The chieftains of the kingdom who were present from the early times sketch their origins as the chiefs of the local region (Dandanayakas) of the Hoysalas during their rule over Karnataka who had invited upon the attention and appreciation of the Vijayanagar kings by the sheer acts of their bravery and valour and were allotted as the governors of the region under the empire. Some other accounts of the history brings it to the forefront that the chieftains under the Vijayanagara empire were from Davangere district in Karnataka and some Marathi records confer the Kala Pyada in dedicated admiration for the chivalrous tone in their character. Chitradurga Fort used to be their stronghold and the heart of the present province.
Timmanna Nayaka of Matti had been one of the chieftains from Matti in Davangere taluk as and when the rule of Saluva Narasimha was in presence and he was the one who ruled the Davangere district and Chitradurga district. Obanna Nayaka I (1588-1602) is also known as Madakari Nayaka I.
Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka I (1602-1652) was a brave soldier who went in a perpetual rebellion against the Sultan of Bijapur. In the year 1602, Obanna Nayaka was succeeded by his son Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka and his reign was the one full of conflicts with the neighbouring chiefs. A series of civil wars and battles took place with the Paleyagar of Basavapattana in numerous place and territories such as Mayakonda, Santebennur, Holalkere, Anaji, and Jagalur, all of which ultimately remained as parts of Chitradurga territory.
Madakari Nayaka II (1652-1674) Rangappa Nayaka was victorious in numerous battles and was succeeded by his son Madakari Nayaka II in 1652. He killed Shah Adb Allah in 1671 in a battle at Chitradurga. Obanna Nayaka II (1674-1675) His rule saw civil unrest. He was killed by his own men. Shoora Kantha Nayaka (1675-1676) His rule saw civil unrest. He was killed by his own men. Other rulers of this dynasty were Chikkanna Nayaka (1676-1686), Madakari Nayaka III (1686-1688), Donne Rangappa Nayaka (1688-1689)
Bharamappa Nayaka of Bilichodu (1689-1721) was one of the great Nayakas of Chitradurga, and he was in the way of becoming a Maratha ally and fought in the battle of Dodderi in 1695 but had to pay tribute later to the Mughals for supporting the Marathas. He fought many pitched battles against the Mughals, and is credited for building many temples and irrigation tanks. Madakari Nayaka IV (1721-1748) was a Maratha feudatory. He was killed during continued hostilities against the Nayakas of Davangere.
Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II who was the son of Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II, finalized his reign in the Mayakonda territory and it was with the aid of the Maratha Sardar Murari Rao and the Subedar of Advani that he achieved his success. Myth has it that Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka indulged in several expeditions to the north and south, and in the latter direction gained some possessions in the Budihal region. Even he maintained close ties with the Subedar of Sira. He died in 1754 without an heir.
Madakari Nayaka (1758-1779) had been a valiant soldier with the shrewd colours of an administrator. In his political career he allied himself with Haider Ali, the paramount power of the Mysore Kingdom at certain points of time and at other times with the strategic Marathas. It was during his time that Haider Ali attacked the Chitradurga Fort leading to the heroics of "Onake Obavva". Later having been betrayed by the Marathas and some local officers, Madakari Nayaka was defeated by Hyder Ali, taken prisoner and killed. The Chitradurga Nayakas form an integral part of Kannada folklore.