Hampi, one of the earliest names with which the capital of Vijayanagara was known, is the most celebrated of the medieval Hindu metropolises in the history of India. During its glorious days (14-16th cent.), it had few parallels in the world; the fallen metropolis lies now unsurpassed in its magnificence and splendour.

Hampi, is also aptly called ‘The City carved in stone’ as is an outstanding location of Natural landscape and Archeological remains. Both the works of man and nature have harmoniously blended and it speaks volumes of human endeavor wherein the rugged landscape has been harnessed with utmost dexterity.

Today, HAMPI is a small village, on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra in the Hospet Taluka of the Bellary District of Karnataka and is a well-known centre of Tourism.

In historic times Hampi, as the seat of the Vijayanagara Empire, was famed for its fabulous magnificence and for its protection and promotion of religion and culture.

The site is naturally endowed with great strategic strength. The wide, torrential Tungabhadra on the one hand and the impassable hills and ranges with bare and denuded massive boulders on the other afford strong natural defences which the rulers used to the utmost advantage. These facts no doubt induced the 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 the 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.

The ruins of the imperial city of Vijayanagara are spread over a vast area of about 26 square kilometers 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 Kamalapuram in the south and Hampi in the north.


Hampi is located 353 Kms. from Bangalore, 130 Kms. from Bijapur, 74 Kms. from Bellary, 38 Kms. from Koppal, 12 Kms. from Hospet and Gangavathi. The Hampi World Heritage site is located on the banks of River Tungabhadra which spread in Hospet Taluka of Bellary district and Gangavathi Taluka of Koppal district.

This location was the obvious choice for the capital of the empire, as it is naturally fortified and protected on all sides; in the north by the mighty Tungabhadra River and on the other three sides by steep, Rocky Mountains with massive boulders of granite. The treacherous terrain provided ample defense, and the few areas of access were well defended. The ruins of Hampi now lie scattered in an approximately 26 square kilometer area, where the land was also fertile and had an abundant water supply.


Hampi is in the River basin of the Tungabhadra in the southern Deccan, the elevated plateau that dominates peninsular India. This is a tributary of the Krishna River that originates in the Western Ghats and flows eastward into the Bay of Bengal.

The unique rocky appearance of the granite landscape was not created by earthquake and upheaval, but by countless millions of years of weathering, first underground before it was exposed by gradual uplift, then by the erosive forces of sun, wind and occasional rain. So even is the grain of the granite that the rock was worn away to create spherical shapes; hence the many rounded and detached boulders, some of which are perched precariously, as if about to roll over.

The Tungabhadra River traverses the Hampi landscape. Flowing in a northeasterly direction the river has cut its way through weaker, more fractured rocky terrain, creating a narrow gorge. For some distance, granite hills hem in the river, the highest of which are Matanga hill on the south bank, rising 115 meters above the river, and Anjanadri hill near the north bank, almost 140 meters high.