The Kakatiyas in Telugu Historical Memory

Cynthia Talbot

in Precolonial India in Practice

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780195136616
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834716 | DOI:
The Kakatiyas in Telugu Historical Memory

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After the fall of the Kakatiya capital, Warangal, to an army of the Delhi Sultanate in 1323, the Andhra region was not politically unified again until modern times. The local chiefs who flourished in subsequent centuries utilized the historical memory of the Kakatiya dynasty as a means of enhancing their own legitimacy. Although the historical traditions of the Kakatiyas were most persistent in Warangal, they were transmitted throughout South India by Telugu nayakas, or warriors of Andhra origin, as they migrated elsewhere in the military service of the expanding Vijayanagara empire. Memories of the Kakatiyas eventually reached down to the village level, as reflected in the traditional accounts collected by Colin Mackenzie in the early nineteenth century. Because later generations associated the Kakatiyas with the origins of a distinctive Telugu society dominated by local warriors, the Kakatiyas became an important focal point for the emergence of a Telugu identity.

Keywords: Delhi Sultanate; historical memory; Colin Mackenzie; nayakas; Telugu identity; Vijayanagara; Warangal; warriors

Chapter.  18770 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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