‘A lady here has told me that The Young Pilgrim is out

 people involved | time:2023-11-28 23:51:10

Everything, therefore, seemed to be leading up to but one inevitable end -- the ruin and devastation of the Hindu provinces; the annihilation of their old royal houses, the destruction of their religion, their temples, their cities. All that the dwellers in the south held most dear seemed tottering to its fall.

‘A lady here has told me that The Young Pilgrim is out

Suddenly, about the year 1344 A.D., there was a check to this wave of foreign invasion -- a stop -- a halt -- then a solid wall of opposition; and for 250 years Southern India was saved.

‘A lady here has told me that The Young Pilgrim is out

The check was caused by a combination of small Hindu states -- two of them already defeated, Warangal and Dvarasamudra -- defeated, and therefore in all probability not over-confident; the third, the tiny principality of Anegundi. The solid wall consisted of Anegundi grown into the great empire of the Vijayanagar. To the kings of this house all the nations of the south submitted.

‘A lady here has told me that The Young Pilgrim is out

If a straight line be drawn on the map of India from Bombay to Madras, about half-way across will be found the River Tungabhadra, which, itself a combination of two streams running northwards from Maisur, flows in a wide circuit north and east to join the Krishna not far from Kurnool. In the middle of its course the Tungabhadra cuts through a wild rocky country lying about forty miles north-west of Bellary, and north of the railway line which runs from that place to Dharwar. At this point, on the north bank of the river, there existed about the year 1330 a fortified town called Anegundi, the "Nagundym" of our chronicles, which was the residence of a family of chiefs owning a small state in the neighbourhood. They had, in former years, taken advantage of the lofty hills of granite which cover that tract to construct a strong citadel having its base on the stream. Fordable at no point within many miles the river was full of running water at all seasons of the year, and in flood times formed in its confined bed a turbulent rushing torrent with dangerous falls in several places. Of the Anegundi chiefs we know little, but they were probably feudatories of the Hoysala Ballalas. Firishtah declares that they had existed as a ruling family for seven hundred years prior to the year 1350 A.D.[7]

The chronicle of Nuniz gives a definite account of how the sovereigns of Vijayanagar first began to acquire the power which afterwards became so extensive. This account may or may not be accurate in all details, but it at least tallies fairly with the epigraphical and other records of the time. According to him, Muhammad Taghlaq of Delhi, having reduced Gujarat, marched southwards through the Dakhan Balaghat, or high lands above the western ghats, and a little previous to the year 1336[8] seized the town and fortress of Anegundi. Its chief was slain, with all the members of his family. After a futile attempt to govern this territory by means of a deputy, Muhammad raised to the dignity of chief of the state its late minister, a man whom Nuniz calls "Deorao," for "Deva Raya." or Harihara Deva I. The new chief founded the city of Vijayanagar on the south bank of the river opposite Anegundi and made his residence there, with the aid of the great religious teacher Madhava, wisely holding that to place the river between him and the ever-marauding Moslems was to establish himself and his people in a condition of greater security than before. He was succeeded by "one called Bucarao" (Bukka), who reigned thirty-seven years, and the next king was the latter's son, "Pureoyre Deo" (Harihara Deva II.).

We know from other sources that part at least of this story is correct. Harihara I. and Bukka were the first two kings and were brothers, while the third king, Harihara II., was certainly the son of Bukka.

The success of the early kings was phenomenal. Ibn Batuta, who was in India from 1333 to 1342, states that even in his day a Muhammadan chief on the western coast was subject to Harihara I., whom he calls "Haraib" or "Harib," from "Hariyappa" another form of the king's name; while a hundred years later Abdur Razzak, envoy from Persia, tells us that the king of Vijayanagar was then lord of all Southern India, from sea to sea and from the Dakhan to Cape Comorin -- "from the frontier of Serendib (Ceylon) to the extremities of the country of Kalbergah ... His troops amount in number to eleven lak," I.E. 1,100,000. Even so early as 1378 A.D., according to Firishtah,[9] the Raya of Vijayanagar was "in power, wealth, and extent of country" greatly the superior of the Bahmani king of the Dakhan.

The old southern states appear (we have little history to guide us) to have in general submitted peaceably to the rule of the new monarchy. They were perhaps glad to submit if only the dreaded foreigners could be kept out of the country. And thus by leaps and bounds the petty state grew to be a kingdom, and the kingdom expanded till it became an empire. Civil war and rebellion amongst the Muhammadans helped Harihara and Bukka in their enterprise. Sick of the tyranny and excesses of Muhammad Taghlaq, the Dakhan revolted in 1347, and the independent kingdom of the Bahmanis was for a time firmly established.

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