An Imperial Capital: Vijayanagara – CBSE Notes for Class 12 History

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• The Vijayanagara Empire was the most dignified and glorious empire of South India. Its Capital was Hampi.
• Hampi was discovered by Colin Mackenzie, the first Surveyor General of India in 1815.
• His (Colin Mackenzie’s) arduous work, gave a new direction to all the future researcher.
• Alexander Greenlaw took the first detailed photography of Hampi in 1856, which proved quite useful for the scholar.
• J.F. Fleet in 1876, began compilation and documentation of the inscription from the walls of the walls of temples in Hampi.
• John Marshall began the conservation of Hampi in 1902.
• In 1976, Hampi was declared as a site of national importance and in 1986 it was declared as world Heritage centre.
• Vijayanagara Empire was founded by the two brothers, Harihara and Bukka in 14th century.
• The ruler of Vijayanagara empire were called Rayas.
• The most powerful ruler of Vijayanagara empire was Krishnadeva Raya. During his tenure, the empire touched its glory.
• Administration of the Vijayanagara Empire was very good and its people were very happy.
• The Vijayanagara Empire began to decline by 16th century and this might empire ended in 17th century.
• Four dynasties ruled over Vijayanagara:
(a) The Sangama Dynasty
(b) The Saluvas Dynasty
(c) The Tuluva Dynasty
(d) The Aravidu Dynasty
• The Sangama Dynasty founded the empire, Saluva expanded it, Saluva took it to the pinnacle of its glory, but it begun declined under Aravidu.
• Various causes such as weak central government, weak successors of Krishnadeva Raya, different dynasties struggles against the Bahamani Empire, weak empire, etc. contributed in the downfall of the empire.
• The most striking feature of the empire was its water requirement were met from natural barn formed by the Tungabhadra river.
• The ruler of Vijayanagara also had made vast fortification. The archaeologist made an elaborated study of roads within the city and the roads which led one out of the city.
• The Royal centres were located in the south-western part of the settlement, which included over sixty times.
• The sacred centre was situated on the rocky northern end on the bank of the river Tungabhadra. According to tradition rocky hill served as a shelter to the monkey Kingdom of Bali and Sugriva which were mentioned in the Ramayana.
1. Karnataka Samrajyamu: Historians used the term Vijayanagara Empire, contemporaries described it as the Karnataka Samrajyamu.
2. Gajapati: Literally means the lord of elephants. This was the name of a ruling lineage that was very powerful in Odisha in the fifteenth century.
3. Ashvapati: In the popular traditions of Vijayanagara the Deccan Sultans are termed as ashavapati of the lord of horses.
4. Narapati: In Vijayanagara Empire, the Rayas are called narapati or the lord of men.
5. Yavana: It is a Sanskrit word for the Greeks and other peoples entered the subcontinent from the north-west.
6. Shikara: The top or very high roof of the temples is called Shikhar. Generally, it can be seen from a reasonable distance by the visitors of the temples. Under Shikhar we find the idol of main God or Goddess.
7. Garbhgrah: This is a central point of the main room located at a central position of the temple. Generally, every devotee goes near the gate of this room to pay respect and feelings of devotion to his main duty.
Time line:
1. 1336  Foundation of Vijayanagara Empire by Harihara Raya and Bukka Raya.
2. 1483  Emergence of Saluva Dynasty.
3. 1509-1529  Tenure of Krishnadeva Raya.
4. 1512  Krishnadev Raya occupied Raicher Doals.
5. 1565  Battle of Talikata.
6. 1570  Foundation of Aravidu Dynasty.
7. 1815  Col Mackenizie appointed as 1st Surveyor General of India.
8. 1856  Alexander Greenlaw takes the first detailed photographs of archaeological remains at Hampi.
9. 1876  J.F. Fleet begins documenting the inscription on the temple walls at the site.
10. 1902  Conservation begins under John Marshall.
11. 1986  Hampi declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.