Previse 2024: Kingdoms in Late Medieval India

Previse 2024: Kingdoms in Late Medieval India

GS1 | Medieval History

Table of contents

The Yadavas

  • The Yadavas or Seuna dynasty ruled from the Tungabhadra to the Narmada river in present-day Maharashtra, north Karnataka, and parts of Madhya Pradesh.
  • They declared independence after being feudatories of the Western Chalukyas, flourished until the initial part of the 14th century, and were annexed by the Delhi Sultanate.
  • Insights about their reign is found from records of 12th century court poet Hemadri.
  • Bhillama was the first sovereign ruler of Yadava dynasty and declared sovereignty after the Chalukya power fell.
  • It was during their reign that Marathi became the main language of the region.
  • The Gondeshwar temple in Sinnar, Maharashtra was built during this dynasty.
  • Singhana II was the most powerful ruler who overpowered Hoysalas, Kakatiyas, Paramaras and Chalukyas.

Western Chalukyas

  • The Western Chalukyas or the Chalukyas of Kalyani was a medieval South Indian dynasty in present-day Karnataka, Maharashtra, and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. 
  • They were the feudatories of Rashtrakutas and overpowered them to replace them.
  • Tailapa II was the founder of Chalukya dynasty by defeating the Rashtrakuta ruler Kakka II (Karaka). 
  • Tailapa II patronized Kannada poet Ranna who later became one of the gems of Kannada literature.
  • Temples built by them include Kedareshwara Temple in Balligavi, Siddhesvara Temple at Haveri, Kaitabheshvara Temple in Kubatur and Amrtesvara Temple at Annigeri.

Kakatiya Dynasty

  • The Kakatiya Dynasty ruled over Telugu country in present-day Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  • Prola Raja II is the founder of the Kakatiya Dynasty and Anumakonda inscription of Rudradeva (Prataparudra I) is the earliest record describing Kakatiyas as a sovereign power.
  • But Bayyaram and Mangallu inscriptions describe the Kakatiyas as a branch of the Rashtrakuta family.
  • Rudrama Devi was the first woman ruler of the Kakatiya Dynasty under whose reign, Italian traveler Marco Polo visited India.
  • King Prataparudra authored the 'Nitisara' in Sanskrit and king Ganapati shifted the capital from Hanumakonda to Warangal.

Hoysala Dynasty

  • The Hoysala dynasty was feudatory of Western Chalukyas who ruled over present day Karnataka from 10th to 14th century. 
  • Sala was the founder of Hoysala dynasty as written in the Belur inscription of the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana.
  • They were the followers of Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Jainism. Vishnuvardhana was Jain but got converted to Hinduism by Ramanujacharya.
  • They contributed significantly to art, architecture, and literature making it a golden age in the history of Karnataka.
  • They built temples like Kesava temple at Somnathpur, Chennakesava temple at Belur and Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu.

Vijaynagar Empire

  • The Vijayanagar Empire or the Karnata Kingdom was established on the banks of River Tungabhadra by Harihara and Bukka in 1336. 
  • Both of them served in the army of Muhammad-bin- Tughlaq and under the Hoysala King Veera Ballala III. 
  • Hampi was the Vijayanagara Empire's capital. 
  • The Vijayanagara Empire was primarily ruled by four major dynasties-
    • Sangama Dynasty, 
    • Saluva Dynasty, 
    • Tuluva Dynasty and 
    • Aravidu Dynasty.
  • Sangama Dynasty
    • Harihara Raya I was its first ruler.
  • Saluva Dynasty
    • Narasimhadeva Raya was its first ruler and Narasimha Raya II was the last ruler.
  • Tuluva Dynasty
    • This was the main dynasty with rulers like Narasa Nayaka, Viranarasimha Raya, Krishnadeva Raya, Achyutadeva Raya, and Sadasiva Raya.
    • The empire reached its pinnacle during Krishnadeva Raya’s reign.
  • Aravidu Dynasty
    • The Aravidu Dynasty was the last dynasty declined after Battle of Talikota
    • Muslim states such as Bijapur rose to prominence.
  • There was a rigid caste system and Virupaksha was the family deity of the Sangama monarchs (Saivaites). Other dynasties were Vaishnavites.
  • There was an officer called 'Mahanayakacharya' linking the villages and the central government.
  • The control of Raichur doab was a major source of conflict between the Bahmani and Vijayanagar kingdoms.

Western Ganga Dynasty 

  • The Ganga Dynasty includes two- the Eastern Ganga Dynasty and the Western Ganga Dynasty. 
  • The Western Gangas ruled in Mysore state (Gangavadi) and the Eastern Gangas ruled Kalinga.
  • The Western Gangas reigned after the decline of the Pallava kingdom in South India due to Samudra Gupta's southern invasions.
  • It was founded by Konkanivarman under the title Dharmamahadhiraja.
  • They patronized Jainism as seen in monuments in Shravanabelagola and Kambadahalli.
  • They accepted overlordship of Chalukyas of Badami but their governance was inspired by Arthashastra.
  • The post of Gramavriddhas (village elders) by Kautilya inspired the Praje Gavundas documented in the Ganga chronicles.
  • Talavritti was a donation granted for the maintenance of temples.
  • Types of income taxes included Utkota (gifts to the king), hiranya (cash payments), kara or Anthakara (internal taxes) and Sulika (tolls and duties on imported items). 
  • Siddhaya referred to a local agricultural tax.

Eastern Ganga Dynasty

  • Kalinga was under the Chodagangas known as the Eastern Ganga Dynasty from the 11th to the 15th century.
  • The dynasty reigned over modern-day Odisha and portions of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.
  • It was established by Indravarma I after defeating Vishnu Kundin Indra Bhattaraka.
  • The capital was at Kalinganagar or Mukhalingam and reached its zenith under King Anantavarman Chodaganga.
  • Anantavarman was a patron of arts and literature and constructed Jagannath temple in Puri.
  • He was succeeded by Narasimha Dev I who was also an important ruler.

Ahom Kingdom 

  • The Ahom kingdom was a Shan–Burmese–Assamese kingdom that ruled in the Brahmaputra Valley in modern–day Assam from 1228 to 1826. 
  • Shan prince Sukaphaa was the founder in 1228 and monuments like the Rajdhani Fort and the Talatal Ghar were built under him.
  • 17th–century Ahom general Lachit Barphukan is the greatest military leader in Assamese history as he led the Ahom army to victory against the Mughal empire at the Battle of Saraighat in 1671.
  • The kingdom was finally annexed by the British in 1826 after a series of wars.
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