17 Fascinating Attractions of HAMPI! An Ancient, Classical and Historical city in India for World Travelers.

“Beauty needs no ornaments.
 The best profit of future is past.
 History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Have you ever got amazed and perplexed with the beauty of History somewhere? By the likes of TROY, SPARTA, ROME, ATHENS, GIZA, DELHI, AGRA ….? Yeah!! HAMPI is one such classical place in the Indian Subcontinent with the beauty of History just overflows all around with every drop of it being a treasure. 🙂

HAMPI in the Indian state of Karnataka is gifted with invaluable and ancient treasures of lots of Age-Old Temples, Magnanimous Monuments, Wonderful Monolithic Sculptures, Amazing Carvings, Incredible Inscriptions, Countless Open Pavilions, Beautiful Royal Enclosures, Widespread Rock-filled places, the beautiful River Tungabhadra and the list gets going. Hampi is a grand and an ancient city showered all over with tons of huge Rocks, Rock Forts, Rock Hills and Nature-piled Rocks. Hampi is a UNESCO stamped World Heritage Site. Well you have to visit Hampi to really know why it is UNESCO stamped.

It’s quite disheartening to see such a beautiful and ancient-aged place with monuments, sculptures and other royal places in ruined stages in this modern age. In spite of those ruined places, Hampi still carries that charming and phenomenal looks of the ancient empire. And that’s quite heartening, to be honest. 🙂

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A grand view of the Open Pavilions and Platforms of the former Vittalapura Township just outside of the Vittala Temple Campus.

A brief stat on Hampi for your Love of History.

The architecture all over in Hampi is all just miraculous being built during the reigns of the King Krishna Devaraya. Hampi was one of the richest and largest cities in the world around 1500 AD. Hampi served as one of the most important cities of the Vijayanagara Empire in the Deccan region of India between 13th and 16th century. 🙂 🙂

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The monumental Stone Chariot inside the premises of Vijaya Vittala Temple.
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A beautiful Interior view of the Vijaya Vittala Temple Premises.

How we planned visiting Hampi.

Literally this trip wasn’t planned at all. It was just decided a day before, until we visited this beautiful village in the state of Karnataka in South India. It’s Me and Two of my close buddies/roommates were on a motorcycle trip to Goa, the former Portuguese colony in India. In one of the evenings, prior we went for the sleep, we were looking for the routes in the road map to Velachery, Chennai from Madgaon, Goa. That’s when we decided that we will do Hampi on the way back to Chennai.

Until then, I have never heard about Hampi although it’s in my neighbor state Karnataka. This idea came from my buddy, Big Bro (That’s how we call him, as he’s the eldest of the roommates). We stayed at Hospet, Karnataka the night before we visited Hampi. Hampi is just 12.8 km (7.9 miles) away from Hospet, the nearest city.

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From Left – It’s Me and the Big Bro! Mid-travel camera times on Highway NH-4 on the way to HAMPI, Karnataka from Margao, Goa.
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As we’re now entering the limits of HAMPI by our two proud Pulsar Motorcycles. Shot taken from the other running motorcycle behind.

Queen’s Bath

This attraction has been well decorated with gardens and green grass surrounded by it. Just with the tag of Queen in the sign board at the entrance of this place, people were flocking towards it and so did I 😉 😉  Queen’s Bath is right at the beginning and quite adjacent to the archaeological museum of the ancient city limits of Hampi.

Come on guys! She’s a Queen of an empire. There’s no question about how curious we were to see the place where a Queen would have taken bath. We could see that the Archaeological Conservation of Hampi have made this location a beautiful place with Green grass and lots of flowers surrounded by it and have made this look like a beautiful garden. And I just went for thoughts like how her King would have made this place an absolute beauty in his reigning times for his Sweet Heart. 😉 😉 That would be fascinating! Don’t you think? 😉

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That’s the way heading towards the royal building of Queen’s Bath.
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Interior View of Queen’s Bath building – The proud Interiors which would have seen all the baths of all the Queens for Centuries! 😉

Stone Doors

Oh Boy! These doors were huge, carved out of just rocks. Anyone who gets to see this at the first time would definitely get in to thoughts of “How heavy these Stone doors would be?”. Truly amazing.

These doors which were made out of stones were lying on the grounds unattended and not properly maintained. We were quite angry about it. Many such stuffs, temples and monuments were left non-conserved in India. But very much glad that this ancient city were preserved to an extent to see all these age old stuffs in these conditions.

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These two foreign travelers were caught wondering and talking about these Stone Doors.
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The two amazing Stone Doors lying on the grounds. Would have loved to hear the stories about it but we couldn’t.

Lotus Mahal

The primary attraction of the Zenana Enclosure is this Lotus Mahal. It’s a two-storied arched pavilion. The architecture of Lotus Mahal has quite some shades of Mughal’s architecture which is pretty. This is just all open in the ground floor, no gates or an enclosure and there is a staircase leading to the first and top floor which has lots of windows all around in the top floor. There’s a Watch Tower and a Well to the right of it.

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That’s me right closer to Lotus Mahal in the Royal Zenana Enclosure.

Elephant Stables

As the name suggests, this is the place specific for resting and caring of the Royal Elephants. This architecture is of unique design. A total of 11 Domed Chambers you can see and each Dome has a specific and unique design. None of the 11 domes are similar and that’s the charm of these Elephant Stables. The center dome is big and specially designed.

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The Elephant Stables with the beautiful lawn comprising the unique 11 Domed Chambers.
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From Left – My Co-Travelers/buddies – Prabhu and the Big Bro by the side of Elephant Stables.
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Elephant Stable Interior – That’s me on Focus from either of the Cameras. 😉
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Elephant Stable Interior – That’s Prabhu on Focus from the Big Bro’s camera. 🙂

Underground Shiva Temple

The Underground Shiva Temple was pretty much dark inside. You should have to carry a torch with you to get going through this one and it gets scary at one point when you’re surrounded by the darkness all around. There must be something for which they should have used this underground space in those early times. And now people have named this underground space as Underground Temple.

Stepped Tank

This tank has a set of 5 steps throughout. This tank also serves as a reservoir for Rain Water Harvesting. The guide shared an amazing story about this tank and the canal used for rain harvesting. This stepped Tank has a wonderful history behind it.

Think about this. In the technology-less world of the ancient times, they managed to do everything with the help of the mastery of architecture which I have to say as Unbelievable and Unreliable. They managed to do everything with the grace art of architecture.

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Spectacular Stepped Tank! – Similar kind of steps all over the tank except the Center ones from all the side. An Elegant design!

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple is located on the south side banks of River Tungabhadra. The temple has a 49 m (160-foot) high tower at its entrance. This temple is believed to be built in 7th century AD and this has been preserved good, bearing some damages. It remains the oldest and the most primary temple in Hampi. Lord Virupaksha (Shiva) is the primary god that’s been worshiped here though several other gods (idols) has been worshiped just like any other Hindu Temple.

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The 160 ft (49 m) high Tower at the entrance of Virupaksha Temple.
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The Big Bro at Virupaksha Temple. Meanwhile, all the local school kids were getting back to the entrance after their visit.
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Live Telecast of the grand Bug Fix! Checking out Tics and Mites for her partner.
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The Temple Elephant, Lakshmi was super busy offering blessings to the pilgrims of this ancient temple.

Hampi Bazaar

Hampi Bazaar is right opposite or to the south side of the Main Entrance Tower of Virupaksha Temple through the Chariot Street. This place definitely gives that ancient look with lots of Mandapas (Halls) and a lengthy platform associated with lots of pillars throughout. Besides lot of Mandapas here, there is a small hill with huge and majestic single stone rocks; with everything put together gives a marvelous look of Hampi in this place.

And to ride my motorcycle here at this artistic and ancient place is a real honor and blessing offered by the Vijaya Nagar Empire.

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Taking a ride on motorcycle in ancient Hampi Bazaar was a real blessing and honor.
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That’s the Spot Light moment for the two Pulsar Motorcycles in the Hampi Bazaar.

River Tungabhadra

This river which flows through this ancient city Hampi is an absolute beauty. River Tungabhadra literally personifies the elegance of Hampi in several ways. We didn’t get to capture any picture of this beautiful river which is quite a bit worrying. Never forget to get the view of this river from the Matanga Hill, lots of web search would recommend you this attraction.

My very kind apologies that I couldn’t post a picture on this one. 😦

Krishna Temple

As the name suggests, this temple is devoted to Lord Krishna. We were not pretty much attracted to this temple to be quite honest. But we were pulled over by the row of hollow iron bars used for the renovation on this temple. We did quite a few different attempts on photography with the iron bars. We absolutely loved these try outs on our photography.

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The front view of the Krishna Temple and this one was pretty simple just like any other Hindu Temple.
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From Left – That’s Me and the Big Bro. Just saying Thums Up on this Hampi Travel through the bars of the Renovation Work.
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Had real fun times at Krishna Temple! – Do we look like climbing up the bars? No we aren’t! Take a closer look.
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A closer shot! – We’re actually holding our breath longer to pose for some shots looking to be climbing up the bars. 🙂

Krishna Bazaar

Though we were not pretty much attracted to Krishna Temple, we were stunned by the looks of Krishna Bazaar. Quite a few mandapas all around with quite a few pavilions and platforms. This one gives a magnificent overview of how people would have done sales and purchasing. Ancient Empires and People have given primary importance for a specific and secular place for sales and purchasing things. OMG! By getting in to such thoughts, History is absolutely amazing.

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This is one place which left me wondering about it for hours. The beautiful place where Sales and Purchasing would have done in ancient times.

Sasivekalu Ganesha

Sasivekalu Ganesha is a giant statue of Lord Ganesha located inside an open pavilion. The potbelly of the god is in the shape of mustard seed and hence the name (The word ‘Sasivekalu’ signifies Mustard Seed in local and regional language, Kannada).

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The big sculpture of the so called Elephant god, the Lord Ganesha.
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The kids running towards the beautiful sculpture of Sasivekalu Ganesha.

Statue of Ugra Narsimha & Shiv Linga

This huge statue was sculptured in 1528 in the reigns of Krishnadevaraya. It’s been said that the statue of Ugra Narsimha is the largest of all the statues in Hampi. The statue of Ugra Narsimha, Hampi is 6.7 meters in height. The statue was carved out of a single block of stone. The Ugra Narsimha at Hampi is placed on the top of the Hemkunta Hills. Ugra means ferocious state and Narsimha means Half Man-Half Lion in the local language. Ugra Narsimha signifies the aggressive and ferocious state of the God Narsimha (An Avatar of Lord Vishnu).

The huge Shiv Linga statue was carved out of a single block of stone and that is monolithic by the architecture terms.

“A stone is ingrained with lots of geological and historical memories”  – Andy Goldsworthy.

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From Left – Prabhu and myself at the entrance of the huge Ugra Narsimha sculpture. And this sculpture was ruined to an extent during certain invasions.
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The Monolithic Shiv Linga sculpture which is right adjacent to Ugra Narsimha. Such a big one!

Dasara Dibba or Mahanavami Dibba

The 3 tier Architecture of Mahanavami Dibba is a highly specialized platform which are richly decorated with beautiful engravings. The carvings at the lower portion of the Dasara Dibba are the most fascinating ones. The sides of the platform are engraved with carvings of Musicians, Elephants, Hunting scenes and so on. Mahavanami Dibba which is also called Dasara Dibba was specifically used by the Kings of Vijayanagara Empire to watch the celebrations of the Dasara and Mahanavami festivals from the top of the 12 m high and 3 tier stone platform.

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Such a stunning and big stage! The 3 tier architecture highly used by the Kings at the times of Festival Celebrations.
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The 12 m high Stone Platform – Used by the Kings to watch the festival celebrations at the times of Dasara and Mahanavami.
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The Local school kids are taking the steps to get over to the top of the Dibba.

Matanga Hill

Matanga Hill came up as one of the significant attractions in our google search about Hampi. But to our bad luck and with the lack of time, we couldn’t make it to this fantastic place. This beautiful rock filled hill would give a phenomenal all around view of the Hampi and the beautiful River Tunghabadra which runs through rugged plains of the ancient city Hampi.

I couldn’t upload any picture of it and take my kind apologies for that.

Vijaya Vittala Temple and the Shit Rule!

Being the last day of our travel plans, we were highly determined to have this visited in our Hampi Travel somehow. Visiting this temple itself became an achievement at the very last minute. As we were running faster from the Parking lot having told by some of the visitors returning back from the temple that 6 pm is the closing time for visitors.

We told ourselves “Let’s get our butts run faster and never mind the shit, if it does come out!” 😉 😉 And you know what, all three of us did stick by the Shit Rule and we didn’t get our butts spoiled! 😀 😀 Finally we managed to enter the premises of Vijaya Vittala Temple right before 6 pm and we were pretty much glad that we made it.

Built in 15th century AD the Vijaya Vittala Temple is a rich architectural marvel that serves as one of the most visited and vital places in Hampi. This temple has a widespread campus which consists of several other Hampi Temples, Pavilions and Mandapas (Halls). This temple is dedicated to Lord Vittala who was one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. One of the main attractions of the temple are its elegant and pillared mandapas that reflect true wonders of architecture along with a gigantic stone chariot.

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The half ruined Temple Tower at the entrance from inside the premises of Vijaya Vittala Temple.
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The Big Center Structure of the Vijaya Vittala Temple. The pillars of this Mandapa are known for their unique sound generating characteristics.
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Ruined or demolished remains of the Vittala Temple. These ruined stuffs completely unsettled me for a couple of hours. 😦
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One of the beautiful views from the Interior portion of the temple.

 

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Seen from this view – The Stone Chariot, The Center Mandapa and One of the Other Mandapas of the temple.
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Seen from this view! – The Sound generating Columns of the Pillars, the Stone Chariot and the Entrance Tower of the temple.

Stone Chariot

Stone Chariot is a primary attraction in Vijaya Vittala Temple. This Chariot was completely made out of stone with lots of carvings in it which is truly amazing.

The guide was clearly explaining about the detailed history of the architectural wonders of the Vittala Temple and the Vijaya Nagar Empire. Besides this, one can still find the remains of the Vittalapura Township, which once existed outside the temple campus. This entire place, along with its history and remains is exemplary of the true marvel of religious architecture.

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At last! We all three in one picture right at one of the vital landmarks of the historical city Hampi.

Prior visiting Hampi in Karnataka, I wasn’t a big fan of Historical stuffs. But having visited Hampi and getting to know the ancient stories and doing a bit of gentle research about the history, it leaves me completely stunned and awe-inspiring. But what disheartening and can’t be digested for ever is the demolitions that happened, which led to losing the depth and the real history of Hampi.

They say that “Everything is fair in Love and War”. But what I say is, “When you invade an Empire, though you’re the f**king king of an empire, don’t ever dare touching the Sculptures, Temples and Inscriptions. If you want your name to be remembered then go ahead and scribble your name somewhere and we will remember it for your f**king sake!”

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The Climax Part! As we were leaving from the incredible and classical city HAMPI.

Having visited HAMPI, now the travel wanderlust has been highly triggering in me to go and see the likes of TROY, SPARTA, ROME, ATHENS, GIZA, DELHI, AGRA.. and so on! Vamos!! 😉 🙂

I see my motorcycle Pulsar 150 cc as my Time Machine here which helped putting me back in those ancient times. A salute for my motorcycle (buddy) named, Jet Lee! 😉

History and the Historical Hampi – Both are absolutely fabulous!

Have you ever got amazed and perplexed with the beauty of History somewhere? Come on! Share with me… What’s your story? 🙂 

Photography by – Karmughil Vannan , Murugesh Durai (Big Bro) and Sathis Kumar (Prabhu)

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24 thoughts on “17 Fascinating Attractions of HAMPI! An Ancient, Classical and Historical city in India for World Travelers.

    1. Yeap! Hampi is even more charming and elegant in real looks than in the photos. Elephant Stables are one of my favorite spots in Hampi. Glad you loved it. Thanks a lot for your frequent visits on my blog. I’m pretty much humbled. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. it is truly a fascinating place. One of my best trips has been the one to Hampi. Serene, picturesque and soulful. We stayed in a simple (very economical) guest house, ate simple street food…had an amazing time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome. Its great to know Hampi was one of your best trips. Hampi truly deserves that credit. Absolutely. Very true. That’s soulful. We had a great time too. Thanks for your visit Purva. Much appreciated. 🙂 🙂

      Like

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