Hampi and Vijayanagar: ” If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi”
Hampi and Vijayanagar
” If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi” http://www.karnataka.com/tourism/hampi/
Saint Vidyaranya established the seat of Vijayanagara empire in 1336 A.D, with the help of his devotee disciples Hakka and Bukka. The empire later became famous for its support towards renovation/reconstruction of temples through out India. It also became renowned for re-establishment of Indian culture, its support for music, art and literature. With the prime purpose of caring for the people and their welfare, this empire stretched physically covering Karnataka, Andhra and and became a by-word for golden rule.
HAMPI, the seat of the famed VIJAYANAGARA empire was the capital of the largest empire in post-mogul India, covering several states. The empire reigned supreme under Krishnadevaraya, the Emperor. The Vijayanagara empire stretched over at least three states – Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The destruction of Vijayanagar by marauding Moghul invaders was sudden, shocking and absolute. They reduced the city to ruins amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beggaring description.
Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India. The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation. Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendor and fabulous wealth. The splendid remains of palaces and gateways of the broken city tells a tale of men infinite talent and power of creativity together with his capacity for senseless destruction.
|Strewn over a large area (about nine square miles) the ruins at Hampi offers to the tourist a remainder of the greatest land in the whole world. Every rock, every path and every monument at Hampi speak the same language; a language of glory and beauty. In March 2002, the Government of India has announced that Hampi would be developed as an centre. The State Govt will constitute a Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority for integrated development and conservation of Hampi.
Hampi is a World Heritage Centre
Hospet is the main town providing the getaway for Hampi. In April 2002, Karnataka officially set up the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority with wide-ranging powers, as well as a State Level Advisory Committee.
Most of the ruins are along the road leading from Kamalapura to Hampi.Three kms down the road, on a commanding site, stands the temple of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy.It is built in the Dravidian style. Strange-looking fishes and marine monsters carved along its outer walls are worth noticing.
The Virupaksha Temple rises majestically at the western end of the famous Hampi Bazaar. The temple has a 120 feet tall tower on its eastern entrance. The temple contains the shrines of Shiva, Pampa and Bhuvaneswari.Parts of this temple are older than the Vijayanagar kingdom itself. The work of this style dates back to the 11th or 12th century.
Nearby is the 6.7m tall monolith of Ugra Narasimha. An inscription nearby states that it was hewn from a single boulder in 1528 during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya.
|To the east of the hall is the famous Stone Chariot with stone wheels that actually revolve. In front of the shrine stands the great mantapa. Resting on a richly sculpted basement, its roof is supported by huge pillars of granite, about 15 feet in height, each consisting of a central pillar surrounded by detached shafts, all cut from one single block of stone. Several of the carved pillars were attacked with such fury that they are hardly more than shapeless blocks of stones and a large portion of the central part has been destroyed utterly.|
Nearby is the ‘Purandra Dasara Mantapa’ which has been also declared a protected monument.
House of Victory.
It was built when Krishnadeva Raya came back from his victorious expedition against the King of Orissa. The spaces between the rows of the plinth-mouldings here are most elaborately and elegantly carved. The kings of Vijayanagar used to sit on a grand throne in the House of Victory and witness the nine-day Dasara festival.
Westwards from the House of Victory, leading through two ruined gates, the path leads to the Hazara Ramaswami temple. This temple is believed to have been the private place of worship of the royal family. The chief attraction of the temple is the series of scenes from the Ramayana carved on two of the inside walls of the mantapa. The genesis of the place known today as Hampi dates back to the age of the Hindu epic Ramayana when it was the site of Kishkinda, a monkey kingdom.
- Lotus Mahal: shaped like a lotus flower from top, this two-story structure has beautiful arc ways set in geometric regularity. It was an air-cooled summer palace of the queen.
- Elephant Stables: This huge stable, a beautiful example of Hindu-Muslim style of architecture, housed about 11 elephants in separate compartments.
- Pushkarini Tank
- Mahanavami Dibba: The foundation of a lion story wooden structure from which the royalty viewed Hampi with pomp, colour and revelry during the Mahanadu festival. This platform has beautiful carvings.
- Mustard Ganesh: This is a 9 feet tall single stone statue which is also known as Sasivikalu Ganesha.
- Noblemen’s Palace: This place was recently discovered and they suspect this was for aristocrats and high-ranking officials.
Daroji Bear Sanctuary is very near Hampi. Though the sanctuary is relatively new, which began in 1994 in the eastern plains of Karnataka, it has proved to be a suitable habitat for the Indian Sloth Bears in a span of few years.Local Festivals: The Vijayanagar Festival organized by the Government of Karnataka in December recreates the grandeur of the bygone era.
How to get there
- The nearest airstrip at Tornagallu in Sandur Taluk which is 32 kms. from Hospet. Bangalore based air-charter operator, Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd (TAAL), has launched sightseeing charter flights to Hampi and Mysore in Oct 2002. Contact Anjan Rao at 98440-27699 for further details.
- The second nearest airport is Bellary(74 kms)
- Other convenient airports are at Belgaum (190 kms) and Bangalore(353 kms).
- Rail: Hospet is the nearest rail head (13 kms). Hospet is linked by rail to Bangalore, Bijapur,Hubli and Guntakal.
- Road: Hampi is 350 kms from Bangalore. KSRTC Buses ply regularly from Hospet.
Best time to visit: October to March
- Hotel Mayura Vijayanagar, Thungabadhra Dam Hospet, Tel: +91-8394-48270
- Hotel Priyadarshini, Station Road, Hospet, Tel: +91-8394-48838.
- Hotel Malligi, Hospet-Bellary Road.
- Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneswri, Kamalapur, Hampi. Tel: +91-8394-51374
- KSTDC Cottages.Tel: +91-8394-8108
If you need any assistance with booking in any hotel in Karnataka or India in general click here
- C-DACs Role at Hampi
- Video report on Hampi
- Hampi: UNESCO’s move a recognition to Hamoi’s hard work
The removal of the name of world heritage site Hampi from the list of endangered monuments is a recognition for the Hamoi Development Authority which took up several works to develop it as the historic spot as per the guidelines of UNESCO, Deputy Commissioner Arvind Srivastav said today.
- Hampi, cruises on tourism growth agenda
The study recommends the need to develop Hampi as a beautiful heritage experience, achieve eco-tourism brand – ‘green label’ for key eco-destinations, institute internal quality certification systems for all eco-tourism projects, develop Cruise Terminal at Mangalore, explore potential of river cruises, explore possibility of coastal luxury train and take proactive steps to build its profile in medical tourism.
- Hampi dropped from world heritage endangered list by UNESCO
- Unesco team to visit Hampi on June 7, 2004
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