Monday, July 19, 2010

A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar -part 3


The Siege and Battle of Raichur, and Close of Krishna's Reign
(A.D. 1520 to 1530)

The date of the siege -- Evidence of Castanheda, Correa, Barros,
Faria y Souza, Osorio, Lafitau, Firishtah -- Ruy de Mello and the
mainlands of Goa -- Immense numbers engaged -- Firishtah's story
of the fight -- Portuguese present -- Christovao de Figueiredo --
Political effects of the Hindu victory, and the events that followed
it -- The mainlands of Goa.

I shall ask my readers to turn for an account of the great battle and
siege of Raichur to the narrative of Nuniz,[214] whose description
is so full and so vivid that it may well be allowed to stand by
itself. It is only necessary for me to add a few notes.

The following is a short summary of the story: --

Krishna Deva Raya, having determine to attack the Adil Shah
and once for all to capture the disputed fortress of Raichur,
collected all his forces, and marched with an immense host from
Vijayanagar in a north-easterly direction. It was the dry season,
and he probably set out in February or March. The weather must have
been intensely hot during his advance, and still more so during
the campaign; but the cotton plains that lay on his route out and
home were then in the best condition for the passage of his troops,
guns, and baggage. His enormous army consisted of about a million of
men, if the camp-followers be included; for the fighting men alone,
according to Nuniz, numbered about 736,000, with 550 elephants. The
troops advanced in eleven great divisions or army corps, and other
troops joined him before Raichur.

He pitched his camp on the eastern side of that citadel, invested
the place, and began a regular siege. After an interval he received
intelligence of the arrival of the Adil Shah from Bijapur, on the
north side of the Krishna, with an army of 140,000 horse and foot to
oppose him.

Having for a few days rested his troops, the Sultan crossed the river,
advanced (according to Nuniz) to within nine miles of Raichur, and
there entrenched himself, leaving the river about five miles in his
rear.[215] Firishtah, however, differs, and says that the Muhammadan
forces crossed directly in face of the Hindu army encamped on the
opposite bank.

On Saturday morning, May 19, in the year A.D. 1520, according to
my deductions, the forces became engaged, and a decisive pitched
battle was fought. Krishna Deva, making no attempt to outflank
his adversary, ordered an advance to his immediate front of his two
forward divisions. Their attack was so far successful that they drove
the Muhammadans back to their trenches. The Sultan had apparently
deployed his force over too wide an area, expecting that the Raya
would do the same; but finding himself weak in the centre he opened
fire from the guns that he had previously held in reserve, and by this
means caused great loss in the close ranks of the Hindus. The Raya's
troops fell back in face of this formidable bombardment, and at once
their enemies charged them. The retreat was changed to a rout, and for
a mile and a half to their direct front the Mussulman cavalry chased
the flying forces belonging to Krishna Deva's first line. The king
himself, who commanded the second line, began to despair of victory,
but rallied his troops, collected about him a number of his nobles, and
determined to face death with the bravery that had always characterised
him. Mounting his horse, he ordered a forward movement of the whole
of his remaining divisions, and charged the now disordered ranks of
the Mussulmans. This resulted in complete success, for the enemy,
scattered and unable to form, fled before his impetuous onslaught. He
drove them the whole way back to, and into, the river, where terrific
slaughter took place, and their entire army was put to flight.

The Raya then crossed the river and seized the Shah's camp, while
the Shah himself, by the counsel and help of Asada Khan, a man who
afterwards became very famous, escaped only with his life, and fled
from the field on an elephant.

While being driven back towards the river, Salabat Khan, the Shah's
general, made a valiant attempt to retrieve the fortunes of the day. He
had for his bodyguard 500 Portuguese "renegades," and with him these
men threw themselves into the advancing ranks of the Hindus, where they
"did such wonderful deeds" that ever after they were remembered. They
penetrated the king's host, and cut their way forwards till they
almost reached his person. Here Salabat Khan lost his horse, but at
once mounted another and pressed on. The little force was, however,
surrounded and annihilated, and the general, being a second time
overthrown, horse and all, was made prisoner.

The spoil was great and the result decisive. For years afterwards the
"Moors" cherished a wholesome dread of Krishna Raya and his valiant
troops, and the Sultan, panic-stricken, never again during his enemy's
lifetime ventured to attack the dominions of Vijayanagar. Krishna
Deva, flushed with victory, returned at once to the attack of Raichur,
and the fortress was after a short time captured.

Its fall was due in great measure to the assistance rendered by
some Portuguese, headed by Christovao de Figueiredo, who with their
arquebusses picked off the defenders from the walls, and thus enabled
the besiegers to approach close to the lines of fortification and
pull down the stones of which they were formed. Driven to desperation,
and their governor being slain, the garrison surrendered.

Date of the Battle.

Now as to the date of this battle.

I am bold enough to believe, and defend my belief, that when Nuniz
fixed the day of the great fight as the new moon day of the month of
May, A.D. 1522, he made a mistake in the year, and should have written

The chronicler states that Krishna Deva was prepared to give battle on
a Friday, but was persuaded by his councillors to postpone his attack
till the following day, Friday being unlucky. The battle accordingly
took place on the Saturday, which was the new moon day.

Before proceeding to examine the month and day, let us consider the
year A.D. of the battle.

Paes describes two grand festivals at the capital of which he was an
eye-witness, and at which Christovao de Figueiredo was present. He
fixes definitely the days on which these occurred. The first was the
nine-days MAHANAVAMI festival, and the second was the festival of the
New Year's Day. Paes states that on the occasion when he was present
the MAHANAVAMI began on September 12 ("ESTAS FESTAS SE COMECAO A
DOSE DõAS DE SETEBRO E DURAO NOVE DIAS"[216]), and the latter began
LUA").[217] Previously to this, when writing about Raichur, Paes has
described that place[218] as a city "that formerly belonged to the
king of Narsymga (I.E. Vijayanagar); there has been much war over it,
and THIS KING took it from the Ydallcao" (Adil Shah). The chronicler,
therefore, was present at these feasts on an occasion subsequent to
the date of Krishna Deva's conquest of Raichur.

Now the MAHANAVAMI festival begins in these tracts on the 1st of
the month of Asvina, and the New Year's Day in the time of Paes was
evidently celebrated on the 1st of the month Karttika, as was often the
case in former years both days being the days following the moment of
new moon. In what year, then, during the reign of Krishna Deva Raya,
did the 1st of Asvina and the 1st of Karttika fall respectively on
September 12 and on October 12? I have worked these dates out for all
the years of the reign, and I find that in no year except A.D. 1520
did this occur. In 1521 the MAHANAVAMI fell on September 2, and the
New Year's Day on October 1; in 1522 the former fell on September 20,
and the latter on October 20. This shows that Paes assisted at the
festivals of A.D. 1520, and that therefore the battle and capture
of Raichur must have taken place before the month of September in
that year.

This again throws fresh light on the magnificent reception accorded
to Christovao de Figueiredo by the king, and the latter's exceptional
kindness to the Portuguese at the time of these feasts.[219] Krishna
Raya cherished an especial fondness for Christovao on account of his
invaluable aid at the siege of the city, and for the fact that but
for him the war might have lasted much longer.

Let us now turn to the other Portuguese writers, and see whether they
confirm our date, 1520, for the fall of Raichur.

The decision of this question turns mainly on the date when the
Portuguese obtained the mainlands opposite the island of Goa,
consisting of the tracts called Salsette, Ponda, and Bardes. It seems
certain that this capture of the mainlands took place by Krishna Deva's
connivance shortly after the fall of Raichur, at a time when Diogo
Lopes de Sequeira, the governor-general, was away at the Red Sea,
and when Ruy de Mello was governor of Goa. Now Sequeira left Goa for
the Red Sea on February 13, A.D. 1520, and arrived again before Diu
in India on February 9, 1521.

Castanheda tells us (and he is a good authority, since he was in
India in 1529) that while Sequeira was absent at the Red Sea war
broke out between the king of Vijayanagar and the Adil Shah,[220]
at the close of which the latter was defeated and put to flight,
while the Hindus took Raichur and other places

"so that many of the TANADARIS[221] near Goa on the mainland were left
undefended. And since the king of Narsinga was very rich, and had no
need of these lands, and wanted that all the horses that came to Goa
should come to him and none to the HIDALCAO, he sent to say to Ruy
de Mello, captain of Goa, that he had taken Belgaum by force of arms
from the Hidalcao, with all the land appertaining to it as far as the
sea, in which were TANADARIS yielding more than 500,000 gold pardaos,
of which he desired to make a present to the king of Portugal ... and
that he wanted all the horses that came to Goa. He therefore said that
the captain of Goa could enter and take possession of the TANADARIS."

This was immediately done, and Ruy de Mello took possession of the
mainland of Goa, including Salsette, in ten days.

Correa, who was in India at the time, having gone thither in
1512 or 1514, mentions[222] that de Sequeira left Goa for the Red
Sea in January 1520, and that "at that time" (NESTE TEMPO -- the
expression is unfortunately vague) war broke out between Vijayanagar
and Bijapur. After its close the Hindu king sent a message to "Ruy
de Mello, captain of Goa," in the absence of the governor-general,
regarding the mainlands of Goa. Correa does not mention distinctly
the year in which this occurred, but the edition of 1860 at the head
of the page has the date "1521." This, however, must be an error
on the part of the editor, for in May 1521 Sequeira was not absent,
and therefore the year referred to cannot be 1521; while in May 1522
Dom Duarte de Menezes, and not Sequeira, was governor-general.[223]
Sequeira sailed for Portugal January 22, A.D. 1522.

Barros relates the departure of de Sequeira from India for the Red
Sea on February 13, 1520, and states that in his absence Ruy de
Mello was governor of Goa, under Sequeira's lieutenant, Aleixo de
Menezes. Ruy de Mello seized the mainland of Goa after the battle
of Raichur,[224] and at that time de Sequeira was absent at the Red
Sea. His description of the siege of Raichur and the great battle
in the vicinity clearly seems to have been taken from the chronicle
of Nuniz. It follows the latter blindly, even in the misspelling of
names, and therefore is really of no greater value. When, however,
Barros comes to deal with the acquisition of the mainlands of Goa,[225]
he is dependent on other information, and gives a much more detailed
account. The time is clearly fixed. After the battle and flight of
the Adil Shah the feeling between the two adversaries was naturally
highly strained, and this "enabled Ruy de Mello, captain of Goa, to
take the mainlands of Goa." Sequeira was at the Red Sea and Menezes
at Cochin. A very important passage for my present purpose occurs a
little later on in Barros's work:[226] --

"Diogo Lopes de Sequeira, AS soon as he arrived at Goa (from the Red
Sea), all necessary arrangements having been made for the government
RUY DE MELLO HAD TAKEN ... went to Cochin;"

and thence to Diu, where he arrived on February 9, 1521.[227] Another
passage farther on in the narrative of Barros also establishes the
fact that Ruy de Mello took the lands during Sequeira's absence at
the Red Sea.[228]

Faria y Souza, a Spanish writer, whose work was first published a
century after these events, confirms the period, February 1520 to
February 1521, as that of Sequeira's absence at the Red Sea, and he
writes: --

"While the governor[229] was in the Red Sea, the King Crisnao Rao
of Bisnaga covered the plains and hills and stopped the flow of
the rivers[230] with an army of thirty-five thousand horse, seven
hundred and thirty-three thousand foot, and five hundred and eighty-six
elephants carrying castles with four men in each, and twelve thousand
watermen ... and baggage in such quantities that the courtesans alone
numbered more than twenty thousand."[231]

Souza also states, as does Nuniz, that after the defeat of the Adil
Shah, Krishna Deva Raya demanded that, as the price of peace, the
former should visit him and kiss his foot; and that, taking advantage
of the Adil Shah's difficulties, Ruy de Mello seized the mainlands
of Goa.[232] It is clear, therefore, that both authors are writing
of the same event.

Osorio, a later writer, confirms the story in most of its details,
stating that after the defeat of the Adil Shah, Krishna Raya sent
to Ruy de Mello ("Roderigo Melos"), captain of Goa, offering the
mainlands, and promising after the return of Sequeira to send a
regular embassy to conclude a solemn treaty. De Mello accordingly
took the mainlands.

Lafitau[233] also states that the war took place during Sequeira's
absence at the Red Sea, and that the mainlands were taken after the
Adil Shah's defeat.[234]

Turning to Firishtah, I find a difference. He states that the battle
of Raichur took place in Hijra 927 (December 22, 1520, to December
1, 1521, A.D.), which, if it was fought in May, as Nuniz declares,
makes the date May 1521. That he is speaking of the same affair is
obvious from the details given. He mentions, for instance, the vast
host constituting the Hindu army, the Shah's force advancing to the
river Krishna, the too hasty crossing of the river, the gallant fight
of the Muhammadans, their defeat and rout, the fact of the Adil Shah's
forces being driven to the river and perishing in large numbers while
attempting to re-cross it, the Shah's narrow escape, and his dependence
on Asada Khan. All this leaves no room for doubt. The only difference
is that, whereas we learn from the other authorities that the fortress
of Raichur was in the hands of the Muhammadans, Firishtah states that
the war arose because the Adil Shah "made preparations for marching
to recover Mudkul and Roijore from the Roy of Beejanuggur," as if the
latter were then in possession of those places. As to Firishtah's date,
I believe it to be wrong by one year, for the reasons given above. It
must be remembered that he wrote many years after the event.

Having thus, I hope satisfactorily, established the fact that the
date given by Nuniz for the battle of Raichur is wrong by two years,
and should be 1520, I turn to examine the day and month. It was the
new moon day of May, according to Nuniz, and a Saturday. Krishna Deva
Raya was ready for battle on the Friday, but postponed his attack to
the next day since Friday was considered an unlucky day.

The moment of the occurrence of new moon in May 120 was 2.27 A.M. on
the morning of Thursday, May 17. We do not know whether Nuniz
ascertained his facts from native almanacks or the calculations
of the astrologers, or whether he spoke from observations made by
himself or by some one who was present; but Nuniz was an ordinary
person, not a skilled astronomer, so far as we can tell, and he may
well have called the day on which the crescent of the new moon first
made its appearance just after sunset the "new moon day." This first
appearance actually took place on the Saturday following. The first
day of the Muhammadan month Jamada' l akhir, corresponding to the
heliacal rising of the moon on that occasion, was Saturday, May 19.

I therefore believe that this great battle took place on Saturday,
May 19, A.D. 1520,[235] a date almost synchronous with the of the
"Field of the Cloth of Gold."

The Number of Troops Engaged.

When we total up the list given by Nuniz of the columns that marched
from Vijayanagar for the campaign, the amount is so huge that we pause
in natural doubt as to whether the story could by any possibility be
true: 703,000 foot, 32,600 horse, and 551 elephants, BESIDES the camp
followers, merchants, &c., and "an infinitude of people" who joined
him at a place close to Raichur! It certainly demands a large strain
on our credulity.

Let every one form his own opinion. I can only call attention to
the fact that large armies seem to have always been the rule in
India, and that certainly Krishna Raya had the power to raise immense
numbers of troops,[236] though whether so many as is stated is another
question. His power to do so lay in his mode of government. Allusion
has already been made to this, and Nuniz gives us interesting
details. The whole empire was divided into provinces and estates,
held by chiefs bound to keep up masses of troops fit for immediate
service. It is, of course, natural to suppose that in this great war
the king would have put forth all his strength.

To prove that immense armies were often employed by Indian kings,
we have only to refer to a succession of writers. Barros notes the
great power of the sovereign of Vijayanagar and his almost incredible
richness, and is at pains to give an account of how these enormous
forces were raised, "lest his tale should not be believed."

In the second volume of Scott's "History of the Dekhan," a
translation is given of a journal kept by a Bondela officer in the
reign of Aurangzib, an officer who served under "Dulput Roy" in
A.D. 1690. Writing about Vijayanagar in former days, at the height
of its grandeur and importance, he says, "They kept an army of 30,000
horse, a million of infantry, and their wealth was beyond enumeration."

Conti, who was in India about a century earlier than the war in
question, told Bracciolini that the Vijayanagar army consisted of
"a million of men and upwards."

Abdur Razzak (1442 A.D.) tells the same story, putting the number at
1,100,000 with 1000 elephants.

Twenty years later Nikitin states that the Kulbarga forces marching
to attack the Hindus amounted to 900,000 foot, 190,000 horse, and
575 elephants.

The Sultan himself, independently of his nobles, took the field with
300,000 men, and even when he only went out on a hunting expedition
he took with him a train of 10,000 horse, 500,000 foot, and 200
elephants. He states that the Malik ul Tujar alone had an army of
200,000 employed in the siege of one city. The Hindus fought almost
nude, and were armed with shield and sword.

Even so far back as the time of Alexander the Great (about B.C. 320)
the army of Magadha was computed by the Greeks as consisting of
600,000 foot. 30,000 cavalry, and 9000 elephants, though Quintus
Curtius makes a much more modest estimate.

Lord Egerton of Tatton states[237] that an army of Hindu confederated
states, mustered for the defence of Northern indict against the
Muhammadan invasion in 1192 A.D., amounted, "according to the most
moderate estimate," to 300,000 horse, 3000 elephants, and a great
number of infantry.

In A.D. 1259 a Mogul embassy was received at Delhi by an escort of
50,000 horse, and was led past lines of infantry numbering as many
as 200,000 in their ranks.

It will be remembered how Muhammad Taghlaq of Delhi[238] raised,
according to Firishtah, an army of 370,000 men for the conquest
of Persia, and when he wanted to destroy the inhabitants of a
certain tract of country, he "ordered out his army as if he were
going hunting," surrounded the tract, and then, pressing inwards
towards the centre, slaughtered all the inhabitants therein. This
implies that he took, when merely hunting, immense numbers of men with
him. Shahab-ud-Din, indeed, declared that Muhammad Taghlaq had an army
of 900,000 horse;[239] and Nuniz, on the opening page of his chronicle,
says that this Sultan invaded the Balaghat with 800,000 horse.[240]
This estimate was, of course, only according to the tradition extant
in 1535.

Faria y Souza, writing in the seventeenth century, estimated the forces
of Bahadur, king of Cambay, in 1534, as 100,000 horse, 415,000 foot,
and 600 elephants.

As late as 1762 the Mahrattas are said to have had an army of 100,000

Nuniz[241] gives details of the provincial forces of Vijayanagar,
compulsorily maintained by eleven out of a total of two hundred nobles
amongst whom the empire was divided, and the total of the forces of
these eleven amounts to 19,000 horse, 171,700 foot, and 633 elephants.

Castanheda confirms other writers in this matter, stating that the
infantry of Vijayanagar were countless, the country being of large
extent and thickly populated, so that the king could call upon a
million, or even two millions, of men at will.[242] This writer visited
India just at the close of the reign of Krishna Deva Raya. He states
that the king kept up at his own cost an establishment of 100,000
horses and 4000 elephants.

As to all this, I repeat that every one is at liberty to form his
own opinion; but at least it seems certain that all the chroniclers
believed that the king of Vijayanagar could, if he so desired,
put into the field immense masses of armed men. They were probably
not all well armed, or well trained, or well disciplined, but as to
large numbers there can be little reasonable doubt. A relic of this
may be seen every year at modern Haidarabad, the capital city of
H.H. the Nizam, where, at the annual festival known as the "Langar,"
armed irregulars in very large numbers file through the principal
streets. They are for the most part a mere mob of men with weapons,
and are not maintained as State troops, but they are brought up by
the various nobles in separate bodies, each chief mustering for the
occasion all his hereditary retainers and forming them into rough
regiments and brigades.

As to the description given by Nuniz of the offensive armour of the
elephants, which are stated to have gone into battle with long swords
like scythes attached to their trunks, the story is confirmed by many
other writers.

Firishtah's Narrative.

Firishtah's account of the battle of Raichur is interesting, as
it gives a description of the affair from the enemy's point of
view. Ismail Adil Shah marched

"to recover Mudkul and Roijore from the roy of Beejanugger, who,
gaining early intelligence of his designs, moved with a great force,
and stationed his camp on the bank of the Kistnah, where he was joined
by many of his tributaries; so that the army amounted at least to
50,000 horse, besides a vast host of foot. The sultan would now have
delayed his expedition, as the enemy possessed all the ferries of
the Kistnah, but that his tents were pitched, and it would have been
disgraceful to retract from his declarations He therefore marched with
7000 horse, all foreign, and encamped on the bank of the river opposite
to the enemy, waiting to prepare floats to cross and attack them.

"Some days after his arrival, as he was reposing in his tent, he
heard one of the courtiers without the skreens reciting this verse:
-- 'Rise and fill the golden goblet with the wine of mirth before the
cup itself shall be laid in dust.' The sultan, inspired by the verse,
called his favourites before him, and spreading the carpet of pleasure,
amused himself with music and wine. When the banquet had lasted
longer than was reasonable, and the fumes of the wine had exercised
their power, a fancy seized the sultan to pass the river and attack
the enemy.... Warm with wine he resolved to cross immediately, and
mounting his elephant, without making his intentions known, proceeded
to the river, as if to reconnoitre, but suddenly gave orders for as
many of his troops as could to go upon the rafts, and others to follow
him on elephants through the river. The officers represented the folly
and danger of precipitation; but the sultan, without reply, plunged
his own elephant into the stream, and was followed involuntarily by
the amras and their followers; on about 250 elephants.

"By great good fortune, all reached the opposite shore in safety, and
as many troops as could cross on the floats at two embarkations had
time to arrive, when the enemy advanced to battle in so great force as
excluded every probable hope of escape to the sultan, who had not more
than 2000 men ready to oppose 30,000. The heroes of Islaam, animated
with one soul, made so gallant a resistance that about a thousand of
the infidels fell, among whom was Sunjeet Roy, the chief general of
Beejanuggur; but at last, harassed beyond all power of opposition by
cannon-shot, musquetry, and rockets, which destroyed near half their
numbers, the survivors threw themselves into the river in hopes of
escaping, and Nursoo Bahadur and Ibrahim Bey, who rode on the same
elephant with Ismaeel Adil Shaw, drove the animal across the stream,
but so great was the current, that except the royal elephant and seven
soldiers, all the rest were drowned. The sultan's rashness was heavily
punished by so great a loss. He took a solemn vow never to indulge in
wine till he had revenged his defeat; and then, throwing away despair,
busied his mind in repairing this unfortunate miscarriage.

"As Mirza Jehangeer had fallen in the action, the sultan consulted
with Assud Khan on what measures would be best to take in the present
crisis of his affairs. Assud Khan replied, that as his loss was
great and the troops dispirited, it would be better for the present
to retreat to Beejapore. The sultan approving the advice, marched
from the Kistnah to Beejapore, and conferring the dignity of Sippeh
Sallar[243] on Assud Khan, added several districts to his jaghire,
and made him his principal adviser in all important affairs."

Comparison of Accounts.

Comparing this account with that given by Nuniz, there can, I think,
be little doubt that both stories refer to the same event, though there
are of course several discrepancies. The origin of the war is related
differently. Firishtah states that on the arrival of the Sultan at
the river-bank he found the Hindu army encamped on the opposite side;
he crossed, after a few days' delay, with a small force, and was
driven into the river. Nuniz says that Krishna Deva Raya heard of
Ismail Adil's arrival on the river-bank while he himself was in camp
at Raichur, fifteen miles away; and that he advanced and gave battle
nine miles from the river, in the end driving the enemy across. But
taking the two narratives as a whole, there are too many points of
coincidence to leave any doubt in the mind that each chronicler is
writing of the same event.

As to which of the two is more accurate it is impossible now to
decide. But considering that Nuniz wrote only fifteen years afterwards,
and that there were Portuguese present at the battle, some of whom
Nuniz may have personally consulted as to what took place, it would
seem more reasonable to trust in him rather than in a Muhammadan
historian who did not compile his work till after an interval of
sixty years. Moreover, there are some inherent improbabilities in
Firishtah's narrative.

It is worthy of notice, too, that throughout the story of Nuniz at
this part of his chronicle there is much that impels the belief that
either himself or his informant was present at the Hindu camp while
these events were taking place. The narrative of the campaign, in
complete contrast to that of the remainder of the history, reads like
the account of an eye-witness; especially in the passages describing
the fortress of Raichur[244] and the camp -- where the supplies were
so great that "you could find everything that you wanted,"[245] where
"you saw"[246] the goldsmiths and artisans at work as if in a city,
where "you will find"[247] all kinds of precious stones offered for
sale, and where "no one who did not understand the meaning of what he
saw would ever dream that a war was going on, but would think that
he was in a prosperous city." Note also the description given of
the extraordinary noise made by the drums, trumpets, and shouts of
the men; so that even the birds fell down into the soldiers' hands
stricken with terror and "it seemed as if the sky would fall to the
earth," and "if you asked anything, you could not hear yourself speak,
and you had to ask by signs." Many such instances might be given,
but not to be tedious I will invite attention to only three more,
viz., the account given by Nuniz of how; when receiving the men of
the city after its surrender, the king, "casting his eye on Christovao
de Figueiredo, nodded his head, and turned to the people telling them
to observe what great things could be effected by one good man;"[248]
his description of the behaviour of the defeated citizens when Krishna
Deva made his triumphant entry into the city; and his narrative of the
ambassador's reception at Vijayanagar by the king after the conclusion
of the campaign.[249] It may be remembered that our other chronicler
Domingo Paes, was at Vijayanagar with Christovao de Figueiredo some
months after the battle, even if he were not personally present in
the fighting at Raichur.

The great interest of Nuniz's narrative lies in the fact that it
is the only detailed account extant. Barros related the events in
historical fashion, taking his facts from this very chronicle; but
he was never in India, and his brief summary is altogether wanting
in the power and force contained in the graphic story of Nuniz. The
other Portuguese writers pass over the war very lightly. It appears
as if it hardly concerned then;, further than that at its close Ruy
de Mello seized the mainlands near Goa.

Political Effects of the Battle.

And yet it had far-reaching effects. The Hindu victory so weakened
the power and prestige of the Adil Shah that he ceased altogether to
dream of any present conquest in the south, and turned his attention
to cementing alliances with the other Muhammadan sovereigns,
his neighbours. The victory also caused all the other Muhammadan
Powers in the Dakhan seriously to consider the political condition
of the country; and this eventually led to a combination without
which nothing was possible, but by the aid of which the Vijayanagar
Empire was finally overthrown and the way to the south opened. It
furthermore greatly affected the Hindus by raising in them a spirit
of pride and arrogance, which added fuel to the fire, caused them to
become positively intolerable to their neighbours, and accelerated
their own downfall.

It equally affected the fortunes of the Portuguese on the coast. Goa
rose and fell simultaneously with the rise and fall of the second
Vijayanagar dynasty; and necessarily so, considering that its entire
trade depended on Hindu support; for the king of Portugal was never
well disposed towards his hereditary enemies, the "Moors." This
is a point frequently left unnoticed by writers, on Portuguese
colonial history. The two most recent authors of works on the
subject, Mr. Danvers ("The Portuguese in India") and Mr. Whiteway
("The Rise of Portuguese Power in India"), pay very little attention
to the internal politics of the great country on the fringe alone
of which the Portuguese settled, and on the coast of which their
vessels came and went. Mr. Danvers devotes one short paragraph to
the battle of Raichur,[250] and another[251] to the destruction of
Vijayanagar. Mr. Whiteway does not even allude to the former event, and
concludes his history before arriving at the date of the latter. Yet
surely it is easy to see that the success or failure of maritime
trade on any given coast must depend on the conditions prevailing in
the empire for the supply of which that trade was established. When
Vijayanagar, with its grandeur, luxury, and love of display, its great
wealth and its enormous armies, was at the height of its power, the
foreign traders were eminently successful: when Vijayanagar fell,
and the city became desolate and depopulated, the foreign traders
had no market for their goods, and trade decayed. So that this great
Hindu victory at Raichur deserved a better fate than to be passed
over by the historians as if it had been an event of small importance.

The Events that followed the Battle.

Nuniz gives us in detail an account of the events that followed the
victory of Krishna Deva Raya, and considering that he wrote only about
fifteen years after their occurrence, we should do well to receive his
account as probably true in the main. Firishtah, perhaps naturally,
preserves a complete silence on the subject.

Nuniz tells us that when the city of Raichur surrendered, the Hindu
king made a triumphal entry into it, and treated the garrison with
kindness and consideration; while the other Muhammadan kings sent
envoys to Krishna Deva Raya on hearing of his success, and received a
haughty and irritating reply. Krishna Deva then returned to Vijayanagar
and held high festival. Shortly afterwards an ambassador arrived from
the defeated Shah, and was treated with scant courtesy for more than
a month, after which he was received in audience; when the king sent
answer by him to his enemy, that if the Adil Shah would come to him,
do obeisance, and kiss his foot, his lands and fortresses should be
restored to him. No attention being paid to this, the Raya set out
to search for the Shah, hoping, that he would be induced to do homage
in the manner demanded and appearing to ignore altogether the effect
which would necessarily be produced on the minds of the other kings
of the Dakhan by this contemplated supreme humiliation of one of
their number. The submission never took place. Krishna led his army
as far north as Bijapur, the Adil Shah's capital, which for a time
he occupied and left sadly injured. Then Asada Khan, the Shah's wily
courtier, successfully brought about the death of his personal enemy,
Salabat Khan, by inducing the Raya to order his execution; an act to,
which the king was led by the machinations of the arch-intriguer,
who subordinated his chief's interests to his own selfish ends.

King Krishna had, in the city of Bijapur, taken prisoner three sons of
a former king of the Bahmani dynasty, who had been held captive by the
Adil Shahs, and he proclaimed the eldest as king of the Dakhan.[252]
This abortive attempt to subvert the rule of the five kings who had
established themselves on the ruins of the single Dakhan sovereignty
naturally fell flat, and only resulted in stiffening the hostility
which these sovereigns felt towards their common foe.

A little later Krishna Raya's son, a young prince on whom he desired to
confer his crown, and in whose favour he had even gone so far as openly
to abdicate, died suddenly of poison, and the king, then himself in
a dying condition, arrested and imprisoned his own minister, Saluva
Timma, and his family. In this he was aided by some Portuguese who
happened to be present at the Durbar. On Saluva Timma's son escaping
to a "mountain range" -- perhaps Sandur, on the south of the capital,
where there are still to be seen the remains of a strong fortress
built of cyclopean masonry on the summit of the highest hill, now
known as Ramandrug -- the king summoned Timma and his brother and son,
and had their eyes put out.

About this time the Adil Shah advanced again to retrieve his broken
fortunes, but fled incontinently on hearing the news that Krishna Deva
was advancing in person to meet him. That the king, though sorely
ill, did indeed move in the manner stated, seems to be confirmed by
the statement of Nuniz that on the way he bought six hundred horses
from the Portuguese. Krishna began to make preparations for an attack
on Belgaum, then in the Adil Shah's possession, and sent an envoy to
invite the assistance in this enterprise of the Portuguese at Goa; but
he fell too seriously ill to carry out his project, and died shortly
afterwards at the age of from forty-two to forty-five years. It was
then the year 1530 A.D.

He was succeeded by Achyuta.

So far Nuniz. We learn something more from other writers. Barros
states that about the year 1523 Saluva Timma, the king's minister,
invaded the mainlands near Goa, which had been recently acquired by
the Portuguese under Ruy de Mello; that he advanced towards Ponda
with a small force, but that he was attacked and driven back.[253]
Shortly after this, viz., in April 1524, the Muhammadans of Bijapur
attacked these same mainlands with success, during the viceroyalty of
Dom Duarte de Menezes. On October 31 of that year the Chamber of Goa
wrote a report to the king of Portugal in which occurs the following
passage: --

"The mainland which Ruy de Mello, who was captain of this city,
conquered, was entered by the Moors, who used to possess it, in the
month of April of five hundred and twenty-four, and they hold it as
theirs, and the first Thanadar's district which they took was that of
Perna, which is by the seaside. There they captured two Portuguese,
and one of them was the Thanadar; these are prisoners in the fortress
of Bylgan (Belgaum), of which the Suffilarim is captain."[254]

It is evident, therefore, that "the Moors" were successful, and yet
it is curious that very little mention is made of this circumstance by
other historians. Firishtah does not mention it; and it may therefore
be reasonably inferred that the "Moors" in question were not the
royal troops acting under the orders of the Sultan, but belonged to
the local levies of Asada Khan, then chief of Belgaum.

According to Firishtah, the defeat at Raichur was followed by Ismail
Adil Shah's marrying his sister to Burhan Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar;
quarrelling and fighting with him (A.D. 1523); again fighting with
him (1528); marrying another sister to Ala-ud-Din Ummad of Birar;
and fighting with and entirely defeating Sultan Amir Barid of Bidar,
then an old man, whom he captured. On the death of Krishna Deva,
Ismail took advantage of the confusion of the Hindus to retake
possession of Mudkal and Raichur.

Firishtah gives no dates for the two last of the event above noted,
but the submission of Amir Barid to the Adil Shah apparently did not
take place till 1529, for Barros[255] implies that it occurred after
an event which cannot have happened earlier than 1529 -- namely, an
attack on Ponda by three Hindu chiefs, which led to the inhabitants
appealing for help to the then governor of Goa, Nuno da Cunha. Da Cunha
was not governor till 1529. "AT THIS TIME," writes the historian,
"Melique Verido[256] submitted to the Hidalchan, by advice of Madre
Maluco and Cota Maluco, and came to his camp in poor clothes, and flung
himself at his feet." This evidently refers to what occurred after the
Barid's capture by the Adil Shah, if Firishtah's story is true.[257]

Let it be remembered, though the fact has no bearing on the history
of Vijayanagar at this date, that in 1526 the Emperor Babar captured
Delhi, and established himself as the first monarch of the great
Moghul dynasty. He was succeeded in 1530 by Humayun, and on the
latter's death in 1556 the great Akbar attained the throne.


The Buildings, Works, and Inscriptions of Krishna Deva

Temples -- Irrigation works -- Statue of Narasimha -- Kamalapuram --

Were it not that the description given us by Nuniz and Paes of the
condition of the great city of Vijayanagar at this period is so
graphic, so picturesque, and so detailed as positively to require
no addition, I should have deemed it my duty to attempt to supply
the want; but with their narrative before us in all its original
freshness, it would be useless to attempt anything further. Both of
these writers were on the spot at the time of the city's greatest
grandeur and prosperity, though in the time of Nuniz the period of
its political decay had set in. With their descriptions I shall not
venture to interfere.

I cannot, however, pass on to the reign of Achyuta without calling
attention to some of the works carried out at the capital by Krishna
Deva, and to a few of the inscribed records of his reign.

At the beginning of his reign Krishna built a GOPURA or tower, and
repaired another, at the Hampe temple, which had been built by the
first kings in honour of Madhavacharya, the founder of the fortunes of
Vijayanagar. The great KRISHNASVAMI temple was built by him in 1513,
after his return from the successful campaign in the east. In the
same year he commenced the temple of HAZARA RAMASVAMI at the palace,
the architecture of which leads Mr. Rea[258] to think that it was
not finished till a later period.

Later in his reign the king busied himself in improving the irrigation
of the dry lands about Vijayanagar. He constructed in 1521 the great
dam and channel at Korragal, and the Basavanna channel, both of which
are still in use and of great value to the country.[259]

Another great work of his was the construction of an enormous tank or
dammed-up lake at the capital, which he carried out with the aid of
Joao de la Ponte, a Portuguese engineer, whose services were lent to
him by the governor-general of Goa. Both Paes and Nuniz mention this
lake, and as the former actually saw it under construction it may
have been begun in A.D. 1520. I think that this is the large lake,
now dry, to be seen at the north-western mouth of the valley entering
into the Sandur hills south-west of Hospett, the huge bank of which
has been utilised for the conveyance of the highroad from Hospett
to the southern taluqs. If so, the fact of its original failure
is interesting to us, because for many years past this vast work
has been entirely useless. The description given by Nuniz accords
with the position of this tank, which was doubtless intended partly
for irrigation purposes, and partly for the supply of water to the
"new city," Nagalapura, the king's favourite residence, now known
as Hospett. The chronicler mentions the existence of lofty ridges on
each side, strong gates and towers guarding the entrance, and states
that this was the principal approach to the capital from the south;
all which data coincide with the position of the tank and road in
question. It is through these gates that the Portuguese travellers
entered Vijayanagar. This view is supported by the account given by
Paes. Writing of the approach to Vijayanagar from the western coast,
and describing the "first range," I.E. the first that is seen on
passing upwards from the plains, he states that in these hills was the
principal entrance from that side. He alludes to the gates and wall,
and the city, Nagalapur, constructed by King Krishna. Then he writes,
"the king made a tank THERE," I.E. close to Hospett, at the mouth
of two hills, and in order to this end "broke down a hill." He saw
innumerable people at work on the tank. He confirms the story of
Nuniz as to the sixty human beings offered in sacrifice to ensure
the security of the dam. Both writers are therefore describing the
same tank, and, taking the chronicles together, I can have no doubt
as to the soundness of my identification.

Prior to 1520, Krishna Deva built the outlying town of Nagalapur,
to which allusion has just been made. It was constructed in honour
of his favourite wife, the quondam courtesan, Nagala Devi, and the
king made it his favourite residence.

He also appears to have begun the construction of the temple of
Vitthalasvami on the river-bank, the most ornate of an the religious
edifices of the kingdom. "It shows," writes Mr. Rea in the article
already referred to, "the extreme limit in florid magnificence to
which the style advanced." The work was continued during the reign
of Krishna Deva's successors, Achyuta and Sadasiva, and was probably
stopped only by the destruction of the city in 1565. An inscription
records a grant to the temple in 1561.

In 1528 was constructed one of the most curious and interesting
monuments to be seen in the city. This is an enormous statue of the
god Vishnu in his AVATARA as Narasimha, the man-lion. It was hewn
out of a single boulder of granite, which lay near the south-western
angle of the Krishnasvami temple, and the king bestowed a grant of
lands for its maintenance. Though it has been grievously injured,
probably by the iconoclastic Muhammadans in or after the year 1565,
it is still a most striking object.

I have already alluded to the grants made by Krishna Deva to the great
Virupaksha temple at Hampe, on the occasion of the festival of his
coronation. There is an inscription of his reign on the base of the
inner side of the front tower (GOPURA) of the temple at Virinchipuram,
dated in the year A.D. 1513 -- 14; and one dated Tuesday, September
20, 1513, at Sankalapura, close to the capital, recording a grant of
the lands of that village to the temple of Ganapati in the palace
enclosure.[260] Mr. Fleet[261] mentions others of his reign in
A.D. 1509 -- 10, 1512 -- 13, 1514 -- 15, 1522 -- 23, and 1527 -- 28.

The last inscription of the reign at present known is one which bears
a date corresponding to Friday, April 23, A.D. 1529.[262] It stands
in front of the great statue of Ugra Narasimha, described above.


The Reign of Achyuta Raya

Achyuta Raya -- Fall of Raichur and Mudkal -- Asada Khan and Goa
-- Disturbances at Bijapur -- Ibrahim Shah at the Hindu capital --
Firishtah on Vijayanagar affairs -- Rise of Rama Raya and his brothers
-- "Hoje" -- Tirumala -- Varying legends -- Venkatadri defeated by
Asada Khan near Adoni -- Asada Khan's career -- Belgaum and Goa --
Asada's duplicity -- Portuguese aggressions -- Religious grants by,
and inscriptions relating to, Achyuta.

Achyuta, according to Nuniz and some other authorities, was a brother
of the late king,[263] and, in company with two other brothers
and a nephew, had been confined by Krishna Deva in the fortress of
Chandragiri, in order to prevent dissensions in the kingdom. The new
monarch is said by Nuniz to have been specially selected by Krishna
Deva. If so, the choice was singularly unfortunate, for Achyuta was
a craven and under him the Hindu empire began to fall to pieces.

His minister was one of the powerful Saluva family, to which also
had belonged Timma, the minister of King Krishna. Nuniz calls him
"Salvanay." The earliest known date of Achyuta's reign is gathered
from an inscription bearing a date corresponding to Monday, August 15,
A.D. 1530.[264]

The beginning of his reign was ominously signalised by the loss of the
frontier fortresses Mudkal and Raichur. Firishtah[265] states that
the Adil Shah had, some time before the death of Krishna Deva, made
preparations to recover possession of these cities, and proceeds: --

"The Sultan ... put his army in motion, attended by Ummad Shaw and
Ameer Bereed with their forces; and the affairs of Beejanuggur being in
confusion owing to the death of Heemraaje, who was newly succeeded by
his son Ramraaje,[266] against whom rebellions had arisen by several
roles, met with no interruptions to his arms. Roijore and Mudkul
were taken, after a siege of three months, by capitulation, after
they had been in possession of the infidels for seventeen years."[267]

The relief and delight of the Adil Shah at these successes, and at
the death of his mortal enemy Krishna, must have been great; and
Firishtah relates that the Sultan, "who had vowed to refrain from
wine till the reduction of these fortresses, at the request of his
nobility now made a splendid festival, at which he drank wine and
gave a full loose to mirth and pleasure." Raichur and Mudkal were
never again subject to Hindu princes.

Those who desire to obtain an insight into the character of the new
king of Vijayanagar should turn to the chronicle of Nuniz. It will
suffice here to say that he alienated his best friends by his violent
despotism, and at the same time proved to the whole empire that he
was a coward. His conduct and mode of government ruined the Hindu
cause in Southern India and opened the whole country to the invader,
though he himself did not live to see the end.

After the fall of Raichur and the Doab, Ismail Adil had another
fight (1531) with his rival at Ahmadnagar and defeated him; after
which the two brothers-in-law consolidated a strong alliance. Three
years later Ismail died, having contracted a fever while besieging a
fortress belonging to the Qutb Shah of Golkonda. His death occurred
on Thursday, August 13, 1534,[268] and he was succeeded by his son
Malu. Asada Khan was appointed regent of Bijapur, but immediately
on his accession the new sovereign so offended his powerful subject
that he retired to Belgaum, and Sultan Malu, giving himself up to all
kinds of excesses, was deposed after a reign of only six months. Malu
was blinded by the orders of his own grandmother, and Ibrahim Adil,
his younger brother, was raised to the throne. It was now 1535.

Da Cunha, the Portuguese governor of Goa, took advantage of these
events to erect a fortress at Diu, and early in 1536 to seize again
the mainlands of Goa, which had been for ten years in the possession
of Asada Khan. The Khan sent a force to recapture these lands, and
in February an engagement took place in which the Portuguese were
victorious. A second attack by the Moslems was similarly repulsed. A
third fight took place in July, and again the Muhammadans were beaten;
but Asada Khan then assembled a larger army, and the foreigners were
compelled to retire after blowing up their fortress.

About this time[269] Quli Qutb Shah is said to have attacked Kondavid
on account of its withholding payment of tribute, to have taken it,
and built a tower in the middle of the fort in commemoration of
its reduction.

Two inscriptions at Conjeeveram, dated respectively in 1532 and
1533,[270] imply that at that period King Achyuta reduced the country
about Tinnevelly; but apparently he was not present in person, and
nothing further is known regarding this expedition.

We now enter upon a period very difficult to deal with satisfactorily,
owing to the conflict of evidence in the works of the various writers.

"A year after his accession," writes Firishtah,[271] "Ibrahim, Adil
led his army to Beejanuggur on the requisition of the roy." This
would be the year 1536 A.D. But what led to such an extraordinary
complication of affairs? Can it be true that King Achyuta was so
humiliated and hard pressed as to be compelled to summon to his aid
the hereditary enemies of his country?

Nuniz is silent as to the cause, though he admits the fact. It is quite
possible that Firishtah is correct, that the public were not taken into
confidence by their despotic rulers, and that the troops of Bijapur
marched to the Hindu capital at the request of King Achyuta. That they
actually came there seems quite certain, and it is probable that Nuniz
was in Vijayanagar at the time; but there is a LACUNA in his story
which can only be filled up by reference to Firishtah. Accepting
Firishtah, we can readily understand why King Achyuta received the
Sultan and his army without open opposition, as Nuniz declares that
he did, and why the Muhammadan king received splendid presents before
he retired. To Nuniz, however, this conduct was inexplicable except on
the basis of Achyuta's craven spirit and utter unworthiness.[272] As to
the assertion of Nuniz that the Sultan entered Nagalapur or Hospett and
"razed it to the ground," we may remember the treatment of the city of
Bijapur by Krishna Deva Raya,[273] and surmise that the houses of the
Vijayanagar suburbs may have been pulled to pieces by the Mussalman
soldiery in search for firewood. However all this may be, my readers
have before them the story as given by Nuniz in Chapter XX. of his
chronicle, and the following is Firishtah's account of the event.[274]

"Heem" Rajah, or, as Briggs renders the name, "Tim" Rajah --
representing "Timma," and referring doubtless to Saluva Timma,
the great minister of Krishna Deva -- had, forty years earlier,
become DE FACTO ruler of Vijayanagar on the death of the two sons
of a former king, "Seo" Raya. He had poisoned the infant son of the
younger of these sons, and had thus succeeded in becoming head of
the state. During these forty years he had been obeyed by all. On his
death his son Rama Rajah became ruler. Rama's marriage to "a daughter
of the son of Seo" Raya[275] had greatly added to his dignity and
power, and he now tried to secure the throne for himself and his
family. He was, however, compelled by the nobles to recognise as
king an "infant of the female line," whose person he committed to the
care of the child's uncle, "Hoje" Tirumala Raya,[276] a man of weak
intellect if not absolutely insane. In five or six years Rama cut off
by treachery most of the chiefs who opposed him.[277] He then marched
on an expedition into Malabar, and afterwards moved against a powerful
zamindar to the south of Vijayanagar, who held out for six months and
in the end beat off the troops of Rama Raya. Vijayanagar was at that
time governed by a slave whom Rama had raised to high rank, and this
man, on being applied to by the minister to send supplies from the
capital, was so amazed at the wealth which he saw in the royal treasury
that he resolved to attempt to gain possession of it. He therefore
released the child-king, obtained the co-operation of Hoje Tirumala,
assumed the office of minister, and began to raise troops. "Several
tributary roies, who were disgusted with Ramraaje, flew with speed
to Beejanuggur to obey their lawful king; and in a short time thirty
thousand horse and vast hosts of foot were assembled under his standard
at the city." Tirumala then had the slave-governor assassinated. Rama
Rajah at once returned to the capital, but was unable at that juncture
to assert his authority. Finding himself deserted by many of the nobles
he concluded a treaty with his lawful sovereign, and retired to his
own province, which by agreement he was allowed to retain as his own
independent state. Tirumala shortly afterwards strangled the king and
seized the throne. The nobles submitted, since he was of royal blood,
and better, in their opinion, than Rama Rajah; but when afterwards
they found themselves unable to endure his tyranny and oppression,
they rebelled and invited Rama Rajah to return.

Tirumala then found himself in great straits, and sent ambassadors
with large presents to Ibrahim Adil Shah, begging him to march to
his assistance and promising that the Vijayanagar kingdom should
be declared tributary to Bijapur. Ibrahim, delighted beyond measure,
after consulting Asada Khan accepted the terms, moved from his capital,
and arrived before Vijayanagar "in the year 942," which corresponds
to the period from July 2, A.D. 1535, to June 20, 1536.[278] He
was conducted into the city by Hoje Termul Roy, who seated him on
the musnud of the raaje and made rejoicings for seven days." This
conduct led to a change of front on the part of Rama Rajah and his
supporters. They entreated Tirumala for the sake of the country to
procure the retreat of the Sultan to his own dominions, promising
submission and obedience if this should be done; and Tirumala,
thinking that now he had no further use for his allies, requested
the Sultan to return home. He paid over the subsidy agreed upon,
which was assessed at something approaching two millions sterling,
and made many other gifts. The story then ends with a tragedy.

"Ibrahim Adil Shaw had not yet recrossed the Kistnah, when Ramraaje
and the confederates, who had bribed many of the troops in the city,
broke their newly made vows, and hastened towards Beejanuggur, resolved
to put the roy to death, on pretence of revenging the murder of his
predecessor. Hoje Termul Roy, seeing he was betrayed, shut himself
up in the palace, and, becoming mad from despair, blinded all the
royal elephants and horses, also cutting off their tails, that they
might be of no use to his enemy. All the diamonds, rubies, emeralds,
other precious stones, and pearls, which had been collected in a
course of many ages, he crushed to powder between heavy millstones,
and scattered them on the ground. He then fixed a sword-blade into a
pillar of his apartment, and ran his breast upon it with such force
that it pierced through and came out at the back, thus putting an end
to his existence, just as the gates of the palace were opened to his
enemies. Ramraaje now became roy of Beejanuggur without a rival."

After this point in Firishtah's narrative we hear of no more "young
Roies" or imprisoned sovereigns of the Second Dynasty. "Ramraaje"
alone is spoken of as king, and Kings Achyuta and Sadasiva -- the
latter of whom was undoubtedly recognised as king for some years
though he was kept in custody -- are not so much as mentioned.

Thus Firishtah and Nuniz both agree that Ibrahim Adil advanced as
far as the city of Vijayanagar, and retired after payment of immense
sums of money and the gift of many valuable presents. The date was
A.D. 1535 -- 36. With this date ends the historical portion of the
chronicle of Nuniz.[279]

We continue the narrative of events in Achyuta's reign as gathered from
Firishtah.[280] As soon as he heard of the death of Hoje Tirumala and
the seizure of the throne by "Ramraaje," Ibrahim Adil Shah sent Asada
Khan to reduce the important fortress of Adoni, which was undisputedly
in Vijayanagar territory. Rama Rajah despatched his younger brother,
Venkatadri, to its relief, and the latter hastened thither with a
large force.

"Assud Khan, upon his approach, raised the siege and moved towards
him. A sharp engagement ensued, and Assud Khan, finding that he was
likely to have the worst of the action, from the vast superiority
in numbers of the enemy, retreated in good order, but was followed
fourteen miles by the victors, when he encamped; and Venkatadry,[281]
in order to be ready to harass the retreat the next day, halted in
full security at a distance of only two miles from him. Assud Khan,
who had ardently wished for such an event; towards the dawn of day,
with four thousand chosen horse, surprized the camp of Venkatadry,
whose self-confidence had left him wholly off his guard against such
a manoeuvre. Assud Khan penetrated to his tents before he received
the alarm, and he had scarce time to make his escape, leaving his
treasures, family, and elephants to the mercy of the victors. When
the day had fully cleared up, Venkatadry collected his scattered
troops, and drew up as if to engage; but seeing Assud Khan resolute
to maintain his advantage, and fearing for the personal safety of
his wife and children, he declined hazarding a battle, and, retiring
some miles off, fixed his camp: from whence he wrote Ramraaje an
account of his disaster, and requested reinforcements to enable him
to repair it. Ramraaje immediately sent supplies of men and money,
openly declaring his intentions of carrying on the war, but privately
informed his brother that he had reason to imagine that Ibrahim Adil
Shaw had not been led merely of his own will to besiege Oodnee; that he
suspected the zemindars of that quarter had invited him to make war,
and that many of the nobility with him were secretly in his interest;
therefore, he thought he would act prudently by making peace with
the mussulmauns at present, and procuring the release of his wife and
family from Assud Khan. Venkatadry, in consequence of the desires of
his brother, having procured the mediation and influence of Assud Khan,
addressed the sultan for peace, which being granted, and all affairs
settled to the satisfaction of both states, Ibrahim Adil Shaw returned
to Beejapore with Assud Khan and the rest of his nobility and army."

Asada Khan after this was greatly honoured by the Sultan, in spite
of the intrigues which were fomented against him. Quarrels and
disturbances, however, arose in the Bijapur dominions which lasted
during the whole of the year 1542; in the course of which year King
Achyuta died, and was succeeded nominally by Sadasiva, during whose
reign Vijayanagar was practically in the hands of Rama Rajah and of
his two brothers, Tirumala and Venkatadri.

Firishtah was a great admirer of Asada Khan and supported him
in all that he did.[282] Asada was a Turk, who, beginning life
under the simple name of Khusru in the service of Ismail Adil Shah,
distinguished himself in his sovereign's defence during the attack
on Bijapur in 1511, a defence celebrated on account of the heroic
conduct of the Sultan's aunt, Dilshad Agha. Khusru was rewarded by
Ismail with the title of "Asada Khan," a name which he bore for the
rest of his life, and a grant of the jaghir of Belgaum. He rose to
be chief minister and commander-in-chief of the army of his master,
and died full of years and honours in A.D. 1549.

The Portuguese at Goa had a very low opinion of Asada's character. They
held him to be an inveterate intriguer, ready at every moment to betray
his best friends, even his sovereign, if only by so doing he could
advance his own personal and selfish interests; and in this, owing to
his consummate skill and tortuous ways, he invariably succeeded. If
space permitted, many interesting stories could be narrated of him,
culled from the various writings of the day.[283]

Barros calls him "Sufo Larij,"[284] a name which some writers have
derived from "Yusuf of Lar." Castanheda spells the name "Cufolarim."

Asada Khan is entitled to a chapter to himself, but, to avoid
prolixity, I will only give one extract from the "Asia" of Barros.[285]
Allusion has been made above to an attack on the mainlands of Goa by
three Hindu chiefs, when Ponda was besieged. The inhabitants appealed
to Nuno da Cunha, the governor-general, who hesitated to interfere
for fear of bringing on a war with the Adil Shah. The principal danger
was the lord of Belgaum, Asada Khan.

"Acadachan, like one who in a safe and lofty place watches some
great fire spreading over the plains below, watched from his city
of Belgaum the events that were passing;" -- but did nothing till
the Adil Shah wrote desiring him to return to Bijapur, which he had
temporarily left owing to a disagreement, and to assist him in the
government of the kingdom. Asada Khan replied craftily that he had
done with the affairs of this life, and proposed to go and die at
Mecca. At this Ismail flew into a passion and vowed revenge against his
powerful subject, who, to save himself, wrote to Da Cunha, professing
his unalloyed friendship for the Portuguese, and inviting them to
take possession of certain tracts on the mainland; declaring that
his master, the Sultan, was powerless to defend himself against the
armies of Vijayanagar. This was, it must be borne in mind, long after
the Hindu victory at Raichur. Da Cunha sent Christovao de Figueiredo,
Krishna Deva's valiant friend, to bear his reply, since the latter was
on friendly terms with the lord of Belgaum. A conversation took place,
in which Asada Khan said that he was afraid of his master, who was of
variable and inconstant character, and that he desired of all things
to preserve friendship with the Portuguese. He therefore begged to be
allowed to visit Goa and cement an alliance with the governor-general,
to whom he faithfully promised that the lands in question should
become for ever the property of the king of Portugal. Accordingly
the lands were seized by Da Cunha.

Immediately afterwards Asada began to intrigue with the king of
Vijayanagar, and being invited to visit that city on the occasion of
one of the great MAHANAVAMI festivals, left Belgaum with 13,000 men
and 200 elephants. Before starting he wrote to Da Cunha, asking that
Figueiredo might be sent to accompany him, and promising to obtain for
the Portuguese a definite cession of the lands from the Raya, since
these had formerly been the latter's possession. Accordingly Figueiredo
left for Vijayanagar, but learned that the Khan had already arrived
there and had joined the king. The Raya received Asada favourably,
and, as a present, gave him two towns, "Tunge and Turugel,"[286]since
he hoped for his aid against the Sultan.

When the Sultan heard of Asada Khan's defection he gave himself up
for lost, but assembled an army and advanced to within twelve leagues
of the king's camp, where Asada Khan had pitched his tents at some
distance from those of the Hindu lords. The Sultan thence wrote to
the Raya demanding the delivery to him of his recalcitrant "slave,"
and the Raya sent on the letter to Asada Khan, who told the king
that he would never join the Muhammadans, but would remain faithful
to Vijayanagar. A short pause ensued, during which the Raya learned
that constant messages were passing between the camps of the Sultan
and Asada Khan. Both armies then marched towards Raichur, the Raya
to retake the place from the Sultan, the Sultan watching for an
opportunity to attack the Raya.

On the third day Asada Khan started with his forces two hours in
advance of the royal troops, crossed the river first, and hastened to
join the Sultan. Adil Shah received him with great apparent cordiality,
and at length freely forgave him on the Khan's protestations that
his intrigues with Vijayanagar and the Portuguese were only so
many moves in a game undertaken for the advancement of the Sultan's
interests. Previous to this move the Khan had held a conversation with
Figueiredo, in which he succeeded in totally deceiving him as to his
intentions, and reiterated his promises to obtain the cession of the
mainlands from the Raya, for whom he professed the greatest friendship.

In the end, says Barros, the Adil Shah, secretly fearful of Asada
Khan's duplicity, made a treaty of peace with the Raya, by which the
Muhammadans retained Raichur but gave up some other territory.

Though this story differs from Firishtah at almost every point,
it is permissible to think that it may refer to the events of 1535,
when the Sultan visited Vijayanagar; for in continuing his narrative,
Barros a little later mentions the year 1536. It seems hopeless to try
and reconcile the conflicting stories of Nuniz, Barros, and Firishtah,
but enough has been said to afford insight into the character of Asada
Khan. Nuniz echoes the general sentiment when he writes of the Khan's
rescue of the Adil Shah, after his defeat at Raichur in 1520 A.D.,
as being effected "by cunning," for his own purposes; and when he
describes how, by a series of lies, Asada contrived the execution of
Salabat Khan at the hands of Krishna Raya.

During this reign the Portuguese were busy establishing themselves
at various places on the coast, and they built several forts there
for the protection of their trade. They had been constantly at war
with the Samuri of Calicut and other feudatories of Vijayanagar;
but with the Raya himself they were on terms of friendship, and in
1540 they ratified a treaty of peace with the sovereigns of Bijapur
and Ahmadnagar as well as with the Samuri.

Throughout the whole of their dealings with the Portuguese I find
not a single instance where the Hindu kings broke faith with the
intruders,[287] but as much cannot, I fear, be said on the other
side. The Europeans seemed to think that they had a divine right to the
pillage, robbery, and massacre of the natives of India. Not to mince
matters, their whole record is one of a series of atrocities. It is
sad to turn from the description given us by Paes of the friendship
felt for the Portuguese, and especially for Christovao de Figueiredo,
by the "gallant and perfect" King Krishna Deva, and then to read of
the treachery of the Viceroy towards the great Hindu Government; with
which the Portuguese had made alliances and treaties, and for which
they openly professed friendship. Thus, to take one instance only,
in 1545 the governor of Goa made ready a large fleet and a force
of 3000 men, but kept all his preparations secret, for very good
reason. His object was to sail round the coast to San Thome, near
Madras, land his troops, march inland, and sack the great temple of
Tirumala or Tirupati, purely for lust of gain. Luckily a severe storm
prevented him from setting said, but he plundered and destroyed some
rich temples on the western coast, and enriched himself with the spoil
This was a mere wanton attack on property belonging to feudatories of
the Vijayanagar empire, for there has never been any pretence that
the peace-loving Brahmans attached to these temples had in any way
offended or interfered with the Portuguese.

In the time of Achyuta a large number of grants were made by the nobles
to temples throughout Southern India, and numerous inscriptions on
stone and copperplates are extant relating to these charitable and
religious donations. One of the most important has been published by
Professor Kielhorn.[288] It relates that the king, being on the banks
of the Tungabhadra on the 12th October A.D. 1540, at the temple of
Vitthalasvami or Vitthalesvara -- the splendidly sculptured pavilions
of which remain to this day, even in their ruin and decay, an object
of astonishment and admiration to all beholders -- gave a grant of
a village not far from Madras to the Brahmans learned in the Vedas.

The last date of Achyuta known to epigraphists at present is found
in an inscription[289] bearing a date corresponding to January 25,
A.D. 1541; and the earliest date similarly available of his successor,
Sadasiva, is July 27, A.D. 1542.


The Beginning of the End

Reign of Sadasiva -- The king a prisoner but acknowledged -- Rama Raya
-- The Adil Shah again at Vijayanagar -- Bijapur in danger -- Saved by
Asada Khan -- Rebellion of Prince Abdullah -- Royal gratitude -- Death
of Asada at Belgaum -- The Portuguese support Abdullah -- Treaties --
Ain-ul-Mulkh -- Fights near Goa -- Rama Raya's threatened expedition
to Mailapur -- He joins the Adil Shah and wastes the territories
of Ahmadnagar -- Portuguese violence on the Malabar coast -- The
Inquisition at Goa.

Sadasiva, then, began to reign in 1541 or 1542 A.D., but was only
nominally king, the whole power of the state being in the hands of
Rama Raya and his two brothers, Tirumala and Venkatadri. That Sadasiva
was recognised by every one as the real sovereign is shown by a large
number of inscriptions, ranging from 1542 to 1568;[290] most of which,
however, have not yet been properly examined. A careful study has been
made by Dr. Hultzsch[291] of one of these, dated in A.D. 1566 -- 67,
a year or so after the great defeat of the Hindus at Talikota and
the destruction of the capital; and this is especially interesting
as it bears out my assertion that even the three brothers themselves
recognised Sadasiva as king, though he had no power and was kept
under constraint. In this document Rama Rajah's brother, Tirumala,
is the important personage, but he submits to the minor title,
MAHAMANDALESVARA, while Sadasiva is mentioned as sovereign. The
inscription states that a certain person presented a petition to the
"Mahamandalesvara Rama Raja Tirumala Raja," who, AFTER OBTAINING
the great temple at Vellore. Rama Rajah and Venkatadri were both at
that time dead, and Tirumala was king DE FACTO. Couto[292] even goes
so far as to say that the three brothers "went on one day every year
and prostrated themselves before their lawful sovereign in token of
his rights over them." But as to the read relationship of Achyuta to
Krishna, and Sadasiva to both, we are still completely in doubt.

We saw that, according to Nuniz, Krishna Deva, immediately on his
accession to the throne, imprisoned his three brothers and a nephew,
then eight years old, son of the late king, "Busbalrao." This was in
the year 1509 A.D., and Krishna was then over twenty years old. We
hear of no king of the name of "Busbalrao," or anything like it,
from other sources; nor are the names of Krishna's three brothers
as given by Nuniz[293] at all like those of the two half-brothers
mentioned in some of the inscriptions.

More than one epigraphical record contains the following genealogy: --

Here we have two half-brothers of Krishna Deva named Ranga and Achyuta,
the latter being chosen king; and a nephew, Sadasiva.

Two inscriptions noted in my "Sketch of the Dynasties of Southern
India"[294] state that Achyuta was the son of Krishna Deva; while
a Telugu work, the MANUCHARITRAM, makes him son of the second
Narasimha. Couto[295] says that he was nephew of Krishna Raya.

As to Sadasiva, some authorities make him, as stated above, nephew
of Krishna Deva and son of Ranga, while another says that he was the
son of Achyuta.

An inscription at Conjeeveram[296] states that Achyuta had a wife
named Varada Devi who bore him a son, Venkata. Venkata was actually
raised to the throne, but lived only a short time, and then young
Sadasiva was crowned king.

If it is necessary to make any choice amid all this confusion, I
recommend my readers to accept provisionally the pedigree given in
the above table, leaving it for future research to finally settle
the question.

As to Rama Raya, several inscriptions state that he and his two
brothers were sons of one Ranga Raya, whose pedigree is given; and
Professor Kielhorn considers it established that Rama married Krishna
Deva's daughter.[297] She was probably a child at her marriage. She had
a brother eighteen months old at the time of Krishna Deva's death --
so Nuniz says -- but we hear nothing more about him, or what became
of him. Another daughter of Krishna Deva Raya's is said to have been
married to Rama Raya's brother, Tirumala. Some authorities state that
Rama's wife was Sadasiva's sister.[298]

That there were disturbances at the capital on the death of Achyuta
in 1542 seems clear; and indeed it could hardly be otherwise, for he
appears to have dislocated the whole empire, alienated the nobles,
upon whom the defence of the country rested, and aroused in them a
spirit of rebellion to the crown.

Gaspar Correa has left us an account of what took place at Vijayanagar
at that time, and I repeat his story for what it is worth; though it
certainly seems as if he had made a mistake and brought down to this
year the affairs of 1535 -- 36, the story of which has already been
told. For he alludes to a visit of the Adil Shah to Vijayanagar,
and unless there were two such visits, Correa would seem to be in
error, since Firishtah's date is confirmed by Nuniz, in whose time
King Achyuta was alive.

Correa[299] states that in 1542 Achyuta, king of Vijayanagar, died,
leaving a young son in the power of his uncle, brother of the dead
king, who had been king contrary to right.[300] The nobles wished
to keep the boy at liberty, nominating two ministers to carry on
the government; but the uncle disagreed, since in this way he would
lose all power, and he contrived to gain over some partisans to his
side. The nobles in disgust separated, returned to their estates,
and, in despair of good government, began to assume independence
each in his own province. The queen, mother of the boy, begged the
Adil Shah to come to her aid and secure the kingdom for her son,
promising him, in return for this favour, immense riches. The Sultan
set out for this purpose, intending to visit Vijayanagar, but on the
road he was met by emissaries from the minister, and bought off with
lavish gifts. The king by real right (probably the uncle, Ranga),
who had been detained in a fortress, was then liberated, and he also
sought aid from the Sultan of Bijapur. The Sultan took advantage of
the opportunity to set out afresh, nominally to aid the true king,
but really to acquire the kingdom for himself. The Hindus, in fear
for their safety, placed on the throne the brother of the dead king,
and succeeded in defeating the Adil Shah close to Vijayanagar. The
new king, in order to strengthen his position for the future, caused
the boy, his rival, to be assassinated, as also two of the latter's
uncles and a nephew of the dead king (Achyuta).[301] Then, in dread
of the power of the principal nobles, he summoned them to court,
and put out the eyes of those who arrived first; so that the rest
returned in great anger to their homes and began to intrigue with
the Sultan. They urged him to depose the tyrant, promising their
aid, and offering him the kingdom for himself if only the country
could be freed from this monster. The Adil Shah therefore advanced,
entered the kingdom of Vijayanagar, and was received as sovereign by
many; but he also assumed such intolerant and haughty airs that he
aroused the hatred of all around him, and in the end was obliged, in
fear for his own safety, to retire to Bijapur. "Meanwhile a new king
had seized the throne of Vijayanagar, a great lord from Paleacate,
married to a sister of the king that preceded the dead king,[302]
and in the end he secured the kingdom."[303]

It seems impossible, as Senhor Lopes justly observes, to get at the
truth of all this at present, and I think it best to abandon the
subject and pass on to consider the events of the reign of Sadasiva,
which lasted from 1542 to 1567. It is pretty evident that each
chronicler acquired his knowledge "from stories transmitted from
mouth to mouth and disfigured in the process."[304]

In 1543 Burhan Nizam Shah made an alliance with Rama Rajah and
Jamshid Qutb Shah, Sultan of Golkonda, and attacked the Adil Shah,
whereupon Rama Rajah, taking advantage of the latter's troubles,
sent Venkatadri to reduce Raichur and the Doab, "so that Beejapore,
attacked at the same time by three powerful princes in three separate
quarters, was full of danger and disorder."[305] True to the traditions
of his predecessors, the new Sultan of Bijapur "called Assud Khan
from Balgoan to his presence and demanded his advice on the alarming
state of affairs," with the result that he patched up a peace with
Burhan, making over to him the rich districts surrounding Sholapur,
and sent ambassadors to arrange terms with Vijayanagar. This done,
and the allies having retired, Asada Khan marched against the Qutb
Shah of Golkonda, defeated him under the walls of his capital,
and in a personal encounter grievously wounded him in the face with
his sabre.[306]

The Portuguese at this period had been very active, and amongst other
more or less successful enterprises the Governor, Affonso de Sousa,
attacked the territory of the Rani of Bhatkal on the pretext that
she had withheld tribute due to the king of Portugal, and wasted
her country with fire and sword. Her city was burnt, the Hindus were
slain in large numbers, and the Rani reduced to submission.

About the year 1544 -- the date is somewhat uncertain -- Sultan
Burhan again attacked Ibrahim Adil at the instigation of Rama Rajah,
but was completely defeated.

"The sultan (Ibrahim) after this victory growing haughty and imperious,
treated the ambassadors of Nizam Shah in a contemptuous manner,
and behaved tyrannically to his own subjects, putting to death many
and severely punishing others of his principal nobility for slight
offences, which occasioned disaffection to his government."

On Burhan again invading Bijapur territories, a party was formed to
depose Ibrahim and raise to the throne his brother Abdullah. This
prince, finding that the conspiracy had been discovered, fled for
safety to Goa, where he was well received. But when Ibrahim promised
certain provinces to the Portuguese if they would send Abdullah
away to a place where he could no longer disturb the peace of the
Bijapur territories, De Sousa accepted the conditions; receiving
the gift of Salsette and Bardes for the crown of Portugal, and the
whole of the vast treasures accumulated by Asada Khan at Belgaum as
a personal present for himself. Having pocketed as much as he could
of the bribe, however, he only took Abdullah as far as Cannanore
and then brought him back to Goa; and when, at the end of the next
year, De Castro succeeded De Sousa as Governor, the former refused
to surrender the rebel prince. This duplicity placed the Sultan in
great difficulty, and in February 1546 he executed a treaty of peace,
one of the terms of which was that no person belonging either to the
Dakhan, or to the territories of the Nizam Shah, or to those of the
king of Vijayanagar, with certain others specially mentioned, should
be permitted to have any communication with Abdullah or his family
until the reply of the king of Portugal was received to an embassy
which the Adil Shah proposed to send to him. There were other terms
also, and these not being acted up to by the Portuguese, the Sultan
in 1547 sent some troops into the provinces of Salsette and Bardes,
which were driven out by the Viceroy after a stubborn fight.

De Castro then concluded treaties with Vijayanagar on the 19th
September 1547, and with Ahmadnagar on the 6th October of the same
year, by the former of which the Hindu king was secured in the monopoly
of the Goa horse trade,[307] and by the latter a defensive alliance was
cemented between the Portuguese and the Nizam Shah. This constituted
a tripartite league against Bijapur.

Shortly afterwards a still more determined attack was made by the
Bijapur troops against the mainlands of Goa, and in the battle which
ensued one of the Adil Shah's principal generals was slain.

In 1548 the Viceroy concluded a more favourable arrangement with
Bijapur and also with the Rani of Bhatkal.

The Portuguese historians say that De Sousa and Asada Khan both joined
the ranks of the supporters of Abdullah, and that Asada Khan promised
to give the king of Portugal all the territories of the Konkan on the
downfall of Ibrahim, but the Viceroy changed his mind and withdrew,
while Asada Khans death put a stop to all intrigues in that quarter.

Firishtah's account, however, of the conduct of Asada at this period
totally differs, as do his dates. He states that, although the Khan
was much distressed at his master's neglect, his coldness towards him,
and his attitude of suspicion, yet he himself was consistently loyal
in his actions, and did his utmost to crush the conspiracy. As to
the Portuguese, this historian avers that, so far from abjuring the
cause of Abdullah, they actually marched with that prince from Goa
towards Bijapur, supported by the Nizam Shah, and even reached the
neighbourhood of Belgaum; but when it became evident that Asada could
not be corrupted, the nobles of Bijapur returned to their allegiance
to their sovereign, and the alliance broke up. Sultan Ibrahim advanced
to Belgaum in February 1549,[308] but on the road heard that Asada
had died.

Firishtah's account of the Bijapur Sultan's conduct when he arrived at
Belgaum is too suggestive to be omitted. The king, he says, "COMFORTED
USE" -- though these treasures were the accumulated property of a
man whom the historian declares to have been, during the whole of his
long life, the most faithful, courageous, and devoted adherent of his
royal master, whom on many occasions he had personally rescued from
difficulties which appeared almost insurmountable! The Portuguese
account as to the fate of the treasures accumulated by Asada Khan is
given by Mr. Danvers, who, treating the Khan as an unprincipled rebel,
writes: --

"In addition to making over Salsette and Bardes to the Crown of
Portugal, the Adil Khan had also given Martim Affonso (De Sousa,
the viceroy) the vast treasure which Acede Khan had collected for
the purpose of carrying out his rebellion, and which is said to have
amounted to ten millions of ducats, OF WHICH, HOWEVER, ONLY ONE MILLION
CAME INTO THE HANDS OF MARTIM AFFONSO. Some accounts state that he sent
about half of this amount to Portugal for his own use, but others aver
that he employed a great part of it in the public service in India,
besides sending some home for the king's use in Portugal." [309]

It will be seen that the two accounts differ widely in details.

At this time Ibrahim Qutb Shah, younger brother of Jamshid and
heir presumptive to the throne of Golkonda, was at Vijayanagar,
whither he had fled in fear of Jamshid's despotic and violent
temper. Firishtah[310] relates a story of him which is worth repeating
here, partly because the event occurred in the Hindu capital, partly
because it illustrates the practice of duelling which, as Nuniz tells
us, largely obtained at that time.[311] and partly because it confirms
the assertions of Nuniz that the king of Vijayanagar was in the habit
of disposing at will with the revenues of his provinces.

Rama Raya had despotically turned out of his estate an Abyssinian
officer in his employ named Ambur Khan, and conferred the same on
Prince Ibrahim for his support.

"Ambur Khan, enraged at the alienation of his estate, and meeting
Ibrahim Kootb Shah in the streets of Beejanuggur, accused him of
depriving him of it. The latter replied that monarchs were at liberty
to dispose of their own property, and that the king of Beejanuggur
had chosen to give him the estate. Ibrahim Kootb Shah proceeded on
his way; but the Abyssinian called him coward in refusing to dispute
his title with the sword. Ibrahim warned him of his imprudence;
but the Prince's mildness only added fury to the Abyssinian's anger,
who proceeded to abuse him in grosser language. On this the Prince
dismounted and drew. The Abyssinian rushed upon him, but the Prince's
temper giving him the advantage, he killed his antagonist, whose
brother, standing by, insisted on taking up the cause, and he also
fell a victim to his temerity."

Prince Ibrahim succeeded to the throne of Golkonda In A.D. 1550. In
the previous year, says Firishtah, an alliance was cemented between
Sultan Ibrahim of Bijapur and the new sovereign of Bidar, Ali Barid,
son of Amir Barid.

Rama Rajah having at this period accepted the presents and professions
of regard sent to him by the Nizam Shah with an embassy, Sultan
Ibrahim, roused to indignation, treated the Vijayanagar ambassadors
at Bijapur with such indignity that they fled in fear of their lives,
and Rama Rajah, offended in his turn, induced Burhan Nizam to attack
Ibrahim. He did so successfully, and captured the fortress of Kallian;
and on Ibrahim's retaliating by seizing one of the Ahmadnagar forts,
an open alliance was entered into between Burhan and Rama. The two
kings met near Raichur in 1551, laid siege to the place and took
it. Mudkul also capitulated, and the Doab was thus once more restored
to the Hindu sovereign.

About this time,[312] so we are told by a Muhammadan historian,
Rama Raya's two brothers rebelled against his authority during his
absence from the capital, and seized the fortress of Adoni; upon which
Rama begged aid from the Qutb Shah Ibrahim, and this being granted,
Rama besieged Adoni for six months. The place eventually capitulated,
and the brothers were then pardoned.

In 1553 Burhan died, and once more the two leading Muhammadan states
became friendly for a short time; but the air was too full of intrigue
and jealousy for this to last long. Sultan Ibrahim negotiated an
understanding with Vijayanagar, and this led to a renewal of the war,
in the course of which a battle took place at Sholapur, where Ibrahim
was worsted.

But the most serious reverse which he suffered was at the hands of
a chief named Ain-ul-Mulkh, whom by ingratitude and ill-treatment he
had driven into open rebellion. At the end of a short campaign against
this person the royal troops were completely beaten, and the Sultan
was driven to take refuge at Bijapur. In a state of desperation
he called on the Raya of Vijayanagar for aid, and Rama, as usual
representing the puppet sovereign, sent his brother, Venkatadri, with
a large force to expel the enemy from the Sultan's dominions.[313]
The story of the rebel "Ein-al-Moolk's" discomfiture at the hands of
Venkatadri is thus told by Firishtah:[314] --

"Syef Ein al Moolkh, imitating Assud Khan, resolved to surprize
the infidels; but Venkatadry, having intelligence of his designs,
ordered his troops to be on their guard; and having procured long
faggots, with cloth steeped in oil bound round one end of each,
commanded his followers upon the alarm being given to light them,
and holding them up as high as possible, give the troops a full sight
of the enemy. Ein al Moolk, agreeably to his intentions, having one
night chosen two thousand men for the purpose, marched with Sullabut
Khan to the enemy's camp, which he was allowed to enter unmolested;
but upon a signal given, all the brands were instantly lighted up,
and Venkatadry, who was prepared with his troops, rushed upon the
surprizers, who expected no resistance, with such success that above
five hundred of them were killed before the detachment could clear
the camp. Ein al Moolk and Sullabut with the greatest difficulty made
their escape; but, losing, the road through the darkness of the night,
a report spread in his camp on the return of some of the fugitives,
that he was killed; and his troops being immediately struck with a
panic, separated and fled to different quarters. Ein al Moolkh and
Sullabut Khan, with two hundred horse, about daylight arriving at
their ground, and seeing it deserted, fled in confusion by the route
of Maan to the dominions of Nizam Shaw, where they sought protection,
but were basely assassinated by his treachery."

In 1555 an attempt was made by the Portuguese under their new Viceroy,
Pedro de Mascarenhas, to place Prince Abdullah on the throne of
Bijapur, the foreigners being dazzled by the magnificent offers made
to them, should the joint efforts of the conspirators be crowned with
success. Abdullah was established at Ponda, and proclamation made of
his accession to the throne. On the death of De Mascarenhas in 1555,
Francisco Barreto succeeded him with the title of governor, and having
installed the prince at Ponda he proceeded to collect the revenues of
the country. He was, however, opposed by an officer of Ibrahim Adil
who was backed by seven thousand troops, and several fights took place.

Meanwhile Ibrahim himself had not been idle, and aided by fifteen
thousand of Sadasiva's troops from Vijayanagar he dethroned and
captured the ambitious prince, following this up by several attacks
on the Portuguese forces. The war lasted during the whole winter of
1556, but with no very decisive results. Next year a fresh relay of
troops from Bijapur attacked Salsette and Bardes, but were beaten by
a small force of Portuguese near Ponda, and hostilities were suspended
for a time.

Shortly after this, viz., in 1557, Sultan Ibrahim died. "During his
illness he put to death several physicians who had failed in cure,
beheading some, and causing others to be trodden to death by elephants,
so that all the surviving medical practitioners, alarmed, fled from
his dominions." He was succeeded by his eldest son, Ali Adil.

The new Sultan, immediately on his accession, cemented his father's
alliance with Sadasiva and Rama Rajah by the execution of a new
treaty, and sent ambassadors on a similar errand to Husain Nizam
Shah, the successor of Burhan at Ahmadnagar. These, however, were
badly received, and Sultan Ali, whose envoys at the Hindu capital had
been warmly welcomed and hospitably treated, determined to establish,
if possible, a real and lasting friendship with Vijayanagar. To this
end he adopted a most unusual course, the account of which will be
best given in Firishtah's own words.

"Ali Adil Shaw, who was intent on extricating his dominions from
the losses of his father by alliance with Ramraaje, on the death of
a son of that monarch,[315] with uncommon prudence and resolution
went, attended by one hundred horse, to Beejanuggur, to offer his
condolence on the melancholy occasion. Ramraaje received him with the
greatest respect,[316] and the sultan with the kindest persuasions
prevailed upon him to lay aside his mourning. The wife of Ramraaje
adopted the sultan as her son, and at the end of three days, which
were spent in interchanges of friendly professions, he took his leave;
but as Ramraaje did not attend him out of the city, he was disgusted,
and treasured up the affront in his mind, though too prudent to show
any signs of displeasure for the present."[317]

The incident thus entirely failed in its intended effect. It produced a
lasting irritation in the mind of the Sultan, and a haughty arrogance
on the part of Rama Raya, who conceived that the fortunes of his
hereditary enemy must be at a very low ebb when he could condescend
so far to humble himself.

In the next year, 1558, according to Couto,[318] Rama Raya made an
expedition to "Meliapor," or Mailapur, near Madras, where was an
important establishment of Roman Catholic monks and the Church of
St. Thomas. I quote the passage from the summary given by Senhor
Lopes in his introduction to the CHRONICA DOS REIS DE BISNAGA
(p. lxvi.). "The poor fathers of the glorious Order of St. Francis
having seized all the coast from Negapatam to San Thome, they being
the first who had begun to preach there the light of the Holy Gospel,
and having throughout that tract thrown down many temples and destroyed
many pagodas, a thing which grieved excessively all the Brahmans,
these latter reported the facts to Rama Raya, king of Bisnaga, whose
vassals they were, and begged him that he would hasten to their
assistance for the honour of their gods."

They succeeded in persuading him that the newcomers were possessed of
enormous riches, and he proceeded against the place, but afterwards
finding that this was not true, and that the inhabitants were loyal
to him, he spared them and left them in peace.

On his return to Bijapur, Ali Adil peremptorily demanded from Hussain
Nizam Shah the restoration of the fortresses of Kallian and Sholapur;
and on the latter's contemptuous refusal (he "sent back a reply so
indecent in expression as to be unfit to relate." says Firishtah)
another war broke out.

"In the year 966 (October 14, A.D. 1558 to October 3, 1559), Ali
Adil Shaw having called Ramraaje to his assistance, they in concert
divided the dominions of Houssein Nizam Shaw, and laid them waste in
such a manner that from Porundeh to Khiber, and from Ahmednuggur to
Dowlutabad, not a mark of population was to be seen. The infidels
of Beejanuggur, who for many years had been wishing for such an
event, left no cruelty unpractised. They insulted the honour of the
mussulmaun women, destroyed the mosques, and did not even respect
the sacred koraun."[319]

This behaviour on the part of the Hindus so incensed the followers of
Islam, not only the hostile subjects of Golkonda but even the allied
troops and inhabitants of the Bijapur territories, that it laid the
foundation for the final downfall and destruction of Vijayanagar.

In 1558 Dom Constantine de Braganza became Viceroy of Goa, and his
period of government was signalised by every kind of violence and
aggression. In 1559 Luiz de Mello carried fire and sword into the towns
along the Malabar coast. He attacked Mangalore, set fire to the town,
and put all the inhabitants to death. Later in the year he destroyed
in similar manner a number of towns and villages on the same coast,
and desolated the whole seaboard.

In 1560 the See of Goa was elevated into an arch-bishopric, and
the Inquisition, the horrors of which even excelled that of Spain,
was established. The inhabitants of Goa and its dependencies were
now forced to embrace Christianity, and on refusal or contumacy were
imprisoned and tortured. In this year also, and those following, the
predatory excursions of the Portuguese were continued. In 1564 the
Viceroy sent Mesquita with three ships to destroy a number of ships
belonging to the Malabarese. Mesquita captured twenty-four of these,
by twos and threes at a time, sunk them, beheaded a large number of
the sailors, and in the case of hundreds of others, sewed them up in
sails and threw them overboard. In these ways he massacred 2000 men.

This resulted in a serious war in Malabar, as the wretched inhabitants
of the country; driven to desperation, determined at all hazards
to destroy the ruthless invaders of their land. The Portuguese were
attacked at Cannanore, and a series of desperate struggles took place,
in the course of which Noronha, the commandant, desolated the country
and ruined many people by cutting down forty thousand palm trees. At
last, however, peace was made.


Destruction of Vijayanagar (A.D. 1565)

Arrogance of Rama Raya -- Ahmadnagar attacked -- Muhammadans combine
against Vijayanagar -- The league of the five kings -- Their advance
to Talikota -- Decisive battle, 1565, and total defeat of the Hindus
-- Death of Rama Raya -- Panic at Vijayanagar -- Flight of the
royal family -- Sack of the great city -- Its total destruction --
Evidence of Federici, 1567 -- Downfall of Portuguese trade, and decay
of prosperity at Goa.

Meanwhile affairs were advancing rapidly in the interior. After
the Nizam Shah's dominions had been wasted, as already described,
by the Adil Shah and Rama Raya, peace was made by the restoration
of Kallian to Bijapur;[320] but as soon as the allies had retired,
Hussain entered into an alliance with Ibrahim Qutb Shah and again
marched to attack Ali Adil. Again Ali called in the aid of Vijayanagar,
and again Rama Raya marched to his aid, this time with 50,000 horse
and an immense force of infantry. The opposing forces met at Kallian,
when the Qutb Shah deserted to Ali Adil, and Hussain was compelled
to withdraw to Ahmadnagar. Attacked in his own capital, he retreated.

"The three sovereigns laid siege to Ahmednuggur, and despatched
detachments various ways to lay waste the country round. The Hindoos
of Beejanuggur committed the most outrageous devastations, burning
and razing the buildings, putting up their horses in the mosques,
and performing their idolatrous worship in the holy places; but,
notwithstanding, the siege was pushed with the greatest vigour, the
garrison held out with resolution, hoping that at the approach of
the rainy season, the enemy would be necessitated to raise the siege.

"when the rains had set in, from the floods, damp, and want of
provisions, distress began to prevail in the camp of the allies, and
Kootub Shaw also secretly corresponded with the besieged, to whom he
privately sent in grain."[321]

The siege was raised, therefore, and before long the allies separated,
and the Hindu army returned home.

"In the first expedition on which Ali Adil Shaw, pressed by
the behaviour of Houssein Nizam Shaw, had called Ramraaje to his
assistance, the Hindoos at Ahmednuggur committed great outrages, and
omitted no mark of disrespect to the holy religion of the faithful,
singing and performing their superstitious worship in the mosques. The
sultan was much hurt at this insult to the faith, but, as he had not
the ability to prevent it, he did not seem to observe it. Ramraaje
also, at the conclusion of this expedition, looking on the Islaam
sultans as of little consequence, refused proper honours to their
ambassadors. When he admitted them to his presence, he did not suffer
them to sit, and treated them with the most contemptuous reserve and
haughtiness. He made them attend when in publick in his train on foot,
not allowing them to mount till he gave orders. On the return from
the last expedition to Nuldirruk, the officers and soldiers of his
army in general, treated the mussulmauns with insolence, scoffing,
and contemptuous language; and Ramraaje, after taking leave, casting
an eye of avidity on the countries of Koottub Shaw and Adil Shaw,
dispatched armies to the frontiers of each."

Both the great Shahs, therefore, abandoned certain territories to
the Hindus, and from Golkonda Rama obtained Ghanpura and Pangul. It
was the last Hindu success.

"Ramraaje daily continuing to encroach on the dominions of the
mussulmauns, Adil Shaw at length resolved, if possible, to punish his
insolence and curtail his power by a general league of the faithful
against him; for which purpose he convened an assembly of his friends
and confidential advisers."

Some of these urged that the Raya was too wealthy and powerful, by
reason of his immense revenues, which were collected from no less than
sixty seaports in addition to very large territories and dependencies,
and the number of his forces was too vast, for any single Muhammadan
monarch to cope with him. They therefore pressed the Sultan to form a
federation of all the kings of the Dakhan and wage a joint war. Ali
Adil heartily concurred in their opinion, and began by despatching
a secret embassy to Ibrahim Qutb Shah.

Ibrahim eagerly accepted, and offered his services as mediator
between Ali Adil and his great rival at Ahmadnagar. An envoy was
sent to the latter capital, and the sovereign, Hussain Shah, warned
beforehand of the important proposals to be made, received him in
private audience. The ambassador then laid before the king all the
arguments in favour of the Bijapur plan.

"He represented to him that during the times of the Bhamenee princes,
when the whole strength of the mussulmaun power was in one hand,
the balance between it and the force of the roles of Beejanuggur
was nearly equal; that now the mussulmaun authority was divided,
policy demanded that all the faithful princes should unite as one,
and observe the strictest friendship, that they might continue secure
from the attacks of their powerful common enemy, and the authority of
the roles of Beejanuggur, who had reduced all the rajas of Carnatic
to their yoke, be diminished, and removed far from the countries of
Islaam; that the people of their several dominions, who ought to
be considered the charge of the Almighty committed to their care,
might repose free from the oppressions of the unbelievers, and their
mosques and holy places be made no longer the dwellings of infidels."

These arguments had their full weight, and it was arranged that Hussain
Nizam Shah should give his daughter Chand Bibi in marriage to Ali Adil
with the fortress of Sholapur as her DOT, and that his eldest son,
Murtiza, should espouse Ali's sister -- the two kingdoms coalescing
for the conquest and destruction of Vijayanagar. The marriages were
celebrated in due course, and the Sultans began their preparations
for the holy war.

"Ali Adil Shaw, preparatory to the war, and to afford himself a
pretence for breaking with his ally, dispatched an ambassador to
Ramraaje, demanding restitution of some districts that had been wrested
from him. As he expected, Ramraaje expelled the ambassador in a very
disgraceful manner from his court; and the united sultans now hastened
the preparations to crush the common enemy of the Islaam faith."

Ibrahim Qutb Shah had also joined the coalition, and the four princes
met on the plains of Bijapur, with their respective armies. Their
march towards the south began on Monday, December 25, A.D. 1564.[322]
Traversing the now dry plains of the Dakhan country, where the cavalry,
numbering many thousands, could graze their horses on the young crops,
the allied armies reached the neighbourhood of the Krishna near the
small fortress and town of Talikota, a name destined to be for ever
celebrated in the annals of South India.[323]

It is situated on the river Don, about sixteen miles above its
junction with the Krishna, and sixty-five miles west of the point
where the present railway between Bombay and Madras crosses the great
river. The country at that time of the year was admirably adapted
for the passage of large bodies of troops, and the season was one of
bright sunny days coupled with cool refreshing breezes.

Here Ali Adil, as lord of that country, entertained his allies in royal
fashion, and they halted for several days, attending to the transport
and commissariat arrangements of the armies, and sending out scouts
to report on the best locality for forcing the passage of the river.

At Vijayanagar there was the utmost confidence. Remembering how often
the Moslems had vainly attempted to injure the great capital, and how
for over two centuries they had never succeeded in penetrating to the
south, the inhabitants pursued their daily avocations with no shadow
of dread or sense of danger; the strings of pack-bullocks laden with
all kinds of merchandise wended their dusty way to and from the several
seaports as if no sword of Damocles was hanging over the doomed city;
Sadasiva, the king, lived his profitless life in inglorious seclusion,
and Rama Raya, king de facto, never for a moment relaxed his attitude
of haughty indifference to the movements of his enemies. "He treated
their ambassadors," says Firishtah, "with scornful language, and
regarded their enmity as of little moment."[324]

Nevertheless he did not neglect common precautions. His first action
was to send his youngest brother, Tirumala, the "Yeltumraj" or
"Eeltumraaje" of Firishtah, to the front with 20,000 horse, 100,000
foot, and 500 elephants, to block the passage of the Krishna at all
points. Next he despatched his second brother, Venkatadri, with another
large army; and finally marched in person towards the point of attack
with the whole power of the Vijayanagar empire. The forces were made
up of large drafts from all the provinces -- Canarese and Telugus
of the frontier, Mysoreans and Malabarese from the west and centre,
mixed with the Tamils from the remoter districts to the south; each
detachment under its own local leaders, and forming part of the levies
of the temporary provincial chieftain appointed by the crown. According
to Couto, they numbered 600,000 foot and 100,000 horse. His adversaries
had about half that number. As to their appearance and armament, we
may turn for information to the description given us by Paes of the
great review of which he was an eye-witness forty-five years earlier
at Vijayanagar,[325] remembering always that the splendid troops
between whose lines he then passed in the king's procession were
probably the ELITE of the army, and that the common soldiers were
clad in the lightest of working clothes, many perhaps with hardly
any clothes at all, and armed only with spear or dagger.[326]

The allies had perhaps halted too long. At any rate, their scouts
returned to their sovereigns with the news that all the passages of the
river were defended, and that their only course was to force the ford
immediately in their front. This was in possession of the Hindus, who
had fortified the banks on the south side, had thrown up earthworks,
and had stationed a number of cannon to dispute the crossing.

The defenders of the ford anxiously awaited intelligence of their
enemy's movements, and learning that he had struck his camp and marched
along the course of the river, they quitted their post and followed,
keeping always to the south bank in readiness to repel any attempt to
cross directly in their front. This manoeuvre, a ruse on the part of
the Mussulmans, was repeated on three successive days. On the third
night the Sultans hastily left their camp, returned to the ford,
and, finding it deserted, crossed with a large force. This movement
covered the transit of the whole of their army, and enabled them to
march southwards to the attack of Rama Raya's main body.

Rama Raya, though surprised, was not alarmed, and took all possible
measures for defence. In the morning the enemy was within ten miles
of his camp, and Venkatadri and Tirumala succeeded in effecting a
junction with their brother.

On the following day, Tuesday, January 23; 1565,[327] both sides
having made their dispositions, a pitched battle took place[328] in
which all the available forces of both sides were engaged. In one of
his descriptions Firishtah estimates the Vijayanagar army alone as
amounting to 900,000 infantry, 45,000 cavalry, and 2000 elephants,
besides 15,000 auxiliaries; but he himself varies so greatly in the
numbers he gives in different parts of his narrative that there is no
necessity to accept these figures as accurate. There can be little
doubt, however, that the numbers were very large. The Hindu left,
on the west, was entrusted to the command of Tirumala; Rama Raya in
person was in the centre, and the right was composed of the troops
of Venkatadri. Opposed to Tirumala were the forces of Bijapur under
their Sultan Ali Adil; the Mussalman centre was under the command of
Hussain Nizam Shah; and the left of the allied army, in Venkatadri's
front, consisted of the forces brought from Ahmadabad and Golkonda by
the two Sultans, Ali Barid and Ibrahim Qutb. The allied forces drew
up in a long line with their artillery in the centre, and awaited
the enemy's attack, each division with the standards of the twelve
Imams waving in the van. The Nizam Shah's front was covered by six
hundred pieces of ordnance disposed in three lines, in the first of
which were heavy guns, then the smaller ones, with light swivel guns
in the rear. In order to mask this disposition two thousand foreign
archers were thrown out in front, who kept up a heavy discharge as the
enemy's line came on. The archers fell back as the Hindus of Rama's
division approached, and the batteries opened with such murderous
effect that the assailants retreated in confusion and with great loss.

Rama Rajah was now a very old man -- Couto says "he was ninety-six
years old, but as brave as a man of thirty" -- and, against the
entreaties of his officers, he preferred to superintend operations from
a litter rather than remain for a long time mounted -- a dangerous
proceeding, since in case of a reverse a rapid retreat was rendered
impossible. But he could not be induced to change his mind, remarking
that in spite of their brave show the enemy were children and would
soon be put to flight. So confident was he of victory that it is
said he had ordered his men to bring him the head of Hussain Nizam,
but to capture the Adil Shah and Ibrahim of Golkonda alive, that he
might keep them the rest of their lives in iron cages.

The battle becoming more general, the Hindus opened a desolating fire
from a number of field-pieces and rocket-batteries. The left and right
of the Muhammadan line were pressed back after destructive hand-to-hand
fighting, many falling on both sides. At this juncture Rama Raya,
thinking to encourage his men, descended from his litter and seated
himself on a "rich throne set with jewels, under a canopy of crimson
velvet, embroidered with gold and adorned with fringes of pearls,"
ordering his treasurer to place heaps of money all round him, so
that he might confer rewards on such of his followers as deserved his
attention. "There were also ornaments of gold and jewels placed for the
same purpose." A second attack by the Hindus on the guns in the centre
seemed likely to complete the overthrow of the whole Muhammadan line,
when the front rank of pieces was fired at close quarters, charged
with bags of copper money; and this proved so destructive that 5000
Hindus were left dead on the field in front of the batteries. This
vigorous policy threw the Hindu centre into confusion, upon which
5000 Muhammadan cavalry charged through the intervals of the guns and
cut their way into the midst of the disorganised masses, towards the
spot where the Raya had taken post. He had again changed his position
and ascended his litter; but hardly had he done so when an elephant
belonging to the Nizam Shah, wild with the excitement of the battle,
dashed forward towards him, and the litter-bearers let fall their
precious burden in terror at the animal's approach. Before he had
time to recover himself and mount a horse, a body of the allies was
upon him, and he was seized and taken prisoner.

This event threw the Hindus into a panic, and they began to give
way. Rama Raya was conducted by the officer who commanded the artillery
of Hussain Nizam to his Sultan, who immediately ordered his captive
to be decapitated, and the head to be elevated on a long spear,
so that it might be visible to the Hindu troops.

On seeing that their chief was dead, the Vijayanagar forces broke
and fled "They were pursued by the allies with such successful
slaughter that the river which ran near the field was dyed red with
their blood. It is computed on the best authorities that above one
hundred thousand infidels were slain in fight and during the pursuit."

The Mussulmans were thus completely victorious, and the Hindus fled
towards the capital; but so great was the confusion that there was not
the slightest attempt made to take up a new and defensive position
amongst the hills surrounding the city, or even to defend the walls
or the approaches. The rout was complete.

"The plunder was so great that every private man in the allied army
became rich in gold, jewels, effects, tents, arms, horses, and slaves,
as the sultans left every person in possession of what he had acquired,
only taking elephants for their own use."

De Couto, describing the death of Rama Raya, states[329] that Hussain
Nizam Shah cut off his enemy's head with his own hand, exclaiming, "Now
I am avenged of thee! Let God do what he will to me!" The Adil Shah,
on the contrary, was greatly distressed at Rama Raya's death.[330]

The story of this terrible disaster travelled apace to the city of
Vijayanagar. The inhabitants, unconscious of danger, were living in
utter ignorance that any serious reverse had taken place; for their
leaders had marched out with countless numbers in their train, and
had been full of confidence as to the result. Suddenly, however, came
the bad news. The army was defeated; the chiefs slain; the troops in
retreat. But still they did not grasp the magnitude of the reverse;
on all previous occasions the enemy had been either driven back,
or bought off with presents from the overstocked treasury of the
kings. There was little fear, therefore, for the city itself. That
surely was safe! But now came the dejected soldiers hurrying back
from the fight, and amongst the foremost the panic-stricken princes
of the royal house. Within a few hours these craven chiefs hastily
left the palace, carrying with them all the treasures on which they
could lay their hands. Five hundred and fifty elephants, laden with
treasure in gold, diamonds, and precious stones valued at more than
a hundred millions sterling, and carrying the state insignia and the
celebrated jewelled throne of the kings, left the city under convoy
of bodies of soldiers who remained true to the crown. King Sadasiva
was carried off by his jailor, Tirumala, now sole regent since the
death of his brothers; and in long line the royal family and their
followers fled southward towards the fortress of Penukonda.

Then a panic seized the city. The truth became at last apparent. This
was not a defeat merely, it was a cataclysm. All hope was gone. The
myriad dwellers in the city were left defenceless. No retreat, no
flight was possible except to a few, for the pack-oxen and carts
had almost all followed the forces to the war, and they had not
returned. Nothing could be done but to bury all treasures, to arm
the younger men, and to wait. Next day the place became a prey to
the robber tribes and jungle people of the neighbourhood. Hordes of
Brinjaris, Lambadis, Kurubas, and the like,[331] pounced down on the
hapless city and looted the stores and shops, carrying off great
quantities of riches. Couto states that there were six concerted
attacks by these people during the day.

The third day[332] saw the beginning of the end. The victorious
Mussulmans had halted on the field of battle for rest and refreshment,
but now they had reached the capital, and from that time forward for
a space of five months Vijayanagar knew no rest. The enemy had come
to destroy, and they carried out their object relentlessly. They
slaughtered the people without mercy, broke down the temples and
palaces; and wreaked such savage vengeance on the abode of the kings,
that, with the exception of a few great stone-built temples and walls,
nothing now remains but a heap of ruins to mark the spot where once
the stately buildings stood. They demolished the statues, and even
succeeded in breaking the limbs of the huge Narasimha monolith. Nothing
seemed to escape them. They broke up the pavilions standing on the
huge platform from which the kings used to watch the festivals, and
overthrew all the carved work. They lit huge fires in the magnificently
decorated buildings forming the temple of Vitthalasvami near the
river, and smashed its exquisite stone sculptures. With fire and
sword, with crowbars and axes, they carried on day after day their
work of destruction. Never perhaps in the history of the world has
such havoc been wrought, and wrought so suddenly, on so splendid a
city; teeming with a wealthy and industrious population in the full
plenitude of prosperity one day, and on the next seized, pillaged,
and reduced to ruins, amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors
beggaring description.

Caesaro Federici, an Italian traveller -- or "Caesar Frederick," as he
is often called by the English -- visited the place two years later,
in 1567. He relates that, after the sack, when the allied Muhammadans
returned to their own country, Tirumala Raya tried to re-populate
the city, but failed, though some few people were induced to take up
their abode there.

"The Citie of BEZENEGER is not altogether destroyed, yet the houses
stand still, but emptie, and there is dwelling in them nothing,
as is reported, but Tygres and other wild beasts."[333]

The loot must have been enormous. Couto states that amongst other
treasures was found a diamond as large as a hen's egg, which was kept
by the Adil Shah.[334]

Such was the fate of this great and magnificent city. It never
recovered, but remained for ever a scene of desolation and ruin. At
the present day the remains of the larger and more durable structures
rear themselves from amongst the scanty cultivation carried on by
petty farmers, dwellers in tiny villages scattered over the area once
so populous. The mud huts which constituted the dwelling-places of by
far the greater portion of the inhabitants have disappeared, and their
materials overlie the rocky plain and form the support of a scanty and
sparse vegetation. But the old water-channels remain, and by their aid
the hollows and low ground have been converted into rich gardens and
fields, bearing full crops of waving rice and sugar-cane. Vijayanagar
has disappeared as a city, and a congeries of small hamlets with an
industrious and contented population has taken its place.

Here my sketch of Vijayanagar history might well end, but I have
thought it advisable to add a few notes on succeeding events.

Tirumala took up his abode at Penukonda, and shortly afterwards
sent word to the Portuguese traders at Goa that he was in need of
horses. A large number were accordingly delivered, when the despotic
ruler dismissed the men to return to Goa as best they could without
payment. "He licensed the Merchants to depart," writes Federici,
"without giving them anything for their Horses, which when the poore
Men saw, they were desperate, and, as it were, mad with sorrow and
griefe." There was no authority left in the land, and the traveller
had to stay in Vijayanagar seven months, "for it was necessarie to
rest there until the wayes were clear of Theeves, which at that time
ranged up and downe." He had the greatest difficulty in making his
way to Goa at all, for he and his companions were constantly seized
by sets of marauders and made to pay heavy ransom for their liberty,
and on one occasion they were attacked by dacoits and robbed.

Tirumala being now with King Sadasiva in Penukonda, the nobles of the
empire began to throw off their allegiance, and one after another to
proclaim their independence. The country was in a state of anarchy. The
empire, just now so solid and compact, became disintegrated, and from
this time forward it fell rapidly to decay.

To the Portuguese the change was of vital importance. Federici has
left us the following note on their trade with Vijayanagar, which I
extract from "Purchas's Pilgrims:" --

"The Merchandize that went every yeere from Goa to Bezeneger were
Arabian Horses, Velvets, Damaskes, and Sattens, Armesine[335]
of Portugall, and pieces of China, Saffron, and Scarletts; and
from Bezeneger they had in Turkie for their commodities, Jewels and
Pagodas,[336] which be Ducats of Gold; the Apparell that they use in
Bezeneger is Velvet, Satten, Damaske, Scarlet, or white Bumbast cloth,
according to the estate of the person, with long Hats on their heads
called Colae,[337] &c."

Sassetti, who was in India from 1578 to 1588, confirms the others as
to Portuguese loss of trade on the ruin of the city: --

"The traffic was so large that it is impossible to imagine it; the
place was immensely large; and it was inhabited by people rich, not
with richness like ours, but with richness like that of the Crassi
and the others of those old days.... And such merchandise! Diamonds,
rubies, pearls ... and besides all that, the horse trade. That alone
produced a revenue in the city (Goa) of 120 to 150 thousand ducats,
which now reaches only 6 thousand."

Couto tells the same story:[338] --

"By this destruction of the kingdom of Bisnaga, India and our State
were much shaken; for the bulk of the trade undertaken by all was
for this kingdom, to which they carried horses, velvets, satins and
other sorts of merchandize, by which they made great profits; and
the Custom House of Goa suffered much in its Revenue, so that from
that day till now the inhabitants of Goa began to live less well;
for paizes and fine cloths were a trade of great importance for
Persia and Portugal, and it then languished, and the gold pagodas,
of which every year more than 500,000 were laden in the ships of the
kingdom, were then worth 7 1/2 Tangas, and to day are worth 11 1/2,
and similarly every kind of coin."

Sassetti gives another reason, however, for the decay of Portuguese
trade and influence at Goa, which cannot be passed over without
notice. This was the terrible Inquisition. The fathers of the Church
forbade the Hindus under terrible penalties the use of their own sacred
books, and prevented them from all exercise of their religion. They
destroyed their temples and mosques, and so harassed and interfered
with the people that they abandoned the city in large numbers,
refusing to remain any longer in a place where they had no liberty,
and were liable to imprisonment, torture, and death if they worshipped
after their own fashion the gods of their fathers.[339]

About this period, therefore (1567), the political condition of
Southern India may be thus summed up: -- The Muhammadans of the Dakhan
were triumphant though still divided in interest, and their country
was broken up into states each bitterly hostile to the other. The
great empire of the south was sorely stricken, and its capital was
for ever destroyed; the royal family were refugees at Pennakonda;
King Sadasiva was still a prisoner; and Tirumala, the only survivor
of the "three brethren which were tyrants,"[340] was governing the
kingdom as well as he could. The nobles were angry and despondent,
each one seeking to be free; and the Portuguese on the coast were
languishing, with their trade irretrievably injured.

Firishtah summarises the events immediately succeeding the great
battle in the following words: --

"The sultans, a few days after the battle, marched onwards into the
country of Ramraaje as far as Anicondeh,[341] and the advanced troops
penetrated to Beejanuggur, which they plundered, razed the chief
buildings, and committed all manner of excess. When the depredations
of the allies had destroyed all the country round, Venkatadri,[342]
who had escaped from the battle to a distant fortress, sent humble
entreaties of peace to the sultans, to whom he gave up all the places
which his brothers had wrested from them; and the victors being
satisfied, took leave of each other at Roijore (Raichur), and returned
to their several dominions. The raaje of Beejanuggur since this battle
has never recovered its ancient splendour; and the city itself has been
so destroyed that it is now totally in ruins and uninhabited,[343]
while the country has been seized by the zemindars (petty chiefs),
each of whom hath assumed an independent power in his own district."

In 1568 (so it is said) Tirumala murdered his sovereign, Sadasiva,
and seized the throne for himself; but up to that time he seems to
have recognised the unfortunate prince as his liege lord, as we know
from four inscriptions at Vellore bearing a date corresponding to
5th February 1567 A.D.[344]

And thus began the third dynasty, if dynasty it can be appropriately

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