It was only when Narasimha Saluva died in 1505 AD, another usurper Vira Narasimha, deposed the last ruler and seized the throne for himself., This 'Second Usurpation' led to the direct rule of Tuluva dynasty. Vira Narasimha was succeeded by his younger brother, Krishnadeva Raya, by far the greatest ruler of Vijayanagara and the most famous king in the history of India.
Krishnadeva raya carried many irrigation work during his reign with the help of Portuguese engineers and trade with them. The Kingdom's finance strengthened during his reign. He annexed Raichur Doab, Orissa and the whole of territory south of Krishna. His reign not only marked the climax in the territorial expansion of the Vijayanagara empire, but was also remarkable for the encouragement and development of art. The chief minister, Saluva Thimma played an important role as a chief minister. Krishna Devaraya was a perfect King and even Babur regarded him a great King of India. He carried the country into glorious zenith which it had never witnessed in the history. Krishna Devaraya died in 1529.
Achyuta Raya, the brother of Krishna Devaraya succeeded in 1529, but was unpopular. He committed the blunder of relaxing his personal hold on the administration which fell under the control of his brother-in-law both named Tirumala. This irritated the other viceroys, who formed a rival party under the leadership of Rama, Tirumala and Venkata, of the Aravidu dynasty, connected by marriage with the reigning Tuluva dynasty. The kingdom was consequently plunged into troubles which took its turn till the empire ceased to exist.
After the death of Achyuta Raya in AD 1541, his son Venkatadri or Venkata-I ascended the throne, but could not reign long, and within six months the crown was passed to the nephew of Achyuta - Sadasiva. Sadasiva Raya was a mere puppet in the hand of his minister Rama Raya of the Aravidu dynasty. Rama Raya was able to restore the power of Vijayanagara which had sunk after Krishna Devaraya's rule. The important policy of Rama Raya was to interfere in the quarrels among the Deccan Sultanates, in alliance first with one, and then with another. He indeed was successful for the time being. This made him over confident and ultimately proved fatal. Meddling into the affairs of the Muslim states led to the combining of all the Muslim states against the Hindus and the combined forces faced each other in the Battle of Talikota. It was one of the most decisive battles in Indian history like the Panipat and the battle of Plassey. Hopes of Hindus were totally shattered with the defeat and the south India was once again opened for Muslim penetration till Marathas slowly raised to power.
LAST UPDATED 1st Nov 2001
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