All the Amazing Places in Telugu States Associated with The Vijayanagara Empire!

 

(Contributed by Ratnakar Sadasyula)

Vijayanagara Empire is to Telugu people, what Shivaji was to the Marathis, what the Cholas were to Tamilians. It was not just an empire, it defined Telugu culture and ethos too in a way. The empire was the Golden Age of Telugu Literature. We have an entire region Rayalaseema named after it’s rulers- Rayala Vaari Seema. Almost every part of Andhra Pradesh right from Anantapur to Nellore to Guntur is connected with the empire in one way or another. So here are some well known places connected with this great empire.

Anantapur District

Lepakshi: This great empire gave rise to it’s own school of architecture. And Lepakshi is a vivid testament to that. Be it the painted ceilings, the hanging pillar, the huge Nandi, the exquisite sculptures or the 70 pillared Natya Mandapa, every place here, is a witness to the glorious architecture of this era.

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Penukonda: The second capital of the Vijayanagara rulers, after Hampi, famous for it’s fort on the hill. It was the summer capital of the Rayas. There are many temples, tanks, fort walls on the top of the hill here. There is also a Narashima temple on the top of the hill believed to have been constructed by Hari Hara, Bukka Raya.

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Gooty: Famous for it’s hill fort, which is shaped like a conch.It was ruled for some time by the Vijayanagara rulers. There are around 101 wells here, as well as many temples and mosques too.

Gooty copy

 

Pennahobilam: Located on banks of Penna river on the Anantapur-Uravakonda route.  This is famous for it’s Narasimha temple that was developed by Sadasiva Raya,He donated 2000 acres for the temple, asked his representative Udirappa Nayudu to maintain it.

Pennahobilam copy

 

Chittor District
Tirumala/Tirupati: Sri Krishnadeva Raya was one of the greatest devotees of Venkateswara Swamy. After his coronation, he often visited Tirumala and donate to the temple. There is also a statue of him with his wives Chinamma Devi and Tirumala Devi there. He donated the golden crown, diamonds, jewels, garland of pearls to the Lord. He also donated for the gold plating of the Tirumala temple sanctum sanctorum, and there is a huge Mandapam dedicated to him. Many other temples like Sri Kalahasti, Tiruchanur,  Narayanavanam were also developed during the Vijayanagara era.

Tirumala Tirupathi copy

 

Chandragiri: One of the capitals of the Vijayanagara Empire, one of their main provinces. It is famous for it’s ancient palace, built in typical Vijayanagara style architecture, also has a Sound and Light show on the Empire.

Chandragiri copy

 

Guntur District
Kondavidu: This hill fort near Chilakaluripeta, was the venue of many a battle between the Vijayanagara and Gajapati rulers, as well as the Golkonda Qutub Shahi rulers. Considered one of the strongest forts, with huge ramparts, granaries, wells,to withstand any siege.

Kondaveedu copy

 

Kadapa District
Vontimitta: The Kodanda Rama Swamy temple here is another fine specimen of Vijayanagara style architecture. It is noted for it’s idol of Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana carved out of a single block.Pothana wrote the Bhagavatam here, and dedicated it to Rama.

Vontimitta copy

 

Gandikota: During the Vijayanagara era, the Pemmasani Nayakas who ruled from here, were noted for their bravery and military strategy. Pemmasani Ramalinga Nayaka, was the commander of the Vijayanagara Army, led it to distinction during the Battle of Raichur. The fort, as well as the breathtaking gorge nearby are worth a visit. This fort has become a byword for bravery and courage.

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Krishna District
Srikakulam: The Andhra Mahavishnu temple here located amidst lush green paddy fields has a special significance in Krishna Deva Raya’s life. It is believed that Andhra Mahavishnu appeared here in a dream to Krishna Deva Raya, and asked him to write in Telugu and spread the greatness of the language. Krishna Deva Raya wrote his magnum opus Amukta Malyada here, there is also a statue of him in this temple.

Srikakulam copy

 

Kondapalli Fort: Another wonderful hill fort, noted for it’s intricate security arrangements. Many a battle was fought during the Vijayanagara era for the control of this strategically important fort with the Golkonda sultans and the Gajapatis.One of Krishna Deva Raya’s memorable victories was capturing this fort from the Gajapati ruler, Prataparudra Deva. This place is also noted for it’s famous wooden toys.

Kondapally copy

 

Kurnool District
Most of the famous temples here Srisailam, Mahanandi, Ahobilam were developed well during the Vijayanagara era.
Adoni: The fort here was quite a strategic one during Vijayanagara era, mostly held by kinsmen of Aliya Rama Raya, One of the early succesful battles Bukka fought with the Bahmani sultans was for this fort.

Adhoni copy

 

Nellore District
The fort in Udayagiri was another strategic one, for which many a bitter battle was fought. The temples here during Krishnadeva Raya’s time, bear testimony to the excellence of the Vijayanagara architecture.

Nellore copy (1)

 

The Article contributor, Ratnakar garu has written a book titled, ‘City of Victory: The Rise and Fall of Vijayanagara’ available here at Amazon Kindle! Do check it out!

 

P.S. All the images in the article are sourced from Google!

 

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