• Harihara I of the Sangama Dynasty founded the Vijayanagara Empire, which thrived from 1336 to 1646.
  • The empire reached its zenith under Krishna Deva Raya (1509-1529), achieving military dominance over neighboring kingdoms such as the
  • Bahmani Sultanate, the Golconda Sultanate, and the Odishan Gajapatis.
  • At its peak, the empire stretched from Goa on the Konkan coast to parts of southern Odisha in the east and the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent in the south.


Cultural and Literary Flourishment: The Vijayanagara Empire was a hub of cultural and architectural innovation. Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Sanskrit literature and poetry thrived during this period.

Geographical Significance: The empire’s strategic location in the natural basin formed by the Tungabhadra River, flowing northeast, was crucial for its defense and sustainability.

Fortifications and Gateways: The fortifications of Vijayanagara were accessible through well-guarded gates, linking the city to major roadways. These gateways were distinctive architectural features that often identified the structures they protected.

Temple Construction: The tradition of temple building in the region dates back to earlier dynasties such as the Pallavas, Chalukyas, Hoysalas, and Cholas. Temples were centers of learning, exemplified by the Hazara Rama Temple, whose walls depict scenes from the Ramayana.

Virupaksha Temple: The Virupaksha Temple evolved over centuries, with initial shrines dating back to the ninth and eleventh centuries. It underwent significant expansion with the rise of the Vijayanagara Empire.


  • Today, Hampi, the capital of Vijayanagara, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrated for its intricate fortifications, temples, and other architectural achievements.
  • The Vijayanagara period is regarded as a time of “cultural conservatism,” preserving ancient Hindu traditions amid the increasing Islamization of the subcontinent, particularly in the north.
Legacy Editor Changed status to publish June 15, 2024