Historically the village of Hampi situated in the northern part of the Karnataka state region in India, served as the former capital of Vijayanagara during the 14th century. According to history, the empire of Vijayanagara was once the most majestic, powerful and wealthy empire in the southern parts of India. Such was the opulent grandeur and prosperity of the kingdom that diamonds were sold on the streets. The main diamond trading street was called ‘Pan Supaari’ Street, which in English translates to betel-leaf and betel-nut Street. Bounded by the banks of the torrential Tungabhadra River on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides, Hampi was chosen as the capital of the empire due to its strategic location. The Deccan Muslim confederacy finally laid siege of Hampi in 1565. Hampi is spread over an area of about 26 square kilometers comprising the ruins of the once mighty empire. The first ancient settlements in Hampi date back to the 1st CE. The name "Hampi" is an anglicized version of ‘Hampe’ which in is derived from Pampa; hence Hampi derived its name from the ancient name of the Tungabhadra River – ‘Pampa’, on whose banks it was built. Over the years, Hampi has also been referred to as Virupakshapura and Vijayanagara. Located amidst the flourishing verdant ambiance of Vidyanagar Township in the Bellary industrial district, preceding the empire of Vijayanagara, the au courant Hampi persists to be a substantial religious center, harboring the Virupaksha Temple, in conjunction with numerous other monuments belonging to the old city. Architecturally and historically significant the site and the ruins have been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The topography is characterized by the abundance of large stones which were also used to design statues of Hindu deities. Regular excavations in the area are conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India, to further discover artifacts and temples. While vacationing in South India, some tourists also like to make a short trip from Bangalore to Hampi by car. Hampi is at a distance of 353 kilometers from Bangalore and 74 kilometers from Bellary. The drive from Bangalore to Hampi by a car takes around 7 hours. Tourists prefer to hire cabs in Bangalore for the trip as it ensures that the journey is both fast and comfortable. Having a vehicle on-call makes commuting in and around the place easy and economical.