Feudatory States in Andhra Pradesh

Feudatory States in Andhra Pradesh

  • In Andra Pradesh Feudatory states emerged in medieval period, with many numbers of ruler and dynasties fighting with each other for rule and territorial expansion.
  • The main reason for Feudatory state is to occupy the throne and extend their territories in vast regions of Andra Preadesh and nearby areas.
  • There are different types of Feudatory States explained in following sub heading starting from 12th Century to 17th
  • As the first Feudatory state emerged in Kakatiyas ruling.


  • The 12th and the 13th centuries saw the emergence of the Kakatiyas.
  • They were at first the feudatories of the Western Chalukyas of Kalyana, ruling over a small territory near
  • A ruler of this dynasty, Prola II, who ruled from A.D.1110 to 1158, extended his sway to the south and declared his independence.
  • His successor Rudra (A.D.1158–1195) pushed the kingdom to the north up to the Godavari delta. He built a fort at Warangal to serve as a second capital and faced the invasions of the Yadavas of Devagiri.
  • The next ruler Mahadeva extended the kingdom to the coastal area.
  • In D.1199, Ganapati succeeded him. He was the greatest of the Kakatiyas and the first after the Satavahanas to bring the entire Telugu area under one rule. He put an end to the rule of the Velanati Cholas in A.D.1210. He forced the Telugu Cholas of Vikramasimhapura to accept his suzerainty. He established order in his vast dominion and encouraged trade.
  • As Ganapati Deva had no sons, his daughter Rudramba succeeded him in A.D.1262 and carried on the administration. Some generals, who did not like to be ruled by her, rebelled. She could, however, suppress the internal rebellions and external invasions with the help of loyal subordinates. The Cholas and the Yadavas suffered such setbacks at her hands that they did not think of troubling her for the rest of her rule.
  • Prataparudra succeeded his grandmother Rudramba in A.D.1295 and ruled till A.D.1323. He pushed the western border of his kingdom up to He introduced many administrative reforms. He divided the kingdom into 75 Nayakships, which was later adopted and developed by the Rayas of Vijayanagara. In his time the territory constituting Andhra Pradesh had the first experience of a Muslim invasion.
  • In A.D.1303, the Delhi Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji sent an army to plunder the kingdom. But Prataparudra defeated them at Upparapalli in Karimnagar district.
  • In A.D. 1310, when another army under Malik Kafur invaded Warangal, Prataparudra yielded and agreed to pay a large tribute.
  • In A.D.1318, when Ala-ud-din Khilji died, Prataparudra withheld the tribute. It provoked another invasion of the Muslims.
  • In A.D.1321, Ghiaz-ud-din Tughlaq sent a large army under Ulugh Khan to conquer the Telugu country then called Tilling.
  • He laid siege to Warangal, but owing to internal dissensions he called off the siege and returned to Delhi. Within a short period, he came back with a much bigger army.
  • In spite of unpreparedness, Prataparudra fought bravely. For want of supplies, he surrendered to the enemy who sent him to Delhi as a prisoner, and he died on the way. Thus ended the Kakatiya rule, opening the gates of the Telugu land to anarchy and confusion yielding place to an alien ruler.


  • The disastrous fall of Warangal in A.D.1323 brought the Andhras, for the first time in their history, under the yoke of an alien ruler, the Muslims.
  • In A.D.1347 an independent Muslim State, the Bahmani kingdom was established in south India by Alla-ud-din Hasan Gangu by revolting against the Delhi Sultanate.
  • To stabilise his position, Hasan waged wars to annexe the two neighbouring Hindu kingdoms, Warangal, under the Musunuri Nayakas, and Vijayanagar, which was under the Rayas. He occupied the area up to the river Tungabhadra in A.D.1358, and shifted his capital from Daulatabad to Gulbarga.
  • The Hindu rulers, however, reoccupied their lost territory during the period between A.D.1358-75.
  • Harihara Raya II of Vijayanagar conquered many areas which were under the Bahmanis during the period of Muhammad Shah II (A.D.1378-1397). The successors of Muhammad Shah II, who were also hostile to Rayas of Vijayanagar, waged wars against them. But they were defeated by the Vijayanagar armies.
  • During the reign of Muhammad III (A.D.1463-82), the Bahmanis, for the first time, extended their empire from sea to sea and thereby got into their possession a large part of the Telugu area, namely, the area north of the Krishna up to the coast and the present Guntur district.
  • By the end of the 15th century the Bahmani rule was plagued with faction fights and there came into existence the five Shahi kingdoms,
  1. The Nizamshahis of Ahmadnagar,
  2. The Adilshahis of Bijapur,
  3. The Imadshahis of Berar,
  4. The Qutbshahis of Golconda
  5. The Baridshahis of Bidar.
  • Thereafter, the rule of the Bahmani dynasty came to an end in A.D.1527. Of the five Shahi dynasties, it was the Qutbshahi dynasty that played a significant and notable role in the history of Andhras.


  • The year A.D.1336 saw the emergence of a new power, the kingdom of Vijayanagar in the south-western part of Andhra on the banks of the Tungabhadra.
  • It was founded by two Sangama brothers, Harihara and Bukka, with the blessings of a great saint patriot of medieval India, Vidyaranya, and Harihara became its first ruler.
  • It was that great kingdom which, by resisting the onslaughts of Muslims, championed the cause of Hindu civilisation and culture in its polity, its learning and arts.
  • The two brothers took possession of Kampili from Hoyasala ruler of Karnataka, Ballala III.
  • They later established a new city on the southern bank of Tungabhadra, opposite Anegondi, and gave a name to it as Vijayanagar or Vidyanagar.
  • They expanded their territory by occupying the Udayagiri fort in the Nellore region and Penukonda fort from Hoyasalas. Meanwhile the Bahmani Kingdom came into existence in the Deccan. In the conflicts between the Bahmanis and Vijayanagar, Harihara-I lost some territory.
  • After his death in A.D.1355, his brother Bukkaraya succeeded him.
  • On account of frequent wars with Bahmanis, Bukka could not do anything in the initial period however, he conquered Madhura and extended his territory to the south up to Rameswaram.
  • Harihara II (A.D.1377–1404):- Harihara II (A.D.1377–1404), who ascended the throne after Bukkaraya, consolidated and its frontiers further extended. During this time coastal Andhra lying between Nellore and Kalinga was under the Reddis of Kondavidu.
  • Harihara II carried on campaign, for gaining control over the territory, against the Reddis and wrested Addanki and Srisailam areas from the Reddis. This led to clashes with the Velamas of Rachakonda in Telangana.
  • To counter attack, Rachakonda sought help from Bahmanis and this checkmated Harihara II from proceeding further into Telangana. The extension of Vijayanagar territory towards northwest gave it control over the ports of Goa, Chaul, and Dabhol and led to an expansion of commerce and ensuing prosperity.
  • Devaraya I (A.D.1406–422) :- In the dispute between sons, after the death of Harihara II, Devaraya I (A.D.1406–422) emerged victorious and ascended the throne only to wage wars against the Bahmanis, the Velamas of Telangana and the Reddis of Kondavidu. His reign also saw the commencement of hostilities between the Gajapatis of Kalinga and the Rayas of Vijayanagar. Devaraya I passed away in A.D.1422.
  • His sons, Ramachandraraya and Vijayaraya I, who ruled one after the other, did not do anything significant.
  • Devaraya II (A.D.1426-1446: The next ruler, Devaraya II (A.D.1426-1446), son of Vijayaraya, was a great monarch. He effected the conquest of Kondavidu and carried his arms into Kerala, subjugating the ruler of Quilon and other chieftains. The writings of Abdul Razzak, the Persian ambassador, who visited south India during the reign of Devaraya II, bear testimony to the supremacy of the king over many ports of south India. According to him, the dominions of Devaraya II extended from Ceylon to Gulbarga and from Orissa to Malbar. The relations between the Vijayanagar and Bahmani kingdoms continued to be hostile during the reign of Devaraya II also. Devaraya was a great builder and a patron of poets. Extensive commerce and revenues from various sources contributed to the prosperity of the Vijayanagar kingdom under him.
  • But the kings who succeeded Devaraya II were quite incompetent and allowed the empire to disintegrate. To add to this, there was pressure from Bahmani Sultans. The Portuguese were also rapidly trying to establish themselves on the west coast and in the ports along it.
  • The Vijayanagar minister, Saluva Narasimha, who usurped the throne in A.D.1485 could successfully counter these forces. Thus the Saluva line of kings came to rule Vijayanagar. However, he had to spend a good deal of his time and energy putting down many rebel chieftains. He died in A.D.1490 leaving his two sons to the care of Narasanayaka of the Tuluva family, a trusted general.
  • Narasanayaka assumed himself the power as a regent in A.D.1492 keeping the real rule under tutelage. Narasanayaka died in A.D.1503 and by that time he had established his authority effectively over the whole of his extensive dominion.
  • His son, Vira Narasimha, succeeded him as the regent and proclaimed himself as a ruler in A.D.1506, thus inaugurating the third dynasty. He died in A.D.1509 and his brother, Krishnadevaraya, succeeded him.
  • The period of Krishnadevaraya was considered as the golden age of the Vijayanagar history. He was a great warrior, statesman, administrator and a patron of arts. His first task was to repulse the Bahmanis. He occupied Raichur doab, carried the war up to Gulbarga and returned successfully. He extended his dominion in the east and north-east by defeating the Gajapatis of Orissa in A.D.1518
  • Krishna Devaraya died in A.D.1529. After his death, Vijayanagar kingdom started declining gradually. There was a tussle for power and the rulers spent their time in struggle against internal revolts.
  • The five Muslim rulers in Deccan kingdom, took this opportunity, united and formed a league and marched towards Vijayanagar with combined forces.
  • In a decisive battle fought on the 23rd January, 1565 on the south bank of the Krishna near the village of Rakkasi Tangadi, Vijayanagar was defeated and Ramaraya, who led the Vijayanagar armies, was killed. Tirumalaraya, the younger brother of Ramaraya, along with his puppet ruler, Sadasivaraya fled to Penukonda in Anantapur district with all the treasure. The victorious armies of Muslims then marched towards Vijayanagar. Uninhibited looting of the city by the Muslim rulers as well as the ruthless robbers went on for days together. Never perhaps in the history of the world has such havoc been brought and wrought on such a splendid city teening with a wealthy and industrious population in prosperity one day and on the next seized, pillaged and reduced to ruins amid scenes of savage measures and horrors beggaring description.
  • Tirumalaraya after reaching Penukonda ruled for some time and tried his best to rebuild the empire but failed. The last ruler of Vijayanagar dynasty was Sriranga (A.D.1642–1681).

Qutb Shahi Dynasty

  • The Qutb Shahi dynasty held sway over the Andhra country for about two hundred years from the early part of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century.
  • Sultan Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of the dynasty, served the Bahmanis faithfully and was appointed governor of Telangana in A.D.1496. He declared independence after the death of his patron king, Mahmud Shah, in A.D.1518.
  • During his 50-year rule, Sultan Quli extended his kingdom upto He was murdered by his third son, Jamsheed, who succeeded Sultan Quli.
  • Jamsheed reigned for seven years till A.D.1550 but remained maligned by all for his patricidal crime. His youngest brother, Ibrahim, who was hardly thirteen at the time of his father’s assassination, fled to Vijayanagar and took refuge there. It afforded him a training ground and he learned the art of administration.
  • After Jamsheed’s death in A.D.1550, Ibrahim returned to Golconda and ascended the throne. Ibrahim Qutb Shah, who was known as Malkibharam in the Andhra country, was the real architect of the Golconda kingdom.
  • He ruled the kingdom for 30 years from A.D.1550 to A.D.1580. He organised the central and provincial governments and brought them into close contact. He also introduced an efficient intelligence service which kept him informed on all affairs. The kingdom was made safe for travel and trade. Ibrahim had also many works of public utility to his credit. He dug lakes and tanks and laid out towns and gardens. He also encouraged local language Telugu and patronised Telugu scholars and poets like, Telaganarya and Gangadhara who dedicated their works to him.
  • Ibrahim took an active part in the battle of Rakkasi Tangadi in A.D.1565. It immensely benefited him in cash and territories, and the kingdom was extended to the south as far as Madras and Gandikota.
  • The next period of forty years led by Ibrahim’s son and grandson was an era of peace and prosperity. Muhammad Quli, son of Ibrahim, was a great writer and a builder. The city of Hyderabad was laid in A.D.1591 with magnificent buildings, straight roads and other civic amenities. For this purpose, he invited many Persians to settle down in Hyderabad and Machilipatnam. He was a scholar and a poet, composed a large number of poems in the Deccani language.
  • Muhammad Quli was succeeded by his nephew and son-in-law Sultan Muhammad in A.D.1612. He was highly religious and a model of virtue and piety. He followed his uncle in promoting learning and architecture. The great mosque known as Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad was designed and its foundation laid by him, though the main structure of the Mosque was completed during the next four generations.
  • Sultan Muhammad’s premature death in A.D.1626 was a sad prelude to the decline and fall of Golconda.
  • He was succeeded by his minor son, Abdullah Qutb Shah, who was indolent. The fall of Ahmadnagar in A.D.1633 to the Mughals exposed Golconda. Abdullah Qutb Shah acknowledged the suzerainty of the Mughals and concluded a treaty in A.D.1636. He was reduced to vassalage and the Mughal Hajib, a resident officer of the Mughals imposed on him, interfered in day-to-day administration and encouraged fissiparous tendencies. The traitors of Golconda found their strength in the Mughals who did not hesitate to invade Golconda.
  • Abdullah Qutb Shah died in A.D.1672 and was succeeded by his third son-in-law, Abul Hassan Qutb Shah, popularly known as Tana Shah. He had a steady mind, broader vision and administrative experience of a high order. He handled the domestic and foreign affairs deftly and put forth all his efforts against the Mughal tideFeudatory States
  • Abul Hassan and his kingdom were misrepresented by false propaganda to justify the interference of the Mughal emperor who contemplated to liquidate the Deccan Sultanates and incorporate it in the Mughal empire.
  • The emperor came to the Deccan in A.D.1682 and launched his campaign against both the Marathas and the Deccan Sultanates. His original plan was to put down the Maratha power, but later on, he suspended the plan and directed his forces against Bijapur and Golconda in A.D.1685.
  • Bijapur fell in after two months’ siege. But Golconda held out for a long time. It came to an abrupt end owing to the treachery of an Afghan general, Abdullah Khan, who opened the gate in the dead of night and facilitated the capture of the fort. The equanimity with which Abul Hassan Tana Shah had faced the Mughal captors and the unequalled loyalty of Abdul Razak Lari, who remained faithful to his king, Tana Shah, are of special significance.
  • The fall of Golconda in A.D.1687 had far reaching consequences. It halted the face of cultural progress for years and relaxed the administrative grip on the English Company at Machilipatnam and Madras. So long as the kingdom was powerful in the south, the king Abul Hassan and his Minister, Madanna, kept their constant vigil on the English merchant



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