CHIEFTAINS OF CHITRADURGA
Chitradurga, which is now a district headquarters in
This fifedom has a history of blood shed and vengence which got accentuated during the regime of Chikkannanayaka, Lingannanayaka, Bharamannanayaka and Donne Rangannanayaka. Dalavayi Muddanna and his brothers played the role of villains to perfection. Bharamannanayaka and Dodda Madakarinayaka who succeeded to the throne were instrumental for the acheivement of a period of peace and prosperity. It was a period of expansion of the kingdom. Paleyagars of Chitrdurga became very powerful during the regime of Kiriya Madakarinayaka(1754-79) and his help was sought by both Marathas and Hyder Ali who were rivals for power. Madakarinayaka joined hands with Hyder Ali to begin with and rendered him great help particularly in the conquest of Nidugallu. However, there was an under current of dissatisfaction and dissent which led to his silence when Marathas and the Nizam attacked Hyder Ali in tandem. The latter who was furious attacked the fort of Chitradurga with a huge contingent of army and defeated Madakarinayaka after a protracted battle. The fifedom came to an end with the death of Madakarinayaka as a prisoner in Srirangapattana.
The scentialting story of Chitradurga has attracted both historians and writers who have written extensively on different stages in the history of this fifedom. Hulluru Srinivasa Jois has conducted extensive research on this dynasty and a series of novels by T.R.Subba Rao (ta.raa.su.) named ‘kamabniya kuyilu’, ‘raktaraatri’, ‘’tirugubANa’, ‘hosahagalu’ and ‘vijayotsava’ have given a highly romanticised yet powerful version of the confrontation between the pALeyagArs and the military commanders. ‘durgastamAna’ an academy award winning novel depicts the raise and fall of Kiriya Madakarinayaka. M.S.Puttanna has written a historical account of the development and decline of this dynasty in an important book.
Hence the history of the Chitradurga dynasty reflects the realities of many a dyanasty like that in medeival Karnataka.
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