Hampi, as it is popularly known today was the medieval capital of the Hindu empire Vijayanagara (the City of Victory). Hampi in the Karnataka state of India is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
As the epicenter of Hampi’s attractions, Vittala Temple is the most extravagant architectural showpiece of Hampi. No amount of words can explain this spectacle. The temple is built in the form of a sprawling campus with compound wall and gateway towers. There are many halls, pavilions and temples located inside this campus.
Hampi is identified with the historical Kishkindha, the Vanara (monkey) kingdom mentioned in the Ramayana. The first historical settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE.
Hampi formed one of the core areas of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565, when it was finally laid siege to by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra river on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides.
The site is significant historically and architecturally. The topography abounds with large stones which have been used to make statues of Hindu deities. The Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area, to discover additional artifacts and temples.