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Temple Festivals as reflected through Art and Literature during the Nayak period

. Dr. A. Mahalingam Assistant Professor and Head Department of Medieval History School of Historical Studies Madurai Kamaraj University Madurai - 625 021


Krishnadevaraya  (1509-1529 A.D) ascended to the Vijayanagara throne after the death of his father, Narasimha II. Krishnadevaraya made a far-reaching expedition in the Tamil country in 1512 A.D., for settling the amounts that lesser chiefs were expected to pay and posting Telugu chiefs in-charge of the important provinces of Madurai, Thanjavur and Ginjee (A.Mahalingam,p.7). The governors were called as 'Nayaks' and the Governors of the Tamil country tried from time to time to overthrow the suzerainty of the Vijayanagara Empire.  During the rule of Tuluva dynasty, the Nayak kings of Madurai and Thanjavur became prominent as they fully subjugated the Tamil country.  Though, the Nayaks practically became independent after the battle of Talikottai or Rakshasi-Tangadi, they accepted the Vijayanagara's suzerainty as and when it suited their convenience.  These were the people who carried the art and literary traditions of Vijayanagara to the Tamil country. This paper unravels the celebration of festivals in Madurai temples during the Vijayanagar Nayak period through the corroborative sources like inscriptions literature and foreign notices.

Key words: Nayaks, Vsantotsava, Thirukalyanam, Chitra festivals, Navaratri festivals.

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