Hampi: Stone age of 21st Century
One of the UNESCO World Heritage site, located in city of Hospet, Hampi had a glorious past and reinforcing present. Located in the ruins of Vijanagara, the capital of Vijaynagar Empire, Hampi attracts thousands of visitors every year. Once you are in hampi, it will feel like a stone age from the past buried in the present. Vast stretches of boulder-strewn hills make a unique backdrop for hampi. In between there are many monuments of interest dating back to history making it a world of lost wonders.
Major attraction in Hampi
Vittala Temple is one of the most splendid structures of Hampi. This extravagant architectural wonder was built in the 16th century. The temple is famous for its intricately carved pillars and a huge stone chariot that stands inside the temple complex.
Virupaksha temple is considered to be the oldest temple in Hampi. The main attractions of the temple include a sprawling temple complex having beautifully carved stone pillars, towering gateways, a huge temple kitchen, large halls and attractive lamp posts. It is a famous pilgrimage site as well as a popular tourist spot.
The Royal Enclosure is a fortified area that spreads across hundreds of square metres of land. This area was the seat of power of the Vijayanagara Empire. It has many interesting structures that attract visitors even in their ruined conditions. Imposing structures like the Dassera Platform and the King’s Audience Hall are part of the Royal Enclosure.
Kadalekalu Ganesha is a giant statue of Lord Ganesha. The speciality of the towering statue is that it was carved out of a single stone. The statue is situated inside a beautiful shrine that overlooks the lovely surroundings of the Hemakuta Hill in Hampi.
Sasivekalu Ganesha is a 8 feet high statue of Lord Ganesha that stands inside an open pavilion. The statue has a snake tied around its tummy. The statue dates back to the 16th century AD. It is one of the most frequented sites of Hampi.
The Krishna Temple is one of the most popular temples in Hampi. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna as an infant. The temple has spectacular carvings on its walls and entrances. Several small shrines and pillared halls dot the campus of the temple.
Hazara Rama Temple:
The Hazara Rama Temple is a significant shrine in Hampi. It was once the private temple of the kings and the royal family of the Vijayanagara Empire. The reigning deity of the temple is Lord Rama. The temple is known for its bas relics and panels that depict the story of Ramayana.
The Pattabhirama Temple is a large temple that stands within a sprawling campus. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Rama. The beautiful temple is known for its intricate architecture and is very popular among the tourists.
The Lotus Mahal or Kamal Mahal is a grand structure that stands within the Zenana enclosure or the secluded area that was reserved for the royal women of the Vijayanagara Empire. The speciality of the structure is that it showcases a blend of the splendid Vijayanagara architecture and the impressive Islamic style of architecture.
The Elephant Stables in Hampi is one of the major tourist attractions of the ruined village. The stables are also one of the least destroyed structures of Hampi. The stables comprise of a long building with a row of domed chambers. The chambers were the resting place of the royal elephants of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Hampi Bazaar was a thriving market during the glorious days of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Hampi Bazaar is located in front of the Virupaksha Temple. It was once a flourishing market where merchants from various foreign lands used to sell attractive and unusual items. Today the bazaar sells local artefacts and is often visited by tourists.
The Achyutaraya temple is a fine structure that represents the beauty of the Vijayanagara style of architecture. The temple is dedicated to Lord Tiruvengalanatha, a form of Vishnu. The structure of the temple complex is a unique one as it has two enclosures instead of one enclosure, as is the general norm.
The Chandramauleshwar Temple is a major attraction of visitors on the Hampi trail. This 900 year old temple is a fine example of the craftsmanship of the Vijayanagara workers who had the skill and creativity to build such beautiful stone monuments. The temple is considered to be a Monument of National Importance.
The Archaeological Museum at Kamalapura in Hampi is a treasure trove of historical artefacts and ancient relics. The museum is a significant one as it has rare and unique collections of sculptures and artefacts that belong to the Vijayanagara Empire as well as the British rulers of Hampi.
Gagan Mahal (Old Palace):
The Gagan Mahal or the Old Palace in Hampi is a historical structure. The palace was of great importance during the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire. The ancient palace dates back to the 16th century. It is one of the main attractions of Hampi. It is famous for the intricate carvings on the walls and the decorated balconies.