Prataparudra succeeded his grandmother, Rani Rudrama Devi to the Kakatiya Simhasanam, the Lion Throne. Prataparudra’s reign marked the culmination of the evolution of the Kakatiya kingdom towards a non-traditional, non-Brahminical society. Inscriptions from the period made no attempt to hide the rulers’ non-Kshatriya origins – they proudly proclaimed their Shudra status. Occupational status was given priority over caste rank – the sons had vastly different occupations from their fathers. The proportion of non-aristocratic officers rose from 25% in the 1200s to over 45% during Prataparudra’s reign. He, however, had a different problem on his hands.
His predecessors, whose worst problems were minor annoyances from neighbouring kings, expanded the Kakatiya dominions quite extensively. Things were different for Prataparudra – he was the only Kakatiya to face invasions from the North. 20 years into Prataparudra’s reign, the Delhi Sultanate invaded the Kakatiya kingdom successfully for the first time. Ala-ud-din Khilji sent his eunuch slave general Malik Kafur to bully Prataparudra into subordination and the month-long stand-off between Kafur’s army and the Kakatiya’s ended when the outer walls of Warangal were breached. The Kakatiya king sued for peace and a settlement was made. Prataparudra signed over a fortress at Badrakot (presumably present-day Bidar), along with gold and jewels, 12,000 horses, and a hundred war elephants “as large as demons”. He then, in full public view, had to clamber onto the wall of the citadel, turn to the direction of Delhi and bow down in submission to the Sultan.
The citadel wall of the Kakatiya capital
Malik Kafur triumphantly marched back to Delhi with his plunder, which included a little diamond that was to create havoc for the next 500 years. This would mark the first time that the kings in the region submitted to Delhi and they would continue to do so for the next 400 years, until the rise of British power in the 18th century.
Richard M. Eaton. (2005). A Social History of the Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives, Volume 1
Dr. P.V.P. Sastry. (1978). The Kakatiyas of Warangal.
Ghulam Yazdani. (1961). The Early History of the Deccan.