Introduction of the Sangama Dynasty
The Sangama Dynasty has been one of the greatest dynasties of the Vijaynagar Empire. The dynasty was named Sangama after a man with the name Sangama. He was from the Yadu family. He also knew the Hoysalas and had close connection with them.
This dynasty was the hard work of his successors Harihara, Bukka, Mudappa, Kampa and Marappa. Sangama was the governor under the Hoysala kings. He got the responsibility to look after the territory around Shimoga. Sangama’s eldest son Harihara took his place after him. The, Harihara became the Great Provincial Governor.
This was also called Mahamandaleshwar by the Hoysala king Vira Ballala. He was given the responsibility of supervising the northern part of his kingdom. The Sangama dynasty is considered to have laid the foundation of the Vijayanagar Empire.
Reign, Power and Kings of the Sangama Dynasty
During the 14th century, Muhammad Tughlaq was ruling in Deccan. During this time Harihara along with his brother Bukka made a new kingdom in the area which was between Krishna River and Tungabhadra River. This kingdom was an independent one. Towards the south of the Tungabhadra River, the region there was made the capital with the name Vijayanagar.
The Vijayanagar Empire was originated by Harihara I. His other names were Vira Harihara I and Hakka. After he got his power, he made a fort in Barkaru. This was situated on the west coast of today’s Karnataka. There are many inscriptions which show that from his dominion he used to look after present day’s Karnataka’s northern regions during the year 1339.
His dominion was situated at Gutti in the Ananthpur district. There were a few Kannada writings at that, that has described him with the help of various names which were Bhashegetappuvarayaragad, Karnataka Vidya Vilas and Arirayavibhada. Bhashgetappuvarayaragad meant nemesis of those feudatories who do not maintain their pledge. Karnataka Vidya Vilas meant master of great knowledge and skills.
His brothers were also ruling in other places. Kampana took over the province of Nellur. Mudappa was ruling over the region of Mulabagalu, Marappa defeated Chandragutti and Bukka Raya succeeded him. Harihara’s military forces took over the valley of the Tungabhadra River.
While at the same time he was extending his power and authority I the Malabar and Konkan coast regions. He is known for his central administrative setup, safety and prosperity for his subjects and inculcating harmony.
Later on, Bukka I moved ahead of Harihara I. He was regarded very famous out of the five brothers of the Sangama dynasty. Muhammad bin Tughlaq had taken over the King of Warangal. After this Bukka along with his brothers were made captives, and then they were taken to Delhi.
They were forced to adapt and follow Islam. But nothing could make them do so. They were still following their Hindu traditions. Then, they founded the Vijayanagar Empire. When the empire was founded, it was done under the influence of the Brahmin sage Vidyaranya.
There are many descriptions which show that these brothers were born near Hampi of the present day Karnataka. Apart from these, they were also associated with the Hoysala Empire.
The territory flourished when Bukka Raya was in power. It was able to remain Bukka Raya only and meanwhile defeated the other empires in the southern parts of India which were in majority. By doing this they increased their rule over the territory.
By the year 1360 he also took over the surrounding areas of Penukonda, Reddis of Kondavidu and the Shambuvaraya Kingdom of Arcot. In the year 1371 the Sultanate of Madurai came under his conquer and further his province increased in the south till Rameswaram.
Kumara Kamapna (his son) fought against him. All of these were recorded. Meanwhile, Orissa was taken over and Jaffna of Ceylon and Malabar was forced to pay homage to Bukka.
When Bukka Raya was in power he had conflicts even with the Bahmani Sultans. This conflict first started when Muhammad I was in power. The other one took place when Mujahid was ruling. Apart from these conflicts, he was also engaged in a few operations which he sent to China when he was in power.
Bukka managed to keep internal improvement in the city even though there were warfare and domestic divergence. In the year 1380 Bukka died and Harihara II took over the throne after his death.
After Harihara II became the successor of Bukka, he got the designations like Vaidikamarga Sthapanacharya and Vedamarga Pravartaka. When Bukka Raya was still in power, Harihara II helped to expand the kingdom by defeating the Reddis of Kondavidu.
After this win, he got the areas of Nellore and Kalinga which was in the coastal parts of Andhra. As he defeated the Reddis, he got the areas of Srisailam, Adanki and provinces in the south near the river Krishna. Mujahid Bahmani demised in the year 1378. Harihara II took benefit of this and he took over the areas in northwest including the ports of Goa, Dabhol and Chaul.
Virupaksha Raya took over the throne after Harihara II. Even though he ruled only for a few months, his supremacy was not recognized as there was no important and notable changes or events. There was a traveler named Fernao Nuniz.
He noted that Virupaksha lost Goa, Dabhol and Chaul to the Muhammadans. Sangama dynasty was later ruled by Bukka Raya II after Virupaksha. Even he ruled for a short period from 1405 to 1406 CE. Later he was overthrown by his own brother Deva Raya I.
After Harihara II died, his sons fought against each other to get the thrown of the Vijayanagar Empire. But Deva Raya I was the one who gained victory. When he was in rule, he fought against everyone and was able to maintain the control over all his territories. When he died, his sons Vira Vijaya Bukka and Ramachandra Raya took over the throne.
After Vijaya Raya, Deva Raya II took over the throne; he won in all the areas he invaded. He was able to preserve the Mudgal fort in the year 1436, but he could not manage to save some areas in Raichur doab in the year 1443. Even though he was not able to save them, he defeated the Gajapati of Orissa thrice in 1427, 1436 and 1441 and restored the Reddi Kingdom of Rajamahendri.
While he also defeated Quilon’s ruler and ruled beyond Kerala as well. He even attacked in Lanka and made rich tributes there. Then, the Vijayanagar Empire was extended from Orissa to Malabar and Ceylon to Gulbarga. Apart from these many ports from South India were also captivated. But there were issues with Bahmani Kingdom.
They were hostile towards each other when Deva Raya II was in power. But inspite of all the problems, Deva Raya II conquered all the areas of South India and brought prosperity to the empire.
Even Deva Raya II’s son Mallikarjuna Raya brought prosperity in the Vijayanagar Empire and for the Sangama Dynasty as well. In the starting when he began to rule, he won against the Raja of the Hindu kingdom of Orissa and the Bahmani Sultan. But after that he was being defeated by the Gajapatis.
Apart from these much of the Vijayanagar Empire was taken over by the Bahamani dynasty and The Portuguese came to southern India and captivated many ports on the western coast which were under the Vijayanagar Empire.
After Mallikarjuna Raya, Virupakasha Raya II took over the throne. At this point of time he lost against the Prime Minister of the Bahmani kingdom, Mahamud Gawan. This loss resulted in Konkan coast not under his control anymore.
As he started to face losses, he slowly became unpopular and the provinces started to rebel. All these led to death of Virupakasha Raya II through his son, Praudhya Raya II in the year 1485. Even Praudhya Raya was unpopular, and he ruled only for a short period of time. In the year 1485 his commander Saluva Narashima Deva Raya drove him out of the capital.
Even though the Vijayanagar Empire was flourishing there were many other trading centres around its territories. This why there was prosperity in the Empire. The rulers of Sangama dynasty helped to expand the territory and brought many cultural excellencies in the Vijayanagar Empire.
But due to the invasion of the Muslims, the Sangama dynasty could not control the kingdom of Vijayanagar anymore. Thus, the Saluva dynasty ended the rule of Sangama dynasty.