Karnataka’s spectacular architectural wealth perhaps reaches its apex in the austere, grandiose ruins of the group of monuments at Hampi. One of the most extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Hampi was once the glorious capital of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire. The ancient Vijayanagara Empire was celebrated for its power and treasures and was a showpiece of imperial magnificence. Conquered by the Deccan Muslim Sultanate in 1565, the city was pillaged for months before finally being abandoned. Today the travellers arrive here to see the remains and visualise the glory of the bygone era.
Spread over 26 sq. km, Hampi’s backdrop comprises a surreal landscape of precariously perched giant boulders flanked by hillocks with the River Tungabhadra flowing right through. Marvel at the distinctive splendour of the Vijayanagara style of building in the exquisite temple complexes here at the Sacred Centre, of which the Virupaksha Temple is outstanding. The Royal Centre comprises palaces, baths, zenanas (the part of a house used for the seclusion of women), and military structures that were once the citadel of the Vijayanagara kings. Especially interesting here are the Queen’s Bath, a water pavilion; Mahanavami Dibba, a massive 14th century platform; Hazara Rama Temple meant for royal worship; the Lotus Mahal; and the Elelphant Stables.
A small museum near the base of the Matanga Hill displays several enlarged photographs of Hampi taken in 1853 by a British photographer. The beauty of Hampi is that it isn’t only for heritage and history travellers. Hampi’s enormous rocks are a hotspot for bouldering – offered here along with equipment and instructors.
An audio-visual treat awaits connoisseurs of art and music, at the Hampi Utsav – a three-day mega cultural festival of dance, drama and music.
Hampi, along with Badami and Bijapur, is the heritage golden triangle of Karnataka.
Holxo Tours in Hampi