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Hampi is a small village on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River in the Hospet Taluk of the Bellary District of Karnataka and is a well-known centre of pilgrimage. The place has been identified as a Kishkinda-kshetra of the Ramayanass. In historic times Hampi, as the seat of the Vijayanagara Empire, was famed for its fabulous magnificence and for its protection and promotion of Hindu religion and culture. Hampi is situated in picturesque surroundings amidst striking and beautiful scenery depicting nature at its wildest and best. The site is naturally endowed with great strategic strength. The wide, torrential almost unfordable Tungabhadra on the one hand and the impassable craggy hills and ranges with bare and denuded massive boulders and tors on the other afford strong natural defences which the rulers used to the utmost advantage. These facts no doubt induced of Vijayanagara rulers to choose this site as their splendid imperial capital which was the admiration of the contemporary visitors. The city was called "Vijayanagara" or city of victory, or Vidyanagara' in memory of the sage Vidyaranya who is said to have been mainly responsible for the founding of the city. Hampi is also known as Pampa Kshetra, now it is called as Hampi. Hampi has served as the capital city of Vijayanagara Empire more over 200 years (around 1336 AD to 1565 AD). But Hampi fell to the Deccan Sultanates at the battle of Talikot in 1565AD. The sultans who were Vijayanagara's arch enemies razed the city to the ground and looted it for 6 months before abandoning it.
The peculiar landscape adds to the magic of Hampi. The Tungabhadra River flows between Hampi and Anegundi (mythological kingdom of kishkinda and 1st capital of Vijayanagara). The land is strewn with granite boulders acting as a natural fortress. Hampi ruins take you to the medieval ages. One feels to be a part of king Krishnadevaraya's kingdom. The boulder laden landscape gives a feel of the pre-historic age. The blend of both is magical. The craftsmanship seen on the temple walls is mind boggling. The technique to cut boulders is superb. As you explore more you realise that the Vijayanagara people carved a paradise out of stone. The traditional culture of Hampi will drag your mind to be a witness of this culture and architecture. Vijayanagara rulers decorated and designed this city with lots of lovely temples, palaces, market streets and monuments which made this location one of the famous ancient metropolises in India. The ruins of the imperial city of Vijayanagara are spread over a vast area of about 26 square kilometres covering several modern villages, while the outer lines of its fortifications include a still larger area. The monuments, which are popularly known as the Hampi ruins, are mainly situated between the villages of Hampi in the north and Kamalapura in the south. This super ancient landscape is selected as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1986.