Wednesday 22 January 2014

When rivals plotted against Kempe Gowfa

We all know that the reign of the Kempe Gowdas came to an end when the Adil Shahis of Bijapur conquered Bangalore in 1638.
The then Adil Shahi Sultan, had sent out a huge force under Ranadullah Khan, Afzal Khan (he was subsequently killed by Chatrapathi Shivaji) and Shahaji Bhonsale (father of Shivaji) to Bangalore and Sira.
While Afzal Khan marched towards Sira and conquered it, Ranadulla Khan also called as Rustam Zaman and Shahaji camped at Bangalore.
The forces of Kempe Gowda held out at the fort of Bangalore for three days before succumbing to the mighty Adil Shahi army.
The ruler of Bangalore then was  Kempe Gowda III and he had come to power in 1633. Unfortunately, his reign was marked by jealousies and squabbles and neighbouring palegars and nayaks, who had become wary of  the rising power of  Bangalore, conspired against Kempe Gowda.
These palegars could not digest the fact that Bangalore was becoming an important centre for inland trade and commerce. The natural beauty of Bangalore and its prosperity made them jealous.
Bangalore had never seen a major war after Kempe Gowda established the City in 1537. It had remained as the capital of Yelahanka Nadaprabhu’s or the Kempe Gowdas for 101 years from 1537 to 1638 A.D.
Kempe Gowda I, the founder of Bangalore, was a visionary, builder and a lover of art and architecture. He was also a powerful vassel of the Vijayanagar and he had earned his military spurs by subduing nayakas and palegars.
His son Gidde Gowda ruled for 15 years from 1570 to 1585. Thereafter, Kempe Gowda II ruled for 48 years (from 1585 to 1633), and like his grandfather, he was a builder. He constructed like Ranganathaswamy temple in Balepet and the forts in Magadi and Savanadurga. The watch-towers in Lalbagh, Kempambudhi tank, Halasur tank, and near Mekhri circle have become famous as Kempe Gowda towers.
It was during the reign of his son that the Kempe Gowda rule came to an end in Bangalore. The neighbouring rulers were never on friendly terns with Bangalore. They joined hands and conspired to bring down Kempe Gowda.
The conspiring chieftains: Hanumappa Nayaka of Basavapattana, Dalwai Chennaiah of Chennapattana, and Sumukhi Begur Nayak among others joined hands to topple Kempe Gowda.
Realising that even their combined armies could not defeat the disciplined forces of  Kempe Gowda, they invited the Adilshah to invade Bangalore. The Adil Shah was only too happy and he sent a huge force under commander Ranadulla Khan and his deputy Shahaji Bhonsle.
The Adil Shah army defeated Kempe Gowda’s army in three days and captured Bangalore. Shahaji permitted Kempe Gowda III to surrender and also allowed him to retreat to Magadi in 1638. From that day, the Kempe Gowdas could never set foot on Bangalore again and instead they set about developed Magadi and Savandurga. Shahaji permitted Kempe Gowda to rule from Magadi and this is how he came to be known as Magadi Kempe Gowda. But the char of Bangalore and its prosperity could never be replicated in Magadi.
Kempe Gowda’s descendents ruled from Magadi till 1728 when the Wodeyars under Dodda Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1714-1732) put an end to the Yelahanka Nadaprabhu’s reign. The last of the Kempe Gowdas called Kempeveera Gowda (1705-1728) or Kempe Gowda the third spent his time in a jail in Srirangapatna. It was an unhappy time for him as he had not only lost his kingdom but also liberty. He died in jail along with his general Veerabhadra Nayaka, a sad and unhappy man, ruing his fate and his defeat at Savandurga by the marauding Wodeyars.  

Thus Bangalore was lost to the Adil Shahis and Shahaji and his Marathas reigned over Bangalore from 1638 to 1688. In 1688, Khasim Khan, the Mughal Commander, took Bangalore from the Marathas and then sold it to the Wodeyars.

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