Sumadhwa Vijaya - Historical Exploration Part 2


Based on a suggestion by Vidyaranya, his Guru, Harihara I changed the location of the capital at Anegondi to the Southern bank near the temple of Virupaksha and surrounded by Hemakuta, Matanga and Malyavantha hills and called his new capital as Vidyanagara or Vijayanagara. It took 7 years to construct the new capital, which Harihara entrusted to his younger brother Bukkaraya, whom he appointed as Yuvaraja, completing the construction of the city and the capital was shifted from Anagondi to the newly built city in 1343 AD.

Anegondi was the mother-city of Vijayanagara. Just nine years earlier, in the year 1327 A.D., the Hindu kingdom of Kampila (with its capitals Kummata about 12kms northwest of Hampi and Hosamaledurga, about 22kms south of Hampi) had fallen to Mohammed Thuglaq.

In recorded history, Hampi was first ruled by Chalukyas  and was taken over by Hoysalas with their capital at Dvarasamudra (Halebidu) in the latter part of 11 th century. Hoysalas were a powerful kingdom ruling an extensive empire stretching across old Mysore, parts of Andhra and Tamilnadu and Kerala. During the time of Acharya Madhva, it was being ruled by Ballala III (1291 – 1343 AD) and had passed its heyday, as it was soon to be eclipsed by the Muslim invaders from the Sultanate in Delhi and by the rise of Vijayanagara kingdom under the Sangama kings Harihara and Bukka (1336 AD).

Though small and short lived, the Kampili Kingdom was crucial in the organization of Hindu resistance against the Islamic hordes and subsequent revival in the South India. The ruler of this Kingdom in the early part of the 14 th Century – Kampila Raya (also called Jambukeswara) was the son of Mummadi Singa (Singeya Nayaka) hailing from Malnad region of Karnataka, who had established his kingdom in 1280 AD with the capital at Kummatadurga, a distance of 12 Kms northwest of Hampi, as a vassal of the Devagiri Kingdom. Sangama Raya, father of Hakka and Bukka, the founders of Vijayanagara kingdom is also reported to be a son in law of Kampila Raya and a treasurer of the State. The legendary Kumara Rama was the son of Kampila Raya.  Kampila Raya was initially a vassal, but declared himself independent, when the Devagiri kingdom was taken over and Hoysala king Ballala III lost effective power to the Muslim invaders led by Mallik Kafur in 1311 AD. The name Kampila used by Muslim historians has been identified as the town of Kampili, which is 12 Kms east of Anegondi,  which still has remnants of fortifications.  Hampi/Anegondi area with its natural hilly terrain was also a good defensive fort.  In the short period of its existence, the new kingdom straddling the borders of the Hoysala and Yadava kingdoms faced constant threats from both, performing a balancing act and successfully repulsed an attack by the Yadava king Ramachandra and had also helped him later to defend himself against the Hoysalas.  There were many encounters between this kingdom, which was trying to establish itself and enlarge its domain and the Hoysalas till 1325 AD, when the borders with Hoysalas were mutually settled.Kampili deva (also called Khandeya Raya) succeeded his father in 1300 AD and Singeya or Mummadi Singa died in 1313 AD.

Allauddun’s general, Mallik Kafur also had a brief encounter with the new Kampila kingdom in 1314 AD when he ravaged the Kummata fort, which was its strongest defence, but had failed to subjugate the kingdom. At this stage, it comprised of the present day districts of Bellary, Dharwar and Raichur along with a small portion of Anantapur in the south and Shimoga and Chitradurg in the west. The river Krishna formed a natural boundary of the kingdom from the area to the North ruled by the Sultans of Delhi in the present Maharashtra.  In 1326/27 AD, Tughlaq had taken over the Sultanate in Delhi and a sister’s son ruling near Gulbarga who had rebelled against him, came and took shelter with the King of Kampili. Tughlaq used the excuse that he was not surrendered and handed over when demanded and attacked the Kampili kingdom.  The Sultan’s army was twice defeated by the Kampili army with heavy losses and loss of morale, but on the third attempt, supervised by Thuglaq himself staying in Devagiri, the heroic Kampili king had to shut himself up in the fort of Hosadurg (Anegondi), after losing Kummata fort. Though he held out for more than a month, he finally decided to die fighting bravely when his supplies ran out and the women folk committed mass Sathee in the fort. The fugitive Muslim was sent to Ballala III, before the final battle, but the Hoysala king Ballala III, unwilling to put his kingdom in risk against Thuglaq just for an individual, handed him over to Tughlaq, who had him brutally killed. After this war, the kingdom of Kampili ceased to exist as it was annexed as a separate province under the Sultan. Kumararama, a son of the reigning king, though well known for his bravery and other great qualities as preserved even now in folk tales, ballads etc.did not succeed to the throne, as he died earlier in battle.

According to Sri B suryanarayana Rao in his book “Yendigoo mareyada Samrajya” in Kannada, the small kingdom of Anegondi existed in the period 1179 – 1334 AD, ruled by a lineage of kings the last two being Prathapadevaraya (1271 – 1297) and Jambukeswararaya (1297 – 1334 AD). The old fort at Anegondi on the northern bank of Tungabhadra fell twice to invaders - in 1327 to Thuglaq and 1332 to Chalukya ruler Somadeva( a brief attempt at reviving Hindu rule before Vijayanagara) and the Kingdom absorbed into the larger neighbor, Vijayanagara. The last king referred to by name Kampiliraya (whose son was Kumararama) would thus be Jambukeswara raya. According to this list, the earlier 7 kings which include names like Nanda, Chalukya etc are shown as ruling from 1040 AD, and are not relevant for the purpose of our study of Madhva lineage. The recorded history of Kampiliraya being the son of Singeya Nayaka is also well substantiated by numerous references as described in his excellent book by Professor Duncan Derrett, who has studied the Hoysala lineage in considerable depth. Another book giving detailed information is “The Early Muslim expansion into South India” by Prof. Nilakanta Shastri. According to the last book, King Somadeva had succeeded in establishing control not only over Anegondi, but also nearby places like Raichur, Mudgal etc by 1334 AD itself and was actually displaced by Harihara I of the Sangama dynasty of Vijayanagara after 1336 AD. Thus Hampi/Anegondi area essentially remained under nominal Muslim rule only for 6/7 years – from 1327 – 1334 AD. And the tragic end of kampili royal lineage fulfilled a far more significant role in giving birth to the revived Hindu Warangal state, and the formidable Vijayanagara kingdom based on Hampi. If one juxtaposes the dates of Vrindavana pravesha of Sri Padmanabha Tirtha 1324 AD and Sri Narahari Tirtha 1333 AD, it is clear that Thuglaq’s destruction of kampili state would have had little effect in this regard. After Vijayanagara came into being in 1336 AD, it became the epicenter of a powerful Hindu kingdom and stayed as such till 1565 AD and even later as a residual power for some time.

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