Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

Inscription on Krishnadevaraya’s death discovered


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Krishnadevaraya

Mains level : Vijayanagara empire

The first-ever epigraphical reference to the date of death of Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya has been discovered in the Tumakuru district of Karnataka.

Try this question from CS Mains 2016:

Q.Krishnadevaraya, the King of Vijayanagara was not only an accomplished scholar himself, but was also a great patron of learning and literature. Discuss.

Who was Krishnadevaraya?

  • Krishna Devaraya was the emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire during 1509–1529. He was the third ruler of the Tuluva Dynasty and is considered to be its greatest ruler.
  • He possessed the largest empire in India after the decline of the Delhi Sultanate.
  • Krishnadevaraya earned the titles Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana (lit, “Lord of the Kannada empire”), Andhra Bhoja (lit, “Andhra Bhoja(Scholar) King”) and Mooru Rayara Ganda (lit, “King of Three Kings”).
  • He became the dominant ruler of the peninsula of India by defeating the Sultans of Bijapur, Golconda, the Bahmani Sultanate and the Gajapatis of Odisha, and was one of the most powerful Hindu rulers in India.
  • Indeed, when the Mughal Emperor Babur was taking stock of the potentates of north India, Krishnadevaraya was rated the most powerful and had the most extensive empire in the subcontinent.
  • Portuguese travellers Domingo Paes and Fernao Nuniz also visited the Vijayanagara Empire during his reign.

His literary work

  • The rule of Krishnadevaraya was an age of prolific literature in many languages, although it is also known as a golden age of Telugu literature.
  • He was fluent in many languages like Kannada, Marathi, Sanskrit, Telugu and Tamil.
  • Eight Telugu poets were regarded as eight pillars of his literary assembly and known as Ashtadiggajas. He himself composed an epic Telugu poem Amuktamalyada.
  • He took the title of Abhinava-Bhoja and Sakala-Kala-Bhoja (“Bhoja of all the arts”) in honour of Parmara emperor Bhoja who was a polymath, a master of 64 arts and a military genius.

What does the inscription say?

  • As per the inscription, Krishnadevaraya died on October 17, 1529, Sunday.
  • Incidentally, this day was marked by a lunar eclipse.
  • The inscription also registers the gift of village Honnenahalli in Tumakuru for conducting worship to the god Veeraprasanna Hanumantha of Tumakuru.
  • The Kalahasti inscription refers to the date of Achyutaraya’s (his successor) coronation as October 21, 1529 AD.

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