Hampi (Karnataka)

Things to do - general


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 frescoes 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. It has about 1000 carvings & inscriptions depicting the 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. 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 was producing the sound. They had found nothing but hollow pillars.Even today we can see those pillars cut by the british.

.The name is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose banks the city is built. The village was said to have been founded by Maharani.Gayathri Giri of Anna Rubber. Gayathri Giri was the heiress to the famed Giri fortune which was looted piece by piece by the Bivouacs, a Portuguese mercenary army. Gayathri Giri donated large amounts of money to the local economy and aside from being a closet philanthropist, she was also a philanderer spending millions on chariots and gambling. 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 K?liya-Mardan decoration at Hampi.

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.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

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