Sights in Hampi

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A ruined old Hampi Bazaar

A ruined old Hampi Bazaar

Anuradha Goyal

Hampi, situated in the state of Karnataka in India, is not very well known among the tourists. Recently declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site, present day Hampi is a decent-sized village with its history dating back to the glorious era of Vijaynagar Dynasty. Once a vibrant capital of Vijayangar Empire, Hampi now stands as a mute witness to the grandeur and splendor of bygone days. Besides being a place of historical and archaeological significance, Hampi with its natural landscape and remnants of royal structures, attracts visitors from all over the world. Hampi Sights include mainly historical monuments of great significance and some very beautiful natural sites.

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple was the main temple of this old capital city. The original temple was built as early as seventh century CE. Over the years more and more temples were added and the whole place became a sprawling temple complex. The main attraction of the temple is the single stone carved Chariot. The stone designs are very intricate and detailed. The main temple, located on the east side of the temple courtyard, is a giant structure with its walls fully designed and decorated with religious inscriptions. The temple complex is so big that only a walk around the courtyard will take almost two hours. The puskarini (pond) on both sides of the approach road adds to the grandeur of the temple.

Krishna Temple

Krishna Temple is located near the main village of present day Hampi Bazar. This building was constructed during the reign of King Krishnadevaraya in the year 1513 CE to celebrate his victory over the kingdom of Utkala (present day Orissa). The carving of lions on the entrance pillars still mesmerizes travelers. The temple walls adorned with exquisite carvings and paintings illustrate mythological stories.

Monolithic Bull

Monolithic Bull being one of the biggest monolithic structures in all of India is worshipped by the Hindus as god “Nandi.” Considered as one of the best structures of that time, this bull marks the end of the Virupaksha bazaar.

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

Lakshmi is the largest statue in Hampi and is the biggest monolithic structure in all of India. Here on a half-man, half-lion person (Lord Krishna) sits a beautiful lady (Goddess Lakshmi). This statue depicts the terrifying form of the god. When the city was destroyed by the foreign invaders, the statue of Lakshmi was also demolished. The current statue with some of its parts missing only gives you an impression of its lost glory. This statue shows how creative and skillful were the sculptures in those days.

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Linga

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This 11 feet tall linga, the emblem of Shiva, stands permanently in 4 feet of water and is fed by an ancient channel. Also called Jalakanteshwara.

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Mustard Ganesh

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This 9 feet tall high single stone statue of the the Hindu god of witt and wisdom (Son of Shiva & Parvati) is also known as the Sasivikalu Ganesha.

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Vittala Temple

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Musical columns in the temple. Notice the distinct shapes and overhead weight of columns of different types.
Musical columns in the temple. Notice the distinct shapes and overhead weight of columns of different types.
photo by: Oceanic

The most decorated temple in Hampi is Vittala Temple. As with most temples, the wall inscriptions and sculptures paint a picture of contemporary art, science, commerce, society, culture and everything under the sun. It's famous for its musical pillars. There are about 40 of the original 56 pillars still standing in the temple premises. Each pillar is surrounded by stone columns. Striking these columns with knuckles or short wooden drumsticks produces the sounds of a distinct classical Indian musical instrument. There is one pillar whose columns also produce the notes of the more..

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openingHours:0830-1830

Noblemen’s Palace

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Recently discovered foundation. The size and design of these foundation suggest a quarter for aristocrats and high-ranking officials.

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Virupaksha Temple

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It has a 50m high gopuram (or tower) ornamented with exotic figures. Parts of the temple date back from the 6th century. Renovated in 1510 by Krishna Deva Raya. This shrine is still in use. It houses an elephant.

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Hazara Rama Temple

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The outer and closer wall of this early 15th century temple has 5 rows of carved frenzies. Episodes of the epic Ramayana are depicted. This richly carved temple also contains one of the rarest depictions of Vishnu as Buddha. It is a paradise for sculptures.

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Pushkarni:

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A stepped drinking water tank made of green stone. Water is supplied to it through a stone aqueduct.

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Narshima

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Single stone statue of half man-half lion incarnation of Vishnu. Seated under a canopy of 7-headed snake, it is 22ft high.

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Lotus Mahal

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Shaped like a lotus flower from top, this two-story structure has beautiful arch ways set in geometric regularity. It was an air-cooled summer palace of the queen.

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Elephant Stables

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moothanthara,kerala
moothanthara,kerala
photo by: GKM Prasanth

These stables housed 11 royal elephants in separate compartments and is a beautiful example of Hindu Muslim architecture.

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Virupaksha market

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Virupakhsa market (32m wide & 728m long) is the longest street laid out during the Vijayanagara period. Once lined by beautiful houses and shops selling gold and precious stones, today it is the hub of all activities in Hampi and packed with small shops selling souvenirs. Also known as the Chariot Street.

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Hampi Bazaars

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A ruined old Hampi Bazaar
A ruined old Hampi Bazaar
photo by: Anuradha Goyal

The bazaars in old Hampi were a long corridor supported by stone pillars and roofs. it is said that the people came from all over the place to trade gold and silver here. These bazaars do come alive these days once a year during the annual Hampi festival that is held every year from 3-5 Nov.

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Peanut Ganesh

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18 feet Peanut Ganesha
18 feet Peanut Ganesha
photo by: Anuradha Goyal

Also known as Kadalai Kalu Ganesha, the Ganesh of Royalty is a 18 feet high single stone structure. With the 18 feet height you wonder why was it called Peanut Ganesha. The spot offers some beautiful view of Hampi Market and adjoining areas.

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Krishna temple + Vijayanagar

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Typical example of Jain architecture. Also known as “ Tricota” temple or temple with 3 sanctum. Dedicated to Hindu religion.

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Underground Temple

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The temple dedicated to happy Shiva (or Prasanna Virupaksha) is below ground level.

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Mahanavami Dibba

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Solid structure from which the royalty viewed Hampi and the setting for one of the famous lion stories. This platform, with its pomp, has beautiful carvings ans is covered in beautiful colours and revelry during the Mahanadu festival.

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