Fall & Resurrection of Vijayanagara Kingdom:Venkatapati Deva Raya-saviour of Southern India (Part-I)It was 1564. Aliya Rama Raya, the son-in-law of great emperor Krishnadeva Raya, was ruling Vijayanagara kingdom. The very old Rama Raya was very powerful. His massive built created awe and respect in the minds of his enemies and friends.
Rama Raya had a strong army. He fought battles with the sultans of Golconda and Bijapur. He went on enlarging the area of the Vijayanagara kingdom. The kingdom was economically and militarily strong.
Rama Raya started expansion of his army. And he took two steps which eventually proved to be two terrible blunders. The confident Rama Raya slowly finished the extensive spy network developed by his predecessors. Perhaps he thought that a very strong army doesn't require spy network. The second step was that he appointed two Muslim generals, who defected from the army of Adil Shah, the sultan of Bijapur. Gilani brothers, the two Muslim generals proved to be the messengers of death for Rama Raya.
Then came January 1565. Always quarrelling Bijapur and Golconda sultanates got themselves united. Ahmednagar, Berar and Bidar also joined hands. A formidable force was forged. Rama Raya had no inkling what was happening and what was going to happen.
On 23rd January, 1565, the combined army of five sultanates (Ahmadnagar, Golconda, Bijapur, Berar and Bidar) attacked Vijyanagara kingdom. The crucial Battle of Talikota was fought near the villages of Rakkasagi and Tangadigi in Karnataka.
Despite being unprepared, mighty Vijayanagara army was slowly gaining upper hand. But, the Gilani brothers played the treacherous game at the crucial period. Two Muslim divisions under the two brothers turned against Rama Raya.
Rama Raya was beheaded by the traitors. Disheartened Vijayanagara soldiers could not resist the invaders. The combined sultanate army won the Battle of Talikota.
Thereafter the pillaging started. The most prosperous kingdom of Asia was pillaged, raped, burnt, looted and was almost destroyed during the next few days.
Robert Sewell says in his book: ''With fire and sword, with crowbars and axes, they carried on day after day their work of destruction. 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.''
The mighty Vijayanagara kingdom fell.
[....To be continued. Please see: Fall & Resurrection of Vijayanagara Kingdom:Venkatapati Deva Raya-saviour of Southern India(Part-II)]