Photograph of the ruins at Vijayanagara from the 'Photographs to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Southern Indian' collection taken by Edmund David Lyon in c. 1868. Vijayanagara, the City of Victory, was the most powerful Hindu kingdom in Southern India from 1336 until the defeat by the Muslim armies in 1565. It was built on the bank of the Tungabhadra River and is surrounded by granite hills. The ruins of this vast royal city incorporate distinct zones and are divided into two main groups, the sacred centre and the royal centre. The royal centre was the residential area of the royal household and included zones associated with the ceremonial, administrative and military functions of the rulers. Lyon gives the following description of this photograph: 'From the same elevated position, inside what was formerly the Court of the Harem, this view was also taken. It represents another portion of the same wall, and also another of the curious towers placed at each of its different angles. Outside the enclosure is seen, close to the tower, one of the porches, which literally are to be found in countless numbers over every part of the ground once occupied by this city, while the rocks seen in the background give a good idea of the curious formation of the country.'