Friday, October 16, 2009

Kakatiya Coins

Controversy persists regarding the copper coins said to have been issued by Pratapa Rudra whether he belonged to the Kakatiya dynasty of Warangal or Gajapathi rulers of Orissa or Kalinga. All these coins were found in Kakatiya territory and none in the Kalinga region. The legends and words found on these coins namely the epithet Sri, Madhukara and Gajapathi, the title Kakati, mint town Vijaya Kataka, anka or saka era have been debatable among scholars. Even the reading of the coins published varied among scholars. There seem to consensus that these copper coins may be issues of Kalinga but one has to consider their provenance and total absence of other copper coins of this dynasty, though in general there were paucity of coins of many dynasties belonging to early medieval period. Gupta concluded that publication of further reports of these coins might clarify in assigning them to kings of one dynasty or other.
As for the silver and gold coins in Andhra Pradesh Government museum with the titles Rayagajakesari and Dayagajakesari without any name of the king or his dynasty seem to belong to Gajapati Deva and his daughter Rudrama Devi based on epigraphical evidence Terala inscription of Pratapa Rudra These coins were earlier attributed to Western Chalukyan kings and also the kings of other dynasties. Silver and gold coins with the name ‘Rudra’ have been described from 1840’s onwards and they may belong to Kakatiyas.

The Kakatiyas had their ascendency during the dominion of the Chalukyas of Kalyani. The earlier doubts expressed by certain scholars in tracing the descent of this dynasty from Kakartya Gundyana, a subordinate of the Eastern Chalukyan monarch, Amma II (945 AD.-970 A-D ) were set at rest in view of the recently discovered Bayyaram Tank inscription The names Kakartya, Kakatya and Kakaliya are etymologically
connected. The dynasty derived its name either because of its association with a town known as Kakatipura (since the kings bore the title 'Kakatipuravallabha') or because of their worship of a goddess called Kakati. At Ekasilanagara (Warangal), the capital of the Kakatiyas. a temple was dedcated to Kakitamma. Hence there is reasnon to believe that Kakatipura was another name for Warangal itself. The inscriptional evidence points out that the Kakatiyas were Sudras and that they were members of the Durjaya family whose remote ancestor Karkkalahola founded or first settled in Kakatipura

Gundaya Rashtrakuta who was referred in the Magallu grant of Danamava (950 A D ) was the first known historical figure among the Kakatiyas He sacrificed his life in the service of the Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna II. white fighting aganist the Eastern Chalukyas The grateful Krishna II placed Gundaya's son Eriya in charge of Kurravadi in Koravisima near Warangal. Koravi, which was part of the Mudigonda Chalukyan kingdom
under the suzerainty of the Eastern Chalukyas, was a bone of contention between the Rashtrakutas and the Eastern Chalukyas. This Kurravadi kingdom was created as a check on the Mudiginda Chalukyas on the eastern borders of the Rashtrakuta empire. Eriya made Orugal (Kakatipura) his capital.
Eriya's grandson Kakartya Gundyana rendered help on behalf of his master Rashtrakuta Krishna III to Danarnava in setting aside his brother Amma II and occupying the throne of Vengi, as a result of which he got Natavadi as a token of gratitude. Later when Tailapa II put an end to the Rashtrakuta rule arid restored the western Chalukyan authority with Kalyani as head-quarters, the Kakatiyas shifted their loyalty to them. Gundyana's son and successor Betaraja I took advantage of the Chalukya Chola conflict and carved out for himself a small principality. He seems to have ruled upto 1052 A.D. His son and successor Prola I (1052 A.D. - 1076 A.D.) acknowledged the supremacy of Chalukya Somesvara I and fought successfully against the Nagas of Chakrakota, the Silaharas of Konkanamandala, Bhadranga (probably Baddega of the family of the Chalukyas of Vemulavada) and killed in battle Gonna, the chief of Purukuta. In recognition of these services, Prola obtained permanently by way of grant, Anmakonda-vishaya from Somesvara I. Beta II, son and successor of Prola, ruled between 1076 A.D. and 1108 A.D. With the encouragement of Vikramaditya
VI, hec onquered Sabbimandala. It was probably during this period, Anmakonda became the capital of the Kakatiyas. Beta It's eldest son Durgaraja (1108 A.D.-1116 A.D.) made an attempt to rebel against his Chalukyan suzerain. However his younger brother Prola II set him aside and occupied the throne of Anmakonda.
Prola II (1116 A.D.-1153 A.D.) was the most famous
among the early Kakatiya rulers. In the early years of his
reign, he owed allegiance to Vikramaditya VI. When, after his
death in 1126 A.D., the Chalukyan power began to decline,
Prola II took advantage of the confused situation He played
an active part in the Kalachuri revolution at Kalyani and after
the overthrow of Tailapa III, proclaimed independence. He made
extensive conquests in Telangana. He defeated Govindaraja
and handed his kingdom Kondapalli (in the Krishna district)
over to Chododaya (whose brother was ruling as his feudatory
near Panugai). He also defeated and killed Gunda, the ruler
of Mantrakuta (Mantena in the Nuzvid taluk of Krishna district)
and annexed it to his kingdom. However he failed in his attempts
to push his arms further into the Veianati kingdom
on the east coast. These attempts cost him his life at the
hands of Rajendra Choda, the prince of the Velanati Telugu
Chodas of Chandolu and their samantas.
2. RUDRADEVA (1158 A.D -1195/6 A.D.)
Rudredeva, who was also known as Prataparudra I. was
the eldest son and successor of Prola II. After his accession
to the throne, he devoted all his energy and resources to safeguarding
his independent status and to extending his dominion
wherever possible To pursue his policy of aggrandizement, he
had to wage wars on many chiefs. A graphic description, of
his achievements is given in his Anmakonds inscription,
a document of great historical importance. It seems by
the year 1162 A.D., the date of the Anmakonda record, Rudradeva
vanquished a number of his enemies and transformed
his petty principality into an extensive kingdom . The inscription
mentions the names of Dommaraja (Nagunur principality
in the Karimnagar district), Medaraja (Pakhal area to
the north-east of Warangal) and Mailagideva (Polavasa territory
in the Jagatyal Taluk of Karimnagar district) as opponents
whom he had overcome in battle These victories, all in the
region to the north of Anmakonda. enabled him to extend his
dominion night upto the banks of the Godavari.i
Then turning his attention to the south, Rudradeva burnt
the city of Chododaya. the ruler of Kondapalli (who died about
this time due to poisoning by his brother Bhima). After this,
he marched on Vardhanapura, the capital of Bhima who had
poisoned his brother Chodadaya to death. Bhima fled to the
forest and the capital was easily captured by the Kakatiyas.
These conquests were also consolidated.
Rudradeva seems to have devoted the later part of his
reign to the conquest of the coastal region. He regarded himself
as the political successor of the Western Chalukyan
emperors and laid claim to the sovereignty over Vengi and
other parts of the coastal Andhra country, earlier conquered
and enjoyed by Vikramaditya VI and his son until 1133 A.D,
He started making his efforts to avenge his father's death in
the hands of the Telugu Chodas of Velanadu and their subordinates.
The latter were ruling over the territory (comprising
of the Kurnool, Guntur, Krishna and the Gddavari districts) to
the south of the Kakatiya kingdom. By the time of Rajendra
Choda lI, the decline had set in for the Velanadu kingdom.
The Chalukyas in the Vengi manetela were continuing their
intrigues as usual. Apart from this, during the years 1176-82
A.D., the battle of Palanadu was fought. Rudradeva rendered
military assistance to Nalagama's faction. In this battle, the
military strength of Velanadu had got weakened. Exploiting
the situation, Rudradeva led his forces into coastal Andhra and
conquered upto Srisailam and Trpurantakam in the south. In
1186 A.D., Gonka III of Velanadu might have lost his life in
battle with Rudradeva and his son Prithvisvara confined his
rule to the north of Godavari (Pithapuram). According to
Anmakonda inscription, his kingdom comprised the whole area
between Srisailam and Tripurantakam in the south, the
Malyavantam in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east and
Kalyani in the west.
The history of the last decade of Rudradeva is a dark
spectrum. However in the last year of his reign (1195-96 A.D.),
he came into conflict with the Seunas (Yadavas) of Devagiri.
Whether it is a defensive war or offensive war, it is uncertian.
But one certainty is that Rudra suffered defeat and death in
his encounter with the Seuna king Jaitugl or Jaitrapala I.
Being a powerful king, Rudradeva both up an extensive
kingdom. He paved the way for the subjugation of Vengi by
his successors by contracting diplomatic and matrimonial
alliances with the great feudatory families such as the Kolas
and the Natavadis. Sivayogasara refers to his founding near
his capital Anmakonda of a new town called Orugallu, destined
to become the principal city of the entire Andhradesa under
his successors. Rudra was also a patron of art and letters.
Many splendid temples built in the Chalukyan style rose all
over the country. The famous Thousand Pillar Temple (known
as the Rudresvara temple) at Anmakonda was built during this
period. Rudra is described as the resort and refuse of learned
men. The authorship of a work on rajaniti called 'Nitisaranm'
in Sanskrit is attributed to him
After Rudradeva's death and the imprisonment of his
nephew Ganapati in the hands of the Yadavas of Devagiri.
his younger brother Mahadeva ascended the throne and ruled
the kingdom for a short span of about three years (1195/96-
1198/99 A.D.). He led an expedition against the Yadava
kingdom to avenge Rudra's death and also get the release
of his son Ganapati. He lost his life in the battle
3. GANAPATIDEVA (1199-1262 A.D.)
Following the death of Mahadeva and the captivity of
Ganapati. disorders broke out in the kingdom The nobles
rose in revolt. The rulers of the neighbouring states, especially
the Mudigonda Chalukyan king Nagati and the Chalukya-Chola
emperor Kulottunga III. invaded the country. But Recherta
Rudra, the commander-in-chief of the Kakatiya ruler, saved the
kingdom from crumbling. His titles 'Kakatjyarajyabharadhaureya'
and 'Kakatirajyasamartha indicate that the carried on
administration in the name of his lord and sovereign
Ganapatideva's imprisonment did not last very long He
was set free and sent back to rule his kingdom This might
be due to sympathy and generosity of the Yadava king Jaitra138
pala, who had his own political considerations (like his desire
to secure himself against an attack from Warangal side in the
event of a conflict with the aggressive Hoyasalas in the south)
in setting Ganapatideva at liberty.
Ganapatideva's reign, reckoned as beginning in 1199 A.D.
lasted for 62 years. It is one of the most brilliant epochs in
the history of Andhradesa. Being an energetic monarch,
Ganapati during his long reign brought under his sway by war
or diplomacy almost the whole land inhabited by the Teluguspeaking
peoples. He took advantage of the dismemberment
of the Western Chalukyan and Chola empires.
Ganapatideva started his successful career of conquest with
the invasion of the coastal districts with strong contingents
in 1201 A.D. The Velanati chief Prithvisvara, who exercised
some sort of authority over his ancestral kingdom, was not
strong enough to check the unruly nobility or to stem the
forces of disintegration. Ganapatideva seized this opportunity.
Accompanied by all the subordinate chiefs like the Kotas,
Natavadis and Malyalas, first Bezwada was captured. Then
the island fortress of Divi, the headquarters of the Ayya chiefs,
was plundered. For the significant part played by the Malyala
chief Chaunda in this expedition, he was conferred with the
title 'Divichurakara' (the plunderer of the island of Divi) by
Ganapati. Being an astute politician, the latter followed a
policy of conciliation towards the vanquished chiefs. Ganapatideva
restored their possessions, married Narama and Perama,
the two daughters of Ayya Pina Chodi and took their brother
Jayapa into his service. Subsequently he and the Telugu Choda
chiefs, Tikka (of Nellore)' and Ballaya (probably of Kammanadu)
fought against Prithvisvara and killed him. With his death,
the rule of the Velanati chiefs came to an end and their territory
came into the possession of Ganapatideva.
Ganapati appears to have sent between 1212 A.D. and
1230 A.D. two expeditions against the kings of the southern
region. The expansion of the Kakatiya power in the southern
direction was the direct outcome of his alliance with the
Telugu cholas of Nellore. Taking advantage of the dismemberment
of the Chalukya-Cholas, the Nellore Cholas asserted
their independence in the Nellore, Cudapah and Chingteput
districts. During the reign of Manumasiddhi 1 the Chalukya-
Chola ruler Kulottunga III invaded the Telugu Chola kingdom,
dislodged him and placed his younger brother Nallasiddni on
the throne of Nellore. Manumasiddhi I's son Tikka, the rightful
heir to the throne, sought Ganapatideva's help to regain his
patrimony from his uncles, In the war on Prithvisvara, this
Tikka joined forces with the Kakatiya monarch. In return for
this help, Ganapatideva marched against Nellore, drove away
Tikka's uncle and his supporters and installed Tikka on the
throne of Nellore. However during the years 1p15-1228 A.D..
Tikka had again been driven from the throne. It might be
due to the Chalukya-Chola and Yadava menace. These troubles
he could overcome again with the help of his friend Ganapatideva.
The Seuna army was defeated in the Karumulur (Caddap-
ah district) battle. Kanchi was plundered. Tikka was
re-established at Nellore and Kanchi. Then to strengthen his
position in the interior of his kingdom, Tikka appointed the
Kayastha Gangaya Sahini, a relation of one of Ganapatideva's
vassals, as the governor of upper-Pakanadu
Tikka, who kept on friendly relations with the Chalukya-
Chola emperors, aided by Ganapatideva, marched to the south
at the head of a large army and killed Karnata (Hoyasala) Narasimha
II in battle at Jambai in 1239 A.D., defeated in the following
year Narasimha's son Somesvara, who had attacked him
to avenge his father's death, and assumed his (somesvara's)
title 'Chola Sthapanacharya'.
Subsequent to his victory over Prithisvara, Ganapatideva
wanted to bring the latter's possessions in Kalinga under his
rule. In this Kalinga expedition, Bhima. the Telugu Chola chief
of Eruva. and Rajanayaka, the commander of the Recherlas.
also participated and conquered several places in Vengi. Orissa
and Bastar state. Though this expedition of Gaoapatideva was
a brilliant demonstration of his military strength, it did not
produce any tangible results from the view point of territorial
gains. For no trace of the Kakatiya rule has so far been discovered
to the-north of Draksharama in the East Godavari
district (Rajanayaka's Draksharama inscription dated 1212
A.D.), The eastern Ganga king Ananga Bhima IIl and his subordinates
like Godhumarati and Padiyaraya soon asserted
their authority
Ganapatideva reduced the Telugu Cholas of Konidena
(Narasaraopet Taluk, Guntur district) and the Chakranarayana
princes of Addanki to obedience by 1217-18 A,D. When,
espousing the cause of the Velanati chiefs, the Kalinga ruler
Ananga Bhima III led his march against Vengi, Ganapatideva
sent Induluri Soma Pradhani along with Eruva Bhima, Kalapa
Nayaka and Malyala Hemadri Reddi to expel the Kalingas from
Vengi and bring that country under his control. In the course
of this campaign, Kolanu or Sasasipuri was conquered in 1231
A.D. The Velanati descendants of Prithvisvara took to flight.
Subsequent aggressive activities of Kalinga Bhima's son and
successor Narasimha I were also effectively tackled by Ganapatideva's
men and the Kakatiya power in the Godavari vailey
remained undisturbed until the end of Ganapatideva's reign.
When Tikka died in 1248 A.D., the Nellore kingdom was
plunged into lawlessness. One Vijaya-Gandagopala seized
Chingleput and North Arcot districts leaving only Nellore and
Cuddapah districts to Tikka's son and successor Manumasiddhi
II. He allied himself with the Chalukya-Chola heir
apparent Rajendra III and the Karnataka ruler Vira Somesvara.
At the same juncture, the agnates Tikkarra and Bayyana drove
away Manumasiddhi II from his capital Nellore. Rakkasa
Ganga, a scion of the Vaidumba family, ousted Manuma's
general Gangaya Sahini from his governorship and occupied
the Cuddapah region. Under these circumstances, Manuma
sought, through his loyal minister and the famous Telugu poet
Tikkana, the help of Ganapatrdeva. The Nayanipalli record
(Guntur district) refers to the march of a powerful Kakatiya
army under its general Samanta Bhoja to the south. Nellore
was reduced to ashes. Tikkana and Bayyana were killed. The
combined forces of the kings of Dravida and Karnataka and
The Kakatiyas 141
of Vijaya-Gandagopala were defeated at Prayeru (Palaiyaru in
the Tanjore district) and Kanchi was captured in 1250 A.D.
Soon with the support of Ganapatideva, Manuma and Gangaya
reconquered the territory seized by the Vaidumba chief, Rakkasa
Ganga. With the consent of Manumasiddhi II, Ganapatideva
conferred the reconquered territory on Kayastha Gangaya Sahini
es a family estate.
Ganapatideva appears to have maintained on the whole
cordial relations with his western neighbours the Seunas
(Yadavas). Both the powers in fact joined hands and tried
to check the expansion of the Pandyan power in the early
years of the reign of Jatavarma Sundara Pandya I (of Madura)
who aggressively subjugated between 1251 A.D. and 1257 A.D.
the whole of Southern India and established the Pandyan
hegemony over it. As a political successor to the Cholas,
Jatavarma forced Vijaya Gandagopala of Kanch; and his ally
the Kadava chief Kopperunjinga to submit to the authority of
the Pandyas. He next turned his attention to Nellore. Manumasiddhi
II of Nellore appealed to the Kakatiya, the Seuna and
the Bana rulers for help. To divert the attention of the foes,
Jatavarrna divided his army into two sections, despatched one
section under his new vassals Rajendra Chola III, Kupperunjnga
and Vijaya-Gandagopala into the Kakatiya kingdom and himself
leading the main army advanced along the coast towards
Nellore. The advance guard led by Kopperunjinga penetrated
as far as Draksharama in the East Godavari district. The Kadava
chief suffered reverses at the hands of Ganapatideva and was
forced to acknowledge his suzerainty. Rajendra Chola lII and
Vijaya-Gandagopala were forced to retreat by the Kayastha
chiefs. Jatavarma, who marched on Nellore with the mam
army, swept all opposition and reached Muttukur. a village near
Nellore. In the fierce battle here, in 1263 A.D. Manumasiddhi II
was killed and his allies the Kakatiya and Seuna forces suffered
terribly. The Nellore kingdom was annexed to the Pandyan
empire. Jatavarma celebrated Virabhisheka both at Nellore and
Kanchi. This was a terrible blow for the ascendency of
Ganapatideva was undoubtedly the greatest ruler of his
dynasty. He succeeded to a large extent in restoring the political
unity of the Telugu country. His rule was helpful to the
prosperity of his realm, Warangal was further fortified and
made capital. Ganapatideva provided irrigation tanks to the
peasantry. He pursued an enlightened commercial policy. His
Motupalli pillar inscription dated 1245 A.D. records an assurance
of protection to merchants engaged in foreign trade.
He was staunch saivite He built temples and patronised
teaming. The famous Ramappa temple near Palampeta in the
Warangal district is of his period.
Though Ganapathideva was alive until 1269 A.D., he handed
over the threads of administration to his daughter Rudramadevi
in 1262 A.D. itself and retired from active politics.
4. RUDRAMADEVI (1259-1289 A.D.)
Ganapatideva had no male issue. But he had two daughters.
Rudramadevi and Genapamadevi. Rudramadevi or Rudramba
was given in marriage to a prince of the Eastern Chalukyan
lineage (of Nidadavolu) called Virabhadra. The second daughter
was given in marriage to Beta of the Kota family. Rudramadevi
was nominated as heir apparent and she began to rule the
kingdom conjointly with her father as his co-regent from 1259-60
A.D. onwards, under the name of Rudradeva Maharaja. In
the first two or three years of her conjoint rule with her father,
the kingdom was thrown into confusion and disorder due to
Jatavarma Sundara Pandya I's invasion and the disastrous
defeat of the Kakatiyas along with their allies on the battle
field of Muttukur near Nellore Though Ganapati was ultimately
successful in turning back the tide of invasion, yet he suffered
loss of territory end prestige and his hold over his feudatories
and nobles was shaken. Under these circumstances, he retired
from active politics.
Though Rudramadevi assumed full sovereignty in 1262-63
AD, she was not the crowned queen till the year 1269 A.D..
me date of Kayastha Jannigadeva's Duggi (Palnad Taluk) record
The Kakatiyas 143
which speaks of Rudrama as Pattodhriti (queen-designate) of
Ganapatideva Maharaja. It was only after the death of her
father about the year 1269 A.D., she celebrated her coronation.
Rudramadevi's nomination and succession to the throne
was not generally approved. Some of the nobles, who were
unwilling to submit to a woman's authority took up arms against
her Ekamranatha s 'Pratapachantra' refers to her step-brothers
Hariharadeva and Murarideva ousting Rudrama, and capturing
Warangal, and Rudrama effectively tackling them with the help
of the citizens and some of her powerful supporters. However
no other evidence is available to prove the existence of her
step-brothers. Even if it is believed that some intransigent
nobles and near relations rebelled against Rudrama's authority,
the Kayastha chiefs Jannigedeva and his younger brothers
Tripurari and Ambadeva, Recherla Prasaditya and the Reddi
chiefs like Gona Gannaya and a host of others who remained
firmly loyal to the queen, espoused her cause and helped her
to defeat the rebels.
With regard to the external dangers, the Kalinga King
Narasimha I who suffered a defeat previously at the hands of
Ganapatideva, taking advantage of the distracted condition in
the Kakatiya dominions, marched with his forces into the
Godavari delta to recover his lost possessons. His short and
incomplete inscription at Draksharama dated 1262 A.D. attests
the same. The minor Chalukyen families and the Haihaya chiefs,
who were ruling in the erstwhile Vengi territories during this
period, did not recognise any overlord. Whether they were
actually independent or nominally autonomous princes (because
of Veerabhadra's relationship), it is not certain. But the
position is that no trace of the Kakatiya rule is to be found
either in the Godavari valley or in Vengi until 1278-79 A.D. In
the later part of the reign of Rudramadevi, the above provinces
came back under her sway. Her commanders Poti Nayaka and
Proli Nayaka fought against Kalinga Vira Bhanudeva I. son and
successor of Narasimha I and his accomplices Arjunadeva, the
Matsya chief of Oddadi and others and inflicted a crushing
defeat on them. They even assumed the title 'Gajapatimattama144
tangasimha' (lion to the rutting elephant, viz. the Gajapati), and
'Oddiyarayamanamardana' (the destroyer of the pride of Oddiyaraya).
The Kakatiya power was thus re-established in the
coastal Andhra country.
In the south, after the victory of Muttukur, a targe part of
the Kakatiya territory was under the sway of the Pandyas.
As a subordinate of the Pandyan monarch, the last Chalukya-
Chola ruler Rajendra III ruled Nellore and its dependencies.
Even the eastern part of the Cuddapah district and Chittore
district were under the Pandyan sway. The Kalukada chiefs
Kesavadeva and his brother Somideva, encouraged by the
Pandyas. proclaimed their independence and even made, successful
inroads (1267-69 A.D.) into the Kayastha territory
which remained under the formers at least for sometime.
Rudramadevi faced the most serious danger from the
west. It threatened to overthrow the Kakatiya monarch. The
Sauna ruler Mahadeva, who succeeded to the throne of Devagin
in 1260 A.D., invaded the Kakatiya kingdom in the early
years of his rule. The Yadava records credit him with victory
against the Kakatiyas According to Hemadri's 'Vrata-Khanda ,
he left her free 'because of his reluctance to kill a woman'. His
title Telungarayasirahkamalamulotpatana' suggests that he 'uprooted
the stalk of the lotus of the head of Telungaraya'. All
these accounts are one-sided. The fact is that Mahadeva never
killed any ruler of the Telugu country. It was only a heriditary
title. One of the predecessors of Mahadeva, Jaitugi I killed
Kakati Rudra in 1195/96 A.D. However, it may be said that
though his attack was successful initially, it ended in dismal
failure. 'Pratapachantram' mentions that Rudramadevi fought
valiantly, put Mahadeva to flight, pursued the Seuna forces
upto Davagin and forced him to conclude a treaty with her
and pay a crore of gold coins as war indemnity. The epigraphic
evidence from Panugal (Nalgonda district) and Hire-Kogilun
bears testimony to this. A hoard of Seuna coins discovered
at Rachapatnam (Kaikalur Taluk of the Krishna district) probably
'represents a part of the money which Rudramba, according
to Pratapachartram, received from Mahadeva as war indemnity
and distributed among the officers of her army'
The Kakatiyas 145
In the south, the situation became still worse. As already
seen, after the Muttukur conflict, the Nellore kingdom came
under the sway of the Pandyas and was placed under their
vassals. As the Pandyan inscriptions at Nandalur and Tirupati
indicate, even the Vallum Kayasthakingdom came into the
possession of the Pandyas (their subordinates the Kalukada
Vaidumba chiefs were in charge). Though the Kakatiya vassal
Mahamandalesvara Nagadeva Maharaja conquered Nellore and
the surrounding territory, it was a temporary phenomenon
which lasted just for five years (1271-75 A.D.). The area was
reoccupied by the Telugu Cholas who paid allegiance to the
The Kayastha chief Jannigadeva re-occupied the territories
of the Valluru kingdom and freed thus from the Pandyan sway.
He and his brother Tripurarideva I (1270-72 A.D.) continued
to rule the Valluru kingdom as the vassals of Rudramadevi.
However with the succession of their younger brother AMBADEVA
to the throne in 1272 A.D., the situation underwent a
change. Ambadeva was ambitious and powerful. From the
beginning, he resolved to resuscitate the fortunes of his family
and carve out an independent kingdom for himself. To pursue
these objects, he was in constant wars with his neighbours
during his long reign of thirty-two years.
Ambadeva stopped paying allegiance to the Kakatiya queen
almost from the very beginning of his rule. His Tripurantakam
inscription dated 1290 A.D. records his achievements. It seems
that he befriended himself with the Pandyas and the Saunas
and with their military assistance proclaimed his independence.
He is said to have successfully fought with the seventyfive
kings. These kings might be the Kakatiya Nayankaras. Ambaya
defeated the Gurindala (Gunjala in the Palnad Taluk of the
Guntur district) chief 'Rayasahasramalla Sripati Ganapati. He
also subjugated the Kalukada Vaidumba chiefs Kesavadeva and
Somideva and their ally Allu Gangu of Gutti (Anantapur district).
He killed Eruva Mallideva Choda in battle and occupied
Eruvanadu Pendekallu also came into his possession Kopperunjinga
was put to death and thereby Ambadeva assumed
the title 'Kadavarayi Vidhvamsaka' With these conquests.
Gandtkota, Mulikinadu, Renadu. Sakilinadu, Eruva and Pottapi-
nadu were added to the Kayastha kingdom. He restored Manumagandagopala
on the throne of Nellore and made him his
vassal. The Pandyas, who attempted to restore their sway
here, were defeated and driven away. As a result of this,
the Pandyan suzerainty in Andhradesa came to an end. But
the establishment of a strong, extensive and independent
Kayastha kingdom in the southern parts, gave a jolt to the
imperial authority of the Kakatiyas.
Rudramadevi could not tolerate the headstrong and disloyal
Ambadeva. She sent an army under her general Mallikarjuna
against the rebel chief. However, as the recently
discovered Chandupatla (Nalgonda district) grant dated 1283
A.D. indicates, Ambadeva seems to have killed Rudrama along
with Mallikarjuna Nayaka in battle in that year. It was
Prataparudra II, successor of Rudrama that succeeded in supressing
the Kayastha revolt later.
Rudramadevi was undoubtedly one of the greatest rulers
of Andhradesa. Her sex did not come on her way in discharging
the duties of her exalted office. She took an active
part in governing the country and strove hard to promote
the best interests of the state. In spite of the wars which
frequently disturbed the country, her people remained contented
and happy under her rule. Rudrama strengthened the
Warangal fort still further. She had also a deep moat dug
around it Marcopolo. the Venetian traveller who paid a visit
to the kingdom probably a little later, speaks highly of her
administrative qualities, benign rule and greatness.
Rudramadevi had no male issue out only two daughters
Mummadamma and Ruyyamma. On the advice of her father,
she adopted Mummadamma's son Prataparudra (II) as her son
and as heir to the throne. On her demise, Prataparudra II
ascended the throne of Warangal
5 PRATAPARUDRA II (1289/90-1323 A.D.)
Dr. P V. Parabhrahma Sastri contended, on the basis of
the Chandupatla (near Nakarikallu. Nalgonda district) inscripron,
that Rudramadevi died in the month of November, 1289
AD. fghting battle against the rebal Kayestha chief Ambadeva.
On the death of Rudrama, her grandson Prataparudra, who
The Kakatiyas 147
was adopted by her as son and as heir apparent on the advice
of her father Ganapatideva, ascended the throne at the beginning
of the year 1280 A.D. At the time of his accession, he
was about thirty five years old. Before his grandmother's
death, he had been associated with her for several years in
the administration of the kingdom with the names Kakati
Rudrakumara and Kumara Rudradeva. If the contention of
Dr. Parabrahma Sastri that Rudrama was killed at the hands
of the rebel Ambadeva in battle, is accepted, then it must be
agreed that even after his accession to the throne of Warangal
in 1289/90 A.D., Prataparudra was referred as Kumara Rudradeva.
In the Nataka Prakarana of 'Prataparudra Yasobhushanam',
the author Vidyanatha refers that when the prince was bom
because it looked as if the Sun-rise took place, so he was
named Prataparudra.
As Dr. M. Ramarao pointed out. his (Prataparudra's) is
'an eventful reign Like the reign of Aurangzeb, it shows high
watermark of the Kakatiya glory and also witnesses inevitable
but pitiable reaction in the opposite direction'. Prataparudra
had to fight battles throughout his reign against either the
internal rebels or the external foes. The caste-ridden factional
rivalries among the Kayastha, the Velama and the Reddi communities
might have incited the internal revolts. As a result
of these constant internal troubles and the external dangers,
especially the invasions of the aliens, the Kakatiya empire
ultimately collapsed.
Eversince Prataparudra assumed the reigns of government.
he made the rehabilitation of the kingdom his sole aim. To
strengthen the defences of the kingdom, he set about reorganizing
the administrative system. Tradition, based on
authentic facts, points out that he recruited exclusively from
the Velama community seventy five or seventy seven nayaks,
assigned them territories and entrusted to each of them the
defence of one of the seventy-seven bastions of the (on of his
capital Warangal. He must have found the Velama (Padma
Nayaka) chieftains eminently fitted to the duty. This wellmeant
reform and the special favour shown to the Velama
community, of course, excited the jealousy of the Reddi chieftains
who grew sullen and discontented. Prataparudra even
centralised power as far as possible.
'Prataparudra put his new-modelled army to test by pitting
against the rebel Kayastha chief Ambadeva. He proved more
than a match to Ambaya. He knew fully well that an attack
on Ambaya would also involve him in a war with his allies,
the Seunas and the Pandyas. So he wanted to isolate Ambadeva
from those allies and deal with each of them separately,
For this, he launched a three-pronged attack on Ambadeva's
territories and at the same time to dispatch separate expeditions
against his a/lies, who sent fierce elephants and fleetfooted
horses as auxiliary forces to the assistance of the
Kayasthas. In 1291 A.D., a large army under Gannaya, son
of Kolani Sornamantri and his cousin Annayadeva, son of
Induluri Peda Gannayamantri, defeated Ambadeva and forced
him to retreat southwards into Mulikinadu. As a result of
this victory, Tripurantakam and the surrounding territory passed
into the hands or the Kakatiya monarch. In the course of the
same campaign, the Cheraku chief, Rajanarendra who was
probably a vassal and ally of Ambadeva, was put to death.
The inscriptions testify to the fact that subsequently
the Cherakus continued to rule the Nandikotkur Taluk of the
Kurnool district as vassals of the Kakatiya monarch.
While the encounter with Ambadeva and the Cherukus
was in progress in the west, another section of the Kakatiya
army under the command of Adidam Mallu marched along the
coast towards Nellore to prevent its chief Manuma-Gandagopala
from joining forces with his patron Ambadeva or sending him
military assistance. Mallu killed Manuma in the encounter and
placed Raja-Gandagopala on the throne of Nellore in 1290 A.D.
But this Raja-Gandagopala soon turned against his benefactor
and joined hands with the Pandyas. A second expedition was
sent against Nellore by Prataparudra. Raja-Gandagopala and
his Pandyan allies were defeated.
Another expedition, under Gona Vitthala from his headquarters
Vardhamanapura (Vaddamanu in the Mahaboobnagar
The Kakatiyas 149
district), was sent against the Seuna territory on the western
frontier. Vitthala must have wrested the Krishna-Tungabhadra
doab from the Seunas of Devagiri and fortified Raichur so that
the entire region could effectively be controlled from that fort.
Ambadeva, who was compelled to retire by the Kakatiya
army from Tripurantakam and its surrounding territories, continued
to rule over his native Mulikinadu until 1304 A.D. He
and his successors stayed independent. It was in the year
1309 A.D. that Prataparudra sent an army against them under
his general Maharaya-pattasahini Somaya Nayaka, Induluri Annaya
and others. The Kayasthas were everthrown and their territories
were annexed to the Kakatiya kingdom, Somaya Nayaka
was entrusted with the government of these territories.
Meanwhile the Kakatiya kingdom had to face the Turushka
inroads (1303-10 A.D.) as a result of which the country was
thrown into calamity and chaos, The failure of Protaparudra
to ward off the Muslim invasion in 1309 A.D. under the command
of Malik Naib Kafur, let loose the forces of disintegration
in his empire. Taking advantage of this distracted condition,
the Vadumba chief Mallideva of Gandikota and the Telugu Chola
ruler Ranganatha of Nellore rebelled against the central authority.
After the retirement of the Muslim invaders from
Telangana, Prataparudra sent an army under Juttayalenka
Gonkaya Reddi against Mallideva. Mallideva was defeated and
killed. Prataparudra made Gonkaya the governor of Mulikinadu
and the surrounding territories with Gandikota as headquarters.
In the meantime, civil war began in the Pandyan kingdom
between Kulasekhara Pandya's two sons, Vira Pandya and
Sundara Pandya for the throne of Madura. As a mediator,
Malik Kafur entered Madurai kingdom, plundered and desecrated
the temples at Kanchi, Madurai, Chidambaram, Srirangam and
other places and carried away much loot, shattering the
economy of the Tamil country. This Mabar expedition of the
Muslims proved to be a purely military raid. The aftermath
confusion in the Pandyan kingdom provided an opportunity for
the Kerala and the Karnataka rulers to intervene in its affairs.
Ravivarman Kulasekhara of Quilon defied the Pandyan autho150
rity. At the same time, the Hoyasala Ballala III invaded and
occupied a large part of Tondaimandalam, including perhaps
Kanchi, and forced some of the local chieftains, such as the
Sambuvaraya of Padaividu and the Yadavaraya of Chandragiri
to pay their allegiance. According to N.V. Ramanayya, at the
instance of Ala-ud-Din Khilji, Prataparudra along with the
generals, the Padma Nayak chief Erra Dacha Nayaka along with
Induluri Rudra, Muppidi Nayaka and Devari Nayaka, marched
on the Pandyan territory. Ranganatha was driven away and
Nellore became part and parcel of the Kakatiya empire. Devari
Nayaka occupied Kanchi from the Hoyasala forces, defeated
both Ravivarma and Vira Pandya and anointed Sundara Pandya
at Viradhavaia. The Kakatiya authority was thus established
in the south upto Trichinopoly in the south.
On the banks of the river Tungabhadra one Singaya Nayaka,
a vassal of the Yadavas, established an independent Kampili
kingdom, at Anegondi. His son Kampilideva, who was ambitious
and aggressive, desirous of extending his kingdom, came
into conflict with the Hoyasala ruler Ballala IIl. In this endeavour,
he even sought the help of Prataparudra. When he failed to
secure the assistance of the Kakatiya monarch, he got angry
with him and in order to humiliate him assumed his titles
'Mururayaraganda' and 'Virarudrnaganda'. Prataparudra became
furious at this and sent Bendapudi Annayamatya and
Recherla Singama Nayaka against Kampili. The Kakatiya
generals humbled the pride of Kampilideva.
To augment the financial resources and replenish the treasury,
which became empty due to many a war waged against
the internal rebels and the external foes and the frequent inroads
of the Muslims and also due to the continual payment
of tribute to Delhi, Prataparudra tried his best. In the Cuddapah,
Kurnool and Palnad areas, trees were cut down, forests
were cleared and new lands were brought under cultivation.
Tanks and wells were dug to provide irrigational facilities. New
settlements came into existence.
Prataparudra was a man of cultural tastes and pursuits.
He patronised men of letters both in Sanskrit and Telugu. His
The Kakatiyas 151
court poet Vidyanatha wrote 'Prataparudra Yasobhushanam'
on poetics in Sanskrit. Agastya and Viswanatha had also their
contribution in Sanskrt. Prataparudra's ministers and generals
also patronised poets and scholars.
(The Muslim Invasions on Andhra)
The glory of the Kakatiya realm which was at its zenith
during the reign of Prataparudra, exited the jealousy of his
neighbours, especially the Yadavas of Devagiri and tire Oriya
rulers of Cuttack and led them even to make common cause
with any power that sought to humble the pride of the Kakatiyas.
'Unfortunately for the Andhras such a mighty power
came forth in the dynasty of the Imperial rulers (The Khaljis
and then the Tughlaks) of Delhi.' Ala-ud-din Khalji was the
first Sultan of Delhi to undertake expedition against Andhra.
It is to be viewed as part of his grand scheme of invasions of
the Deccan and South India. S.K. Aiyangar rightly observes
in his work 'South India and Her Muhammadan Invaders' about
the motives of Ala-ud-din in undertaking these expeditions
thus: 'Al-ud-din's object in these various invasions of the
Deccan and the farther south appears to have gone on farther
than making them the mileh-co for the gold that he was often
much in need for the efficient maintenance of his army to keep
Hindustan free from internal disturbances and invasion by the
Mughals (Mongols) from outside'.
Ala-ud-din was by all counts, the first Muslim general who
crossed the Vindhyas and invaded the Hindu States of South
India. Being the nephew of Jalal-ud-din Khalji, the founder
of the Khalji rule in Delhi, he (Ali Gurshasp Malik was his real
name) rendered his services to his uncle and father-in-law
in crushing the revolt (Aug-Sept. 1290 A.D.) of the disaffected
Turkish amirs led by Malik Chhajju-Kishlu Khan, governor of
Kara. This young man, calculating, unscrupulous and aggressive',
was eventually appointed governor of Kara. His domestic
misery (due to haughty and arrogant wife) increased his thirst
for avenging himself on the family and his unsympathetic
critics by deeds that would free him from the bitter family
tutelage and ensure him an independent and glorious existence.
He realized that money was the first requisite and raid
on the neighbouring Hindu states and beyond the Vindhyas
appeared to assue a working capital for the furtherance of
his ultimate objective of capturing the throne of Delhi. In this
process, he first captured Bhilsa (Vidisha) near Bhopal, plundered
and destroyed the richly endowed temples and collected
enoromous booty. Here he 'assiduously gathered knowledge
of the fabled wealth of southern Hindu kingdoms'. On the
pretext of invading Chanderi, Ala-ud-din, as a fugitive prince,
marched in the winter of 1295 A.D. to Ellichpur and then passed
through Lasaura with his eight thousand picked cavalry. He
had his assault on the capital Devagiri of the Yadava kingdom,
when its main army had gone southwards under heir apparent
Singhana Deva. The ruler Ramachandra sued for peace. Even
Singhana who arrived from the south was also defeated.
Enormous booty and huge war indemnity were extracted.
Devagiri was reduced to a vassal state. This invasion 'not
only provided Ala-ud-din with the money, he needed so badly
to further his ambitious plans to succeed to throne of Delhi
but also opened the way to South India to the Mahammadans,
none of whom had dared to cross the Vindhyas so far'.
Ala-ud-din then hatched a plot, assassinated Jalal-ud-din,
won the nobles over to his side with the Deccan money and
usurped the Delhi throne in 1296 A.D. He was obliged to
keep a large and effective army in order to keep the nobles
under check, maintain law and order, subjugate and conquer
the independent and semi-independent states, and to check
the Mongol menace. His revenue reforms were due to his
desire to increase state resources. The execution of his policy
of conquest of north India drained mostly these resources. He
soon felt the need to look for money outside his territory.
His assiduously gathered earlier knowledge of the fabled
wealth of southern Hindu kingdoms beyond Devagiri came to
his help. Instead of conquering and annexing these kingdoms.
The Kakatiyas 153
he shrewdly opted for squeezing them of their immense
treasures and making them pay tributes regularly to augment
the imperial treasury. The political situation in the south at
that time was also encouraging to him. The rulers of the
Hoyasala, Pandya, Yadava and Kakatiya kingdoms, which rose
on the ruins of the Chalukyu and Chola empires, were engaged
in war with each other. So Ala-ud-din turned his attention
beyond Devagiri on the Telugu country first.
According to contemporary Hindu sources like 'Pratapacharitra',
Vilasa and Kaluvacheru copper plate grants, there
were no less than eight Muslim expeditions against the Andhra
country alone during the reign of Prataparudra, The Muslim
accounts, however, refer to only five expeditions, of which
three were victorious and two disastrous.
The earliest expedition of Ala-ud-din against the Kakatiya
kingdom took place in 1303 A.D. While he himself was engaged
in sieging the fort of Chitor in Rajasthan, he sent Malik
Fakhr-ud-din Juna and Jhaju of Kara with troops by way of
Bengal to Telangana. The army, which already suffered disaster
in the course of the march owing to floods, was worsted
at Upparapalli (Karimnagar district) by Recherfa Venna and
Potuganti Maili and was compelled to retreat in confusion.
After settling satisfactorily the affairs of Hindustan and
Western India and having brought effectively Maharashtra
(Devagiri kingdom) under control, Ala-ud-din devoted his attention
to the conquest of the Southern Hindu States. Amir
Khusrau and Barani gave a graphic account of these expeditions
commencing from 1309 A.D. The Sultan dispatched a
large army under Malik Naib Kafur and Khwaja Haji to conquer
Telangana to wipe off his earlier disgrace and also to chastise
Prataparudra for giving asylum to the Hindu ruler of Gujarat.
In tune with his policy towards the Southern rulers, he ordered
Malik Naib to leave Prataparudra in possession of his dominions,
if he should submit to him and agree to pay tribute. The
Delhi army passed through Devagiri and seized the hill of
Anmakonda on 20 January, 1310 A.D. After twenty-five days
fighting, the outer mud fort of Warangal was taken by storm.
While laying sieze of the inner stone fort, the Muslim army
devastated the country side, terrifying the inhabitants. Thus
Prataparudra was forced to submit. Peace was restored.
'War and peace with Sultan Ala-ud-din made little difference,
the former involved death and the latter the loss of everything
that one possessed'. Malik Naib left Warangal with a high
booty 'a thousand camels groaned, under the weight of the
treasure'. Prataparudra remained a vassal of Delhi, paying
the stipulated amount of tribute every year thereafter.
Following Ala-ud-din's death in 1316 A.D., the revolution
broke out in Delhi, which finally led to the accession of Qutbud-
din Mubarak to the throne. Taking advantage of this situation,
Prataparudra stopped paying tribute to Delhi. The new
Sultan sent his favourite slave Khusrau Khan to Warangal at
the head of a powerful army to collect the arrears of tribute
due to Delhi. With regard to this Khusrau Khan's expedition
to Warangal, Amir Khusrau and Isami gave conflicting accounts,
While an overdrawn picture of the achievements of the Muslim
general in Telangana was given by the former, the latter simply
states that 'Khusrau collected all the tribute due to his master
without having recourse to force'. However both the accounts
clearly point out that Prataparudra paid the arrears of tribute
and the Delhi authority was restored in Telangana
Again when a series of events shook the Delhi empire
to its foundations in 1320 A.D., Prataparudra, according to
Firishta, did not pay tribute. After Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlak
established the rule of his family in Delhi, reversing the policy
of his predecessors towards the southern kingdoms (squeezing
as much money as possible), the Sultan wanted to bring
the whole of Deccan peninsula under his direct control. In
pursuit of this policy, he sent his son prince Juna Khan, who
bore the title 'Ulugh Khan' (later Muhammad bin Tughlak),
to the south. Ulugh Khan marched to Warangal in 1321-22
A.D. This was the fourth expedition against Warangal. Ulugh
Khan marched to Warangal by way of Devagiri. Barani gives
us details of this expedition. Warangal was invested. A proThe
Kakatiyas 155
tracted and fierce struggle followed. Kotagiri and other places
were also besiezed. When the Muslim armis were about to
capture Warangal, rumours spread, might be at trie instance of
the astrologer Ubaid, to the effect that Ghiyas-ud-din died and
the Delhi throne was captured by a usurper. Consternation and
confusion followed in the Muslim camp. Some of the generals
fled along with their armies. Uplugh had no alternative except
to raise the siege and retreat towards Devagiri. Subsequently
deterrent punishments were meted out to the detractors.
Ghiyas-ud-din did not get discouraged. He sent reinforcements
to Devagiri with clear instructions to his son to proceed
against Telangarva and subjugate the country. Ulugh Khan,
now with the fully equipped reinforcements, marched towards
Telangana, captured on the way several forts, siezed the strategic
Bodhan and finally attacked the citadel of Warangal in
1323 A.D. The reappearance of Ulugh at Warangal within
four months of the retreat caught the Kakatiya army unawares.
The stock of provisions was meagre. The jealousy and rivalry
of the Reddi chiefs with the Velamas played havoc. Still the
sieze lasted for five months. The hardy and well-built Turkish
soldiers with its swift moving cavalry caused havoc among
the enemy ranks and ultimately Prataparudra had to yield. He
was taken to Delhi along with all the members of his family.
The Vilasa grant of Musunuri Prolaya states that Prataparudra.
while being carried away as a captive to Delhi, died on the
banks of the river Narmada. He might have either committed
suicide or was slain by one of his followers at his own instance.
With the defeat and death of Prataparudra ended the rule of
Kakatiya line of kings; and the country passed into the hands
of rulers belonging to an alien race and religion.
The Kakatiyas with their conquering zeal and spirit of
nationalism and patriotism united the while of Andhradesa—
coastal Andhra, Telangana and Rayalaseema—all the Teluguspeaking
parts of the Deccan under their paramount power.
It was for the first and the last time also (before the formation
of Andhra Pradesh State) that the Telugu-speaking people were
united under one government. Their spirit of nationalism and
patriotism stood them in good stead in their offering gallant
resistance to the Islamic invaders. This radition and legacy
of the Warangal kingdom was however continued by the
Vijayanagara rulers.
The Kakatiyas followed the traditional hereditory monarchical
system. The practice of the ruling monarch taking heir
into partnership in the administration of the kingdom was visible
The Kakatiyas 157
at least from the time of Ganapatideva. A female succession
to the throne, eventhough it was prejudiced by some, was the
unique feature of the Kakatiya dynasty in the history of
Andhradesa. Though the monarch was all powerful, his authority
was subjected to the limitations imposed by vama-dharma
and the customs of the land. The works on rajaniti prescribed
high qualifications of head and heart for the king. The king's
frequent audiences to his subjects at fixed times was made
essential for fostering harmony between the ruler and the ruled.
A large number of ministers used to assist the monarch in the
administration of the kingdom. Merit was probably the criterion
to make appointments to public service. The contemporary
literary work 'Sakalanitisammatamu' lists 18 Thirthas (ministers).
Officials of all classes in the court were divided into
'niyogas' (categories). They were seventy two in number and
collectively referred as 'bahattara', placed under the supervision
of the 'bahattara-niyogadhipati'.
With regard to the territorial organization of the Kakatiya
kingdom, the primary basis was the village. Besides the
village, the bigger administrative divisions like 'sthalas' and
'nadus' were known from inscriptions. The villages were under
the rule of a body of village officials called collectively the
'ayagars' (generally 12 in number and include karanam, pedakapu,
talari etc.). Little is known about the local organization
of the stalas and nadus.
In the military organization of the Kakatiya kingdom, fores
played a dominant role in the defence of the realm. It is the
network of forts which enables a kingdom to last long. The
'Nitisara' of Prataparudra refers to four kinds of forts-sthala.
Jala, vana and giri durgas. The inscriptions of the period refer
to the giri-durgas like Anumakonda, Rachur and Gandikota, the
vana-durgas like Kandur and Narayanavanam, the jala-durgas
like Divi and Kolanu and the sthala-durgas like Warangal and
Dharnikota, These forts were the most famous strong-holds
in the Kakatiya period.
The administration of the kingdom was done on military
basis. The kings shared their territories out among a number
of military chiefs called 'Nayakas'. This was the 'nayakara'
system which became popular as a prominent feature of administration
later under the Vijayanagara emperors. The 'Nitisara'
states that the king should assign only small villages to the
samantas, reserving the big ones for maintaining the four-fold
army and for the replenishment of the treasury. The 'Pratapacharitra'
informs us about Prataparudra II entrusting the defence
of the 77 bastions of Warangal to 77 Nayakas of the Velama
community, allotting to them a fourth of his kingdom as estates
to enable them to discharge efficiently their duties (to maintain
a prescribed body of troops for the service of the king and to
pay annual tribute).
The elephants, cavalry and infantry constituted the Kakatiya
army. The contemporary accounts refer to the strength
of the army under Prataparudra II which consisted of 100 elephants,
20.000 horses and 9,00,000 archers. The military service
was not restricted to any particular community. The Gajasahini
and Asva-sahini used to train the elephants and horses
for the purposes of war. Maharaya-pattasahini was an officer
attached to the royal establishment.
The army was divided into two sections, the royal forces
and the nayaka levies. Being the commander-in-chief of the
army, the king used to take the field in person very often.
The 'angarakshas' used to guard the kings' person and palace.
The 'lenkas' (companions-at-arms) with an ideal conduct used
to serve and if required they were even ready to sacrifice
their lives for the sake of the king. No correct information
is available regarding the organization of military heirarchy.
'Distinguished service in the army was frequently rewarded
by the grant of landed estates and the conferment of titles
and badges of honour by the king The Gandapendera or
anklet of the heroes was a common decoration bestowed on
distinguished men for meritorious service'.
Agriculture was the main source of the prosperity of the
Kakatiya period. No reference is given to any public works
The Kakatiyas 159
department or the state undertaking either direct or indirect
responsibility for the construction and maintenance of irrigation
works. However the kings and their nobles, merchants
and wealthy men and even the religious leaders took active
interest in the construction and maintenance of irrigation works,
especially tanks or reservoirs in which rain water was stored.
It was because of their sentimental belief, that the construction
of a tank was an act of charity which would acquire great
religious merit, starting from Beta II, the rulers and their chieftains
(especially the Malyala and Recheria chieftains) encouraged
raising wet crops on a large scale in Telangana by providing
large tanks or dams.
Besides provision of irrigation facilities to improve
agriculture, attempts were made to increase the extent of
cultivable land by cutting down forests particularly in the
Rayalasima area during the reign of Prataparudra II. New
settlements were encouraged in the forest clearings. The
tax on agriculture and the charges levied on industry and trade
were collected by regular officials. The land was, for purposes
of assessment, divided into dry, wet and garden varieties.
Tax was payable either in kind or in cash. Little is known
about the incidence of taxation. Salt was a monopoly of the
state. Apart from agriculture, industry and commerce were
also promoted. Marco Polo, Amir Khusrau and Wassaf paid
glowing tributes to the prosperous condition of Andhradesa
during this period.
The Kakatiya monarchs were well known for their policy
of religious toleration. Among the reformist faiths. Buddhism
was a thoroughly spent-up force by the eleventh century A.D.
Due to the patronage of the early Kakatiya rulers, Jainism
lingered on here and there, maintaining its individual character,
in 'Panditaradhyacharitra' and 'Basava Purana', references were
made to the persecution of Jains.
Among the Bhakti cults which replaced Buddhism and
Jainism, though Vaishnavism also flourished, it was the hey
day for Saivism. The Kahamukha doctrine was predominant
at the beginning, the Pasupata sect gained upper hand later.
The first independent monarchs of the Kakatiya dynasty,
Rudradeva and his brother Mahadeva were 'Parama-mahesvaras'.
The reign of Ganapatideva was remarkable in the history of
the Saiva religion during the Kakatiya period. The Pasupata
Saivas belonging to the Golaki-Matha gained popularity among
the people as well as with the royal house. The teachers of
this Matha, like Visvesvara Siva (the royal preceptor of Ganapatideva)
exerted greater influence on the Chedi Katechuris,
Kakatiyas and on the Kings of Malwa and Chola countries.
In Andhradesa, many branches of this Golaki-Matha were set
up at Bhattiprolu, Tripurantakam, Sriparvata and Pushpagiri.
This Pasupata sect of Saivism of Golaki-Matha continued to
flourish almost upto the end of the reign of Prataparudra II.
It is strange to find that after the fall of Warangal in 1323 A.D.,
no Saivacharya of Golaki-Matha was heard of.
The famous Pandita-traya, Mallikarjuna Pandita, Sripati
Pandita and Manchana Pandita, belonging to Aradhya Saivism
had also some following in the southern parts of the Telugu
country during the Kakatiya period. The Vira-Saiva school of
Basava. which was at its zenith in the Kanarase country during
this period, did not attract many people in the Andhra country.
The Saiva-Mathas, which were supported by liberal grants
from the kings and nobles, imparted religious teaching to their
disciples. Satras (free feeding houses) were attached to the
Saiv monasteries. 'Village and family deities, such as Ekavira,
Mahuramma, Kakatamma and Kameswari, were very popular
and their worship was general throughout this period'. Performance
of vratas and often undertaking pilgrimages also attained
much importance during these times.
The Kakatiyas were men of cultural tastes. They patronised
men of arts and letters. They were fond of architecture. As
they had sprung from the Chalukyas and were also allied by
The Kakatiyas 161
marriage with the Cholas of South India, it is natural that their
temples should show a happy blending of these two styles
of temple architecture. With regard to secular architecture,
since the forts began to play a dominant part in the defence
of the realm, they were built at Warangal, Raichur, Golkonda,
Rachakonda, Devarakonda and other places revealing the architectural
skills of the times. The entrances of the mud-wall
and the stone citadel at Warangal are magnificent examples
of mediaeval defence arrangements.
Since the early Kakatiya monarchs were Jains by faith,
some temples of Jain variety must have been erected at places
like Kolanupaka (Warangal district) and Jogipeta (Medak)
district) but later they vanished possibly due to Saiva malice
and fury. However the Padmakshi temple near Anmakonda
on a hill top, built during the reign of Prola II, still stands as a
solitary example of the Jain architecture of the Kakatiya period.
With modest size and simple design, it does not exhibit any
architectural excellence.
The excellence of the Kakatiya architecture and sculpture
is revealed in the constructions of a later age. They include
the famous temples at Anmakonda, Warangal, Pillalamarri and
Palampeta. The thousandpillar temple known as the Rudresvara
temple at Hanumakonda constructed by Rudradeva in 1162 A.D.
stands as a testimony for the great architectural triumph of
the age of the Kakatiyas. The ceilings, the portals, the inner
walls and pillars of this temple and the collossal image of
Nandi-all built of granite and black stone were finely chistelled,
elaborately decorated with intricate designs and perfectly proportioned
with amazing skill and mastery, depicting the figures
of animals, deities and scences from the epics.
The great Ramappa temple at Palampeta is said to have
been built in 1213 A.D. by Recherla Rudra, one the generals
of Ganapatideva. At the eastern entrance of this temple raised
on a high platform stands the beautifully symmetrical and lifelike
image of the monolithic Nandi with marvellous smoothness
and polish, displaying extraordinary skill in carving the nume-
rous details of its ornamental hangings. The outside of the
temple is decorated by a variety of figures including deities,
warriors, musicians and dancers. The twelve figure brackets,
springing from the shoulders of the outer pillars and nominally
supporting the protruding caves of the roof of the temple,
represent the dancing artists in different postures. The other
temples at Katakshpur, Nagnur, Nagulapadu, Panagal, Attirala,
Manthani, and Bejjanki and the Toranas (gateways) at Warangal
and Veerakals (hero-stones) at different pieces also exhibit the
same artistic merit of the Kakatiya times. The fine arts of
music and dance also received patronage at the Warangal court.
The Kakatiyas paid much attention on the spread of education
and bestowed bounteous patronage on men of letters.
Sanskrit continued to occupy the first place in the educational
system of this period. The contemporary inscriptions bear
sufficient evidence to this. This study of the Vedas, the other
Vedic literary works and the various branches of classical
Sanskrit literature was encouraged- The liberal patronage
rendered by the rulers and their dependents gave an impetus
to literary activity on large scale.
Among the epigraphical poets who composed prasastis
(their inscriptions are regarded as kavyas in miniature), the
names of Achintendra, Nandi, Anantasuri and Isvarasuri figure.
Besides, important works in different branches of learning were
produced. Among the Kavya writers, Agastya (Balabharatam
and Nalakirtikaumudi), Sakalya Mallu-bhatta (Niroshthya
Ramayana etc.) and Appayarya (Jinendrakalyanabhyudaya)
deserve special mention. The dramatists in Sanskrit include
Gangadhara, Visvanatha, Narasimha and Ravipati Tripurantaka.
The poet laureate of Prataparudra II, Vidyanatha produced his
famous treatise on poetics, 'Prataparudra-Yasobhushanam'. The
authorship of the famous treatise on rajaniti, 'Nitisara' was
ascribed to Prataparudra. On music and dance, Jayapa, the
Gaja-sahini of Ganapatideva, wrote Gitaratnavali and Nrittaratnavati.
Apart from these various poetical compositions.
The Kakatiyas 163
some Kavyas in Sanskrit prose and commentaries on philosophical
and theological works were also produced during this
The Kakatiya period constitutes an important chapter in;
the history of Telugu literature. It was under the patronage
of the Kakatiya generals and feudatories, much religious and
secular literature was produced in Telugu. The Bhakti cults
largely contributed to the Telugu literature. In fact, after
Nannayabhatta, the Telugu literature suffered an eclipse for
nearly a century. But from the later half of the 13th century
A.D., a continuous stream of literary output can be seen.
Undoubtedly the period is described as the age of Tikkana,
Tikkana Somayaji, who was in the service of the Telugu Choda
princes of Nellore, visited the court of the Kakatiyas, sought
and got the help of Ganapatideva for his master who was in
distress. This great poet had for his credit two important
works in Telugu. The first one is 'Nirvachanottara Ramayanamu'.
Though a highly Sanskritised style was employed, it is characterised
by excellent literary qualities and abounding elements
of pathos and heroism. However it is the 'Andhra Mahabharata'
which brought for Tikkana undying fame and made him one
of the immortals. Though it is a translation of the last fifteen
parvas of the Mahabharata, left out by his predecessor Nannaya,
yet Tikkana put life and blood into it with an avowed objective
of making ft a kavya. His delineation of character, dramatic
dialogue and lucid and at the same time suggestive exposition
of facts are masterly in nature. His broad spiritual outlook,
lofty idealism, high imagination and splendid diction made him
'Kavi Brahma' (The Supreme Creator among poets). Ketana
who translated Dandin's 'Dasakumara Charitra' into Telugu, and
Marana who wrote 'Markandeya Puranamu' were his contemporaries
and admirers.
Palkuriki Somanatha, who was an inhabitant of the
Telangana region in the time of Prataparudra, was an erudite
scholar and a linguist. In his later life, he espoused Vira-
Saivism. His greatest Telugu poetical works include 'Basava
Purana'. 'Panditaradhya Charitra' and 'Vrishadhipa Satakamu'.
Somanatha was the first poet who attempted to write in 'Desi'
(Janu Tenugu). His 'Basava Purana' is in popular Dwipada
metre. Gona Buddharaja's 'Ranganatha Ramayanamu' in the
same two-footed verse, 'Bhaskara Ramayanamu' ascribed to
Bhaskara, Mallikarjunabhatta and others and the works of
Nanne Choda, Manchana, Malliya Rechana, Baddena, Sivadevayya,
Madiki Singana and Yathavakkula Annamayya enriched
the Telugu literature during the age of the Kakatiyas New
styles of Telugu poetry, like Prabhandha and Staka, made their