IF DREAMS WERE OF STONES, THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN HAMPI.
Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara.
Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagara which was established in 1336–1646, though it lost much of its power in 1565 after a military defeat.
The ruins became UNESCO’S World Heritage Site in 1986.
Hampi is the most searched historical place in Karnataka on Google according to statistics of 2014.
Hampi is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose southern banks, the city is built.
The annual festival, called Hampi Utsav is organized by the Government of Karnataka in November every year includes: –
Janapada Kalavahini, a concert of folk songs.
Jumbo Savari, similar to the Dasara elephant march.
Light and sound show, special lighting of monuments across the 15 km of Hampi ruins.
Hampi Bazar, also known as the Virupaksha Bazar is located in front of the Virupaksha Temple, is a well-known market place that spreads for more than 1km, still functions as a market place.
Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple was constructed in the ancient style and stands 3km down the road. Its inner walls flaunt peculiar and interesting motifs of fish and marine creatures.
Hazara Rama Temple is small but beautiful temple and has about 1000 carvings & inscriptions depicting the story of Ramayana. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, a Hindu deity. It was once the private temple of the kings and the royal family of Vijayanagara.
Anjeyanadri Hill is famous as the birth place of Lord Hanuman, the monkey god of Hindus. It is located at a distance of about 5km from the historical site of Hampi and it takes one to climb 550 steps to get on the top.
Krishna Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Balakrishna, the form of Lord Krishna when he was an infant. The Krishna Temple is known for its exquisite carvings and elegant architectural designs.
Vittala Temple is perhaps the most famous and well-known among the ruins of Hampi.
Virupaksha Temple known as the Pampavathi temple, is an ancient temple situated in the Hampi Bazaar. The temple has a 160ft (49 m) high tower at its entrance.
The temple houses the famous musical pillars. The British wanted to check the reason behind this wonder and so they had cut two pillars to check anything was there inside the pillars that were producing the sound. They had found nothing but hollow pillars. Even today we can see those pillars cut by the British.
Aqueducts and Canals
The remains of a giant Bukka’s Aqueduct located near Anegondi
Lotus Mahal is shaped like a lotus flower from top and was an air-cooled summer palace of the queen.
Elephant stables were used to house the 11 royal elephants of King Krishnadeva Raya’s army
The Kings’ balance
It was, where kings were weighed against grain, gold or money which were then distributed to the poor
It was a 50ft long and 6ft deep swimming pool.
A Non-Profit Organization, Global Heritage Fund (GHF), in partnership with the Hampi Foundation, Cornell University, and the State of Karnataka, has been work on establishment and safety of the site.
Vijayanagara architecture is also known for its adoption of elements of Indo-Islamic architecture in secular buildings like the Queen’s Bath and the Elephant Stables
The emperor Ashoka’s minor rock edicts in Nittur & Udegolan leads one to believe that this region was within the Ashokan kingdom during the 3rd century BC.
A Brahmi inscription & a terracotta seal dating to the 2nd century AD were also discovered from the excavation site.
The first historical settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE.
2010 marked 500 years since the Vijayanagara King Sri Krishnadevaraya ascended to the throne.
This site is rich with minerals as well and mining has also been done for years.
The majority of the monuments are in good state of preservation and conservation.
The ruins of this imperial capital are spread out over an area of 26km².
“A Forgotten Empire” by Robert Sewell is an interesting book which describes the rise and fall of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Hampi is a religious centre so drinking alcohol there is not allowed.
Before the fall of Vijayanagara, diamonds were sold on the streets, but the main street selling diamonds and other precious stones was surprisingly called Pan Supaari Bazar (translated in English, it means betel-leaf betel-nut market).
The city of Hampi bears exceptional testimony to the vanished civilization of the kingdom of Vijayanagara, which reached its apogee under the reign of Krishna Diva Raya (1509-30).