Krishnadeva Raya (1509-1529) is one of the greatest emperors from the Vijayanagar Empire. He was one of the greatly celebrated emperor from the Vijayanagara kingdom from South India.
After the death of Devaraya II (1446) his successors were less capable. Vijayanagar kingdom had lost much of its territories to its enemies like Gajapati’s of Odisha and Bahamani’s. Saluva Narasimha Nayak usurped against king Praudha Raya and sieged the power and established the rule of the Saluva dynasty on the throne of the Vijayanagar kingdom. He ruled the Vijayanagara kingdom from 1485 to 1491, a very short span of 6 years. In the year 1505, the Saluva dynasty ousted and another general Tuluva Narasa Nayaka who worked under the Saluva Narsimha Nayaka ascended the throne of the Vijayanagar Empire and established the rule of the Tuluva dynasty. The Tuluva dynasty is the third dynasty to rule the Vijayanagar Empire.
After the death of Tuluva Narasa Nayaka, his eldest son Vira Narasimha Raya became the king of the Vijayanagar Empire. Krishnadeva Raya was his younger half-brother.
According to some historians on his death bed, Vira Narasimha Raya requested his minister Saluva Thimmarasu to blind Krishnadeva Raya, so that his son can become the king of the Vijayanagar Empire. However, Thimmarasu bought a pair of she-goat eyes to the king and informed him that Krishnadeva Raya had been killed. Krishnadeva Raya ascended the throne after the death of Vira Narasimha Raya.
At the time of the crown, the Vijayanagar Empire was not so dominant. Under the reign of Krishnadeva Raya, the Vijayanagar Empire emerged as the largest empire in India after the decline of the Delhi Sultanate. He became the dominant ruler in South India by defeating the Bahmani Sultanate, Sultans of Bijapur, and Golconda, Gajapati of Odisha.
The rule of Krishnadeva Raya is regarded as the golden age of the Vijayanagar Empire. Many poets and scholars of Telugu, Kannada, Sanskrit, and Tamil enjoyed the patronage of the emperor Krishanadeva Raya. The scholars and poets in the royal court of Krishanadeva Raya are known as Asthadiggajas. They are
Telugu literature reached its peak during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya. Krishanadeva Raya himself was fluent in many languages. Amuktamalyada an epic poem in Telugu is composed by Krishnadeva Raya. He is also known as Andhra Bhoja and Kannada Rajya Ramana.
According to the travelogues of Domingo Paes and Fernao Nuniz, Portuguese travelers who visited during the reign of Krishanadeva Raya, he was an able administrator, excellent general leading from the front in the battle. He was benefited from his capable prime minister Thimmarasu. The foreign travelers who visited during his reign spoke highly about the administration and prosperity of the people.
Krishnadeva Raya made his son Tirumala Raya as crown prince. But the crown prince did not survive for long as he was poisoned to death. Gajapatis of Odisha conspired the death of the Tirumala Raya but unaware of the conspiracy Krihsnadeva Raya suspected his minister Thimmarasu and blinded his entire family.
In the year 1529, while he was preparing for an attack on Belgaum, Krishnadeva Raya took seriously ill. Before his death, he nominated his brother, Achyutadeva Raya as his successor.
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