The name Vizianagaram literally translates into English as the City of Victory. Located in the erstwhile Northern Circars region of India in the modern state of Andhra Pradesh, this small but significant town has been the site of countless defeats and victories.
Its tumultuous history goes back to ancient Kalinga, most famous for the wars fought against Ashoka the Great. Later on the town came under the control of the Chalukyas of Vengi during the 7th century who in turn were replaced during the 13th century by the Kakatiyas of Warrangal.
During the Kakatiya rule, Vizianagaram was overrun several times by the Gajapatis of Odisha. The situation worsened with the expansion of the mighty Vijayanagar Empire in the region, who fought several battles against the Gajapatis.
After the waning of Vijayanagar, the area came under the Golconda Sultanate briefly before passing on to the Nizam of Hyderabad during the 18th century. The Nizams were soon overpowered by the colonial French. This attracted British attention who defeated the French on several occasions and eventually took control of the Northern Circars.
In spite of all these past struggles, the city is still best remembered for the wars fought between the Maharaja of Vizianagaram and the Raja of Bobbili ending in Vizianagaram’s victory and forever earning it the title of the City of Victory.