Veera Ballala III (r.1292–1342) was the last great king of the
Hoysala Empire. During his rule, the northern and southern branches
Hoysala empire (which included much of modern Karnataka and
northern Tamil Nadu) were consolidated and administered from Halebidu
(also known as Dwarasamudra). During his rule, he fought numerous wars
with the Yadavas of Devagiri, the Pandyan
Madurai and other
minor dynasties of South India. But it was his conflict with the
invading forces of Alauddin Khalji, and later those of Muhammad bin
Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi, that would alter the course of history
of South India. For his courage and fortitude, the historians
Suryanath Kamath, Chopra, Ravindran and Subrahmanian have called him a
"great ruler". With his death in c.1343, South India saw the
raise of a new
Hindu empire, the
Vijayanagara Empire. In the words of
the historian Sen "the Hoysalas were the greatest among those who
claim to be the makers of modern Mysore".
1 Pandya and Yadava affairs
2 Invasion from Delhi
Pandya and Yadava affairs
Veera Ballala III subdued the recalcitrant Alupas of
Dakshina Kannada. His attempts to reduce the Yadava power did not
diminish either. In c.1305,
Veera Ballala III successfully fought the
invading Yadavas at Holalkere and pushed them back to Lakkundi. He
dealt swiftly with the rebellious
Kadambas of Hangal
Kadambas of Hangal and the Santaras
of Shimoga (Hosagunda). Around c.1310, Ballala III successfully played
'king maker' in the affairs of Tamil country by appointing Sundara
Pandya as the Pandya king as opposed to his competitor, Vira Pandya.
However his focus the rebellious ruler Kampilideva of the Kampili
Chiefdom on the banks of the
Tungabhadra river and on the affairs in
the Tamil country to the south laid open the northern boundaries of
his territories to the invasion of Malik Kafur, the commander of the
armies of All-ud-din-Khalji. The Yadavas themselves, according to
historian John Keay, provided the necessary help to Mallik Kafur's
armies to march south.
Halebidu was attacked and plundered in c.1311,
only to be rebuilt in c.1316.
Veera Ballala III had to accept defeat
to the Delhi Sultan, pay a handsome tribute, and send his son Veera
Virupaksha to Delhi as an act of submission. His son returned in
1313. According to historian John Keay, claims by later writers
such as Ferishta that Mallik Kafur even built a mosque in
establish his supremacy are legends without historical evidence.
Invasion from Delhi
Main article: Siege of Dwarasamudra
By 1318, the Yadava kingdom had been completely destroyed and Devagiri
occupied by the Delhi Sultan. The Delhi Sultanate was now being ruled
by Muhammad bin Tughluq.
Veera Ballala III refused to pay tribute and
withdrew from his earlier pact to support the Delhi Sultanate as a
vassal. Tughluq sent an army to the south in c.1327 and
plundered for a second time.
Veera Ballala III had to find refuge in
Tiruvannamalai from where he continued his resistance. By c.1336 all
Hindu kingdoms of south India with the exception of the
had been defeated and large areas annexed by the Sultanate of Delhi.
Madurai Sultanate was also established around c.1335-6. With an
intention of confronting the Muslim invasion, Veera Ballala III
founded a second capital called Hosapattna on the banks of Tungabhadra
river, which according to historians
Henry Heras and William Coelho,
later came to be called Vijayanagara, the capital of the Vijayanagara
empire. In c.1342-3, a decisive war that would end the Hoysala
fortunes was fought at Kannanur.
Veera Ballala III fought a pitched
battle against Ghiyas-ud-din, the Sultan of Madurai. Just when a
Hoysala victory seemed imminent, The
Hoysala monarch was captured, and
according to historians Chopra et al., was "strangled and flayed". His
son, Veera Ballala IV met the same fate in c.1346, bringing to an end
the rule of the Hoysalas.
^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus
Books. pp. 58–60. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
^ a b c d Kamath (1980), p.129
^ a b Chopra, Ravindran and Subrahmanian (2003), p.156
^ Sen (1999), p.500
^ Keay (2000), p.258
^ Heras and Coelho in Kamath (1980), p.129
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Kamath, Suryanath U. (2001) . A concise history of Karnataka:
from pre-historic times to the present. Bangalore: Jupiter books.
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Sen, Sailendra Nath (1999) . Ancient Indian History and
Civilization-Part1. New Age Publishers. ISBN 81-224-1198-3.
Sastri, K.A. Nilakanta (2002) . A history of South India from
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Branch, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-560686-8.
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