The Battle of Talikota was so catastrophic that never perhaps in the history of South India has such havoc been wrought on a splendid city which was reduced to ruins amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beggaring description.
The mighty empire of Vijayanagara, which was established in 1336 A.D. on the banks of the river Tungabadhra in present day Karnataka, was in its heyday. However, approximately two hundred and twenty-nine years after its inception, in the battle of Talikota which took place in 1565 A.D. between the Vijayanagara army under emperor Rama Raya and that of the confederacy of the Deccani Sultans of Golconda, Bidar, Bijapur and Ahmadnagar, the former was defeated and this marked the beginning of the end of the mighty Vijayanagara empire.
The name Talikota
is believed to be a misnomer since this battle did not take place at the village of Talikota, but at a distance of approximately twenty-five miles south of it, on the banks of the river Krishna. The accounts of the Hindus which have survived till today call it the battle of Rakshasi - Tangadi and mention that it was thus called because it was fought between the two villages of Rakkasige and Tangadige, located on the north bank of the river Krishna where it merges with the river Malapahari.
It is believed that the main cause of the Deccani Sultans joining together was the collective envy of these Muslim rulers towards the glorious empire ofVijayanagara and according to some scholars, as the result of Rama Raya`s high-handed policies.
The allied powers fought against Rama Raya`s army on 23rd January 1565 and the latter was killed in the battle. The panic-stricken Vijayanagara soldiers fled from the scene, but most of them were caught and killed. The Muslim armies plundered Vijayanagara (present day Hampi). Following this rout, the glorious city of Vijayanagara was ransacked and desecrated.
According to some historians, the defeat of the Vijayanagara army did not lead to any substantial political gains for the allied forces. Earlier, the Deccani Sultans had maintained a very efficient army because of a fear of a potential war at any time, but after this decisive battle of 1565 A.D., they became complacent and also quarrelled among themselves. This ultimately led to their demise at the hands of the Mughals of Delhi.