Robert Sewell was a british historian who spent a large part of his life studying the Vijayanagara empire. In his book, he writes
"There were no "mountains" properly so called at Vijayanagar; only a confused and tumbled mass of rocky hills, some rising to considerable altitude. The extent of its lines of defenses was extraordinary. Lofty and massive stone walls everywhere crossed the valleys, and led up to and mounted over the hillsides. The outer lines stretched unbroken across the level country for several miles. The hollows and valleys between the boulder-covered heights were filled with habitations, poor and squalid doubtless, in most instances, but interspersed with the stone-built dwellings of the nobles, merchants, and upper classes of the vast community; except where the elaborately constructed water-channels of the Rayas enabled the land to be irrigated; and in these parts rich gardens and woods, and luxurious crops of rice and sugar-cane, abounded. Here and there were wonderfully carved temples and fanes to Hindu deities, with Brahmanical colleges and schools attached to the more important amongst their number."
Even today, one can catch a fleeting glimpse of the grandeur while walking down the streets of the crown jewel of vijayanagara empire.