Hampi, the city of ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the major historical places of South India. Once upon a time, it was the royal capital of the dominant Vijayanagara Empire. It is presently a ruined town with full of ancient palaces and forts.
Hampi was constructed by Harihara and Ukka in 1336 AD and was noted for wonderful palaces, holy temples, gigantic forts, markets, big pavilions, and stables of royal elephants. It is a hub of many monuments, nearly 500 in number and each of which has a story to tell. It's a case of a wonderful past history, reaching the pinnacle of splendor and then faltering to a decline of non-maintenance and utter neglect. It is, however, a thriving paradise for tourists. The area of Hampi is surrounded by the passionate river Tungabhadra in north and other three sides by rough rocky granite stones.
There is a miraculous worth to the ruins of Hampi even after 650 years after the empire of Krishna - Devaraya has been forgotten into history. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been making hard work to refurbish the structures in Hampi. Hampi is an abode of architecture and culture with lot of ancient temples and monuments.
Hampi is a sanctified place for the Hindus as it is Pampakshethra - home of Pampa, the daughter of Lord Brahma and wedded to Shiva.
During ancient times, Hampi had been a thriving commercial center, with the trade of horses and gems. Wonderfully, it is said that diamonds were sold on the streets! At present, Hampi's economy is largely dependend on agricultural and mining. The area is highly rich in manganese and iron ores. With the status of a World Heritage site, tourism is another major factor of economy in Hampi.
Hampi has a number of festivals throughout the year - both cultural and religious. The most celebrated festival is the Vijaya Utsav, known as Hampi Festival, held for three days during November. This is a cultural carnival attracting many tourists, showcasing special puppetry shows, music and dance followed by fireworks and a procession culminating the end of the festival.