Written in a sweeping style, befitting the epic saga, it is also an easy read.
‘City of Victory’ the epic saga of the Vijayanagara empire, founded by Harihara and Bukkaraya under the guidance of Sri Vidyaranya Swami at Hampi in the year 1336 CE. The book traces the rise and fall of the Empire, and finally the total decimation of even an offshoot of the glorious empire in the year 1652 CE at Vellore. The book gives a brief overview of the other kingdoms around the world during those times. Many of us Telugus know of Srikrishna Devaraya, the most famous emperor of the kingdom, his exploits in the battlefield as well as in the arena of literature and arts because of the glorious epoch of Bhuvana Vijayam, the literary court of Ashta diggajas, the 8 great poets, especially Tenali Ramakrishna. There’s an entire chapter that deals with the Bhuvana Vijayam including Srikrishna Devaraya as the poet-king. Yet, we don’t know about the dynasties preceding him and the times after him. The book covers the Sangama, Saluva and Tuluva dynasties which have founded and expanded the Vijayanagara Kingdom into a mighty Hindu empire in the South, extending up to far south and to Odisha in the east covering the peninsular land between the seas on the eastern and western coast, and an account of various battles fought to establish the supremacy. The author highlights the empire’s contribution in preventing the onward march of Muslim kingdoms down south for close to 250 years, and in instilling Hindu culture and arts, and as the builders of architecturally- magnificent temples. We also see the advent of the Portuguese and the other European colonials in that era. We are faintly familiar with the tragic battle at Tallikota, but we don’t know what happened thereafter. This book fills that gap. Along with the political history, this book also gives us a glimpse into the socio-cultural life of the people. It also gives us an overview of the kingdom’s economy and prosperity, as one of the richest kingdoms of its times in the world, and it’s trading sea-ports. Written in a sweeping style, befitting the epic saga, it is also an easy read, especially for the younger generation interested in the history of our country. The battles are depicted in a visual style which brings the action in front of our eyes. This book is an important contribution in stitching together the various strands of history and gives us a comprehensive historical picture of south India of nearly three centuries.
Review by Pradakshina on Samvit Kendra