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At the end of 13th century, Alauddin Khalji’s invasions, the coffers of local rulers in South India were emptied to a great extent. This was the time when Harihara and Bukka established new kingdom of ‘Vijaynagar’ in 1336 C.E. During the rule of king Krishnadevaraya the kingdom expanded into an empire spreading from South Konkan in the west to Vishakhapatnam in the East and Krishna river in the north to Kanyakumari in the south. Krishnadevaraya wrote a text entitled, ‘Amuktamalyada’ which is about the State and Policy. The Italian traveller Nicolo Conti and Persian traveller Abdul Razzaq had visited Vijayanagar. Their travel reports give fair account of the history of Vijayanagar.
Harihara was a very able administrator. Vijayanagar was the first southern Indian state to have encompassed three major linguistic and cultural regions and to have established a high degree of political unity among them. The administration of the kingdom sporadically achieved a relatively high degree of centralization, although centrifugal tendencies regularly appeared. To the original five rajyas (provinces) held by the Sangama brothers, new ones were added as territories were acquired. Within and among these regions, a complex mosaic of great chiefly houses exercised power to varying degrees, though not with the virtual autonomy that some historians have suggested. The central administration had both a revenue and a military side, but the actual business of raising taxes and troops was mostly the responsibility of the provincial governors and their subordinates. The central government maintained a relatively small body of troops, but it assigned a value to the lands held by the provincial governors and determined the number of troops that were to be supplied from the revenues of each province.
Harihara was fully conscious of the dangers which the infant state faced both from its neighbours and the Delhi sultans. He strengthened the old fort of Badami as a protection against invasions from Delhi rulers. He fortified Gooty in Anantpur District as a safeguard against Hoysala kings.