A world heritage site, Hampi is the most beautiful and evocative of all the ruins in Karnataka. It was the capital of Vijayanagara kingdom from middle of the 14th century till 1529 AD when it reached its zenith of glory under the ruler Krishnadevaraya. Hampi is full of delightful surprises. Like the King’s balance where kings were weighed against grain, gold or money which was then distributed to the poor, the Queens’ bath with its arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains that once sprayed perfumed water, the two storied Lotus Mahal with recessed archways, the huge Elephant stables, the splendid Vithala temple with it musical pillars and the Stone chariot, the Virupaksha temple – still used for worship, Ugra Narasimha, the 6.7 m tall monolith in granite of the man-lion incarnationof Vishnu, the Pushkarini Tank and the Mahanavami Dibba. Many other interesting sites that are still being excavated.