Viranarasimha Raya

Viranarasimha Raya

Viranarasimha Raya (1505-1509 CE) became the king of Vijayanagar empire after the death of Tuluva Narasa Nayaka. The younger Krishnadevaraya was the king's half brother.

The death of their capable father Tuluva Narasa Nayaka resulted in feudatories rising in rebellion everywhere. In his writings, Nuniz noted that the whole world had risen in rebellion. At first, Immadi Narasa Nayaka, the eldest son of Tuluva Narasa Nayaka became king and lasted at the throne for two years before being assassinated. Viranarasimha Raya was next coronated in 1505 and spent all his years fighting rebel warlords. Yusuf Adil Khan of Bijapur tried to extend his domains south of the Tungabhadra. The Vijayanagar regent was supported by Ramaraja of the Aravidu family and his son Thimma. With their help, Adil Khan was defeated and pushed back. Adoni and Kurnool area became a part of Vijayanagar Empire. During this time, the chief of Ummattur was again in revolt and Viranarasimha Raya set out south to quell the rebellion, having placed Krishnadevaraya as the ruler in absence. Concerted efforts by Viranarasimha Raya to quell the rebellion in Ummatur had mixed results. Portugal assisted king Raya's forces in this conflict, providing horses and artillery, in exchange seeking control of the port of Bhatkal.

When on his death bed, legend has it that Viranarasimha Raya requested his minister Saluva Thimma (Thimmarasa) to blind Krishnadevaraya so that his own eight year old son could become king of Vijayanagar. Thimmarasa however brought a pair of she-goat eyes to the king and informed him that he had Krishnadevaraya killed. However there is no record to prove anything but a friendly relationship between the two half brothers and that the coronation of Krishnadevaraya was a smooth one.


  • Prof K.A. Nilakanta Sastry, History of South India, From Prehistoric times to fall of Vijayanagar, 1955, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002)

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