Stone Chariot, Vithala Temple - Hampi
Hampi - Enter The Lost World
Hampi can very well be compared to a phoenix. Hampi was the capital of last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagara before it was attacked by Muslims rulers. Suddenly, one of the marvels of medieval era faded away. It remained very many unknowns to the outside world till UNESCO recognized it as a World Heritage Site. Hampi started getting the attention and accolades that it deserved. And now it is one of the most visited and admired places in India. Situated around 300 Km from Bangalore, Hampi is the second largest world heritage site in the World. The govt. recently has been actively taking measures to preserve this marvel of time. The ruins of the once great kingdom, scattered in an area of 26 sq. km is slowly positioning itself for the title of 'Pride of Karnataka'
Attractions - Built For Gods
Every part of Hampi is an attraction in itself Step into the city and you are greeted by magnificently carved Dravidian style temples and forts. The place had been a tourist attraction even in the 15th and 16th century.
Vithala Temple is one reason why Hampi is so famous all over the world. This is the most splendidly carved building you will ever see. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple was completed in the year 1565, almost five decades after the Krishnadevaraya started it. The main attraction in the temple is Stone Chariot standing in the courtyard and a 56-pillared hall. It is said that the pillars produce musical sounds when they are stroked. The temple is situated to the east side of main market of Hampi.
This is the most sacred temple as well as the biggest structure of the city. The temple is also known as Pampapathi Temple. The temple has shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Goddess Pampa and Goddess Bhuvaneshwari. This is the only temple in Hampi where still regular pujas and prayers are held. The main temple has a Sanctum, a mukha mandapa, an open pillared hall and three chambers. The Ranga Mandapa is the most splendid of all.
Hazara Rama Temple
Hazara Rama Temple is one of the most splendid works that you will find in Hampi. You will find carvings on the outer walls of the temple are not very common in structures of Hampi. The carvings are generally depicting different scenes from Ramayana. That is how the temple got its name as 'Hazara Rama Temple'. The temple now lay deserted but is believed to be the private place for royal family to worship.
According to the inscriptions found on the statue of Lakshmi Narasimha called the Ugra Narasimha, it was build in the year 1528 during the rule of Krishnadevaraya. Ugra Narasimha is a gigantic statue that rises to a height of 6.7 meters. The huge statue of Lord Narasimha sits atop a coiled snake Adishesha. The artistry of the statue is simply unbelievable. The statue is completely build of granite which is a very hard substance. It is said that the artist could not manage delicate carvings on granite. So they made the statue huge so that the carvings can be done accordingly. There was a small figure of Lakshmi sitting on the lap of statue which came loose. The figure of Goddess Lakshmi is now kept in Kamalapura Museum.
Accommodation in Hampi
When Visiting Hampi, you have the option of either staying in Hampi or keep your base in Hospet which is at a distance of 13 Km. Though both of the places have same quality of hotels. There are more lodges and tourist homes in both the towns. The best places to stay are Lokare Lodge, Hotel Mayura Vijayanagar in Hospet and Mayura Lodge.
Nearest airport is at Bellary which is at a distance of 77 Km. Bellary receives regular flights from Bangalore and Goa. Air Deccan is the major flight operator to Bellary. There is road transportation available in form of buses and taxis. It will take around 2 hrs to cover the distance.
Hospet is the nearest railway station which is at a distance of 13 km from Hampi. You can take a bus or hire a taxi from the railway station to Hampi. More than 10 trains pass through Hospet everyday. There are trains coming in from Bangalore.
Hampi is connected to all the nearby areas and all the major cities of Karnataka. Buses into the city from these destinations are regular. KSRTC buses from Hospet are the most frequent. Htis ensures good connectivity with other cities as well.
Taxis and auto rickshaws are the main mode of transport in India. To explore the famous ruins of Hampi, you can alos hire a bicycle. By far the best option for people with good endurance as you can roam around at your own pace.