|Karnaatak is born,
Birth of Karnaataka State Page 3
By Mohan Shenoy
|1336 to 1485 A.D.
|Measurement of Time
The current year 2010 is 2,537 years after Mahaaveer, 2,066 years after Vikram, 2010 years after Christ, 1,932 years after
Shaalivaahana and 1,432 years after Hijari (Muslim calendar).The excavations have proved and literature has revealed that St.
Thomas, a disciple of Christ arrived in India about 40 years after crucifixion of Jesus, reaching Malabar coast by sea.
Population was subject to diseases, epidemics and starvation by lack of proper distribution of produce as there were no good
roads or transport vehicles. Often there was a negative population balance because of increase in deaths as against births.
At the time Christ was born the land now known as Karnaataka was ruled by Maharathi dynasty within the Nanda empire. Nanda
dynasty ruled this region until 300 A.D. For some reason Maharathi rule was replaced by Chuthu dynasty in 200 A.D., still under the
Nanda emperor. In 300 A.D the Maurya empire was established here. Maurya rule continued till 700 A.D. But the local chieftains
prominant among whom was the Kadamba king and other royal pretenders continued to stake claim for large portions of revenue
for themselves while sending token gifts and mementos to the emperor Maurya right from the beginning. Those subordinate kings
who did not send annual contributions to the emperor had to defend their territories from invading armies of neighbouring kings.
Often the emperor himself would send his army to defeat the offending vassal and replace him with a more obedient person from
among the community. Usually there was preference for those who were born in the former royal families to be chosen for
coronation. Warriors belonging to the Chalukya dynasty conquered the territories in the eastern regions in 500 A.D.
|Eighth Century A.D.
During the eighth century there was great upheaval in India by the invasion from the Northeast by Shathavahana dynasty who
conquered most of India and also the territories of present Karnaataka. Kadamba kings and Ganga kings continued their
subordination to Shathavahana emperor. Chalukya kings drove away the Shathavahana army and ruled till 757 A.D., when
Rashtrakoota kings took over this region and ruled till 973 A.D. Another family line of Chalukya kings known as Kalyana Chalukya
dynasty ruled this region of present Karnaataka and surrounding areas from 973 to 1198 A.D.
There is enormous evidence to show how civilized and decent were the people of this period in terms of literature, music, science,
civilian administration and agriculture, etc. The Hoysala dynasty rose in this region in 1006 A.D. In 1198 A.D., the Seuna kings took
over northern parts of the land and ruled until 1318 A.D. Hoysala kings, ruled the southern parts until 1342 A.D.
Arrival of the Sultans
Meanwhile in Delhi Jalaluddin Khilji had established the Sultanate. His nephew Allauddin Khilji came on an expedition to the
south and attacked Seuna Kingdom in 1296. While returning with the booty Allauddin tricked his uncle Jalaluddin to come and
meet him at Kara, and killed him. Allauddin became the Sultan. He killed all the relatives and friends of his uncle and then raised a
strong army to conquer all of India. He met resistance at Chittorgad in 1303 when he wanted to marry the beautiful queen Padmini,
wife of Raja Ratan Singh, the king. Padmini committed Jauhar along with most of the women in the palace.
Allauddin conquered most of the kingdoms across northern India and establised his overlordship on all the rajas and maharajas.
Later, he wished to repeat his earlier expedition to the south and collect more booty. He sent his ruthless general Malik Kafur in
1311 A.D., to attack the rich southern states and bring back loads of booty to Delhi. Seuna Kingdom was annexed by the sultan in
1318. A.D. , as a province.
Allauddin Khilji fell ill in 1315 A.D. He died soon after. There was a violent quarrel among the many apparent heirs of the sultan. He
had many wives and therefore there were many grown-up sons of equal age claiming the throne. The wives backed their sons.
After 4 months Mubarak Khan was crowned as Sultan Mubarak Shah. Mubarak ruled for 4 years and displayed his prowess in
administration. But one of his confidants, a homosexual, known by the name of Khusraw, killed Mubarak and proclaimed himself
sultan in 1320 A.D. Khusraw renamed himself Nasiruddin Shah. Later in the same year a governor Ghazi Malik under late
Allauddin killed Nasiruddin to become the sultan as Ghiyasuddin Tughluk Shah.
|1485 to 1505 A.D.
|1505 to 1565 A.D.
The Tughluk also continued his expeditions to the south to attack and ransack the palaces and temples and carry gold, precious
stones, women and slaves to Delhi. In 1325 Ghiyasuddin died and his son, Ulugh Khan, became the sultan with the name
Muhammad bin Tughluk. Muhammad sent an army to the South in 1327 not just to loot but to conquest the region and rule over it.
In the west the Seuna kings had fallen and in the east the Kakatiyas had vanquished. Tughluk established Muslim rule in south
India for the first time and gave jitters to the population and royalty alike. The people in India saw for the first time destruction of
idols and demolition of temples at which they were astonished that all-powerful gods in these divine places were unable to protect
Tughluk's soldiers behaved badly with all people alike regardless of their civil status. They forcibly took away women of
respectable families and killed the male members if they resisted. They skinned the king and the princes and hung them up on
poles in the sun to die a slow death. The people were aghast watching the march of uncontrolled terror. There was blood and
wailing every where. Tughluk appointed Muslim officers to run the administration in every village and posted his army around every
fort he took over. In addition there was forcible conversion of people into Islam.
|Hindu attempts to keep Muslims away
The land of the present day Karnaataka also came under the Tughluk rule from 1327 onwards. The whole of south India was in
despair, the fabric of society having been destroyed. There was no security for the masses. Their property was taken away by
marauding Muslim army. Their religious and cultural values were in disarray. The community as a whole was collapsing.
Ballala III faced the Muslims
It was Ballala III (1291-1342) who reigned in KarnaAtaka to face the Muslim army and devise means to protect the Hindu religion
and culture. He joined the Andhra rulers in facing and driving away Malik Maqbul the governor of Telangana to Delhi.
Meanwhile Madurai was under the rule of Muslim sultan who in 1342 fought with Ballala III at Kannanur. Ballala III was captured,
killed and his skin was stuffed with straw and displayed at the gates of Madurai. Thus the Hoysala rule ended and Muslims
captured large parts of south India. It is then that Harihara and his brothers were chosen by Vidyaaranya Rishi to lead a Hindu
army against the Muslims and the Vijayanagara dynasty was established in 1336 A.D. Harihara and Bukka were army officers in
the little Hoysala kingdom of King Virupaksha Ballala IV on the banks of river Tungabhadra in the present day Karnaataka.
Vijayanagara was ruled by the Sangama dynasty first. Sangama was the father of Harihara I (1336-56). The whole of south India
barring the sultanate of Madurai came under Vijayanagara by 1356 A.D..
Vijayanagara Empire: Devaraya of Sangama Dynasty
Bukka I (1356-77) destroyed the sultanate of Madurai in 1377. But the sultanate of Bahamani continued with vigour. Sangama
dynasty to which Harihara and Bukka belonged, lasted till 1485, finally Devaraya and his descendents ruling Vijayanagara. The
Muslims who settled in Karnaataka in the Bahamani Sultanate were integrated into the polity of the region and took part in the
repeated conflicts among the many kings and chieftains; often a Hindu chief fighting on the side of a Muslim ruler and a Muslim
general fighting on the side of a Hindu king. Also the Hindu kings employed Turkish cavalry men to look after the many imported
Arabic horses. The Muslim cannon and fire arms experts from the Middle East were employed by all the rulers until the locals were
Saluva Dynasty of Vijayanagara
Narasimha of Saluva family took over the Vijayanagar kingdom in 1485 A.D. Narasimha died in 1491 and his two sons were minor
and therefore a trusted lieutenant Narasanayaka ruled the kingdom on their behlf as a regent. The elder son Thimma was
crowned king but Thimma was treacherously murdered following which the younger son Narasimha II was enthroned. This prince
was not cooperating with Narasanayaka, the regent and therefore the latter imprisoned the prince, yet keeping him as the nominal
king. Narasanayaka died in 1503 and Narasimha II was assassinated, and the Saluva dynasty came to an end in 1505 A.D. Veera
Narasimha, son of Narasanayaka took over the duties of the regent but after the death of Narasimha II, Veera took over the reign of
the kingdom with the help of the ministers. Narasanayaka belonged to the Tuluva dynasty and with him the Tuluva rule began in
|Reference: History of Karnataka in the Karnataka state gazetteer Part 1 edited by Suryanath U. Kamath, 1982.
|Goa was taken over
by the Portuguese in
|UGRANARASIMHA FIGURE IN HAMPI
Photo by Mohan Shenoy
|ANCIENT CONCEPTS Continued from Page 2
In August 1347 another sultanate was founded at Gulbarga by Allauddin Hasan Bahamanshah. His sword was followed by
his religion Islam where ever he went and conquered. Allauddin conquered Dabhol port in Konkan and Bhongir in the east
forming a kingdom that included Berar, Bidar, Daulatabad and Gulbarga.
He was succeeded by Muhmmad Shah I in 1358 who ruled upto 1375 A.D..
Meanwhile, Bahamani sultanate was ruled by Muhammad Shah from 1358 to 1397 A.D. In 1397 Tajuddin Feroze Shah rose
to the throne and ruled until 1422. The next sultan was Shihabuddin Ahmad I from 1422 to 1436 A.D. In 1424 A.D. the capital
of Bahamani sultanate was shifted from Gulbarga to Bidar by Ahmad Shah I, away from Vijayanagara border. From 1436
A.D., Allauddin Ahmad II was the sultan who ruled until 1458.
Mahmud Gawan of Gulbarga
One Mahmud Gawan was the prime minister to Allauddin. Allauddin's successor was Allauddin Humayun (1458-1461) to
whom also Mahmud Gawan served as the prime minister. Humayun died when his son Nizamuddin Ahmad III was just a
boy of 8 years and therefore Mahmud Gawan and the queen mother Khwaja-i-Jahan functioned as his regents till 1463
when prince Ahmad III suddenly died. Again the claimant to the throne, a younger brother of Ahmad III viz., Shamsuddin
Muhammed III was made the king by the regents. Later Khwaja-i-Jahan who was the other regent with Gawan was accused
of attempt to seize power and executed. Gawan remained the sole regent and took over the administration totally for himself
yet keeping Shamsuddin Muhammed III as the sultan. This arrangement continued till 1481 when Gawan at the age of 73
was executed for alleged royal betrayal by the sultan. Soon the sultan also died in 1482, with grief for his actions when he
discovered that the allegation of betrayal by Gawan was false.
Five New Sultanates
Shihabuddin Mahmud, a son of Muhammed III was then crowned. His nobles governing his five districts broke away from
him in 1518 the year of his death. Bidar sultanate continued till 1538 being nominally ruled by the descendants of Mahmud
but five new sultanates viz., Adilshahi in Bijapur, Baridshahi in Bidar, Imadshahi in Berar, Nizamshahi in Ahmadnagar and
Qutbshahi in Golkonda came into existence along side Vijayanagar kingdom down south.
Adilshahi of Bijapur
Yusuf Adil Khan was the founder of the Bijapur sultanate. He was a governor (Jaagirdar) of Bijapur under Qasim Barid a
noble with the Bidar sultan Allauddin Humayun in 1487 A.D. He broke away from Qasim and from Bidar sultan in 1489, to
form the new Sulatanate of Bijapur. He became the first sultan of Adilshahi rule with a large tract of land of the present
northern Karnaataka. Yusuf Adil Khan died in 1510 and his son Ismail was crowned. Ismail was only 13 years old but he
knew what to do as the royal highness of Bijapur Sultanate. His regent Kamal Khan was killed for revolt and one Asad Khan,
formerly Muhammad Lari, a captain was appointed the regent.
There was a third religion, Christianity that interfered with the Muslims. The Portuguese who wanted to foster their own
religion Christianity, had appeared on the scene in 1510 just a year after Krishnadevaraya inherited Vijayanagara throne.
Portuguese warriors used muskets to fight the enemy. Muskets made a big difference in these wars between Vijayanagara
and Bahamanis. However Portuguese were satisfied to defend Goa and did not expand their hold in India beyond it.
Krishnadevaraya did not see the difference between the Muslim sultans and the Hindu kings of eastern regions such as
Udayagiri, Kondavidu, Kondapalli and Kataka (Cuttack in Odissa). He waged wars against the Hindu kings equally
ferociously instead of making friends with them for the sake of peace and to contain the Muslim sultans from expansion.
Multireligious Kings and Mixed Population
The eastern kings were also aggressive and their aim was to defeat Vijayanagara and expand their holdings. The eastern
kings employed Muslim generals too and profited from their hatred for the Hindu army of Vijayanagara. Also
Krishnadevaraya having defeated Ismail Adil Khan of Bijapur in 1522 and went further north to Gulbarga and defeated the
rebel Muslim generals who had revolted against Bijapur and had kept a few Bahamani princes as hostages. These Muslim
rulers were referred to as Yavana(s) by the Hindus.
Death of Krishnadevaraya
The great Hindu king Krishnadevaraya was not as cruel as the Muslim invaders were and instead of capturing and putting to
death the enemy princes, he crowned the freed princes as the new sultans of the liberated territories. By this action he had
a personal satisfaction of being generous. However, he had to face palace intrigues. His son Tirumala mysteriously died
after being appointed crown-prince and heir to the throne at an early age of seven years. His confidants Timma and son had
to be imprisoned and then blinded for conspiracy against him.
When Krishnadevaraya was on death-bed with illness in 1529 A.D., his second son was only 18 months old.
Krishnadevaraya therefore anointed his half-brother Achyutaraya as his successor before he died at the age of forty two.
Achyutaraya belonged to the Aravidu family. Achyutaraya faced severe opposition from his own relatives once the latter were
freed from responsibilities of fighting to restore the kingdom to its past glory. Once the wars were over and the kingdom was
free from outside attacks, the rivals began to scheme ouster of Achyutaraya. Achyutaraya died in 1542 and then the rivalry
Help of Adilshah
The opponents sought the help of Adilshah upon which Sadashiva the son of younger brother of Achyutaraya was enthroned
with Ramaraya the son-in-law of Krishnadevaraya assuming the royal duties. Sadashiva was the king between 1543 and
1572 A.D. Ramaraya had the upper-hand from 1557 to 1565. Strangely Ramaraya took many Muslim generals into his army
in place of Hindu warriors whom he suspected to be his detractors. Also Ramaraya being rich and powerful made friends of
his enemies and when enemies surrendered he used them to fight his former friends. This attitude of Ramaraya made
every one suspect his intentions in what ever task he undertook.
Fall of Vijayanagar Empire
The large well-equipped armies of the Muslim kingdoms surrounded the Vijayanagara empire but there was hostility
against each other among them. But they were able to make peace among themselves by way of matrimony by the princes
marrying the sisters and daughters of the opposite sultan. Islam came in handy for them to develop camaraderie. The five
sultans Nizamshah of Ahmadnagar, Adilshah of Bijapur, Baridshah of Bidar, Qutbshah of Golconda and Imadshah of Berar
came together to form a large army and began their expedition against Vijayanagara in 1564 in the month of Pushya.
Battle of Rakkasatangadi
Pushya month is a month of inaction for Hindus and everyone was relaxing from their duties. The Pushya month was to end
in about 20 days in 1564 but before the month ended, the Muslim army had made mince meat of the Hindu Ramaraya.
The Muslims had a great number of cannons which decided the fate of the war. The deafening sounds of the cannons
alone were enough to defeat the elephant brigade upon which the Ramaraya depended to drive the enemy away. Also two
Muslim commanders who had pledged support until death to Ramaraya treacherously vanished from the battle field taking
with them their cavalry and infantry. Ramaraya was over eighty years of age but he was agile and motivated. The bearers of
his palanquin ran helter skelter when the elephants began to panick at the bursts of cannons, leaving Ramaraya alone. He
was taken prisoner. The Nizamshah of Ahmadnagar was given the task of punishing Ramaraya. Nizamshah beheaded
Ramaraya and arranged to display his head among the troops on the tip of a spear. Soon the Vijayanagara army began to
retreat without any direction from their officers. Every one tried to escape by shedding their uniforms. Towards the end of the
war and defeat of Ramaraya, there was the usual looting, murder, rape of the civilians, destruction of property including the
palaces, temples and residential buildings in the city of Vijayanagara situated close to Banihatti, the place where the final
battle took place. This battle is known as the battle of Talikote, or of Rakkasatangadi and resulted in the victory of the Muslim
kings in much of the land now known as North Karnataka.
The fallen hero of the Talikote battle Ramaraya, Aliya Ramaraya, was one of the two sons-in-law of Emperor
Krishnadevaraya, having married his elder daughter Tirumalamba. Ramaraya's brother Tirumala married the younger
daughter Vengalamba. Ramaraya hailed from Aravidu and hence Tirumala, the survivor and apparent heir to the
Vijayanagara ruins was chosen to restore the kingdom. Last of the Tuluva dynasty viz., prince Sadashiva, son of Ranga
younger brother of Achyutaraya, had died. In fact Ramaraya commenced Aravidu dynasty rule soon after the death of
Aravidu Tirumala however faced an uphill task to restore the kingdom. The capital Vijayanagara was completely destroyed
and nothing could be salvaged. Therefore after about six years of confusion, Tirumala was crowned as the king at
Penukonda. Tirumala was respected for his age of over 70 years but his authority was ignored by all the chieftains such as
of Adoni, Bankapur, Madurai, Tanjore and Jinji. Whatever was left was divided into three provinces on linguistic basis.
Already Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages were in competition in the respective regions in south India. Chandragiri
was headquarters for Tamil. Penukonda was for Telugu and Srirangapatna was for Kannada. In 1586 Venkata the third son
of Tirumala became the king of the vestigial Vijayanagara.
Expansion of Bijapur Sultanate
Bijapur kingdom was expanded after the fall of Vijayanagara in 1565, just as the other four sultanates were. Ali Adilshah
was assassinated in 1580 and Ibrahim Adilshah II just an infant of one year was placed on the throne by Chand Bibi, a
strong queen in Ali's harem. She appointed regent after regent until finally Bijapur became a semi-autonomous state under
the Delhi Mughal king Akbar around 1600 A.D. Thereafter Bijapur was peaceful and Ibrahim Adilshah II made the sultanate
a center of literature, music and arts. He was a tolerant prince on religions other than Islam. Ibrahim Adilshah II died in 1627
and his son Muhammad took over the reign.
Ismail Adil Khan ruled from 1510 to 1535 A.D. His son Mallu
succeeded him and ruled for less than a year. In 1522 when
Krishnadevaraya was the king at Vijayanagara, Bijapur was
conquered by Vijayanagara army lead by Kirshnadevaraya
himself. Bijapur became a branch of Vijayanagara giving
tributes to the latter.
Ismail's younger brother Ibrahim became the sultan in 1535
and ruled till 1558. Ibrahim's son Ali Adilshah ruled from
1558 A.D. At this time, in 1538 Achutaraya of the Tuluva
dynasty was the king in Vijayanagara.
Veera Narasimha of the Tuluva dynasty of Vijayanagara
ruled from 1505 to 1509 A.D. His successor
Krishnadevaraya stabilized the kingdom but he was
constantly faced with the holy war Jihad from his northern
enemy Bahamani sultan. The Muslim kings always invoked
religion to treat the Muslims as the favourites and the
Hindus as 'infidels'. The life of a Hindu was worth nothing in
|ARRIVAL OF THE MUGHALS
Mughal emperor Akbar ascended the throne in Delhi in 1593. Even though the sultans in the Deccan were Muslims, Akbar,
himself a Muslim, wanted to annexe their territory by force if necessary. Muslim sultans and warriors will come together to
fight a Hindu king jointly but later they fight among themselves just as the Hindus did. In 1586 Muhammad Quli Qutbshah
was the ruler at Golconda.
In Delhi Shahjahan took over the reign and planned to change the relations his predecessor had with Ahmadnagar and
Bijapur and other areas in the South. Adilshah II employed a Hindu general Murari Pundit to fight the big army of Delhi's
Mughal Emperor Shahjahan that attacked both Ahmadnagar and Bijapur in 1636. A Hindu warrior Shahji fought for the
Nizam of Ahmadnagar; yet Shahjahan won the war and Nizamshahi was wiped out with the fall of Ahmadnagar and
Daulatabad forts in succession. After this Shahjahan defeated Bijapur and Golconda one after the other and made them
submit to his dictates. Both sultans signed a Deed of submission in 1636.
Muslims and Kannada
From 1327 A.D. , onwards it was not uncommon to see Islam and its followers closely intermingled with the Hindus all over
India. Towards the end of 1646 (more than 300 years later) the preferred job for a healthy young man was joining the army.
It was not possible for the sultan to employ only Muslim soldiers and for the Hindu kings to employ only Hindu soldiers.
Even though there were still many Pathans, Turks, Iranians, Arabs coming to India to work under the Muslim sultan or king
not all could be accommodated. There were many of these foreigners who had already fought under a Muslim sultan or
chief but lost his job due to circumstances unfavourable to him.
During the period between 1565 and 1591 the land now demarkated as Karnaataka had many indirect side-effects of the
wars for lordship of the Delhi throne. The five sultans were not able to capture for themselves the erstwhile Vijayanagar
territories after its collapse because the local kings of the different regions under Vijayanagar were strong and declared
themselves as independent.. Bijapur Adilshahi continued and then until 1629 rest of the north Karnataka was spared from
invasions by the Mughals. Jahangir had no time to look towards the south.
Photo by Mohan Shenoy
|PALACE OF PRINCE VENKATAPPA NAYAK SHIVAMOGGE
Photo by Mohan Shenoy
Earliest of Mysore rulers was one Yadu in 1399. In 1423 Bettada Chamaraja was the king. He was succeeded by
Thimmaraja and then Chamaraja II. Next, Bettada Chamaraja III was crowned, followed by Bola Chamaraja IV whose
second son Raja Wodeyar became the ruler in 1578. Raja Wodeyar was recognized as a strong ruler and became less
dependant on the Vijayanagara kingdom after the Talikote debacle of the latter. Raja Wodeyar (1578-1617) was the ruler in
Mysore just south of Srirangapatna to where Venkata's kingdom extended. Venkata made friends with the Raja Wodeyar of
Mysore and granted Srirangapatna and other territories to the latter in 1610. Thus the Mysore kingdom came to be
recognized as a worthwhile territory. This is the first time that an exclusive Kannada-speaking kingdom came into existence.
Raja Wodeyar ruled from 1578 to 1617. He expanded his kingdom by invading Channapatna. Raja began the practice of
celebrating Dasara festival in Mysore every year with a royal procession. Raja's successor was Chamaraja Wodeyar VI
(1617-1637). Chamaraja's successor Raja Wodeyar II did not last long because he was poisoned and killed soon after he
Kanteerava Narasaraja I
Then Kanteerava Narasaraja I (1638-1662), son of Bettada Chamaraja V, the elder brother of Raja Wodeyar, was appointed
the ruler. Kanteerava was powerful and defeated Ranadulla Khan of Bijapur who came down to conquer Mysore.
Before this, the rulers did not favour any particular language over other sister-languages. The Bahamanis and Adilshahis
had the Farsee language and the Golconda sultans had the Deccani a mix of Hindi, Arabic and Farsee as their
The Vijayanagara kings encouraged both Telugu and Kannada languages but they leaned more towards Telugu than
Venkata was the ruler of Vijayanagara until 1614 A.D. The last Vijayanagara king was Sriranga III from 1642 to 1669 A.D.
after which the kingdom ceased to exist.
Kanteerava also captured Periyapatna of Madikeri kingdom and Satyamangala and Danayakanakote of Madurai kingdom.
Kempegauda who was the chief in Bengaluru was threatened by Kanteerava and made to pay tribute to the latter.
Selection of a heir to the throne in Mysore was orderly and sons and grandsons were waiting to be crowned king when time
came. Kanteerava Narasaraja I was childless. Therefore the sons of Muppina Devaraja, the younger brother of Raja
Wodeyar were waiting to be chosen. The third son Kempa Doddadevaraya was chosen and crowned following Kanteerava.
Doddadevaraya ruled from 1662 to 1672 during which time he had to keep his rival prince Chikkadevaraya, the son of his
elder brother Devaraja under guard in distant Hangal to avoid palace conflict.
Seventeenth Century Kannada Areas
Kannada language, like all languages any where, was born as people used it to communicate among themselves. I am not
sure if there was a Dravidian language in use in India before Sanskrit became popular among the scholars. Since there are
more words common in both Tamil and Kannada than in Malayalam and Kannada or Telugu and Kannada, it is assumed
that Tamil and Kannada had a single predecessor language. All four languages viz. Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and
Telugu are considered Dravidian languages; they are not considered as dialects of a single language. Also each has its
own distinct script. The patrons of the languages were the scholars. The kings did not show any partiality to a particular
language, but encouraged all the languages spoken in their kingdoms equally.
When Vijayanagara was at its highest glory, it had conquered the whole of the peninsula south of Tungabhadra river. Keladi
on the west coast south of Goa was a major principality. Mysore around Srirangapatna was another major feudatory state
whose Wodeyars served the Vijayanagara empire. Smaller provinces were Chitradurga, Bengaluru, Channapatna,
Rayadurga, Harapanahalli, Basavapatna, Sonde, Bilgi, Kanchipuram, Madurai, Ummattur, Kerala, Tanjavur and many
In Ikkeri, the capital of Keladi kingdom, Raja Venkatappa declared himself independent of Vijayanagar king in 1565 at the
fall of Ramaraya.In Srirangapatna, Raja Wodeyar, king of Mysore declared himself independent at the same time.Other
smaller provinces also declared themselves independent of Vijayanagara empire more or less same time.
Chaudappa Gowda, a farmer of Keladi founded the kingdom as the first Nayaka in 1499. He became a feudatory of
Vijayanagara. His son Sadashiva was Nayaka from 1530 to 1567 A.D. Ramaraya the emperor of Vijayanagara put
Sadashiva in charge of Chandragutti, Mangalore and Barakur districts after Sadashiva won the war with Adilshah of Bijapur
in 1531. At this time Sadashiva moved his capital from Keladi to Ikkeri. Venkatappa ruled from 1582 to 1629. During
Venkatappa's rule the capital was moved from Ikkeri to Bidnur.
Kempa Doddadevaraya of Bidanur
Kempa Doddadevaraya was also a powerful king and he repulsed attacks from the Keladi army under Shivappanayaka and
annexed Sakrepatna, Hassan, Chikkanayakanahalli, Huliyurdurga and Kunigal into Mysore. The Nayaka of Madurai who
came attacking Mysore was also defeated and Erode and Dharmapuri were taken from him. However Kempa died in
Chikkanayakanahalli in 1672. Prince Chikkadevaraya was released from Hangal and brought to Mysore by the chiefs and
made the king to succeed Kempa Doddadevarya in 1672. Chikka was the king until 1704 when he died. Chikka's son,
Kanteerava Narasaraja II, was the next prince in line to be crowned. He became the king although he was dumb and deaf.
This fact gave an opportunity for the commanders of the army to play their games as they pleased.
Shivappanayaka ruled from 1645 to 1660. He won over the territories of Hasan and Chikmagalur which were in Mysore
kingdom. In 1671 Rani Chennammaji was the queen of Keladi till 1697. Keladi was finished by Hyder Ali in 1763 A.D.
The commanders were referred to as Dalvayee. None of the Dalwayee was of royal blood and therefore the Dalvayee was
not eligible to become a king. But after the death of Chikka the rulers were weak and listened to the Dalwayee's advice in all
matters. The Dalwayee often avoided fighting an attacker but instead chose to pay substantial amounts to the enemy and
send them away. In 1724 the Nizam of Golconda and his ally Ghorpade of Gutti came attacking Mysore and the Dalwayee
made the then king Krishnaraja II pay more than one crore as tribute to avoid a war. In 1727 when Krishnaraja I was the
king, the Maratha warrior Baji Rao I collected a tribute of 21 lakhs. In 1741when Krishnaraja II was the king the Nizam Nasir
Jung levied a tribute of 50 lakhs on Mysore and in 1755 another Nizam Salabat Jung also levied a tribute of 56 lakhs.
The Dalwayee had to get the money to pay for these demands from the aggressors and therefore Dalwayee Devaraja and
Nanjaraja attacked Tiruchirapally in 1752. This war lasted three years and drained the treasury instead of providing funds.
Nanjaraja had employed one Hyder Ali as a captain among his troops. The troops were not paid their salary after the war
with Tiruchirapally and therefore Hyder Ali could instigate a riot and get Nanjaraja removed as the Dalwayee by the king
Krishnaraja II who appointed Hyder Ali as the Dalwayee. Hyder began to disobey the king soon after. This lead to a situation
wherein the king invited the attacking Maratha army for help. Hyder Ali escaped and fled. He returned with a big army. Hyder
negotiated peace with the Maratha commander so that the king failed to get help from the Maratha army. Hyder subdued the
royal troops so that the king was forced to surrender the kingdom to Hyder Ali. However Hyder Ali did not harm the king but
provided him a pension of 3 lakhs in the form of Jagir. Hyder Ali proclaimed himself as the administrator of Mysore kingdom
in 1761 A.D. In the same year the Marathas were defeated in the Third Battle of Panipat near Delhi at the hands of the
Portuguese in Goa
In June 1565 A.D. ,the five sultans Nizamshah of Ahmadnagar, Adilshah of Bijapur, Baridshah of Bidar, Qutbshah of
Golconda and Imadshah of Berar were still tasting their victory at Talikote, but the Portuguese on the west coast were a
threat therefore the sultans of Bijapur and Ahmadnagar jointly fought the Portuguese but the latter were too strong to be
driven away completely. So they signed treaties with the Portuguese following which there was peace at least until the
Mughal army came to attack them. Mughals invaded all the sultanates and occupied their territories in 1675 A.D.
|In Ikkeri, the capital of Keladi kingdom, Raja Venkatappa
declared himself independent of Vijayanagar king in
1565 at the fall of Ramaraya.
In Srirangapatna, Raja Wodeyar, king of Mysore declared
himself independent at the same time.
Other smaller provinces also declared themselves
independent of Vijayanagara empire more or less same
|NANDI THE BULL (MUSEUM AT SHIVAMOGGE)
Photo by Mohan Shenoy
When Bahamani kingdom was inaugurated in Gulbarga in 1347, Delhi was ruled by sultan Muhammad Bin Tughluk.
Tughluk died in 1951. The Delhi throne was then claimed by Firuz, son of Muhammad's uncle Rajab. Firuz ruled till 1388,
the year he died. Firuz's successors belonging to Tughluk dynasty ruled Delhi until 1398 at which time Timur Lame, a
Muslim warrior and a son of a Turkish mother and Mongol father came from across Sind river and attacked Delhi. He and
his army plundered Delhi for three days and then returned back to Samarkhand where he died in 1405.
A large number of people died at the hands of Timur and his army. He had determined that people in India were weak
'infidels' and looting, raping their women, and murdering their children and the old alike was his duty as a Muslim soldier. It
is impossible to imagine how bad it was for the common man in India during these raids by Muslims.
At the time Timur invaded Delhi, a Tughluk sultan was on the throne. One Mallu Iqbal claimed the throne when Timur left.
Mallu ruled until 1405 when he died in battle with Khizr Khan in Multan. Delhi became ruler less. Mahmud Tughluk a son of
late Firuz was chosen to be the sultan by the chiefs. Mahmud died in 1412. Taking the opportunity Khizr Khan came from
Multan and took over the Delhi throne as Sayeed sultan.
Khizr Khan's successor was Sayeed Mubarak Shah (1421-1433) who was assassinated by his own body
guards. Mubarak's adopted son Sayeed Muhammad Shah ruled Delhi from 1434 to 1443. Muhammad's son
Sayeed Alam Shah ruled from 1443 to 1451.
Khizr Khan's successor was Sayeed Mubarak Shah (1421-1433) who was assassinated by his own body
guards. Mubarak's adopted son Sayeed Muhammad Shah ruled Delhi from 1434 to 1443. Muhammad's son
Sayeed Alam Shah ruled from 1443 to 1451.
|One Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar came from the west and fought with Lodi army at Panipat in 1526. Babar's
son Humayun also took part in the battle and the subsequent expeditions into the region in and around Delhi.
It is said that the Kohinoor diamond was in the possession of the Gwalior rulers at this time. Humayun took
the diamond along with a large amount of gold jewelry and coins from the treasury of Gwalior during this raid.
Babar was a descendant of Timur Lame in the fifth generation and of Mongol Chingiz Khan in the fifteenth
generation. Historians have named the dynasty of Babar as Mughal dynasty. Gradually the war-torn region
around Delhi settled down as Babar arranged himself to be crowned the Mughal sultan of Delhi in 1526 A.D.
Babar was addicted to opium and this lead to deterioration in his helath and he died in 1530 at Agra.
Humayun, son of Babar
Babar's son Humayun ascended the throne in Delhi in 1531. There were many Afghan warlords in different
districts all over India. They were employed as army commanders by the Delhi's ruler. Some of them worked
as mercenaries under Hindu kings. Some of the Afghans nurtured an ambition to become the sultan in Delhi.
The same Afghan would fight for the Muslim master one day and then change sides and fight for his opponent
The Sur Dynasty
One Farid, a young Afghan, was a commander under the Afghan king of Bihar in 1533. The king noticed that
Farid was a brave fighter and conferred on him the title of Sher Khan.
|Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar
|Farid belonged to the Sur dynasty. Later Sher Khan fought many wars with Humayun and ousted him from
Delhi in 1540 A.D. Humayun fled to Sind where he remained for 15 years.
Meanwhile Sher Khan established himself as the ruler at Delhi and called his kingdom by the name of Sur
sultanate. He ruled Delhi until 1545 and his successors carried on the rule till 1555.
Return of Humayun
Humayun returned from Sind and recaptured Delhi throne. He brought with him his son Akbar. Akbar was a
young man of 14 when Humayun died after falling from the roof in 1556. Akbar had his friend Byram Khan
propose Akbar to succeed Humayun as the next Delhi sultan.
Jahangir, formerly Salim ruled as the Mughal emperor from 1605 till his death in 1627 when he was 58 years
old. One of the most heinous acts of Jahangir was beheading the Sikh Guru Arjun Singh in 1606 near Lahore.
This resulted in permanent enmity between the Sikhs and Muslims. Beginning in 1608 Jahangir had to face
the Marathas in the Deccan with Malik Ambar of the Maratha army over running Ahmadnagar and driving out
the Mughals. Jahangir did not again try to expand his holdings in the Deccan.
Prince Khurram, son of Jahangir, proclaimed himself as emperor with the royal name Shahjahan in 1628.
One year later, Shahjahan traveled to the south and attacked Ahmadnagar of Murtaza Nizam Shah who had
given refuge to an Afghan brave called Khan-i-Jahan. Murtaza realized that the Khan was no match to the
Mughal army and signed a surrender treaty with Shahjahan. In the Deccan the vindictiveness of Shahjahan
against the Hindus was equal to that of Allauddin Khilji, Muhammad bin Tughluk and other Muslim invaders
from the north in the past.
Shahjahan came to Daulatabad fort repeatedly to subdue several uprisings in the Deccan. In 1636 Shahjahan
was able to win several battles with Ahmadnagar, Bijapur and Golconda and establish his suzerainity over all
Bijapur sultan Muhammad Adilshah was allowed more freedom than others by Shahjahan. Muhammad
employed Ranadulla Khan and Shahji as his army commanders and took Ikkeri of the Keladi kingdom, Sira,
Bangalore of Kempegowda, Sakrepatna and Tumkur of Mysore kingdom. Employing Mustafa Khan as
commander Muhammad could extend his kingdom by beating Vellore, Jinji and Puducherry by 1646. Later the
chiefs of Madurai, Tanjavuru and Raibaug near Belagavi (Belgaum) came under Bijapur.
Aurangzeb, son of Shahjahan was helping his father in managing the southern territories from 1636 onwards.
Aurangzeb showed no leniency towards anyone whom he thought was against Mughal interests.
|The Marathas in Karnaataka
Shivaji was the younger son of Shahji, the Adilshahi army commander. He grew up in Raigad in Konkan and at
the age of 14 came to Bangalore where his father was the Jagirdar, for further military training. He became an
able soldier specialized in guerrilla warfare. His first success was when he captured the Toran fort from
Adilshah sultanate in 1646 and declared himself independent of the sultan.
Aurangzeb was born in the year 1618 and he died in the year 1707 at the age of 89 years. He was a ruthless
tyrant. All Mughal kings were dictators and autocrats but Aurangzeb was also a bully, tormentor and
persecutor. The Maratha warrior Shivaji was the prominent opponent to Aurangzeb who at the age of 18 in
1636 started his military adventures. He tasted the luxury of a viceroy while in Daulatabad fort and kept
Ahmadnagar, Bijapur and Golconda safe for his father Shahjahan. In 1644 Aurangzeb was sent to the
northwest for restoring Kandahar to the Mughal empire. After 8 years in the northwest, he returned to
Daulatabad for a second stint in the Deccan as Shahjahan's viceroy. Aurangzeb found Khirki (Khidki) the most
pleasant place to live in and renamed it as Aurangabad. Khidki was earlier Malik Ambar's capital of
Aurangzeb put pressure on Golconda's Qutb Shah and also on Ali Adil Shah II of Bijapur. But Shivaji was a
new threat that Aurangzeb faced from 1646 onwards. Therefore Aurangzeb's army got a very large area to
defend, an area extending from the Konkan, across Deccan up to the eastern shores of Golconda with every
Muslim commander being suspect of conspiracy. Dara Shukoh, the eldest brother of Aurangzeb was a rival for
the Delhi throne.
If Dara Shukoh had become the Mughal emperor following Shahjahan, the future of the Mughal dynasty would
have been brighter. Also Shahjahan was known to be partial to Dara Shukoh because Aurangzeb was a
treacherous aspirant for succession as the Emperor. There was no one whom Aurangzeb could call his friend
and faithful. Shahjahan fell ill in 1657 and through out the next two years Aurangazeb annihilated all his
brothers one by one, imprisoned and neutralized his father Shahjahan and ascended the throne in Delhi in
|Events in Europe
|The historians have marked the wars among the European
kingdoms from 1618 to 1648 as the Thirty Year War. The first stage
of the war was between 1618 and 1624 when Bohemian war took
place. The states of present Germany Bohemia and Bavaria were
ruled by two different rulers in 1618. Bohemia represented by the
present Czech Republic was a Protestant Christian state ruled by
the Protestant League and Frederick was their president. It was a
war between the Emperor of Austria, Ferdinand II and the people's
league of Bohemia. In this war the Catholic Emperor was victorius.
During this time in India Emperor Aurangzeb kept himself busy with
the hundreds of wars between his army and his Muslim rivals. In the
course the ordinary Muslim inhabitant was unhappy and the Hindus
were a neglected and harassed lot. Most of the Sikh, Jain and Hindu
infrastructure was destroyed and the religious gurus and devotees
were clueless as to what is happening to their lives. The Mughals
were Sunni Muslims and had fatal grudge against the Shia arm of
Islam. Iranians and Afghans who belonged to the Shia faith suffered
the most in an Islamic administration inspite of being Muslims.
The second stage of the Thirty Year war in Europe known as the
Danish period was between 1625 and 1629. The ruler of Denmark
and Norway, Christian IV was a Protestant and Charles I of England
was also leaning towards Protestantism. A few princes within
Germany were believers of Protestantism.
But the Emperor of Austria, Ferdinand II was a fundamental
Catholic. He became a ruthless administrator in suppressing
Protestantism. Lutheranism and Calvinism were two wings of
Protestantism. Christian IV went to war and lost and signed
a Treaty of Lubeck in 1629.
The third stage of the war known as the Swedish period between
1630 and 1635 was waged by the ruler of Sweden Gustavus
Adolphus. The French prime minister Richelieu gave finance to
Gustavus. In the war Count of Tilly a commander in the Austrian
army slaughtered over 20,000 Protestant people in Northern
Germany. In 1632 a fierce battle took place in Lutzen and Gustavus
was defeated. The war continued between the Protestant and
Catholic armies and ended in 1635 by the Treaty of Prague.
The fourth stage of the war known as Spanish period was between
1636 and 1642. Spain was a Catholic state just as Austria was and
they were therefore enemies of France, Sweden, Netherlands and
Savoy. War began between France and Spain in 1635 and Spanish
army got the upperhand first but later the French pushed back the
Spanish garrison. The war in Germany between the Emperor
Ferdinand and the Protestants also continued with success to the
former first and to the latter later. Both Spain and Emperor
Ferdinand of Hopsburg dynasty agreed to sign the treaty of defeat in
Westphalia in 1642.
Following the Treaty of Westphalia, Germany was formed anew as a
group of small states and King Frederick became the Elector of the
German Council. Brandenberg later joined Germany to form Prussia.
In 1689 England saw a significant political change in its monarchy.
In 1688 the people of England were predominantly Protestant and
they revolted against James II who was a fanatic Catholic. The king
tried to convert the people into Catholicism, but they resisted. One
William of Orange of Holland and his wife Mary were invited by the
people to depose James II. Mary was a daughter of James II by his
first queen and was given to William in marriage. James II fled to
France and Mary and William were enthroned jointly in 1689.
|European Influence in Karnaataka
|Kanteerava Narasaraja I was the king (1638-1662) in Mysore. When Aurangzeb ascended the throne
in Delhi Kempa Doddadevaraya was the king. Kanteerava Narasaraja II who became king in 1704
Mysore was repeatedly under attack from the Mughals, Marathas and Bijapur sultan with the
Golconda Nizam also playing his role. Shivaji died in 1680 leaving a vast empire in the Deccan to his
successors. His eldest son Sambhaji opposed the coronation of his younger son Rajaram by the
Raigad worthies. Therefore there was a split within the Maratha powers. Sambhaji crowned himself
as the Maratha Maharaj in 1681.
Under Sambhaji's reign there was tussle between the Mughals and the Bijapur sultanate. Bijapur's
Sikandar Adilhah was deposed and he died in 1700 following which Adilshahi dynasty ended. Now
the tussle became severe between the Mughals and the Marathas with Golconda's Qutb Shah joining
Maratha prince Rajaram younger son of Shivaji sought protection from many Hindu kings including
Keladi Nayakas. Later in 1689 Sambhaji was captured by Mughal army and killed. Rajaram was
crowned the Maharaja at Raygad but soon the Mughals attacked Raygad. Rajaram had to flee to Jinji
in the south to evade capture by the Mughals. Yet Rajaram's son Shahu, signed treaty with the
Mughals and he, a grandson of Shivaji was made the jagirdar under a Mughal general in 1719.
Jinji fell in 1688 to Mughals and Rajaram fled to Satara where he died in 1700. His widow Tara Bai
kept the Maratha kingdom alive by declaring her son Shivaji II as the Maharaja. In 1700 there were
many Maratha generals such as Ghorpades and Jadavs who became powerful. The Rajput kings
invited them to join their army to defend against the Mughal attacks. Often the Marathas had to face
strong opponents and fight losing a lot of money as expenditure. Therefore the Marathas became the
independent rulers of some of the areas they won for the Rajputs. They identified themselves as
Peshwa(s) (Prime ministers).
Beginning of end of Mughal dynasty
Meanwhile in Delhi there was a severe upheaval. Aurangzeb had died in 1707 and the Mughal
empire was crumbling as a result of bad governance by Aurangzeb and his successor Bahadur
Shah. The Shah died in 1712 following which there was war of succession among his sons.
Jahandar Shah won the wars and ruled for one year or so. Jahandar's nephew Farrukhsiyar
ascended the throne in 1713.
In 1719 Muhammad Shah, a grandson of Bahadur Shah became the king.
|Map Showing the Five Sultanates and Vijayanagar Kingdom in 1565
|Map showing various Independent Kingdoms formed after Vijayanagara fell.
|Invaders from Iran and Afghanistan
In 1739 the Iranian invader Nadir Shah began his expedition into India from Ghazni and as he marched to Delhi he plundered
and lay bare principalities like Kabul, Lahore and Karnail. Nadir Shah ordered his soldiers to execute every single resident of
Delhi, man woman or child and loot everything that was considered valuable. After two months of such terror Nadir Shah
returned to Iran with the booty. He carried away the famous peacock throne of Shahjahan with him. Muhammad Shah the Mughal
king came to be a pauper.
Delhi was yet to recover from the orgy of Nadir Shah, when in 1748 another invader, this time an Afghan warrior by the name of
Ahmad Shah Durrani invaded India. Departing from Kandahar, he recovered lands invaded by Nadir Shah earlier, such as
Ghazni, Kabul, Peshawar and finally Delhi, but he lost the battle at Sirhind to Mughal army. Durrani retreated to Kandahar to plan
future attacks. Muhammad Shah died in 1748 itself and his heir Ahmad Shah mounted the throne. Soon Durrani the Afghan
invader returned. This time the Mughal army of Ahmad Shah could not save the Punjab.
Durrani did not pursue beyond Punjab. There was nothing much left in Delhi for him to burgle.
In 1754 a descendant of Jahandar Shah was placed on the throne as Alamgir II by the chiefs, after deposing Ahmad Shah and
imprisoning him. At this time Durrani returned to Delhi and declaring himself as the Delhi emperor in 1757 began to plunder and
loot temples, palaces and mansions of merchants in Delhi and every other population center including Mathura. He decided to
leave Delhi within four months because of the hot weather after giving back the throne to Alamgir II. However, it was the Maratha
Peshwa Baji Rao who was the effective ruler of Delhi those days.
Noticing that there is more wealth in India to be burgled, Ahmad Shah Durrani returned in 1761. The responsibility to defend
Delhi was in the hands of Marathas at this time. The Maratha army fought Durrani's forces at Panipat but suffered defeat. This
battle is known as the third Panipat war to the historians. Durrani, the Afghan leader sensed the big British forces present in
India and retreated to Kandahar after the Panipat war. The land around Delhi became the ground for tug of war between the
Marathas, Sikhs and the British from 1773 onwards following the death of the ambitious Durrani.
| During the period between 1565 and 1591
the land now demarkated as Karnataka had
many indirect side-effects of the wars for
lordship of the Delhi throne.
The five sultans were not able to capture for
themselves the erstwhile Vijayanagar
territories after its collapse because the
local kings of the different regions under
Vijayanagar were strong and declared
themselves as independent..
Bijapur Adilshahi continued and then until
1629 rest of the north Karnataka was
spared from invasions by the Mughals.
Jahangir had no time to look towards the
|Shivaji was the younger son of Shahji, the
Adilshahi army commander. He grew up in
Raigad in Konkan and at the age of 14 came to
Bangalore where his father was the Jagirdar,
for further training. He became an able soldier
specialized in guerrilla warfare. His first
success was when he captured the Toran fort
from Adilshah sultanate in 1646 and declared
himself independent of the sultan.
|MUGHAL RULE IN KARNATAKA
Maratha Power in Karnaataka
The Maratha general Shahu was appointed Jagirdar of Kannada areas in Mughal province in 1719 after he
helped Shahjahan to annexe these territories into Mughal empire. After this the Peshwa period began. The
Maratha Prime Ministers were known as Peshwa(s). After Shahu, Baji Rao and Balaji Rao were the Peshwa(s)
collecting land revenue. But Hyderali helped a rebel in Golconda viz. Balasat Jung who invaded parts of Maratha
possessions. Later Hyderali appointed himself as the Nawab of Sira under the rebel Nizam Balasat Jung. This
helped him to raid the territories held by the Marathas south of Tungabhadra.
Peshwa Madhav Rao
Peshwa Madhav Rao repeatedly carried out expeditions from his headquarters in Pune to Kannada speaking
areas from Krishna river downwards, viz. Panchmahals (five taluks: Kadwad (Karwar), Ankola, Sonda, Keladi
and Chithradurga. He reached Srirangapatna where Hyderali was the administrator and collected a tribute of 30
lakhs. Sadashiva Rau, cousin of Peshwa Balaji Rao besieged Srirangapatna again in 1757 and demanded 32
lakhs as revenue due (chauth). But Mysore could not pay all of it and so 13 taluks were pledged to the Maratha
as arrears. Peshwa Madhav Rao came again in 1759 when Mysore was a pauper following many invasions by
the Nizam of Golconda. He collected heavy tributes but returned to Pune in 1761 as the Third Panipat war was
on between the Afghan leader Ahmad Shah Durrani and Peshwa Baji Rao. Hyderali took the opportunity to
invade and acquire the lands lost by him earlier to the Marathas.
Rise of Hyderali
Hyderali helped the rebel Nizam Balasat Jung to gain territories to form a new Nizamshahi in Adoni, now in
Andhra Pradesh, and surrounding areas. In the expedition several large kingdoms were grabbed from the
Maratha hold. Sira was one of them. The Nizam allowed Hyderali to keep Sira and Hyderali got himself
nominated as the Nawab of Sira. Then Hyderali captured Chikkaballapur, Doddaballapur, Penukonda and
Madaksira in 1762. He captured Keladi in 1763, Sonda in 1764, Gutti near Ananthpur in the same year, and then
Savanur soon after. Dharwad fell into Hyderali's kitty later. Hyderali's victory was short-lived because Peshwa
Madhav Rao came again in 1764 to regain all the friendly states south of Tungabhadra from Hyderali in
successive campaigns from Munvalli and Hubli to Savanur, Dharwad and Haveri. Hyder was routed at Rattihalli
and then Anavatti late in 1764. Gutti was returned to its Maratha ruler Ghorpade. In 1765 the Marathas got
Hyderali sign a peace treaty leaving him a Mysore smaller than it was in 1638.
The Maratha forces had not only Kannada areas but also many other regions to protect and therefore the
Kannada speaking areas under them were an easy prey for Hyderali to attack and conquer time and again.
Hyderali resumed his raids on Chithradurga, Harapanahalli, Bellary and Rayadurga in 1767 but Peshwa
Madhav Rao swiftly returned from Pune and recaptured all of them leaving Bangalore and Mysore untouched. To
spare Bangalore and Mysore, Hyderali signed a treaty with the Marathas and paid a tribute of 31 lakhs to the
|THE ADVENT OF THE ENGLISH
|Sighting a good opportunity Hyderali raided the lands held by the East India Company south of Mysore in 1767.
This war was the First Anglo-Mysore war. The East India Company signed a treaty accepting defeat. Hyderali
resumed his campaigns against the Marathas once again after the treaty with the English. The Peshwa returned
again from Pune to put down Hyderali. He succeeded to an extent but in 1770, fell ill and returned to Pune
leaving the task to his general Triambakrao Pethe. Hyder was defeated at Moti Talav near Melkote in 1771.
Triambakrao also had to leave the task unfinished and proceed to Tanjavur to help Maratha ruler there. Peshwa
Madhav Rao died in 1772 and therefore the Maratha campaign slowed down and then weakened.
|Hyderali was young and active when Peshwa Madhav Rao died. Madhav Rao's younger brother Narayan Rao
became the Peshwa but he was murdered due to crisis in Pune, the Maratha headquarters. Raghunath Rao
was made the Peshwa. He made peace with Hyderali. From 1772 to 1780 Marathas, due to their internal
rivalries, were unable to engage Hyderali and recover their lost territories. This situation encouraged Hyderali to
pursue his ambition to conquer and gain more territories.
In 1780 Hyderali crowned himself the Nawab of Srirangapatna and held territories extending from the north of
Tungabhadra to Mysore. He was confronted by the presence of the English who were controlling the land south
of Mysore. To free this land from the English, he allied with the Nizam of Golconda and with the Marathas in 1780
to fight the English together. This was the Second Anglo-Mysore war. During the war the Nizam and the
Marathas withdrew their support to Hyderali in 1782. Hyderali's son Tippu was by then fighting alongside his
father in the war. Hyderali died due to sickness in December 1782.
Tippu had to take over and continue the war as the chief commander of Mysore forces.The English had been
fighting the Marathas around Surat this time and a war between Marathas and English also commenced in
1780. This was the First Anglo-Maratha war. The Marathas suffered defeats in their war with the English forcing
them to sign the Treaty of Saibai in May 1782. Meanwhile Tippu could defeat the English at Wandiwash, south of
Mysore but he lost Bidnur and Mangalore to the English forces on the west coast.
Major changes took place at this time around the world. In the English colony of America the rebellion against
the British rule succeeded and most of the eastern part of North American Continent became free in 1776.
|Aurangzeb conquered Bijapur in 1686 and invaded Kannada territories south of it like Raichur, Bellary, Chithradurga, Tumkur and
Kolar. Then they proceeded further south to Jinji past Vellore. The Mughal province south of the Tungabhadra river was known by
the name of Bijapur-Karnatak to the Mughals. Sira was the headquarters for this province. Mysore was included in this province
and until 1724 the Mughals expected tributes from the heads of these regions. Some of them were referred to as Palegars and
others Zamindars. Mysore king was referred to as Zamindar. Initially the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad obeyed the orders
of the Mughal emperor but after 1724 they began to act independently and collected tributes for themselves. Nizam renamed the
palegars as Nawabs. The arrival of Hyderali in the scene in 1761 changed the scenario in favour of Mysore, and all payments as
tributes to the Mughals or the Nizam stopped.
|Tippu sultan and Marathas fought wars for the possession of Nargund, Badami and Kittur in 1786 and 1787.
After 3 years in 1790 Tippu attacked Travancore, an English ally. The war known as the Third Anglo-Mysore war,
went on till 1792 when there was a treaty signed by all three parties. The East India Company forces had
captured much of the land on the east, south and west of Mysore. Both the Marathas and the Nizam of Golconda
joined the English and attacked Mysore in 1799. Tippu's capital Srirangapatna was surrounded by the English
forces. Tippu fought fiercely until death.
Mysore after Tippu
In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War the Marathas and the Nizam forces retreated after Tippu’s death. English
claimed victory. They did not appoint Tippu's sons to the throne. It appears that the English did not recognise
either Hyderali or Tippu as hereditary rulers of Mysore. Hyderali did not consider himself to be the king although
he became a Nawab. He placed Chamaraja IX on the throne following the death of Krishnaraja II in 1776.
Hyderali died in 1782 and Tippu assumed himself to be the sultan disregarding the presence of Chamaraja IX
on the throne of Mysore. Chamaraja died in 1796 but Tippu did not give any heed to crown Krishnaraja III, the son
of Chamaraja. He allowed the kingship to lapse. Krishnaraja III was just a child when Tippu was killed. The
English tracked down the child prince Krishnaraja and negotiated the terms for him to be crowned as the king of
Mysore. Tippu's sons were also eligible for being crowned as lawful claimants for the throne. But the English
saw Tippu as a friend of their enemies, the French. Tippu had befriended the French in order to improve the
fighting capacity of his forces against the English.
The French Influence
The wars carried out by the Marathas were expensive; otherwise they would not have won so many wars against
the Mughals who were using the plundered and extracted wealth of the smaller kingdoms to keep themselves
rich and powerful. The Marathas also extracted heavy tributes from the Kannada kings to maintain the friendship
with them and protecting them from the Muslim attackers. The difference was that the Mughals maimed or killed
the owners to extract the riches while the Marathas threatened violence if the demands were not met. The
owners had to comply to avoid violence.
Assimilation of Muslims
In the first half of the eighteenth century, there was suffecient assimilation of Islam in India with the result that the
foot soldiers, cavalry, gunners and sub-commanders in the rival armies were of identical race, religion and
locality. Less number of civilians were murdered or religiouos places destroyed after a victory than a century or
two ago. Especially in the south, the Mughal army was willing to leave if they were given the tribute they
demanded within a reasonable time after confrontation. However the victim was left poorer and devastated. The
peasants and the workers were the ultimate sufferers since the chiefs and the officers punished them if the dues
were not paid as demanded and within the deadline imposed by them.
The Hindu rulers of Mysore were wary of the Muslim Hyderali. They preferred to work with the Marathas such as
Khande Rao in 1760 who joined the King Krishnaraja II to oust Hyderali. Khande Rau was expected to mollify the
then Maratha campaigner Visaji Krishna Biniwale and get his help, Khande Rao was also a Marathi chief. Both
Visaji and Kanderao retreated when the news of defeat of the Marathas in the third Panipat war spread in their
camps. However, Khande Rau had close relations with Hyderali too. He sat on the fence while Hyderali forced
the king Krishnaraja II to hand over the administration of Mysore to Hyderali.
Continued in page 4
|ANCIENT TEMPLES AT PATTADAKAL HISTORICAL SITE
|Influence on British upon Loss of American colony
|In the English colony of America the rebellion against the
British rule succeeded and most of the eastern part of
North American Continent became free in 1776. The
British withdrew their forces and acknowledged the
American War of Independence. The American War of
Independence began in 1775 and continued until 1783.
France had sent its army to fight the British in the British
colony of America.
|Karnaataka is born
Birth of Karnaataka State
By Mohan Shenoy