Vijayanagar Empire was established in south India to resist the Muslim invasion of the Hoysala territory by Mallik Kafur. It was founded by Harihara and his brother Bukka Raya who established the rule of Dharma. The empire remained as the strongest and wealthiest Hindu kingdom for two centuries from 1336 to 1565.
Vijayanagar, situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river became the capital of this empire. The kingdom was spread across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala and Maharashtra. Famous emperors like Proudhadeva Raya, Krishnadeva Raya, Salva Narasimha and Aliya Rama Raya brought glory to the throne of Vijayanagar.
The empire was visited by many foreigners who left descriptions about the prosperity, army and trade. During this period several foreign traders visited and engaged in trade with them. Their main trade items were pearls, coral, elephants, horses, camphor, pepper, sandalwood and musk. They have trade and diplomatic relations with countries such as China, Burma, Malaysia, Persia, and Portugal.
In 1565 at the battle of Talikota, the city was attacked and defeated by the armies of the Muslim sultanates of the Deccan.
Vijayanagar kings promoted art and architecture as evident by the vast ruins of Hampi. The Hampi ruins are scattered over an area of fourteen square miles, known as world's biggest open-air museum.