The glory of Vijayanagara Empire has inspired and fascinated many a writer and historian but its significance in terms of the religious ethos has to received due attention it deserves. Particularly the religious cults, which profoundly influenced the religious, social and cultural life of the people during the Vijayanagara period, have not been taken up for indepth investigation. The present work, it is hoped, may fulfill the longfelt requirement in this direction.
The work is devoted to a study of the popular religious cults of Virupaksa, Virabhadra, Ganesa, Narasimha, Rama, Krsna, Venkatesvara, Vithala and Hanuman in the Vijayanagara Empire. The work highlights the historical perspective, developmental process, regional trends, iconography of cult deities, evolution of concepts and their impact on socio-cultural groups. All the available sources of information-epigraphical records, literary works and sculptures of the Vijayanagara period have been utilized to present a comprehensive picture of the religious cults.