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Hampi is also referred to a Virupakshapura, Vidyanagara and Vijayanagar. In course of time, this capital city developed into a sprawling metropolis with the establishment of suburbs of Krishnapura, Nagalapura, Tirumalapura and others. Lord Virupaksha became the patron deity of Vijayanagar rulers and they used the word " VIRUPAKSHA " as their insignia.

The city was founded in 1336 by two brothers Harihara (also called Hakka) and Bukka who had been taken as prisoners of war by the Delhi Sultan, Mohammed-bin-Tuglak in 1326-1327, when the Chalukyan kingdom of Kampili near Hampi was overthrown. Harihara and Bukka seem to have been model prisoners, because when his southern provinces began to get rebellious, the sultan sent back the brothers to restore order. Restore order they did, and so successfully that they were soon able to set up an independent kingdom. The Vijayanagar Empire grew in strength and splendor and resisted all onslaughts till 1565 when the then Vijayanagar commander Rama Raya was defeated by a confederation of Muslim kings and the capital city was ransacked.

The Vijayanagar rulers were in power from 1336 till the battle of Rakkasa -Tangadi in 1565. After the disastrous battle, the rulers shifted their capital from Hampi, which never recovered its past glory and is in a ruined state till today. The disaster of the 1565 defeat can still be seen in the ruins of the imperial-city. Workmen seem to have fled, abandoning their tools by the side of the river. The broken kingdom came under the Moghul rule in 1689 and was later annexed by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1780.


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