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Explore Hampi

The Hampi Heritage Trail

The surreal landscape of Hampi is not just a reminder of the formidable empire of the Vijaynagara Kingdom. The town, holds within itself, a trail of more than 83 monuments, cafes and a distinct backpackers’ vibe. Hire a bike or a cycle for the day to pace out the excursion or use a car to whiz from one weathered monument to another along the trail.

1.Virupaksha Temple
The Virupaksha temple was created as a commemoration to Lord Shiva and stands at the end of the ‘bazaar’ road, as soon as one enters Hampi. This is mostly the first stop on the monument trail of the region. At the other end of the street stands a large monolithic Nandi Bull facing the temple. Inside, a sprawling stone-floored courtyard makes for the entrance with a few shops selling religious memorabilia. Apart from the intricate ceiling paintings and maneuvering through the monkey-infested path, the temple houses an interesting pinhole camera image of the tower inside the complex. ‘Lakshmi’, the temple elephant ambles out for a bath in the adjoining Tungabhadra River each morning.
Timings 8a.m to 6p.m

2. Mathanga Paravath
The Mathanga Paravath is a low hill that stands right opposite the Virupaksha temple at the far end of the street, with the Nandi Bull statue at its base. Irregular steps covered with overgrown grass lead up to this hill, from where one can get a stunning view of the Virupaksha temple, the bazaar, Achyuthara Temple in front and brown boulders as far as your eyes can see. An unassuming small Veerabhuvneshwara shrine is perched at the top. It takes about 45 minutes to trek up for the spectacular view. Timings sunrise to sunset

3. Mahanavami Dibba
The plateau like structure is one the most striking monuments of Hampi’s royal enclosure. Built by the Vijaynagara King, Krishnadevaraya, this 22 feet high platform was constructed to celebrate the win over Udayagiri, a city that now lies in the state of Orissa. A geometrically designed ‘kalyani’ (bathing pool) and some underground passages are also present in the same complex, but the charm remains in climbing the steep steps on top of the platform. Two flight of steps run on either side of the structure. At the base of the steps, sculptures of elephants and horses adorn the monument.
Timings8 a.m- 5.30 p.m

4. Lotus Mahal & Elephant Stables
A blend of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles give this monument an edge over others; it is noticeable by the amount of camera happy tourists here. It is also possibly due to the sprawling garden in front where travellers rest under the shade of trees or the fact that this is one of the few structures that was not pillaged during the siege of the city. The Lotus Mahal comprises of Chitragani Mahal and Kamal Mahal and is flanked by lush well-maintained gardens and was probably a rest house for royalty. Eleven dome shaped elephant stables stand on the left of the Lotus Mahal.
Entry Indian nationals/ foreigners Rs. 10/ 250; Timings8 a.m- 6 p.m

5. Vijaya Vitalla Temple
The iconic image of a chariot that one is all too familiar with when speaking of Hampi is that of the Vijaya Vitalla Temple at the edge of the Tungabhadra River. The temple was built in 1513 and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is considered an architectural marvel for its musical pillars and extraordinary workmanship on the ceilings and the walls. It has a stone chariot in the middle of the courtyard, which was inspired by the one in Konark. Earlier a soft knock on different pillars would fill the air with melodious notes. The 1 km pathway to the temple can now be traversed in a battery-operated vehicle (Rs 20).
Entry Indian nationals/ foreigners Rs. 10/ 250; Timings8 a.m- 6 p.m

6. Achyutaraya Temple
This Vishnu temple lies off the main Hampi Bazaar Street and is marked by a long walkway flanked by pillars, which can be distinctly seen from the Mathanga Parvath. Like the other large temples of the region, these pillars have carvings from the Mahabharata and Ramayana on them. It has a wide bazaar street in front of it, which depicts the remnants of a flourishing trade during the Vijaynagara rule. This was once known as the Sule Bazaar. It also has a Kalyana Mandapa (marriage hall) like many other temples built in that age.
Timings 8a.m – 5.30p.m

7.Sasivekalu and Kadalekalu Ganesha – The two iconic Ganesha sculptures are propped on high rocks that overlook the Virupaksha temple in Hampi. Known for his large appetite, the sculpture signifies the God with food around him and a snake tied as a belt around his waist. The monolithic statue is extremely popular with the tourists. Another Ganesha by the name of Kadalekalu stands a short distance away, in the same enclosure. More than the statues, this is also a great sunset spot as the sun descends behind the Virupaksha temple.
Timings 8a.m – 5.30p.m

8. Lakshminarsimha or Ugranarsimha statue – An incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Narasimha is depicted as half lion and half man. An interesting statue of the God in his most ferocious form can be seen in Hampi. This is the largest stand-alone statue of a God in Hampi. The original statue had Goddess Lakshmi sitting in his lap, but the statue was damaged during the raid of the Kingdom, leaving many structures plundered. A part of her arm and hand can be seen at the back of the statue.
Timings 8a.m – 5.30p.m

9. Kodanda Rama Temple – The white temple at the edge of the Tungabhadra Rivers said to have been constructed when Lord Rama killed Vali and crowned Sugreeva as the King of the monkey army. Quite unique in its construction and aesthetics, the temple stands out from the rest of Hampi’s temple trail. You can sit at the edge of the river and watch a number of coracles trying to cross against the strong flow of the river.
Timings 8a.m – 5.30p.m

10. Badavilinga – Combine this with the Lakshminarsimha statue. This structure is the largest monolithic linga in Hampi and is housed inside a chamber with an opening in the front. The structure reveals of Shiva and was commissioned by a peasant woman of the Kingdom. The sanctum in which the linga is installed is always filled with water as a water channel is made to flow through it. As the legend goes, River Ganga was brought from heaven to earth to alleviate a drought but river was so forceful that it could split the earth into two pieces. Lord Shiva consented to take the impact of its flow by allowing the mighty river to fall on his matted hair. This is represented by a small trickle of water that falls on the linga.
Timings 8a.m – 5.30p.m

11. Hazara Rama Temple – One of the most intricately carved temples, the Hazara Rama temple is where the story of Ramayana is related on the walls in the form of sculptures. It lies in the heart of the royal structures and was the private temple for the King. The name Hazara Rama (thousand Ramas) comes from the fact that its external walls are decorated with bas-reliefs and a multitude of Ramayana panels on its walls.
Timings 8a.m – 5.30p.m

12. Queen’s Bath – Carved windows with balconies overlooking a central pool in the royal enclosure makes for the Queen’s bath. A manicured garden lies on the fringes of this unique structure, which was possibly a royal pleasure complex for the king and his wives. The hot weather in Hampi doesn’t allow for any water to remain in the ‘bath’, without getting evaporated but one can imagine how beautiful it might have looked with the reflection of the balconies in it.
Timings 8a.m – 5.30p.m

13. Ganagitti Temple – Known as the ‘The Oil-Woman Temple’, this is a Jan temple. It is said that Iruga, a minister in the Vijaynagara Kingdom, built the temple in 1385 A.D. A towering pillar stands at the entrance of the temple.
Timings 8a.m – 5.30p.m

14.Pattabhirama Temple – Though the temple is almost as large as the popular Vijaya Vitalla Temple, it is not very popular with the tourists, as it lies a little away from the main circuit. Unique emblems and other sculptures reminiscent of the Vijayanagara design language can be seen all around the pillars of the temple. Large granite slabs once paved the pathway to the temple. Little is left of them now. The temple is the perfect place to sit and take in the experience of the ruins.
Timings 8a.m – 5.30p.m

Anegundi – The village of Anegundi lies on the opposite side of Hampi, across the Tungabhadra River. Anegundi is also home to a number of ruins like the elephant stables and the still functioning Pampa Sarovar temple. Largely maintained by the Kishkinda Trust, the village needs a whole day to discover sights like Sanapur Reservoir, ancient cave paintings, the village library and Chintamani temple. The most significant sightseeing option is the Anjenaya Parvat, which is a hill with a Hanuman temple perched on top. It is said that Lord Hanuman was born here. One has to traverse more than 600 steep steps and be intrepid enough to encounter gangs of monkeysto reach the top of the hill.One is sure to be rewarded with great views of the boulder-strewn topography.
Timings sunrise to sunset

Tungabhadra Dam
The Tungabhadra Dam lies only 1 km from Hospet and can be seen at the end of your sightseeing trail if you are heading back by bus or train. The dam and the reservoir behind it is yet another attraction near Hampi if the sight of blue water is alluring for you.
Timings sunrise to sunset.

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