Narasimhadeva I

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Narasimha Deva I also called as Lāñguḷā Narasinha Deba (Odia : ପ୍ରଥମ ଲାଙ୍ଗୂଳା ନରସିଂହ ଦେବ) was a king of Eastern Ganga Dynasty of ancient Utkal (present day Odisha). He ruled the dynasty from 1238–1264. He defeated the Muslim forces of Bengal who were constantly posing a threat to the Eastern Ganga dynasty's rule over Odisha from the times of his father Ananga Bhima Deva III. He was the first king of Odisha and one of the few rulers in India who took the offensive against the Islamic expansion over India, though his father had successfully played a defensive military role against the Turkish and Afghan rulers of Bengal. He has also built the Konark temple [1][2] to commemorate his victories over the Muslims along with a fort complex at Raibania in Balasore[3][4] and Khirachora Gopinatha Temple of Remuna. Some Historical evidences say that he ruled Kolletikota as a part of his kingdom[5]

Victorious battle against Turks and Afghans[edit]

Narasimha Deva was victorious against the Turks and Afghans who had captured Bengal and Bihar. He not only repulsed their attacks but pushed them as far behind as Padma River in current-day Bangladesh.

List of military campaigns by Lāñguḷā Narasimha Deva[edit]

Battle of Katasin (or Kantei in Medinapur of West Bengal) in 1243 A.D[edit]

It was the Narasimha Deva's first offensive against the Muslim ruler of Bengal, Tughral Tughan Khan with the help of his brother in law Paramardi Dev who was also a Kalachuri prince.[citation needed] Small and semi independent Hindu states of South Bengal were overrun by the Odia army comprising the Kalachuri conscripts. A counterattack was launched by the Muslim forces of Bengal due to which the Odia army retreated to the strategic location of Kantei. According to the Muslim document called Tabaqat-i-Nasiri Minhaj, the area was covered with thick cane bushes and forest. The Odia army followed a guerrilla warfare tactics, initially staying hidden from the vision of the approaching Muslim forces. Once the Tughral Tughan Khan was convinced that the Odia army had left the area and halted the army in ease, the Odia forces launched a sudden attack ensuring a massive slaughter of the enemy forces. Tughral Tughan Khan himself had a narrow escape being possibly wounded.

Battle of Lakhnauti (1244 A.D)[edit]

In 1244 A.D, the Odia forces led a seize on two provinces of Varendra and Radha situated side by side on the river Ganga with the fort Lakhnauti surrounded by the Odia army. The Muslim governor of Awadh and a vassal of the Delhi Sultanate, Qamruddin Tamur Khan arrived to the rescue of Tughan Khan but was enraged to see the Odia army surrounding the fort of Lakhnauti. Quarrel ensued between the two Muslim generals and Tughan Khan was discharged from his governorship of Bengal by Qamruddin with the authority of the Delhi Sultanate. Muslim commander Fakr-Ul-Mulk-Karimuddin-Laghri of the Lakhnauti fort was killed by the Odia army and the two provinces of Bengal were ransacked and plundered by them. A huge amount of battle weapons were also seized by the Odia army from the Muslims. Qamruddin Tamur Khan himself assumed the governorship of Bengal after this incident.

Battles of Umurdan (1247 to 1256 A.D)[edit]

In 1247 A.D., a new able Muslim military commander lkhtiyar-ud-Din Yuzbak was appointed as the governor of Bengal with the primary task of freeing Bengal from the Odia forces of Lāñguḷā Narasinha Deba that was commanded by his gallant Kalachuri brother in law, Paramardi Dev. The secondary task of the new governor was to suppress the rebellious activities of Tughan Khan who was plotting a revolt against the Delhi sultanate. Aided by the Delhi sultanate the new governor launched a new military campaign against the Odia forces on the soil of Bengal. Tabaqat-i-Nasiri Minhaj mentions that the two initial attempts to counter the Odia invasion was successful to an extent but the tide turned around when the gallant Kalachuri prince and commander of the Odia forces, Paramardi Dev inflicted a crushing defeat on the Muslim army. The Muslim army was resupplied and reinforced by the Delhi Sultanate on the appeal of lkhtiyar who marched further into the Odishan territory and a battle ensued at Amarda or Umurdan in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. Paramadri Dev put up a stiff resistance but was killed while displaying incredible gallantry on the battle field. The Muslims halted their progress into Odisha fearing massive retaliation by the Odia forces.

Conflict with Kakatiya ruler, Ganapati Deva[edit]

The Kakatiya and Odisha conflict was prominent from the times of Narasimha Deva's father Ananga Bhima Deva III. The major territorial disputes were for the areas adjoining the Godavari river. Ananga Bhima Deva III had captured the Vengi territories south of Godavari. Draksharama inscriptions of Kakatiya general Mallala Hemadi Reddy from the year 1237 A.D. shows that they were able to claim some territory north of Godavari but were eventually made to halt their advance possibly due the military might of the Ganga forces under the command of Lāñguḷā Narasinha Deba.

Forts built by Lāñguḷā Narasimha Deva[edit]

Raibania Fort Complex

Other temples built by Langula Narasimhadeva[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4. 
  2. ^ "World Heritage Sites - Konarak - Sun Temple - Introduction". 
  3. ^ Stirling's Orissa p. 77
    "The boldnes and enterprise of the Orissan monarchs in those days, may surprise us when we consider the situation of Kola in the heart of Central India beyond Kalberga and Bedar".
  4. ^ THE FORT OF BARABATI. Dr H.C. Das. pp.3
  5. ^ waiting for, Birds of good fortune. "THE HINDU, Waiting for birds of good fortune" (26-December-2006).