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As per the archeologists, the world’s largest city in the 16th century, Hampi, Karnataka in India, retains itself as a renowned World Heritage Site known for its grandeur of ruins at present. Especially striking for its temples and magnificent architecture, Hampi is steeped in history. The giant boulders mysteriously perched on each other lend a fascinating landscape, whereas the paddy fields stay in contrast with the rusty hues of the terrain. Just not historical, it has been a dream place for backpackers owing to its Hippie Island as well.

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About Hampi

The Vijayanagara Empire dating back to 1500 A.D in Indian history, built the City Of Hampi, located on the Banks Of The Tungabhadra River. It was also ruled by the rulers Harihara 1 and Bukka 1 and has also been sacked by Muslim invaders. Historians believe that the metropolis was bigger than Rome, Baghdad, or Istanbul even. Declared as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1986, the architecture rolls Islamic style with Eastern elements combining itself with Indo-Saracenic architecture. The architecture exudes few Islamic-style elements, although it has carvings and sculptures of Hindu Gods. There are groups of monuments as well as ancient ruins, royal pavilions, markets as well as the sweeping boulder-strewn landscape making this place surreal to visit.

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Monuments In Hampi

India is a place known for its diversity of cultures. Here, Hampi is filled with countless monuments, temples, and ruins.

Virupaksha Temple

The oldest temple of Hampi harks back to the 7th century A.D and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Starting as a little shrine, the temple sprawled into a huge complex during the Vijaynagara empire. The architecture of the temple involves the complex concepts of Mathematics and Engineering back then also. Be it the concept of fractals-geometric patterns created by repeating the same process with different scales, the Fibonacci number sequence in architectural design or the inverted shadow mystery of the temple contributed by concepts of Physics. It is nine-tiered and 50 meters in length, with a holy shrine, pillars, antechambers, and entranceways surrounding the temple.

Vittala Temple ComplexIMG_20220621_141431-1

The musical pillars inside this temple have fascinated people down the centuries as the pillars produce musical tones when they are struck with a thumb. Those 56 pillars known as SaReGaMa pillars produce the seven musical notes despite being hollow. Currently, they are bounded by the government to protect them. Apart from this, the temple has intricate carvings and the huge complex has Stone Chariot and various other small structures.

Stone Chariot, Hampi

This massive Stone Chariot is one of the prime attractions of Hampi and is a part of the famous Vittala temple complex. The chariot is dedicated to Garuda (an eagle), the escort of the Hindu deity, Lord Vishnu. The sculpture of Garuda was once witnessed atop the chariot but is not there at present. The chariot is deemed to have a sacrosanct presence and is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as well. Built by King Krishnadevraya in the 16th century, it has Dravidian-style architecture.

Badavi LingaPranjali

The largest monolithic Linga, a shrine dedicated to the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva, Badavi Linga enthralls with its glory. The shrine is constantly immersed in water, and the sanctum has no ceiling. On observing, one can see three eyes on the Shiva Linga, which symbolizes Trinity. A tradition exists of tossing a coin while asking your desires to the Lord, and if the coin lands on the Linga itself, the wishes are deemed to be fulfilled.

Lakshmi Narsimha Temple

The largest statue in Hampi, Narsimha, is one of the incarnations of the Hindu deity, Lord Vishnu. Seated on the coil of a giant seven-headed snake called Sesha, this God is seated in a cross-legged Yoga position. The deity seems to be aggressive in expression owing to its protruding eyes and facial expressions. The term “Narsimha” means half man, half lion.

Mahanavami Dibba

The tallest structure of Hampi, the House of Victory, or Mahanavami Dibba, is a beautiful stone platform inside the Royal Enclosure in Hampi. Built by King Krishnadevraya, this platform was used by the kings to watch the army march past the royal procession; this platform is about 12 m in height. There are mainly two stairways to reach the top. The top of the platform gives you an encompassing view of the campus.

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Famous Activity in Hampi

Coracle Ride is one of the prominent activities in Hampi. The coracles are traditional round boats that are made of bamboo and plastic. Such boats are generally used in many parts of Asia, such as India and Vietnam, as well as in Europe, such as Wales and Ireland. Such boats can endure 6-8 people at a time, and this ride takes place across the Tungabhadra river. This ride takes place on the Tungabhadra river, and you can witness famous spots underlying in water.

Where To Take The Coracle Ride?

The coracle ride can be taken at Sanampur Lake, but it is away from the Hampi temple areas. Also, it can be taken at the spot named Chakratirtha, which is near Hampi bazaar.

Cost Of The Ride

The ride costs around 500 INR per person for a 30-minute ride.

Where To Eat In Hampi

Even though Hampi is a remote place in India, it has a plethora of cute cafes owing to its backpacker's culture. Cafés such as Laughing Buddha Cafe, Mango Tree, Mowgli, Gopi Roof Restaurant, and Nargila are a few best options to be considered. Right from Indian cuisine, one may find Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, and Israeli cuisine to their surprise.

How To Reach Hampi

By Air: The nearest airport to Hampi is in the district Ballari which is at a distance of 64 km from Hampi. Ballari offers connectivity to major cities in India.

By Train: Hampi does not have any railway station, and thus, the nearest one is Hospet. It is around 13 km from Hampi.

By Road: Hampi is well accessible by road as well. Generally, people reach Hampi via Hospet, Karnataka, and it is around 13 km from Hampi.