Former Hindu kingdom, southern India, south of the Krishna River. Founded in 1336, it became the greatest empire of southern India and for more than two centuries served as a barrier against Muslim raiders from the north. It was an important centre of Hindu culture and Dravidian art. Its downfall began with the defeat at Talikota (1565) by a confederacy of Deccan Muslim sultans; the empire dissolved c. 1614. The kingdom's capital, Vijayanagar, was destroyed in 1565. Its ruined site is located at modern Hampi, in southeastern Karnataka.