Press Esc to close
Tuesday 21 October 2014
News updated at 2:10 PM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Krishnadevaraya, the ideal king

Last updated: 25 January, 2010
By Krishna Vattam

Four hundred forty five years have rolled by over the remains of one of the mightiest and magnificent cities of the southern empire, Vijayanagar. Its rulers, in their days of glory guided the destinies of a large empire, with its domain covering the entire southern India, extending up to Cuttack in the northeast.

Thanks to the sympathetic care of the successive governments, the ruins of Hampi are still in an excellent state of preservation, though weatherbeaten. Where Krishnadevaraya once held his court in the splendour of his imperial power, now the monkeys rule from the tree tops. The Tungabhadra, on whose banks kaleidoscopic transformations —  historic and modern have transpired, flows the same as ever reminding the visitor of Tennyson’s couplet “Men may come and men may go, but I can go for ever.”

The river was also witness to the coronation, attended by all kings and vassals from far and wide, of the greatest of the Vijayanagar rulers, Krishnadevaraya, 500 years ago and the golden age that marked his 20-year reign (1509-29). Henry VIII was his contemporary in England.

Krishnadevaraya’s reign marked a watershed in the cultural history of the medieval India. He presided over learned assemblies of pundits and poets, being an accredited writer in Telugu and Sanskrit, as also a patron of Kannada and Tamil literature. Sri Vyasaraya was his ‘Raja Guru,’ and during his reign, the Haridasa movement with Purandara, Kanaka and other leading lights composing ‘Dasa Padagalu’ in simple Kannada flourished. Scholarly works in Dwaitha philosophy in both Kannada and Sanskrit were authored.


Although Krishnadevaraya belonged to a Tulu family of Udipi whose presiding deity is Krishna, he founded a new era in Telugu literature. His own classical poetical composition in Telugu, ‘Amuktha Malyada’, is acclaimed as one of the five literary gems of Telugu literature. Till Krishnadevaraya’s time, Telugu literature comprised of mere Telugu versions of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The king encouraged original poems.

Thus Krishnadevaraya did earn the well deserved distinction of ‘Raja Bhoja’ of the South. His court like that of Bhoja’s was resplendent with a galaxy of eight premier Telugu poets - Peddanna, Thimmana, Ramabhadra, Dhurjati, Pingali Suranna, Mallanna and Ramalinga.

Although he brought many a refractory chief to his knees and received homage from them, Krishnadevaraya bowed in respectful homage to men of letters. It is said that on meeting the poet-laureate Allasana Peddana in the streets of Hampi, Krishnadevaraya, who was riding his royal elephant stopped and picked him up. The ruler himself bore the palanquin carrying Peddana in the procession to dedicate his (Peddana’s) master piece ‘Manu Charitra’ through the streets of the city. Music received no less patronage. Lakshminarayana was a well recognised court musician. A great assembly of learned men was convened every year and honours were bestowed on them.

Conquests
His victories in a way were no less renowned than his achievements in peace. His first concern after accession was a campaign aimed at the conquest of Mudgal and Raichur forts, subduing the Gajapathis, and securing Udayagiri. A contrarian vassal in Mysore was subdued and the fortresses in Srirangapatna and Sivasamudra were captured.

In 1513, he marched against the hill fort of Udayagiri, in Nellore in Andhra, then under the King of Orissa, captured it and brought from it the image of Krishna, which was installed in the Krishnaswami temple in his Capital. Two years later, Kondapalli and Kondaveedu, two strong fortresses in Krishna District, Rajamahendra Varma and Godavari were annexed.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Army recruits during their attestation parade at Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington, Ooty on...

Army recruits during their attestation parade at Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington, Ooty on...

In this Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 photo, a Kashmiri woman blocks a road during a protest demanding...

In this Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 photo, a Kashmiri woman blocks a road during a protest demanding...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 42nd Convocation of the All India Institute of Medical...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 42nd Convocation of the All India Institute of Medical...

Devendra Fadnavis hugs his mother Savita after his victory during the Assembly election in...

Devendra Fadnavis hugs his mother Savita after his victory during the Assembly election in...

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitaraman launching the Online Export...

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitaraman launching the Online Export...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP President Amit Shah after the party's parliamentary...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP President Amit Shah after the party's parliamentary...

In this Oct. 17, 2014 photo, a thick blanket of smoke is seen against the setting sun as...

In this Oct. 17, 2014 photo, a thick blanket of smoke is seen against the setting sun as...

In this Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 photo, an Indian woman uses her hand to put sawdust in an...

In this Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 photo, an Indian woman uses her hand to put sawdust in an...

(L-R) Asha Bhat, Miss Diva Universe 2014 2nd runner up, Noyonita Lodh, Miss Diva Universe 2014...

(L-R) Asha Bhat, Miss Diva Universe 2014 2nd runner up, Noyonita Lodh, Miss Diva Universe 2014...

An Indian man teaches yoga postures to schoolchildren at Delhi Public School in Hyderabad...

An Indian man teaches yoga postures to schoolchildren at Delhi Public School in Hyderabad...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523