with Bijapur and Golconda. Next year Adil Shah again attacked Penukonda, but again this time he managed to defend it due to military genius of his son-in-law, Jaggadevaraya.
The Vijayanagara empire was continuously on the back-foot. The sultanates had been launching annual jihad year after year. The northern, eastern and western parts of the kingdom were shrinking continuously. It seemed that the kingdom's days were numbered.
However, in this turbulent and terrible time, Ranga Raya's youngest brother and the Governor of Chandragiri, Venkatapati Deva Raya, managed an expedition to Ceylon (present Srilanka) and gained tribute from the king of that country. This was a silver lining in the dark cloud looming over the horizon of Vijayanagara empire.
Ranga Raya died in the year 1585. After his death, the ministers, the landlords, the Brahmins and the generals took a very significant decision. Instead of crowning the immediate younger brother or the son of Ranga Raya, they chose Ranga Raya's youngest brother, Venkatapati Deva Raya as the successor of Ranga Raya.
The reversal of fortune started with the coronation of Venkatapati Deva Raya.
(.....To be continued at Part-III)