Disintegration of Vijayanagar
Talikota Battle (1565)
The historical battle at Talikota determined the fate of the Vijayanagar Empire. The battle was held at Rekshasi-Tangadi twenty five miles away from Talikota. Hence, the Talikota battle was also known as Rekshasi-Tangadi battle. This battle decided the destiny of the Hindu and Muslim kingdom in Tamil Nadu.
In the battle, the allied forces of the four sultans of Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Golkonda and Bidar fought against the Vijayanagar Empire with a grand army. It consisted of 50,000 cavalry 30,000 infantry and 6000 Maratha horsemen. The Muslim army was stationed at Rekshasi-Tangadi.
Ramaraya ruled Vijayanagar Empire during the battle he faced the situation gallantly with the support of his brother Thirumalai and Venkatadri. He also collected a grand possessed a considerable number of elephants and guns. Tamil people participated in the battle on a large scale. The Navaks of Madurai, Tanjore and Chenji sent major portions of their army to Talikota in favour of Vijayanagar Empire. Surappa Nayaka of Chenji and Ariyanatha of Madurai participated in the battle directly.
In a preliminary encounter the Vijayanagar forces defeated the armies of Nizam shah and Kuthupshah. Knowing their inefficiency to win the battle directly, they followed strategy and conspiracy. To win the support and sympathy of the Muslims and mercenary soldiers in the Vijayanagar army, the Muslims made secret contact with them. Based on their secret agreement in the crucial battle, the Muslim and mercenary soldiers in the Vijayanagar army supported the Muslims forces. It was a rude shock to Ramaraya. Anyhow, he managed the situation, with full confidence. But due to the cheating of the two Muslim commanders, who were in charge of two battalions the Vijayanagar army lost it confidence Ramaraya was captured and murdered with the order of Husain-Nizam shah. Venkatadri disappeared form the battle field. Thirumala who lost an eye returned to Vijayanagar. Without much resistance the empire fell in the hands of the Muslims. Vijayanagar was looted and plundered nearly six months.
Though in the battle, Vijayanagar army was defeated it not destroyed completely, it survived to some extent for nearly fifty years under Sriranga I and venkada I. During their reign, the capital of Vijayanagar Empire was shifted to Chandragri, Penukonda and Vellore. With the support of the Nayaks of Tamil Nadu, the Vijayanagar Empire survived till Toppur battle in 1616.
Toppur Battle (1616)
As a result of the battle of Talikota, the capital of the empire alone was ruined. But due to Toppur battle, the whole of Vijayanagar Empire disintegrated. Various reasons were attributed for this battle. Among them, the struggle for the throne was prominent. In 1614, Venkatadri II appointed his nephew Sriranaga II as his successor. A group of people under Jacka Deveraya stood against this and appointed Chingaraya, the illegitimate son of Venkatadri. Jacka Devaraya suddenly captured Sriranga and the members of his family. Yachamanayaka, the commander of the army stood against this atrocity and recovered Ramadevam, the son of Sriranga from the cruel clutches of Jackadevaraya. Ramadeva was enthroned as the ruler of the empire. In this civil war, the Nayaks of Chenji and Madurai, and Pandyas of Tirunelveli supported Jackadevar. Tanjore Nayaks alone supported Yachamanayaka.
In the beginning Jackadevaraya defeated his enemies in certain battles. But in the battle held at Toppur in 1616, Yachamanayaka defeated Chingaraya. In the place of Chingaraya, Ramadeva was appointed. But he failed to maintain law and order in the empire due to his inefficiency. Utilising this opportunity, the sultan of Golkonda defeated venkada III and Sriranga III, the last rulers of Vijayanagar Empire and extended his power in Tamil Nadu. Thus once again, Vijayanagar Empire fell at the hands of the Muslims. As a result, the Vijayanagar Empire which flourished in Tamil Nadu disintegrated for ever.
Keywords: Rekshasi-Tangadi battle, Ramaraya, Thirumalai and Venkatadri, Toppur Battle, Venkatadri II, Varadharaja Perumal temple, Kaval Gopurams, Paranjothi Thiruvilayadal Puranam, Adi Veerapandyar, Kalamekapulavar, Tholkappiya Devar, Vedantha Desikar, Irattai Pulavar, Dr. Fernandez, Fr. Nobile, Dr. Bemande, Disintegration and Legacy of Vijayanagar