Digital Rare Book:
Sources of Vijayanagar History
By Sakkottai Krishnaswami Ayyangar
Published by The University of Madras - 1919
Read Book Online:
Download pdf Book:
The history of the empire of Vijayanagar, which till recently was as good as lost to us, was recovered through the efforts of Mr. Robert Sewell, whose work in South Indian Archaeology and Epigraphy naturally gave him the qualifications to take up the work. He brought out his work ' A Forgotten Empire ' of Vijayanagar early in 1900 based upon his previous knowledge of the antiquities of the Madras Presidency, and of the information he derived from two Portuguese chronicles which were unearthed in the archives of Lisbon, and which he translated and appended to his work. Excellent as the work was for the time, and for the sources and historical material at his disposal, it suffered from the neglect of the evidence available in various forms in literature which go a long way towards filling up the many gaps that Epigraphy leaves in respect of that history. These sources are collected together in the following pages and they will speak for themselves. A constructive study of these goes a long way in correcting the chronicles in many places, and conveys information which would make a fuller history of the Empire of Vijayanagar possible. It is these untapped sources only that are brought together in the following extracts from various works, Sanskrit and Telugu principally, which bear on the particular period. Many of these are taken from manuscripts and published works now out of print. Some of the passages extracted are taken from works which may be available, but not in a form that would be useful to students not acquainted with Telugu. There is besides the advantage of these being brought together in a collection which otherwise it would be possible for one to get at only by voluminous reading. Each one of these extracts is provided with an English introduction which without pretending to be a literal translation of the passages, contains a faithful summary of the historical facts traceable in the extracts.
Photograph of the ruins at Vijayanagara from the 'Photographs to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern Indian' collection, taken by Edmund David Lyon in c. 1868. Vijayanagara, the City of Victory, was the most powerful Hindu kingdom in Southern India from 1336 until the defeat by the Muslim armies in 1565. It was built on the bank of the Tungabhadra River and is surrounded by granite hills. The ruins of this vast royal city incorporate distinct zones and are divided into two main groups, the sacred centre and the royal centre. This photograph features the Garuda shrine in the form of a stone chariot in the centre, with mandapas to either side. These structures are all a part of the Vitthala Temple complex.
Text and image credit:
Copyright © The British Library Board