Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/131

This page needs to be proofread.

HINDU KINGDOMS OF THE SOUTH. 127 The Sayyids and the Lodis. — The Tughlak line finally ended in 1414. The Sayyid dynasty ruled from 1414 till 1450: and the Afghan house of Lodi from 1450 to 1526. But some of these Sultans reigned over only a few miles round Delhi ; and during the whole period the Hindu princes and the local Muhammadan kings were practically independent throughout the greater part of India. The house of Lodi was crushed beneath the Mughal invasion of Babar in 1526. Hindu Kingdoms of the South. — Babar founded the Mughal Empire of India, whose last representative died a British State prisoner at Rangoon in 1862. Before entering on the story of that empire, I turn to the kingdoms, Hindu and, Muhammadan, on the south of the Vindhya range. The three ancient kingdoms, Chera, Chola, and Pandya, occupied the Dravidian country of Southern India, peopled by Tamil-speaking races. Pandya, the largest of them, had its capital at Madura, and traces its foundation to the fourth century B.C. The Chola. kingdom had its headquarters at Combaconum and Tanjore. Talkad, in Mysore, now buried by the sands of the K&veri, was the capital of the Chera kingdom from 288 to 900 a.d. The 1 1 6th king of the Madura or Pandya dynasty was overthrown by the Muhammadan general Malik Kdfur in 1304. But the Musal- mans failed to establish their power in the extreme south, and a series of Hindu dynasties ruled from Madura over the old Pandya kingdom until the eighteenth century. No European kingdom can boast a continuous succession such as that of Pandya or Madura, traced back by the piety of genealogists for more than two thousand years. The Chera or Mysore and Travancore king- dom enumerates fifty kings, and the Chola or Tanjore sixty-six, besides minor offshoot dynasties. Kingdom of Vijayanagar. — But authentic history in Southern India begins with the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar or Narsingha, from 1118 to 1565 a.d. The capital can still be traced within the Madras District of Bellary, on the right bank of the Tungabhadra river — vast ruins of temples, fortifications, tanks, and bridges, haunted by hyaenas and snakes. For at least three centuries, Vijayanagar ruled over the southern part of the Indian peninsula. Its Hindu Rajas waged war and made