Feb 082015
 
Hampi is a village within the large ancient capital of Vijayanagar, one of the greatest Hindu kingdoms in India’s history. In around 1500 Vijaynagar had 500,000 inhabitants, probably making it one of the biggfest cities in the world. It has some extremely captivating ruins, strangely mixed in with large boulders dotted all over the landscape. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site .

  • Overlooking farmland from Anjaneyadri hill

    Overlooking farmland from Anjaneyadri hill

  • Lotus Mahal

    Lotus Mahal

  • Narasimha Monolith

    Narasimha Monolith

  • Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple

    Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple

  • Krishna temple amoungst the boulders

    Krishna temple amoungst the boulders

  • Bukkas Aquaduct

    Bukkas Aquaduct

  • Elephant stables

    Elephant stables

  • Mandapas of Vittala temple

    Mandapas of Vittala temple

  • Virupaksha temple

    Virupaksha temple

  • Krishna Pushkarani Hampi ruins

    Krishna Pushkarani Hampi ruins

  • Stepped tank at the Hazara temple

    Stepped tank at the Hazara temple

  • Virupaksha temple gopura

    Virupaksha temple gopura

  • Watchtower

    Watchtower

  • Chariot at Vitthala temple

    Chariot at Vitthala temple

The ruins, which date back to the 14th century, stretch for just over 10 miles and comprise more than 500 monuments. The most striking monument is the Vittala Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Its main hall has 56 pillars that make musical sounds when struck.

An incredible energy can be felt at Hampi. The sunrise and sunset over the village, viewed from atop the central Matanga Hill, are truly magical and are not to be missed. Be sure to have a comfortable pair of shoes with you as some of the ruins can only be accessed on foot and you’ll need to walk quite a distance in order to explore them. Try taking a ferry trip across the river to Anegondi and exploring the relics there. Alternatively, it’s a good idea to hire a bicycle to get around. Night tours are also possible. The best time to visit is from November to February. In March, it starts getting unbearably hot.

Things to see

There are four main temple complexes:

Vittala Temple Complex

Chariot at Vitthala templeThis is perhaps the most famous and well-known among the ruins of Hampi. The iconic Stone Chariot in the vicinity of this temple complex is a symbol of Karnataka Tourism.

Hazara Rama Temple Complex

Lotus MahalThis ruined temple complex is well known for elaborate frescoes from the Hindu religion and a sprawling courtyard well-laid with gardens. It is well known for more than many thousand carvings & inscriptions on & in the temple depicting the mighty story of Ramayana. Also in this area are:

The Stepped Tank, a small reservoir which was fed with a water chute that brought water into the palace; Lotus Mahal, a lovely building showing a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture; The Elephant Stables, an imposing structure of 11 chambers which once housed the royal elephants

Krishna Temple Complex

Krishna Pushkarani Hampi ruinsThis temple complex has been recently excavated through the last decade, and restoration work is still in progress. The temple has the Sacred Tank or the Pushkarani located on its eastern side. Also here, carved out of a single boulder in 1528, is the Narasimha Monolith. This is massive image of Vishnu in his half man, half lion incarnation.

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha temple gopuraVirupaksha Temple, known as the Pampavathi temple, is an ancient temple situated in the Hampi Bazzar. It predates the founding of the Vijayanagara empire. The temple has a 50 m high gopura (tower) at its entrance. Apart from Shiva, the temple complex also contains shrines of the erotic statues Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa.