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All About Hampi

Hampi is a religious city located in Karnataka, South India, which was also the capital of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire. A temple ....

Hampi is a religious city located in Karnataka, South India, which was also the capital of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire. A temple named Hampi is also established in it. This temple is situated on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra river. The city was one of the largest princely and largest cities of its time. The rulers of ‘Vijayanagara’ founded the city during the 13th century.

About Hampi

  • Location: Traditionally known as Pampakshetra of Kishkindha, Hampi is located in central Karnataka on the banks of the Tungabhadra River.
  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • It is renowned for its historical and archaeological significance, as it was once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, one of the greatest Hindu empires in South India, which thrived from the 14th to the 16th century.
  • River: The Tungabhadra River flows through Hampi.
  • The site boasts numerous grand temples, palaces, marketplaces, and other structures.
  • Some of the prominent landmarks include the Virupaksha Temple, Vittala Temple, Lotus Mahal, Queen’s Bath, and Elephant Stables.
  • Temples of this city are noted for their large dimensions, florid ornamentation, bold and delicate carvings, stately pillars, magnificent pavilions and a great wealth of iconographic and traditional depictions which include subjects from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Monuments And Temples

Virupaksha Temple
  • The Virupaksha Temple, also known as the Pampavathi Temple, is located in Hampi.
  • It is one of the oldest structures in Hampi, predating the establishment of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • During the Vijayanagara Empire, the temple underwent significant expansion and became a grand and impressive structure.
  • The temple is dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, the patron god of the Vijayanagara rulers.
  • It features three entrance towers or gopuras, with the main entrance tower being the tallest at 49 meters.
  • There is a smaller second entrance tower that leads to the temple’s courtyard.
  • The temple complex includes subsidiary temples and extends to the Tungabhadra River, accessed through the Kanakagiri gopura.
  • The Virupaksha Temple is a significant religious and architectural landmark in Hampi.
Linga Badawi
  • Linga Badavi is the tallest monolithic Linga in Hampi, standing at a height of 3 feet.
  • It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located adjacent to the Lakshmi Narasimha statue.
  • Carvings of Lord Shiva’s three eyes adorn the Linga housed within the chamber.
  • Local folklore associates the commissioning of the Linga with a peasant woman, giving rise to its association with the term “Badya,” meaning impoverished in the local language.
  • The Linga’s sanctuary is connected to a water passage, ensuring that it is always submerged in water.
  • Linga Badavi holds great religious significance and is a notable attraction in Hampi.
Vittala Temple Complex
  • The Vittala Temple complex is a prominent feature of the Hampi site.
  • It houses various halls, pavilions, and multiple temples, including the famous stone chariot.
  • The stone chariot has become an iconic symbol of Hampi and is utilized by Karnataka Tourism.
  • The Vittala Temple, constructed in the 15th century AD, is the main temple within the complex.
  • It is dedicated to Lord Vittala, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
  • The temple has earned renown for its exceptional architecture, especially the intricately carved pillared halls.
  • From the Vittala Temple complex, one can observe the remains of the Vittalapuram Township that once surrounded it.
  • The Vittala Temple complex holds high regard for its historical significance and architectural grandeur.
Ganigatti Temple
  • The Ganigatti Jain temple is situated in Ganagatti, India and is one of the Jain temples in Hampi.
  • Alongside the Ganigatti temple, the Parsvanath Charan and Ratnantraykut Jain temples are among the several Jain temples in Hampi.
  • Many of the Jain temples in Hampi are in ruins and lack idols.
  • The temples were constructed in the 14th century, based on the evidence provided by the ruins.
  • The Ganigatti Jain Temple, which is one of the earliest temples of the Vijayanagara Empire, features a design of a stepped pyramid with six gradually decreasing levels.
  • Another notable Jain temple is the Kunthunath Jain Temple, known as the “Oil-Woman Temple.”
  • The Kunthunath Jain Temple showcases a variety of Jain sculptures and follows the Vijayanagara style of architecture.
  • It consists of an inner sanctuary or garbha griha, as well as two halls, the antarala Ardha mantapa and the maha mantapa.
  • The Ganigatti and Kunthunath Jain temples hold historical and architectural significance within Hampi.
Krishna Temple
  • The Krishna Temple was constructed in 1513 CE during the reign of King Krishnadevaraya, in commemoration of his victory over the Orissan Gajapatis.
  • After the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire, the temple became abandoned.
  • Despite being in ruins, the Krishna Temple continues to be a popular tourist destination due to its remarkable technological features.
  • The temple showcases a swing pavilion and renowned melodic pillars, which produce musical notes when tapped.
  • Additionally, it includes a Sacred Tank or Pushkarani, a water reservoir of religious significance.
  • Within the temple courtyard, a large slab carries an inscription providing insights into the temple’s history.
  • The temple authorities have relocated the primary deity, which is a representation of Lord Krishna as a child known as Balakrishna.
  • The Krishna Temple captivates visitors with its architectural marvels and serves as a testament to the grandeur of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Lotus Mahal
  • The Lotus Mahal, situated in the Zanana Enclosure, is known by different names like the Lotus Palace, Chitrangini Mahal, and Kamal Mahal.
  • It is a two-story symmetric structure that resembles a lotus flower.
  • The Zanana Enclosure includes private temples and servant rooms dedicated to the Queen and other royal ladies.
  • Considered one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture, the Lotus Mahal showcases its beauty and intricacy.
  • The palace showcases a unique blend of Indian and Islamic architectural styles.
  • It features intricate carvings, arches, and domes, reflecting the elegance and grandeur of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • The Lotus Mahal is an architectural marvel and stands as a testament to the artistic and cultural legacy of the era.
Hampi Bazaar
  • The Virupaksha Bazaar, also known as the Bazaar of Hampi, is located at the foothills of Matanga Hill, next to the Virupaksha Temple.
  • This market stretches for approximately one kilometer and is a bustling hub of activity.
  • Noble houses and a series of historical pavilions lined the area, serving as market stalls and shops.
  • The Bazaar of Hampi has been an integral part of the town’s commercial and cultural life.
  • During the annual Hampi festival, this area transforms into the primary stage for various performances and festivities.
  • The Bazaar of Hampi showcases the vibrant atmosphere of a traditional market and provides visitors with a glimpse into the past glory of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Archaeological Museum
  • The Archaeological Museum in Kamalapura, founded by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), is a major attraction in Hampi.
  • The museum began collecting antiques in 1972 and has since become a repository for various historical artifacts.
  • The museum comprises four galleries that house a diverse range of exhibits.
  • The galleries showcase sculptures, armoury, religious objects, gold and copper coins, sati stones, brass plates, and other artifacts from the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • Visitors can explore the rich history and cultural heritage of the region through the extensive collection displayed in the museum.
  • The Archaeological Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the art, architecture, and daily life of the Vijayanagara Empire.

Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka, was the capital of the Vijayanagar kingdom, known for its majestic temples and unique architecture.

FAQs Related With Hampi
Ques 1: What is Hampi?

Answer: Hampi, also known as the Hampi Group of Monuments, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka, India. It served as the capital of the Vijayanagar kingdom.

Ques 2: What is the historical significance of Hampi?

Answer: Hampi was the last capital of the Vijayanagar empire, a powerful Hindu kingdom that thrived between the 14th and 16th centuries. It gained renown for its immense wealth and grand Dravidian temples and palaces.

Ques 3: What can visitors expect to see in Hampi?

Answer: Visitors to Hampi can explore the fascinating ruins of the Vijayanagar kingdom, including majestic temples, palaces, arches, pillared halls, and sculptures. The site also features well-kept woodlands and gardens with intricate sculptural themes.

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