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Societies in Vijaynagar Period (1336-1565)

Societies in Vijaynagar Period (1336-1565)

  • The kings of Vijaynagar resolved to protect Varnashrama in South India.


  • The position of Brahmins was high in the social hierarchy and they were respected, honoured and led a prosperous life.  Societies in Vijaynagar Period (1336-1565)
  • They were appointed to government posts, even as commanders in the army.


  • The word kshatriya was not used anywhere. The term ‘Rajulu’ was used to denote the kings.
  • The kings took interest in social matters, maintained peace and security and mediated in the disputes among various classes.    Societies in Vijaynagar Period (1336-1565)


  • They were traders known for their wealth and were also bankers and accountants.


  • Constituted the bulk of the society and were subjected to heavy taxation.
  • The life of people in rural areas was marked by poverty.

Professional classes:

  • There was a group of five professions known as Virpanchalas (goldsmiths, blacksmiths, brassworkers, sculptors and carpenters).
  • Vipravinodin were another group of professionals who entertained the people. Kaikkolas were a weaver class exempt from taxation.
  • The barbers were also exempt from taxation according to the inscriptions of Sadasiva Raya.


  • It existed and various classes such as Kambalattars, dombaris, jogis and maravars were treated as untouchables.  Societies in Vijaynagar Period (1336-1565)


  • It was quite common and Nicolo de Conti says that those who failed to repay debts became the property of the creditor.


  • The position of women was a mixed one. Some were highly educated such as Gangadevi and Tirumalambadevi. But the vast majority was uneducated .
  • The queens were known as Devis, they were respected and they gave huge donations as charity. Women were given education in music and dance and some women acted as astrologers and even bodyguards and historians.
  • The practice of sati was prevailing and is mentioned by all the foreigners who visited the empire.
  • Prostitution was legal and courtesans were taxed. Ganikas had a respectable position in society as is seen when Krishnadeva Raya himself married a ganika called Chinnadevi and promoted her as one of the queens.
  • Restrictions were imposed on widow remarriage, but they were allowed to remarry subject to taxation.


  • It was a game promoted by the state and players were rewarded.  Societies in Vijaynagar Period (1336-1565)


Medieval History

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