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The Vijayanagara Empire (also called Karnata Empire and the Kingdom of Bisnegar by the Portuguese) was based in the Deccan Plateau region inSouth India. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of Sangama Dynasty. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasionsby the end of the 13th century. It lasted until 1646, although its power declined after a major military defeat in 1565 by the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose ruins surround present day Hampi, now a World Heritage Site in KarnatakaIndia. The writings of medieval European travelers such as Domingo PaesFernão Nunes, and Niccolò Da Conti, and the literature in local languages provide crucial information about its history. Archaeological excavations at Vijayanagara have revealed the empire's power and wealth.
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