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Hampi, the Land of Temples

Hampi (Kannada: ???? Hampe) is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city. As the village is at the original centre of Vijayanagara, it is sometimes confused with the ruined city itself. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi. 1] In July 2011 great parts of the village including the main street were destroyed by the district administration. [2] | Etymology The name is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose banks the city is built. The name “Hampi” is an anglicized version of the Kannada Hampe (derived from Pampa). Over the years, it has also been referred to as Vijayanagara and Virupakshapura (from Virupaksha, the patron deity of the Vijayanagara rulers). History A Hindu temple naga decoration at Hampi. Hampi is identified with the historical Kishkindha, the Vanara (monkey) kingdom mentioned in the Ramayana.

The first historical settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE. Hampi formed one of the core areas of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565, when it was finally laid siege to by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. [1] Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra river on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides. The site is significant historically and architecturally. The topography abounds with large stones which have been used to make statues of Hindu deities.

The Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area, to discover additional artifacts and temples. Geography Aerial view Zanana Enclosure Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. It is 353 km from Bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary. Hosapete (Hospet), 13 km away, is the nearest railway head. Mantralayam, which is also on the banks of Tunghabhadra, in AP is some 150 km away. The principal industries of the village are agriculture, the support of the Virupaksha temple and some other local holy places in the vicinity, and tourism.

The annual Vijayanagar Festival is organized by the Government of Karnataka in November. Due to the presence of several mineral deposits in this region (iron-ore, manganese), mining has been going on for many years now. But a recent boom for the supply of iron-ore in the international market has led to increased levels of mining in this district. The World Heritage Site at Hampi as well as the Tungabhadra Dam is now under threat. Important sites at and near Hampi Vitthala temple with musical pillars, Hoysala style multigonal base Hampi Thungabhadra River in Hampi Achyutaraya Temple/Tiruvengalanatha Temple * Akka Tangi Gudda * Anegondi * Anjeyanadri Hill * Aqueducts and Canals * Archaeological Museum at Kamalapura * Badava Linga * Chandramauleshwar Temple * The Kings’ balance * The Underground Temple * Tungabhadra River * Uddana Veerabhadra temple * Sri Lakshmi Narasimha * Virupaksha Temple * Vittala temple * Yeduru Basavanna * Yantrodharaka Anjaneya temple * Zenana enclosure * Virupapura * Madhavan Palace with more than 1,000,000 pillars * Sasivekalu Ganesha * Elephant stables * Lotus temple Temples

Hampi has various notable Hindu temples, some of which are still active places of worship. Among the most notable are: * Virupaksha Temple known as the Pampapathi temple, it is a Shiva temple situated in the Hampi Bazaar. It predates the founding of the Vijayanagar empire. The temple has a 160-foot (49 m) high tower at its entrance. Apart from Shiva, the temple complex also contains shrines of the Hindu goddesses Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa. * Hazara Rama Temple Complex : This ruined temple complex is well-known for elaborate frescos from Hindu Mythologies 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. * Krishna Temple Complex : This temple complex has been recently excavated through the last decade, and restoration work is still in progress. * Vittala Temple Complex : This 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. Off late, floodlights have been installed in the temple complex that provide illumination at dusk, thereby adding to the grandeur of the architecture.

Global Heritage Fund efforts Non-profit organization Global Heritage Fund (GHF), in partnership with the Hampi Foundation, Cornell University, and the State of Karnataka, has been actively involved in the conservation of Hampi’s unique cultural heritage. After producing a master conservation plan for the site of Chandramouleshwara Temple, GHF’s efforts have moved to “stabilization of the temple and its associated structural features. “[3] * Virupraksha Temple tower * Farms as seen from Anjeyanadri Hill * Hemakuta complex * Remains of Old City * Lotus Mahal at the Zenana Enclosure *

Stepped Tank near the Underground Temple * Elephant stables * The stone chariot at Vittala complex * Stray Temples * The remains of a giant Bukka’s Aqueduct located near Anegondi * Old man in front of Vittala temple in Hampi OTHER DETAIL Top of Form | Bottom of Form This is for the folks from Bangalore who are chewing over a trip Hampi. So how do you make it from Bangalore to Hampi ? You have all the typical options to choose from – by train, by bus, by car, or even take your Thunderbird all the way if you are a seasoned biker. Route map showing the driving directions from Bangalore to Hampi The simple option first.

There is a night train from Bangalore to Hampi, to be specific the Hampi Express. This is the most convenient means to travel from Bangalore to Hampi. Book your ticket for Hospet Junction (HPT) from Bangalore. This is the perfect choice if your trip is (only) to Hampi and back.. More details of this train is given in the page: Hampi Express . And of course there is a sloooow train to Hospet from Bangalore. It takes a ridiculous 15? hours to reach Hospet . In any case if time is not a premium and you want to see the rural Karnataka pass by, jump into that Hubli Passenger (Tran No: 583) .

By the way the fare too is absolutely cheep – Rs 146 for the second-class reservation with sleeper berth, Rs . Train leaves by 10 in the night and reached Hospet by 1. 20 in the afternoon next day! Hampi Express is one of the popular choice among the visitors to Hampi from Bangalore. What about the bus options from Bangalore to Hampi ? Not a bad idea either, especially if you could not get a berth reserved in the train. KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) operates a number of services from Bangalore that either terminate at Hospet , or passing via Hospet.

What more , one service – the Bangalore-Hampi Rajahamsa service – drops you right in the middle of the Hampi ruins. There are about 20 scheduled KSRTC services everyday that connect Bangalore to Hospet. About 14 Karnataka Sarige , 9 of them are the Rajahamsa and 1 Airavath in the increasing order of comfort/luxury. Do yourself a favor by reserving the ticket in advance. It is easy to do it online and print your own ticket. Log on to the KSRTC website. Fare for Airavath service is Rs339. For Rajahamsa it is Rs259 and for Karnataka Sarige it is Rs168.

You get a 10% discount, if you book both up and down journeys together. The journey duration is about 7 hours. Apart from this you can also opt for that 4 days tour package offered by KSRTC for Rs. 5790 . That includes a brief tour of Hampi too. You can drive from Bangalore to Hampi. Schedule for about 7 hours driving time including a couple of short halts in between. The plus point of this grueling drive is that you can add a few more destinations to your itinerary. For example you can stretch your tour a bit more by adding cluster Badami , Aihole , Pattadakal in Karnataka .

If you are still more creative, you may end up adding the hidden gems like Mahakoota and Lakkundi. And there’s no end to this creeping list. Bangalore to Chitradurga you will be using the NH 4. From Chitradurga to Hospet take the NH 13 . From Hospet to Hampi ask for the Kampili road. About 10 kilometers from Hospet , you reach a busy village center called Kamalapura. By this time the sights on either sides give you lavish hints that your final destination is not too far. Take the left road from the village square. The Road ends at the Hampi bus stand. Let us call this as your destination and the starting point of Hampi exploration.

If you are traveling a by car, you need to use this bus stand ground to park your car during the nights, that is if you are staying at one of the guesthouses in Hampi Bazaar area. Vehicles, expect two wheelers are not allowed beyond this point. Most of the guesthouses are at a few minutes walk from this point. However if you are staying at the Virupapur Gadde area,you need to cross a brief ferry too. During the festival season however the parking is not permitted in the Hampi stand area. Usually the authorities designate some grounds in the nearby Kadirampura village for this purpose.

The state run Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari in Kamalapur have ample parking space. If your target is this hotel, go straight from the Kamalapura village (instead of the left turn to Hampi ). Just beyond the village square you spot a fuel station on your left and easily the huge board of Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari opposite to it too. You’ll be following the route NH 7 (Driving distance 150 kilometers approx. ) Bangalore ; Nelamangala ; Dobbasapete ; Tumkur ; Urkeri ; Nelahalu ; Sira ; Javanagondanahalli ; Hiriyur ; Ayamangala ;Chitradurga (bypass); Lakshmisagara NH 13 (Driving distance 150 kilometers approx. Lakshmisagara – Chikkannanahalli ; Jagalur ; Hosahalli ; Kudligi ; Shivapura ; Chilakanahalli ; Mariyammanahalli ; Hospet Kampili Road (Driving distance 15 kilometers approx. ) Hospet ; Kamalapura ; Hampi OTHER DETAIL Hampi, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, is in the district of Bellary, in Karnataka. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that can be explored to unearth many interesting facts about an empire that long ago was extremely rich and colourful.

Hampi is filled with monuments ranging from exquisite carvings to just boulders, from great structures to just sand, each with a historical explanation. Most remains are of temples of the long gone empire, built with devotion and the structures that were constructed to commemorate victories of the kings in their battles. The ruins include the Malyavantha Raghunathaswamy temple, built in the Dravidian style with strange carvings on the wall, the Virupaksha temple in the west end of the Hampi Bazaar, once a busy street during the times of the Empire. The temple has a 120 ft tall tower near the entrance at the east.

The shrines of Lord Shiva, Pampa and Bhuvaneshwari Devi are found here. Some parts of the temple were built earlier than the rest even before the kingdom’s birth. The temples of Hazara Ramaswamy, Vijaya Vittala, the monolithic statue of Ugra Narasimha and other carvings in the premises are among the most popular attractions. The temples are a great heritage spot. Walking through the streets of Hampi would be the best way to see the monuments. Motor boat rides can be taken across the Tungabhadra River to reach Virupapur Gadde. There is also the Daroji Bear Sanctuary close to Hampi.

The other important attractions include, the Akka Thangi Gudda, Anegondi, Anjaneyadri hill, Zenena enclosure, King’s Balance, elephant stables, Yeduru Basavanna, Yentrodharaka Anjaneya temple and many such other monuments that include the Vijayanagar and Pre-Vijayanagar ruins. Sightseeing and Things to do in Hampi A visit to Hampi is for the history and nature-lover. You can take a tour of the hundreds of monuments strewn across the country-side. For us it is difficult to imagine that this small, out-of-way town was once the seat of a flourishing and powerful empire.

Yet each of these ruins will inspire awe on the part of the visitor. For the sake of convenience, tours in Hampi are categorized according to locality. It is a good idea to organize your own visit keeping these in mind. Some of the more popular sightseeing itineraries are centered on the Sacred Quarter, the Royal Center, the Islamic Quarter and the Riverside. You can hire bicycles or two-wheelers to get around town. Most hotels or establishments will lease them to you for a nominal fee and much of the fun of being in Hampi is derived from zipping around roads bordered by extensive paddy fields. There are many options for accomodation but avoid staying near the heritage site of Hampi. It may not be as safe, but if one wants to take a chance no one can help it. Other options are Mayura KSTDC @ Kamalapur, Shangbag Towers in Hospet, Mallige in Hospet, Pai Hotel etc. I heard there is a good place on the river side known as Shanti guest house and food served under the mango tree. * attractions in Hampi * * Vithala Temple is the most prominent of the temples in Hampi, with its famed stone chariot, musical pillars and its UNESCO World Heritage Monument status.

The beautifully carved pillars are said to give out melodious tones on striking them; but delicate that they are, you are not allowed to touch them. * + More Hampi Photos * One of the most ornate temples in Hampi, Vithala Temple was built in 15th century and enhanced by many rulers in later period. The stone chariot in the premises of the temple is an iconic image of Hampi. * From the riverside area, the Talarigatta Gate used to form the main entrance to the urban section of the city. The Ahmed Khan’s Mosque complex is a departure from the usual Hampi architecture. Constructed in the Deccani style, it is a remnant from the Mughal era.

Carved out of granite, the Vishnu Temple is distinct from the other tourist attractions in Hampi * The Vittala Temple located here has come to symbolize Hampi tourism. The temple is actually a sprawling complex of pavilions, temples, elaborate gateways and encircling walls. It is an extravagant and elaborate showpiece of the era’s architecture. Other places to see in Hampi include the two collections of 108 and 1008 shivalingas on the banks of the river, the Gejjala Mantapa located next to the Vittala temple, the Purandaradasa Mantapa dedicated to the poet of the same name and the Narasimha temple. Not far from the main bus stand is an ancient Krishna Temple. And a little further down are statues of Laxminarasimha and BadaviLinga, both large monolithic statues. * Nearly all temples in Hampi were desecrated during invasion from Muslim Rulers from the north and today, there is no worshiping in these temples. Viroopaksha Temple is an exception. With its tall gopura, it is visible from far away anywhere in Hampi. Sections of the Viroopaksha Temple date back to 12th century, and later additions were made by Vijayanagara King Krishnadevaraya. * One of the star attractions in the temple is the temple elephant Lakshmi. Another large complex of monuments, not very far from Queen’s Bath, has the ancient Vijayanagar City within a ruined fort. Look for King’s Court, which is a complex of rock structures with much of it ruined now. A large tank with beautifully decorated steps is located at a corner of the complex. * Mahanavami Dibba where festivals were held is a tall platform. You can also see the complex network of water channels that fed water to the palace, all of these giving an indication of the society in the days of Vijayanagar Empire. * This is a large area full of ancient monuments.

You can visit the queen’s bath, a large indoor tank with aqueducts that was used by the women of the royal family for bathing. Hajara Rama Temple nearby has some of the most intricate carvings among the temples of Hampi. Lotus Mahal and Underground Shiva Temple are the other monuments in this area. * The underground Shiva Temple, being below ground level is always waterlogged. * Around Krishna TempleNot far from the main bus stand is an ancient Krishna Temple. And a little further down are states of Laxminarasimha and BadaviLinga, both large monolithic statues.

DETAIL OF HAMPI Saint Vidyaranya established the seat of Vijayanagara empire in 1336 A. D, with the help of his devotee disciples Hakka and Bukka. The empire later became famous for its support towards renovation/reconstruction of temples through out India. It also became renowned for re-establishment of Indian culture, its support for music, art and literature. With the prime purpose of caring for the people and their welfare, this empire stretched physically covering Karnataka, Andhra and Maharashtra and became a by-word for golden rule.

HAMPI, the seat of the famed VIJAYANAGARA empire was the capital of the largest empire in post-mogul India, covering several states. The empire reigned supreme under Krishnadevaraya, the Emperor. The Vijayanagara empire stretched over at least three states – Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The destruction of Vijayanagar by marauding Moghul invaders was sudden, shocking and absolute. They reduced the city to ruins amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beggaring description. Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India.

The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation. Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendor and fabulous wealth. The splendid remains of palaces and gateways of the broken city tells a tale of men infinite talent and power of creativity together with his capacity for senseless destruction. | Strewn over a large area (about nine square miles) the ruins at Hampi offers to the tourist a remainder of the greatest land in the whole world.

Every rock, every path and every monument at Hampi speak the same language; a language of glory and beauty. In March 2002, the Government of India has announced that Hampi would be developed as an international destination centre. The State Govt will constitute a Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority for integrated development and conservation of Hampi. Hampi is a World Heritage CentreHospet is the main town providing the getaway for Hampi. In April 2002, Karnataka officially set up the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority with wide-ranging powers, as well as a State Level Advisory Committee. Local Sights Most of the ruins are along the road leading from Kamalapura to Hampi. Three kms down the road, on a commanding site, stands the temple of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy. It is built in the Dravidian style. Strange-looking fishes and marine monsters carved along its outer walls are worth noticing. The Hampi Bazaar, 35 yards wide and nearly 800 yards long was known to be a “very beautiful street with very beautiful houses”. The Virupaksha Temple rises majestically at the western end of the famous Hampi Bazaar. The temple has a 120 feet tall tower on its eastern entrance.

The temple contains the shrines of Shiva, Pampa and Bhuvaneswari. Parts of this temple are older than the Vijayanagar kingdom itself. The work of this style dates back to the 11th or 12th century. Nearby is the 6. 7m tall monolith of Ugra Narasimha. An inscription nearby states that it was hewn from a single boulder in 1528 during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya. Vithala Temple Complex The most splendid monument of Hampi is undoubtedly the Vithala Temple Complex with its 56 musical pillars. | To the east of the hall is the famous Stone Chariot with stone wheels that actually revolve.

In front of the shrine stands the great mantapa. Resting on a richly sculpted basement, its roof is supported by huge pillars of granite, about 15 feet in height, each consisting of a central pillar surrounded by detached shafts, all cut from one single block of stone. Several of the carved pillars were attacked with such fury that they are hardly more than shapeless blocks of stones and a large portion of the central part has been destroyed utterly. | Nearby is the ‘Purandra Dasara Mantapa’ which has been also declared a protected monument.

House of Victory. It was built when Krishnadeva Raya came back from his victorious expedition against the King of Orissa. The spaces between the rows of the plinth-mouldings here are most elaborately and elegantly carved. The kings of Vijayanagar used to sit on a grand throne in the House of Victory and witness the nine-day Dasara festival. Westwards from the House of Victory, leading through two ruined gates, the path leads to the Hazara Ramaswami temple. This temple is believed to have been the private place of worship of the royal family.

The chief attraction of the temple is the series of scenes from the Ramayana carved on two of the inside walls of the mantapa. The genesis of the place known today as Hampi dates back to the age of the Hindu epic Ramayana when it was the site of Kishkinda, a monkey kingdom. King’s Balance Hampi is also full of surprises: like the King’s Balance where kings were weighed against grain, gold or money which was then distributed to the poor, the Queen’s Bath, a swimming pool, 50 ft. long and 6 ft. deep, with its arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains that once sprouted perfumed water, the two-storeyed| | Lotus Mahal: shaped like a lotus flower from top, this two-story structure has beautiful arc ways set in geometric regularity. It was an air-cooled summer palace of the queen. * Elephant Stables: This huge stable, a beautiful example of Hindu-Muslim style of architecture, housed about 11 elephants in separate compartments. * Pushkarini Tank * Mahanavami Dibba: The foundation of a lion story wooden structure from which the royalty viewed Hampi with pomp, colour and revelry during the Mahanadu festival. This platform has beautiful carvings. Mustard Ganesh: This is a 9 feet tall single stone statue which is also known as Sasivikalu Ganesha. * Noblemen’s Palace: This place was recently discovered and they suspect this was for aristocrats and high-ranking officials. Daroji Bear Sanctuary is very near Hampi. Though the sanctuary is relatively new, which began in 1994 in the eastern plains of Karnataka, it has proved to be a suitable habitat for the Indian Sloth Bears in a span of few years. Local Festivals: The Vijayanagar Festival organized by the Government of Karnataka in December recreates the grandeur of the bygone era.

Hampi By Night The government has come up with a plan to soon introduce ” Hampi By Night ” for tourists to view illuminated ruins of Hampi. They are planning to introduce night tourism possibly in October 2009. There are a number of foreign visitors ushered out of Hampi at sunset but now the authorities are considering extending the timings to as late as 11 P. M. There is also a proposal to introduce specially designed battery run cars to enable tourists to visit the attractions at night.

Newly installed lighting across all major monuments covering 15 sq Kms of the ruins on the banks of the river Tungabhadra, is bound to mesmerize visitors with a spell from ancient times. Along with this the government also plans to introduce fine dining with live music and dance at night. The musical nights will be planned to popularize the rich cultural heritage of the state, especially for the foreign tourists and make them feel at home. Hampi After Hours Timings: 5. 30 to 11 P. M. Cracks develop in Hampi temple

Wide cracks have been found on four sides of the Varaha temple at the world heritage site of Hampi. Quarrying going around Bukkasagara, Venkatapura and Gudalkere is one of the main reasons for the temple developing cracks. Though Unesco ordered a ban on quarrying, it was brushed aside by the Hampi Development Authority. How to get there 1. The nearest airstrip at Tornagallu in Sandur Taluk which is 32 kms. from Hospet. Bangalore based air-charter operator, Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd (TAAL), has launched sightseeing charter flights to Hampi and Mysore in Oct 2002.

Contact Anjan Rao at +91-98440-27699 for further details. 2. The second nearest airport is Bellary (74 kms) 3. Other convenient airports are at Belgaum (190 kms) and Bangalore (353 kms). * Rail: Hospet is the nearest railway station (13 kms). Hospet is linked by rail to Bangalore, Bijapur, Hubli and Guntakal. Book your train ticket online . * Road: Hampi is 350 kms from Bangalore. KSRTC Buses ply regularly from Hospet. Best time to visit: October to March Where to Stay You could use Hospet as your base to visit Hampi. * Hampi Boulders Resort , +91-22-24042211, Email: [email protected] om * Hotel Mayura Vijayanagar, Thungabadhra Dam Hospet, Tel: +91-8394-48270 * Hotel Priyadarshini, Station Road, Hospet, Tel: +91-8394-48838. * Hotel Malligi, 6/143, J. N. Road, Hospet – 583 201. Phone: +91- 839 4228101, Fax : +91-839 4227038, Email : [email protected] com * Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneswri, Kamalapur, Hampi. Tel: +91-8394-51374 * KSTDC Cottages. Tel: +91-8394-8108 * Hampi Festival * Kodanda Rama Temple, Hiremagalur * Krishna Temple * Vishnu Temple, Hospet * Vittala Temple, Anegondi * Vijayanagara * C-DACs Role at Hampi

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