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Om! Gam! Ganapathaye! Namaha!

Om! Sri Raghavendraya Namaha!

Om! Namo! Bhagavathe! Vaasudevaya!
Om! Ham! Hanumathe! Sri Rama Doothaya Namaha!

Portrait of Sri Krishna Devaraya

Recently for a period of one month between July 5th and August 8th Andhra
Pradesh is celebrating the 500th coronation anniversary of Sri Krishna
Devaraya, the great Emperor of Vijayanagara dynasty. The celebrations are
officially launched by the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh and inaugurated by the
President of India. On this occasion his original portrait has been published
in news papers. The picture was drawn by a Portuguese traveller by name
Domingo Paes who took 15 months to draw the same. Said to have been
bought to light by noted historian Dr. Krishna Rao Keshav, the picture was
preserved in Bharateeya Ithihaasic Samshodhan Mandal at Pune.

When you think of Vijayanagara dynasty, it reminds us of four prominent

names viz. Sri Krishna Devaraya, Maha Manthri Thimmarusu, Hampi, and
the Ashta Diggajas. Undoubtedly Sri Krishna Devaraya was the most
successful ruler of Vijayanagara dynasty. With Hampi as his capital, Sri
Krishna Devaraya ruled the Vijayanagara kingdom during 1509-1529 AD.
He was a dynamic and multifaceted personality, a great warrior, a great
leader and a good administrator. He was ably assisted by his mentor Sri
Thimmarusu who was affectionately called as Appaji and popularly known as
Maha Manthri Thimmarusu. He was also his (Krishna Devaraya’s) Prime
Minister who was known for his knacks. Sri Krishna Devaraya was
associated with the great Madhwa saint and philosopher Sri Vyasarajaru
(Vyasarayaru) who was his Raja Guru, who helped Sri Krishna Devaraya to
pass through a crisis in his life by ascending the throne for a brief period.

Apart from being a great ruler and warrior, Sri Krishna Devaraya was also a
great patron of art and culture. He himself was a great scholar and poet and
he had in his court many poetic stalwarts in different languages. Prominent
among them were eight great poetic personalities who were referred to as
Ashta Diggajas. He had a great passion for Telugu language besides himself
being a great scholar and poet in Telugu.

He had lot of association with Andhra region and even today we find, four
districts in Andhra Pradesh, Ananthapur, Kurnool, Cuddapah, and Chittoor
together being referred to as Rayalaseema. Sri Krishna Devaraya was a
great devotee of Lord Sri Venkateshwara and a great patron of Tirumala
Temple. As a token of his patronization to Tirumala temple one can find
even today, the statues of Sri Krishna Devaraya and his consorts in the
temple complex of Tirumala Sri Venkateshwara Swamy temple. Being a
devoted and pious person Sri Krishna Devaraya had liberally patronized
many temples in South India.

Incidentally it is said that as per scripts his coronation took place on 26th
July 1509. His reign was known as a Golden era and his capital Hampi in
Bellary district of Karnataka state is today a world heritage centre attracting
lakhs of pilgrims from across the world.