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Chitradurga Nayaka Kingdom
Official language Kannada
Capitals Chitradurga
Government Monarchy
Preceding state Vijayanagar Empire
Succeeding states Kingdom of Mysore

Nayakas of Chitradurga (Kannada: ಚಿತ್ರದುರ್ಗದ ನಾಯಕರು) (1300 - 1779 CE) ruled parts of eastern Karnataka. During the rule of Hoysala Empire and Vijayanagara Empire, they served as a feudatory. Later after the fall of the Vijayanagara empire, they ruled at times as an independent kingdom and at other times as feudatory of the Mysore Kingdom, Mughal Empire and Maratha Empire. Finally it merged into the province of Mysore under the British.



The earliest chieftens of the kingdom trace their origins as local chiefs (Dandanayakas) of the Hoysalas during their rule over Karnataka. One account says that by 1500, they comprised mostly of immigrant Bedar or Boyar (caste) chiefs from southern Andhra Pradesh who won the attention and appreciation of the Vijayanagar kings through their acts of bravery and valour and were appointed as governors of the region under the empire.[1] Another account claims the chieftens under the Vijayanagara empire were from Davangere district in Karnataka.[2] Some Marathi records call them Kala Pyada in admiration for their fighting qualities.

The Chitradurga Fort was their stronghold and the very heart of the province.

The Nayaka clan

Timmanna Nayaka of Matti: A chieften from Matti in Davangere taluk during the rule of Saluva Narasimha. He ruled areas covering Davangere district and Chitradurga district.

Obanna Nayaka (1588 - 1602) is also known as Madakari Nayaka.

Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka (1602 - 1652) was a brave soldier who defied the Sultan of Bijapur.

Madakari Nayaka II (1652 - 1674) killed Shah Adb Allah in 1671 in a battle at Chitradurga.

Obanna Nayaka II (1674 - 1675) His rule saw civil unrest. He was killed by his own men.

Shoora Kantha Nayaka (1675 - 1676) His rule saw civil unrest. He was killed by his own men.

Chikkanna Nayaka (1676 - 1686)

Madakari Nayaka III (1686 - 1688)

Donne Rangappa Nayaka (1688 - 1689)

Bharamappa Nayaka of Bilichodu (1689 - 1721) known as the greatest of the Chitradurga Nayakas became a Maratha ally and fought in the battle of Dodderi in 1695 but had to pay tribute later to the Mughals for helping the Marathas. He fought many pitched battles against the Mugals and built many temples and irrigation tanks.

Madakari Nayaka IV (1721 - 1748) was a Maratha feudatory. He was killed during continued hostilities against the Nayakas of Davangere.

Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II (1748 - 1758)

Madakari Nayaka (1758 - 1779) was a brave soldier and a shrewd administrator (also called as Madakari Nayaka V). He allied himself with Haider Ali of Mysore Kingdom at times and at other times with the Marathas. It was during his time that Haider Ali attacked the Chitradurga Fort which lead to the heroics of Onake Obavva. Later having been betrayed by the Marathas and some local officers, Madakari Nayaka was defeated by Hyder Ali, taken prisoner and killed. The Chitradurga Nayakas form an integral part of Kannada folklore.


  1. ^ According to Dr. Barry Lewis, the Bedar or Boyar (caste) chiefs were immigrants from southern Andhra Pradesh
  2. ^ According to Dr. Suryanath Kamat, Timmappa Nayaka the founder of the kingdom was from Davangere in Karnataka


  • Dr. Suryanath U. Kamath, A Concise history of Karnataka from pre-historic times to the present, Jupiter books, MCC, Bangalore, 2001 (Reprinted 2002)


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