The Famous Battle of Raichur

The fertile land of Raichur between Krishna River and Tungabhadra River witnessed numerous battles on its land mostly fought between the kings of Vijayanagar Empire and Muslim Kings from Gulbarga and Bijapur. Out of the many battles fought in the city, the battle of Raichur fought between King Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar Empire and King Ismail Adil Shah of Bijapur marks the turning point in the history of South India. 

Reason for Battle in Raichur

In the year 1284 CE the famous Raichur fort was erected in Raichur by Katatiya King from Katatiyas clan. Upon the fall of Katatiyas in Raichur the city came within the control of Vijayanagar Empire. Since then the city was under dispute for two centuries. In the year 1323 CE Muslim ruler from Bahmani Sultanate captured Raichur fort this raised the anger of Saluva Narasimha Raya the then king of Vijayanagar Empire who always planned to recapture the city back from Bahmanis. 

Reason for Raichur Batlle

In the year 1509 King Krishnadevaraya came to power and he was seeking perfect timing to recapture Raichur. In 1520 King Krishnadevaraya entrusted Seyed Maraikar a Muslim with a huge sum of money to Goa to buy horses. But Maraikar went to Bijapur King Adil Shah and befriended him. This raised tension between Adil Shah and Krishnadevaraya.  King Krishnadevaraya demanded King Adil Shah to return back Maraikar along with his money which was rejected by Adil Shah which resulted in war. 
Reason for Raichur Battle

Description of Krishnadevaraya Troop

King Krishnadevaraya made a broad arrangement to attack Raichur. Krishnadevaraya arranged elaborate prayers and poojas in the temples and left the empire with his troop which includes a million warriors with 736,000 fighting men, 550 elephants and 32,600 horses.  The front army included fifty thousand scouts who were used to spy the countries on their way. The sides of each scouts includes two thousand horsemen with bow and arrow. 

Description of Krishnadevaraya Troop

Pemmasani Ramalinga Nayaka was the Chief guard for Krishnadevaraya troop popularly called as Kamma Nayaka who led the battalion in front with 30000 infantry which included armed soldiers, lancers, musketeers, archers, horses and elephants. Pemmasani Ramalinga Nayaka battalion was followed numerous battalions led by the Nayakas of Vijayanagar empire namely Ganda Raya, Kumara Viraya, Adapa Nayaka, Timmappa Nayaka, Boya Ramappa, Rana Jagadeva, Hande Mallaraya, Rayachuri Rami Nayudu, Saluva Nayudu, Tipparasu Ayyappa Nayudu, Veerama Raja, Krishnappa Nayudu, Kannada Basavappa Nayakka, Vithalappa Nayudu, Kotikam Viswanatha Nayudu, Saluva Mekaraja, Chevvappa Nayudu, Bommireddy Nagareddy, Akkappa Nayudu, Velugoti Yachama Nayudu, Matla Ananta Raja and Basava Reddy. The King along with his battalion came in the rear end of the troop. Portuguese also offered assistance to King Krishnadevaraya and participated in Riachur war with their battalion led by Christovao de Figueiredo. 

Description of Krishnadevaraya Troop

The whole of Krishnadevaraya troop was fully armed and are well shielded. The shield used by the troop was so big and strong that the shield by itself can guard the body without using armour. All the horses used in the battle were fully dressed on metal shield. The elephants used in the troop are also fully dressed with a very big howdah on them. Howdah is a seat used by soldiers to fight on an elephant. The big howdahs carried nearly 8 soldiers in its four on each side to fight on.  Two sharp knives were attached to the war elephant’s tusks. A wing of merchants also included in Krishnadevaraya troop with all needed goods for the battle.  20000 waterman and courtesans were included in the troop. Nearly 12000 men spread among themselves in the front, middle and in the rear along with the King to supply water to the needy.
 
A very popular description about King Krishnadevaraya troop by Nuniz was that the battalion of Krishnadevaraya was very well equipped and one can find everything in the troop and all varieties of food was served for the whole troop. The merchants in the troop were at work as if they were in the city. The big contingent of King Krishnadevaraya was looked like a prosperous city. 

The troop on reaching Mallayyabanda town which was in alliance with Adil Shah the King ordered to pitch tent for the troop to rest and then they proceed and reached very close to Raichur fort where they pitched their camp for the battle. In the meantime King Krishnadevaraya was informed that King Adil Shah has reached the northern banks of River Krishna with his troop of fourteen thousand horses and soldiers in foot where his troop rested for few days and then they crossed River Krishna and proceeded towards Raichur which was just 9 miles away. 

The Raichur Battle Engagement

The war finally commenced on 1520 CE May 19th a Saturday morning. King Krishnadevaraya troops begin to make very loud noises using war instruments on starting the battle.  The loud noise was very heavy that the birds form the trees started to fell down. Krishnadevaraya ordered his front battalion to make the first strike against the Adil Shah Muslim troop which was successful and made Adil Shah’s army to go behind the trenches. 

Adil Shah ordered to open fire using guns which collapsed the front rank of Krishnadevaraya battalion. But Krishnadevaraya troop bounced backed with full force against the bombardment of Adil Shah. The horse battalion of Adil Shah attacked the front line of Krishnadevaraya with full force. King Krishnadevaraya was in charge of the second line of the troop. He ordered his Nayakas to battle Sultans with full strength and forced his entire battalion against Adil Shah Troop which scattered the Muslims totally. Adil Shah troop was slaughtered over Krishna River. Krishnadevaraya troop crossed River Krishna and captured the camps of Sultans. 

The Raichur Battle Engagement

King Krishnadevaraya tasted victory on war grounds and rushed to Raichur where he captured the fort. Adil Shah on defeat fled the war ground with the aid of Asad Khan on an elephant. Adil Shah’s general Salabat Khan tried to gather as much valuables as he can from the Sultans and tried to escape on a horse but he was arrested immediately by Krishnadevaraya and was imprisoned. 

Aftermaths of Raichur Battle

King Krishnadevaraya made a victorious entry to Raichur where the Adil Shah army was treated kindly by Krishnadevaraya and made no attempt to harm them. But he was not so kind to Bahamani generals who killed a large number of Hindus against human rights so their lands were takes away from them. Kings from other states including Muslim kings congratulated King Krishnadevaraya on his victory.

Krishnadevaraya celebrated his historic victory in a very grand scale at once he returned to Vijayanagar. An ambassador from Adil Shah army was told that Adil Shah should return and kiss Krishnadevaraya on foot and beg forgiveness to get back his land but no response came back from Adil Shah side. So Krishnadevaraya marched his army towards Bijapur and occupied it. After which the King also planned a big battle on Belgaum which was under Adil Shah Regime. But he fell seriously ill and died in 1530 CE on his 45 years.  King Achyuta Deva Raya succeeded King Krishnadevaraya.

After Effects of Raichur Battle

The victory of Raichur battle raised the hand of Hindu rulers in the Deccan and weakened the power of Adil Shah. So he made alliance with the rest of Muslim rulers in the Deccan region and they together overthrown Vijayanagar Empire. The fall of Vijayanagar Empire affected the trade of Portuguese in Goa who mainly did their business with the Hindu rulers in the Deccan.

2021
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