Once the second most populous and enviously rich city in the world is currently a sleepy village with reminiscence of the once great heritage in ruins. It is a UNESCO World heritage site located 12kms from Hospet in Bellary Dist. of Karnataka. It was also selected as the second best places in the world to visit this year, in the “52 places to visit in 2019” by the New York times .
The Legend of Vijayanagara Empire:
The Legend of Vijayanagara empire starts where the Hoysala Empire ends . Harihara and Bukka , the founders of the Vijaya nagara empire, were commanders in the army of the Hoysala Empire stationed in the Tungabhadra region to ward off Muslim invasions from the Northern India.After the fall of Hoysala Empire , Harihara and Bukka started gaining territories and expanding Vijayanagara empire. The Empire came under rule of Krishna devaraya in 1509 and it reached its peak during his rule.
Chronicle of the Vijayanagar kings:
Domingo Paes , a Portuguese traveller who wrote Chronica dos reis de Bisnaga (Chronicle of the Vijayanagar kings) after visiting the Vijayanagara Empire during the rule of King Krishna Deva Raya. His detailed account is one of the few known descriptions of that empire and of its capital, Hampi. Many depictions of the Empire in our literature, like how in the streets of Hampi all sorts of rubies, and diamonds, and emeralds, and pearls, and seed-pearls, and cloths, and every other sort of thing there is on earth and that you may wish to buy were sold also came from those Journals.
Battle of Talikota:
The Muslim Sultanates to the north of Vijayanagara united and attacked Aliya Rama Raya’s army, on 23 January 1565, in an engagement known as the Battle of Talikota.The Vijayanagara army was winning the battle, but suddenly two muslim generals of the Vijayanagara army switched sides and turned their loyalty to the united Sultanates. They captured Aliya Rama Raya and beheaded him on the spot, with Sultan Hussain on the Sultanates side joining them. The Sultanates’ army plundered Hampi and reduced it into ruins.
Robert Sewell, in his book The Forgotten Empire, concludes thus – “With fire and sword, with crowbars and axes, they carried on day after day their work of destruction. Never perhaps in the history of the world has such havoc been wrought, and wrought so suddenly, on so splendid a city; teeming with a wealthy and industrious population in the full plenitude of prosperity one day, and on the next seized, pillaged, and reduced to ruins, amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beggaring description.”
Most populous cities :
Watch the video at 0:21 sec, 1565 yrs how a magnificent city turned into ruins in a blink of eye. But as they say time is a great leveller. It took us 440 years but We almost gained what we lost and may be more .
I will share the details of my visit to Hampi Utsav 2019 in next post .