If you are on a solo trip in search of inspiration, Hampi is the place of peace and filled with air of enthusiasm. Hampi is a tiny village located on the banks of Tungabhadra River and Group of Monuments scattered on broad acres. It is counted as most ancient village and amongst the largest and most prosperous cities of the world during its period of power and vigour. Hapmi remained an integral part of the capital city of Vijayanagar Empire in 13th – 15th century AD. Being located in a strategically favourable position river on one side and hilly terrains surrounding the other. It is a place og bold boulders, carved temples, superior buildings of civil and military, grand stables, high watch towers within the fortification walls.
Krishnadevrai, King of Vijayanagar initiated building up structures from his own residence and Darbar – an official gathering place and later on other structures were added.
We Indians believe that the Lord Shiva is the creator of universe and life. Being patron deity of Hampi, the main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva i.e. Virupaksha Temple. Highly decorated ‘Gopuram’ – an entrance gateway to the temple is a unique feature of Dravidian style and only seen in South Indian temple complexes. This Dravidian architecture has perfect geometrical plan and section. “Laxmi” is an elephant of VirupakshaTemple, she will bless you for a coin or some fruits.
BadaviLinga is the largest monolithic Linga measuring 3 feet, it is a statue form of Lord Shiva. A water channel is linked to the sanctum of the Linga which always remains submerged in water.
The most beautiful and famous part of Hampi is Vitthala Temple complex. Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, built in 15th century AD is an architectural gem that consists of wondrously created musical pillared halls, pavilions and other small temples. The most notably the colossal stone chariot which is an iconic.
Lotus Mahal or ChitranginiMahal located in the Zanana Enclosure. This is meant for the queen and other royal ladies to spend quality time. The palace outlooks as one of finest example of Indo – Islamic architecture with the base of typifying Vijayanagar style while upper pyramidal towers depicting Islamic architectural style.
Queen’s Bath is the most private place built for the bath which is highly decorated, most comfortable and advanced techniques were used for water supply. Military buildings were built for storage and trade purposes, storage of weapons, grains, etc. Elephant stable is the most attractive eight compartment structure. The alternate square and hexagonal base dome construction is so superior in large stones and calcium mortar. Pointed arches, domes, symmetrical planning are the impressions of Mughal style.
The number of religious buildings like Achyutraya Temple, Chandramauleshwara Temple, Jain Temple, Krishna Temple, Vitthala and Virupaksha Temple are the major temple complexes. Along the entrances of temples, specific trade structures are avail. There were trades of gold, silver, precious stones – gems, metallic pottery and ladies ornaments. Trade were the major economic source of that time.
Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Karnataka government and UNESCO are collaboratively working on conservation of this 600 acres heritage village. The most visited and lovable tourist destination, 3 – 4 days will not that enough to explore Hampi.
P.S. – New York Times enlisted Hampi as a 2nd “Must See Global Destination” !!!