The Contribution of The Bahamani Rulers

City of Vijayanagara:

November: 1442 A.D — in the words of Abdur Razzak

“Having left this mountain and this forest behind me, I reached a town called Belour, the houses of which were like palaces……

…..The city of Bidjanagar is such that the pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it, and the ear of intelligence has been never informed that there existed anything to equal it in the world.”

January to May 1565 A.D — in the words of Robert Sewell

“The victorious Mussalmans had halted on the field of battle for rest and refreshment, but now they had reached the capital, and from that time forward for a space of five months Vijayanagar knew no rest. The enemy had come to destroy, and they carried out their object relentlessly…..With fire and sword, with crowbars and axes, they carried on day after day their work of destruction


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Markets of Vijaynagar:

November: 1442 A.D — in the words of Abdur Razzak

“The bazaars are extremely long and broad. Roses are sold everywhere….Each class of men belonging to each profession has shops contiguous the one to the other…..the jewellers sell publicly in the bazaars pearls, rubies, emeralds and diamonds

January 23 1565 A.D — in the words of Firishtah (History of the Mahomedan Power, Vol III)

“ Then he stood there and ordered to collect some brushwood and grass and to leave the doors of houses and bazaars open and set them on fire until all the buildings were burnt down and demolished. However, people kept looking for treasures and found some. And for about six months, they kept demolishing Bijangar and an area of twenty milestones in twenty milestones of the town, borough, and villages was in ruins. ……….The kingdom of Beejanuggur since this battle has never recovered its ancient splendour. The city itself was so destroyed, that it is now totally in ruins and uninhabited….”


Market ruins of Hampi — Source:Wikimedia Commons

Palaces of Vijayanagar:

November: 1442 A.D — in the words of Abdur Razzak

“…Thrones and chairs are placed on the platforms, and the courtesans seat themselves thereon, bedecked in gems and fine raiment…..The throne which was of extraordinary size was made of gold, and enriched with precious stones of extreme value,,,,,

….The roof and the walls were entirely formed of plates of gold enriched with precious stones. Each of these plates was as thick as the blade of a sword, and was fastened with gold nails…”

January to May 1565 A.D — in the words of Robert Sewell

“They slaughtered the people without mercy, broke down the temples and the palaces; and wreaked such savage vengeance on the abode of the Kings that, with the exception of a few great stone-built temples and walls…nothing now remains….”

1567 A.D — in the words of Caesaro Federici

“The Citie of Bezeneger is not altogether destroyed, yet the houses stand still, but emptyie, and there is dwelling in them nothing, as is reported, but Tygres and other wild beasts


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Temples of Vijayanagar:

Temples by Vijayanagara Kings — in the words of Robert Sewell

“The great Krishnaswamy temple was built by him (Krishnadeva Raya) in 1513, after his return from the successful campaign in the east. In the same year he commenced the temple of Hazara Ramaswami at the palace….

……He also appears to have begun the construction of the temple of Vitthalaswami on the river-bank, the most ornate of all the religious edifices of the kingdom…..

….In 1528 was constructed one of the most curious and interesting monuments to be seen in the city. This is an enormous statue of the god Vishnu in his avatara as Narasimha, the man-lion. It was hewn out of a single boulder of granite….”

“In the time of Achyuta Raya a large number of grants were made by the nobles temples throughout Southern India….the king, being on the banks of Tungabhadra on the 12th October 1540 A.D, at the temple of Vitthalaswami — the splendidly sculptured pavilions of which remain to this day…..gave a grant of a village not far from Madras to the Brahmans learned in the Vedas”

January to May 1565 A.D — in the words of Robert Sewell

“They demolished the statues, and even succeeded in breaking the limbs of the huge Narasimha monolith. Nothing seemed to escape them…..

They lit huge fires in the magnificently decorated buildings forming the temple of Vitthalaswami near the river, and smashed its exquisite stone sculptures…”


Narasimha Monolith — Source: Wikimedia Commons
Vijaya Vitthalaswami Ruins — Source: Wikimedia Commons

Elephants of Vijayanagar

November: 1442 A.D — in the words of Abdur Razzak

Each elephant has a separate compartment, the walls of which are extremely solid, and the roof composed of strong pieces of wood…..

……they brought with them a thousand elephants…which were covered with brilliant armour ….during three consecutive days in the month of Redjab the vast space of land magnificently decorated, in which the enormous elephants were congregated together, presented the appearances of the waves of the sea…”

January 23 1565 A.D — in the words of Firishtah (History of the Mahomedan Power, Vol III)

“The plunder was so great, that every private man in the allied army became rich in gold, jewels, tents, arms, horses and slaves, the kings permitting everyone to retain what he acquired, reserving the elephants only for their own use….”


Ruins of Elephant Stable — Source: Wikimedia Commons

The lasting legacy that the Bahamani rulers have left — is for all to see — and for none to celebrate.

Note: All pictures courtesy Wikimedia Commons —

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