Why did the founders of Vijayanagara give it this name?

          The Vijayanagara Empire rose in southern India in the 14th century. It was founded by two princes of the Sangama dynasty, Harihara and Bukka in 1336. They were actually ministers of the ruler of Kampili in Karnataka. The Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq captured them and sent them back to Karnataka to suppress revolts there. The brothers then formed the Kingdom of Vijayanagara after revolting and defeating the Sultan.

          The capital was named ‘Vijayanagara’ which means ‘the City of Victory’; in honour of the grand victory they had scored against the Sultan of Delhi. Later, the empire also was called by this name.

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Why Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan is considered a great Pandyan ruler?

          The early Pandyan kingdoms declined with the rise of the Cholas in the 9th century, and were in constant conflict with them. The Pandyans allied themselves with the Sinhalese and the Cheras in harassing the Chola Empire, until they found an opportunity for reviving their fortunes during the late 13th century. Sundara Pandyan I burnt the Chola towns of Tanjavur and Uraiyur, and shot into prominence. But the Pandyans really entered their golden age under Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan who expanded their empire into Telugu country and invaded the northern half of Ceylon. He defeated the Hoysalas, the Kakatiyas and the Pallavas.

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Why did the Bahmani king go to war with the Vijayanagara kingdom?

          The Bahmani and Vijayanagara kingdoms were constantly at war over the control of three main areas. These areas were the regions between the Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers, the Krishna-Godavari Delta area, and the Konkan coastline.

          The reason for this continuous conflict was that these areas were very fertile, and also contained important cities.

          Though the Bahmani king Mohammed Shah I attacked Vijayanagara and plundered its capital, he could not hold on to it. His successor, Mujahid could not capture Vijayanagara either, though he tried twice.

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Why does the Hoysala dynasty have a special place in history?

          The Hoysalas were a family that ruled from about AD 1006 to about 1346 in the southern Deccan, was later moved to Halebid.

          The dynasty, founded by a tribal chief Nripa Kama, is well remembered for the beautifully carved temples of Belur, Halebid, Somanathapur, Shravanabelagola and others. The Hoysala kings were famous for their religious tolerance. They were also great patrons of art and culture. The main rulers of this dynasty were King Vishnuvardhana and Vira Ballala-II. Through Vishnuvardhana’s expansive military conquests, the Hoysalas achieved the status of a major kingdom. He wrested Gangavadi from the Cholas in AD 1116, and moved the capital from Belur to Halebid.

          Vira Ballala-II was the greatest monarch of the Hoysalas. During his rule, the kingdom expanded considerably.

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Who were the Kakatiyas?

          The Kakatiya dynasty was a South Indian dynasty that ruled from AD 1083 to 1323. It was one of the great Telugu kingdoms that lasted for centuries.

          Ganapatideva was the greatest of the Kakatiyas and the first after the Satavahanas to bring the entire Telugu area under one rule. He put an end to the rule of the Velanati Cholas in AD 1210.

          Ganapatideva’s reign lasted for 62 years. It is one of the most brilliant epochs in the history of Andhra. Though Ganapatideva was alive until AD 1269, he handed over the threads of administration to his daughter Rudramadevi in AD 1262 itself, and retired from active politics.

          On the death of Rudrama, her grandson Prataparudra, who was adopted by her as her son and heir, ascended the throne at the beginning of the year 1280. In 1323, Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq sent his son Ulugh Khan to defeat the defiant Kakatiya king. Ulugh Khan’s raid was repulsed, but he returned in a month with a larger and more determined army. The unprepared and battle-weary Kakatiya army was finally defeated. King Prataparudra was taken prisoner, and this marked the end of the Kakatiyas dynasty.

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