Hampi is an ancient town in ruins located a few kilometers in Bangalore in Karnataka. This is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Hampi tourism has ancient temples and ruins which were built during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is dotted with ancient temples, ruins of structures and establishments. Hampi was also a part of the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century B.C.
1. History Of Hampi
Hampi has a glorious history that is etched in its ancient ruins and speaks of interesting legends. Hampi was originally called Pampa Kshetra in ancient times. This is the place where Lord Shiva performed his penance and married a woman called Pampa. It is said that when Kama Deva, the god of love wanted to help Pampa get Lord Shiva, it disturbed his penance and he was turned to ashes.
Hampi was founded by the Sangama Dynasty brothers by the name Bukka and Harihara. Four dynasties ruled this place and more than 500 monuments were built during the rule. This is also a place where Lord Rama stayed in search of Sita when she was abducted by Ravana. The hills and mountains surrounding this ancient city is also a place where Lord Hanuman, Sugreeva, Lord Rama, and Vali stayed.
There is another legend that says that Pandavas lived at this place during their exile. Draupadi wanted a flower called Saugandhika. To search that flower Bhima had to fight Lord Hanuman to reach a pond full of these flowers. A gate is dedicated to Bhima from Mahabharata and is a massive gateway with carvings of Bhima, Saugandhika, and Lord Hanuman.
Before the Maurayans ruled Hampi in the 3rd century, the Vijayanagara Empire was established here in the 13th century to fight off the Muslim invasions. Most of the temples and structures were built during the rule of Vijayanagara dynasty. During the 13th and the 14th century, Hampi was said to be prosperous and glorious. Vijayanagara flourished and merchants from all over the world visited this place to trade.
2. Architecture Of Hampi
During the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire, more than 500 temples and monuments were built in the mixed architectural style of Chalukyas, Chola, Hoysala, and Pandya. Soapstone and granite were used to build most of the temples. The temples have sanctum, a hall, a porch, and an inner sanctum. Most of the temples had Gopurams to which sculptures of gods and goddesses were added.
The palaces built has carved walls, floral and animal motifs. Most of the interiors of the palaces had carved pillars and many carvings. They also contained a chain of aqueducts which was used for irrigation in ancient times. The system of working of the aqueducts is unique and noteworthy. There are also stepped tanks, Queen baths, and water tanks within the structure of the palace complex.
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3. Facts And Features Of Hampi
- This is a region that was visited by Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman, and Sugreeva in the times of Ramayana when they were looking for goddess Sita.
- The carvings on the monuments of Hampi are from the 14th century.
- Hampi is situated on the banks of River Tungabhadra which was known as Pampa in the ancient times and the name Pampa was later localized to Hampi.
- The monuments are spread across a land of 26 square kilometers.
- Gold and silver coins were used as currencies during the Vijayanagara Dynasty.
- The Hazara Rama Temple inside Hampi is known for its thousands of carvings, inscriptions, and frescos from the Hindu religion.
- The Virupaksha temple is the most popular temple in Hampi that is visited and contains erotic sculptures of goddess Bhuvaneshwari and pampa along with the shrine of Lord Shiva.
- There is a cave called the Sugriva Cave inside Hampi where monkey King Sugreeva is believed to have lived.
- It is also a spot where Sita is said to have dropped her jewels to let Lord Rama know that she was abducted from this spot.
- The Hampi city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The coin mint where gold and silver coins were manufactured as a currency during the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire is located within Hampi.
- The Malyavanta Raghunatha Swamy temple has marine and fish motifs.
- The Virupaksha temple which is 120 feet high is one of the oldest temples of Lord Shiva which has been functioning since the 7th century.
- Inside the temple, there is an elephant who will kiss you on your forehead if you give it a one rupee coin.
- Lord Shiva did penance on the Hemakuta Hill before marrying the local girl Pampa.
- This is also a place were God of love, the Kama was burnt to ashes.
- The Lotus Mahal is a must visit for its splendor and architecture and was a place where the Royal ladies of the Vijayanagara Empire resided.
- The Vittala temple in Hampi has 56 musical pillars which when knocked on gently produce musical sounds.
4. Best Places To Visit In Hampi Tourism
4.1 Popular Tourist Places In Hampi Virupaksha Temple
This temple was built in the 7th century and has a beautiful architecture. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the most visited temples in Hampi.
4.2 Tourist Attraction In Hampi Vijaya Vittala Temple
It was built in the 15th century and is dedicated to several incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Within the temple complex, there are several temples, pavilions, and halls. Outside the temple, there is a gigantic stone chariot which becomes synonymous to Hampi.
4.3 Hampi Sightseeing Riverside Ruins
There are many sites of ruins towards the northern side of the river. There are many relics which have carvings of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. There are also mandalas of Lord Shiva that are carved in the numbers 108 and 1008.
4.4 Tourist Spot In Hampi Queen’s Bath
This is a carved bath complex that has many carvings and sculptures. The Royal ladies took their bath at this complex. It is surrounded by a verandah and a pool that is open to the sky. During ancient times, this pool had fragrant water and flowers.
4.5 Shopping In Hampi Bazaar
Right in front of the Virupaksha temple is the Hampi Bazaar at the foothills of Matanga Hills. This used to be a place of trading in ancient times. This was also the place where many annual festivals were conducted during ancient times.
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4.6 Point Of Interest Hampi Underground Temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is surrounded by lush green gardens on the outside. This is less crowded temples and has a unique architecture.
4.7 Best Places To Visit In Hampi Gagan Mahal
This is one of the old palaces which has decorative windows. It is surrounded by gardens and is built in the Indo-Islamic architectural style.
4.8 Tourist Attraction In Hampi Hemakuta Hill Temples
Most of the temples here are dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is on this hill that Lord Shiva married Pampa, who was a local girl. On the hilltop, there is a Moola Virupaksha temple which is known to be the original Virupaksha temple.
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4.9 Sightseeing In Hampi Daroji Bear Sanctuary
This is a sanctuary that you can visit to encounter the sloth bears who inhabit at this sanctuary. These are the species who are conserved at this sanctuary.
4.10 Tourist Spot Of Hampi The Monkey Temple
This temple is located 4 km from Hampi and is known to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. Inside this temple, there is a small shrine of Lord Rama and his wife Sita. Granite stone structure of Lord Hanuman is carved inside this temple.
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5. Hampi Location
6. Hampi Images