It is situated on the southern bank of the river Tungabhadra and is surrounded by rocky mountains. Earlier, Anegundi, the nearby ancient city, was the Capital. Later the capital was shifted to Hampi from Anegundi. According to mythology this area was Pampa Sarovar and the capital of vali mentioned in the Ramayan. It was called Pampa Kshetra. Anl 1th century inscription and a 7th century Chalukya inscription call it Pampa Kshetra. According to another inscription it was Pampapathi Mahakula. Literary sources and some other inscriptions give it various names.
Virupaxapura, Hosapattana, Hosa Hampi Pattana, Hastinavathi, Hampi Hastinavati, Kunjarakona, Vidyanagar, Anegundi, etc.
The founders of Vijayanagar were selfless and broad-minded. Their aim was to prote ctculture, increase knowledge and encourage literature. Their royal seal bore the picture of Varaha since it is believed that God Vishnu incarnated as Varaha to destroy the gaint Hiranya who had confiscated the earth. This seal signified their goal.