The Points South Point of View – The countryside of Karnataka contains many historical gems, which you can still enjoy as an explorer without the crowds. The contrast between rural Karnataka and the vibrant capital of Bangalore is stark – within minutes of leaving the city you enter a land with red earth and vast boulders. Bullock carts carrying loads of sugar cane trundle along the rural roads. The interior was the seat of several dynasties, whose cities now lie in ruins. Hampi the capital of the Vijayanagar empire in the 14th Century, being the best example. The exquisite temples at Belur and Halebid remain fine examples of the Hoysala empire. They are situated between Hampi and Mysore.