Mangalore, Medieval History

W.J.Pais Food for Thought - The Konkan Coast

The Kadambas had ruled this place from 200 to 600 A.D.[2][6] The ancient history proved that Mangalore had been the capital of Alupa dynasty until the 14th century.[7] A traveler, Ibn Battuta who had visited the town in 1342 stated that he arrived at a place named Manjurun or Mandjaur situated on a large estuary. He had mentioned that the town was a trading centre and Persian and Yemeni merchants disembarked at Mangalore.[8] In 1448, Abdul Razak, a Persian Ambassador passed via this route to Vijayanagar. He said that he had seen a glorious temple here.[9] The inscriptions at Moodabidri stated a King Mangaras Odeya was the governor of Mangaluru Raajya during the reign of Vira Harihararaya II of Vijayanagar dynasty. Another inscription stated that Deeva Raaja Odeya ruled the Mangaluru Raajya in 1429 during the reign of Vijayanagara King Veera Devaraya II.[10] Various powers have fought for control over Mangalore. The major dynasties that ruled the town till the arrival of Portuguese were the Western Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and Hoysalas.

The European influence in Mangalore can be traced back to the year 1498, when the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama had landed at St Mary's Islands near Mangalore on his voyage from Portugal to India.[11] In 1520 the Portuguese took control of the area from Vijayanagara rulers. In 1526, the Portuguese viceroy Lopo Vaz de Sampaio succeeded in defeating the Bangara king and his allies and the trade passed out of Muslim hands into Portuguese hands. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Portuguese commanded the Arabian Sea from the port of Mangalore and they intruded actively in the affairs of the local chieftains.[2] In 1695, the town was burnt by the Arabs in retaliation for Portuguese restrictions on Arab trade.[12]


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