Sriranga Deva Raya
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|Sriranga Deva Raya|
Sriranga Deva Raya (a.k.a. Sriranga I) (r. 1572–1586 CE) was the eldest son of Tirumala Deva Raya and a king of Vijayanagara empire based at Penukonda. He carried the restoration of the Vijayanagara empire, but his reign was marred with repeated attacks and loss of territories from his Muslim neighbours.
In 1576, the Bijapur Sultan Ali Adil Shah I laid siege to his fort in Penukonda for three months, but at the end Sriranga Deva bought out the Adil Shah’s Hindu lieutenants which helped his commanders defeat the Sultan’s army.
In 1579, the Sultan’s new commander Murari Rao, a Maratha Brahmin, launched a sudden plundering operation heading a large Muslim army. His hordes began systematically ravaging the territory south of the River Krishna with great ferocity. In late 1579, he ransacked the Ahobilam temple and laid waste to it. He uprooted an ancient ruby-studded idol of Vishnu made out of pure gold and sent it to the Sultan as a gift.
Damarla Chennappa Nayaka, a general of Recherla Velama dynasty was sent to defeat the Golkonda raiders but the magnitude of atrocities committed by the invaders alerted Sriranga Deva who also hurried to parry the attack. Murari Rao and his Golkonda raiders were defeated, Murari Rao was pursued by Chennappa who captured and imprisoned him in a cage. By 1580, Sriranga Deva turned the tide and started chasing the Golkonda army northwards recovering the territory they had seized. Sriranga I generously spared the life of Murari Rao because of his brahminical origins.
Ibrahim Qutb Shah, the new Sultan was furious and decided to settle the matters himself and invaded Kondavidu with the rest of his army and took the Udayagiri fort. Then he launched a massive raid on Udayagiri and slaughtered the locals, but Sriranga I kept the fight on and repulsed Sultan’s army from Udayagiri after an initial retreat. Unfazed, Qutb Shah struck at Vinukonda and seized the fort. Sriranga Deva, along with Chennappa and Kasturiranga, rushed to Vinukonda and after a fierce battle the Sultan’s army was defeated and sent back. Later, Sriranga Deva's troops, under Chennappa, stormed the fort of Kondavidu while the later died fighting even as he forced the Sultans army to retreat.
Despite the loss of territories, which was higher this time, Sriranga Deva also had a difficult time with his uncooperative brothers and noble men and continued to resist with limited resources as the Nayaks of Madurai and Gingee evaded on paying annual tributes.
Sriranga Deva Raya died in 1586, without an heir and was succeeded by his youngest brother Venkatapathi Raya (Venkata II).
- Rao, Velcheru Narayana, and David Shulman, Sanjay Subrahmanyam. Symbols of substance : court and state in Nayaka period Tamilnadu (Delhi ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1998) ; xix, 349 p.,  p. of plates : ill., maps ; 22 cm. ; Oxford India paperbacks ; Includes bibliographical references and index ; ISBN 0-19-564399-2.
- Sathianathaier, R. History of the Nayaks of Madura [microform] by R. Sathyanatha Aiyar ; edited for the University, with introduction and notes by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar ([Madras] : Oxford University Press, 1924) ; see also ([London] : H. Milford, Oxford university press, 1924) ; xvi, 403 p. ; 21 cm. ; SAMP early 20th-century Indian books project item 10819.
- K.A. Nilakanta Sastry, History of South India, From Prehistoric times to fall of Vijayanagar, 1955, OUP, (Reprinted 2002) ISBN 0-19-560686-8.
Tirumala Deva Raya