Chapter 19: VIJAYNAGAR AND BAHAMANI KINGDOMS
Vijaynagar and Bahamani Empires declared their
independence due to the weakness of central authority under
Muhammad bin Tuglaq.
The Vijaynagar kingdoms were ruled by Sangam,
Suluvu, Tuluva and Aravidu. The kingdom was initially
under influence of Kakatiyas of Warangal.
The decline of Hoysala kingdom enabled them to
grow. The kingdom was in conflict with Bahamani kingdoms for Krishna
Tungabhadra doab and Krishna Godavari delta.
The Sangama, Saluvu couldn't win against the
Bahamani kingdom. Then came the Tuluvus.
King Krishna dev raya:
He was the most powerful Tuluvu king. He was an
able commander. He was the greatest Tuluvu king. He kept the
invading Bahamani army in check. The Bahamani were replaced by
the Delhi sultanate.
These were defeated by Vijaynagar army. Krishna dev
raya also captured the Raichur doab and Bidar. He captured whole
of Telangana and maintained friendly relations with Portuguese.
The king was a great patron of literature and
encouraged Telugu work. He also was a Vaishnavaite but respected
He built and repaired many temples. But after his
death the forces of Bidar, Golconda, Bijapur and Ahmednagar
combined forces and defeated Vijaynagar. The reason for this was
that the king Ramaraya tried to pit one sultan against
the other. They also destroyed the great city. After this the Aravidu
dynasty continued the Empire for another 100 years.
The king was the highest authority. Hereditary
succession was practised. The king was assisted by a council.
For efficient administration, the Empire was
divided into mandalam, nadu, sthala and gram.
The land revenue was source of income along with
customs and taxes.
The punishment system was harsh and mutilation or
death by throwing to elephants was seen.
Well maintained standing army was kept.
Fig 1: Vijayanagar empire
Caste system was prevalent – Brahmins enjoyed
Splendor of houses and buildings was great.
Silk and cotton clothes were used.
Sati and polygamy was seen. Devdasi system was
common. Thus women had an inferior status in society.
Religious freedom was given. Muslims could build
mosques and work in the administration.
The agriculture was the most common profession.
Kings undertook reforms like irrigation system for it.
The peculiar feature of Vijayanagar kingdom was
Walled cities, multiple layers of walls and Agriculture fields
enclosed inside the walls. This was useful during seiges to
ensure regular food supply.
The internal and overseas trade was carried out and
gold coins were used.
Art of shipbuilding was developed. The trade was
with Persia, South Africa, East Asian countries.
1. Vijayanagar style of temple building had some
characteristic style like Gopuram and Mandapas with carved
pillars. The Mandapas were used for seating the deity.
Music, dancing was patronized.
Casting of metal images and metal castings were
Languages like Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, and Tamil
flourished in the period.
Fig 2: Vijayanagar style of temples
The kingdom extended from Arabian Sea to Bay of
Bengal. It extended in west from Bombay to goa and in east from
Kakinada to mouth of the river Krishna. The bahamani minister Mahmud
Gawain was the reason for the increase in the kingdoms
strength. Gawain suggested administrative reforms to improve
control of sultan over nobles. The nobles disliked him and
convinced the sultan to execute him. After gawans execution, the
Empire weakened. The provincial governors declared autonomy.
Thus five kingdoms were formed in 1526 viz. Ahmed nagar,
Golconda, bidar, bijapur and Berar.
Fig 3: Bahamani kingdom