The Kakatiya Dynasty ruled over vast areas of Telugu speaking lands in the 12th, 13th and early 14th centuries. Established by Prataparudra 1, the Kakatiya Dynasty saw powerful rulers like Ganapathi Deva and Rudramadevi. In fact, the first and only woman ruler of a Telugu kingdom was Rudramadevi. Here’s taking a look at some interesting facts about the Kakatiya Dynasty.
1. Establishment in 1163 A.D.:
While the early Kakatiya rulers were subjects of the Chalukyas, Prataparudra I established a sovereign Kakatiya kingdom in 1163 A.D.
2. The First Kakatiya Ruler:
Prataparudra I, also known as Kakatiya Rudradeva, was the son of the Kakatiya leader Prola II. It was under his rule that the Kakatiyas declared sovereignty. He ruled the kingdom till 1195 A.D.
3. Rise of Telugu Language:
It was under the rule of Prataparudra I that usage of Telugu language in inscriptions instead of Kannada began.
4. The First Capital of Kakatiyas:
Before the establishment of Orugallu/Warangal as the capital, Hanamakonda was the first capital of the Kakatiyas. Ruins of the old fort can still be seen there.
5. Ganapathi Deva’s linguistic expansion:
Ganapathi Deva, after ruled for a period of 60 years and it was during his rule that he vastly expanded the kingdom, bringing a majority of Telugu speaking lands under the rule of the Kakatiyas.
6. Extent of the Kingdom:
Owing to the linguistic expansion, the Kakatiyas ruled over most of the present day Telangana and Andhra; with the capital being conveniently located in the centre of the kingdom.
7. Establishment of Orugallu:
Orugallu, now known as Warangal, was established as the capital of the Kakatiyas in 1195 A.D. It was during their rule that most of the now-existing monuments in Warangal were constructed.
8. Orugallu Wall:
Ganapathi Deva, in order to fortify the capital, ordered the building of a massive granite wall around the city; with several moats around it.
9. Ramappa Temple:
The beautiful Ramappa Temple, standing testimony to the iconic Kakatiya style of architecture, was built during the reign of Ganapathi Deva. An inscription on the temple dates it to 1213 A.D. and it is said that it took 40 years to be completed.
Having been trained in warfare and statecraft by her father Ganapathi Deva from a young age, Rudramadevi ascended to the Kakatiya Throne when she was a teenager. Under her rule, the Kakatiya Dynasty was at its pinnacle of grandeur. She faced much opposition from several nobles who refused to accept a woman as their ruler but she overcame all the obstacles and firmly established herself as the ruler of the Kakatiya Kingdom.
11. Kakatiya – Chalukya Alliance:
Rudramadevi married Veerabadra, a Vengi Chalukya (a branch of the Chalukyas of Badami), the prince of Nidadavolu.
12. Gona Ganna Reddy:
Gona Ganna Reddy was a chieftain who was very loyal to Rudramadevi. It was due to his support that Rudramadevi was able to overcome all opposition. She also added more fortifications to the capital – Orugallu
13. Marco Polo:
The great Italian traveller Marco Polo visited the Kakatiya Kingdom sometime during Rudramadevi’s tenure as the ruler of the Kakatiya Dynasty and made note of her administrative style; admiring her extensively.
14. Kakatiya Thoranam:
The iconic Kakatiya Thoranam was built by Rudramadevi’s father in the 12th Century. This ornate arch is said to have many similarities with the gateways at the Sanchi Stupa and is also the emblem of Telangana.
15. Pakhal Lake:
The scenic Pakhal lake in Warangal was built by Ganapathi Deva and is now a very popular tourist spot.
16. Thousand Pillar Temple:
The 1000 pillar temple in Warangal was built during the Kakatiya Rule and is another example to the exquisite Kakatiya Architecture. Considering its size and the type of construction, it is an engineering marvel.
17. Warangal Fort Temple:
The Warangal Fort houses one of the few temples dedicated to Swayambhudevi – The Mother Earth.
18. Non-Rigid Caste System:
Under the Kakatiya rule, the caste system was not rigid and in fact, it was not given much significance socially. Anyone could take up any profession and people were not bound to an occupation by birth.
19. Munnuru Kapu Community:
While there are many stories over the origination of the Munnuru Kapu community; one story goes that Rudramadevi got 300 farming experts from the Kapu community over to Warangal, to train her farmers in their farming techniques. And their descendants are the people belonging to the modern Munnuru Kapu community. The name ‘Munnuru’ originates from ‘moodu nooru’, meaning ‘three hundred’.
20. Threats from Pandyas and Kalingas:
With a vast kingdom bordering other powerful kingdoms, the Kakatiya Kingdom was always under a threat from the Pandyas and the Kalingas. Many of Rudramadevi and her father Ganapathi Deva’s battles were with those two kingdoms.
21. Expansion of Telugu language:
Having brought vast Telugu lands under one rule, the Kakatiyas were also great patrons of art and literature. Under their rule, the Telugu language grew a lot in terms of literature.
22. The British Connection:
The Koh-i-Noor Diamond, which is now among the jewels set in the British Crown, was mined and first owned by the Kakatiya Dynasty.
23. Rudra Deva II:
Rudra Deva II, also known as Prataparudra II was the grandson of Rudramadevi and he was her successor to the Kakatiya Throne. Having ascended to the throne after Rudramadevi’s death in 1289 A.D., he ruled till 1323 A.D. and most of his reign was spent in fighting wars.
24. Take-over by Delhi Sultanate:
Since the end of 13th Century and the early of 14th Century, Kakatiya Kingdom faced several attacks by the Delhi Sultanate. The attacks started under Alauddin Khilji’s rule and it is said that it is during this time that the Koh-i-Noor went into the hands of the Delhi Sultanate.
25. Disestablishment of the Kakatiya Dynasty:
While Rudra Deva II spent most of his reign fighting wars with the Delhi Sultanate and other South Indian Kingdoms; the Kakatiya rule finally came to an end in 1323 A.D. when Warangal was conquered by the Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, the then Sultan of Delhi. Rudra Deva II is said to have committed suicide while being taken to Delhi as a captive.