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 wrote, 'This is the first view obtained of the ruins of this temple, as it is approached. It is situated close to the river, about two miles from the village of Humpee...The pyramidal tower over the principal entrance, with the porticos on each side for the use of the pilgrims who used to frequent it, are all in ruins...The monolith on the right...was...used to contain a lantern at festivals.'