The once capital city of the powerful Vijayanagar Empire, it was founded in 1336, though some parts of the city date back to even earlier, and was abandoned after 1565. The ruins are still visible, and exquisite cultural remains can be found in the historical monuments and architecture, in the palaces, temples, fortifications, baths, markets, aqueducts, pavilions, and carved pillars. These magical ruins are surrounded by granite boulders, and the tumultuous Tungabhadra River, giving visitors a sojourn into the past. A World Heritage Site, Hampi’s structure and ruins can be divided into two areas, generally referred to as the Royal Centre and the Sacred Centre. The Royal Centre contains structures that were palaces, pavilions, and temples. The Sacred Centre is situated along the banks of the holy Tungabhadra river. Places of interest in Hampi include: Virupaksha temple, Hemakunta Hill, Vittala Temple, Sule Bazar, Achutaraya Temple, Purandaradasa Mandapa, Lotus Mahal, and elephant stables.