From atop the Matanga Hill at daybreak, Hampi is every inch the capital city of a golden empire. Though what lies before are but the bones of an enchantress, who once had the whole world in her sway, Hampi is far from what one would call ruins. Once visited by the Portuguese, Arabs, Persians and Orientals, the capital city of Vijayanagara, has only grown in popularity across the centuries. And no surprise that! Every bend in the road is punctuated by a 14th century, if not older, temple; perched on nearly every hillock is a four-pillared canopy-like monument and its entire horizon, pixilated by huge gestalt-ish boulders.The regal 9-storey tall gopura of the Virupaksha Temple, where Siva is believed to have married Parvati, watches over the city like a specially-appointed god - its memory of magnificence and grandeur forever etched in stone.