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The extant monuments of Vijayanagara or Hampi can be divided into Religious, Civil & Military buildings.The Jain temples on Hemakuta hill, the two Devi shrines and some other structures in the Virupaksha temple complex predate the Vijayanagara Empire.The ruins of Hampi were discovered by Scottish Colonel Colin Mackenzie in 1800, when he was the first Surveyor General of India.

Over the years, it has also been referred to as Vijayanagara and Virupakshapura (from Virupaksha, the patron deity of the Vijayanagara rulers).Emperor Ashoka's Rock Edicts in Nittur & Udegolan (both in Bellary district) suggest that this region was part of the Maurya Empire during the 3rd century BC.The city of Vijayanagara was originally encompassed by seven lines of fortifications, which had many bastions and gateways.The seventh & the innermost fortification enclosed the main city and is the best preserved.The temple contains the images of foreigners like Persians selling horses.

Non-profit organization Global Heritage Fund (GHF), the Hampi Foundation, Cornell University, and the State of Karnataka, have been actively involved in the conservation of Hampi's unique cultural heritage.

The Islamic Quarter, sometimes called the Moorish Quarter, is located between the northern slope of the Malyavanta hill and the Talarigatta Gate.

According to archaeologists, high-ranking Muslim officers of the king's court and military officers lived in this area.

The landscape abounds with large stones which have been used to make statues of Jaina deities.

The Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area to search for additional artifacts and temples.

Hampi — traditionally known as Pampa-kshetra, Kishkindha-kshetra or Bhaskara-kshetra — is derived from Pampa, the old name of the Tungabhadra River (Pampa was Lord Brahma's daughter, who was later married to Lord Shiva) on whose southern banks the city is built.