Join Environmental Graffiti on a grand journey to visit the seven lost cities of India: you’ll learn about bustling sea ports, prosperous centres of trade, beautiful houses of worship and powerhouse capital cities of great empires. Although these cities eventually fell to war or natural disaster, their legacies live on in majestic temples preserved as World Heritage Sites or transformed into museums and galleries, sophisticated art pieces and modern day reliance on the knowledge and age-old techniques developed by the citizens of ancient cities in agriculture, bead-making and metallurgy. So what are you waiting for? Hop on and enjoy the ride back in time.
1. Vijayanagara Empire
Virupaksha Temple at Hampi
Sangama dynasty princes Harihara I and Bukka Raya I founded Vijayanagara in 1336. This mighty city was the capital of an empire of the same name, one of the largest superpowers in Hindu history. The golden years of this Indian realm lasted about 20 years, from 1509-29, under Krishnadevaraya. During this time, the city itself covered 33 sq km and the empire stretched across almost the entire peninsula south of the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra.
Agricultural riches brought material wealth to the empire, which was also busy with international trade. But as with many powerful domains, the empire eventually fell; collapsing under the attack of Deccan sultans in 1565, the empire never recovered, and was finally conquered in 1646 by the Sultanates of Bijapur and Golkonda. The city’s ruins are now designated as a World Heritage Site, and surround modern Hampi in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.