This is a map of Vijaynagar empire. It began at a very tumultuous time in South Indian history, and eventually expanded to bring the entire south in its fold. It was a time when the Mughal emperor Akbar was encompassing territories under his fold in the north, so it is very easy to neglect what was happening in other parts of the country while this happened, but nevertheless, these oft-neglected events impacted Indian history just as much, if not more.
While the rest of the country was rapidly coming under Islamic fold, Hindu art and culture flourished in the Vijaynagar empire. It grew to be an extremely prosperous empire and most of the notable Hindu thinkers of the time were born and brought up here. The capital Vijaynagar made rapid economic strides and quickly went on to become the second largest medieval era city in the world(after Beijing) and became the richest city of India at the time.
Here is what Jawaharlal Nehru mentioned about Vijaynagar in his book “Discovery of India”:
After Timur’s sack of Delhi, North India remained weak and divided up. South India was better off, and the largest and most powerful of the southern kingdoms was Vijayanagar.
This state and city attracted many of the Hindu refugees from the north. From contemporary accounts, it appears that the city was rich and very beautiful—The city is such that eye has not seen nor ear heard of any place resembling it upon earth”, says Abdur-Razzak from Central Asia. There were arcades and magnificent galleries for the bazaars, and rising above them all was the palace of the king surrounded by “many rivulets and streams flowing through channels of cut stone, polished and even.”
The whole city was full of gardens, and because of them, as an Italian visitor in 1420, Nicolo Conti writes, the circumference of the city was sixty miles. A later visitor was Paes, a Portuguese who came in 1522 after having visited the Italian cities of the Renaissance. The city of Vijayanagar, he says, is as “large as Rome and very beautiful to the sight”; it is full of charm and wonder with its innumerable lakes and waterways and fruit gardens. It is “the best-provided city in the world” and “everything abounds.”
The chambers of the palace were a mass of ivory, with roses and lotuses carved in ivory at the top–“it is so rich and beautiful that you would hardly find anywhere, another such.
But alas, this success was going to be short lived
The Deccan Sultanates around Vijaynagar allied against it and the battle happened at Talikota near Vijaynagar. Due to the betrayal of gilani brothers (generals of the muslim contingent in the Vijayanagara army), the Deccan allies were victorious.
Around this time 453 years ago, Vijaynagar was being razed to the ground. The plunder began in January and lasted for six long months. This was the worst attack it had ever seen and Vijaynagar could never rise again. Subsequent rulers were incapable of ruling it Today, Hampi (a part of Vijaynagar) lies in ruins and is a UNESCO world heritage site.
These images are a clear cut-indication of Muslim rulers in India destroying thousands of temples. It is not a myth. Only half-literate pseudo-seculars would say that it’s a myth, because they have an agenda.