Hampi (Hampe) is a village and temple town recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi. in northern Karnataka, India. It was one of the richest and largest cities in the world during its prime. It is located within the ruins of the city ofVijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple and several other monuments belonging to the old city. According to statistics of 2014, Hampi is the most searched historical place in Karnataka on Google. The empire boasted a massive army comprising close to a million men. In around 1500 AD Vijaynagar had about 500,000 inhabitants (supporting 0.1% of the global population during 1440-1540), making it the second largest city in the world after Beijing and almost thrice the size of Paris.
Hampi is charismatic even in its ruined state, attracting thousands of visitors every year. Vast stretches of boulder-strewn hills make the backdrop of Hampi unique. Dotted around the hills and valleys are 500 plus monuments.
Among them are beautiful temples, ruins of palaces, remains of aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings… the list is practically endless. Hampi is a backpacker’s paradise, the same way a pilgrim’s delight.
In Hampi at every turn there is a surprise. Every monument hides more than what they reveal.