Posted on: 2 January 2017

Digital Rare book:
A Sketch of the Dynasties of Southern India
By Robert Sewell
Printed by E.Keys at The Government Press, Madras - 1883

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Hampi (Vijayanagar) Bellary District: Eastern Gopura, Krishna Temple Complex, Hemakuta Hill - 1856
Photograph by Alexander Greenlaw

This photograph shows the eastern gopura of the Krishna temple complex, Hemakuta Hill, Hampi (Vijayanagara).

Vijayanagara, meaning ‘city of victory’ was the imperial capital of the last great Hindu empire to rule south India. Established in 1336 and named after its capital, the Vijayanagara empire expanded and prospered throughout the next century. In 1565, this impressive city was sacked by armies from the Deccan sultanates and never rebuilt. Now known as the ‘Group of Monuments at Hampi’, the site represents the empire’s finest and highest concentration of architecture. Classified into religious, courtly and military buildings, its pillared audience halls and towering gateways are its stylistic hallmarks. Many secular buildings bear Islamic features, displaying the city’s cosmopolitan inception. Some of its religious complexes remain in use today.

Amateur British colonial photographer, Alexander Greenlaw was the first to extensively photograph the site in 1855-56. The resulting series of waxed paper negatives were made available to the V&A and printed in 1910. These are the earliest known prints.

Text and image credit:
Copyright: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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Hoysaleswar temple dedicated to Shiva. was built in Halebid during Hoysala Empire rule in the 12th century by King Vishnuvardhana. The construction was completed in 1121 CE. During the early 14th century, Halebidu was sacked and looted by Muslim invaders from northern India and the temple fell into a state of ruin and neglect

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