According to rock edicts of Emperor Ashoka in Udegolan and Nittur, during the 3rd century BC, this site Hampi remained under the jurisdiction of the Maurya Empire. It saw its first settlements in 1CE.
Hampi remained an integral part of the capital city of the Vijayanagara from 1343 to 1565 – being located in a strategically favourable position with the abounding Tungabhadra River flowing on one side and hilly terrains surrounding the other three.
While the conventional names of the place included ‘Bhaskara-kshetra’, ‘Kishkindha-kshetra’ and ‘Pampa-kshetra’, it derived the name Hampe from the old name of the ‘Tungabhadra River’, ‘Pampa’. ‘Hampe’, the Kannada name was later anglicized as Hampi.
The Deccan Muslim confederacy conquered the city in 1565. It was plundered for more than six months following which it was abandoned. The yesteryear splendour of the place including the royal, cultural and religious systems is manifested from the remains that comprise of around 1600 structures encompassing royal buildings, temples, mandapas, shrines, pillared halls, stables, defence check posts, water structures and gateways among others. These remains speak volumes of the socio-economic and political developments of Hampi.
In 1800 Colin Mackenzie discovered the remains of Hampi. Over the years the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been conducting excavation works in the site. Archaeologists opine that the ‘Islamic Quarter’, also referred as the ‘Moorish Quarter’ built amidst the Talarigatta Gate and the northern slope of the Malyavanta hill were used for residential purpose by the top ranking Muslim officers and military officers of the king.
Hence, by considering all the historical monuments, and ancient architectural facts it is well-known as the city of architectural splendour.