Hampi ... An Open Air Museum !
Surreal, stark and yet stunning – you soon run out of words to describe Hampi and its silhouetted monuments, as they stand vigil over time. The name Hampi is derived from ‘Pampa’ – the old name of the Tungabhadra River, on whose banks the capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire was built.
The site was chosen because it had natural defences, in the form of rocky hills on three sides and the river on the fourth. It was a thriving, bustling city till the second half of the 16th century, when it was laid siege to and ultimately overrun by the Sultan of Bijapur.
As legend has it, the city’s temples were ravaged by the invaders and its sandalwood palaces burnt down in an attempt to wipe it clean from popular memory. And so Hampi was forgotten – its stone survivors overwhelmed by jungle growth; until British archaeologists stumbled upon it several many decades later.
The main travellers’ ghetto has traditionally been Hampi Bazaar, a village crammed with budget lodges, shops and restaurants, and towered over by the majestic Virupaksha Temple. Tranquil Virupapur Gaddi, across the river, has become a popular hang-out. However, recent demolitions in both areas have seen businesses closed.
Nearest airprot from Hampi is Jindal Vijaynagar Airport, located 35 kms south of the ruins, with regular flights from Bangalore & Hyderabad..
With it's growing popularity, Hampi now has some fantastic hotels, offering travellers all the comforts & luxury on this cultural journey !
Places of sightseeing at Hampi
Sightseeing in Hampi is packed with a wide vista of culture and a range of engaging activities, giving you a chance to reclaim yourself. Instilled within the tapestry of ancient architecture, the list of places to visit in Hampi is detailed and will never cease to amaze you. Hampi which is known as worlds largest open air museum for history, architecture and religion has been declared as world heritage site by UNESCO.
VITTHALA TEMPLE : The temple is now a tourist attraction however was under active worship till 1565. The main temple was dedicated to lord Vishnu .The temple is famous for Musical Pillars and the eminent Stone Chariot located at the center of the temple.
THE ROYAL ENCLOSURE : The Royal Enclosure is the nucleus of Hampi city, occupying an area of 59,000 sq m
HAZARA RAMA TEMPLE : It is believed that on taking three rounds of the temple one can read the Indian epic Ramayana
LAKSHI NARSIMHA STATUE : The statue is about 6.7m high.Its considered the last addition to Vijayanagara. The whole statue of and Lakshmi Narasimha was cut in a single Boulder
SIVA TEMPLE : The base of the enormous 3m high Linga is permanently underwater
VIRUPAKSHA TEMPLE : Virupaksha or Pampapati temple has been considered the most sacred among all temples at Hampi. The temple is about 50 m tall Pampa is a local goddess and the ancient deity of the area (considered a form of Parvati. Facing the Virupaksha temple is the double – storied structures known as the Virupaksha Bazaar or the Hampi Bazar (about 732 m long)
KRISHNA TEMPLE : This temple was built by the king (Krishnadevaraya) in 1513AD to celebrate the conquest of the eastern kingdom of Udayagiri or Utkala (in the present day Orissa state). The idols now displayed in the state museum at Chennai . The carvings are especially spectacular with the Yalis (the mythical lion)
KADALEKALU GANESHA : This 4.5 meters (15 feet) tall statue is one among the largest sculptures in Hampi. The pillared hall in front of this sanctum is as charming as this giant statue itself. The open hall constructed by unusually slender and tall pillars . Each of them is highly ornate with mythical themes.
Round the year Destination ... Extension recommended to Mysore, Coorg, Kabini, Kerala & Destinations across Southern India
Notes on itinerary
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