Battle of Talikota (Rakkasa-Tangadi) - Destruction of Hampi (1565)

Battle of Talikota (Rakkasa-Tangadi) - Destruction of Hampi (1565)
The Battle of Talikota was fought by the Vijayanagara force lead by Aliya Rama Raya against the invading forces of the united Sultanates to the north of Vijayanagara (i.e. consisting of Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Golkonda, Berar and Bidar Husain Nizam Shah, Ali Adil Shah and Ibrahim Qutb Shah). The battle took place on 23 January 1565 at Talikota (In Present Karnataka State).
Some scholars say the armies fought near Rakkasagi and Tangadigi villages. Hence the battle is also referred as the Battle of Rakkasa-Tangadi. Some other scholars believe that battle was fought at Krishna-Bannihatti. Hence it is also known as the battle of Bannihatti.


After the death of Achyuta Deva Raya in 1542, Venkata Raya asseended the throne. Later Venkata Raya was killed in 6 months and Sadashiva Raya (minor nephew of Achyuta Raya) ascended the Vijayanagara Throne. Rama Raya appointed himself regent and controlled Sadashiva Raya.
Rama Raya acted as actual ruler confining Sadashiva Raya. He replaced the loyal servants of the kingdom with officers who were loyal to him. Later Rama Raya appointed the Gilani brothers (two Muslim commanders) as commanders in his army, a mistake that ruined the empire. These Gilani brothers were earlier in the service of the Sultan Adil Shah.


During this time, the Muslim kingdoms (Deccan Sultanates) were suffering from internal disputes.
Seeing this disputes as an advantage Rama Raya interfered in the internal fights of the Deccan Sultanates (Shahi’s). He tried to follow the divide and rule policy between the Muslim Kingdoms and crush them. But soon Shahi’s realized the plan of Rama Raya and united to form a huge Shahi forces (consisting of Husain Nizam Shah, Ali Adil Shah and Ibrahim Qutb Shah) against Rama Raya through various matrimonial and other alliances.

The main cause for the battle was Rama Raya’s refusal of returning the Raichur to Ali Adil Shah, which invited both the forces to the battle of Talikota.


The united Deccan Shahi Sultans attacked Vijayanagara forces led by Rama Raya on 23 Jan 1565 in the battle of Talikota.
Rama Raya led the army very effectively and the Vijayanagara army was holding upper hand in the battle. All of a sudden the Gilani brothers, two Muslim commanders turned against Ram Raya and switched their side to united Shahi’s. Gilani Brothers captured Rama Raya and beheaded him on the battle field. This created a confusion in the Vijayanagara forces and finally resulted in the defeat of Vijayanagara Empire.

Destruction of Hampi

United Shahis followed by the victory in battle entered the Vijayanagara Empire. They destructed and looted everything. Finally they plundered Hampi and reduced it into ruins.
Vijayanagara, once a city of fabled splendour, the seat of a vast empire, became a desolate ruin, now known by the name of a sacred inner suburb within it, Hampi.

Robert Sewell, in his book The Forgotten Empire, concludes thus - "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."

After the battle

Tirumala Deva Raya brother of Rama Raya fled from the battle to Vijayanagar. Tirumala then moved to Penukonda along with the minor prince Sadasiva Raya, and some members of the Royal Family,and with whatever treasures he could find in the capital just before it was sacked and destroyed. He later restarted the empire from Penukonda. Thus was the Aravidu dynasty was born. His reign was marked by revolts of the Gingee Nayakas and Madurai. He later renounced the throne, dividing it among his three sons, Sriranga( Penukonda), Rama( Sri Rangapatna) and Venkata( Chandragiri).

Source : Wikipedia

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