Saturday, March 20, 2010

500th anniversary of Krishna Deva Raya’s coronation

The Vijaynagar Kingdom rose to its highest peak of glory during the reign of Krishna Deva Raya. Not only was he an able administrator and a great warrior, but, he was also a scholar, a poet, a musician and a good king. His subjects loved him, and he even treated his enemies with honour. He is believed to have won all the wars he waged during his rule.
Much information about his reign comes from the accounts of Portuguese travellers Domingo Paes and Fernao Nuniz. Krishna Deva Raya benefited from his able Prime Minister Timmarusu, who was regarded by the king as a father figure and was responsible for his coronation. Krishna Deva Raya was the son of Nagala Devi and Tuluva Narasa Nayaka, an army commander under Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya, who later took control of the empire to prevent its disintegration. The king's coronation took place on the birthday of Lord Krishna, and his earliest inscription is from July 26, 1509 CE. He built a beautiful suburb near Vijayanagara called Nagalapura in memory of his mother. Krishna Deva was the younger brother of Vira Narasimha who defeated the Sulvas to snatch the throne. Krishna Deva succeeded his brother and soon proved his mettle as an able king. He won all the wars he fought and expanded his kingdom. He defeated the king of Orissa and also the Sultan of Bijapur. He defeated the Bahamani ruler Ismail Adil Shah to put an end to the Muslim dominance in Southern India. His empire extended from Cuttack in eastern India to Goa in the west and Raichur Dobe in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south.

During Krishna Deva's reign the European (mainly the Portuguese) traders came to India and he encouraged foreign trade with the visitors. Krishna Deva was a great patron of art, poetry and music. Tenali Ramakrishna - the scholar who was famous for his wisdom, was a prominent member of Krishna Deva's court. He built the famous Vithalswami and Hazara temple in Hampi.
This Special Cover commemorates the 500th anniversary of Krishna Deva Raya’s coronation. Mr Veeraraghavan sent me this nice philatelic item.

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