One consistent feature found in the history of southern India was the growth of small regional kingdoms rather than large empires because of absence of vast areas of fertile land. The Chola Empire of the South emerged in the middle of the 9th century A.D., covered a large part of Indian peninsula, as well as parts of Sri Lanka and the Maldives Islands. The first important ruler to emerge from the dynasty was Rajaraja Chola I and his son and successor Rajendra Chola. Rajaraja carried forward the annexation policy of his father. He led armed expedition to distant lands of Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
The successors of Rajendra I, Rajadhiraj and Rajendra II were brave rulers who fought fiercely against the later Chalukya kings, but could not check the decline of Chola Empire. The later Chola kings were weak and incompetent rulers. The Chola Empire thus lingered on for another century and a half, and finally came to an end with the invasion of Malik Kafur in the early 14th century AD.
The Bahmini kingdom attained great power under Firoze Shah (1397-1422) and his brother Ahmad Shah (1422-1435). The latter built Ahmadabad Bidar (1426-1432) on the site of an ancient Hindu capital. The Konkan was subdued and Goa taken from Vijayanagar in the years 1469-1472. In 1477 Telingana was reduced. The northern boundary of Telingana towards Orissa was not well defined.
At the end of the 15th century the Bahmini kingdom shared the fate of so many Indian kingdoms and was broken up into five smaller sultanates: At Ahmadabad Bidar the last representatives of the Bahmini dynasty were mere puppets in the hands of their ministers, the Berids, who were the real rulers in the districts round the old capital.—Berar (capital Gawilgarh) was independent under the Imad Shahi dynasty from 1484-1574, when it was annexed to the Ahmadnagar state. Bijapur was ruled by the Adil Shahi dynasty from 1489-1686, when it was incorporated into the Moghul Empire by Aurangzib. The Nizam Shahi dynasty held sway over Ahmadnagar from 1489-1637, when its last representative was sent as a state prisoner to Gwalior. Golconda was under the Kutb Shahi dynasty from 1512-1687, when it was annexed by Aurangzib.
The limits of these states may roughly be given as follows : Bijapur extended from the Nira river in the north to the Kistna in the south, and from the Bhima in the east to the sea-coast, from Goa to Bombay, in the west;1 Ahmadnagar comprised the western part of Berar and the country round Daulatabad as far west as the Ghats; Qolconda included the country between the lower and middle Kistna and Godaveri rivers and an undefined tract north-east of the Godaveri; Berar extended from the Injadri (or Satpura) mountains to the Godaveri, on the west it bordered on Ahmadnagar and Khandesh, about the middle of the 76° of eastern longitude, on the east its limits are uncertain. The boundaries of Bidar towards the east and west were ill defined.
While the Muhammadan kingdoms of the Dekkan were thus divided, all southern India was still under the sway of the king of Vijayanagar (Krishna Deva, 1509-1530). The chiefs of Seringapatam, Calicut, and others were his vassals, though they were treated by the Portuguese as kings. The Baichur Doab was, at the time represented by the map, in the possession of Krishna Deva.
In 1524 Cham Eaj Bole either constructed or repaired a fort in the south, to which he gave the new name Mahesh Asur, now called Mysore, a name which figures largely on the pages of subsequent history. The Portuguese had by this time secured a firm footing in India, having taken Goa in 1510.
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