A cultural hub, Hampi is a site that teaches history lessons outside of the textbooks. Popularly known as ‘city of ruins’, Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You need to visit it once to experience its rustic magic. If you’re a history buff, then Hampi will be an enticing destination for you. It is like an open museum where each frame has a story to tell. The picture perfect town is steeped in history and the rich heritage. Rightly said, Hampi is a beautiful town that seems to have stepped out of a fairy tale book. The Ancient temples with intricate architecture are a proof of the glorious bygone era. Hampi has an amalgamation of cultures – from exquisite Jain temples to beautiful Islamic structures like mosques and tombs, each relic is awe-inspiring.
Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Bazaar, Royal Enclosure, Hampi Bazaar, Vittala Temple
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Hampi is one of the most popular “city of ruins” tugged amidst the hills and valleys of Karnataka. A delightful destination for any history buff, Hampi has more than 500 ancient monuments, bastions, temples, street markets, treasury building and invigorating remains of the bygone Vijayanagar Empire. Hampi is no less than an open museum with 100 and more locations to explore, experience and understand the old world city with a perspective of history. This gargantuan site has about 1,600 monuments and covers around 42 sq. km. Most of the monuments here are relics from the era between 1336 and 1570 CE, which were built during the Vijayanagara rule.
Hampi, once the capital of the erstwhile Vijayanagar Empire of 1500 AD, was also one of the largest cities of the world then. Over the period of time, it declined and today it is all about fabulous remains & relics of the past spread across a sprawling area. The landscape & terrain surrounding Hampi is equally mystical & perplexing as the dilapidated buildings in it. The place is surrounded by big & small boulders but then one can climb to the top of them for a stunning view of the entire city & its surroundings. River Tungabhadra flows near by the town adding an ethereal beauty to this place.
Hampi, is rightly termed as an open museum; The charm is to explore the place in a discovery style with surprises cropping up here & there every now & then. When here, visit most attractive & the massive and beautifully carved Virupaksha Temple. One can also see the remains of the old canals and aqueducts and the military barracks here. The prime places to visit in here include Virupaksha temple and market complex; Krishna temple, market, Narasimha and Linga; Achyutaraya temple and market complex; Vitthala temple and market complex; Hemakuta hill monuments; Hazara Rama temple; Kodandarama temple and riverside monuments; Pattabhirama temple complex; Mahanavami platform, public square complex; Water infrastructure; Fountains and community kitchen; Elephant stables and Zenana enclosure; Jain monuments in the Ganagitti temple complex; and the Muslim monuments such as Ahmad Khan mosque and tomb. Each and every relic is as fascinating as the other. One has to have a good appetite of history to enjoy.
Hampi is ever charismatic, even today in a ruined state. Dotted around the boulder hills and its valleys Hampi’s beauty is beyond words can describe. In 1986 this place was declared as an UNESCO World Heritage site and innumerable efforts are being put in to restore the lost glory of Hampi. There is also restrictions on modern development in and around the main area ensuring the retention of the place’s authenticity.
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