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Madakari Nayaka
Madakarinayaka statue.jpg
Born 1758
Died 1779
Srirangapatna prison
Other names Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka or Madakari Nayaka V
Known for King of Chitradurga
Predecessor Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II
Successor None

Madakari Nayaka or Madakari Nayaka V was the last ruler of Chitradurga, India.[1] Nayaka lost Chitradurga in a siege of Mysore by Hyder Ali, and was slain by Ali's son Tipu Sultan.

During the reign of Madakari Nayaka, the city of Chitradurga was besieged by the troops of Hyder Ali. Hyder Ali spotted a woman entering Chitradurga through a gap (kindi) in the rocks and sent his soldiers through it. The guard on duty of the port near the gap had gone home for lunch. When there was no water at home, wife Obavva left home to bring some water for her husband. En route, she noticed Hyder Ali's soldiers entering the fort from the gap. She didn't want to wake her husband from the lunch, so she took an onake (flail for rice), started hitting the soldiers one by one as they were trying to enter the fort. Upon his return from lunch, Obavva's husband was shocked to see Obavva with a blood-stained onake and hundreds of soldiers lying dead about her. The passage remains as marker of the story, beside the Tanniru Doni – a small water source which holds cold water year round. Hyder Ali attacked again in 1779 and took the fort. The place is renowned for its Kallina Kote ("the place of the stone fort"), and is home to the Fort of Seven Rounds, which is built with large stones.

Chitradurga Paleyagar family history[edit]

The Chitradurga Paleyagar family was of the Beda or Boyar caste, and was one of the hill tribes who subsisted by hunting and tending cattle. The accounts of their origin are somewhat confused. According to one tradition, three Beda families emigrated from Jadikal-durga, in Tirupati, and settled at Nirutadi near Bharamasangara Nayaka in about 1475. They are said to have belonged to the Kamageti family and Valmiki gotra. The son and the grandson of one of these, Hire Hanummappa Nayaka and Timmanna Nayaka, settled at Matti in Davangere taluk. The latter, called Kamageti Timmanna Nayaka, was appointed by the Vijayanagara king, first as the Nayaka of Holalkere, then of Hiriyur, and finally of Chitradurga. He fortified the hill at Chitradurga and conducted himself in such a manner that a force was sent by the king against him. According to another account, Timmanna Nayaka came with a small body of armed men from a place called Madakeri below the ghats near Tirupati and entered the service of the Paleyagar of Basavapattana. Later, as some quarrel arose about a mistress he had kept at Matti, he left the place and took refuge at Mayakonda. Pursued there as well, he escaped to the jungle near Guntur, and after collecting a band, started plundering the area and erected a small fort called Rangapatna near Haleyur. The neighbouring Paleyagars of Harapanahalli, Nidugal, and Basavapattana, being annoyed by his depredations, united against him and, with the aid of some Vijayanagara troops, marched upon Rangapatna. Timmanna Nayaka was then forced to retire to Chitradurga, where he was closely besieged. At that time the following incident occurred, which led to his recognition as one of the chiefs dependent on Vijayanagara. This was in about 1562.

Timmanna Nayaka[edit]

Timmanna Nayaka distinguished himself by stealing into the camp at night with the intention of carrying off the horse of Saluva Narasinga Raya, the Vijayanagara prince who commanded the forces against him. The prince awoke, and Timmanna hid in the straw to escape observation. The prince reset the peg for the heel ropes into the ground, and unknowingly impaled Timmanna's with it. Timmanna remained silent and hidden, and when all was again still, he released himself by cutting off the pinned hand and stole the horse. This act showed the besieging army that Timmanna could not be intimdated. A peace was said to have been concluded after that. The Vijayanagara king invited Timmanna to the capital and expressed his great admiration of his courageous exploit. At the request of the king, Timmanna Nayaka next took Gulbarga, which the Vijayanagara forces had failed to take even after a siege of six months. The king, pleased with this, invited Timmanna to court. Timmanna later incurred the royal displeasure, and was imprisoned at Vijayanagara, where he died.

Timmanna Nayaka was succeeded by his son Obanna Nayaka. He took the name Madakeri Nayaka, and he declared his independence from the Vijayanagara Empire within a few years taking the throne.

In 1602, Obanna Nayaka was succeeded by his son Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka. His reign was full of conflicts with the neighbouring chiefs. Several battles took place with the Paleyagar of Basavapattana over various locations, such as Mayakonda, Santebennur, Holalkere, Anaji, and Jagalur, all of which ultimately remained as parts of Chitradurga territory. At the time of his death in 1652, Obana's possessions yielded a revenue of 65,000 Durgi Pagodas.

Rangappa Nayaka was succeeded by his son Madakari Nayaka II in 1652, who was also credited with a number of victories, particularly in the east. During his time, the kingdom was divided into four regions. The local officers in charge of these were Hotte Gurukanna, Karanika Bhunappa, Abbigere Mallanna, and Karanika Appanna. Rangappa died in 1674, leaving a dominion yielding 100,000 Durgi Pagodas.

Chikkanna Nayaka[edit]

Madakeri Nayaka had children, and his adopted son, Obanna Nayaka II, succeeded him to the throne of Chitradurga. Obanna was put to death by the Dalavayis, possibly because he had failed to give them the customary tributes. Chikkanna Nayaka, a younger brother of Madakeri Nayaka III, was installed in 1676. At this time, the Harapanahalli chief laid siege to Anaji and killed the local officer, Bhunappa. Chikkanna Nayaka went to Anaji and forced the enemy to stop the siege. Immediately after this, he had to go to Harihar to defend it against the Muhammadans, who had attacked it under the command of Shamsher Khan. The defence was effected by the following strategy: during the approach at night, numerous torches were lit and fixed to the branches of trees, and the musicians were asked to play on their instruments as usual at Chikkanna's encampment on Baregudda hill. The intention was to create the impression that the army had not moved. The Nayaka marched his whole force through a circuitous route, attacked the fort from the west, and drove off the enemies. Chikkanna formed marriage alliances with the Rayadurga and Basavapattana chiefs. It is said that the Chitradurga family changed its religious faith twice during the reign of this Nayaka. First, the entire family embraced Veerashaivism, and the Nayaka even caused a Matha to be built in the fort and a Virakta Jangama named Ugrachannaviradeva to be appointed to act as a guru to them. Later, almost all are said to have returned to their original faith. Chikkanna Nayaka died in 1686.

Chikkanna Nayaka was succeeded by his elder brother Linganna Nayaka, also known as Madakeri Nayaka III. At this time there was a serious disagreemtn amongst the Dalavayis as to the rightful successor to the throne. One group, headed by Panchamara Muddanna, imprisoned and later killed Linganna Nayaka, and placed Donne Rangappa Nayaka on the throne. Muddanna remained the strongest man in Chitradurga until another faction headed by Dalavayi Bharamappa took power. Muddanna and his brothers were soon destroyed, and Donne Rangappa was imprisoned.

Bharamappa Nayaka[edit]

Dalavayi Bharamappa was interested in the integrity of the state. Without a direct heir to the throne, he, in consultation with the other elders of the court, brought in a distant heir named Bharamappa Nayaka. The new Nayaka ascended to the throne in about 1689. This was a difficult time for the state; it was during this period that the Mughals overran the possessions of Bijapur and established their government at Sira, of which Basavapattana and Budihal were made paraganas, and to which Chitradurga and other neighbouring states of Paleyagars became tributaries. There were many battles during the reign of this Nayaka between both Chitradurga and Harapanahalli as well as Rayadurga and Bijapur. The Nayaka was successful in all these battles. His long reign of 33 years (1689–1721) was equally remarkable for the extent of his benefactions. He is said to have built as many as 30 temples, three or four palaces, five strong forts, and not less than 20 tanks throughout his territory. A part of the Chitradurga fort and a number of gateways and bastions are also attributed to him. The only thing from which people suffered during this reign was the great plague in 1703, which took a heavy toll and caused an almost complete evacuation of the capital city for some days.

Upon his death in 1721, Bharamappa Nayaka was succeeded by his son Hiri Madakeri Nayaka. Within two or three years of accession, the young prince had to face the consequences of a famine and the Maratha raid under Piraji. His reign was punctuated with a number of hostilities against Harapanahalli, Savanur, Bidanur and the Marathas. He was generally successful in his engagements and annexed a large tract of country in the north-east extending beyond Molakahnuru. There was a great battle in Mayakonda in 1747–48 between Chitradurga and the confederate forces of Bidanur, Rayadurga, Harapanahalli, and Savanur. The Chitradurga army met with disaster, and the Nayaka was slain by Somashekhara Nayaka of Harapanahalli. During the reign of this Nayaka, Chitratlurga rose in prosperity; state revenue reached 300,000 Durgi Pagodas. The chief is remembered for the construction of a number of temples, but he also made arrangements for a number of worship ceremonies and festivals in different temples.

Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II[edit]

The next Nayaka was his son Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II, who retook Mayakonda. He achieved this with the help of the Maratha Sardar Murari Rao and the Subedar of Advani. Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka is said to have made various expeditions to the north and south, and in the latter direction gained some possessions in the Budihal region. He is also said to have maintained a friendship with the Subedar of Sira. He died in 1754 without an heir, and Madakeri Nayaka, called Madakeri Nayaka the last, son of one Bharamappa Nayaka of Janakal-Durga, was his successor.

Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka[edit]

Madakeri Nayaka, who was to be the last Nayaka of Nayak'a chi tradurga, as twelve years old at the time of his accession to the Chitradurga throne. The enemies of Chitradurga again tried to conquer it, but the Bedas remained faithful and defended the Nayaka. Kalyadurga made an effort alone and met with failure. In 1759–60, a united front formed by Rayadurga, Harapanahalli, and Savannr attacked. A battle took place near Ihoskere, with Chilradurga claiming victory, though with some losses. This was followed by some minor disturbances from the actions of the chiefs of Tarikere and Jarimale in the border areas of the state.

Chitradurga had become a powerful state in the south, such that the major powers like Haidar Ali and the Peshwas sought its help against each other. The Nayaka first helped Haidar Ali in his campaigns against Bankapur, Nijagal, Bidanur, and the Marathas. Despite this, the Nawab had been waiting for an opportunity to attack Chitradurga. In 1777, Haidar was threatened with a formidable invasion by the allied armies of the Marathas and the Nizam. The Nayaka of Chitradurga changed his allegiance, and Haidar marched upon Chitradurga, rejecting the offers of the chief to pay a large fine. The siege was maintained unsuccessfully for some months before an arrangement was entered into, and a fine of thirteen lakhs of pagodas was levied on the Chief. With the Maratha campaign over, Haidar once more approached Chitradurga, which held out against Haidar for months. With the assistance of treacherous Muhammadan officers in the Paleyagar's service, Chitradurga was taken in 1779. Madakeri Nayaka and his family were sent as prisoners to Srirangapattana, and 20,000 Beda soldiers from Chitradurga were sent to the island of Srirangapattana (Mysore), with the sole view of breaking up their power. After the death of the Nayaka, the Chitradurga treasury is said to have yielded to Haidar, inter alia, the following quantities of coins: 400,000 silver; 100,000 royal; 1,700,000 Ashrafi; 2,500,000 Dabolikadali; and 1,000,000 Chavuri.


  • Gazetteer of India, Chitradurga District, 1967.
  • Gazetteer of Mysore By B. L. Rice


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59 news items

Deccan Herald
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:11:15 -0700

Rangappa Nayaka's adopted son was killed during a war with the powerful Mysore Dalavais, following which the people of Mysore refused to accept Madakari Nayaka II as their King. Hence, a distant relative, Bhramappa Nayaka (1682–1721 AD) was made ...


Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:13:15 -0700

Madakari Nayaka | 2 months ago. Reply | Report Abuse | Like (21) | Unlike (5). Does the AIADMK and TN government consider Karnataka to be a vassal state of theirs? The government of Karnataka owe an explanation to the people of Karnataka as how ...
The New Indian Express
Sat, 04 Oct 2014 17:33:45 -0700

CHITRADURGA: Murugha Mutt seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharana sat in a decorated motorcade and was taken in a procession towards the old mutt located in the fort here. He received offerings from the descendants of the Madakari Nayaka dynasty.
The New Indian Express
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 17:33:45 -0700

The complainant was a tenant in his father's three-storey house on Madakari Nayaka Road, K G Nagar. The post-mortem indicates he was tortured in custody for two to three days. He was released on August 23 and hanged himself the next day. The day ...
Times of India
Thu, 28 Mar 2013 14:56:15 -0700

Folk play, directed by S Surendranath, has characters like Kampilaraya, Madakari Nayaka and Beera Nayaka * Plots, murders, deceit and treason make it a dark play. Article continues. Stay updated on the go with The Times of India's mobile apps. Click ...
Bangalore Mirror
Mon, 21 Oct 2013 11:31:24 -0700

... in the backward districts of North Karnataka. A year ago, miscreants looking for treasure attempted to dig the samadhi (tomb) of Raja Hire Madakari Nayaka, the fifth Palegar of the Nayaka dynasty, on the outskirts of Mayakonda village in Davanagere ...
Deccan Herald
Mon, 21 Jan 2013 12:52:03 -0800

Sardar Khan, a feudatory of Hyder, in charge of the fort at Nijagal, was taken by surprise when the Marathas with the help of the famed Madakari Nayaka and his men attacked by night and conquered the fortress. Much later, as the strength of the ...
Sun, 01 Jul 2012 05:00:46 -0700

Sudeep has been awarded the Abhinaya Chakravarthy title last week. The star was awarded the title in the presence of huge number of fans and Sandalwood actors. The actor, who spoke after getting the title, said that he was overwhelmed by people's love.

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