Timeline History

Vijayanagara Empire

The Vijayanagara empire was based in the Deccan, in peninsular and southern India, from 1336 onwards. It was founded by Harihara, also known as Hakka, and his brother Bukka Raya. It is named after its capital city Vijayanagara, whose impressive ruins surround Hampi in modern Karnataka, India. It lasted from about 1336 to perhaps about 1660, though throughout its last century it was in a slow decline due to a massive and catastrophic defeat at the hands of an alliance of the sultanates, and the capital was taken, looted, and razed. Its foundation, and even great part of its history, is obscure; but its power and wealth are attested by more than one European traveller, such as the Portuguese travelers Domingo Paes and Nuniz, and the Venetian Niccolς Da Conti.
The founding of the original kingdom was based on the principality of Anegondi, based on a fortified town on the Tungabhadra river in the Deccan. In the century preceding the founding of the empire, the old kingdoms of the Deccan had been overrun by Muslim invaders from the north. From 1309, Malik Kafur reached and captured Warangal, later on reaching the Malabar kingdoms. Mubarak of Delhi reached Warangal again in 1323. Between 1334 and 1336, Muhammad Tughlaq of Delhi again overran the region, capturing Anegondi.


In the following two centuries, the Vijayanagar empire dominated all of southern India, and was probably stronger than any other power in the subcontinent. The empire during that period served as a bulwark against invasion from the Turkic Sultanates of the Indo-Gangetic Plain; and remained in constant competition and conflict with the five Deccan Sultanates that established themselves in the Deccan to the north of it. It remained a land power.
In about 1510, Goa, which had been under the rule of the Sultan of Bijapur, was captured by the Portuguese, possibly with the approval or connivance of Vijayanagara. Commerce between the Portuguese and Vijayanagara became very important to both sides. The empire is generally considered to have reached its peak during the rule of Krishna Deva Raya. He conquered or subjugated territories on the east of the Deccan that belonged previously to Orissa. Many of the great monuments of the empire date from his time. Among these are the Hazara Rama temple, the Krishna temple and the Ugra Narasimha idol, all at Vijayanagara. Krishna Deva Raya was followed by Achyuta Raya in 1530. In 1542, Achyuta was succeeded by Sada Siva Raya. But the real power lay with Rama (of the fourth dynasty, who followed him), who seems to have made a point of unnecessarily provoking the Deccan sultanates, so that eventually they allied against him. In 1565, at the Battle of Talikota, the army of Vijayanagara was routed by an alliance of the Deccan sultanates who attacked and plundered Hampi reducing it to ruins as it stands today. Rama Raya was brutally killed and his head annually covered with oil and red pigment was exhibited in Ahmednagar till 1829. With this, the last significant Hindu state in the Deccan came to an end. Tirumala Raya, the sole survivor left Vijayanagar with treasure on back of 550 elephants to Penukonda.

Dynasties and rulers

Sangama Dynasty
  • Harihara I (Deva Raya) 1336-1343
  • Bukka I 1343-1379
  • Harihara II 1379-1399
  • Bukka II 1399-1406
  • Deva Raya I 1406-1412
  • Vira Vijaya 1412-1419
  • Deva Raya II 1419-1444
  • (unknown) 1444-1449
  • Mallikarjuna 1452-1465 (Dates uncertain)
  • Rajasekhara 1468-1469 (Dates uncertain)
  • Virupaksha I 1470-1471 (Dates uncertain)
  • Praudha Deva Raya 1476-? (Dates uncertain)
  • Rajasekhara 1479-1480 (Dates uncertain)
  • Virupaksha II 1483-1484 (Dates uncertain)
  • Rajasekhara 1486-1487 (Dates uncertain)
Saluva Dynasty
  • Narasimha 1487-1491
  • Narasa Nayaka(for Narasimha II)-1491-1503
  • Vira Narasimha 1503-1509
  • Krishna Deva 1509-1530
  • Achyuta Deva Raya 1530-1542
  • Sadasiva (in name only) 1542-1567
Tuluva dynasty
  • Rama (ruled in practice) 1542-1565
  • Tirumala (ruled in practice) 1565-1567
  • Tirumala (crowned ruler) 1567-1575
  • Ranga II 1575-1586
  • Venkata I 1586-1614
Aravidu (dates uncertain, this information is based only on inscriptions), includes rulers by the names below. There is certainly more than one ruler under each name. The period extends from 1614 onward, till the last known reference in 1739.
  • Ranga
  • Venkata
  • Rama
The last known inscription referring to a monarch of his line is from 1793.
Nayakas,the other offshoots of Vijaynagar empire was the Nayakas in Karnataka and TamilNadu,who made a major impact in the later political scenes, among them the Madurai Nayaks ruled till 1734. The kingdom of Mysore lasted until Indian independence in 1947, although during the later part of their rule, from 1799 CE. onwards they came under the British Raj.
  • Nayaks of Madurai
  • Nayaks of Tanjore
  • Keladi Nayakas of Shimoga
  • Nayakas of Chitradurga
  • Mysore Kingdom
  • Nayakas of Gingee

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