Chapter 19: VIJAYNAGAR AND BAHAMANI KINGDOMS

Introduction 

Vijaynagar and Bahamani Empires declared their independence due to the weakness of central authority under Muhammad bin Tuglaq. 


Vijaynagar Empire:


Political conditions:


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 all religions.


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. 


Administration: 


1.      The king was the highest authority. Hereditary succession was practised. The king was assisted by a council.

2.      For efficient administration, the Empire was divided into mandalam, nadu, sthala and gram.

3.      The land revenue was source of income along with customs and taxes.

4.      The punishment system was harsh and mutilation or death by throwing to elephants was seen.

5.      Well maintained standing army was kept.


vijaynagar empire

                                                            Fig 1: Vijayanagar empire

Society: 


1.      Caste system was prevalent – Brahmins enjoyed privileges.

2.      Splendor of houses and buildings was great.

3.      Silk and cotton clothes were used.

4.      Sati and polygamy was seen. Devdasi system was common. Thus women had an inferior status in society.

5.      Religious freedom was given. Muslims could build mosques and work in the administration.


 Economic conditions: 


1.      The agriculture was the most common profession. Kings undertook reforms like irrigation system for it.

2.   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.

3.      The internal and overseas trade was carried out and gold coins were used.

4.      Art of shipbuilding was developed. The trade was with Persia, South Africa, East Asian countries.


 Cultural contributions: 


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.

2.      Music, dancing was patronized.

3.      Casting of metal images and metal castings were prominent.

4.      Languages like Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, and Tamil flourished in the period.


           Vijayanagar style of temples

                                                    Fig 2: Vijayanagar style of temples


Bahamani Kingdom: 


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.

  bahmani kingdom

                                                          Fig 3: Bahamani kingdom