War Between: Vijayanagara Empire Vs Muslim Deccan
Battle Leaders: Rama Raya (Vijaynagara) Vs Deccan (Muslim Sultanate)
Battlefield: Banks of Krishna River, Karnataka, Bharat (India)
Weapons Used: Cannons, War Elephants, Swords, Armour
On January the 26th began a huge battle when the armies of several muslim sultanates, collectively called the Deccan attacked the armies of the Vijayanagara Empire of Southern India. The Hindu Vijaynagara empire had stood for some 200 years and is responsible for the World Heritage site at Hampi. The reasons given for the war are numerous, some suggest that the Minister of the Vijayanagra empire at the time, Rama Raya, had used divisions between the various sultanates, which prevented them from being any real threat to the huge Southern Indian Kingdom. Inter marriages between muslim Sultanate clans reduced these divisions and they saw the great Vijayanagara empire as a great threat. The Sultanates of Bijapur, Bidar, Ahmadnegar and Golconda combine to form the Deccan and planned their attack. Although the Vijayanagara armies held greater numbers, the invading army enlisted the use of large cannons and more importantly muslim generals within the ranks of Vijayanagara Armies.
Treachery In The Ranks
Although the Deccan armies had the use of large Cannons and larger Cavalry numbers, it's reported the the Vijayanagara armies had the upper hand. That was until two muslim generals, the Gulani brothers turned their forces on their own king, with the help of some from Sultan Hussain of the Sultanates forces. This took the ageing minister by surprise and his surrounding forced were overcome, he was then quickly beheaded. Sending his yet loyal troops into a state of disarray.
One of the Cannons used in the battle
150,000 Total Forces
140,000 Foot Soldiers
110,000 Total Forces
80,000 Foot Soldiers
Once the Deccan army had won the war the descended on the cities of the Vijayanagara, Hampi and other sites in droves. A 5 month frenzy of destruction, looting, raping, murdering and pillaging by the Deccan Army began. But it wasn't just it's residents that the invading armies had eyes on, they wouldn't leave until they left the Cities magnificent architecture in a load of rubble, using crowbars and axes to destroy everything in their paths. The capital city Vijayanagara was never inhabited again and later attempts to revive the empire by King Rama Raya’s brother, Tirumala never succeeded. In many ways this opened up Southern India to centuries of Islamic persecution from muslim invaders.
Robert Sewell in the Book 'The Forgotten Empire' wrote:
" 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."
Forces once allied to Vijayanagara declared their independence and the empire collapsed further. Even the Deccan force received due karma when soon after, they fell pray to fellow muslims invaders, The Mughals.
Painting of Talikota Battle - 1565