The battle was fought in a range of 40 kms. Some scholars believe that the decisive battle was fought at Krishna-Bannihatti. Hence it is called the battle of Bannihatti. Aliya Ramaraya was the leader of the Vijayanagara troops. On the opposite side was the coalition army of Shahi Sultans.
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Inter-family marriages between Sultans solved many of their internal conflicts and they finally united against the Vijayanagara empire, which was seen as the common enemy. The battle Edit By 29 December the first battles broke out.
The Hindu army inflicted a huge defeat on the Muslims and the Sultans fled in disarray losing thousands of men in the encounter. The Sultans were shaken by this encounter and asked Adil Shah to forget previous arguments and stand by them for the intended Hindu counter-attack.
The Sultans met secretly and decided that the only way to succeed was to resort to stratagem. Nizam Shah and Qutb Shah decided to parley with the mighty Raya who was now planning a massive counter-thrust into the Muslim flanks. At the same time Adil Shah sent a false message to the Hindu commander that he wished to remain neutral. As a result of these parleys Ramaraya delayed his counter-thrust giving a small but critical time window for the Muslims to regroup. However, the euphoria of this victory proved short-lived as the sultans Nizam Shah, Qutb Shah, Barid Shah on one side and Adil Shah on the other used this distraction to cross the Krishna and attack the main Hindu divisions.
Rama Raya, though thoroughly surprised, rapidly responded. Despite his advanced age in the 70s he decided to personally lead the Hindu armies and took to the field in the center.
On 23 Jan , the enormous armies clashed on the plains near the villages of Rakshasi and Tangadi. Several reports claimed that over a million men were involved in this historic clash. Venkatadri struck early and within the first two hours the Hindu right wings heavy guns fired constantly on the ranks of Barid Shah. As the ranks were softened the Hindu infantry under Venkatadri plowed through the divisions of Barid Shah annihilating them.
The assault was so vigorous that it looked like a Hindu victory was imminent. Qutb Shah too was in retreat, when Nizam Shah sent his forces to shore up the ranks of the Sultans. Nizam Shah himself was then pressed hard by the heavy cannonade from Rama Raya? At this point the Sultans signaled to the Moslem officers in the Vijayanagaran army to launch a subversive attack. Suddenly Ramaraya found his rear surprised by the two Moslem divisions in his ranks turning against him.
About , Moslem troops had opened a vigorous rear attack on the Hindus and captured several artillery positions. Several cannon shells landed near Ramaraya? Ramaraya tried to recover but Nizam Shah made a dash to seize him. He was dragged to the Moslem camp and the Sultan asked him to acknowledge Allah as the only god.
Rama Raya instead cried? Narayana Krishna Bhagavanta? The Hindus panicked at the death of their commander and chaos broke out in their midst. Venkatadri was also killed as the Qutb Shah, Nizam and Barid put all their forces together and launched a concerted punch. The Vijayanagar artillery had by then been exhausted and was blasted by the Adil Shah? Tirumala Deva Raya seeing the total rout fled to Vijayanagara and taking up the treasury on elephants fled south towards Penukonda.
Miscellaneous dacoits, Maharatta Hindu brigands under Raja Ghorpade Bahadur, and the Maharashtrian Brahmin thief, Murari Rao, who got wind of the news also arrived with their henchmen and looted the grand city. The looting is supposed to have gone on for six months, after which the sultans fired the city. The heat from the burning of the city is supposed to have been so intense that it left cracks in the granite hills on its periphery.
The battle spelt the death knell for the large Hindu kingdoms in India, and it also ended the Vijayanagara empire in India. What followed was a victorious army along with dwellers falling upon the great city. With axes, crowbars , fire and sword the victorious armies went about the task of bringing to rubble the city of Vijayanagara which never recovered from the onslaught.
The highly diminished Vijayanagara empire now tried to stage an unsuccessful comeback with its capital at Penukonda. Tirumala however could not lay claim over Vijayanagara as local support was to make the younger brother of Aliya Rama Raya , also called Tirumala, the regent.
It was another six years before Tirumala could claim regency over the former capital of Vijayanagara. During this time, anarchy had spread. Aliya Rama Rayas habit of nominating family relatives to key positions of the former kingdom instead of loyal officers became a reason for family feuds and rebellion. The Polygar Palyagar system local chieftains which had been so successful earlier was also a reason for break away factions. The Nayaks of Tamil speaking regions; Gingee , Madurai Nayaks and Tanjore Nayaks were flexing their freedom and in fact Tirumala Deva Raya had to tacitly accept the independence of these Nayakas in order to keep their friendship in an hour of impending invasions from Bijapur.
Later, the Vijayanagara empire shifted capitals to Chandragiri and eventually to Vellore during which time the other feudatories, the Kingdom of Mysore, Nayakas of Keladi in Shimoga and Nayakas of Vellore also became independent. However, it left a residue of Telugu enclaves and local elites scattered over most of South India.
Some Kannada speaking regions became part of Hyderabad Karnataka ruled by the Nizam of Hyderabad and Bombay Presidency governed by Maratha chieftains all of whom came under the British umbrella. After the fall of Vijayanagar, some historians believe that Tirumala, the brother of Rama Raya made an attempt to revive the city but failed.
It is believed that there was a conflict between him and his nephew Pedda Tirumala over the control of the city and hence he decided to abandon it. Moslem horsemen roved over the countryside extorting money and goods from the people. There was also a profusion of robberies and plundering operations by gangs of warlords in the Telugu country. In the Tamil country Nayakas of Madurai, Tanjavur and Gingee established independent kingdoms, which to a great extant restored local stability in these regions.
It took Tirumala a whole six years to restore civil administration and rebuild an army. He attacked Portuguese horse traders and seized horses from them to raise a cavalry. He made Penukonda his capital and started heavily fortifying it to prepare for a major defensive war. Imad Shah of Berar suffered massively and his kingdom soon ended within a few years of Talikota. Adil Shah, who had recovered from the Talikota war, marched southwards again in to continue the conquest of the Vijayanagaran kingdom.
Pedda Tirumala entered into negotiations with the Sultan and directed the invader against his uncle Tirumala, whom he feared. But the Sultan in brushed him aside and took Vijayanagar and then marched on Penukonda. Tirumala dispatched his commander Savaram Chennappa Nayaka to repulse the Sultan. The Nayaka inflicted a defeat on the Moslem forces through a surprise sally when the Sultan was expecting a defensive reaction from the fort of Penukonda.
Tirumala made Chennappa commander of the Vijayanagar army and resorted to diplomacy to buy some time for himself. Tirumala thought that his negotiations would result in Nizam Shah and Qutb Shah forming a common cause against Adil Shah. A twin Moslem army attacked the Vijayanagarans at Adoni and Penugonda. Hard pressed in Adoni the Hindu armies capitulated but Tirumala and Chennappa put up a strong resistance at Penukonda and repulsed the Moslem forces from the Telugu country.
Tirumala then initiated negotiations with the Nayakas of Gingee, Tanjavur and Madurai and unified them to his cause of the defense of the South against the Turushkas. He appointed his 3 sons, Sriranga, Rama and Venkata as viceroys at Penukonda, Shrirangapattanam and Chandragiri to respectively administer the Telugu, Kannada and Tamil divisions of the kingdom.
He then strengthened his army to deter any further Moslem attacks and finally ascended the throne with the title: "Reviver of the decadent Karnata empire". In , he felt he was too old to rule and retired to a religious life of Vishnubhakti Devotion to God Vishnu.
For a while the Sultans watched, wary of the revived Southern army of the Hindus. But by Adil Shah had vastly strengthened his army and fortified Adoni as a base to launch a "non-stop war" on the Vijayanagarans. A huge Mohammedan army suddenly set forth from Adoni to attack Penukonda from different directions. The capital and treasury lay in great peril, so Sriranga I retreated with the treasury to Chandragiri and from there established a supply line for Chennappa Nayaka to defend Penukonda.
Chennappa sent a message to him appeal to his duty to the Dharma against the Mlecchas and Turushkas. Yamaji Rao accepted the message and joined the Vijayanagar side with the Hindu troops in the Shah?
Chennappa immediately struck with great vigor. On 21 December , the holy solisticial day for the Hindus, Chennappa advanced heavy guns against the Moslem flanks and opened an intense simultaneous bombardment from the Penukonda ledges and the flanks. Adil Shah? Sriranga I sent reinforcements to tear apart the disarrayed Moslem ranks and they retreated. In the mean time Shriranga negotiated peace with Qutb Shah who did not send any reinforcements to Adil Shah allowing the Vijayanagarans to completely evict him.
However, Qutb Shah soon appointed Murari Rao, the Brahmin brigand, as his commander-in-chief, and he began strengthening the Golconda army. In Murari Rao launched a sudden plundering operation and the head of a large Moslem army. His hordes began systematically ravaging the territory south of the Krishna with great ferocity. In late , he appeared near the great Nrisimha temple at Ahobilam, which had been enormously endowed by several generations since the Reddis and the Vijayanagarans.
Along with his Moslem troops he ransacked the temple and laid waste to it. He uprooted an ancient ruby-studded pure gold idol of Vishnu and sent it to the Sultan as gift.
Sriranga I, hurried to parry the attack and defeated Murari Rao and his Golconda raiders. Finally, by , he turned the tide and started chasing the Golconda army northwards recovering the territory they had seized. In the process Murari Rao was captured but his life spared because of this brahminical origins. Ibrahim Qutb Shah was furious and decided to settle the matters himself and invaded Kondavidu with the rest of his army and took the fort.
Then he launched a massive raid on Udayagiri. But Sriranga I kept the fight on and repulsed the Moslem army from Udayagiri after an initial retreat. Unfazed Qutb Shah struck at Vinukonda and seized the fort.
Sriranga I along Chennappa rushed to counter the attack. After much fierce fighting the Moslem army was forced to retreat. The Hindus stormed the fort of Vinukonda after intense fighting. Then Chennappa stormed Kondavidu and died fighting even as he forced the Islamic army to retreat. But Sriranga I got into an internecine conflict with his brothers, who refused to cooperate in the national struggle. Qutb Shah took advantage of this and in late captured Kondavidu firmly and died in Golconda shortly after that.
His son, Muhammad Quli became Qutb Shah thereafter.
Battle of Talikota of 1565
Some scholars say the armies fought near Rakkasagi and Tangadigi villages. Hence the battle is also referred as the Battle of Rakkasa-Tangadi. Some other scholars believe that battle was fought at Krishna-Bannihatti. Hence it is also known as the battle of Bannihatti.
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Battle of Talikota 1565 CE : Causes and its Results