Tirumala Devi

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Tirumala Devi
Princess of Srirangapattana
Patta Manishi [1]
Empress consort of the Vijayanagara Empire
Tenure8 August 1509 – c. 1529
Vijayanagara Empire
Spouse Krishnadevaraya
Issue Tirumalumba
Tirumala Raya
House Tuluva (by marriage)
FatherKing Veerappa Gowda
Religion Hinduism

Tirumala Devi (also known as Tirumalamba) (died 1553) [2] was the senior wife and chief queen [2] [3] [4] (patta mahishi) of Emperor Krishnadevaraya, who is considered to be the greatest ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire. [5] [6] She was also the most honoured wife of Krishnadevaraya, [7] and the mother of his heir-apparent, Prince Tirumala, who died in his childhood. [3]


By birth, Tirumala Devi was a princess of Srirangapattana, a sub-kingdom of the Vijayanagara Empire, which was ruled by her father Veerappa Gowda. [8]

Chinnadevi, Krishnadevaraya, Tirumaladevi statues at Chandragiri Museum.jpg


Tirumala Devi was one of the daughters of King Veerappa Gowda, who ruled Srirangapattana. [9] Krishnadeva Raya placed Veerappa Gowda as the governor of Srirangapattana after defeating the rebellious Ummattur chief in 1512 AD. [8] Tirumala Devi was married to Krishnadevaraya most probably in 1498 and was crowned as his chief empress upon his accession to the Vijayanagara throne in 1509. Tirumala Devi lived on apparently for the entire period of her husband's reign and accompanied him constantly. She also played a dominant role during this period as the chief empress and accompanied Krishnadevaraya during his military campaigns, including the Kalinga war. [10]

Tirumala Devi was very much interested in poetry. She had her own treasury, her own female servants and she had complete independence, she was also a great devotee and a great donor. As she was Krishnadevaraya's favourite, she enjoyed all the power and privileges in the court.

Nandi Thimmana (popularly known as Mukku Timmana), the celebrated Telugu poet and one of the Astadiggajas at Krishnadevaraya's court, was a gift from Tirumala Devi's father to his son-in-law. Mukku Timmana was the second great poet of the royal court after Allasani Peddana. His life-work Parijatapaharana (which occupies a very high place in Telugu literature) was dedicated to Krishnadevaraya and composed to resolve a fight between Krishnadevaraya and Tirumala Devi. [11]

Tirumala Devi was the most honoured wife of Krishnadevaraya. [7] The suburb of Tirumala-devi pattana (around the present Sannakki Veerabhadra temple in Hospet) was laid out during the reign of Krishnadevaraya in honour of Tirumala Devi, [12] while Nagalpura was named after Krishnadevaraya's mother Nagala Devi. [13]


Tirumala Devi bore Krishnadevaraya three children: a daughter and two sons. The daughter, Tirumalamba married Araviti Ranga's son, Ramaraya who, after the marriage, came to be known as Aliya Rama Raya. [14]

Tirumala, the eldest son and heir-apparent was born in 1518. On this occasion, Krishnadevaraya and Tirumala Devi paid a visit to Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala on 16 October 1518. The prince, however, died young. The death of his heir seems to have greatly unsettled Krishnadevaraya and the last five years of his reign were somewhat disturbed and unhappy on this account, during which period the administration was carried on, in his name, by his brother Achyuta Deva Raya. [15]

One more son was born to Tirumala Devi towards the end of Krishnadevaraya's life time. His name was according to some sources, Ramachandra. He also died young, at the age of eighteen months. [14]

Dowager empress

As dowager empress Tirumala Devi proposed to crown Rama Raya as 'Son-in-law Regnant'. [16]


A highly religious woman, Tirumala Devi is known for her religious and charitable donations to various temples in South India. In 1514, Tirumala Devi presented a costly Chakrapadakam to Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala and granted Pirattikulattur village for five Tirupponakam offerings to be made daily. [17]

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  2. 1 2 Jackson, William J. (2016). "7". Vijayanagara Voices: Exploring South Indian History and Hindu Literature. Routledge. ISBN   9781317001928.
  3. 1 2 Verghese, Anila (2001). Hampi. Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 15. ISBN   9780195654332.
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  7. 1 2 Rao, M. Rama (1971). Krishnadeva Raya. National Book Trust, India; [chief stockists in India: India Book House, Bombay. p. 12.
  8. 1 2 Rao, G. Surya Prakash (2004). Krishnadeva Raya: The Great Poet-emperor of Vijayanagara. Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University. p. 20. Krishna was married to Tirumala Devi most probably in 1498 AD. She was the daughter of a chieftain, Veerappa Gowda. Krishnadeva Raya made Veerappa Gowda his agent at Srirangapattana after quelling the rebellion of Ummattur chief in 1512 AD . Veerappa was made its governor later.
  9. Rao, G. Surya Prakash (2004). Krishnadeva Raya: The Great Poet-emperor of Vijayanagara. Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University. p. 20. Krishna was married to Tirumala Devi most probably in 1498 AD. She was the daughter of a chieftain, Veerappa Gowda.
  10. Rao, G. Surya Prakash (2004). Krishnadeva Raya: The Great Poet-emperor of Vijayanagara. Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University. p. 21.
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  13. Rao, Nalini, ed. (2006). Sangama : a confluence of art and culture during the Vijayanagara period. Delhi: Originals. p. 77. ISBN   9788188629480.
  14. 1 2 Life and Achievements of Sri Krishnadevaraya. Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Karnataka. 2010. p. 27.
  15. Aiyangar, Sakkottai Krishnaswami (1941). A History of Tirupati. Sri C. Sambaiya Pantulu. p.  107.
  16. Oppert, Gustav Salomon (1882). Contributions to the History of Southern India. Higginbotham. p. 65.
  17. Nanaiah, N. Saraswathi (1992). The Position of Women During Vijayanagara Period, 1336–1646. Southern Printers. p. 56.
  18. "Actress Priyanka Singh and Sonia Sharma plays the role of Krishnadevraya's wives in Tenali Rama". The Times of India . 19 July 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.