Hampi, an ancient city in ruins, which used to be the capital of the glorious Vijayanagara Kingdom till the late 16th century. There are over 1600 monuments in Hampi. A city that flourished during the reign of King Krishnadevaraya is now considered to be one of the must-visit tourist spots in India and a place full of historical importance and recognized by famous magazines and news tycoons.
One can plan to visit Hampi even for a day but will return with dissatisfaction as they would know that Hampi is a lot more than what it is been talked about. There will be numerous beautiful places with various spellbound and praise-worthy architecture that one might miss out on, during their Hampi Visit. Also, there are places in Hampi which one has to discover on their own with their own ground experience and cannot be found on their itinerary otherwise.
Here are a few major monuments with both architectural and historical importance, which accordingly shouldn’t be missed while one’s Hampi Tour, and which will leave you least regretful.
1. Stone Chariot – An Incredible Structure Of Hampi
Hampi has one spot which is the most prominent structure which earns the most galore and admiration is the Stone Chariot. It is designated as one of India’s most known archaeological destinations.
The Government of India has printed the most prominent Stone Chariot on the 50 Rupee currency note to enshrine the significance of this monument. The chariot is actually a shrine dedicated to Garuda which is built inside the Vittala Temple complex. The chariot is among the most famous spots in Hampi where thousands of tourists visit daily.
The Stone Chariot of Hampi is recognized among the three famous chariots in India; One in Konark and another one in Mahabalipuram. There is an interesting talk among the locals that the world would come to a halt when the chariot moves from its space. Also, villagers believe that the idol inside the chariot was stolen by Britishers and it is still there, somewhere in Britain.
One should observe the base of the chariot which depicts the mythical battle scenes in its finest details. The chariot has elephants seated but you can clearly observe the hind legs and tails of the horses behind the elephants. A smaller ladder is observed between the two elephants as a way to enter the inner sanctum of the shrine.
2. Krishna Temple – The Alluring Monument Of Hampi
Krishna Temple also is known as Balakrishna Temple in Hampi is listed in the World Heritage Monuments List by UNESCO which was built by the King Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara in the year 1513 A.D.
This temple is currently in ruins due to weathering and other natural factors and has iron rods that has been constantly supporting the leftover structure, which scares away the tourists forcing them to think that the reconstruction process is underway.
The temple is famous for its elegant architectural designs and exquisite carvings that are present on the monument. The structure is enclosed with two concentric walls which are built in the center of an enclosure, which measures around 88 and 60 meters in length and breadth respectively.
3. Hazara Rama Temple- Outer Walls Of Whose Depict 108 Scenes From The Ramayana
Hazara Rama Temple is one of the well-preserved and an ornate monument in the royal zone. It is dedicated to Lord Rama, the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, but as the sanctum now remains empty, it cannot be guaranteed about the past revelations.
The name ‘Hazara Rama’ means ‘a temple for thousand Rams’, but the Telugu historians express their views as ‘the Telugu word for ‘hajaramu’ means ‘an entrance hall to palace and a temple that stands at the entrance to the quadrangle that has the ruins of the main palaces.
The thing that makes this temple a very special experience is the carvings on the outer walls that tell the story of Ramayana in a unique graphic form. There are 108 scenes from the Ramayana carved in panels like divided by elegant pilasters with lotus brackets that begin with Valmiki narrating the story and King Dasaratha’s fire sacrifice praying for a son.
The forms of the ten avatars can of Lord Vishnu can be seen everywhere, the young Krishna holding a a ball of butter is among the most charming and they can be seen even on the outside of the precinet walls.
Lord Shiva was impressed by the local girl Pampa’s dedication to marrying him and later consented to marry her. It rained gold on this hill. ‘Hema in the Sanskrit language means gold. The name of the hill thus connects with this legend’.
One can access this from the very end of the Hampi Bazaar that terminates in front of the Virupaksha temple, take the left (southward) alley. You can see the giant but topless tower to the hilltop.
5. Lotus Mahal – The Queen’s Comfort Palace
The Lotus Mahal, a glorious building which is the primary attraction for tourists or visitors located within the Zenana Enclosure, is a virtual air-conditioned residence built for one of the two wives of the Vijayanagara ruler Krishnadevaraya.
The Lotus Mahal is surrounded by a rectangular wall which has four towers. These towers are also in pyramidal shape giving a lotus-like structure visually. Also, around 24 pillars are present here to support the arched windows and balcony of the palace. The walls and pillars are carved beautifully with patterns of birds and sea creatures.
The decorations and architecture of the structure are a curious mix of Hindu and Islamic styles. Lotus Mahal’s Islamic style arches and the Hindu style multiplayer roof and base structure are often quoted for the ingenuity of the Vijayanagara artisans.
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