A Forgotten Empire Chapter 16

A Forgotten Empire Chapter 16

The Third Dynasty
Genealogy ~~ The Muhammadan States ~~ Fall of Bankapur, Kondavid,
Bellamkonda and Vinukonda ~~ Haidarabad founded ~~ Adoni under the
Muhammadans ~~ Subsequent history in brief.

The following is the genealogy of this third family.[345] They came
apparently of the old royal stock, but their exact relationship to
it has never been conclusively settled. The dates appended are the
dates of inscriptions, not necessarily the dates of reigns.

The present Rajah of Anegundi, whose family name is Pampapati, and who
resides on the old family estate as a zamindar under H.H. the Nizam
of Haidarabad, has favoured me with a continuation of the family tree
to the present day.

Ranga VI., or, as he is generally styled, Sri Ranga, is said to have
been the youngest of three brothers, sons of Chinna Venkata III.,
Vira Venkatapati Raya being the eldest. Gopala, a junior member of
the family, succeeded to the throne and adopted Ranga VI., who was
thus a junior member of the eldest branch. The eldest brother of
Ranga VI. was ousted.

I have no means of knowing whether this information is correct,
but the succession of the eldest is given on the following page.

Pampapati Rajah is recognised by his Government as head of the family
for two reasons: first and foremost, because the elder line is extinct
and he was adopted by his sister Kuppamma, wife of Krishna Deva of the
elder line; secondly, because his two elder brothers are said to have
resigned their claims in his favour. The title of the present chief
is "Sri Ranga Deva Raya." Whether or no he has better title than his
nephew, Kumara Raghava, need not here be discussed. The interest to
the readers of this history lies in the fact that these two are the
only surviving male descendants of the ancient royal house.

To revert to the history, which need only be shortly summarised since
we have seen Vijayanagar destroyed and its territories in a state of
political confusion and disturbance.

I omit altogether the alternate political combinations and
dissolutions, the treacheries, quarrels, and fights of the various
Muhammadan states after 1565, as unnecessary for our purpose and
in order to avoid prolixity, summarising only a few matters which
more particularly concern the territories formerly under the great
Hindu Empire.

According to Golkonda accounts, a year after the great battle which
resulted in the destruction of Vijayanagar, a general of the Qutb Shah,
Raffat Khan Lari, ALIAS Malik Naib, marched against Rajahmundry, which
was finally captured from the Hindus in A.D. 1571 ~~ 72 (A.H. 979).

Shortly after his return to Bijapur (so says Firishtah), Ali Adil
Shah moved again with an army towards Vijayanagar, but retired on the
Ahmadnagar Sultan advancing to oppose him; and not long afterwards he
made an ineffectual attempt to reduce Goa. Retiring from the coast,
he marched to attack Adoni, then under one of the vassal chiefs of
Vijayanagar, who had made himself independent in that tract. The
place was taken, and the Nizam Shah agreed with the king of Bijapur
that he would not interfere with the latter's attempts to annex the
territories south of the Krishna, if he on his part were left free
to conquer Berar.

In 1573, therefore, Ali Adil moved against Dharwar and Bankapur. The
siege of the latter place under its chief, Velappa Naik, now
independent, lasted for a year and six months, when the garrison,
reduced to great straits, surrendered. Firishtah[346] states that
the Adil Shah destroyed a "superb temple" there, and himself laid
the first stone of a mosque which was built on its foundation. More
successes followed in the Konkan. Three years later Bellamkonda was
similarly attacked, and the Raya in terror retired from Penukonda to
Chandragiri. This campaign, however, resulted in failure, apparently
owing to the Shah of Golkonda assisting the Hindus. In 1579 the king
of Golkonda, in breach of his contract, attacked and reduced the
fortresses of Vinukonda and Kondavid as well as Kacharlakota and
Kammam,[347] thus occupying large tracts south of the Krishna.

In 1580 Ali Adil was murdered. Firishtah in his history of the Qutb
Shahs gives the date as Thursday, 23rd Safar, A.H. 987, but the true
day appears to have been Monday, 24th Safar, A.H. 988, corresponding
to Monday, April 11, A.D. 1580. This at least is the date given
by an eye-witness, one Rafi-ud-Din Shirazi, who held an important
position at the court at the time. (The question is discussed by
Major King in the INDIAN ANTIQUARY, vol. xvii. p. 221.) Ibrahim Qutb
Shah of Golkonda also died in 1580 and was succeeded by Muhammad
Quli, his third son, who in 1589 founded the city of Haidarabad,
originally carted Bhagnagar. He carried on successful wars in the
present Kurnool and Cuddapah districts, capturing Kurnool, Nandial,
Dole, and Gandikota, following up these successes by inroads into
the eastern districts of Nellore.

King Tirumala of Vijayanagar was in 1575 followed apparently by his
second son, Ranga II., whose successor was his brother Venkata I.[348]
(1586). The latter reigned for at least twenty-eight years, and
died an old man in 1614. At his death there were widespread revolts,
disturbances, and civil warfare, as we shall presently see from the
account of Barradas given in the next chapter. An important inscription
of his reign, dated in A.D. 1601 ~~ 2, and recorded on copper-plates,
has been published by Dr. Hultzsch.[349]

In 1593 the Bijapur Sultan, Ibrahim Adil, invaded Mysore, which then
belonged to the Raya, and reduced the place after a three months'
siege. In the same year this Sultan's brother, Ismail, who had been
kept prisoner at Belgaum, rose against his sovereign and declared
himself independent king of the place. He was besieged there by the
royal troops' but owing to treachery in the camp they failed to take
the place, and the territories in the neighbourhood were for some
time a prey to insurrections and disturbances. Eventually they were
reduced to submission and the rebel was killed. Contemporaneously
with these events, the Hindus again tried to obtain possession of
Adoni, but without success;[350] and a war broke out between the
rival kingdoms of Bijapur and Ahmadnagar.

With this period ends abruptly the narrative of Firishtah relating to
the Sultans of Bijapur. The Golkonda history[351] appears to differ
widely from it, but I have not thought it necessary here to compare
the two stories.

The history of the seventeenth century in Southern India is
one of confusion and disturbance. The different governors became
independent. The kings of the decadent empire wasted their wealth and
lost their territories, so that at length they held a mere nominal
sovereignty, and nothing remained but the shadow of the once great
name ~~ the prestige of family. And yet, even so late as the years
1792 and 1793, I find a loyal Reddi in the south, in recording on
copper-plates some grants of land to temples, declaring that he did so
by permission of "Venkatapati Maharaya of Vijayanagar;"[352] while I
know of eight other grants similarly recognising the old Hindu royal
family, which were engraved in the eighteenth century.[353]

The Ikkeri or Bednur chiefs styled themselves under-lords of
Vijayanagar till 1650.[354] A Vijayanagar viceroy ruled over Mysore
till 1610, after which the descendants of the former viceroys became
Rajahs in their own right. In Madura and Tanjore the Nayakkas became
independent in 1602.

All the Muhammadan dynasties in the Dakhan fell under the power of the
Mogul emperors of Delhi towards the close of the seventeenth century,
and the whole of the south of India soon became practically theirs. But
meanwhile another great power had arisen, and at one time threatened to
conquer all India. This was the sovereignty of the Mahrattas. Sivaji
conquered all the Konkan country by 1673, and four years later he
had overthrown the last shreds of Vijayanagar authority in Kurnool,
Gingi, and Vellore; while his brother Ekoji had already, in 1674,
captured Tanjore, and established a dynasty there which lasted for
a century. But with this exception the Mahrattas established no real
domination in the extreme south.

Mysore remained independent under its line of Hindu kings till the
throne was usurped by Haidar Ali and his son and successor, "Tippoo,"
who together ruled for about forty years. After the latter's defeat
and death at Seringapatam in 1799, the country was restored by the
English to the Hindu line.

The site on which stands Fort St. George at Madras was granted to
Mr. Francis Day, chief factor of the English there, by Sri Ranga Raya
VI. in March 1639, the king being then resident in Chandragiri.

The first English factory at Madras had been established in 1620.

A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar; A Contribution to the History of India by Robert Sewell.

wA Forgotten Empire Chapter 16  

A Forgotten Empire Vijayanagar


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