Travel back to the bygone days of the Vijayanagara dynasty. The ruin of the ancient city of Hampi today stands amidst gargantuan boulders. Climb up the 575 steps to the Anjaneya temple to view the sunset and hike atop the Matanga hill for a sublime sunrise, or take a coracle ride across the Tungabhadra river during the wee hours, the only sound breaking the silence being the swish-swash of the oar dipping in the water. Nature and history at their best—barren mountains, lush coconut trees, serene water of the Tungabhadra, a string of historical monuments—this UNESCO World Heritage Site is slowly getting featured on the traveller’s map.
Vijayanagara (literally, ‘the city of victory’) was founded in 1336 in the Deccan region of the Indian subcontinent by two brothers, Hakka and Bukka. The city of about sixteen square miles with over a thousand monuments was built on the banks of the Tungabhadra, a confluence of Tunga and Bhadra rivers. Islamic invasion loomed large as the Delhi Sultanate began to expand its dominion.