Tondamandalam was included in the Vijayanagara empire from the very time of its foundation in 1336 A.D. Still, the earliest Vijayanagara record found in the Tirumala-Tirupati region is dated 1359 A.D. The period intervening between the time of Sundara Pandya and this Vijayanagara record is a period of transition. During this time various Chola subordinates took advantage of the weakness of the Cholas and assumed independence. They figure in this region without acknowledging the suzerainty of anybody.
Of these chiefs, two Pallavas, father and son, named Kopperunjinga, created considerable trouble. The elder Kopperunjinga or Kadavaraya ruled over a small chieftaincy round about Sendamangalam. He raided Tondamandalam in 1220 A.D. and held a part of it. His son, the famous Kopperunjinga, alias Khadgamalla, crowned himself in 1243 A.D., invaded Tondamandalam and fought a battle at Urattur with Narasinga Yadavaraya, the local chieftain. He went further north along the coast up to Draksharama, in the East Godavary district, received a rude shock at the hands of the Kakatiya king, Ganapatideva and returned home humiliated. Later, he was subjugated by Sundara Pandya I. Two records of this Kopperunjinga are found at Tirumala. (I-10 & 11).
A number of Telugu Pallava chiefs were governing parts of Ibiulamandalam as Chola subordinates. They held the modem Ncllore, Cuddapah, Kurnool, Chittoor, North Arcot, SouthArcot and ( i li ngleput districts. They too assumed independence on account (>111 ie weakness of the contemporary Chola kings. When the Pandya mined the field, they acknowledged his suzereinty for the time being. Vi |nyng;indagopala, Rajagandagopala and Tripurantaka are chieftains i >111 us line represented in the records of this region. (1-59 to 80).
Nellore was the headquarters of a fine of Telugu Chola family which Icki exercised considerable influence in Tondamandalam. Allun I ii ukalaltidevaof this family held even the city of Kanchi for atime. He I igures in the records at Tirumala.
The Yadavarayas were the most important local chieftains in (lie I ii umala-Tirupati region. They were intimately connected with i lie temples of this area and made valuable benefactions to them. They governcd the Venkatagiri, Kalahasti and Chandragiri taluks of die Ncllore and Chittoor districts. The earliest known member of (lie. lamily was Ghattideva, who flourished between 1184 and 1227 \ I) as a Chola subordinate. He is also stated to have invited Uumanuja to settle a dispute that arose between the Saivas and V, 11 I u lavas at Tirumala. This view is untenable because Ramanuja is aid lo have passed away soon after 1130 A.D. and Ghattideva did in it I h vi ime a ruler till 1184 A.D. Ghattideva’s son. Rajamalla, lived nul ruled between 1208-1237 A.D. He is supposed to have ■ i ‘i isecratcd a deity named Yadavanarayana. The next chieftain was I inik;ilattideva who is assignable to 1191-1246 A.D. He governed i large area extending fromTiruvannamalai to Kalahasti. His son ” is Virarakshasa, who flourished in the reign of Kulottunga I. Then • amc Vira Narasingadeva, the greatest chieftain of the Yadvaraya lamily. He ruled between 1209-1262 A.D. He was a great I ii nelactorof the temples of Tirumala and Tirupati. Vira Narasinga’s
son, Tiruvenkatanatha, governed between 1310-1336 A.D. This was the time when remarkable events took place outside Tondamandalam. An independent Muslim kingdom, popularly known as the Sultanate of Delhi, was established in northern India towards the end of the 12the century and embarked upon a career of rapid expansion. Both Hinduism and lingering Buddhism and their institutions suffered terribly at the hands of these Muslim rulers. The Khalji dynasty established itself on the throne of Delhi towards the end of the 13th century. Two great Hindu kingdoms flourished at this time in the Deccan, the Yadava kingdom with its capital at Devagiri or modern Daulatabad and the famous Kakatiya empire which embraced the entire Telugu speaking area. To the southwest there was the kingdom of the Hoysalas with its capital at Dvarasamudra, in the Mysore state. In the Tamil country, the Pandyas were powerful and ruled from Madura. Alauddin, the Khalji governor of Kara and Allahabad, led an unprovoked invasion against Devagiri in 1296 A.D. and obtained great wealth. Very soon thereafter he usurped the throne of Delhi and became the Sultan. He sent an invasion in 1303 A.D. against the Andhra country but it was repelled. He sent another expedition in 1309A.D. under the lead of his famous general, Malik Kaffur. Malik Kaffur besiezed Warangal and extracted immense wealth from its ruler, Kakatiya Prataparudradeva. He then marched in a south-western direction, entered the Hoysala territory and plundered it. The Muslim general then entered the Tamil country and harassed the Pandyan kingdom. He returned home in 1310 A.D. carrying much wealth and many precious stones obtained from the Hindu kingdoms of the Deccan and south India. The Tirumala- Tirupati region was saved from the ravages of this Muslim invader because he took a south-western direction and did not march due south from Warangal through the heart of the Andhra country.
The Koil-Olugu, a traditional account of the famous Ranganatha temple of Srirangam, mentions an important event which seems to have taken place about this time. It is stated that in 1327 A.D., during the course of his campaigns in the Tamil country, Malik Kaffur i’cached the neighbourhood of Srirangam. The local people were I hen engaged in celebrating the annual festival for the god and i icglected the information conveyed to them. When, however, they I’uimd that the information was only too correct and that the Muslim was too near, they took some emergency measures. The sanctum ol the temple was walled up and all the jewels were hidden. The I >i i K essional image of Ranganatha was smuggled out of Srirangam by Pillai Lokacarya and other devotees. These fugitives wandered l ion i place to place and ultimately reached Tirumala. There the image was held suspended before a ravine and kept for a long time. The 11, lie mentioned by the Koil-Olugu is obviously wrong because Malik K all ur’s invasion took place in 1309-1310 A.D. and not in 1327 A I). Nor was there a Muslim invasion of the Tamil country in 1327 A.I). ITie incident mentioned in this temple history must be ascribed to 1310 A.D.
The troubles of the Hindu kingdoms of the Deccan and south I ml ia were not over with the return of Malik Kaffur to Delhi. The khaljis were succeeded by the Tughlaks as rulers of the Sultanate ol I )elhi. Ghjasuddin, the first ruler of this family, sent a strong e x | iedi tion against the Kakatiya kingdom and the Andhra country in
I 121 A.D. under the lead of his son and crown prince, Ulugh Khan.
II ic Andhra generals offered stiff resistence and repelled this invasion. I Hugh Khan renewed his attack in 1323 A.D. when the Kakatiya i u lei was completely unprepared. A serious battle was fought and ilu- king was defeated and captured. After his victory at Warangal, ihe muslim general marched through the Cuddapah and Kumool disi nets and penetrated into the districts farther south. He too marched
in the south-western direction and conquered the area lying between Nellore in the east and Quilon in the west, known as Ma’bar. He returned to Delhi through the coastal districts of Andhra and Orissa. Thus for a second time the Tirumala- Tirupati area escaped certain destruction and misery at the hands of the Muslim invaders.
Ulugh Khan left the area conquered by him in the charge of efficient governors. After returning to Delhi, he killed his father and ascended the throne, assuming the title of Muhammad-bin-Tughlak. Very soon after this, the people of the Andhra country recovered from the shock of this Muslim invasion and made successful attempts at shaking off the Muslim yoke imposed upon them. The old generals and feudatories of Kakatiya Prataparudradeva gathered the people behind them and liberated large areas driving away the Muslim governors of the Sultan. Thus, coastal Andhara, Telegana and Rayalasima soon recovered their independence. Among those that fled from Warangal after its capture by Ulugh Khan were two brothers, Harihara and Bukka, sons of Sangama and guards of the treasury of Kakatiya Prataparudradeva. These brothers went to the small kingdom of Kampila, situated on the back of the Tungabhadra and obtained employment under its Hindu ruler. Muhammad Tughlak sent an expedition against Kampila in 1327 A.D. The ruler of the kingdom was killed and a few men were taken prisoners. A Muslim governor was appointed to administer the Kampila region. Very soon, however, the local people rebelled and drove away this governor. Among the men captured in the siege of Kampila were the two brothers, Harihara and Bukka. The Sultan released these two brothers, nominated Harihara as the governor and Bukka as the commander and sent them both to Kampila in order to restore peace and order. These brothers subjugated all unruly elements and soon consolidated their position in the modem Rayalasima area. They then came into contact with the famous saint, Vidyaranya, and developed, under his inspitation, the idea of founding a new kingdom
w Inch would protect the country, the religion and the culture of the I liiulus from the destructive activity of the Muslims. They founded I he c it y of Vijayanagara on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra i n I < U) A. I)., made it their capital and proclaimed the establishment ol .in independent Hindu kingdom. The Sultan was preoccupied w 11 h more serious troubles and could not do anything to check this 111.111 n >i d i nation of Harihara and Bukka.