Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Karnataka, India, is a must-visit for history buffs, spiritual seekers, and adventure enthusiasts. It's renowned for its significant group of ancient temples, ruins of palaces, and remains from the Vijayanagara Empire. Here are some of the must-visit spots in Hampi:
Virupaksha Temple: An iconic landmark of Hampi, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known here as Virupaksha. It is an important pilgrimage site and has been considered an uninterrupted center of worship for centuries.
Vittala Temple: Famous for its exceptional architecture and the iconic stone chariot, this temple also houses the fascinating musical pillars that emit musical notes when tapped.
Hampi Bazaar: Also known as Virupaksha Bazaar, this is a kilometer-long street in front of the Virupaksha temple with ruins of pavilions on both sides. It was once the thriving market of the empire where merchants from all over the world traded.
Elephant Stables: An exemplary showcase of Hindu-Islamic style of architecture, these stables were used to house the royal elephants of the Vijayanagara Empire. There are 11 domed chambers, each big enough to accommodate two elephants.
Lotus Mahal: Also known as Kamal Mahal or Chitrangini Mahal, this is a distinctive structure within the Zenana Enclosure, presumed to be a recreational area for the royal women. The architecture of the Lotus Mahal is notable for its symmetric design, intricate Islamic style arches, and the lotus bud-like structures that adorn its dome.
Queen's Bath: A unique example of the luxurious lifestyle of the Vijayanagara dynasty, this structure was a royal bathing complex with a sophisticated system for heating water and a moat for privacy.
Hemakuta Hill: A perfect spot to witness a panoramic sunset amidst the ruins, Hemakuta Hill is dotted with a number of ancient temples and offers a stunning view of the sprawling archaeological site.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple: This temple features one of the most iconic statues in Hampi, a monolithic sculpture of Lord Narasimha, a form of Lord Vishnu, seated with a serpent forming a protective hood above him.
Matanga Hill: Known for offering the best aerial view of Hampi, climbing to the top of Matanga Hill for sunrise is a preferred activity among visitors. The terrain can be a bit challenging, but the view of the sprawling ruins amidst the boulders is worth it.
Coracle Crossing and Sanapur Lake: Apart from the historical sites, a coracle ride in the Tungabhadra River or on the serene Sanapur Lake is recommended. These round boats, guided by locals, offer a unique boating experience.
Archaeological Museum: To understand the history and view the excavated items, a visit to the Archaeological Museum is recommended. It houses sculptures, artifacts, and a model of the original city.
Karnataka is a state in southern India, bordered by Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. Its capital city is Bengaluru, which is also known as the Silicon Valley of India due to its thriving IT industry. Karnataka has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its historical monuments, temples, and beaches. Kannada is the official language of the state, but several other languages are also spoken. Agriculture is an essential source of livelihood for people in rural areas, while industries such as software, biotechnology, and textiles drive the economy in urban areas.
Hampi is a city famous for its ancient temples and other historical monuments. If you are someone who likes to go back to history, this place is for you. Hampi is also home to famous places like the Mataga Hills, where you can see the sunlight in the city. Animals like Indian sloth beer can also be seen. So what are you waiting for?