Founded in the middle of the
in thewake of the invasion of South India by the armies ofthe Delhi sultans, Vijayanagara became the seat of aline of powerful Hindu emperors.During the next 200 years, they established theirauthority over a territory that encompassed thediverse populations of southern India, includingpresent-day
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala,and Tamil Nadu.
The rulers competed with the rajas of Orissa andthe sultans of the Deccan kingdoms that layimmediately to the north.In
, the Vijayanagara army lost a major battle,and the capital was subsequently abandoned andsacked.The court shifted to
where the kings ruled over theirdwindling domains until the middle of the 17thcentury.