Hampi, A forgotten empire
Hampi was the imperial capital of Vijayanagar, a 14th century empire. The ruins are spread out over an area of 26km². “A Forgotten Empire” (ISBN 1419101250) by Robert Sewell is an interesting book which describes the rise and fall of the Vijayanagar empire. Before the fall of Vijayanagar, diamonds were sold on the streets, but the main street selling diamonds and other precious stones was surprisingly called Pan Supaari Street (translated in English, it means betel-leaf betel-nut street). A visitor can still see the exact location of Pan Supaari Street in Hampi, which has been marked with a board by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Hampi is well worth the visit. The area is simply stunning and you will be in awe of the millions of boulders surrounding the area. Within this arid landscape lies a little oasis with lush palm, banana, and mango trees nestled near the river.
Hampi is a great place to spend a few days wandering around and discovering the rich, vibrant history while also having a bit of ‘you’ time.
Hampi hosts Hampi Utsav every year during first week of November. It is a visual delight as all the monuments/ruins are lit at night and it is a cultural extravaganza of dance and music. 2010 marked 500 years since the Vijayanagar king Sri Krishnadevaraya ascended to the throne.