The Kakatiya dynasty was a South Indian dynasty that ruled most of the Telugu speaking lands covered by current day Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, India from 1083 CE to 1323 CE, with Orugallu, now Warangal, as its capital. Shaivite Hindu in kingdom, it was one of the great Telugu empires that lasted for centuries until the conquest by the Delhi Sultanate.
The most prominent ruler in this dynasty was Rani Rudrama Devi 1262–1289 CE, one of the few queens in Indian history. She was born as Rudramba to Ganapathideva who had no sons. She was formally designated as a son through the ancient Putrika ceremony and given the male name of Rudradeva and declared the Queen. Rudramadevi was married to Veerabhadra, Eastern Chalukyan prince of Nidadavolu. Despite initial misgivings by some of her generals who resented a female ruler, she suppressed the internal rebellions and external incursions. An able fighter and ruler Rudramba defended the kingdom from the Cholas and the Yadavs, earning their respect. She remains one of the few symbols of female power in South India.
Rudrama died in November 1289 when in battle with Ambadeva, a rebel Kayastha chief. she was succeeded by her grandson, Prataparudra, whom she had adopted as her son and heir on the advice of her father, Ganapatideva.
Prataparudra had to fight battles throughout his reign, both against rebels and outside forces. He expanded the dynasty's borders towards the west to Raichur and introduced many administrative reforms, some of which were also later adopted in the Vijayanagar empire. Musunuri Nayaks were relatives of prataparudra.
Demise of the dynasty
The conquest of the Deccan by the Delhi Sultanate began in 1296 when Alauddin Khilji, the son-in-law and commander of the sultan, Jalaluddin, raided and plundered Devagiri.[page needed] Khilji subsequently murdered the sultan and took his place as head of the sultanate.
The glory and wealth of the Kakatiya kingdom attracted the attention of Khilji. The first foray into the Telugu kingdom was made in 1303 and was a disaster due to the resistance of the Kakatiya army in the battle at Upparapalli. A second attempt was made in 1309 by Malik Kafur; he managed to capture the forts of Siripur and Hanumakonda and then Warangal fort was taken after a prolonged siege. Kafur indulged in murder and mayhem around Warangal and this prompted Prataparudra to make a pact and offer an enormous amount of tribute.
Prataparudra asserted his independence in 1320 when there was a change of power in Delhi. The Khilji dynasty ended and Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq ascended the Delhi throne. In 1323, Tughlaq sent his son, Ulugh Khan, to defeat the defiant Kakatiya king. Khan's raid was repulsed but he returned a month later with a larger and determined army. The unprepared and battle-weary army of Warangal was finally defeated, and Prataparudra was taken prisoner. He committed suicide by drowning himself in the Narmada River while being taken to Delhi.
The demise of the Kakatiya dynasty resulted in confusion and anarchy under alien rulers for sometime. Later Kamma Kings Musunuri Nayaks, who served as army chief for the Kakatiya kingdom, united the various Telugu clans and recovered Warangal from the Delhi Sultanate and ruled for half a century. New Principalities arose out of the ruins of the Kakatiya empire that played an important role in the Telugu literature, the primary one being the Vijayanagara Empire.
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