Q.1. Which dynasty did Krishnadeva Raya belong to ? Mention any one of his expansion and consolidation policies.
Ans. Krishnadeva Raya (reigned 1509-29) was the most famous ruler of Vijayanagara. He belonged to the Tuluva Dynasty. Under his expansion and consolidation policies, he acquired the land between the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers. During his rule, the Gajapati rulers of Orissa were subdued and Sultan of Bijapur also had to face the defeat.
Q.2. Who founded the Vijayanagara Empire in 1336 CE ? Mention any one reason for their competition with contemporary rulers.
Ans. Vijayanagar Empire was founded in 1336 by Harihara and Bukka. Vijayanagara rulers competed with the Sultans of the Deccan and Gajapati rulers of Orissa. They competed with them for the control of the fertile river valleys. They competed with them over the resources generated by lucrative overseas trade.
Q.3. Examine the outcome of the battle of RakshasiTangadi (Talikota).
Ans. In 1565, Rama Raya, The Chief Minister of Vijayanagara led the army into battle of RakshsiTangadi (Talikota) where his forces were routed by combined forces of Bijapur, Ahmednagar and Golconda. These forces sacked the city of Vijayanagara.
Q.4. Examine how the Amara-Nayaka System was a political innovation of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Ans. The Amara-Nayakas were military commanders who were given territories to be governed by the Raya. They collected taxes and other dues from the peasants, traders and craft persons. They retained some revenues for personal use and for maintenance of their horses, elephants and temples. They sent tribute to the king annually and personally appeared in the Royal Court with gifts to show their loyalty. Kings, transferred them from one place to another.
Q.5. How and when were the ruins of Hampi brought to light? Explain briefly.
Ans. Colin Mackenzie was an engineer and a cartographer who worked for the East India Company. He brought the ruins of Hampi to light in 1800 CE. He prepared the first survey map of the site. His initial informations were based on the memories of the Priests of the Virupaksha temple and shrine of Pampadevi. From 1856 CE onwards, photographers started to record the pictures of monuments of this site which helped the historians to learn more. Many inscriptions were collected from the temples of Hampi. Historians collected various sources from the accounts of foreign travellers and other literatures written in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit languages and many sources gave almost the same information as given by the Priests of the Virupaksha temple.
Q.6. Krishnadeva Raya’s rule was characterized by expansion and consolidation’’. Justify the statement on the basis of evidences.
Ans. Krishnadeva Raya (ruled 1509-29) was the greatest ruler of Vijayanagara Empire. His rule was characterised by expansion and consolidation. In 1512, he acquired the land between the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers. In 1514, the rulers of Orissa were subdued and in 1520, severe defeats were inflicted on the Sultans of Bijapur. His kingdom remained in a constant state of military preparedness. His kingdom flourished under unparalleled peace and prosperity. He is credited for building some fine temples and also found a suburban township near Vijayanagara called Nagalapuram after his mother. Some of the most detailed descriptions of the kingdom came from his period or just after.
Q.7.Why did the imperial power of Vijayanagara decline after the death of Krishnadeva Raya?
Ans. Strain began to show in the Vijayanagara after the death of Krishnadeva Raya in 1529. His successors were disturbed by the rebellious Nayakas. By 1542, control of the centre was shifted to Aravidu, another ruling lineage. During this period, the military ambitions of the rulers of Vijayanagara and Deccan Sultanate resulted in shifting alignments, which led to an alliance of the Sultanates against Vijayanagara. In 1565, Rama Raya, the Chief Minister of Vijayanagara led an army into the battle at Rakshasi-Tangadi (also known as Talikota) were his forces where defeated by the combined armies of Bijapur, Ahmednagar and Golconda. The victorious armies sacked Vijayanagara and the city was abandoned within few years.
Q.8. What was the main purpose of sieges during medieval times?
Ans. The main purpose of medieval sieges was to starve the defenders into submission. These sieges could last for many months and even for years, which was the reason that rulers built grand granaries within fortified areas.
Q.9. Explain any five striking features about the location of Vijayanagara in brief.
Why were the water resources of the Vijayanagara Empire developed? Give reasons.
Ans. The most impressive feature about the location of Vijayanagara was the natural basin formed by the river Tungabhadra which flows in the north easterly direction. The surrounding landscape was surrounded by granite hills that naturally form a girdle around the city. Embankments were built around these rivers to create reservoirs of different sizes. In the early 15th century, one such tank was built and was called Kamalapuram Tank. This famous tank became the main source of water for irrigation in nearby fields. Arrangements were done to store rain water and conduct it to the city. One of the most important waterworks to be seen is the Hiriya canal, which drew water from a dam across the Tungabhadra and irrigated the valley that divided the ‘Sacred Centre’ from the ‘Urban Core’. This was built during the Sangama Dynasty.
Q.10. Why were the water resources of the Vijayanagara Empire developed ? Give reasons.
Ans. Vijayanagara Empire was spread in erstwhile Karnataka and some arid regions of Andhra Pradesh. This empire had a semi-arid region, so they had to plan the method of water conservation for the purposes of irrigation and other domestic uses.
Tungabhadra : This river was the only natural source of water. This covered large basin and it flew in north easterly direction. This river provided water for the purpose of irrigation.
Hiriya Canal : This canal was built by the Raya Dynasty. This canal drew water from river Tungabhadra and it separated Sacred Centre from Urban Core. This was used for irrigation as well as for some religious purposes (Abhisheka).
Streams of water came down through the granite rocks that surrounded Vijayanagara, so this stream water was held by building embankments or through reservoirs.
Kamalapuram Tank was a water reservoir where water was stored for irrigation purposes. It also served the empire during the droughts. So, these are the methods through which Vijayanagara Empire’s water sources were developed.
Q.11. Explain the layout of the Royal Centre of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Ans. The Royal Centre was located in the south-western part of the settlement. Although designated as a Royal Centre, it had 60 temples. The patronage of temples and cults was important for rulers who were trying to establish and legitimise their authority through association with the divinities in the temples. Around 30 buildings had been identified as palaces, which are large structures associated with ritual functions. The main differences between these structures and temples was that the temples were constructed entirely of masonry, while the superstructure were made of perishable materials, Many structures had named on the form of the Buildings as well as their functions. The King’s Palace was the largest and had two impressive platforms called the Audience Hall and the Mahanavami Dibba.
Q.12. Highlight any four aspects observed by the Abdur Razzaq regarding the fortification of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Ans. Abdur Razzaq was an ambassador who was sent by the ruler of Persia to Calicut in the 15th century. He was greatly impressed by the fortification and mentioned seven lines of forts. These encircled the city and also the agriculture hinterland and forest. The outermost wall linked the hills surrounding the city. The massive mansion like construction was slightly tapered. No mortar or cementing agent was used anywhere in the construction. The stone blocks were wedge-shaped which held them in palace, and the inner portion of the walls was earth packed with rubble. Square or rectangular bastions were projecting outwards. The fortification also enclosed agricultural tracts which made it most important factor. Abdur Razzaq noticed that between the first, second and the third walls, there were cultivated fields, gardens and houses.
The second line of fortification went around the inner core of the Urban Complex and the Royal Centre was encircled by the third line within which each set of major buildings was encircled by its own high walls. The Fort was entered through wellguarded gates, which connected the city to the important roads. The arch on the gateway leading into the fortified settlement as well as the dome over the gate were considered as special characteristics of the architecture started by the Turkish Sultans and this style was called Indo-Islamic.
Q.13. How did the rulers of Vijayanagara adopt an expensive and elaborate strategy for their fortification? Explain.
Ans. The different parts of the city were enclosed with great fortress walls. These walls encircled the city and also the agriculture hinterland and forest. The outermost walls linked the hills surrounding the city. Abdur Razzaq noticed that between the first, second and third walls, there were cultivated fields, gardens and houses. From there, till one enters the city, there was a great distance in which there were fields that saw rice and flower gardens in which water came from two lakes. Archaeologists have found evidence of tract between the Sacred Centre and the Urban Core. This tract served as a canal system drawing water from Tungabhadra. Agricultural tracts were fortified as the objective of medieval sieges was to starve the defenders into submission. These sieges could last for several months and even years. To prepare for such situation, Kings built huge granaries within fortified areas. The second line of fortification went round the inner core of the Urban Complex, and the Royal Centre was encircled by the third line, within which each set of major buildings was encircled by its own high walls. The Fort was entered through well-guarded gates, which connected the city to the important roads.
Q.14. Highlight any four aspects observed by the Portuguese Traveller Barbosa on the urban Core of the Vijayanagara Empire.
How did the Portuguese Traveller Barbosa describe the urban Core of the Vijayanagara Empire?
Ans. The 16th century Portuguese Traveller Barbosa, mentions that the houses of the common man were thatched, but well-built and arranged according to occupations, in long streets and many open places. The houses did not survive. Surveys indicate that the complete area was linked with many shrines and small temples also, indicating the prevalence of other cults. This perhaps was supported by different communities. The survey also indicates that wells, rainwater tanks as well as temple tanks could have served as sources of water to the common people.
Q.15. Domingo Paes called the Mahanavami Dibba of Vijayanagara Empire as the “House of Victory”. Justify.
Highlight the aspects observed by the Domingo Paes on the Mahanavami Dibba of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Ans. Some significant structures in the area had been given names based on the form of the buildings as well as their functions. The King’s palace was the largest of the enclosures. It had two of the most important platforms usually called the Audience Hall and the Mahanavami Dibba. Domingo Paes called the Audience Hall and the Mahanavami Dibba the “House of Victory”. These buildings had two platforms, one above the other. On the upper platform was a room made of cloth. The idol was in shrine form. In the center of the other platform, the throne of the state was placed.
Q.16. The Mahanavami Dibba in the Royal Centre of Vijayanagara has been assigned name on the basis of its form of building as well as function.” Elaborate.
Ans. Located on one of the highest points in the city, the “Mahanavami Dibba” was a massive platform rising from a base of about 11000 sq. ft. to a height of 40 ft. It was supported by wooden structure and with relief carvings. Rituals associated with the structure probably coincided with Mahanavami (literally the great ninth day) of the ten-day Hindu festival during the autumn months of September and October, known variously as Dushhera (in northern India), Durga Puja (in Bengal) and Navaratri or Mahanavami (in Peninsular India). The Vijayanagara Kings displayed their prestige, power and superiority on this occasion. The ceremonies performed on the occasion included worship of the image, worship of the state house, the sacrifice of buffaloes and other animals. Dancers, wrestling matches, and processions of horses, elephants, chariots and soldiers, as well as ritual presentations before the king and his guests by the Chief Nayakas and subordinate kings marked the occasion. These ceremonies were imbibed with deep symbolic meanings. On the last day of the festival, the King inspected his army and the armies of the Nayakas in a grand ceremony in an open field. On this occasion, the Nayakas brought rich gifts to the kings.
Q.17. What do buildings that survived in the Royal capital Vijayanagara tell us? Mention any two points.
Ans. Buildings that survived tells us about the way, how spaces were occupied and used. We can also learn what techniques, material were used and what is the purpose behind this. For instance, by studying the fortifications, we can understand the defence requirements and military preparedness. These also tell us the cultural influences and the spread of ideas in comparing it with other places.
Q.18.Mention two characteristic features of the Temple Complexes in Vijayanagara.
Ans. The temples had huge structures. They had high Gopurams and Royal Gateways. The Gopurams could be seen from a far away distance, a reminder of the powers of kings. The temples also had manadapams, pavilions and long-pillared corridors. These corridors often ran around the shrines within the temples. Temples developed as a significant religious, social, cultural and economic centre.
Q.19. Describe the accounts of foreign travellers about the city of Vijayanagara.
Ans. The accounts of foreign travellers about the city of Vijayanagara:
(i) Colonel Colin Mackenzie - The ruins at Hampi were brought to light in 1800 by an engineer and antiquarian named Colonel Colin Mackenzie. An employee of the East India Company, he prepared the first survey map of the site.
(ii) Abdur Razzaq noted that fortification between the first, second and the third walls there were cultivated fields, gardens and houses.
(iii) Domingo Paes observed: “From the first circuit of fortification the city there was a great distance, in which they sow rice and have many gardens and water, in which water comes from two lakes.
(iv) The sixteenth century Portuguese traveller Barbosa described the houses of ordinary people, which have not survived: “The other houses of the people were thatched, but nonetheless well-built and arranged according to occupations, in long streets with many open places.
Q.20. Describe the experience that that existing building share regarding the organization and usage of space in Vijayanagar. Share in detail?
Ans. By studying its fortifications we come to know the defence requirements and military preparedness of a city. Buildings give us information about the spread of ideas and cultural influences if we compare them with buildings in other places. These convey ideas which their builders or patterns wished to project. Buildings are symbolic which are products of their cultural context. This can be understood when we combine information from other sources like literature, inscriptions and popular traditions.
Q.21. Describe the significance of Temple building in the Sacred Centre of Vijayanagara.
Ans. Temple building in the region had a long history going back to Dynasties like the Pallavas, Chalukyas, Hoysalas and Cholas. Rulers usually encouraged temple building as a mean to associate themselves with the divine. Temples were the centres of learnings. Kings offered lands and other resources for the maintenance of temples. Thus, temples developed as maintaining temples were important means of winning support and recognition for their power, wealth and piety. It is equally possible that the chosen site of Vijayanagara was encouraged by the existence of the shrines of Virupaksha and Pampadevi. In fact, the Vijayanagara Kings claimed to rule on behalf of God Virupaksha. All royal orders were signed ‘Shri Virupaksha’ in Kannada script. In the temple, grand Gopurams and Gateways were built signifying a symbol of royal authority.
Q.22. Vijayanagara was characterised by a distinctive building style. Support this statement with the sacred architectural examples of Vijayanagara.
Ans. In the sacred temple architecture, many new features were added. These included large structures, huge and high Gopurams, Royal Gateways. These also included mandapams or pavilions and long pillared corridors. The Virupaksha Temple was built over centuries and substantially enlarged during the Vijayanagara period. Its main deity was Lord Virupaksha, form of Shiva and the chief guardian God of the kingdom. The hall in front of the main shrine was built by Krishnadeva Raya to mark his accession and was decorated with carved pillars. He also constructed the Eastern Gopuram. The halls in the temple were used for many purposes like marriage of deities; swing in special images and also to witness special programmes of music, dance and drama. In the Vitthala Temple, the main deity was Vitthala, form of Vishnu, worshipped generally in Maharasthra, an indication that the rulers of Vijayanagara drew in different traditions to create an imperial culture. This temple too has several halls and a unique shrine designed as a chariot. A characteristic feature of the Temple Complex is the chariot streets that extended from the temple Gopuram in straight line. These streets are paved with stone slabs and lined with pillared pavilions where traders set their shops.
Q.23. The rulers of Vijayanagara innovated and developed new traditions in the Virupaksha Temple. Elaborate.
Ans. The new traditions developed by the rulers of Vijayanagara in the Virupaksha Temple:
(i) The Virupaksha Temple is an old temple dedicated to Shiva.
(ii) It was enlarged with the establishment of the Vijayanagara Empire.
(iii) The hall in front of the main shrine was built by Krishnadeva Raya to mark his accession.
(iv) This was decorated with delicately carved pillars.
(v) Gopurams, R oyal Gateways that often dwarfed the towers on the central shrines and signalled presence of the temple.
(vi) Central shrine (Garbhagriha)
(vii) There were Mandapas or pillared corridors in the temple.
(viii) Social Importance—Images of God were placed to witness special programmes of music, dance and dramas. These were used to celebrate the marriage of deities. Vijayanagara rulers/kings ruled on behalf of Lord Virupaksha.
(ix) Orders were signed in the name of Sri Virupaksha.
(x) Rulers indicated close links with God using title “Hindu Suratrana”.
(xi) Royal portraits and sculptures were also displayed in temples.
(xii) King’s visit to temples along with AmaraNayakas was an important occasion.
(xiii) Chariot street. Any three points to be explained.
In the sacred temple architecture, many new features were added. These included large structures, huge and high Gopurams and Royal Gateways. These also included mandapams or pavilions and long-pillared corridors. The Virupaksha Temple was built over centuries and substantially enlarged during the Vijayanagara period. Its main deity was Lord Virupaksha, form of Shiva and the chief guardian God of the kingdom. The hall in front of the main shrine was built by Krishnadeva Raya to mark his accession and was decorated with carved pillars. He also constructed the Eastern Gopuram. The halls in the temple were used for many purposes like marriage of deities; swing in special images and also to witness special programmes of music, dance and drama. In the Vitthala Temple, the main deity was Vitthala, form of Vishnu, worshipped in Maharashtra, an indication that the rulers of Vijayanagara drew in different traditions to create an imperial culture. This temple too has several halls and a unique shrine designed as a chariot. A characteristic feature of the Temple Complex is the chariot streets that extended from the temple Gopuram in straight line. These streets are paved with stone slabs and lined with pillared pavilions where traders set their shops.
Q.24. Why was the Vitthala Temple of the Vijayanagara unique?
Ans. Vitthala Temple of the Vijayanagara:
1. The principal deity was Vitthala, a form of Vishnu, generally worshipped in Maharashtra.
2. The introduction of the worship of the deities in Karnataka drew on different traditions to create an imperial culture.
3. This temple too has several halls and a unique shrine designated as a chariot.
4. A characteristic feature of the temple complex is the chariot streets that extended from the temple gopuram in a straight line.
5. These streets were paved with stone slabs and lined with pillared pavilions in which merchants set up their shops.
6. The Am ara-Nayakas had supported these temples.