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Q1. Who founded the Vijayanagar Empire?

HARIHARA I -(1336-1356 AD) and his brother BUKKA RAYA I(1356- 1377) founded this empire in 1336. They belonged to the Sangama dynasty who were, at first, in the service of the Kakatiyas ruler Pratap Rudra II of Warangal. This dynasty ruled the entire Southern India including the entire Andhra Pradesh, Deccan Plateau, Tamilnadu and Kerala.

Q2. What was the background behind the two in establishing this empire?
When the Kakatiyas were humbled by the Muslim rulers in 1323,the two went over to Kampili kingdom of Karnataka and served as Ministers, till the Kingdom was over run by Md. Bin Tughlaq. The two were imprisoned, converted to Islam, and were allowed to remain in Kampili to take care of rebellion activities. After serving sometime for the Sultans, the two declared themselves independent, and founded the city of Vijayanagar on the banks of Tnagabhadra, which later to become one of the powerful South Indian Empire.
Q3. What were the territorial gains made by the founders of this empire?
Harihara and Bukka, by 1346, capt;ured the entire Hoysala kingdom of Karnataka and also the Sultanate of Madurai, thus bringing the whole of South India upto Rameswaram under their control.
Q4. What were the dynasties that ruled the Vijayanagar Empire?
SANGAMA DYNASTY - 1336 - 1487 - Began with the Vijayanagar empire founders Harihara I and Bukka Raya I and ended with Praudha Raya in 1485.
SALUVA DYNASTY - 1485 - 1505 - had only three rulers and came to an end by 1505.
TULUVA DYNASTY - 1491 - 1570 - This dynasty had as many as 5 rulers during its period. The notable and South India's most famous ruler among them was KRISHNADEVA RAYA (1509-1529). He was considered as one of the best Kings India had. He was titled "Andhra Bhoja" and "KANNADA RAJYA RAMA RAMANA ". It is during his period the beginning of Europeans arrival to India began, with the Portuguese establishing their dominion at Goa, and maintaining friendly relations. He was a patron of all religions and beliefs. The high point of his rule, was the presence of the most famous, witty, intelligent poet TENALI RAMAKRISHNA in his court. This dynasty ended with Sadasiva Raya in 1570.
ARAVIDU DYNASTY - This dynasty began with Aliya Rama Raya in 1542 and ended with Sriranga III in 1646. Sriranga III was defeated by the allied forces of Golconda Muslim rulers in 1646 and later he was believed to have died in the 1670s with not much details of which whereabouts.
Q5. Who were the notable rulers of the Vijayanagar Empire?
HARIHARA II - 1377 - 1404 - When he attempted a policy of expansion, Bahmanis aligned with Kakatiyas of Warangal to become a major power against him. As the alliance lasted for nearly half a century, Harihara II could not achieve any gains in the face of the stiff opposition. However, he succeeded in wresting Belgaum and Goa from the Bahmanis.
DEVARAYA II - 1424 - 1446 - Greatest ruler of the Sangama dynasty. He managed to create an alliance with the Kakatiyas of Warangal. He inflicted a shattering defeat on Firoz Shah of the Bahmanis. He strengthened his army with Muslim warriors and tried to recover the lost territories, but could not, and instead agreed to reain existing frontiers with Bahmanis.
KRISHNA DEVA RAYA - 1509 - 1529 - He was the most powerful King of the Vijayanagara Empire. He not only repulsed the Bahmani raids but also killed Yusuf Adil Shah in the battle of Kovilkonda.On the Bijapuri kingdom, he captured Raichur Fort, Gulgarga from Amir Barid the minister of Sultan Mahmud, then took control of Bidar and all of the Bahmanis. For all these victories, he was honoured with the title of "YAVANARAJYASTHAPANACHARYA". By this time in 1510, Albequerque of the Portuguese captured Go Krishnadevaraya established a friendship with him. He also subdued the Karnataka ruler Gangaraya, won over him and killed him to annexe the region. Created a new province with Srirengapattinam as capital. He defeated the Orissa ruler Gajapati and conquered the whole of Telengana region.
Q6. How did the Vijayanagar Empire finally decline?

RAMA RAJA, son in law of Krishnadeva Raya, despite a ruler present held all the powers. Although he had initial success over Bijapur and Golconda, he finally met with crushing defeat at the hands of the combined Muslim forces in the Battle at Bannihatti near Talikota in 1565, which was almost the beginning of the end of Vijayanagar Empire, although the kingdom lingered on for another century on a small scale. The last ruler of this empire, Sriranga III (1646-1652) was defeated by the combined Muslim forces of the Golconda, thus marking the end of the great empire.