This Day in History (25-Jan-1565) – Battle at Talikota – the Deccan sultanate destroy Vijayanagar’s army and the last Hindu kingdom of Southern India

The Vijayanagar Empire was a South Indian dynasty based in the Deccan spanning across all present South Indian states. It was founded by Harihara I and his sibling Bukka Raya in 1336, the empire ruled untill 1646. The ruling dynasty declined in the 1565 after a key military defeat by the Deccan Sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagar, the remarkable ruins of which surround modern World Heritage site Hampi is in modern Karnataka, India, till today. The Vijayanagara Empire`s support facilitated fine arts and literature in order to attain new-fangled pinnacles in the languages of Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit, while Carnatic Music advanced into its existing structure. The Empire shaped an era in South Indian history thereby surpassing regionalism with the promotion of Hinduism as a coalescing feature.

After the death of Krishna Deva Raya the fall of Vijayanagar Empire began. Two rulers Achyuta Raya and Sadasiva Raya were weak. At the time of Sadasiva Raya his minister Rama Raya captured all the royal authorities. He tried to capital the difference amongst Muslim sultans of Bijapur, Bidar, Ahmadnagar, and Golconda of South India and crush them. But they soon understood his plan and joined hands with each other. Then jointly they attacked Vijayanagar. Battle of Talikota, was a confrontation between the forces of the Hindu raja of Vijayanagar and the four Muslim sultans in the Indian Deccan. The armies numbered several hundred thousand, with large contingents of elephants. The battle seems to have been decided by the Muslim artillery and the capture and execution of the ruling minister Rama Raya. The capital city of Vijayanagar was captured, destroyed over a period of five months, and never reoccupied. The raja and Rama Raya’s brother Tirumala retired to Penukonda, where the latter usurped the throne in 1570. The battle was decisive in breaking up the Vijayanagar empire, a Telugu domination over the Tamil and Kannada south. It also began a final Muslim penetration lasting until the end of the 18th century.

 

Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/january/25

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/581480/Battle-of-Talikota

http://www.indianmirror.com/dynasty/vijayanagaradynasty.html

 http://www.importantindia.com/11629/battle-of-talikota-1565/

This Day in History (25-Aug-1997) – Konkan Railway line in Goa, except for a short stretch between Pernem and Maharashtra border, becomes operational

The Konkan Railway, 741-kilometre line connects Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka States — a region of criss-crossing rivers, plunging valleys and mountains that soar into the clouds. Apart from setting a trend for other infrastructure projects in the country, the Konkan Railway provides concrete proof of the skills of Indian engineers, their discipline, team spirit and courage.  On July 19, 1990, the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) was incorporated as a public limited company and E. Sreedharan, a senior railway official, as its first Chairman and Managing Director. The company set itself a challenging target of five years to complete the work. With a total number of over 2,000 bridges and 91 tunnels to be built through this mountainous terrain containing many rivers, the project was the biggest and perhaps most difficult railway undertaking during this century, at least in this part of the world. There were challenges posed by the terrain and the elements. Flash floods, landslides and tunnel collapses affected work at many places on the project. The region was also thickly forested, and construction sites were often plagued by wild animals.

To enable quicker construction, several innovative practices were adopted. Piers for major bridges were cast on the riverbanks itself and launched using cranes mounted on pontoons. The technique of incremental launching of bridge spans was used for the first time in India.  The biggest challenge, however, came from the nine tunnels that had to be bored through soft soil. No technology existed anywhere in the world for this purpose and the work had to be carried out through a painstakingly slow manual process. Excavation was almost impossible due to the clayey soil that was saturated with water owing to a high water table in the region. Several times tunnels collapsed immediately after they had been dug, necessitating work to be redone. Nineteen lives and four years were lost while constructing the soft soil tunnels alone. In all, seventy-four people perished during the construction of the line. Trains carrying passengers started running along the full route between Mumbai and Mangalore from May 1998.

 

Reference:

http://www.indianage.com/search.php

http://konkanrailway.com/english/salient-features/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konkan_Railway