Hampi is a village close to the city of Hospet to the north of Bangalore.
Until it was destroyed by Muslim invaders during the 16th century, the city of VIJANAGARA rivalled ancient Rome (at its zenith) in size, wealth, and splendour.
Today, the extensive ruins of this enormous metropolis may be visited and viewed. they are ranged around the village of Hampi.
When I first visited Hampi in early 1996, accompanied by our 9 month old daughter, it was relatively unvisited and unregulated. One could wander wherever without encountering barriers or having to pay entry fees. During later visits, we discovered that walls and fences had been erected to separate off several of the more significant ruined edifices, and also entry fees had to be paid to see these. In addition, many of the mouments, notably the Vitthara (musical) Temple, had been vandalised or allowed to deteriorate badly. Shoddy repair work has also detracted from the beauty of some of these monuments.
NEVERTHELESS, Hampi remains one of the most remarkable archaeological sites (and sights) in southern India. It is well-worth a visit despite my comments.
Hampi is particularly interesting because the ruins pre-Moslem era buildings mingle with those of buildings displaying Islamic architectural styles.
The state-run KSTDC Mayura Hotel is well located for visiting the ruins, but suffered from poor management when we last visited it several years ago.
Here are a few photos that I have taken at Hampi during several visits to it made over several years.