Hampi - Cultutral Hotspot, Vijaynagar - Rise & Fall

Hampi – Cultutral Hotspot, Vijaynagar – Rise & Fall

Question : Several ancient ‘saalu mantapas’ in Krishna Bazar, opposite to Krishna temple at the world famous Hampi have collapsed due to heavy rain that lashed Karnataka recently, though the ASI had been meaning to resurrect the mandapas. Discuss the rise and fall of the Vijaynagar empire and Hampi as a place of cultural and historical relevance.

Hampi As a Cultural and Historical Hotspot

• Known traditionally as Pampakshetra of Kishkindha, Hampi is located towards the southern bank of Tungabhadra.

• It was once the seat of the mighty Vijaynagar empire

• Monuments of Vijaynagara city called Vidyanagara were built in honour of sage Vidyaranya between AD 1336-1570 from the reign of Harihara 1 to Sadasiva Raya

• The city of Hampi covers an area of 26 sq km and enclosed by 7 lines of fortifications

• Numerous buildings in Hampi were built during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya(AD 1509-1530)

• Period witnessed a revival of Hindu art, religion and architecture on a never before seen scale

• Religious and secular structures at Hampi include the Hindu and Jain temples, audience hall of the king, the well known throne platform for witnessing festivals and the tulabhara or king’s balance

• The temples of this city are renowned for their large dimensions, delicate and comprehensive carvings, detailed ornamentation, massive pavilions and great wealth of iconographic and traditional depictions

• Largest extant temple in Hampi is the Pampapati which has a magnificent entrance tower
• Monoliths of Lakshmi, Ganesha and Narasimha are also reputed

• The Krishna temple, Pattabhirama temple, Hazara Ramachandra and Chandrasekhara temple as also the Jaina temples, have widespread bazars and storied mandapas on the sides

• Current excavations of the site have yielded a large number of palatial complexes and basements of several platforms

• This includes large number of basements of several platforms and palatial complexes as well as terracotta and stucco figures

• Hampi in popular folklore was said to be the result of a unusual sight at the hunting expedition whereby 2 local chieftains saw a hare chasing a hound- this characteristic Yali image is carved on the composite pillars

Vijayanagar Empire: Rise and Fall

• Over a span of 200 years from 1336 AD to 1565 AD, 4 dynasties ruled Vijaynagar

• The rulers fought against the northern Sultanates besides establishing the magnificent capital of Hampi

• Domingo Paes, a Portuguese visitor has mentioned the massive sight of the capital city

• King Krishnadeva Raya (1509-1529 AD) of the Tuluva Dynasty was the ruler during the peak of this empire

• The Krishna temple in Hampi is to commemorate the victory over Gajapathu kings of Utkala (now Orissa)

• It was the warring Deccan Sultanates which joined to defeat the Vijaynahar army at Talarikota, a place north of Hampi.

The chronology of rulers belonging to this empire are as follows:

• Harihara Raya I: 1336-1356
• Bukka Raya I: 1356-1377
• Harihara Raya II: 1377-1404
• Virupaksha Raya: 1404-1405
• Bukka Raya II: 1405-1406
• Deva Raya I: 1406-1422
• Ramachandra Raya: 1422
• Vira Vijaya Bukka Raya: 1422-1424
• Deva Raya II: 1424-1446
• Mallikarjuna Raya: 1446-1465
• Virupaksha Raya II: 1465-1485
• Praudha Raya: 1485
• Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya: 1485-1491
• Thimma Bhupala: 1491
• Narasimha Raya II: 1491-1505
• Tuluva Narasa Nayaka: 1491-1503
• Viranarasimha Raya: 1503-1509
• Krishna Deva Raya: 1509-1529
• Achyuta Deva Raya: 1529-1542
• Sadashiva Raya: 1542-1570
• Aliya Rama Raya: 1542-1565
• Tirumala Deva Raya: 1565-1572
• Sriranga I: 1572-1586
• Venkata II: 1586-1614
• Sriranga II: 1614-1614
• Ramadeva: 1617-1632
• Venkata III: 1632-1642
• Sriranga III: 1642-1646

Facts and Stats

4 sets of dynasties formed part of the Vijaynagar empire namely:

• Sangama Dynasty
• Saluva Dynasty
• Tuluva Dynasty
• Aravidu Dynasty

The last ruler of the empire was Sriranga III while the first was Harihara Raya I.
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