Vijayanagar Empire

  • During the mid-14th century, when the forces of disintegration were active in the northern India, two kingdoms in the South provided a long spell of stable government. These were the Vijayanagar and Bahmani Kingdoms.
    • The rise of these kingdoms started during the reign of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq when there were rebellions in many parts of the Sultanate. Taking advantage of the weak Central administration, these two Empires declared their independence from the Delhi Sultanate.
  • Although these kingdoms constantly fought with each other, they maintained law and order within their territories, and on the whole provided stable governments which enabled the growth of trade and commerce. Many of the rulers devoted themselves to the growth of agriculture, and built cities and capitals with magnificent buildings. Many of them were also patrons of art and culture.
  • Thus, in contrast to north India, two large territorial states emerged and functioned in south India from the middle of the 14th century onwards. A new situation arose with the break up of the Bahmanid kingdom towards the end of the 15th century, and the disintegration of the Vijayanagar empire later, following its defeat at the battle of Talikota in 1565.
  • This was also the period when a European power, the Portuguese, entered the Asian scene, and tried on the basis of its naval strength to establish its domination over the seas and its bordering areas and to capture the overseas trade.

Foundation of Vijayanagar Empire

  • According to a tradition, the founder of Vijayanagara Empire, Harihara and Bukka belonged to a family of five brothers who were feudatories of Kakatiyas of Warangal. Later, they became ministers in the kingdom of Kampili in Karnataka.
  • According to a legend, when Mohammad Bin Tughlaq conquered Kampili, the two brothers were also captured, taken to Delhi and were forcibly converted to Islam.
    • However, due to the atrocities of Mohammand Bin Tughlaq, the people of Kampili revolted. At this juncture, Harihara and Bukka were appointed to deal with rebellion, but seeing the plight of their own people, the two brothers were filled with the desire to free their homeland from Turkish bondage.
    • At the instance of their Guru Vidyaranya, they re-converted into Hinduism and in 1336 AD founded the independent kingdom of Vijayanagara.
  • The two brothers extended their empire up to Rameshwaram in the South including the Chera territories. Sixteen rulers of four dynasties- Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva and Aravidu ruled over Vijayanagara from 1336 to 1646 AD.
    • Sangama dynasty (1336-1485)
    • Saluva dynasty (1485-1505)
    • Tuluva dynasty (1505-1570)
    • Aravidu dynasty (1570-1650)
Vijayanagar Empire

Sangama Dynasty

  • Sangama is the name of the first dynasty of Vijayanagara. It was the first dynasty to rule over the Vijaynagar empire.
  • This dynasty was home to the empire’s founders, Harihara I and Bukka. It ruled from 1336 to 1485 AD.
  • During the reigns of Harihara and Bukka I, the Vijaynagar kingdom absorbed many principalities and divisions, including most of the Hoysala territory.
  • The chronicle of Nuniz provides a detailed account of how the sovereigns of Vijayanagar first began to acquire the power that would later become so extensive. This account may or may not be accurate in every detail, but it corresponds fairly with epigraphical and other records of the time.
    • According to records, after conquering Gujarat, Muhammad Taghlaq of Delhi marched south through the Dakhan Balaghat, or high lands above the western ghats, and seized the town and fortress of Anegundi around the year 1336.
    • Its leader was assassinated, along with his entire family. After a failed attempt to govern this territory through a deputy, Muhammad elevated its late minister to the rank of chief of state, a man Nuniz refers to as “Deorao,” for “Deva Raya,” or Harihara Deva I.
    • The new chief established the city of Vijayanagar on the south bank of the river opposite Anegundi and made his residence there, with the help of the great religious teacher Madhava, wisely believing that putting the river between himself and the ever-marauding Moslems would provide him and his people with greater security than before.
    • He was succeeded by “one called Bucarao” (Bukka), who reigned for thirty-seven years, and the next king was the latter’s son, “Pureoyre Deo” (Harihara Deva II.).
    • The first two kings, Harihara I and Bukka, were brothers, and the third king, Harihara II, was undoubtedly Bukka’s son.
    • The city of Vijayanagar, thus founded around the year 1335, quickly grew in importance and became a refuge for Hindu outcasts, refugees, and fighting men who had been beaten and driven out of their old strongholds by the advancing Muhammadans.
    • The first rulers of Vijayanagar, however, did not dare to call themselves kings, and neither did the Brahmans who composed the text of their early inscriptions.

Harihara and Bukka (1336 – 1377 CE)

  • Harihara
    • Harihara I founded the Vijayanagara empire and was also known as ‘Hakka’ or ‘Vira Harihara.’ He was Bhavana Sangama’s eldest son and a Kuruba clan descendant.
    • He was also the founder of the Sangama Dynasty. Following his ascension to power, he built a fort at Barkuru on the western coast of what is now Karnataka.
    • He ruled the northern parts of the Hoysala Empire before assuming control of the kingdom in 1343, following the death of Hoysala Veera Ballala III.
    • Harihara I was known as ‘Karnataka Vidya Vilas,’ ‘Arirayavibhada,’ or ‘fire to enemy kings,’ and ‘Bhashegetappuvarayaraganda,’ or punisher of feudal lords who failed to keep their promises according to the inscriptions of his time.
  • Bukka
    • Bukka Raya I was a Sangama Dynasty ruler who ruled over the Vijayanagara Empire. This ancient ruler supported Telugu poet Nachana Soma.
    • The accounts of Bukka’s and Raya’s early lives are shrouded in mystery, and many legends surround these people. Harihara I was also known as Hakka.
    • According to popular belief, Hakka and Bukka were born in the Kuruba clan and served as commanders in the King of Warangal’s royal army.
    • Following Muhammad Bin Tughlaq’s defeat of Warangal’s ruler, Hakka and Bukka were captured, imprisoned, and transferred to Delhi. They were compelled to convert to Islam.

Harihara II (1377 – 1406 CE)

  • Harihara II was the Vijayanagar Empire’s ruler during the Sangama Dynasty. From 1377 to 1404 CE, he was in power.
  • This ruler supported the famous Kannada poet Madhura. During the reign of this emperor, who was bestowed with the titles ‘Vedamarga Pravartak’ and ‘Vaidikamarga Sthapanachary,’ significant work on the Vedas was completed.
  • Harihara II primarily ruled the Vijayanagara region, known as Hampi. The ruins of Harihara II’s palace can be found among the ruins of Hampi.

Deva Raya I (1406 – 1422 CE)

  • Deva Raya I (reigned 1406–1422) was a Vijayanagara Empire king (of the Sangama Dynasty).
  • After Harihara II died, his sons fought over the throne, with Deva Raya I eventually emerging victorious.
  • He was a capable ruler known for his military prowess and support for irrigation projects in his kingdom.
  • Deva Raya I, on the other hand, secured the throne for himself in 1406. In his wars with the Bahamani Sultan, he suffered some setbacks and died in 1422.
  • Deva Raya I was succeeded by his son Vira-Vijaya, whom Nuniz refers to as “Visaya,” and who reigned for six years, according to Nuniz.

Deva Raya II (1425 – 1446 CE)

  • Deva Raya II ruled the Vijayanagara Empire from 1422 to 1446 CE. He was the most powerful ruler of the Sangama dynasty, and he was a skilled administrator, warrior, and scholar.
    • He was the grandson of Deva Raya I. Ahmad Shah I of Bahmani invaded Vijayanagar and exacted a war indemnity.
  • He wrote well-known Kannada works (Sobagina Sone and Amaruka) as well as Sanskrit works (Mahanataka Sudhanidhi).
  • Despite the fact that Deva Raya II’s wars with the Bahmanis ended in defeat and loss, his reign was marked by administrative reorganisation. Muslims were admitted into the army by him to compete with the Bahamanis.
  • In order to control and regulate trade, he appointed his right-hand man, Lakkanna or Laksmana, to the lordship of the southern sea, which is in charge of overseas commerce.
  • Nicolo Conti and Abdur Razzaq, a Persia envoy, visited Vijayanagar in 1420 and 1443, respectively, and left glowing descriptions of the city and the Vijaynagar Empire.
  • He was called Prauda Deva Raya.
  • In his inscriptions he has the title of Gajabetekara (the elephant hunter).
  • Sri Lanka paid a regular tribute to him.
  • He had leaning for Virashaivism, yet he respected other religions.
  • Dindima was the court poet, whereas Srinatha was given the title of ‘Kavisarvabhauma’.
  • Abdur Razzak, the envoy of Shah Rukh of Persia, visited Vijayanagar during his reign.

End of Sangama Dynasty

  • Deva Raya II died in 1446 and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Malikarjuna, who repelled a combined attack on his capital by the Bahmani Sultan and the Raja of the Hindu Kingdom of Orissa and managed to keep his kingdom intact during his reign.
  • Virupaksha Raya II was a Sangama Dynasty king of the Vijayanagara Empire. Virupaksha Raya II succeeded his uncle, Mallikarjuna Raya, a corrupt and weak ruler who consistently lost to the empire’s enemies, in 1465.
  • During his reign, the Saluva chief Narasimha of Chandragiri, whose ancestors had faithfully served the Vijayanagara kingdom as its feudatories, rose to prominence and resisted the Bahmani kingdom and the King of Orissa.
  • Raja Purusottama Gajapati of Orissa advanced as far south as Tiruvannamalai, while the Bahmani advanced into the Doab between Krishna and the Tungabhadra.
  • To protect the kingdom from these threats, Narasimha Saluva deposed his worthless master and seized the throne for himself around 1480.
  • Thus, the Sangam dynasty was deposed in what has come to be known as the “first Usurpation,” and Vijaynar became part of the Saluva dynasty.

Saluva dynasty

  • The Saluva dynasty was the second dynasty to rule the Vijayanagara Empire and was created by the Saluvas, who by historical tradition were natives of the Kalyani region of northern Karnataka in modern India.
    • The Gorantla inscription traces their origins to this region from the time of the Western Chalukyas and Kalachuris of Karnataka.
    • The earliest known Saluva from inscriptional evidence in the Vijayanagara era was Mangaladeva, the great grandfather of Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya.
      • Mangaladeva played an important role in the victories of Emperor Bukka Raya I against the Turko-Persian Sultanate of Madurai.
      • His descendants founded the Saluva Dynasty and became one of the ruling lines of the Vijayanagara Empire.
      • Three emperors ruled from 1485 to 1505 after which the Tuluva Dynasty won the throne.
  • Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya (1485-1491 AD)
    • Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya, son of Saluva Gunda who was the Governor of Chandragiri, was the first Emperor of Vijayanagara from the dynasty ruling from 1486–1491 CE.
    • He tried to expand his empire but faced stiff opposition from rebelling chieftains.
    • He conquered the western ports of Kannada country of Mangalore, Honnavar, Bakanur and Bhatkal but lost Udayagiri to Gajapati Kapilendra in 1491. He died in 1491.
  • Thimma Bhupala (1491 AD)
    • He succeeded his father Narasimha Deva Raya but was murdered by his army commander who took the advantage of political unrest.
    • He was succeeded by his younger brother Narasimha Raya II.
  • Narasimha Raya II (1491-1505 AD)
    • Despite being the crowned King, he remained a puppet in the hands of his commander Tuluva Narasa Nayaka till his death in 1505. He was murdered by the son of Narasa Nayaka, Viranarasimha Raya who proclaimed himself as the new king. Viranarsimha raya was acting as the regent of the empire after the death of Narasa Nayaka.
    • Thus Saluva dynasty came to an end.

Tuluva Dynasty

  • The Tuluva Dynasty was the third dynasty to rule the Vijayanagar Empire. They were chiefs from coastal Karnataka. The Tuluva Dynasty was one of the decision-making lines of the Vijayanagara Empire of Southern India.
  • The dynasty traces its patrilineal ancestry to Tuluva Narasa Nayaka, a powerful warlord from the westerly Tulu speaking region. His son Narasimha Nayaka arranged for the assassination of the weak Narasimha Raya II bringing an end to the rule of the Saluva dynasty.
  • Narasimha Nayaka later assumed the Vijayangara throne as Viranarasimha Raya bringing the Tuluva dynasty to prominence.
  • During this time, the Vijayanagar empire reached its pinnacle of splendour, with Krishna Deva Raya as its most celebrated king. They ruled over much of South India, with Vijaynagar as their capital.

Vira Narasimha Raya (1505 – 1509 CE)

  • The Saluva dynasty was also short-lived, and Vira Narasimha established a new dynasty known as the Tulva dynasty. From 1505 to 1509, he ruled. He was a religious king who bestowed gifts at sacred sites.
    • Legend has it that, while dying in 1509, Vira Narasimha Raya asked his minister Saluva Thimma (Thimmarasa) to blind his younger brother Krishna Deva Raya so that his own eight-year-old son could become king of Vijayanagar.
    • Thimmarasa, on the other hand, brought the king a pair of goat eyes and informed him that he had killed Krishna Deva Raya.
    • However, there is no evidence to support anything other than a friendly relationship between the two half-brothers and a smooth coronation of Krishna Deva Raya.

Krishna Deva Raya (1509 – 1529 CE)

  • Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529 CE) was the most powerful emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • At the apex of the empire, he presided over it. He is regarded as a hero by people of Kannada and Telugu descent in South India and is regarded as one of India’s most illustrious kings.
  • Emperor Krishnadevaraya was also given the titles Andhra Bhoja and Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana. He was assisted in administration by the capable Prime Minister Timmarusu.
    • Timmarusu was responsible for Krishnadevaraya’s coronation. Krishnadevaraya looked up to Timmarusu as a father figure.
  • He was the son of Nagala Devi and Tuluva Narasa Nayaka, an army commander under Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya, who soon took over the empire’s sovereignty to keep it from disintegrating.
  • KrishnaDeva Raya maintained friendly relations with Albuquerque, the Portuguese governor, whose ambassador Friar Luis resided in Vijayanagar. He won Onssa (Gajapti kingdom) for Vijayanagar and Vijayanagar emerged strongest during his reign.
  • He built the Vijaya Mahal (House of Victory), the Hazara Rama temple and the Vithal Swami temple.
    He took the titles of Yavanaraja Sthapnachrya (restorer of the Yavana kingdom i.e. Bidar kingdom) and Abhinara Bhoja.
  • He was a gifted scholar in both Telugu and Sanskrit, of which only two works are extant: the Telugu work on polity ‘Amuktamalyada’ and the Sanskrit drama ‘Jambavati Katyanam’.
  • His court was adorned by the ‘Ashtadiggajas’ (the eight celebrated poets of Telugu):
    1. Peddana ( ‘Manucharitam’)
    2. Timmaya (Parijata Apaharana1)
    3. Bhattumurthi
    4. Dhurjati
    5. Mallana
    6. Raju Ramchandra
    7. Surana
    8. Tenali Ramkrisha (‘Panduranga Mahatya’).

Achyuta Deva Raya (1529 – 1542 CE)

  • Achyuta Deva Raya was the ruler of the South India Vijayanagara Empire. He was Krishna Deva Raya’s younger brother, whom he succeeded in 1529.
  • Fernao Nuniz was a Portuguese traveller, chronicler, and horse trader who spent three years in Vijayanagara during the reign of Achyutaraya.
  • Achyuta Deva Raya became king during a difficult period. The days of peace and prosperity under Krishnadevaraya were drawing to a close.
  • Feudators and enemies were waiting for a chance to bring the empire down. In addition, Achyuta Deva Raya had to compete for the throne with the powerful Aliya Rama Raya.
  • While Nuniz’s works portray Achyuta Deva Raya as a king given to vices and cruelty, there is sufficient evidence to show that the king was notable in his own right and fought hard to keep the kingdom’s prosperity alive.
  • Krishna Deva Raya had personally chosen him as his successor.

Sada Siva Raya (1542 – 1570 CE)

  • Sadasiva Raya (1542–1570) ruled the Vijayanagara Empire in 16th century India, a powerful Southern Indian empire based in the Deccan region.
  • He ascended to power following the death of his uncle Achyuta Deva Raya in 1543. Aliya Rama Raya, Krishnadevaraya’s son-in-law, helped make his coronation possible.
  • Sadasiva escaped the clutches of the ambitious regent Salakam Timmu Raju and was later elevated to the throne by the minister Rama Raya, who initially acted as regent but gradually became the de facto ruler of the kingdom.
  • Caesar Frederick, a Venetian traveller, visited Vijayanagar in 1567-68 during the reign of Sadashiva Raya.

Aravidu Dynasty

  • It was the fourth and last Hindu dynasty which ruled Vijayanagara Empire.
  • It was founded by Tirumala. His brother Rama Raya was the regent of Tuluva dynasty’s last king. He was killed during the battle of Talikota in 1565 AD.
  • Tirumala Deva Raya
    • Tirumala Deva Raya was also the son-in-law of Krishna Deva Raya. He re-founded the Vijaynagar kingdom in Penukonda, Andhra Pradesh. The kingdom was destroyed by the Muslim rulers following the battle of Talikonda.
    • During his reign, Tirumala Deva Raya faced rebellion from Southern Nayakas of Madurai and Ginjee. He retired to a religious life in 1572 AD.
  • Sriranga Deva Raya (Sriranga I)
    • He ruled Vijayanagara kingdom from 1572 AD to 1586 AD.
    • He faced repeated attacks from Muslim rulers of Deccan. Nonetheless, he did his best to defend the territories of the kingdom and died in 1586 without an heir.
  • Venkata II (1586-1614 AD)
    • He succeeded his elder brother Sriranga I in 1586 as the new king of Vijayanagara Empire.
    • He revived the strength of the kingdom by dealing successfully with the sultans of Bijapur and Golkonda.
    • He suppressed the rebelling Nayakas of Tamil Nadu.
  • Sriranga II (1614 AD)
    • He ruled for a brief period of time. During his time, internal feud between the rival factions started.
  • Ramadeva (1617-1632 AD)
    • He ruled from 1617 AD to 1632 AD.
  • Venkata III
    • He became the king of Vijayanagara in 1632 AD and ruled till 1642 AD.
  • Sriranga III
    • He was the last ruler of the Vijayanagar Empire. He ruled from 1642 to 1646 AD.
    • Sri Ranga was defeated by Mir Jumla of Golconda in battle of Vandavasi in 1647.
    • Vijyanagar empire came to an end with this.

Polity and Administration

  • The polity of Vijayanagara was based on King being the power centre with a council of ministers to advise him.
  • The kingdom was divided into Rajyas or Mandalam (provinces) which were further sub-divided into Nadus (district), Sthala (sub district) and grama (village). The village was managed by village headman who headed the panchayat.
  • The Governors of the provinces were royal princes or high ranking nobles. They enjoyed high provincial autonomy, held their own courts, appointed their own officers, even maintained their own armies. They
    could impose new taxes and paid a fixed contribution to the Central Government. Thus, Vijayanagara was more a confederacy than a centralised empire.
  • The king also granted amaram or territory with a fixed revenue to military chiefs. These chiefs who were called palaiyagar or nayaks had to maintain a fixed number of soldiers and pay a fixed revenue to Central Government.
    • Each nayaka was given an area for administration. The nayaka was responsible for expanding agricultural activities in his area.
    • He collected taxes in his area and with this income maintained his army, horses, elephants and weapons of warfare that he had to supply to the raya or the Vijayanagar ruler
    • The amara-nayakas sent tribute to the king annually and personally appeared in the royal court with gifts to express their loyalty.
  • Land revenue was the chief source of state income. Farmers paid between one-third and one-sixth of the produce as taxes after assessment of the quality of the land. Other sources of revenue were customs duty, grazing tax, import and export duties.
  • Most of the money was spent on welfare schemes and in the maintenance of a large army, consisting of infantry, cavalry and elephants. Good quality horses were imported from Arabia.


  • Industries like textile, mining and metallurgy flourished under the patronage of Vijayanagar rulers.
  • The trade was brisk and external trade with countries such as Persia, Arabia and South East Asian countries like Burma, China and Sri Lanka. Ships carried rice, iron, sandalwood, sugar and spices to these countries.
    • The chief items of export were cotton, silk, spices, rice, saltpeter and sugar.
    • The imports consisted of ivory, horses, silk, pearls, copper, coral etc.
  • The art of shipbuilding had developed.
  • A number of gold and silver coins of the period have been found which reflects the vibrant economy of the period.
    • The chief gold coin was the varaha or pagoda. The Perta was half a Varaha. Fanam was one tenth a pertha.
    • Tar was a silver coin. Jittal was a copper coin.


  • Like all the other societies of the medieval period, the Vijayanagara society was divided into three main classes – the nobles, the middle class and the common people.
    • The nobles lived in great comfort and luxury while the middle classes were mainly businessmen and lived in cities. The common people lived ordinary life and were taxed heavily.
  • Women were respected and some even participated in political and literary activities. Polygamy was common among the upper classes. Evils like child marriage and Sati existed. Prostitution was institutionalized. Devdasi or temple dancer system became more popular.
  • Brahmins were accorded high status as they performed religious ceremonies. The Vijayanagara rulers were Hindus, but were tolerant towards other religions.


  • The Sangama rulers were mostly followers of Shaivism and Virupaksha was their family deity.
  • Later dynasties were influenced by Vaishnavism, but Shiva continued to be practiced. Srivaishnavism of Ramanuja attained high popularity.
    • However, all kings were tolerant towards other religions and their practices.
    • In fact, many Muslims were part of the Vijayanagara administration. They were also allowed to build mosques to and worship.
  • A large number of temples were built during this period and numerous festivals were celebrated. Epics and Puranas were greatly popular among the masses, especially among women as it was a means for their education.

Art and Architecture

  • Many temples and palaces were built by the rulers of Vijayanagara kingdom. The temples were adorned with beautiful sculptures.
  • According to Domingo Paes, a Portuguese traveller, the city of Vijayanagara was surrounded by seven walls covering an area of about 96 kilometres. Inside the city, there were magnificent palaces and temples.
  • The temple enclosures became more spacious. The temple walls exhibited scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The chief characteristics of the Vijayanagara architecture were the construction of tall Raya Gopurams or gateways, the Kalyana mandapam with carved pillars in the temple premises, the Garbhagriha and the Amman shrine.
    • The Amman shrine is a subsidiary temple enshrining the consort of the chief deity of the Garbhagriha.
  • The most important temples of the Vijayanagar style were found in the ruins of Hampi. Vittalaswami and Hazara Ramaswamy temples, constructed by Krishna Deva Raya are some of the best examples of their architectural style. The Varadharaja and Ekamparanatha temples at Kanchipuram, built during Vijayanagara rule are known for their magnificent temple architecture.
    • The Raya Gopurams at Thiruvannamalai and Chidambaram speak about the glorious era of Vijayanagara.
  • Music and dancing were also patronized by the rulers of Vijayanagar.
  • The sculptures were carved on the pillars with distinctive features. The horse was the most common animal found on these pillars. The mandapams, containing hundreds of pillars, were used for seating the deity on festival occasions. Also, many Amman shrines were added to the already existing temples during this period.


  • The Vijayanagara rulers patronized Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil literatures. The empire was at the peak of its literary achievement during the rule of Krishna Deva Raya.
  • Known as the ‘Andhra Bhoja’, Krishna Deva Raya wrote ‘Amuktamalyada’ a book on polity in Telugu which explains how a king should rule. He also wrote a Sanskrit drama ‘Jambavati Kalyanam’.
  • His court was adorned by eight celebrated poets, called as ‘Ashtadiggajas’ of which Peddana and Madhava were the members.
  • Achyuta Raya patronized Rajanatha and the poetess Tirumalambadevi, who wrote Vardambika Parinayam.
  • Narahari (Kumaravalmiki) composed a popular version of Ramayana, called Torave Ramayana in Kannada language.
  • The Vijayanagara rulers also patronised saints like Namadeva and Jnanadeva.
  • Few Sanskrit works are.
    • Gangadevi wrote- Madhuravijayam
    • Krishnadevarya wrote – usha parinayan, jambavanti kalyanam, madalasa charita.
    • Guru vidyaranya wrote—Raja kalanirnaya
  • Literary works in Kannada.
    • Chamarasa wrote – prabhulingaleele
    • Kanakadas wrote- Ramadhanacharite, nala charite, mohantarangini
    • Kumaravyasa wrote – Karnataka katha manjari
    • Purandardas — keertanas
  • Literary works in Telugu
    • Krishnadevaraya wrote – Amuktamalyada
    • Allasani pedanna wrote – Manucharita
    • Nandi timanna wrote – Parijathaparahana etc

Reasons for Decline

  • Some of the reasons for the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire were:
    • The Empire was engaged in continuous battles with rivals such as Bahmani rulers, Madurai, Warangal, etc. These wars drained the resources of the empire and impoverished the economy.
    • The Empire was based on provincial autonomy. This led to too much power in the hands of Governors which were engaged in infights and as soon as the central authority got weakened, they asserted their independence.
    • There was no firm rule of primogeniture, therefore after the death of a ruler, there was a fight among the princes and nobles for the throne.
    • Weak successors after Krishna Deva Raya could not hold on to such a large Empire.
  • The Battle of Talikota is generally considered to mark the end of the Vijayanagara Empire.
    • Although the kingdom lingered on for almost one hundred years under the Aravidu dynasty founded by Tirumala Raya with its capital at Penukonda. It came to an end in 1646.


  • The Vijayanagara Empire provided an era of growth and stability in the South when the empires in north India were disintegrating. It left a rich legacy in the form of its unique architectural style – the Vijayanagara Style which had elements of both Central and Southern India.
  • This synthesis inspired architectural innovation in Hindu temple construction. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies such as water management systems for irrigation.
  • The empire’s patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in South Indian history that transcended regionalism.

List of Foreign Travellers visited Vijayanagar Kingdom
Name of TravellersPlace they came fromVijayanagar Ruler
Abu Abdullah/ lbn Batuta (Book: Rihla)MoroccoHarihara I
Nicolo de ContiItalyDevaraya-II
Abdur RazzaqPersiaDevaraya-II
Athanasius NikitinRussiaVirupaksha Raya II
Ludvico de VorthemaItalyKrishna Deva Raya
Duarte BarbosaPortugalKrishna Deva Raya
Dominigo PaesPortugalKrishna Deva Raya
Fernao NunizPortugalAchyuta Deva Raya
Marco PoloVenice

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