|Battle of Talikota|
|Part of Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent|
|Commanders and leaders|
80,000 infantry (Beydurs)|
several dozen artillery cannons
10,000 cavalry and
over 100 war elephants
The Battle of Talikota (23 January 1565) was a watershed battle fought between the Vijayanagara Empire and an alliance of the Deccan sultanates who united in order to defeat Aliya Rama Raya. The battle took place at Talikoti, today a town in northern Karnataka, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) to the southeast from the city of Bijapur.
The defeat of the Vijayanagara Empire at Talikota, followed by the subsequent destruction and looting of their capital, Vijayanagara, led to the slow decline and eventual collapse of the state under the successors of Aliya Rama Raya.
The Muslim Sultanates to the north of Vijayanagara united and attacked Aliya Rama Raya's army, on 26 January 1565, in an engagement known as the Battle of Talikota. The armies clashed on the plains near the villages of Rakkasagi and Tangadigi (it is also known as the Battle of Rakkasagi-Tangadi).
The Vijayanagara army was winning the battle, but the tide turned when two Muslim commanders (the Gilani brothers) of the Vijayanagara army switched sides and turned their loyalty to the united Sultanates. At this critical point of the battle, a subversive attack was launched by them. Suddenly Aliya Rama Raya found himself surprised when the two divisions in his ranks turned against him. They captured Aliya Rama Raya and beheaded him on the spot, with Sultan Hussain on the Sultanates side joining them.
The beheading of Rama Raya created confusion and havoc in the still loyal portions of the Vijayanagara army, which led to a complete rout. The Sultanates' armies plundered Hampi and reduced it to rubble.
Robert Sewell, in his book The Forgotten Empire, concludes thus - "With fire and sword, with crowbars and axes, they carried on day after day their work of destruction. Never perhaps in the history of the world has such havoc been wrought, and wrought so suddenly, on so splendid a city; teeming with a wealthy and industrious population in the full plenitude of prosperity one day, and on the next seized, pillaged, and reduced to ruins, amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beggaring description."
After the battle of Talikota, the Vijayanagara royal family established a kingdom near Penukonda, in present-day Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh and later in 1597 they shifted their capital to Chandragiri and then again to Vellore in 1602 and ruled till 1648.