Former Hindu kingdom, southern India, south of the Krishna River.

Founded in 1336 by leaders of the Kanarese people, it became the greatest empire of southern India and for more than two centuries served as a barrier against Muslim raiders from the north. It was an important center of Brahman culture and Dravidian art. Its downfall began with the defeat at Talikota (1565) by a confederacy of Deccan Muslim sultans; the empire dissolved с 1614. The kingdom's capital, Vijayanagar, was destroyed in 1565. Its ruined site is located at modern Hampi, in southeastern Karnataka.

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▪ historical city and empire, India
 (Sanskrit: “City of Victory”), great ruined city in southern India and also the empire ruled first from that city and later from Penukonda (in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh) between 1336 and about 1614. The site of the city, on the Tungabhadra River, is now partly occupied by the village of Hampi (in eastern Karnātaka state).

      The city and its first dynasty were founded in 1336 by five sons of Saṅgama, of whom Harihara and Bukka became the city's first kings. In time Vijayanagar became the greatest empire of southern India. By serving as a barrier against invasion by the Muslim sultanates of the north, it fostered the reconstruction of Hindu life and administration after the disorders and disunities of the 12th and 13th centuries. Contact with the Muslims (who were not personally disliked) stimulated new thought and creative productivity. Sanskrit was encouraged as a unifying force, and regional literatures thrived. Behind its frontiers the country flourished in unexampled peace and prosperity.

      The first dynasty (the Saṅgama) lasted until about 1485, when—at a time of pressure from the Bahmanī sultan and the raja of Orissa—Narasiṃha of the Sāluva family usurped power. By 1503 the Sāluva dynasty had been supplanted by the Tuluva dynasty. The outstanding Tuluva king was Kṛṣṇa Deva Rāya. During his reign (1509–29) the land between the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers (the Raichūr doab) was acquired (1512), the Orissa Hindus were subdued by the capture of Udayagiri (1514) and other towns, and severe defeats were inflicted on the Bijāpur sultan (1520). Kṛṣṇa Deva's successors, however, allowed their enemies to combine against them. In 1565 Rāma Rāya, the chief minister of Vijayanagar, led the empire into the fatal battle at Rakasa-Tangadi (also known as Tālikota (Tālikota, Battle of)) in which its army was routed by the combined forces of the Muslim states of Bijāpur, Ahmadnagar, and Golconda and the city of Vijayanagar was destroyed. Tirumala, brother of Rāma Rāya, then seized control of the empire and founded the Āravīḍu dynasty (Aravidu dynasty), which established a new capital at Penukonda and kept the empire intact for a time. Internal dissensions and the intrigues of the sultans of Bijāpur and Golconda, however, led to the final collapse of the empire about 1614.

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Universalium. 2010.

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