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. The Ramachandra Temple is situated in the royal centre and dates from the 15th century. It is dedicated to the cult of Rama and was most likely used as the state chapel by the Vijayanagara rulers. The main temple, set in the centre of a rectangular compound, is richly carved with reliefs depicting royal scenes and scenes from the Ramayana epic. This is a view looking along the base of the wall, showing craved figures and pilasters, with a man seated at the right to indicate scale.