After the death of Prola II in battle (possibly with the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi), his son Rudradeva (aka Prataparudra I) became the king of a now fully independent Kakatiya kingdom. Rudradeva, by all accounts, was a worthy successor to Prola II – he fought alongside his father and was instrumental in securing sovereignty for the kingdom. Even after his accession to the throne at Hanumakonda, he continued to focus on the expansion of his kingdom – inscriptions at his capital speak of numerous battles won and enemies vanquished. His kingdom now included the Godavari delta and extended till the coast but these regions weren’t without their challenges.
The Thousand Pillar Temple. Image Source: The Hindu
The independence and expansion of the Kakatiya kingdom meant enough cash flow for the King to build things. Rudradeva built celebratory temples called Rudresvarams in the towns he conquered. The most famous of his temples is, of course, the Thousand Pillar Temple at Hanumakonda. He is also credited with the authoring of an Arthashastra-like treatise on statecraft called Nitisaram. But all the arts and architecture aside, it is important to remember that Rudradeva’s greatest contribution was the strong foundation of a successful kingdom. And this foundation, like that of most successful kingdoms, is based primarily on military conquests. The most famous of his battles, however, isn’t one that expanded his kingdom or even one that he won. It wasn’t even his.
The battle at Palnadu in celluloid form – Palnati Yuddham (1966)
Dr. P.V.P. Sastry. (1978). The Kakatiyas of Warangal.
Durga Prasad. (1988). History of the Andhras.
Ghulam Yazdani. (1961). The Early History of the Deccan.