We study a system of Kuramoto oscillators arranged on a two-dimensional periodic lattice where the oscillators interact with their nearest neighbors, and all oscillators have the same natural frequency. The initial phases of the oscillators are chosen to be distributed uniformly between (-π,π]. During the relaxation process to the final stationary phase, we observe different features in the phase field of the oscillators: initially, the state is randomly oriented, then clusters form. As time evolves, the size of the clusters increases and vortices that constitute topological defects in the phase field form in the system. These defects, being topological, annihilate in pairs; i.e., a given defect annihilates if it encounters another defect with opposite polarity. Finally, the system ends up either in a completely phase synchronized state in case of complete annihilation or a metastable phase locked state characterized by presence of vortices and antivortices. The basin volumes of the two scenarios are estimated. Finally, we carry out a duality transformation similar to that carried out for the XY model of planar spins on the Hamiltonian version of the Kuramoto model to expose the underlying vortex structure. © 2021 American Physical Society.