Fall & Resurrection of Vijayanagara Kingdom:Venkatapati Deva Raya-saviour of Southern India(PartIII)[Continued from: Fall & Resurrection of Vijayanagara Kingdom: Venkatapati Deva Raya-saviour of Southern India (Part-II)]
In the second part, we discussed the condition of Vijayanagara empire after the Battle of Talikota (1565). Tirumala Raya and Ranga Raya tried to resurrect the kingdom, but unfortunately despite their valient efforts, the kingdom was always on the back-foot.
After the death of Ranga Raya, the influential members of the royal court chose Venkatapati Deva Raya as the next king. The readers will recall that as the governor of Chandragiri, Deva Raya had sent an successful expedition to Srilanka.
After becoming the emperor of a fast-shrinking Vijayanagara kingdom in 1585, Venkatapati Deva Raya invaded Golconda to recover the lost territories. Golconda Sultan Qutb Shah sent a vast army against Deva Raya and forced him to go back to Penukonda, the new capital of Vihjyanagara. However, with the active assistance of Jaggadevaraya, Matla Anantaraju, Raghunatha Nayaka and applying brilliant military strategy, Deva Raya inflicted a crushing defeat on the Golconda forces.
But the reversal of fortune took place on the banks of Pennar river. Venkatapati Deva Raya himelf led his troops and ambushed the retreating Golconda forces in the waters of Pennar killing 50,000 soldiers. The river was dyed red by the blood of Golconda forces. The revenge of Talikota was taken on the banks of Pennar. The Vijayanagara empire re-established its authority up to the bank of Krishna river. Thereafter Golconda sultanate became busy in defending itself against Mughal Prince Murad. Golconda never again attacked Vijayanagara kingdom.
But Bijapur sultanate was remained to be tackled. Bijapur sultan, Adil Shah beseiged Penukonda. Venkatapati Deva Raya convinced a Hindu general of Bijapur to defect and inflicted a crushing defeat on Bijapur sultanate. Adil Shah fled to his capital. The regions lost during the reign of Tirumala Raya were re-captured by Venkatapati Deva Raya. After 1595, Venkatapati Deva Raya never faced and invasion. He spent the remaining period of his reign in colsolidating the kingdom.
The reign of Venkatapati Deva Raya helped the Southern India to resist the Mughal invasion from north. Much later Vijayanagara kingdom disintegrated due to internal struggle and not because of any external invasion. But by that time Marathas under Shivaji Maharaj became strong in the western and southern parts of India.
The rule of Venkatapati Deva Raya is extremely important in preserving Hinduism and its places of worship in the south. The life-size statue of Venkatapati Deva Raya (along with the statues of Krishnadeva Raya and Achyuta Deva Raya) in the Tirumala Venkateswara Swami Temple bears testimony of this fact.
But, as usual, the Indian historians have almost erased Emperor Venkatapati Deva Raya, the saviour of southern India, from Indian history books.