Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Karnataka, India. It is also closely related to the Ramayana and Lord Shiva, making it an important place of pilgrimage.

It was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Founded in 1336, it attained its height during the reign of Krishna Devaraya (1509–1529). In 1565, after the Battle of Talikota, Hampi fell to the armies of the Deccan Sultanates, leading to its destruction and the fall of the empire. The antiquity of Hampi can be traced to the Ramayana, where Hampi and its surrounding areas are identified with the kingdom of Kishkindha.

The realm of the Vanara (mythological half-man, half-monkey) brothers Vali and Sugriva and the birthplace of Hanuman, all of whom played a prominent role in the epic. Hampi is home to many communities with historical ties to it as well as those who arrived in search of livelihoods. Hindus form the majority in religion, followed by Muslims, while Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs are present in small numbers. It is also home to the Lambanis, a gypsy tribe that traces their origins to Afghanistan.

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