A World Heritage Site, Hampi is renowned for its ruins, which date back to the ancient Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar and are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites network. The exceptional craftsmanship of the temples of Hampi, as well as its monolithic statues and monuments, draws tourists to the region. It is the magnificence of the Vijaynagar Empire that may be seen reflected in the Hindu style of architecture present at Hampi. In addition to the harsh scenery, this location has a historic aura. Hampi is a city in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, in the country's central area. It is the site of an ancient civilization. It is 353 kilometers away from Bangalore and 13 kilometers away from Hospet. It is perched on top of a rocky outcrop, 467 meters above sea level, and offers spectacular views. It is via Hampi that the Tungabhadra River runs. The area has a tropical climate, with hot summers (April to June) and chilly winters (November to February) being the norm (October-February). For much of the summer months, from June to August, it is vulnerable to rains brought in by the southwest monsoon.
It was originally the capital of the ancient Vijayanagara Dynasty, which was based at Hampi, a temple town in northern Karnataka. This charming location, nestled among spectacular remains of the past, has been attracting visitors from far and wide for a long time. One of the most notable features of this location is the beauty of the ruins of temples and other monuments at Vijayanagar, which date back to the year 1500 AD. A number of historical texts claim that Hampi was once the world's second-most populous city. There are a plethora of boulders in and around Hampi that are simple to climb. By climbing one of the rocks, one may enjoy a spectacular perspective of the ruins that dot the landscape surrounding Hampi. There are a number of tourist attractions in Hampi, which is on the banks of the Tungabhadra River and includes the Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple, and Nandi Statue, among other attractions. The ideal time to visit Hampi is during the three-day Hampi festival, which takes place every year between October and November.
As early as the first century AD, a village called Hampi was established, and various Buddhist sites from that period have been discovered in the area. When the powerful Vijaynagar Empire reigned in India, Hampi served as its capital. A vast Hindu kingdom in India, Vijaynagar was one of the biggest. It was founded in 1336 by two brothers, Harihar and Bukka, who were also brothers. He was the most powerful emperor in Indian history, and he ruled over almost all of peninsular India south of the Tungabhadra River from 1509 until 1529. It was estimated that when Hampi was established in the fourteenth century, it would have been home to a half-million people. The city was fortified with seven concentric rings of defenses. For protection against neighboring kingdoms, it maintained a large army of its own. Due to its dominance over both the cotton and spice trade routes in southern India, the Vijaynagar Empire thrived. Hampi is regarded as a significant hub of commerce by medieval historians. Despite this, Vijaynagar's renown lasted only for a short time. In 1565, the united forces of five Muslim kingdoms-Bidar, Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmednagar, and Berar-destroyed the powerful empire of Krishnadevaraya, who died in the battle of Bidar.
Temples in Hampi
- Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple: dedicated to Lord Hanuman, takes its name from an amulet containing an image of the monkey god. Hanuman is positioned in a unique way compared to other images of Lord Hanuman in Hampi. Hampi's second-most revered shrine to Lord Hanuman, this temple is a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus.
- Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple: Sasivekalu in Hampi, the temple of Ganesha or Ganesha statue, is a must-see site. The massive statue of Sasivekalu Ganesha is a stunning sight to see.
- Achyutraya Temple: Another name for this temple is Hampi's Tiruvengalanatha Temple in honor of its most important deity, Lord Shiva's form Tiruvengalanatha. In comparison to the other temples of Hampi, it has a more contemporary architectural style. Many of the carvings portray legendary stories and may be seen on pillars, walls, and monolithic stones around the site.
- Badavilinga Temple: Three-meter-tall Shivlinga, created entirely out of a single rock, stands among flowing water. As a popular tourist destination in the Hampi area, it is located near the Lakshmi Narasimha temple. There is a shrine devoted to Lord Shiva called the Shiva Temple.
- Vithala Temple: is, also known as the Hampi Temple, is the most notable structure in the city and dates back to the 16th century. There are no words to adequately express how magnificent this piece of exquisite craftsmanship is. You can see the world-famous stone chariot, which is kept in this temple in Hampi and has become an iconic emblem of the region's architectural heritage. The temple complex encompasses a significant amount of land. There is an outstanding arch with carvings at the entrance to the main gate, which leads onto a spacious courtyard with the famed stone chariot in the center. The main temple, which is positioned directly behind the chariot and has intricate sculptures, is worth seeing. Additionally, there are a number of smaller temples located within the courtyard, each of which is well worth a visit in and of itself. It is shown on the walls/pillars of these constructions that many deities are depicted in diverse shapes.
- Virupaksha Temple: It is known as the Pampapathi temple, and it is the most important temple in Hampi. It was built in the 7th century and is the most important temple in Hampi. It is considered to be one of the most significant archaeological sites on the planet. Besides that, it is the country's oldest temple. Lord Virupaksha, one of Lord Shiva's many manifestations, is worshipped in the temple, which is dedicated to him. Despite the fact that it is now situated in Hampi, it was originally a tiny shrine located in the heart of the old and glorious Vijayanagara kingdom. On the temple's walls, you can observe beautiful stone inscriptions dating back to the 7th century, illustrating the temple's long and famous history. A visit to the temple is recommended for everyone who is interested in architecture and history, and you may do it while in Hampi.
- Chandramouliswara Temple: A lesser-known temple in Hampi due to its location on an island on the northern bank of the Tungabadra river, it is still one of the most important structures in Hampi. It is, nevertheless, a magnificent temple devoted to Lord Shiva, which is decorated with beautiful sculptures. Having withstood the test of time, this temple is a must-see attraction.
- Varaha Temple: In the city of Varaha, there is a temple dedicated to Varaha (the boar), one of Vishnu's ten incarnations, which is dedicated to him. Boars are carved into the walls of the temple, which is housed in a rectangular courtyard with an entry tower. The inner sanctum is located in the center of the compound, and it has a great deal of historical significance. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful temples erected by the Vijaynagara kingdom.
- Chandikesvara Temple: One of Hampi's most renowned temples, it is a must-see on every visitor's itinerary. Given its strategic position along the major route through Hampi, it is impossible to overlook it. The Chandikesvara temple, which was erected in honor of Vishnu, is notable for its magnificent carvings on the pillars, which depict various subjects from Hindu mythology. The carvings on the pillars are particularly noteworthy.
- Saraswati Temple: Beautiful sculptures adorn the pillars of this temple, which was erected in the 13th century AD and dedicated to the goddess Saraswati. It is one of the most visited places in India. The temple is well-known for its spectacular architecture, as well as the terracotta stucco figurines that cover the walls of the temple complex. The rock in front of the temple has a magnificent picture of the goddess etched into it, and it is just across from the temple.
- Pattabhirama Temple: One of the less-known temples in Hampi, it is as massive as the Vittala temple and devotes itself to Lord Rama. One of the biggest temple marriage halls in Karnataka and a beautiful garden are two of its most notable features.
- Prasanna Virupaksha: This temple, dedicated to Prasanna Virupaksha, dates back to the 14th century AD (an avatar of Lord Shiva). Due to its subterranean location, the temple becomes inundated during the rainy season. Elegant but basic and Vijaynagara-influenced pillar structure is seen in temple construction.
- Ganagitti Temple: This Hampi Jain temple, erected in 1386 by Vijayanagara monarch Harihara II's architect Iruguppa Daanyaka, is one of the city's most renowned landmarks. In spite of its small stature, this temple is a popular destination for travelers in Hampi.
- Kodanda Rama Temple: Dedicated to Lord Rama, it is a well-known temple in the town of Hampi. The Kodanda Rama Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Location with a long and colorful history, having been the site of Lord Rama's execution of Vali and being mentioned in the Ramayana.
- Hemakuta Hill Temple: Many of the temples atop Hemakunta Hill, are dedicated to Lord Shiva, as is the case across India. Fortifications surround each one, creating a private environment.
- Sri Krishna Temple: King Kishnadevaraya's distinctive architectural style is on display at this well-known Hampi temple, which has intricate sculptures of Lord Krishna and other figures from Hindu mythology. If you're a fan of architecture or religion, this is a must-see. Bala Krishna, the infant form of Lord Krishna, is the focus of this shrine.
- Lakshmi Narasimha Temple: Located inside this temple is the world's largest effigy of Narasimha, who is depicted as a seven-headed serpent that provides him with protection. The idol of Goddess Lakshmi is placed next to the statue of Lord Narasimha in this shrine.
- Hazara Rama Temple: This was a center of worship for the Royals, located in the heart of the Royal Centre. The walls and pillars inside the complex, as well as the outer walls, are exquisitely embellished with interesting carvings and ornamentation. When compared to the other temples in Hampi, this one is a little more modest in size. As a result of its historical significance, the 15th century Hazara Rama Temple has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). It is one of the most popular locations for filming in Karnataka, and with good reason: it is beautiful. Every photograph taken here is a frame that preserves the beauty of this captivating monument, which will be remembered for a lifetime by the people who see it.
- Kadelekalu Ganesh Temple: At the heart of Hampi sits the Kadalekalu Ganesh Temple. Located on Hemakuta Hill, the temple is characterized by traditional stone construction and is home to a massive 15-foot monolithic figure of Lord Ganesha, which is said to be the biggest monument of Lord Ganesha anywhere in the world. One of the reasons why the attraction is known as Kadalekalu is because the deity's belly has been chiseled to resemble the mythological creature Kadalekalu.
Best Time to Visit
From October through March, the greatest time to visit Hampi is when the weather is nice. Also, Purandara Festival is held annually in Hampi. Purandar's birth anniversary is commemorated with a yearly event, which takes place at the Vittal temple throughout the months of January and February.
To get a true sense of Hampi, you'll need to spend at least two full days there. You might obtain a general introduction at the ASI museum in Kamlapur to help you pick which destinations you would want to see on your trip. A pleasant stroll leads from the Virupaksha temple to the Vithala Temple complex, which might serve as the basic minimum of tourist attractions.