Vira Ballala III ruled from AD 1291 to A.D 1342, quite a long reign period. He was a great Hoysala ruler, but in the reign period of his successor the dynasty was destined to cease to govern the empire. In 1303 he annexed the Tuluva country and completed the attemps of his predecessors to conquer the land of the Alupas.
In 1305 he was active against the Yadavas of Devagiri and on the eve of Malik Kafur’s invasion of Dvarasamudra, he was evincing interest in Pandyan affairs.
In 1310 he experienced ignominious defeat at the hands of Malik Naib; the help sent to him by Vira Pandya, one of the parties to the civil war in Madurai then, was of no avail to him. The crown prince of this Ballala was sent to Delhi; he returned to Dvarasamudram in 1313. Dvarasamudram which had been destroyed by Malik Kafur when he attacked it was rebuilt in 1316.
Baha-ud-din, a cousin of Muhammad- bin-Tughluq revolted at Sagar (Gulbarga district) and marched against Devagiri but due to his failure fled for protection to Dvarasamudram. There, the refugee was surrendered to the Sultan of Delhi by Ballala III; “the unfortunate Baha-ud-din was flayed alive; and his cooked flesh was sent to his wife and children”.
To this state of terror had the Hoysala family been reduced? Having lost Kannanur and with a precarious hold on Dvarasamudram still Hoysala Vira Ballala IV had hopes of reviving the glories of his dynasty. The Sultanate of Madura had been established in 1335 a year before the founding of Vijayanagar.
In 1342 Vira Ballala III fought a decisive battle with Ghiyas-ud-din, Sultan of Madura at Kannanur; at first it looked like a victory for the Hoysala but it ended fatally for him and his empire. The battle was lost by the Hoysala; he was captured, strangled and flayed; his skin was stuffed with straw and suspended on the outer wall of the city of Madurai.