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The name both of a once great city (previously known as Hampī, the modern Vidyānagara) in central Karnataka, and of the renowned South Indian Hindu empire (14th–16th century), encompassing much of the Deccan, which was named after it. Under the patronage of kings such as Deva Rāya I (r. 1422–46), Kṛṣṇadeva Rāya (r. 1509–29), and Acyuta (r. 1529–42) many large temples were built, such as the great Viṭṭhala temple, and the Tiruveṅgalanātha (Acyuta Rāya) Vaiṣṇava temple complex, both now in a ruined state at Vijayanagara itself. A number of temples were also dedicated to Śiva as Virūpākṣa, the guardian deity of the dynasty. The empire was eventually defeated by the Muslim sultans to the north in 1565, and the city sacked.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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