Pencil sketch of Mackenzie’s map of Vijayanagar
Artist: MacKenzie, Colin (1754-1821)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil sketch map by Colin MacKenzie of the site of Vijayanagara in Karnataka, dated 1793-1806. This sketch is taken from an album of 56 sheets of drawings (60 folios) mainly of miscellaneous architecture and sculpture in the Deccan and S. India, dated 1793-1806.
This is the pencil sketch first map of the site of Vijayanagara that was prepared by Colonel Colin MacKenzie around 1800. Vijayanagara, the "City of Victory", founded by the brothers Harihara and Bukka in 1336, was the capital of the most powerful Hindu kingdom in Southern India until the defeat by the Muslim armies in 1565. The city was established on the site of the village of Hampi situated in a spectacular rocky landscape along the southern bank of the Tungabhadra river and covered an area of at least twenty-six square kilometers. This natural setting offered natural protection and had important mythological significance as the river and the surrounding hills were associated with episodes from the Ramayana epic. Despite a pillage of six month after the defeat of the Battle of Talikota, numerous structures have survived. The ruins of the royal town incorporate distinct zones. On the south bank of the Tungabhadra river, around the village of Hampi, there are temples and small shrines that form the sacred centre. An irrigated valley to the south separates this area from the fortified urban core enclosed by massive fortifications. This contains temples, gateways, tanks and wells. At the south-western end there is the royal centre surrounded by high granite walls.