India is a land of great kings. There are hundreds of stories of their valour which bring out the flavour of patriotism for the motherland. In a land which is diversified into different regional Hindu kingdoms and cultures, all of them were united for the cause of protecting our Santana Dharma and our motherland from invaders. One such kingdom which was totally dedicated to cause of preserving the Hindu Dharma was the Vijayanagara Dynasty. There is an interesting story about how Hampi became their capital wherein they were inspired by the bravery of animals to build their capital.
Vijayanagara Empire was found by two kings, Harihara Raya and Bukka Raya who were fondly called Hakka and Bukka in the 1343 A.D. They began with a small kingdom on the north banks of Tungabhadra with Anegondi as their capital. The south side of Tungabhadra was a popular site since ancient times, as it was formerly Kishkinda, the capital city of Sugriv and his Vanar kingdom from the times of Ramayan. The place was also called Pampa on the ancient name of Tungabhadra.
Once Hakka and Bukka came hunting to the south banks of Tungabhadra with their army and hunting dogs leading the way to lure animals out of their hiding. After they reached the south bank of Tungabhadra, they saw a group of rabbits and the hunting dogs started chasing them. But miraculously, the rabbits instead of fearing the dogs turned around and started chasing the dogs back. The dogs feared the rabbit’s bravery and ran away. Hakka and Bukka were surprised and awestruck at the fearlessness of the rabbits and wondered on the power of the mystic land.
At that time, the spiritual guru Vidyaranya swami approached them and said that a kingdom built in this place would be a glorious kingdom which would preserve the Hindu Dharma from the invasions of foreigners. Then, with his spiritual powers, he rained a shower of gold coins from the sky to build a new empire on the South banks of Tungabhadra.
This glorious mystic land of bravery came to be known as Hampi and was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire which ruled the whole south of India for four hundred years. Ruled by great kings like Saluva Narasimha Raya, (who built the Tirumala Temple), and Krishna Deva Raya, it contributed in terms of many great war campaigns, temples and artistic contributions all which helped the great Hindu Sanatan Dharm withstand all the challenges of foreign influences and invasions.