Saturday, December 4, 2021

Krishandevaraya died on a Sunday 492 years ago

K R Narasimhan, a retired professor who stays in Yelahanka, Bengaluru, has discovered a stone inscription, photographed it and sent to epigraphy branch of the Archaeological Survey of India at Mysuru. The Director K Muniratnam Reddy’s office deciphered it and found to the surprise of every one an authentic description of date of death of legend king of south India who established an empire resisting expansion of Mohemmadan rule. 

Krishnadevaraya died on 17 October 1529, Sunday, incidentally the day of a lunar eclipse. Accordingly, today is 492nd death anniversary of Krishnadeva Raya.  The inscription is engraved on a slab kept on the north side of the Gopalakrishna temple at Honnenahalli in Tumakuru district and is written in Kannada was found during February 2021. Prof. Narasimhan said that it records the demise of Kṛishṇadēvarāya — (Vīrakṛishṇarāyamahārāyaluyītathātithiyaluastamayarāgalu)_ in Śaka 1451, Virōdhi, śu. 15, lunar eclipse, which corresponds to 1529 AD, October 17, Sunday, as explained by Prof. Munirathnam. This inscription also registers gift of village Honnenahalli in Tumakuru for conducting worship to the Lord Veeraprasanna Hanumantha of Tumakuru.

Two Professors Dr Muniratnam and Narasimhan have referred to Kalahasti inscription which wrote on stone that the date of coronation of Achyutaraya, brother of Krishna Deva Raya who succeeded him was October 21, 1529 AD.

The credit of discovering this inscription goes to a bus driver Dhanpal. He works in Bangalore Metropolitian Transport Corporation (BMTC).He has an interesting tendency to scour the places he visits for archaeological remains and stones.  He used to take photographs of those stone inscriptions and shares them with Prof. Narasimhan.

Normally, the death of kings was not recorded in the inscriptions and this was one of those rare records, Prof. Narasimhan added.

Director of Epigraphy K Munirathnam Reddy said that according to an earlier inscription which was written in Kannada and Devanagari scripts, found at Sri Kalahasti Temple, Achyuta Devaraya, younger brother of Sri Krishnadevaraya, was coronated as the fourth king of Tuluva Dynasty on 21 October 1529 AD on the premises of Srikalahasthi Temple in Chittor district. However, there was no mention of the exact date of demise of Sri Krishnadevaraya in the inscription found at Sri Kalahasthi. With the discovery of the Honnenahalli inscription, it is confirmed that Achyutha Devaraya was coronated on the fourth day of his brother’s demise.

Meanwhile, Narasimhan told Telangana Today that Dhanpal, who works as a driver found the inscription. Dhanpal, who studied just SSC, informed his friend Narasimhan, who decoded the inscription. Narasimhan again forwarded the inscription to Director of Epigraphy to further confirm his findings. Though nothing was found about the cause of Sri Krishnadevaraya ‘s death in this inscription, according to information found in literature and other inscriptions, he died after prolonged illness.

According to https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Krishnadevaraya

The rule of Sri Krishnadeva Raya (Kannada: ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣದೇವರಾಯ, Telugu:శ్రీకృష్ణదేవరాయ) started in 1509 and went on for two decades up to 1529 C.E. establishing firmly the Vijayanagar Empire. Emperor Krishnadevaraya also earned the titles Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana (ಕನ್ನಡರಾಜ್ಯರಮಾರಮಣ)Moorurayaraganda (ಮೂರುರಾಯರಗಂಡ) (meaning “King of three kings”), and Andhra Bhoja (ఆంధ్రభోజ). This encyclopedia recorded that he consolidated and expanded the empire through astute use of his massive military, successfully campaigning against the kingdoms to his north.

The encyclopedia explained his campaigns: “Krishnadevaraya ruled during a successful era in Vijayanagar history, its armies wining every campaign. On occasion, the king changed battle plans abruptly, turning a losing battle into victory. The first decade of his rule had been one of long sieges, bloody conquests and victories. His main enemies had been the Gajapatis of Orissa, with whom he had been constant warfare since the rule of Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya. The Bahamani Sultans, though divided into five small kingdoms, still posed a constant threat. The Portuguese rose as a maritime power and, hence, controlled much of the sea trade. The feudatory chiefs of Ummatur, Reddys of Kondavidu and Velamas of Bhuvanagiri had time and again rebelled against the Vijayanagar rule. Krishnadevaraya used diplomatic shrewdness with the recently arrived Portuguese on the west coast of India, deflecting any requests for an alliance to fight together against Portugal’s foes while obtaining horses and technical knowledge, especially bringing water into Vijayanagaram City”.

Krishna Deva Raya’s kingdom possessed fabulous wealth. Most of the wealth came from tributes paid by kingdoms he conquered in Andhra Pradesh, for instance Gajapati kings of Orissa, Raichur Doab, and the Sultans of Deccan. 

Krishnadevaraya’s conquest on 19 May 1520 was considered the highlight among his victories. In this battle he secured the fortress of Raichur from Ismail Adil Shah of Bijapur after a difficult siege during which 16,000 Vijaynagar soldiers died. The emperor felicitated  the chief military commander, Pemmasani Ramalinga Nayudu, for his leadership, valour and strategy to win this war of Raichur. The history shows that in this war, 703,000 foot soldiers, 32,600 cavalry, and 551 elephants were engaged. This battle ended the Bahamani sultanate where the fortress of Gulburga was raged to ground.

He has spent his wealth for building temples, developing cities and encouraging the literary scholarship. The King himself was a legendary writer, who penned Amuktamalyada, the story of Goda, who used to wear the garlands before offering them to God Vatapatrasai. It’s a romantic poetry that described the pangs of sorrow arising out of separation from her lover husband Ranganatha.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has instituted a Krishnadevaraya Chair at the School of Languages and Culture of Asia, currently occupied by Velcheru Narayana Rao.There are roads, universities, even entire administrative units of states named after the king.

The Scroll.in has got the biography of Krishnadeva Raya reviewed by Srinivas Reddy, a scholar and musician. The reviewer recommended this book for all round portrait of the King. He referred to many authentic proofs to explain his glorious rule.

The travel writings of horse-traders, diplomats, and jewel merchants in various languages: Niccolo Conti in Italian; Aburrazzak, the ambassador from the court of Timur’s son who travelled to the major peninsular cities on the Western coast, in Arabic; and Domingo Paes and Fernao Nunes, both of whom arrived from the newly-established colony of Goa (the accounts of these two were translated and published in Robert E Sewell’s authoritative history of Vijayanagara) in Portuguese.

Srinivas Reddy also translated Amuktamalyada, besides Kalidasa’s Meghadutam and Malavikagnimitram. Reddy referred to many writings of foreign travellers.  Some details provided by the Portuguese traveller Fernão Nunes:

“Taking up the rear followed the king’s three favourite eunuchs who could boast the charge of 40,000 foot, 1,000 horse and fifteen elephants. Even the king’s faithful betel bearer could claim authority over 15,000 footmen and 200 horses. And last but not least, the king’s personal guard which numbered some 40,000 archers and shield bearers and 6,000 horse, along with 300 of the finest elephants, because the king had his ‘pick of all his kingdom’. At final count, the reckoning offered by Nunes puts Krishnadevaraya’s army at well over half a million foot soldiers, almost 30,000 horses and over 500 elephants! No doubt an exaggeration, but Krishnadevaraya’s title as the Narapati or Lord of Men was no empty moniker.”

Reddy pointed out, one of Krishnadevaraya’s sobriquets was Yavanarajyasthapanacharya – the founder of the kingdom of Yavanas (Yavanas here being a reference to Muslims). This title has been used in several inscriptions of Krishnadevaraya’s, and even Peddana does not shun from recounting in Manucharitramu the incident of the crowning of the Bahmani Sultan Mahmud at their capital, Bidar, after defeating the Adil Shahis.

Krishandevaraya died on a Sunday 492 years ago

K R Narasimhan, a retired professor who stays in Yelahanka, Bengaluru, has discovered a stone inscription, photographed it and sent to epigraphy branch of the Archaeological Survey of India at Mysuru. The Director K Muniratnam Reddy’s office deciphered it and found to the surprise of every one an authentic description of date of death of legend king of south India who established an empire resisting expansion of Mohemmadan rule. 

Krishnadevaraya died on 17 October 1529, Sunday, incidentally the day of a lunar eclipse. Accordingly, today is 492nd death anniversary of Krishnadeva Raya.  The inscription is engraved on a slab kept on the north side of the Gopalakrishna temple at Honnenahalli in Tumakuru district and is written in Kannada was found during February 2021. Prof. Narasimhan said that it records the demise of Kṛishṇadēvarāya — (Vīrakṛishṇarāyamahārāyaluyītathātithiyaluastamayarāgalu)_ in Śaka 1451, Virōdhi, śu. 15, lunar eclipse, which corresponds to 1529 AD, October 17, Sunday, as explained by Prof. Munirathnam. This inscription also registers gift of village Honnenahalli in Tumakuru for conducting worship to the Lord Veeraprasanna Hanumantha of Tumakuru.

Two Professors Dr Muniratnam and Narasimhan have referred to Kalahasti inscription which wrote on stone that the date of coronation of Achyutaraya, brother of Krishna Deva Raya who succeeded him was October 21, 1529 AD.

The credit of discovering this inscription goes to a bus driver Dhanpal. He works in Bangalore Metropolitian Transport Corporation (BMTC).He has an interesting tendency to scour the places he visits for archaeological remains and stones.  He used to take photographs of those stone inscriptions and shares them with Prof. Narasimhan.

Normally, the death of kings was not recorded in the inscriptions and this was one of those rare records, Prof. Narasimhan added.

Director of Epigraphy K Munirathnam Reddy said that according to an earlier inscription which was written in Kannada and Devanagari scripts, found at Sri Kalahasti Temple, Achyuta Devaraya, younger brother of Sri Krishnadevaraya, was coronated as the fourth king of Tuluva Dynasty on 21 October 1529 AD on the premises of Srikalahasthi Temple in Chittor district. However, there was no mention of the exact date of demise of Sri Krishnadevaraya in the inscription found at Sri Kalahasthi. With the discovery of the Honnenahalli inscription, it is confirmed that Achyutha Devaraya was coronated on the fourth day of his brother’s demise.

Meanwhile, Narasimhan told Telangana Today that Dhanpal, who works as a driver found the inscription. Dhanpal, who studied just SSC, informed his friend Narasimhan, who decoded the inscription. Narasimhan again forwarded the inscription to Director of Epigraphy to further confirm his findings. Though nothing was found about the cause of Sri Krishnadevaraya ‘s death in this inscription, according to information found in literature and other inscriptions, he died after prolonged illness.

According to https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Krishnadevaraya

The rule of Sri Krishnadeva Raya (Kannada: ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣದೇವರಾಯ, Telugu:శ్రీకృష్ణదేవరాయ) started in 1509 and went on for two decades up to 1529 C.E. establishing firmly the Vijayanagar Empire. Emperor Krishnadevaraya also earned the titles Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana (ಕನ್ನಡರಾಜ್ಯರಮಾರಮಣ)Moorurayaraganda (ಮೂರುರಾಯರಗಂಡ) (meaning “King of three kings”), and Andhra Bhoja (ఆంధ్రభోజ). This encyclopedia recorded that he consolidated and expanded the empire through astute use of his massive military, successfully campaigning against the kingdoms to his north.

The encyclopedia explained his campaigns: “Krishnadevaraya ruled during a successful era in Vijayanagar history, its armies wining every campaign. On occasion, the king changed battle plans abruptly, turning a losing battle into victory. The first decade of his rule had been one of long sieges, bloody conquests and victories. His main enemies had been the Gajapatis of Orissa, with whom he had been constant warfare since the rule of Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya. The Bahamani Sultans, though divided into five small kingdoms, still posed a constant threat. The Portuguese rose as a maritime power and, hence, controlled much of the sea trade. The feudatory chiefs of Ummatur, Reddys of Kondavidu and Velamas of Bhuvanagiri had time and again rebelled against the Vijayanagar rule. Krishnadevaraya used diplomatic shrewdness with the recently arrived Portuguese on the west coast of India, deflecting any requests for an alliance to fight together against Portugal’s foes while obtaining horses and technical knowledge, especially bringing water into Vijayanagaram City”.

Krishna Deva Raya’s kingdom possessed fabulous wealth. Most of the wealth came from tributes paid by kingdoms he conquered in Andhra Pradesh, for instance Gajapati kings of Orissa, Raichur Doab, and the Sultans of Deccan. 

Krishnadevaraya’s conquest on 19 May 1520 was considered the highlight among his victories. In this battle he secured the fortress of Raichur from Ismail Adil Shah of Bijapur after a difficult siege during which 16,000 Vijaynagar soldiers died. The emperor felicitated  the chief military commander, Pemmasani Ramalinga Nayudu, for his leadership, valour and strategy to win this war of Raichur. The history shows that in this war, 703,000 foot soldiers, 32,600 cavalry, and 551 elephants were engaged. This battle ended the Bahamani sultanate where the fortress of Gulburga was raged to ground.

He has spent his wealth for building temples, developing cities and encouraging the literary scholarship. The King himself was a legendary writer, who penned Amuktamalyada, the story of Goda, who used to wear the garlands before offering them to God Vatapatrasai. It’s a romantic poetry that described the pangs of sorrow arising out of separation from her lover husband Ranganatha.

Krishnadevarayalu

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has instituted a Krishnadevaraya Chair at the School of Languages and Culture of Asia, currently occupied by Velcheru Narayana Rao.There are roads, universities, even entire administrative units of states named after the king.

The Scroll.in has got the biography of Krishnadeva Raya reviewed by Srinivas Reddy, a scholar and musician. The reviewer recommended this book for all round portrait of the King. He referred to many authentic proofs to explain his glorious rule.

The travel writings of horse-traders, diplomats, and jewel merchants in various languages: Niccolo Conti in Italian; Aburrazzak, the ambassador from the court of Timur’s son who travelled to the major peninsular cities on the Western coast, in Arabic; and Domingo Paes and Fernao Nunes, both of whom arrived from the newly-established colony of Goa (the accounts of these two were translated and published in Robert E Sewell’s authoritative history of Vijayanagara) in Portuguese.

Srinivas Reddy also translated Amuktamalyada, besides Kalidasa’s Meghadutam and Malavikagnimitram. Reddy referred to many writings of foreign travellers.  Some details provided by the Portuguese traveller Fernão Nunes:

“Taking up the rear followed the king’s three favourite eunuchs who could boast the charge of 40,000 foot, 1,000 horse and fifteen elephants. Even the king’s faithful betel bearer could claim authority over 15,000 footmen and 200 horses. And last but not least, the king’s personal guard which numbered some 40,000 archers and shield bearers and 6,000 horse, along with 300 of the finest elephants, because the king had his ‘pick of all his kingdom’. At final count, the reckoning offered by Nunes puts Krishnadevaraya’s army at well over half a million foot soldiers, almost 30,000 horses and over 500 elephants! No doubt an exaggeration, but Krishnadevaraya’s title as the Narapati or Lord of Men was no empty moniker.”

Reddy pointed out, one of Krishnadevaraya’s sobriquets was Yavanarajyasthapanacharya – the founder of the kingdom of Yavanas (Yavanas here being a reference to Muslims). This title has been used in several inscriptions of Krishnadevaraya’s, and even Peddana does not shun from recounting in Manucharitramu the incident of the crowning of the Bahmani Sultan Mahmud at their capital, Bidar, after defeating the Adil Shahis.

Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Author is Dean, Professor of law at Mahindra University at Hyderabad and former Central Information Commissioner. He published a number books in English and Telugu.

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