"Hampi" was the capital of Vijayanagar, a 14th century empire. The ruins of this imperial capital are spread out over an area of 26km². "A Forgotten Empire" (ISBN 1419101250) by Robert Sewell is an interesting book which describes the rise and fall of the Vijayanagar empire. Before the fall of Vijayanagar, diamonds were sold on the streets, but the main street selling diamonds and other precious stones was surprisingly called Pan Supaari Street (translated in English, it means betel-leaf betel-nut street). A visitor can still see the exact location of Pan Supaari Street in Hampi, which has been marked with a board by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Hampi is a visual delight, especially due to its stark contrast from most other places. Rocks are all you see whichever direction you look at. Vegetation is visible in the wet months; but again it never dominates the landscape. It is an ideal spot for people who are interested in history and/or nature.

Hampi traditionally known as Pampa-kshetra, Kishkinda-kshetra or Bhaskara-kshetra is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose southern banks the city is built.[3] The name "Hampi" is an anglicized version of the Kannada Hampe (derived from Pampa). Over the years, it has also been referred to as Vijayanagara and Virupakshapura (from Virupaksha, the patron deity of the Vijayanagara rulers).

The emperor Ashoka's minor rock edicts in Nittur & Udegolan (both in Bellary district) leads one to believe that this region was within the Ashokan kingdom during the 3rd century BC. A Brahmi inscription & a terracotta seal dating to the 2nd century AD.

Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. It is 353 km from Bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary. Hosapete(Hospet), 13 km away, is the nearest railway head. Mantralayam, which is also on the banks of Tunghabhadra, in AP is some 150 km away.The principal industries of the village are agriculture, the support of the Virupaksha temple and some other local holy places in the vicinity, as well as tourism.

Religious Buildings
Hampi has various notable Hindu temples with some vedanta mythology inside the temples, some of which are still active places of worship. Among the most notable are:
Achyutaraya Temple
Badavi Linga
Chandramauleshwara Temple
Malyavanta Raghunathaswam
Hazara Rama Temple
Krishna Temple
Vittala Temple
Virupaksha Temple
Yantrodharaka Anjaneya temple