Tuluva is the name of the third ruling dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire. The dynasty traces its patrilineal ancestry to Tuluva Narasa Nayaka, a powerful warlord from the westerly Tulu speaking region. His son Narasimha Nayaka arranged for the assassination of the weak Narasimha Raya II bringing an end to the rule of the Saluva dynasty. Narasimha Nayaka later assumed the Vijayangara throne as Viranarasimha Raya bringing the Tuluva dynasty to prominence. The dynasty was at its zenith during the rule of Krishnadevaraya, the second son of Tuluva Narasa Nayaka.
The original home of the dynasty was the westerly Tulu speaking region. A Sanskrit epigraph on the eastern wall of Tirumalai temple describes the genealogy of Krishnadevaraya. Here the mythic origin of the dynasty is traced back to the Moon God and other figures such as Budha, Pururavas, Ayu and Nahusha. The first ancestor of the Tuluva lineage to be mentioned is Timmabhupati and his wife Devaki. Timmabhupati is followed by his son Ishvara and consort Bukkamma and then a certain Narasa Bhupala who is none other than Tuluva Narasa Nayaka, the father of Emperor Krishnadevaraya. The powerful warlord Tuluva Narasa Nayaka is attributed with the conquest of the Gajapatis as well as certain Muslim rulers.
Krishnadevaraya a Tulu speaker himself was noted to be linguistically neutral as he ruled a multilingual empire. He is known to have patronised poets and issued inscriptions in languages as varied as Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu. However, he elevated Telugu as a royal language possibly because of the dominance of Telugu speaking chiefs and composed the epic poem Amuktamalyada in it. Tuluva rulers were staunch Vaishnavas and patronised Vaishnavism. Vyasatirtha, a Dvaita saint was the Kulaguru of Krishnadevaraya.
The fall of the Tuluva dynasty led to the beginning of the disintegration of the Vijayanagar empire.
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The Tuluva kings of Vijayanagara especially Krishnadeva Raya and his successors were staunch Vaishnavaites.
- William J. Jackson. Vijaynagar Visions: Religious Experience and Cultural Creativity in a South Indian Empire. Oxford University Press India. p. 219. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
When Krishnadevaraya became the ruler Vyasa Tirtha was his guru
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