Hampi, “A Forgotten Empire”
Hampi was the capital city of the powerful South Indian Vijayanagar Empire, located at Karnataka state, India. it is UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hampi was founded by Harihara and Bukka in 1336. The town lies on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, 74 km away from Bellary. It is located atop a rugged terrain, 467 m above sea level. During ancient time, diamonds were sold on the streets of Hampi. Pan Supaari Street was famous for selling diamonds and other precious stones, Visitors can still see the exact location of Pan Supaari Street in Hampi, which has been marked with a board by Archaeological Survey of India.
Hampi attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims every year. Hampi has numerous temples, monolithic structures, figures and monuments – all exhibiting rich Hindu architectural culture. The Vittal temple, Virupaksha temple, and Kodandarama temple are examples of the same.
How to reach Hampi
Hampi by Air:
Bellary is the nearest domestic airport, which is about 60 km away and Bangalore is the nearest international Airport, which is 350 km away. From Bangalore Airport you can avail of any of the international flights connecting to any of the important cities in the country and the world.
Hampi by Rail:
The nearest railway station from Hampi is Hospet, which lies at about 13 km from Hampi. It offers around 10 daily trains and roughly 5 special trains, which operate once or twice a week. Two of these trains ply from Bangalore which is in turn well connected to the major Indian cities like Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and other prominent tourist sites across India.
Hampi by Road:
Hampi is well connected by KSRTC bus services with all nearby cities. There are many private bus providers operating from Gokarna and many places in Goa to Hampi. Taxis or auto-rickshaws are good options to explore the ruins of Hampi. You can also rent bicycles which will further cater to your adventurous moods.
Hampi Weather – Best time to visit Hampi
Hampi’s climate is generally warm and dry. The best time to visit the place is between September and February.
- Winters (November to February) are pleasant very pleasant and cool. During winter day temperature is less than 34°C and night temperature can go as low as 12°C. Sightseeing and adventure activities are very enjoyable during winter months.
- Summers (March to May) offers warm climate with a temperature reaches a maximum of 40°C. Most tourists don’t prefer visiting Hampi in hot season.
- Monsoons (June to August) brings some wet weather with good showers. Rain lovers can enjoy the scenic beauty and the peaceful environs of the place.
Tourist Attractions in Hampi
Temple of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy:
This temple was constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy stands three kms down the road. Its inner walls flaunt peculiar and interesting motifs of fish and marine creatures.
Vithala Temple Complex:
This temple complex dedicated to Vittala, a form of the Hindu god Vishnu is an architectural highlight of Hampi. The Vithala Temple Complex famous for its 56 musical pillars is one of the finest tourist attractions in Hampi. Towards the east of the hall you can find the famous Stone Chariot which has real revolving stone wheels. The great mandapa on a richly sculpted basement stands opposite the shrine. There are pillars of granite that support the roof, around 15 feet in height. The central pillar is flanked by detached shafts and all of them are cut from one single block of rock.
House of Victory:
House of Victory was constructed to honor the victory of Krishnadeva Raya against the King of Orissa, it has internal spaces between the rows of the plinth-moldings that are most intricately carved.
Hazara Ramaswami temple:
This temple was the private place of worship of a royal family. The temple is special with its exceptionally carved outer walls, an unusual feature in other Vijayanagara temples. The chief attraction of the temple is the illustrations of scenes from the Ramayana etched on two of the inner walls of the mantapa.
This is a giant statue of the elephant headed Hindu god Ganesha. According to Hindu Mythology, Ganesha is the god who is responsible for removing obstructions! This 4.6 meters (14 feet) tall sculpture id carved in situ on the slops of the Hemakuta Hill. The tall slender granite pillars with many mythological themes carved decorated the front hall of this shrine.
This was a swimming pool, measuring 50 feet long and 6 feet deep, and flaunting vaulted corridors, balconies and lotus-shaped fountains of perfumed spray.
Molded in the form of a lotus flower, the two-level structure of the Lotus Mahal flaunting stunning archways, geometrically arranged, used to be an air-cooled summer palace of the queen. The Mahal derives its name from the beautiful, geometrically-arranged cusped arches which resembles the petal of a flower opening to the sun.
Home to around 11 elephants in separate sections, This long structure is made of a series of chambers with domical roofs. The central hall with an elaborated tower probably was used by the ceremonial band troop.
This is a wooden structure from which the royal people viewed the town with pomp, colour and revelry during the famous Mahanadu festival.