Hampi’s boulder strewn, temple filled landscape is the former site of India’s massive Vijayanagara empire. Also called the Karnata Empire, it flourished from the 14th to 17th centuries. The empire, at its height, included virtually all of southern India. Hampi, the empires‘s former capital, is a UNESCO site and one of the most impressive cultural sites in India. Most visitors to Hampi are domestic tourists and pilgrims (it’s Hindu temples are highly revered) with fewer than 50,000 international tourists per year. While a bit off the beaten path for most Westerners visiting India, it’s well worth the effort.