Hampi monument, KA - How invasion by Deccani Sultanates left it in ruins?, Now a UNESCO world heritage site

In the wake of The battle of Talikota (January, 1565), a major trade and cultural center, Hampi (now in Karnataka) was mercilessly attacked and reduced to rubble  by the combined forces of the Deccani sultanates against the Vijayanagara Empire led by king Ramaraya. One can see the vast painful destruction of so many beautiful temples, buildings, etc in and around Hampi including Lakkundi town (the latter developed  by the Chalukya rulers -11th and 12 centuries). The city of Hampi nurtured by the Vijayanagara rulers was never rebuilt and has remained in ruins since then.  Hampi and the surrounding area are listed in the UNESCO World heritage site as a group of ruins (recognition given in 1986).

The Vijayanagara empire  headed by Aliya Ramaraya  in the 14th century was one of the most powerful  and rich kingdoms in the Deccan Plateau and  was endowed with vast natural and mineral resources.  The Deccani sultans independently could not seize the powerful Vijayanagara kingdom with a large well-trained army and military wares, So the the Sultanates of  Bijapur and Bidar (Karnataka), Ahmednagar (Maharashtra) and Golconda (Andhra)  formed a military  alliance to seize the  powerful  Vijayanagara kingdom. 

1856 & 2016 Destruction of Hampi, Krishna mandir.KA en.wikipedia.org

ruins of hampi , Karnataka. 


Hampi, cannons caused much of damages.  quora.com

1865, Malik-i-Maidan cannon, Bijapur fort, en.bharatpedia.org

Vijayanagara ruler Ramarayaindianetzone.com

Above image: King Ramarayat of the Vijayanagara - Son-in-law of Emperor Krishna Deva Raya and the founder of the Aravidu dynasty, in the war against the Deccani sultanates Rama Raya was killed by beheading . Later ahe Vijayanagara Empire became  fragmented into several semi-independent principalities each paying only nominal allegiance and tribute to the empire.......................

.King sri krishnadevaraya, Vijayanagara karnataka.com

Above image: Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara- one of the most successful Hindu kings of south India who made lots of contributions to the temples in the south. Thiruvannamalai and Srirangam temples of Tamil nadu are good examples. ......................

 Deccan sultanates.en.wikipedia.org

In the decisive war the allied forces came out victorious over the Hindu Ramaraya for four main reasons: 

01.They had superior well trained artillery troops with powerful cannons, besides unshakable unity among the Sultanates.  

02.  Massive Malik-E-Maidan" bronze cannon (cast in Ahmednagar in 1549) with its stunning fire power, range  and size of cannons terrorized the Vijayanagara troops. 

03. The most disturbing setback was ruler Ramaraya  who succeeded king  Krishnadevaraya (died in 1529) was betrayed by his own Muslim commanders Gilani brothers. They suddenly  switched sides and turned their loyalty to the united Sultanates during critical point of battle, leaving Ramaraya in the lurch .

04. Ramaraya, failed to gather secretly the military information on the sultanates and their strength. He was overconfident about his troops, their warfare and artillery fire power.

Hampi is being visited by lots of tourists both Indians and foreigners. There is a group of   monuments here, and the temple is dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, a form of Shiva.

According to historical memoirs left by Portuguese and Persian traders to Hampi, in the 14th CE the city was of metropolitan proportions; they called it "one of the most beautiful cities

Elephant stables or Gajasala, Hampi, Karnataka en.wikipedia.org

Krishna temple water tank, Hampi, KA en.wikipedia.org

Above image:  Krishna temple, water tank, Hampi, Karnataka.  15-16th century. 
This is the sacred pushkarani or tank located on the eastern side of Krishna temple in Hampi, India. It's a fine example of water tank design of Vijayanagar time that could be used by the public for drinking, etc. There were many step wells to access  the ground water and each temple had a water tank in front. During the plundering by the allied sultanate armies, many were damaged or destroyed. Some are in ruins now..............

Hampi, the land of surprises was founded in the middle of 14th Century by two local princes, Hakka & Bukka on the banks of the Tungabhadra river, around 1500 CE  grew fast to become  a beautiful sprawling city of opulence  and imperial  elegance during the heyday of  the Vijayanagar Empire, one of the most powerful in the Deccan Plateau; the city was one of the richests in the world then.  The city represents the highest concentration of architecture. Classified into religious, courtly and military buildings, its pillared audience halls and towering gateways are its stylistic hallmarks. Many secular buildings bear Islamic features, displaying the city’s cosmopolitan inception. Some of its religious complexes remain in use today(collections.vam.ac.uk).

Krishna temple & stone chariot. ruins of Hampi , Karnataka istockphoto.com

damaged and beheaded sculptures. Hampi, KAugra1515.blogspot.com

How come  Hampi lost its charm? A vast  number of ruins strewn around the place will tell you how a prosperous city was turned into a place of broken buildings, damaged temples, debris and trash. Currently, this world famous heritage site lies in ruins and is being managed by the ASI.
 non-secular seat of power or a palace Royal Center,Hampi,wikipedia

Above image: Royal center, Hampi- A group of monuments and palaces- After the unopposed desecration,, the patronage of monuments and temples ceased, the Vaishnava cult perished, and the Royal Center was never rebuilt.

The legendary  lost city though in a shambles, still retains its glitter and architectural splendor keeping the history and mythology alive.  The  city in ruins that never lost its aura,  is still shrouded in mystery. It is about the Royal Center, a sprawling groups of homes and monuments that served at the heart of the Vijayanagara Empire. Various studies and excavation are yet to explain  the exact purpose of  the Royal Center and its functions. 

It is imperative that  political changes and the fortunes  of  kingdom and dynasties  go hand in hand. With the change of political scenario under compelling situation, the mighty Vijayanagara empire fell on the  had time. 

The city was plundered and desecrated by the combined forces of the Deccan sultanates. The destruction was so complete that the city was never rebuilt and  and has remained in ruins for centuries. Many temples, palaces, and other structures were destroyed or damaged. The place is often termed as the “city of ruins” owing to the number of ruins that are currently located in the area. The ruins included temples of Shiva  Virupaksha, a form of Shiva and Vishnu, broken entrance tower/ gopura, damaged ornate pillars, smashed and beheaded sculptures on the outer parts of the temples halls (mandapam), idols, etc. The site is  dotted with fallen ornate pillars, broken sculptures, damaged  pillars without roof, etc.

The sultanate of Ahmednagar on orders from  ruler Hussain Nizam Shah (1553–1565) the Indian Muslim of Deccani origin  captured and beheaded the Vijayanagara king Aliya Rama Raya in the wake of the victory  followed by  massive  raid on  Hampi. The buildings there kept burning for a few months  finally abandoned in   dilapidated condition; In this ever changing work Hampi, once an amazing city through political changes became a desolate place. Credit goes to the earliest armature british photographer Alexander Greenlaw for vintage images.  In the midst of ruins, Hampi is a treasure trove of ancient wonders,