Subject: heavy cavalry
Culture: Tamil, Telugu
Setting: Nayaka kingdoms, southern India 16th-17thc
* Elgood 2004 p53
"[I]n the first half of the seventeenth century the [Vijayanagara] empire gradually broke into approximately two hundred independent and semi-independent states under their governors or nayaks. The principal ones were Mysore and Ikkeri in Karnataka, and Gingee (Senji), Madurai and Tanjore in Tamil country. [...] Conflict between Tanjore and Madurai over allegiance to the Vijayanagara Raya Ramaraya resulted in the Nayak of Madurai moving his court to Trichinopoly in 1616 to wage war more effectively against Tanjore.
"The Sahityaratnakara described the 1616 campaign .... [...] After his great victory over the Nayakas of Madurai and Gingee at Toppur in 1617, Raghunatha Nayaka was likened to Krishna and the war to the great Mahabharata war. Tanjore stood supreme in southern India and its support for the Vijayanagara raya ensured that the Hindu empire could withstand Muslim attacks on its territory."
* Doniger 2009 p467
"The Nayakas rose to power after Vijayanagar fell in 1565, and they ruled, from Mysore, through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The story of the founding of the Nayaka kingdoms follows lines similar to those of the story of the founding of Vijayanagar: Sent out to pacify the Cholas, the Nayakas double-crossed the Vijayanagar king just as the founding Vijayanagarans had double-crossed the Delhi sultans. What goes around comes around. The Nayakas brought dramatic changes, a renaissance in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Tamil country and Andhra, ranging from political experimentation and economic and social change to major shifts in the concepts of gender."
* Elgood 2004 p30
"Tanjore was ... ruled by Nayak governors as feudatories of the Vijayanagara emperor. [...] During the sixteenth century the Nayaks gradually took power into their own hands though remaining loyal to their overlords to whom they were related. [..] For 150 years, this Telugu dynasty ruled over a Tamil population and vigorously patronised the arts while maintaining heavy expenditure on the army.
"[...] Yajnanarayana Dikshita's Sanskrit poem the Sahityaratnakara describes the achievements of Tanjore Nayaka Raghunatha (1600-34), his army and its equipment. Raghunatha's fame was due to his victory at Toppur.  [...] His reign was the most illustrious of the Tanjore line, literature and the arts flourished, and Tanjore became the greatest seat of learning and culture in south India. Yajnanarayana Dikshita eulogised him, saying that poverty had left the country and that Tanjore was the abode of Lakshmi."
* Elgood 2004 p57
"There are a number of metal helmets from south-west India with 'anchor' nose guards."
* Robinson 1967 p106
"This large nasal is almost certainly a feature of southern Indian armour and a means of identification."
* Elgood 2004 p55
"We have in sixteenth-century Vijayanagara a tradition of padded cloth armour for man, horse and elephant (augmented in the higher ranks with metal plates) but no mention of mail. This form of armour continued in use until the nineteenth century in Hindu society ...."
* Elgood 2004 p56
"[T]he warrior riders depicted on the pillars of Vijayanagara buildings in the sixteenth century have a raised rib pattern on their upper and lower garments like widely spaced courduroy. This occurs so frequently that it appears to be a standard item of equipment; the presumption must be that it represents some form of cloth armour since it is clearly flexible and the design is inconsistent with metal armour."
* Treasures from India 1987 p52 (describing a sword in the Clive Collection at Powis Castle)
"Sword Steel basket hilt; watered steel blade with applied steel reinforcement plates at the forte. l.103 Blade: S.India, 17th century(?); Hilt: Central or S.India, 18th century
"The double-edged blade, broadening out towards the tip, follows an early South Indian form. Blades of the same shape can be seen on swords presented to the Prince of Wales in 1875-6 by the Princess of Tanjore, and are described as 'anterior to the 17th century.'"
* Paul 1995 p77
"The Hindu basket hilt was developed around 1500. The ears of the old Indian hilt are broadened and a plate knuckle guard is added which is broad at the base and tapering towards the top, where it is fixed to the pommel. The pommel itself is invariably a deep saucer. A common feature of the hilt is a long, forward curving spike surmounting the dome of the pommel. This spike could also be gripped by the left hand while making a two-handed blow.
"The basket hilt was probably derived from similarly hilted European weapons. Generally, the basket hilt was padded to absorb the shock of the blows."
* Elgood 2004 p174 f16.25
"A number of daggers of this form exist .... The recurved blades are similar in scale to the recurved swords. They were used point uppermost to thrust and slash rather than to stab downwards. Many Hindu dagger blades have the same awkward [?] shape and the same also applies to their use. [...] Iconographically this seems more Tamil than Maratha and likely to date from before 1675 when the Marathas seized Tanjore."