Friday, May 24, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
HANUMAPPA NAIDU’S COURAGE SAVED THE DAY FOR
RAJA SOMANADRI OF GADWAL
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
Gadwal city is an important place in the state of Andhra Pradesh and at present it is very famous for Silk Sarees. It was earlier a Samsthan ( Small kingdom) under a ruling dynasty and was part of Nizam’s Hyderabad state. The king of Gadwal was a vassal to the Nizam. It is located close to Karnool town on national highway 7, Hyderabad- Bangalore. The broad gauge railway line also goes through the town. Thus it is well connected. Gadwal city has a massive fort which is still strong and imposing. The city is developed around the fort. The province lies in between Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers. Earlier, Gadwal was part of Raichur district during Nizams times. Now it is part of Mahboobnagar district and is 40 km from dist Head quarters and from Hyderabad is 150 Km.
This small kingdom had a chequered history and in the initial days had to manage with the Nizam and Marathas. The most important ruler of the kingdom was Raja Somanadri Bhupala. He was a tall and massively built person with imposing personality. He was the contemporary to Emperor Aurangzeb. It is also learnt that the emperor maintained very cordial relations with Somanadri Bhupala. The Gadwal fort was built by him and it has deep moat around and was impregnable.Even after 300 years it is still strong. There are some buildings still in good state in the fort and a degree college is run in a palace. There are many temples in the fort that are still well maintained. A huge Bronze bell erected by Somandri for seeking justice by people is still there. The longest cannon of the country is located in the fort and it is fearsome and imposing.
The rulers of Gadwal always had conflicts with Nawabs of Karnool and Somanadri kept them at bay. Adversaries feared Somanadri as he was very brave.Raja Somanadri once had conflict with Nawab of Karnool and there was a severe fight between both the forces. In this particular conflict the royal horse of Somanadri was taken captive and was carried away by the enemy across the Krishna river into the enemy camp. The horse was the most favored one for the king and he was greatly agitated at the loss. There was no way for getting it back as the enemy camp was very well guarded. Somanadri declared that whoever gets the horse from the enemy camp would be highly rewarded and none dared to take up the challenge as it was a great risk. However Hanumappa naidu a soldier and keeper of stable came forward. He saluted the king and begged that he might be given an opportunity to take up the challenging task. The king was happy at his request and agreed.
The day was soon over and people retired for rest while Hanumappa made his preparations. He carried only a dagger and a sickle with him and in the darkness of night crossed the river alone and entered the enemy camp. The soldiers of the enemy camp were making merry at their victory on the previous day and only few sentries was around. Hanumappa entered the stables where horses were kept and none noticed him. The royal horse however saw him and it identified him. It neighed soon and Hanumappa comforted it with his hands, He slowly untied the horse and led it out slowly. After some time a soldier saw him and enquired where he was taking the horse. Hanumappa replied that the horse needed water and was taking it to river for drinking. The soldier in the darkness mistook him to be his comrade and went away. Hanumappa took the horse further away and he saw some more soldiers nearby. He was sure that he would be identified. There was hay stack at the place and Hanumappa immediately crawled into haystack and lay still. The soldiers came close and saw the horse. The horse got worried as Hanumappa was no where to be seen it started making noises and was restless. The soldiers saw the horse loose and thought that the rope gave way. One of them immediately took an iron spike lying near by and drove it into ground and tied the horse to it. Then the soldiers went away. Unfortunmately the iron spike went through the palm of Hanumappa whose hand was lying close by. He felt severe pain but controlled himself. Blood oozed out from the wound without stop. He picked up courage , took his sickle and severed his wrist. He tied his turban to the severed hand and came out of the stack, untied the horse and led it away. Soon he was at the river and crossed the river with the horse. He entered his camp to great rejoicing by all. Information was soon passed to the king that the horse was brought back and he soon arrived to see it. Hanumappa came forward and saluted the king with his left hand. The king was angry at this, but soon saw that his right hand was under banadage. He enquired about the matter and Hanumappa narrated the incident, removed the bandage and displayed his severed hand. All were shocked at this. The king embraced him and shed tears over the sacrifice . Hanumappa was immediately sent for medical attention. The day broke soon and Somanadri with great vigor attacked the enemy camp across the river like a tornado and created havoc among them. The enemy was vanquished and the Karnool Nawab accepted defeat and came to terms. The great cannon now lying in Gadwal fort was brought by Somanadri from the Karnool Nawab as a symbol of victory.
The victory was celebrated at Gadwal with great pomp and show and Hanumappa was honored personally by the king at the function. He was given many presents and many acres of land was gifted to him. Hanumappa although lost his palm and became crippled had no regrets and was proud that he served his king to his best ability in the hour of need. Hanumappas after some years passed away in kings service and his successors still enjoy the gifted lands. Raja Somanadri also faded into golden pages of history but his valor is still remembered, Hanumappas sactifice, loyalty and courage are still remembered with great pride..
Sunday, May 19, 2013
VIJAY RAGHAVA NAIKA OF TANJORE PREFERED SELF DESTRUCTION
THAN TO SUBMIT TO STAUNCH ENEMY
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
Kingdoms of Naika rulers at Madhura ( Madurai) and Tanjavur( Tanjore) in South India came into existence in 16 century during the rule of Vijay nagar emperors as vassals. The dynasties were established by valiant and faithful servants of the emperors as a result of gift from the emperors for their dedicated services to the empire. The rulers were very brave, good builders. Patrons of art, sculpture, music, dance and drama.However they were not free from human passions and some of them lacked national vision. However at the closing stage of the empire some of the rulers took advantage of the weakness of the authority of emperors and contributed to the fall of the empire. They even colluded with Deccani sultans in engineering destruction of the empire. These two provincial kingdoms harbored enmity and finally they disappeared into pages of history.
Achuta deva Raya the vijay nagar emperor ( successor and step brother of great Krishna deva Raya) granted permission in 1532 to Sevappa Naika the governor of Tanjavur to establish a feudatory kingdom at Tanjavur. Sevappa Naika was the son of Timmappa Naika a confidant and commander of Krishna deva Raya who impressed the emperor in his famous Raichur campaign against Bijapur sultan. He ruled till 1580 and was succeeded by his son Achutappa Naika ( 1560-1614) who had a peaceful rule of 54 years. Till 1580 he co ruled along with his father. Tallikota battle took place in 1565 in which Deccani sultans were victorious and Hampi - Vijaynagar cities were vandalized by Muslim invading army. However Vijaynagar emperors shifted their capital to Penukonda and later to Chadragiri and Vellore. In these difficult times, Tanjavur Naikas fully extended support to Vijay nagar emperors and contributed for its revival. However Madhura Naikas developed vested interests and tried to shake off their ties with the empire. Thus conflicts developed between the two south Indian kingdoms of Tanjore and Madura .
Raghunatha Naika ( 1600-1634) succeeded his father Achutappa Naika. He was the co ruler of his father till 1600. He has gone down the annals of history as the great patron of art, music and literature apart from being a great warrior of repute. He was a master of Sanskrit and Telugu languages and wrote several master pieces apart from a treatise on Music. He fully supported Vijay nagar empire and took part in the ferocious battle of succession at Topur along with Yachamanaika of Kalahasti and fought the combined armies of Jagga Raya and Madura and jinjee armies. Enemies of Vijaynagar were defeated while Jagga Raya was killed at Topur battle. Rama Deva Raya the lone survivor son of the murdered emperor Sri Ranga II at Vellore was crowned as the emperor.
Raghunatha Naika was succeeded by his competent son Vijayaraghava naika( 1634-1673) also known as Mannar das in 1634. He was a scholar himself and wrote 34 books. He patronized art, literature, erecting edifices such as temples.he is believed to have maintained a big harem and freely engaged himself in activities of pleasure.
The dynasty at Madhura was started by Viswanatha Naika ardent supporter of Krishna deva Raya of Vijay nagar empire and he was the son of Nagama Naika a valiant commander of Vijay nagar army.
The Pandyan territory was occupied by Veera sekhara chola that was under Vijanagar empire. He was soon defeated by Nagama Naika a general of Vijay nagar in 1538. But instead of handing over the provinces to the empire he declared independence. Sri Krishna Deva Raya the Vijay nagar emperor then sent Viswanatha Naika son of Nagama Naika with large army against his rebellious father. Nagama Naika was defeated and captured by his son and was presented to the emperor. He was however was pardoned by the emperor in view of his past services. In appreciation of the loyalty Viswanatha naika was made the governor of the Tamil country. He was reportedly crowned as the king by Achuta deva Raya successor to Krishan deva Raya. After 1559, dynastic rule commenced at Madura as Vijay nagar empire weakened with internal rifts. Madura Naika dynasty produced 13 rulers including queens.
Muthu veerappa naika the ruler between 1609-1623 took part in topur battle and his armies fought along side Jagga Raya that were however were defeated. Tirumala Naika was the most successful ruler (1623-1659) who built magnificent buildings and palaces that stand even today well preserved. He was succeeded by Muttu Alakadri nayaka ( 1659-1662) who was an incompetent ruler and gave himself up to debauchery and pleasure. His son Chokkanatha Naika ( 1662-1682) succeeded him and tried to stabilize his kingdom.. He was the contemporary of Vijaya Ragava Naika of Tanjavur kingdom.
CONFLICT OVER A PRINCESS
Chokkanatha suffered emotionally from the death of his lovely maiden princess, who was his perfect match in brains and beauty Then the tragedy ensued. He could not concentrate on the administration duties and was frequenting the Meenakshi Temple of Madurai to feel the presence of his soul maiden whose ash was strewn in the waters of the holy temple after her death. He had unsuccessful rule and died in 1682.
Chengamala Dasu a son of Vijaya Raghava Naika escaped the sacking of Tanjavur in 1673 and he approached Bijapur sultan to restore his kingdom to him. The sultan sent an army under General Venkoji ( Half brother of Shivaji Maharaj) torestore the kingdom of Madhura to the son of Vijayaraghava Niaka . Venkoji defeated Tanjavur forces and instead of handing over to Chengamala das made himself the ruler of Tanjavur. Thus a Maratha dynasty commenced rule at Tanjavur and Naika rule was permanently terminated at Tanjavur. Madura kindom however continued till 1736 when it passed into hands of Chanda sahiba reprentative of Nawab of Arcot..