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Your trip to Hampi is incomplete until…

Malayavanta Raghunatha

Hampi will always feature in the top search if you are looking for Karnataka Tourism. Hampi is an UNESCO World Heritage site located near the Hospet town in Karnataka. Hampi was the capital of the great Vijayanagara Empire and offers some spellbound architectures which will keep you mesmerized. This place is a heaven for history buffs and for others it can paint a virtual picture of a great Empire and its daily proceedings. During its prime, Hampi was one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the world. Unfortunately, Hampi is in ruined state now, but it has more than 500 sculptures and exceptional architectures to offer which dates back to 1400-1500AD.

Panoramic view of Hampi

Panoramic view of Hampi

It is said that even a month’s time can be less to explore all the heritage sites of Hampi. Here we are listing the most important and charismatic architectures, which should take top priority in your itinerary for Hampi. You Hampi trip will remain incomplete if you have not covered:

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple

This temple can easily be listed on the oldest operating temples of India. This temple is functioning uninterruptedly ever since it’s inception in the 7th century. It is the only operating temple in Hampi and the principal temple of Hampi. Virupaksha Temple is located very near to the Hampi Bus Stand and posses’ phenomenal architecture. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts huge crowds from all over the globe annually. This is the place where the annual Hampi festival occurring in January is conducted. Access to the temple’s main entrance is through the chariot street in front which is surrounded by the remains of Hampi Bazaar.

Places of interest: Phenomenal architecture of the temple, Hampi Bazaar, Lakshmi, the temple elephant, Kadalekalu and Sasivekalu Ganesha (at walk able distance from the temple)

Any associated fees: Entry ticket (Rs5), Camera ticket (Rs50) and Video camera (Rs 500)

Achutya Raya Temple

This temple is a classic example of Vijayanagara architecture and the last temple project executed in Hampi before its downfall. The temple complex is located in a valley created by two hills – the Gandhamadana & Matanga hills. Being little off beat from the main tourist circuit, this place is less crowded and provides ample time and space for you to absorb the architecture and history associated with it. The Achyuta Raya temple complex has two enclosures, each having an entrance courtyard. The main temple is situated within the inner enclosure. There are two ways of getting to Raya temple complex. The first one is to take a side trip from the King’s Balance path situated near to the Vittala Temple and the second way is to climb the steps near the Monolithic Bull (Nandi) where you can reach by going opposite to the Virupaksha Temple.

Places of interest: the temple architecture

Any associated fees: Nil

Boating at Tungabhadra River

Circular coracle and Tungabhadra River

Circular coracle and Tungabhadra River

Hampi is located on the banks of Tungabhadra River, and you shouldn’t conclude your Hampi trip without a boating experience in the river on a circular shape coracle. The boat ride is available only till 6 in the evening and they charge INR 10 to 20 depending on the time & rush. The boating experience is very relaxing and tranquil. If you want to spend more time in boating and experience the ruins along the riverside, then you can shell some more money and get a 30 minute boating deal.

Places of interest: Tungabhadra River, boating experience on circular coracle

Any associated fees: Rs. 10-20 if you want to cross the river, Rs. 300 (for half an hour ride)

Hazara Rama Temple

Hazara Rama Temple

Hazara Rama Temple

A phenomenal Vijayanagara architecture which will keep you spellbound. This temple is located at the center of the Royal Center and its location can describe the importance of this temple in Vijayanagara Kingdom. Thouh there are no idols now, but the temple was dedicated to Lord Rama. The main attraction of this temple is the walls which depicts the story of Ramayana. The outer wall of the temple depicts the possessions that used to be followed in Vijayanagara Empire during the famous Hindu festival of Dusshera. This temple is a must visit for you in Hampi because of the sheer minuteness in the architecture and the precision which was maintained in constructing the temple with bare minimum technology.

Places of interest: the temple architecture, nearby interests like: Underground Shiva Temple, Pan Supari Bazaar, Mahanavami Dibba, Stepped bath, ruins of Noblemen’s Quarter etc.

Any associated fees: Nil

Queen’s Bath

Queen’s Bath

Queen’s Bath

Following the road across Hazara Rama Temple will lead you to another famous architecture of Hampi i.e. Queen’s Bath. It is one of the few structures in Hampi which is in a considerable healthy situation. It was constructed for the queens and kings to take bath before monitoring the army parades and other royal proceedings. This is a rectangular building constructed in the Indo-Islamic architecture. This structure has a 6 feet deep square pool inside, where the royal family used to take bath. A veranda is designed beautifully with pillars and windows which enables you to walk around the pool. This building is surrounded by a well-maintained garden where you can enjoy doing picnic.

Places of interest: the Indo-Islamic architecture, beautiful garden surrounding the structure.

Any associated fees: Nil

Zenana Enclosure

Lotus Mahal

Lotus Mahal

Zenana enclosure was a protected area reserved for the royal women. This enclosure is surrounded by watchtowers and houses most promising sculptures of Hampi. The major attraction is the Lotus Mahal located inside the enclosure. The Lotus Mahal is a two-storied arched pavilion made in Indo-Islamic style. You can also observe the ruins of Queen’s Palace inside the enclosure. The whole Zenana enclosure is encircled with tall and broad walls made out of cut stones. It is said that the enclosure was constructed in such a manner that the royal women could watch the royal ceremonial functions in privacy. This place has its own charm and you can literally experience the royal establishment of Vijayanagara Kingdom telling their stories in a pictorial way.

Places of interest: Lotus Mahal, Watch Towers, ruins of Queen’s Palace, Enclosure walls, ruins of water pavilion, Royal Treasury building

Any associated fees: Entry (Rs. 10 for Indians and Rs. 250 for foreigners). Same ticket can be used for Vittala Temple, if covered in a single day.

Elephant Stables

Elephant Stables

Elephant Stables

Walking through the Zenana Exclosure will lead you to this magnificent Elephant Stable sculpture. This is a classic example of Indo-Islamic symmetrical architecture. This is a horizontal building, used to provide shelters to the royal elephants. There are totally 11 chambers out of which the center chamber is relatively more decorated. The central dome is having a typical Vijayanagara temple like structure and the five domes on either side contains a very symmetrical and variety of design in the shape of octagonal, circular, ribbed, drum-shaped and fluted.

Places of interest: Architecture of the stables, museum

Any associated fees: Included in the Zenana Enclosure fee.

Vittala Temple

The Stone Chariot

The Stone Chariot

The postcard picture of Hampi-The Stone Chariot is located in this temple complex. This is the main center of Hampi’s attraction and consist the most extravagant architectural showpieces. There are many halls, pavilions and temples located inside this campus. The temple was originally built in the 15th century AD. You can see the remains of a township called Vittalapura that existed around this temple complex. The highlight of Vittala temple is its impressive pillared halls (mandapa) and the iconic stone chariot. The halls are carved with amazing array of sculptures on granite pillars. The phenomenal temple with Musical Pillars is situated in this compound.

Places of interest: Stone Chariot, temple architecture, Musical Pillars, The Maha-Mantapa, musicians hall.

Any associated fees: Included in the Zenana Enclosure fee if covered on a single day, or else same as that of Zenana Enclosure.

Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple

Malayavanta Raghunatha

Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple

This temple fails to be on the list of many tourists, but trust me this offbeat place has lot to offer. Being little detached from the rest of the typical tourist circuits, the Malyavanta Hill offers you a quiet and pleasant place to enjoy your evening and a sunset. This place is offers you more pleasant views than the much talked about Matunga Hill top. Perhaps the best sunset point of Hampi. Apart from the sunset, you have a large temple campus at the top dedicated to Lord Rama. You can also experience the Shivling/Nandi carvings on the hill.

Places of interest: Sunset, Panoramic view of Hampi, Shivling/Nandi carvings, temple architecture.

Any associated fees: Nil

1 Comment

  1. The article is really good and gives a good insight on the important place to be covered. 🙂

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