Timeline History

Battle of Talikota

The Battle of Talikota (or, Tellikota) (January 26, 1565) fought between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Deccan sultanates, resulted in a rout for Vijayanagar, and ended the last great Hindu kingdom in South India. Talikota is situated in northern Karnataka, about 80 km to the southeast of the city of Bijapur.
The throne of the Vijayanagara Empire had passed from Achyuta Raya, upon his death, to Rama Raya. Rama Raya was known to be very manipulative, and interfered in the affairs of the neighbouring Muslim sultanates. Though this tactic worked initially to his favor, Rama Raya took the game too far and finally the sultanates decided to band together and destroy the Hindu kingdom.
On January 26th, 1565 the Deccan sultanates of Ahmednagar, Berar, Bidar, Bijapur and Golconda who had formed a grand alliance, met the Vijayanagar army at Talikota, on the banks of the Krishna River, in present day Karnataka state. It was one of the few times in medieval Indian history that a joint strategy was employed. The sultanates were also aided by some minor Hindu kingdoms who held grudges against the Vijayanagara Empire. The Deccan kings had a grand total of 80,000 infantry and 30,000 cavalry. Vijayanagara, on the other hand, had a 140,000 foot soldiers, with another 10,000 on horseback. The armies also had large numbers of war elephants. The decisive battle was brief and bitter. Fighting in a rocky terrain, the invading troops launched a classic offensive strategy. First they softened up the primary lines of the Vijayanagar army using cannon fire. The concentrated artillery took its toll, and the massive frontal attack by the combined armies finished the job. The battle ended in a complete victory for the sultanates, with the raja being beheaded and put on display as a trophy. What followed was pillaging and the destruction of Vijayanagara.
The battle spelt the death knell for the large Hindu kingdoms in India, and it also ended the last great southern empire in India. However, even for the sultanates and Muslim rulers of the south, victory seemed pyrrhic, as they continued to engage in squabbling and fighting amongst themselves, which would ultimately result in their capitulation to the Mughals and later the British Empire.


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