Set amidst an outstanding boulder- spotted landscape, about 12 km from the town of Hospet in the Bellary District of the Indian state of Karnataka, lays Hampi. This legendary capital of the erstwhile Vijayanagara Dynasty that ruled in South India from the 14th to the 16th Century, is about 26 square kilometers in area and is strewn with rocks of every size and shape conceivable, toppled one over the other in precarious positions. The heritage and the cultural tourism that this city abounds in has made Hampi a must see for all who are thirsty of a taste of a relic from history. Hampi basks in the glory of being one of the biggest open air Museum in the country. In fact the UNESCO has granted Hampi the status of a World Heritage site in 1986
The geographical location of Hampi is most conducive for the successful running of any secular empire. Flanked by the Tungabhadra River on one side and rocky granite stones on the other three, Hampi, located in the Northern part of the Indian State of Karnataka, epitomizes culture, heritage and tradition of the past. The magnificent ruins that the city proudly boasts of blatantly hint at its former opulence in terms of palaces, marvelous temples, massive fortifications, baths, markets, aqueducts, pavilions, stables for royal elephants and elegantly carved pillars. The prosperity of this former civilization can be judged from the historical facts that record the selling of diamonds, pearls, fine silks, brocades, horses and according to one Portuguese visitor, “every sort of thing on earth” in the streets.
In the words of a 15th Century Persian Traveller, Hampi is such a city “…that the pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it, and the ear of intelligence has never been informed that there existed anything to equal it in the world”. .