Hampi ruins, Karnataka..
The fascinating ancient ruins of Hampi are one of the top 5 travel destinations in Karnataka, as well as one of India's top historical destinations. Yet, Hampi has also attracted plenty of hippies because of its secluded environment and chilled out guesthouses.
Hampi's days a hippie haven could be over though. A visiting UNESCO team recently threatened to remove Hampi from its list of World Heritage sites unless illegal constructions and drug peddling are cleaned up.
The Hampi Development Authority has now launched a demolition drive to "cleanse the temple town and restore it to its golden era''. Interesting, it's turned up a few unexpected treasures of the Vijayanagar Empire.
Knocking down more than 250 illegal constructions along Virupaksha Bazaar Street, near the famous Virupaksha Temple, has revealed a number of artifacts including statues, pillars, and even an underground floor. Further excavations are expected to uncover more. Some archeologists are even hoping for a discovery as big as the find at the Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala. Let's wait and see!