Ancient Hampi is like another world. The majority of the monuments are around 500 years old but beautifully preserved. Happily the sites are largely devoid of tourists. Part of the reason is the remote location and rocky topography.
Up until 10 years ago when Hampi was rediscovered, rural Indian families were living in the ruins and temples at Hampi Bazzar. UNESCO put huge pressure on the Indian government who forced the families to relocate. Now they live in a ramshackle settlement just next to the main archaeological dig. Half a dozen guesthouses and restaurants cater for backpackers but facilities are basic. Pressure from UNESCO to protect the area continues however and the town has a nervous temporary feel to it. The best way to see Hampi is by rickshaw. All drivers know the main sites. Pick any direction and go. There are temples and monuments everywhere spread over a huge area. Some under restoration, others still claimed by the jungle, crying out to be explored.