The battle of Talikota was a decisive battle in the history of Vijayanagara empire. The battle was fought in a range of 40 kms. This battle was fought between the villages of Rakkasagi and Tangadagi, near Talikota. Hence it was called the battle of Talikota or Rakkasa-Tangadi. Some scholars believe that the decisive battle was fought at Krishna-Bannihatti. Hence it is called the battle of Bannihatti.
Aliya Ramaraya was the leader of the Vijayanagara troops. On the opposite side was the coalition army of Shahi Sultans. This grand army comprised of the troops Adil Shahis of Bijapura, Nizam Shahis of Ahmadnagar, Kutub Shahis of Golkanda and Barid Shahis of Bidar.
Causes for the Battle of Talikota
Supremacy over the Doab region
The fertile Doab region between the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra became a bone of contention between the two powers and hence responsible for this battle.
The religious and cultural differences between the Vijayanagara and Shahi Sultans became one of the causes for the battle.
The policy of Aliya Ramaraya
Ramaraya of the Aravidu family married the daughter of Krishnadevaraya and became famous as Aliya Ramaraya. He became a “defacto” ruler during the reign of Achyutaraya and Sadashivaraya. He interfered in the internal disputes of the Shahis. He followed the policy of divide and rule with the Shahis of Bijapura and Ahmadnagar. The Shahis forgot their enmity and united through various alliances and matrimonial relations. All these events led to the formation of the Grand Shahi confederacy, consisting of Bijapura, Ahmadnagar, Golkonda and Bidar.
Ali Adil Shah of Bijapura demanded the return of Raichur from Aliya Ramaraya. Ramaraya refused and asked the Sultan to take it in the battle field. This was the immediate cause for the battle.
Brief of Talikota Battle
The battle was fought on Tuesday, 23rd January, 1565 CE. Aliya Ramaraya, who was about 90 years old fought bravely in the battle. In the beginning Vijayanagara forces gained upper hand. But Ramaraya who was captured by the Shahi soldiers was beheaded and his head was paraded in the battle field. This created panic among the Vijaynagara soldiers. They ran away from the battle field. The Shahi Sultans won the battle. Thus the decisive battle in the history of South India came to an end within a day.
- The Vijayanagara empire lost its glory. The successful Shahi army looted the city of Vijayanagara for many months.
- The Portuguese were restricted to Goa region without the support of Vijayanagara. It was a setback to their trade.
- Religious endowments to centres like Sringeri, Tirupati, Shrishaila and Kalahasti stopped. This was an obstacle to the development of the religion.
- Aravidu dynasty, which started its rule from Penugonda and Chandragiri in Andhra Pradesh, was unable to gain control over the region of South India.
- The feudatories of Vijayanagara empire like Palegars became independent. This led to the disintegration of Vijayanagara empire.
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