Hampi is an Indian village located within the boundaries of the ruined city of Vijayanagara,the former capital of Vijayanagara kingdom,north of the state of Karnataka,in the valley of the Tungabhadra. Vijayanagara was once the capital of one of the largest Hindu empires. This empire was founded by the Telugu princes in 1336 and peaked in the sixteenth century. At that time,the city was described by foreign travelers as fabulously wealthy (the empire controlled the regional trade of cotton and spices) and probably had up to half a million people-a population that was substantial at the time. The city was surrounded by seven fortified walls and covered an area of 43 km2
. After the defeat in 1565 of the empire against the coalition of Muslim sultanates of the Deccan during the Battle of Talikota,the empire collapsed abruptly and the city was plundered and abandoned,leaving a series of remarkable buildings in an unusual and grandionse landscape.