yes, ghostwriter, it is a very good idea for all of us nationalists to troop to hampi, to view what i consider the true 'teardrop on the face of time' -- the wantonly destroyed city, which at its peak was the world's largest and richest city, with a spread of 550 sq. kilometers. huge, it was, and enormously wealthy.
here is what i wrote in some unpublished material about how vijayanagar saved south india and preserved its civilization:
The South had the good fortune to be protected by that great bulwark: Vijayanagar. During the time of this empire, there was a flowering of the intellect south of the Vindhyas, while the north was engaged in warfare. For instance, there is the little-known Kerala School of Mathematics and Astronomy around 1400 CE, which invented the ideas of the calculus and infinite series.
For 300 years, Vijayanagar – this under-appreciated, 'forgotten empire' – ensured that traditional Indian-ness remained un-extinguished. And that is the simple answer for why the South is better off: because of Vijayanagar, which ensured cultural continuity. To support that point, in the South the areas that are most under-developed today have large Mohammedan populations: parts of Andhra, northern Karnataka, and Malabar in Kerala, i.e. places that faced jihads, violent conversions and loss of cultural continuity.
both the glory and the destruction are amazing. it had seven huge bazaars, each of which are the equivalent of a giant shopping mall (one is a kilometer long) where according to contemporary travelers, they sold gemstones by the liter, not individually -- they were so abundant. and one of the bazaars was the prostitutes' bazaar -- there were that many customers for ladies of the evening!
and when the mohammedans won a victory -- apparently because mohammedan generals in the vijayanagar army turned coat and beheaded the 90-year-old king during the battle to ensure their fellow-mohammedans' victory -- they burned the city for six months! they wanted to reduce the place to ashes and the erase the civilization of the place. the only thing that survives are mutilated stone sculptures, but they are themselves so magnificent you would think that the entire citizenry did nothing but sculpt the whole time.
and this is the reason that marxist 'historians' have downplayed vijayanagar -- because it was the biggest obstacle to mohammedan advances and shows how hindus resisted mohammedanism fiercely; it shows how incredibly prosperous india was and could be again; and it shows how, protected by vijayanagar, hindu culture survived in the south, which is the reason the south is now doing well.
all of which negate the hogwash perpetrated by the 'eminent donkeys'.
best book on the history of vijayanagar is this ebook freely downloadable from the web:
a forgotten empire, vijayanagar
i have some other books of pictures that i bought in hampi, for instance:
hampi, from the dept of archaeology, karnataka, photos by t s satyan, text by srinivasachar