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30 of the most beautiful places in the world

July 8, 2014, 9:01 a.m.
Hampi India

Photo: Jool-yan/Shutterstock

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Hampi

Located in the northern state of Karnataka in India, the ruins of Hampi represent the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, which was in power for several hundred years starting in the 14th century. The bewitching, crumbling remnants of temples, palaces, aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, military forts and municipal buildings are among the more than 500 monuments scattered amid a wild landscape of giant boulders, palm groves, banana plantations and paddy fields. The hauntingly beautiful ruins spread out over an area of nearly 10 square miles, like an offbeat amusement park paying homage to antiquities and the ghosts of empires past.