Sunday, November 29, 2020
Home Variety Culture and History Madura Vijaya: The epic by female poet Gangadevi that narrates the glorious victory of...

Madura Vijaya: The epic by female poet Gangadevi that narrates the glorious victory of the Vijayanagara empire over the Madurai Sultanate

Madura Vijaya is above all the victory of good over evil. Unfortunately, our textbooks have no place for such glorious episodes of history.

Madura Vijaya is an epic written in 14th century. Leftist historians would tell you that in medieval India, women had no right to study and in general their condition was pitiful. This particular epic was written by Ganga Devi, who was a witness to the events of this tale, which concerns her warrior husband Kumara Kampana II. We have already seen a glorious chapter of Indian History, how Maharana Pratap defeated Mughals, remains absent from history books. This is one such other chapter.

The rise of Vijayanagara

14th Century India was a time of flux. By 1320, the Khilji Empire had fallen and Tughlaqs had become the overlords of the Sultanate. Under Jauna Khan, laso known as mad King Muhammad Bin Tuglaq, the empire expanded greatly and reached to the farthest regions in the South. Kafur’s expeditions under Khilji had already weakened the Kingdoms of South. Tughlaq’s expeditions effectively terminated many kingdoms which had stood for more than a thousand years. But the conquest was temporary. Within a few years, Vijayanagara Kingdom arose from the ashes of Kakatiya Kingdom and extinguished all traces of Muslim Sovereignty in the South. This is one small portion of that story.

With the breakup of Tughlaq Empire, many Kingdoms arose in the South. The Vijayanagar was one of them but also there was the Madurai Sultanate in the south. Anyway, Vijayanagar was founded by two brothers of noble birth. Both had been captured and taken to Delhi by Tughlaqs. There they were converted to Islam. But at the first opportunity, they escaped to South and took refuge under sage Vidyaranya (later Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Shringeri). Vidyaranya converted them back into Hinduism and gave them a mission of reestablishing Hindu sovereignty in South India.

Harihara was the first King of Vijayanagara (now Hampi). After him Bukka Raya’s reign started. His son Akampana was a great commander and expanded his kingdom over all of South India, parts of Odisha, and parts of Bahmani Empire. Gandadevi was his wife.

Madurai Sultanate

Madurai Sultanate was founded in 1335 with its capital at Madurai. As was the custom of Muslims, prayers in the Madurai temple were stopped. They destroyed many parts of the temple. The idol of Sundereshwar Shiva could be saved by a clever ruse of installing a replacement and walling up the sacred Garbhgriha. In Madura Vijaya, Gangadevi notes the decaying situation of the temple building, the destruction of Brahmanas, the defiling of sacred areas by cow-meat and liquor and general chaos wrought by the Turushkas (Turks). The atrocities against native populace were also recorded by Ibn Batuta, the famous Moroccan traveler, who visited it on his way to China. His book Rihla gives the following account:-

“THE HINDU PRISONERS WERE DIVIDED INTO FOUR SECTIONS AND TAKEN TO EACH OF THE FOUR GATES OF THE GREAT CATCAR. THERE, ON THE STAKES THEY HAD CARRIED, THE PRISONERS WERE IMPALED. AFTERWARDS, THEIR WIVES WERE KILLED AND TIED BY THEIR HAIR TO THESE PALES. LITTLE CHILDREN WERE MASSACRED ON THE BOSOMS OF THEIR MOTHERS AND THEIR CORPSES LEFT THERE. THEN, THE CAMP WAS RAISED, AND THEY STARTED CUTTING DOWN THE TREES OF ANOTHER FOREST. IN THE SAME MANNER, DID THEY TREAT THEIR LATER HINDU PRISONERS. THIS IS SHAMEFUL CONDUCT SUCH AS I HAVE NOT KNOWN ANY OTHER SOVEREIGN GUILTY OF. “

This is not the only, or the most heart wrenching account mentioned by him. Gangadevi also mentions similar conditions. Due to misrule, Madurai was also afflicted by famine and later plague.

Vijayanagara’s victory over Madurai Sultanate

The prince had his task cut out. But before conquering Madurai, it was important to be secure from the areas surrounding it. Accordingly, he first captured and made secure areas around Kanchipuram{near Chennai} which were held by a loyal Hindu vassal of Delhi Sultanate and then marched South. A curious element in the story is the royal sword of the Pandyas. It was presented to Kampana by a messenger. It represents the passage of sovereignty of the South from hands of Pandyas to Vijayanagaram.

Kampana reached the borders of the Sultanate. Madura Vijaya had started. The battle was fierce. In front of the experienced and mighty Vijayanagar army, the Sultanate forces were losing ground. To bolster their morale and to finish the battle, Sultan himself came into the field. India’s history is replete with instances where a battle almost won was lost due to incapacitation of the King or commander. One can remember the battle of Chandawar, in which Jaychand of Kannauj was winning against Delhi Sultan or later in 16th century, the defeat of Hemchandra Vikramaditya in Panipat{1556}. In both these battles, Hindu armies, on the brink of victory, lost as the King was unfortunately killed/incapacitated by a stray arrow. The leaderless armies lost in a rout. However, here fortune was with Kampana. A fierce battle ensued in which valiant Kampana first defeated the Sultan in a longbow duel. The sultan took a sword and attacked Kamapana. Dodging his blow, Kampana lobbed his head clean off his body in a single blow. The head of Muslim tyranny in South India was rolling in the dust. The body stayed on the steed for a little while, still clasping the reigns of the horse and the sword. The mission had been accomplished. This was the year 1378 of Common Era. The temple was reestablished, the damage undone. It would be beautified and enlarged by the vassals of Vijayanagar, Madurai Nayakas for many centuries yet. The temple and Matha at Srirangam was restored to its former glory.

Conclusion

South India would remain a stronghold of Hindus for another 200 years. Even after that, the rump state of Vijayanagaram and vassal states of Vijayanagar, Mysore Wodeyars, Madurai Nayakas etc. protected Dharma and the people from foreign depredations. The Mughals could never reach there. Only after rise of Hyder Ali, another threat appeared. However the Marathas succeeded in countering him and with English, finished his dynasty.

Madura Vijaya is above all the victory of Good over evil. Unfortunately, our textbooks have no place for such glorious episodes of history. Common Hindus are content with reciting stories of their so called 800 years’ slavery under Islamic invaders. This defeatism needs to be dispelled. Such heroic histories are a necessary part of a community’s renaissance and need to be told and retold.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

pawanpandeyhttp://pawanpandey.in
I see the big picture. I have deep interest in history, philosophy, traditions and developments in India.

Related Articles

Trending now

Indo-Canadian politician Gurratan Singh, brother of Khalistani supporter Jagmeet Singh, scare-mongers about farm bills

In a shoddy attempt to internationalise India's internal matter, an Indo-Canadian politician, Gurratan Singh, raked up the ongoing 'farmers' protest in Canada

Who is the man in farmer protest video, lying about ‘govt snatching farmland’: Profile of an actor and Khalistan supporter

Khalistan supporter Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu has been seen spreading the lie that govt will snatch farmer's land using the new farm laws

Door-to-door campaign luring Sikhs, grant of $1 million to protesting farmers, pro-Khalistan slogans now: SFJ tentacles analysed

The farmer protest started in September, and in that month itself, Khalistan org SFJ had started spreading its tentacles

Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy, Vikram Chandra, others barred from capital market for insider trading of NDTV shares: Read details

NDTV Promoters & senior executives had done insider trading by trading in NDTV shares while holding unpublished price sensitive information

Financial assistance for marriage, free cars, development of mosques and dargahs: Telangana spends Rs 5,600 cr in 6 yrs on ‘minorities’

Telangana government in the state has so far spent a whopping Rs 5,639.44 crore in the last 6 years for sake of minority appeasement

The truth about the viral picture, shared by Rahul Gandhi, where police can be seen ‘beating up’ an old farmer

Congress leaders share cunningly edited version of a video to allege brute force is being used by security officials to quell the 'farmer' protest

Recently Popular

Odisha: Largest ever vigilance raid in state unearths massive wealth gathered by IFS officer, fancy cars, ultra-luxurious lifestyle

Pathak's family reportedly owns a lavish apartment in Bhubaneswar with Italian marble flooring, ivory furnitures and other luxuries. The son is engaged to an MLA's daughter.

Who is the man in farmer protest video, lying about ‘govt snatching farmland’: Profile of an actor and Khalistan supporter

Khalistan supporter Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu has been seen spreading the lie that govt will snatch farmer's land using the new farm laws

Wife of late Wajid Khan writes on her sufferings in an inter-faith marriage, says anti-conversion law should be nationalised

Wife of late music composer Wajid Khan wrote how her husband and his family had been forcing her to convert to Islam after their marriage

‘Indira thok di…Modi ki chhati mein’, ‘Imran Khan dost’: Congress plays a dangerous game as ‘farmer’ protest turns into show of strength for Khalistanis

Farmer protest along Punjab-Haryana border have seen participation from Khalistanis, even as Congress lends support to them

Netizens call to Boycott tax evasion accused Amrapali Jewels after it pitches Swara Bhasker as its brand ambassador, Amrapali deletes tweet

The official Twitter account of Amrapali Jewels had posted a tweet with a picture of actor Swara Bhasker endorsing its products

The truth about the viral picture, shared by Rahul Gandhi, where police can be seen ‘beating up’ an old farmer

Congress leaders share cunningly edited version of a video to allege brute force is being used by security officials to quell the 'farmer' protest

Barkha Dutt gives platform to actor Deep Sidhu to ‘distance himself’ from OpIndia report that he supports Khalistan, he ends up disappointing her

Barkha Dutt lamented after actor Deep Sidhu refused to condemn Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and to call him terrorist on her YouTube channel

Attorney General declines to allow contempt proceedings against Prashant Bhushan as he has already apologised, slams him for comments against CJI

Prashant Bhushan had apologised for linking facilities given to CJI by Madhya Pradesh govt with MLA disqualification case at the SC

Hindu Munnani warns of Islamist terror attack in Tamil Nadu after Coast Guard find drugs and arms in a Sri Lankan vessel linked to...

A couple of days ago, Coastal Guard had intercepted a Pakistan linked vessel smuggling drugs and arms into Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka

Amidst warnings from New Zealand cricket board for violating isolation protocol, 7th Pakistani cricketer diagnosed with Coronavirus

The Pakistani cricketers have been confined to a hotel in Christchurch and the team been barred from further training.

Yogi Adityanath campaigns for BJP in Hyderabad for upcoming municipal polls, holds a roadshow in Malkajgiri area

It may be recalled that after PM Modi, Yogi Adityanath was the most sought after campaigner for the Bihar elections

Wife of late Wajid Khan writes on her sufferings in an inter-faith marriage, says anti-conversion law should be nationalised

Wife of late music composer Wajid Khan wrote how her husband and his family had been forcing her to convert to Islam after their marriage

Chhattisgarh: Five including two women arrested after woman abducted, raped, and sold to multiple buyers in Delhi and Haryana

The woman was offered a drink laced with sedatives before her abduction and trafficking to Delhi and Haryana

After Hindu refugees booed anti-CAA ‘activist’ Medha Patkar, she joins farmer protests in Punjab for legitimacy

Medha Patkar claimed that the farmers agitation was in fact against the 'divide' between the corporates and the toiling masses

Odisha: IFS officer Abhay Pathak who had taken 20 chartered flights during lockdown arrested in disproportionate asset case, suspended

During the raid at house of Abhay Pathak, the Vigilance department had found evidence of cash deposits of Rs 9.4 crore in bank accounts

Terror in the name of God: Are Islamic terrorists ‘cowards’, or are we cowards for not analysing Islam honestly?

The biggest problem in today’s world is terrorism, many political leaders acknowledge, however, they do water down the conversation around it

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
490,312FollowersFollow
20,200SubscribersSubscribe