Hampi, the capital of the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The towns close to it are Hospete, Kamalapura, Anegundi and Ballari – which is also the district Hampi is in. Many communities living here have had historical ties with the region while many have arrived here over time in search of livelihoods.
The area is rich in minerals and mining is the biggest industry of the region employing many. Hindus form the majority in religion, followed by Muslims while Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs are present in comparably small numbers. Among the Hindus, the most prominent
communities are Kurubaru (shepherds), Bedaru or Valmiki (historically foot soldiers in the king’s armies), Vaddaru (stone masons), Gollaru (Cowherds) and Madagiru (dyers and fishermen). Other migrant communities of the region are occupation based such as the Akkasalis (goldsmiths), Kumbaras (potters), Banajiga (bangle sellers), Nekararus (weavers), Edigaru (toddy tappers) and the Settys who are traders. Many of them are now engaged as small farmers, taking advantage of the large irrigated areas of Hospet, Anegundi and Ballari.
Kannada and Telugu are the two primary languages of the region.