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Sriranga III

Sriranga III (1642–1678 CE) was the last ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire, who came to power in 1642 following the death of his uncle Venkata III. He was also a great grandson of Aliya Rama Raya.


  • Early rebellions 1
  • Reign 2
  • Battle of Virichipuram 3
  • Last years 4
  • Death 5
  • References 6

Early rebellions

Before his accession to the throne, Sriranga III was in rebellion against his uncle Venkata III. He sought help from the Bijapur Sultan and attacked Venkata III in ChandragiriVellore in 1638. Another invasion of these two in 1642 was defeated by Venkata III’s army, who were also facing Golkonda armies near Madras. Under this troublesome circumstances Venkata III died, and Sriranga III who was with the Bijapur army deserted them and returned to Vellore and made himself the King of Vijayanagara.


Many of his nobles like the Nayaka of Gingee and Damerla Venkatadri Nayaka, the chieftain of Madras, had a dislike for him for his mischief in rebelling against the former King. Squabbles among the Sultans of Bijapur and Golkonda helped Sriranga III for a while. In 1644 the Sultan of Golkonda appeared with a vast army, but was defeated by Sriranga III. Sriranga III, now feeling strong enough to demand money from the Southern Nayaks, marched south .

Battle of Virichipuram

In 1646 Sriranga III collected a large army with help from Mysore, Gingee and Tanjore and met the Golkonda forces.

The Muslim forces were losing, but later advanced, when consolidated by additional armies from the Deccan. The war went on till 1652. In 1649 Thirumalai Nayak sent his forces supporting the Bijapur ruler, but upon converging at the Gingee Fort, the Madurai forces created a chaos and took sides with the Gingee army, when the Bijapur and Golkonda entered into their agreements. This led to the banishment of Gingee Nayak rule in 1649.

By 1652, Sriranga III was left with only Vellore Fort, which was finally seized by the Golkonda forces. By now he had only the support of Mysore, while Tanjore had submitted to the Muslim forces and the Madurai Nayak ended up paying huge sums to Muslim forces, but all three retaining their kingdom.

Last years

Sriranga III spent his last years under support of one of his vassal chieftains, Shivappa Nayaka of Ikkeri, and was still hoping to retrieve Vellore from the Muslim forces. Thirumalai Nayak's treachery to Sriranga III made the Mysore ruler Kanthirava Narasa wage a series of ravaging wars with Madurai, later capturing the territories of Coimbatore and Salem, regions which were retained by Mysore till 1800.


The Mysore ruler Kanthirava Narasa still recognised Sriranga as a namesake emperor. Sriranga died in 1678 as an emperor without an empire, putting an end to over three centuries of Vijayanagara rule in India.


  • Rao, Velcheru Narayana, and David Shulman, Sanjay Subrahmanyam. Symbols of substance : court and state in Nayaka period Tamilnadu (Delhi ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1998) ; xix, 349 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 22 cm. ; Oxford India paperbacks ; Includes bibliographical references and index ; ISBN 0-19-564399-2.
  • Sathianathaier, R. History of the Nayaks of Madura [microform] by R. Sathyanatha Aiyar ; edited for the University, with introduction and notes by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar ([Madras] : Oxford University Press, 1924) ; see also ([London] : H. Milford, Oxford university press, 1924) ; xvi, 403 p. ; 21 cm. ; SAMP early 20th-century Indian books project item 10819.
  • K.A. Nilakanta Sastry, History of South India, From Prehistoric times to fall of Vijayanagar, 1955, OUP, (Reprinted 2002) ISBN 0-19-560686-8.
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