Boulders and megaliths of Hampi, Karnataka, India

Karnataka (ՔԱՐնատակա) is a large and very rocky state in India, where there is a huge amount of various kinds of stone artifacts. For those who don’t speak Armenian “kar” in Armenian means “stone”, “taka” – “under”. Nana Herouni

Boulders and megaliths of Hampi, Karnataka, India.

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Hampi town, Vijayanagara district, east-central Karnataka, India. Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. It was a fortified city.

Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese, say that Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India’s richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal.

The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates; its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins.

Hampi’s ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares (16 sq mi) and it has more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India .

Hampi predates the Vijayanagara Empire, it is mentioned in the Ramayana and the Puranas of Hinduism. The architecture is built from the abundant local stone, its dominant style is Dravidian.

Some surviving buildings predate the Vijayanagara Empire, for example the Manmatha tank near Virupaksha temple, which is dated to about the 9th century.

The recent excavations unearthed archaeological artifacts dating back to the 3rd century BC. The Vijayanagar area has been densely settled for a long period even before the creation of the empire.

by Merike Joosep

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