Reddy Kingdom

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Reddy Kingdom
1325–1448
Reddy Kingdom
Reddy Kingdom
CapitalAddanki (initial)
Kondavidu
Rajahmundry
Common languagesTelugu
Religion
Om.svg Hinduism
GovernmentMonarchy
Historical eraMedieval India
• Established
1325
• Disestablished
1448
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kakatiya dynasty
Vijayanagara Empire
Gajapati Empire

The Reddy Kingdom or Kondavidu Reddy Kingdom (1325–1448 CE)[1][2] was established in southern India by Prolaya Vema Reddy. The region that was ruled by the Reddy dynasty is now part of modern-day coastal and central Andhra Pradesh. Prolaya Vema Reddy was part of the confederation that started a movement against the invading Turkic armies of the Delhi Sultanate in 1325 and succeeded in repulsing them from Warangal.


Origin[edit]

Reddy Kings (1325-1448)
Prolaya Vema Reddy (1325 - 1353)[3]
Anavota Reddy (1353 - 1364)[3]
Anavema Reddy (1364 - 1386)[3]
Kumaragiri Reddy (1386 - 1402)[3]
Kataya Vema Reddy (1395 - 1414)
Peda Komati Vema Reddy (1402 - 1420)[3]
Racha Vema Reddy (1420 - 1424)[3]
Allada Reddy (1414 - 1423)
Veerabhadra Reddy (1423 - 1448)

The fall of the Kakatiya Kingdom in 1323, after being subject to seizes by the Tughlaq dynasty, led to a political vacuum in the Andhras.The Islamic conquerors failed to keep the region under effective control and constant infighting among themselves coupled with the martial abilities of the local Telugu warriors led to the loss of the entire region by 1347.[4][verification needed]

Whilst, this led to the rise of the Musunuris (initially were based in Coastal Andhra) and Recharlas in the Telangana region, the coastal belt saw the rise of a third warrior lineage—the Reddys of the Panta clan.[5][verification needed]

Established in about 1325 by Prolaya Vema Reddy, (also known as Komati Vema), his territory extended along the coast to Nellore in the south and Srisailam, in the west. He was succeeded by Anavota Reddy who consolidated the kingdom extensively and established its capital at Kondavidu in Guntur District.[5][verification needed]

By 1395, a second Reddy kingdom was established by a branch of the same lineage, with its capital in Rajahmundry, East Godavari District.[5][verification needed]

None of the Reddy lineages find any mention in Kakatiya era sources and cannot be exactly traced as to their origins. But, their inscriptions and humble genealogies suggest that they were born out of the late Kakatiya 'military milieu' and had a continuity with the local Telugu warrior culture.[5][6][verification needed]

Extent of rule[edit]

Water colour painting - Kondavidu fort, Reddy Kingdom.

The Reddy kings ruled coastal and central Andhra for over a hundred years from 1325 to 1448.[7] At its maximum extent, the Reddy Kingdom stretched from Cuttack, Orissa to the north, Kanchi to the south and Srisailam to the west.[8] The initial capital of the kingdom was Addanki.[9] Later, it was moved to Kondavidu and a subsidiary branch was established at Rajahmundry.[10] The Reddys were known for their fortifications. Two major hill forts, one at Kondapalli, 20 km north west of Vijayawada and another at Kondavidu about 30 km west of Guntur stand testimony to the fort building skill of the Reddy kings.[11] The forts of Bellamkonda, Vinukonda and Nagarjunakonda in the Palnadu region were also part of the Reddy Kingdom.[11] The dynasty remained in power till the middle of the 15th century. In 1424, Kondavidu was annexed to the Vijayanagara Empire and Rajahmundry was conquered by the Gajapatis some twenty five years after.[7] The Gajapatis eventually lost control of coastal Andhra after the defeat of Gajapati Prataprudra Deva by Krishna Deva Raya of Vijayanagara. The territories of the Reddy Kingdom thus came under the control of the Vijayanagara Empire.[12]

Religion[edit]

Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Srisailam
Lord Narasimha, Narasimha Swamy Temple, Ahobilam

The Reddy rulers played a prominent part in post-Kakatiyas of Telangana. The Kakatiya empire came to an end in 1323 after the army of the Delhi sultanate invaded Warangal and captured Kakatiya ruler Pratapa Rudra. Warangal fell to the invaders and Ulugh Khan commanded Warangal and Telangana. During this time of foreign invasion and chaos in Telugu country, seeds of revolt were sown by two princes, Annaya Mantri and Kolani Rudradeva. They united the Telugu nobles with the purpose of reclaiming the kingdom. Musunuri Prolaya Nayaka, Prolaya Vema Reddy, Recharla Singama Nayaka, Koppula Prolaya Nayaka and Manchikonda Ganapatinayaka were the prominent nobles. Musunuri Prolaya Nayaka was the chosen leader of this confederation of Telugu nobles who united and vowed to put an end to the Sultanate's rule. They succeeded in repulsing those forces from Warangal and then established independent kingdoms of their own.[13][need quotation to verify]

It was during this chaotic period in Andhra history that Prolaya Vema Reddy established the Reddy Kingdom in 1325. The Reddy rulers patronised and protected Hinduism and its institutions. The Brahmins were given liberal grants by the Reddy kings and the agraharas of Brahmins were restored. Vedic studies were encouraged. The Hindu temples of Srisailam and Ahobilam were provided with more facilities. Prolaya Vema Reddy bestowed a number of agraharas on the Brahmins. He was revered by the title of Apratima-Bhudana-Parasurama.[14] He commissioned major repairs to the Srisailam Mallikarjuna Swami temple, and had a flight of steps built from the Krishna River to the temple. The Narasimha Swamy temple at Ahobilam was built during his reign. He built 108 temples for Shiva.[15]

Literature[edit]

Telugu literature blossomed under the Reddy kings. The Reddy kings also patronized Sanskrit. Several of the Reddy kings themselves were distinguished scholars and authors. Kumaragiri Reddy, Kataya Vema Reddy and Pedakomati Vema Reddy were the most outstanding among them. Errapragada (Errana), Srinatha and Potana were the remarkable poets of this period. Errapragada, the last of the Kavitraya (Trinity of Poets) was the court poet of Prolaya Vema Reddy. He completed the Telugu translation of the Mahabharata. He completed the rendition of the Aranya Parva of Mahabharata left incomplete by Nannaya Bhattu (Aadi Kavi who started the translation of Mahabharata into Telugu). He wrote Hari Vamsa and Narasimha Purana. Errana's translation of the Ramayana in Chapu form (a style of poetry) has been lost.[11]

Administration[edit]

The administration was carried according to the "Dharmasutras". One-sixth of agriculture surplus was levied as tax. Under the reign of Anavota Reddy custom duties and taxes on trade were lifted. As a result, trade flourished. Sea trade was carried through the port Motupalli. A large number of merchants settled down near it. Celebrating 'Vasantotsavalu' was revived during the rule of Anavema Reddy. The Brahmins were given liberal grants by the Reddy kings. Caste system was observed. Heavy taxes by Racha Vema Reddy made him highly unpopular.[16]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Talbot 2001, p. 202.
  2. ^ Farooqui 2011, pp. 117–118.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Somasekahara Sarma 1946, p. 47.
  4. ^ Talbot 2001, p. 176.
  5. ^ a b c d Talbot 2001, p. 177.
  6. ^ "Reddy Kula Nirnaya Chandrika, Sheshadri Ramana Kavulu".
  7. ^ a b Rao & Shulman, Srinatha 2012, p. 16.
  8. ^ Raghunadha Rao 1994, p. 82.
  9. ^ Durga Prasad 1988, p. 173.
  10. ^ Durga Prasad 1988, pp. 174, 177.
  11. ^ a b c Raghunadha Rao 1994, p. 83.
  12. ^ Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (2004). A history of India. Routledge. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-415-32919-4. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  13. ^ Datta, Amaresh; Lal, Mohan (1992). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: Sasay-Zorgot. Sahitya Akademi. p. 4637. ISBN 9780836422832. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  14. ^ Chitnis, Krishnaji Nageshrao (2003). Medieval Indian history. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. pp. 77, 83. ISBN 978-81-7156-062-2. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  15. ^ Raghunadha Rao 1994, p. 89.
  16. ^ Raghunadha Rao 1994, pp. 87, 88.

Book sources[edit]