Foreign travellor Domigo Paes and his accounts on greatness of SriKrishana Devaraya By Sri k. Bade Saheb Dr. Mansoor Rahaman Lecturer in History Lec. in. Economics Govt Degree College Osmania College Nandikotkur Kurnool Kurnool (dist) Sri Krishna Deva Raya (1509-1529 CE) was the most famous king of Vijayanagara empire. Presiding over the empire at its zenith, he is regarded as a hero by Kannadigas and Telugu people, and one of the great kings of India.
Emperor Krishna Deva Raya also earned the titles Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana Mooru Rayara Ganda (meaning King of three kings) and Andhra Bhoja. Much of the information about his reign comes from the accounts of Portuguese travelers Domingo Paes and Fernao Nuniz. On basis of their accounts we know the socio. economic and cultural conditions of Sri Krishna Devaraya. We Have confined to only “Foreign travellor and his accounts on great ness of SriKrishana Devaraya”.
Of all the foreign travellers to the Vijayanagara Empire, Domingo Paes’ recordings are of unique values as they provide first hand vivid and graphic account of his personal experiences. He was at the Hindu capital at the period of its highest grandeur and magnificence. Paes visited the capital under the rule of Krishna Deva Raya, the most powerful king Vijayanagara Empire ever had. He witnessed not just the wealth of Vijayanagara but also the most gallantly fought battles in the history of Vijayanagara – The Battle of Raichur between the grand army of Krishna Deva Raya consisting of about a million and Adil Shah of Bijapur.
Domingo Paes was a Portuguese traveller who visited Vijayanagara Empire around the year 1520. He, for the first time, accompanied Christovao de Figueiredo, a Portuguese factor. Just Ruler Sri Krishna Devarya was a just ruler. He flollow the hindu dharma and rule the country without pride and prejudice. In Ancient India Mouryan king Ashoka laid the foundatation for good government. Like this in medieval india Krishna Devaraya follw the Hindu dharma and adopted the Democracy principles.
Krishna Devaraya in his Amaktamalyada says: ‘A crowned king should always rule with an eye towards dharma’. Paes Italian travellor who spent a number fo years at Krishna Devaraya’s court,has given a glowing account of his personality. But he remarks : “He is great ruler and a man of much justice, but subject to sudden fits of rage”. He cherished his subjects, and his solicitude for their welfare became proverbial. The greatest achievement of of Krishna Devaraya lay in the broad toleration that previled in his empire.
Quoting the famous historian Barbosa says: “The king allows such freedom that every man may come and go and live according to his own creed, without suffering any annoyance, and without enquiry whether he is a christian, Jew , Moor or heathen”. Barbosa pays a tribute to Krishna Devaraya for the justice and equity prevailing in his empire. Irrigation facilities Sri Krishna Devaraya gave much importance to irrigation. He built a number of tanks and dams. He constructed a large number of canals to irrigate the fields. Krishna Devaraya built a dam across the river Tungabhadra near Hampi.
The waters from this dam was supplied to the capital city Vijayanagar and also to rice fields. The basavannana Kaluve and earlier canals built by other kings of Vijayanagar are functioning even today. A huge tank was constructed at Masur(Darwad district) during his reign. The British engineer Play Fare who saw this tank in the middle of the 19th century exclaimed that such a huge tank was not possible to be constructed in 19th century Europe. Thomas Munro a British collector said that there is not possibility for construction of new tanks as the Vijayanagar kings have built tanks in all the places where tanks can be built!
Sri Krishna Devaraya Constructed many temples, tanks and encouaged trade with foreign countries. In his reign it was believed that there was no dearth for food, fruits, water. In the Words of foreign visitor Paes on the costruction of a tank — The great work of his reign was the construction of an enormous tank or dammed-up lake at the capital, which he carried out with the aid of Joao de la Ponte, a Portuguese engineer, whose services were lent to him by the governor-general of Goa. Both Paes and Nuniz mention this lake, and as the former actually saw it under construction it may have been begun in A.
D. 1520. The description given by Nuniz accords with the position of this tank, which was doubtless intended partly for irrigation purposes, and partly for the supply of water to the “new city,” Nagalapura, the king’s favourite residence, now known as Hospett. The chronicler mentions the existence of lofty ridges on each side, strong gates and towers guarding the entrance, and states that this was the principal approach to the capital from the south; all which data coincide with the position of the tank and road in question.
It is through these gates that the Portuguese travellers entered Vijayanagar. This view is supported by the account given by Paes. He alludes to the gates and wall, and the city, Nagalapur, constructed by King Krishna. Then he writes, “the king made a tank there,” I. E. close to Hospett, at the mouth of two hills, and in order to this end “broke down a hill. ” He saw innumerable people at work on the tank. He confirms the story of Nuniz as to the sixty human beings offered in sacrifice to ensure the security of the dam. Both writers are therefore describing the same tank. Domingo Paes also said that “The land has plenty of rice and Indian-corn, grains, beans, and other kind of crops which are not sown in our parts; also an infinity of cotton. Of the grains there is a great quantity, because, besides being used as food for men, it is also used for horses, since there is no other kind of barley; and this country has also much wheat, and that good. This country wants water because it is very great and has few streams; they make lakes in which water collects when it rains, and thereby they maintain themselves. The capital cilty was completely dependent on the water supply systems constructed to channel and store water, and ensure consistent supply throughout the year. The remains of these hydraulic systems have given historians a picture of the preview surface water distribution methods in use at that time in South India’s semiarid regions. Contemporary inscriptions and no foreign travellors describe how huge tanks were constructed by labourers. Agriculture Krishnadevaraya gave much importance to Agriculture.
In Amuktamaalyada Krishnadevaraya writes “Agriculture should be the main concern to the king …” As per accouts of foreign travelers SriKrishna Devaraya encouraged irrigation facilities ,so that, the farmers grew variety of crops to feed the empire and to export. He provided many facilities to farmers – like giving advances to purchase oxen, to dig wells and to cultivate additional lands. His policy of taxation was full of justice. The amount of tax levied depended on the agricultural income of the farmer. It increased only if the income increased. It was not a fixed tax rate.
This method of taxation did not hinder the development and prosperity of the farmer. This system was called as ‘Rayarekha’. This system was also followed later by Bijapur, Maratha and British governments. Prosperity of the kingdom During the his time Vijayanagara empire reached its zenith. Prosperity of the country show the strength of Sri Krishna Devaraya. Portugese traveler Domingo Paes visited vijayanagara at the height of its glory during Krishnadevaraya’s regin in 1522 A. D. Though the hills prevented his seeing the whole of the city at once, he thought that it was as large as Rome and contained more than 100,000 houses.
He admired the lakes, water-courses and orchards. It was ‘the best provided city in the world’. He found thirty-four streets in one part of the place enclosure and saw one room ‘all of ivory, as well the chamber and the walls from top to bottom, and the pillars of the cross-timbers at the top had roses and flowers of lotuses, all of ivory and all well executed , so that there could not be better’About the marketplace, he writes “Going forward, you have a broad and beautiful street, full of rows of fine houses and streets of the sort I have described, and it is to be understood that the houses belong to men rich enough to afford such.
In this street live many merchants, and there you will find all sorts of rubies, and diamonds, and emeralds, and pearls, and seed-pearls, and cloths, and every other sort of thing there is on earth and that you may wish to buy. Then you have there every evening a fair where they sell many common horses and nags, and also many citrons, and limes, and oranges, and grapes, and every other kind of garden stuff, and wood; you have all in this street. ” Conclusion
Foreign travellors accounts are proved that Krishna devaraya was greatest king among the Indian kings in his time. In his 500 years Coronation will bring back the glory of the golden empire for the people of Karnataka, Andhra and India. Bibliography 1. Forgotten Empire by Robert Sewell 2. Advanced History of India by Nilakanta sastri and Srinivasachari 3. A History of India (volume one) by Romila Thapar 4. Medival India published by NCERT(Satish Chndra) 5. www. Domingo Paes