Jambudveep's Blog

October 10, 2010

VIjayanagar – Chapter 5

Vijaynagar

Chapter 5


Fig.1 Major Kingdoms of South India 1320 CE.

 

The map above shows the rough extent of the Delhi Sultanate and the extent of the major South Indian kingdoms.

In Delhi tectonic changes were taking place. In 1320 CE, Khusrau Khan assassinated Sultan Mubarak Khilji and proclaimed himself Sultan Nasir-ud-din. From the venom heaped upon him by Muslim historians like Barni, it is clear that Khusrau Khan   had converted back to Hinduism. Khusrau Khan is an enigmatic character who deserves an article on his own; I will touch very briefly on him.

Assisting Khusrau Khan in reasserting Hindu might in Delhi were fifty thousand Gujarati Hindus who had been enslaved by Ala-ud-din Khilji during his conquest of Gujarat. These are the Parwárís referred to by Muslim historians.

That the occasion of Sultan Nasir-ud-din’s accession to the throne of Delhi was a moment of joy for the despairing Hindus in the North is given by the following passage of Barani, “In those dreadful days the infidel rites of the Hindus were highly exalted, the dignity and the importance of the Parwárís were increased, and through all the territory of Islám the Hindus rejoiced greatly, boasting that Dehlí had once more come under Hindu rule, and that the Musulmáns had been driven away and dispersed”. (Baranī)

But this joy was short lived.Khusrau Khan was defeated in battle by Ghiyath-al-din Tughlaq and excecuted .Devala Devi who had married Khusrau Khan committed suicide by taking poison.

After killing Khusrau, Ghiyath-al-din Tughlaq   took over the reins of the Delhi Sultanate in 1320 CE. Once the Gangetic plains were subdued, he was able to direct his attentions to the south which had shaken off even nominal allegiance to the sultanate. Taking advantage of the chaos in Delhi, Prataparudra had thrown off the Muslim yoke. It is apparent that all the previous Muslim expeditions had not dented Warangal’s power much.

Third Invasion of Warangal

Once the gangetic plains were subdued, Ghiyath-al-din Tughlaq   turned his attention onto Deccan and further down south. Mubarak Khilji had completely wiped out the Yadava ruling family in Devagiri, which was now completely subdued. As mentioned previously Devagiri had become a stronghold of Muslims, who were   encouraged to come and settle.

Keeping in line with the genocidal policies of the sultans, Hindus were pushed to   bare subsistence levels wherever the Muslims gained a strong foothold. A detailed explanation of the economic and social catastrophe that befell Hindu society can be found on Dikgaj’s blog (http://dikgaj.wordpress.com/).

Fig 2   First Tughlaq invasion of Warangal in 1321 CE

 

Ghiyath-al-din Tughlaq   sensed that Warangal would not be easy to subdue. For this purpose a large army was assembled from the Muslim strongholds of Baduan, Oudh, Kara, Dabmu, Bangarmu, Chanderi etc. This sea of Muslim armies marched towards Warangal in 1321 CE led by Ulugh Khan (later on known as Mohammed Tughlaq).

This expedition was clearly with a view of conquering the Kakatiya kingdom, not just looting it. Ulugh Khan was accompanied by a host of other nobles and their retinues. After two months they reached Deogiri, where they were reinforced by other Muslim amirs and the invasion force rolled on towards Warangal.

At this point it needs to be appreciated that this was the third full scale invasion of Warangal in a short time of eleven   years. Muslims could generate and sustain massive armies on the back of relentless exploitation of the Hindus of the north and the looting of existing Hindu kingdoms. The enslavement of Hindu men and women was big business for the Delhi sultans. Northern India (Punjab and Gangetic plains) was stripped bare of resources after being raped for over three centuries by the Muslims.

It was official policy of the Delhi sultans to reduce the Hindus to bare subsistence levels. This is illustrated by a quote by Barani about Ala-ud-din Khiljis policy towards Hindus, “The Hindú was to be so reduced as to be left un­able to keep a horse to ride on, to carry arms, to wear fine clothes, or to enjoy any of the luxuries of life.” (Baranī)

On the other hand the Kakatiya kingdom was hard pressed to generate the same level of military resource without adversely affecting other sections of society i.e. agriculture, trades etc. Despite their obvious resource handicap the hardy Kakatiya warriors put up a fierce fight to the advancing Muslim host.

As on previous occasions Prataparudra along with his nobles took shelter in the formidable Warangal fort. Prataparudra was well prepared to withstand a long siege. In any event the siege dragged on for eight months. Roving bands of Kakatiya warriors disrupted the Muslim postal system and harassed the invaders from the rear.

I will deviate to give a brief description of the Delhi sultanates postal system. It is necessary to get an idea of how the Sultans were able to take rapid   military action on the basis of speedy communications.  Ibn Battuta says the sultans postal service was of two types:

1. Mounted Couriers: The first type was mounted couriers on horses. There were relays every 4 miles.
2.  Runners on foot: – Every third of a mile there was a village outside which three pavilions in which runners sat ready to move off. Each runner had a staff (yard and half long) with bells at the top. When a runner ran he had the message in the fingers of the free hand and the rod in the other. The bells alerted the men sitting in the next village of the runners approach and someone in the next pavilion took over the message. As per Ibn Battuta this was faster than mounted couriers. Fruits and criminals were also transported in this way to the sultan. This seems to have been only used for the sultan’s personal needs/military communications/government communications.

While the siege of Warangal was in progress, dissensions and intrigues broke out in the Muslim camp. Distrustful of Ulugh Khans motives, a group of rebels led by Tighin and Timur conducted secret negotiations with Prataparudra. As per their pact with Prataparudra, the rebels would abandon the camp and lift the siege of Warangal, provided Prataparudra allowed them to leave unmolested through his territory. Once assured of their safety the rebel faction rolled up their camp, destroyed the wooden stockades and left Ulugh Khan to face the wrath of the Kakatiya forces.

As soon as Prataparudra was sure that the rebels had left the Muslim camp for good, a ferocious sally issued forth from Warangal fort. This caused great slaughter in Ulugh Khans camp. Ulugh Khan had to depart in haste, all the while being pursued by the avenging Hindus.

Thus ended the fifth invasion of Warangal in total ignominy for the “ever victorious” armies of Islam.

Final invasion of Warangal: End of the Kakatiya Kingdom


When the news of the ignominious defeat reached Delhi, Ghiyath-al-din Tughlaq made sure that the rebels   who were responsible for the debacle were executed in the most painful way possible.Barani says, “The Sultán held a public darbár in the plain of Sírí, when ‘Ubaid, the poet, and Káfúr, the seal-keeper, and other rebels, were impaled alive;* some of the others, with their wives and children, were thrown under the feet of elephants.”  (Baranī)

Fig 3   First Tughlaq invasion of Warangal in 1322 CE

 

Within six months a more formidable invasion force was raised and Ulugh Khan swept into the Deccan. This time Prataparudra was taken unawares and was completely unprepared for the attack!

It is difficult to explain this failure in the light of the fact that on every previous occasion he had been well prepared to meet the Muslim attack. The   Kakatiya soldiers had been sent back to their villages and the granaries emptied, even Warangal fort was not properly provisioned. This can be only described in that oft repeated phrase of modern India as an “intelligence failure”!!

The Muslim force stormed Badrakot (Bidar) and besieged Warangal. The siege went on for five long months, but the breaking point for the brave Hindus came due to lack of food within the fort. Prataparudra surrendered on condition of amnesty.

While being taken as a prisoner to Delhi, Prataparudra committed suicide. Rather death than a life of dishonour!! This is a message strangely lost on modern   India wherein “compromise” and “adjustment” are the buzz phrases of the secular mob.

Thus fell the great Kakatiya kingdom which was a focal point of Hindu resistance against Islamic imperialism for nearly a quarter of a century. Ulugh Khan promptly renamed Warangal as Sultanpur. A typical act of Islamic vandalism wherein anything created by other cultures is appropriated as their own!!  Ishwa from India forum has written a nice series of articles analysing Islamic vandalism (http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/2468-scheme-of-muslim-rule-in-india/page__pid__108412__st__0&#entry108412). Myths like the golden age of Islamic science etc which are being bandied about these days are a pretty good example of   gross distortion of history.

Resistance in Andhra

Although Prataparudra’s death brought the curtains down on the Kakatiya kingdom it did not extinguish Hindu resistance. In south western Andhra, Jagatapi Gangayadeva resisted the Muslims from his capital at Gutti. But in due course he was forced to submit to Ulugh Khan.

Fighting continued in the coastal Andhra region. Ulugh Khan established his authority and extracted tribute from the Hindu populace with the help of Muslim governors and the usual Hindu collaborators. Ulugh Khan also retained the key decision makers of the old Kakatiya kingdom to help govern the newly captured province. What limited freedom of movement the old Hindu officials had, would be closely watched by strong Muslim garrisons posted in key cities.

After the fall of Andhra, Ulugh Khan captured Madurai. In 1323 CE,  Parakaramdeva the Pandya king of Madurai was defeated and his family taken prisoner. A strong Muslim garrison was posted at Madurai   and the administration passed into the hands of Muslim amirs.

Change at Delhi

In 1325 CE, Sultan Ghiyath-al-din Tughlaq   was killed when a wooden structure erected to welcome him from his Bengal expedition collapsed on his head. The hand of Ulugh Khan in his father’s death has been strongly suspected by historians. With this Ulugh Khan ascended the throne of Delhi and proclaimed himself Sultan Mohammed Tughlaq.

Fig 4   South India in   1325 CE

 

At the time of Mohammed Tughlaqs ascension to the throne of Delhi   the major Hindu kingdoms still in existence were (see map above):

North: Rajputana (   I am clubbing all the existing Rajput states together, as I have not read enough of the situation in the North to give a clear picture)

South: Kampili (Karnataka), Dvarasamudram (major portion of Karnataka, parts of Andhra & parts of Tamil Nadu), Kandhyana (present day Pune region, not shown on map), Calicut.

East: Jajnagar (Orissa), Kamarupa (Assam, not shown on map).

The map above gives a rough idea of the size and location of the remaining Hindu kingdoms in the south of  India. I make no claims to the accuracy of the map; hence take it as a rough guide.

Mohammed Tughlaqs behaviour towards the Hindus was no less cruel and atrocious than the other Muslim sultans. Then why is so much opprobrium heaped on him? The Muslim historian Barani statement clearly illustrates the reason for his infamy:

“The punishment of Musulmáns, and the execution of true believers, with him became a practice and a passion. Numbers of doctors, and elders, and saiyids, and súfís, and kalandars, and clerks, and soldiers, received punishment by his order. Not a day or week passed without the spilling of much Musulmán blood, and the running of streams of gore before the entrance of his palace” (Baranī)

Its one thing if kafir Hindus are cut down like animals, but a different thing if a “true believer” i.e. a Muslim is killed!!

In recent times the secular lobby has tried to rehabilitate Mohammed Tughlaq by portraying him as a misunderstood visionary who was ahead of his time!  The same “eminent historians” are responsible for this reprehensible whitewash. On a side note many of these pseudo historians testified from the Muslim side in the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi court case which was decided recently upon by Allahabad High court. The way the Honourable judges tore apart their lies can be found in the extracts of the judgement posted in this thread in Bharat Rakshak (http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5697).

What the secular historians neglect to mention is gems like these: “At this time the country of the Doáb was brought to ruin by the heavy taxation and the numerous cesses. The Hindus burnt their corn stacks and turned their cattle out to roam at large. Under the orders of the Sultán, the collectors and magistrates laid waste the country, and they killed some landholders and village chiefs and blinded others. Such of these unhappy inhabitants as escaped formed themselves into bands and took refuge in the jungles. So the country was ruined. The Sultán then proceeded on a hunting excursion to Baran, where, under his directions, the whole of that country was plundered and laid waste, and the heads of the Hindus were brought in and hung upon the ramparts of the fort of Baran. (Baranī)

In the above poassage, Barani is talking about the atrocious taxes levied by Mohammed Tughlaq and their effect on the Hindus of Uttar Pradesh.

So the “enlightened” Sultan first taxes Hindus till they have virtually no incentive to till their fields (It must be kept in mind that even in this day, land is everything to the Indian farmer.He will only abandon it in the most extreme circumstances: either when it does not provide  even subsistence level food or under  extreme force by external factors).Next when the Hindus flee inhuman persecution,the Sultan promptly organizes “shikaars” and hunts them down like wild animals!!

The Kampili wars

Kampili was a small but powerful kingdom founded by Mummadi Singeya from the fragments of the disintegrating Devagiri kingdom. Kampilideva succeeded Mummadi Singeya in 1313 CE. Please see the map for a rough idea of the kingdom of Kampili. It was tiny compared to the Delhi sultanate, but it punched well above its weight. It took three well equipped invasions before Kampili   faded into the night.

Kampilideva is one of those unacknowledged heroes   of our history who fought tooth and nail against the Muslim invaders. A staunch defender of dharma, he fought with even those Hindu chiefs who paid tribute to the Delhi sultans. Kampilideva fought many battles with bigger kingdoms such as Dvarasamudram and Warangal.

Mohammed Tughlaq decided to put an end to Kampili before it became the focal point of resurgent Hindu power in the Deccan. An ideal pretext for invasion was found in Baha-ud-din Garhasp’s rebellion. Baha-ud-din was a cousin of Mohammed Tughlaq and had been made governor of the Sagar town (Karnataka)   by Ghiyath-al-din Tughlaq .A brave warrior; he had fought with distinction against the Mongols in 1324 CE.

Baha-ud-din was disaffected with his treatment by Mohammed Tughlaq and rebelled in order to carve a separate kingdom for himself. All this while, he had been careful to cultivate excellent relations with Kampilideva. In 1327 CE, a pitched battle between the Delhi sultanates army and Baha-ud-din took place on the banks of the Godavari River in Karnataka. Garhasp was defeated and fled with his family to Kampilideva for protection.

Like on previous occasions in our history, the flight of a fugitive to the protection of a Hindu state was enough excuse for the Muslim sultans to attack the Hindu kingdoms. In Kampili’s case the excuse came in the form of Baha-ud-din Garhasp.

The outstanding moral character of Kampilideva is clearly demonstrated in the assurance of safety which he gave to Garhasp, “Now so long  as the pulse moves in my body, I won’t take in a breath except in friendship to you. I swear by the sun, the sacred thread (I wear) and the idols (I worship) that you shall find me faithful. If all (the people of the world) were to join together to take your life, they cannot cause you as much injury as a grain of barley.”

I have taken the descriptions of the three invasions straight from N Venkataramanayya’s book. Apologies if it sounds ad verbatim, as for most part it is.

First Invasion of Kampili

The first invasion of Kampili took place shortly after Garhasp’s rebellion in 1327 CE. Malik Zada aided by Malik Rukn- ud- din crossed the Krishna and mounted an attack on Kummata, which was the chief fortress of Kampilideva. At this time, Kampilideva was in his capital Hosdurg (Anegondi). Kampilideva sent a strong force headed by his minister Baicappa, his sons Ramanatha and Katanna, and Garhasp to reinforce Kummata.

On arrival Rukn- ud- din pitched his tents around the fort. Katanna conducted a surprise sally from the fort on the first day of the siege, inflicting heavy losses on the Muslims and capturing two thousand horses in the process. The next day the Muslims tried to storm the fort but were decisively beaten back by Ramanatha and Katanna. The Muslim army was completely routed and Rukn-ud- din forced to retreat back to Devagiri.

Thus ended the first invasion of Kampili; a complete failure for the world conquering armies of Islam.

Second invasion of Kampili

Incensed by the failure of the “mighty” armies of Islam to subdue the small kingdom of Kampili, Mohammed Tughlaq   promptly despatched another well equipped invasion force under Malik Qutb-ul-Mulk. The Muslims moved as before   to attack Kummata.

Kampilideva was well prepared to meet the second invasion as well. Both the forts of Kummata and Hosdurg were strengthened. This time Kampilideva himself led the defence of Kummata against the Muslims.

On the night of first day of the siege a surprise night attack by a band of Kampili warriors threw the Muslim camp into confusion. On the second day Qutb-ul-Mulk attacked   the fort with all his forces from three sides. They managed to take the outer wall, but were pushed out by the vigorous defenders led by Kampilideva.

On the third day of the siege Kampilideva arranged his troops in battle order outside the fort gates. Facing him was the Muslim army with their Turkish horse archers in the centre, cavalry to the right and elephants to the left. Ramanatha attacked the Turkish centre first throwing them into disarray. As they desperately tried to flee from the attack, they caused confusion in the cavalry and elephants stationed on their sides. Ramanatha charged the Muslim forces cutting most of them down and killing their top commanders. Qutb-ul-Mulk saved himself by escaping from the battlefield.

Final Invasion of Kampili

Within a short time Mohammed Tughlaq despatched an even larger force under his minister Malik Zada. There seems to have been a drought during this time in Kampili, as the Portuguese historian Nunes says that the Muslims had to wait for the rainy season before they could proceed further. This would perhaps explain why the two strong forts: Kummata and Hosdurg ran out of provisions relatively quickly.

The Muslims laid siege to Kummata first. Although Kampilideva and Garhasp sallied forth and assaulted the Muslims, they were defeated and forced to pull back inside the fort. Conditions inside Kummata got dire as the Hindus began to run out of provisions.

The Muslims stormed the fort in an all out assault forcing Kampilideva to abandon Kummata and seek shelter in his capital Hosdurg. Kampilideva relocated the fifty thousand citizens of Hosdurg to other places in Kampila, only keeping five thousand soldiers for the defence of Hosdurg.

Hot on Kampilideva’s trail, Malik Zada laid siege to Hosdurg. After one month the situation inside the fort got dire. The situation got even more precarious when the Muslims   stormed their way into the fort.

Kampilideva realised all was lost, but this great man first made sure his friend Garhasp escaped with his family to the Hoysala kingdom of Dvarasamudra, which was ruled by Veera Ballala III. Garhasp escaped with his family to Dvarasamudra.(Garhasp seems to have been quite an accomplished warrior, as he is described  tying three-four horses together, putting his family on them and riding out of  Kummata, only turning back to cut down his pursuers).

I am quoting this passage written by Ibn Battuta about the last hours of this great sovereign. It is extremely stirring to read, Then he (Kampilideva) commanded a great fire to be prepared and lighted. Then he burned his furniture, and said to his wives and daughters, “I am going to die, and such of you as prefer it, do the same.” Then it was seen that each one of these women washed herself, rubbed her body with sandal-wood, kissed the ground before the ráí(Raya) of Kambíla (Kampila), and threw herself upon the pile. All perished. The wives of his nobles, ministers, and chief men imitated them, and other women also did the same.

The ráí, in his turn, washed, rubbed himself with sandal, and took his arms, but did not put on his breastplate. Those of his men who resolved to die with him followed his example. They sallied forth to meet the troops of the Sultán, and fought till every one of them fell dead.” (Batuta).

As can be seen from the above passage the ladies of Kampila performed “jauhar” to save their honour. Ibn Batuta heard about this incident from a trusted source, but he was an   eye witness to another incident wherein the Hindu ladies burnt themselves on their husband’s pyre. Ibn Batuta clearly describes their fearlessness and devotion to their husbands in the face of the raging flames.

Kampilideva fought extremely bravely in battle before falling dead of his many wounds. Malik Zada had his head stuffed   and sent to Mohammed Tughlaq as a gift. The Muslims conducted a general massacre of the remaining residents of Hosdurg. Those who survived like the eleven sons of Kampilideva; were converted to Islam.

Thus was the end of the kingdom of Kampili, but the lowest ebb for the Southern Hindus was yet to come.

What of Baha-ud-din Garhasp? Veera Ballala III was unwilling to take the risk of inviting a full scale Muslim invasion by sheltering a fugitive. He promptly handed over Garhasp to Malik Zada.

As is illustrated by this passage Garhasp met a terrible end, He (Mohammed Tughlaq) ordered the prisoner (Garhasp) to be taken to the women, his relations, and these insulted him and spat upon him. Then he ordered him to be skinned alive, and as his skin was torn off, his flesh was cooked with rice. Some was sent to his children and his wife, and the re­mainder was put into a great dish and given to the elephants to eat, but they would not touch it. The Sultán ordered his skin to be stuffed with straw, and to be placed along with the remains of Bahádur Búra,* and to be exhibited throughout the country”. (Batuta)

References:

i.                    The Early Muslim Expansion in South India, N. Venkataramanayya, edited by Prof. K A N Sastri, Madras University Historical Series, 1942. Available at http://library.du.ac.in/dspace/

ii.                  Ibn Battuta, Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354; HAR Gibb; George Routledge & Sons, 1929.

Works Cited

Baranī, Ż. a.-D. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2010, from http://persian.packhum.org/persian/main

Batuta, I. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2010, from http://persian.packhum.org/persian/main

Map References:

1.       Schwartzberg, Joseph E. A Historical Atlas of South Asia ,http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/schwartzberg/

2.      The Early Muslim Expansion in South India, N. Venkataramanayya, edited by Prof. K A N Sastri, Madras University Historical Series, 1942. Available at http://library.du.ac.in/dspace/

June 2, 2010

Vijayanagar Chapter 4

Vijayanagar

Chapter 4

Disintegration of Deogiri

In 1312 CE Rama Raya of Deogiri died and his son Sangama (some accounts call him Bhillama) took over the throne. The first thing Sangama did like his late brother Shankara Deva was to rebel against the Muslims and declare independence.

Ala-ud-din promptly despatched Kafur to dispose of the rebel. Kafur ravaged the lands of Deogiri .Sangama deciding discretion was the better part of valour fled from Deogiri.

However this  time no scion of the Yadava dynasty was installed on the throne. Deogiri lost its independence and was annexed to the Delhi sultanate for good. Malik Kafur made himself the governor of Deogiri and instituted an aggressive policy of Islamisation of the Deccan. The imperialism of the Muslims entailed settling large numbers of Muslims from the north and foreign countries in and around Deogiri. Deogiri like Delhi was fast becoming a Muslim city. Hindus were marginalised and terrorised. Kafur was an enthusiastic breaker of Hindu temples and took great delight in breaking them down and erecting mosques in their place.

As the Deogiri kingdom passed out of existence, various Hindu chiefs formerly under it refused to bow down to the Islamic oppressors. The hilly region of the Sahyadri Mountains, particularly around Pune was under the Koli king Naga Nayaka, who retained his independence in face of Muslim assaults.

In the southern part of the kingdom Mallideva the chief of Rayadurga   was a relation of Rama Raya. He declared himself the king of Maharashtra. Mallideva’s attempt at opposing the Muslims ended in failure, Mallideva being killed in battle by rival chiefs Mummadi Singeya of Kampili and Jagatapa Gangayadeva of Gutti.

Mummadi Singeya’s son Kampili Raya established the powerful kingdom of Kampili, which covered present day Dharward, Bellary and Raichur districts. Kampili stood as a bulwark against Muslim invasions till it was overwhelmed by Muhammad Tughlaq.

Malik Kafur departed for Delhi soon after leaving Ain –ul- Mulk as the governor of Deogiri.

Change at Delhi

In 1316 Ala-ud-Din   Khilji died and the administration of the sultanate was taken over by Kafur. In the   bloody   succession struggles which were typical   of the   Delhi sultanate,   he had two of Ala-ud-dins older sons Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan blinded. Imprisoning them in Gwalior he proclaimed Ala-ud-dins infant son as the sultan. Mubarak Khilji was thrown into prison and expected to meet the same fate as his brothers.

Kafur being a man of many enemies thought it wise to recall Ain-ul-Mulk to Delhi. Ain-ul-Mulk gathered all the Muslims of Deogiri and started his march to Delhi. As I have pointed out before the Muslim community was almost completely militarised, which meant each and every Muslim played the role of a soldier in battle. Hence for a brief period of time Deogiri was left completely to the Hindus.

However before Ain-ul-Mulk could reach Delhi, Kafur was assassinated by his bodyguards. They raised Mubarak to the throne, who proclaimed himself as Sultan Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Khilji. Mubarak himself had a male slave on whom he lavished his attentions. Known as Hasan he was subsequently given the title Khusrau Khan by Mubarak. Khusrau Khan was one of the enigmatic characters of the Delhi Sultanate.

Mubarak was a debauch and spent his time drinking or with women. He had his brothers Khizr Khan and Shadi Khan killed and took their wives for his own pleasure. The unfortunate Devala Devi was amongst these and Mubarak forcibly married her. With a fetish for cross dressing he used to appear in his court dressed in a woman’s clothes!!

But he was of one mind on the question of pursuing Jihad against the Hindus.

Haripala Deva

With the bulk of the Muslim forces departing with Ain-ul-Mulk (the governor of Deogiri), a war of independence was waged in Deogiri by   the valiant Haripala Deva.

Haripala Deva was the son in law of the late Rama Raya. The situation for Hindus had become intolerable with their day to day lives being dependent on the whims and fancies of the Muslim rulers. Hindu women were abducted in broad daylight and the peasantry taxed to death.

Haripala Deva was joined in his efforts by Raghava, a minister of   Rama Raya .For a brief period under the kingship of Haripala Deva, Deogiri regained its independence. He succeeded in defeating various Muslim amirs to the extent that Sultan Mubarak himself had to lead an army from Delhi to recapture Deogiri.

In 1318 CE, Mubarak accompanied by his lover Khusrau Khan started from Delhi with a large army. Entering Maharashtra they had to fight tough battles with Haripala Deva   and Raghava.

Raghava was defeated by Khusrau and his army destroyed. But Haripala Deva defeated Khusrau twice in battle. Making intelligent use of the mountainous terrain Haripala Deva with his strong army gave the Muslims a tough time.

Haripala Deva was finally cornered in Devagiri fort and agreed to surrender after Sultan Mubarak promised to spare his life. On surrendering this lion of the Yadava clan met a most gruesome end.

Mubarak in flagrant violation of his own promise, had Haripala Deva skinned alive and his lifeless corpse hung from the gates of Deogiri fort .The entire royal family of the Yadavas was massacred to prevent any future uprisings. Maharashtra was distributed to various Muslim chiefs as their reward.

Malik Yak Lakhy was made the governor of Deogiri and military garrisons were posted at Sagar, Gulbarga and other places. But the garrison meant to subdue Dvarasamudram was defeated by Katari Saluva Raseya Nayaka who was an officer in Veera Ballala’s army. Khusrau Khan was despatched to collect tribute from Prataparudra and Sultan Mubarak departed for Delhi on 5th August 1318 CE.

Thus ended the great line of the Yadavas of Deogiri.  With them came to an end the golden age of Maharashtra. For the next three hundred years   the life of Hindus in the Deccan  slipped into a dark age. The life of the common Hindu becoming worse than that of animals, as ravaging Muslim armies swept    across the landscape. Maharashtra passed from one genocidal sultan to the next, till divine deliverance came in the form of Chattrapati Shivaji in the seventeenth century.

Khusrau’s forays into the South

As soon as Sultan Mubarak was back in Delhi, Malik Yak Laky proclaimed himself Sultan Shams-ud-din and even minted coins in his own name. The Sultan promptly sent Khusrau khan with a large army to imprison the usurper. For a man with royal ambitions Malik Yak fell short of loyal friend’s .Betrayed by his own subordinates, he was imprisoned by Khusrau Khan who sent him to Delhi. There his ears and nose were cut off and would be sultan was deprived of all his wealth. Khusrau Khan appointed Ain-ul-Mulk as the viceroy of Deccan.

Khusrau Khan was further entrusted to attack the Pandya kingdom which was in a state of complete chaos. After Kafurs foray   in 1311 CE the Pandya brothers resumed their power struggles. However this time Vira Pandya gained the upper hand and Sundara Pandya was forced to flee into exile. Soon Vira Pandya himself was dethroned following an invasion by the Chera king of Kerala Ravivarman Kulashekhara. Ravivarman was forced to retire back to Kerala following troubles there and the Pandya kingdom was again in the hands of Vira Pandya.

Meanwhile in 1317 CE Prataparudra taking advantage of the disorder sent a powerful army under his general Muppidi Nayaka. The Kakatiya army successfully captured Kanchi from the Pandyas. Thus on the eve of Khusrau’s invasion the Pandya kingdom was in an even worse state of chaos than before.

As in Kafurs time the Pandyan army refused to fight a set piece battle with Khusrau. Civilians wise from previous experiences of the Muslims fled before the advance of the enemy, taking   along their possessions .Khusrau managed to capture a hundred elephants and the city of Pattan. The governor of Pattan was a Muslim named Siraj-ud-din. This did not stop Khusrau from   confiscating his wealth and taking his daughter!!

With the beginning of the rains and internal squabbles breaking out in his camp, Khusrau was forced to move back to Delhi. Khusrau’s southern campaign thus ended   in failure without producing any tangible results.

For Chapter 5 click here.

References:

  1. The Early Muslim Expansion in South India, N. Venkataramanayya, edited by Prof. K A N Sastri, Madras University Historical Series, 1942. Available at http://library.du.ac.in/dspace/
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandyan_Dynasty
  3. South India and Her Mohemmedan Invaders, S Krishnaswami Iyengar, S Chand & Co,1921, http://library.du.ac.in/dspace/
  4. TÁRÍKH-I FÍROZ SHÁHÍ,          ZÍÁU-D DÍN BARNÍ, Packard Humanities Institute, retrieved on 03-04-2010, http://persian.packhum.org/persian/main
  5. A History of South India, Prof K A N Sastri, Oxford University Press, 1966.

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