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Musunuri Nayaks

1325 AD – 1368 AD 
Musunuri Nayaks were warrior clans, who were a part of the Kakatiya army which had regained Telangana in the year 1326. Prior to this, the Delhi Sultanate had occupied this area. Kaapaneedu and Musunuri Prolaneedu were known to be famous Musunuri Nayaks. 'Prolaya' and 'Kapaya' belonged to the Musunuri family, particularly to the clan of 'Durjaya'. 

Founder : Prolaya Nayaka
Capitals: Rekhapalli (Bhadrachalam), Warangal, 
Father: Pochi / Pochaya Nayaka
Brothers: Raja nayaka, Kamma nayaka and Deva nayaka 

After the fall of the Kakatiya Empire, it was the Musunuri Nayaks that initially brought stability, peace, and Telugu rule back to the Telugu lands. Musunuri Nayaks led a confederation of nayakas to overthrow the rule of the Delhi Sultanate in Telugu lands.

A nayaka or chieftain of that time period usually administered and ruled a regional area for an Empire, in this case for the Kakatiyas.

The Kakatiya kingdom of Pratapa Rudra was taken care of by 'Nayaks', who were the 75 warrior chieftains. They were known for their courage and their services, especially during times of emergency. Numerable Nayak chiefs were defeated and consequently had converted to the religion of Islam. However, some of these chiefs were also returned as governors. Bukka and Harihara were amongst such Nayak chiefs and they had founded the kingdom of Vijayanagara at the area of Hampi. 

In 1323, following the defeat of Warangal, the forts at Kolanuveedu, Kondapalli, Nellore, Nidadavole, Kondaveedu and Rajahmundry were captured by the Muslim armies. The kingdoms of Kampili, Hoysala and Madhura in Tamil Nadu were also included as territories of the Delhi Sultanate. Ulugh Khan occupied the Delhi throne after assuming the name of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq.

1325 AD - 1333 AD : Prolaya Nayaka
Kolani Rudradeva and Annaya Mantri were patriotic people who were capable of uniting the Nayak chieftains. They chose a valiant Nayak as their leader, Musunuri Prolayanayak or 'Prolaaneedu; and he was known for being a bold warrior. Pochi nayaka was the father of Prolaya nayaka. Raja nayaka, Kamm a nayaka and Deva nayaka were the three brothers of Prolaya nayaka. 

Musunuri Kaapaaneedu was Devanayaka's son and was a confidante of Prolaya. Prolaya was also assisted by some of his cousins and played a significant role in uniting the Nayaks. Prolaya motivated the Nayaks to protect their Hindu Dharma. Vundi Vengabhupathi, Manchikonda Ganapatinayaka, Recherla Singamanayaka, Koppula Prolayanayaka and Addanki Vemareddy were some of the most illustrious Nayaks.

By the year 1326, Warangal was freed by the armies of the Nayaks after the Muslims were overthrown from their empire, in Telangana. Several inscriptions explained the victories of Prolaya. Prolaya's cousins reconstructed old temples, strengthened the forts, and offered rich gifts to Brahmins. They patronised literature and arts. The Musunuri Nayaks were said to have aided numerous rulers to attain freedom from the Delhi Sultanate. The Hoysala king had joined the Musunuri Nayaks in their efforts to liberate the region of Telangana and Warangal fort from the Muslim invaders.

Prolaya Nayaka left no children and was succeeded by his brother Devanayaka son Kapaya Nayaka.

1333 AD - 1368 AD : Kapaya Nayaka
Kapaya Nayaka led a larger rebellion against the Tughluq rule, driving it out of Warangal in 1336. According to the Kaluvacheru grant of Anithalli, a female member of the Panta Reddi clan in 1423, Kapaya Nayaka was assisted by 75 Nayakas. The grant also states that Prolaya Vema Reddi was one among these 75 Nayakas.

Kapaya Nayaka took control of Warangal from Malik Maqbul or Mala Yugandharudu in 1336 and thus also of a wider swathe of eastern Telangana that was governed from there. He also tried to support other rebels in the surrounding areas, although in the case of aid given to Alauddin Bahman Shah, the outcome was that his fellow rebel turned on him. Several military engagements with Bahman Shah followed over a period of years, during which Kapaya Nayaka had to cede various forts and territories, including Golconda (near modern Hyderabad).

Decline of Musunuri Nayaks

The Recherla Vema Nayaks who were spearheaded by Singama had plundered Addanki, which was ruled by Vema Reddy. However, Singama could not achieve his goals as Vema Reddy, along with Kaapaya fought in unison against him. Kaapaya also helped the Bahmani ruler to thwart the attack planned by the Delhi Sultanate. 

1350: Bahman Shah led his first campaign against Warangal in 1350 and forced its ruler Kapaya Nayaka to cede to him the fortress of Kaulas.

1355: Ala-ud-Din Hasan Bahman Shah attacked Telangana with a much larger army and conquered some forts, which involved Bhuvanagiri. Vinayaka Deva, the son of Kaapaya was sent to free the fort of Bhuvanagiri and Kaulas form the Muslims. He was being helped by Bukka Raya, the king of Vijayanagar. However, eventually he was killed in a disastrous manner. 

1356 : Mohammed Shah had attacked Telangana again and captured Warangal and Golconda. 

March 23, 1363: Kaapaya was compelled to offer the precious turquoise throne of warangal, along with a generous amount of tribute to Mohammed Shah.

1364: Warangal was ceded by the Musunuri Kapaya Naidu to the Bahmani Sultanate as part of a treaty in 1364.

1368 : Recherla Nayakas Anavotha nayaka, son of Singama nayaka along with his brother Mada nayaka, fought several battles with the Kondaveeti Reddy rulers and Vijayanagara rulers. He also killed the Musunuri ruler Kapaya nayaka in 1368. He conquered the Warangal, Panagallu and Bhuvanagiri forts and took the title of “Tribhuvana Rayarao’.


  1. Is Polavaram named after Prolaya Nayaka?
    Some people doubt whether Prolaya was a Kamma Nayaka. There need not be any doubt since one of his brothers Kammanayaka carried the caste name.
    Allauddin Khiljee did not lead the campaigns into the South. It was his General Malik Kafur who was a convert from Hindus and a ruthless military leader like Chenghiz Khan. He spared only those who did not oppose him and converted them to Islam.
    It's said Harihara and Bukka were also converted and taken to Delhi by him. They escaped and came back to Kampili in disguise. Vidyarana Swamy made them Hindus again and installed them on the throne of the newly founded Vijayanagara.
    After Prataparudra's fall and the capture of Warangal, Prolaya was the hero around whom the revolt against the Sultanate developed and they stood their ground for two generations until the Deccan Sultanate came about and gradually occupied the whole of Deccan. Aliyarama Raya of Vijayanagara was the last to fall. .


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