Sites & cities that bear the name of Vijayanagara


Today in : India
First trace of activity : ca. 2nd century C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 16th century C.E
Recorded names : Hampe, Hampi, Bezeneger

Description : Vijayanagara (Translation:"City of Victory") was the capital city of the historic Vijayanagara Empire. Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, it spread over a large area and included the modern era Group of Monuments at Hampi site in Vijayanagara district, Bellary district and others in and around these districts in Karnataka, India. A part of Vijayanagara ruins known as Hampi have been designated as a UNESCO world heritage site. Vijayanagara is in the eastern part of central Karnataka, close to the Andhra Pradesh border. Hampi is an ancient human settlement, mentioned in Hindu texts and has pre-Vijayanagara temples and monuments. In early 14th century, Deccan region including the Hoyasala and tiny Kampli Empire were invaded and plundered by armies of Khalji and later Tughlaq dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate. From these ruins was founded Vijayanagara by the Sangama brothers, who were working as soldiers in Kampli Kingdom under Kampalidevaraya. The city grew rapidly. The Vijayanagara centered empire functioned as a barrier to the Muslim sultanates in the north, leading to the reconstruction of Hindu life, scholarship, multi-religious activity, rapid infrastructure improvements and economic activity. Along with Hinduism, Vijayanagara accepted communities of other faiths such as Jainism and Islam, leading to multi-religious monuments and mutual influences. Chronicles left by Persian and European travelers state Vijayanagara to be a prosperous and wealthy city. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world's second largest medieval era city (after Beijing) and probably India's richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal. Wars between nearby Muslim Sultanates and Hindu Vijayanagara continued through the 16th century. In 1565, the Vijayanagara leader Aliya Rama Raya was captured and killed, and the city fell to a coalition of Muslim Sultanates of the Deccan. The conquered capital city of Vijayanagara was looted and destroyed for 6 months, after which it remained in ruins.

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