Within the past two decades, a considerable amount of research has been done on the layout, architecture, and art of Hampi, indentified with the 14th- to 16th-century imperial city of Vijayanagara.
Taking into account the most recent discoveries and interpretations at this largest and grandest of all South Indian urban sites, John M. Fritz and George Michell, who are co-directors of the Vijayanagara Research Project, have assembled here a group of scholars and the wide range of topics covered by them illustrates the inter-disciplinary nature of the project.
The first few articles examine structures in the Sacred Center and Royal Center of Vijayanagara where documentation, photography, mapping and new discoveries have lead to fresh interpretations. Also examined is the water supply system with which Vijayanagara was provided and upon which its population depended. Vijayanagara incorporated a vast hinterland with extensive fortifications, hydraulic works, and residential and craft production centers, traces of which can still be seen, and which are the subject of an article.
Considered too are the spatial and cosmic relationships between the magnificent landscape in which the ruins of Vijayanagara are disposed, and its principle religious monuments.Hampi is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List, but its unique natural and archaeological legacy faces innumerable threats. The final artical sets out the essential principles on which any future management plan of the site must be based.This volume is richly illustrated in color with specially commissioned photographs by Clare Arni who has worked extensively all over South India.