You can access these places directly or via transit towns from Hampi by road, rail or air.
In size Karnataka is a large south Indian state (a bit smaller in size than UK & a bit bigger than Washington state of USA). From a heritage point, it is one of the most diverse in India.
The known history of this place dates back to 4th century BCE or even beyond. Over the many centuries various dynasties and empires ruled the state.
And the legacy of it all essentially forms the rich heritage of Karnataka.
South Karnataka: The 300km or so arc connecting Kolar,Bangalore,Mandya, Mysore and Chamarajanagara is faboulous for its variety from the attractions point of view. Be the (overrated!) Nandi Hills or the sand dunes of Thalakkadu to the architectural extravaganza of Belur and Halebid , this south most region of Karnataka, fringes the Western Ghats never fails an inquisitive explorer. The flagship attractions like Mysore , Nagarhole and Bandipur apart, this part of Karnataka has a few hidden gems too. The popular ones include Bheemeswari , Kokkerebellur , Mekedatu , Shivanasamudram , Srirangapatna , Sangam , Thonnur Kere , Brindavan Gardens (KRS) , Somnathpur , Malemahadeswhara (MM Hills) , Gopalswamy Betta , Sravanabelagola and of course the neighboring Coorg district. Be it heritage, wildlife, nature, river, falls,camping or adventure south Karnataka has it all, the only this probably you'll miss is a beach!
Location of Karnataka state on India Map
See Also : Karnataka
The list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India
The beauty of the Hoysala templs , particularly its intricate carvings owes a lot to one material - Soapstone. Unlike granite, sandstone and marble used in the construction of most of India's ancient monuments, soapstone is softer with some peculiar properties that set it apar from the former materials. To give you an idea , the softer version of the soapstone can be carved even with your finger nail.