According to some Hindu traditions, Hampi is the site of Kishkinda from the epic Ramayana, the forested home of the monkeys who helped Rama’s wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. More recently it was the capital of the Hindu Vijayanagar Empire, which flourished in the mid-14th to mid-16th century. Hampi was one of the richest and largest cities in the world during its prime. The empire boasted a massive army comprising close to a million men. It was abandoned following defeat of the Vijayanagar kings to the Deccan sultanates in 1565. The site is significant historically and architecturally, and one of exceptional beauty.The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is simply gorgeous, surrounded by water, hills and huge boulders of stone.