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Hampi

Vivid testimony to the might of the Vijayanagara Empire

Vijayanagara, the “City of Victory,” was one of the greatest of all medieval Hindu capitals of South India. Its impressive ruins in central Karnataka are known best as Hampi, after the name of a still populated local village. Traditionally known as Pampakshetra of Kishkindha, Hampi is situated on the southern bank of the river Tungabhadra. It was the seat of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire (1336-1565) which extended from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal and from the Deccan Plateau to the tip of the Indian Peninsula. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fast Facts

Area : 26 sq km
Temperature : Summer: 41 - 37°C
Winter: 27 – 24°C
Rain Fall : 57.2 cm
Season : October to March
STD Code : 08394

Tourist Centres
Tourist Information Counter, Hampi Bazar, Hampi, Tel: 08394 241339
Dept of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, Raghavendra Compound, College Road, Hospet, Tel: 228537, KSTDC, College Road, Hospet, Tel: 221008. Fax: 228537
Karnataka Tourism Information Centre, No. 3, World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, Tel: 022 22181658

Getting There

Air
The nearest airport is Hubli (151 km) which is connected by Air Deccan flights with Bangalore.

Rail
The nearest railhead Hospet (13 km) is connected by rail with Bangalore, Hubli and Guntakal.

Road
Hampi is connected by road with:

  • Aihole 156 km
  • Badami 180 km
  • Bangalore 325 km
  • Bellary 74 km
  • Belgaum 259 km
  • Bidar 379 km
  • Bijapur 248 km
  • Chitradurga 151 km
  • Dharwad 181 km
  • Gadag 98 km
  • Gulbarga 264 km
  • Guntakal 133 km
  • Hassan 353 km
  • Hospet 13 km
  • Hubli 151 km
  • Mangalore 404 km
  • Mysore 491 km
  • Panaji 325 km
  • Pattadakal 173 km

Hampi is connected by frequent bus services with Hospet and Kamlapur.

Hotels in Hampi

At Hampi

Gopi Guest House
Tel: 08394 241695
Mobile: 09480353260, 09480044930
Email: veerulagan@yahoo.com

Padma Guest House
Near Bus Stand
Tel: 08394 241331, 241330

Vicky Guest House
Janata Plot
Tel: 08394 241694

Vishnu Guest House
Main Bazar
Tel: 08394 241415

Pushpa Guest House
Janata Plot
Tel: 08394 241440
Mobile: 9448165121

Geeta Restaurant & Guest House
Main Bazar, Hampi
Tel: 08394 241648/947
Mobile: 09480110936

Rooms are maintained by the Virupaksha Temple authorities. Reservations: The Executive Officer, Virupaksha Temple,
Hampi-583201. Tel: 08394 241241.

At Hospet

Hotel Karthik Boarding & Lodging
S.P. Road
Tel: 220038,

Malligi Tourist Home
6/143, Jambunatha Road
Tel: 228101-16.
Fax: 227038

Hotel Priyadarshni
5/45-A, Station Road
Tel: 228139, 228096, 228838, 225838
Fax: 224709
Mobile: 09343273866
E-mail: priyainhampi@yahoo.com

Ramakrishna Lodge
Gandhi Chowk
Tel: 228114, 227114

Shanbhag Towers International
College Road
Tel: 225910/18
Fax: 225919
E-mail: shanbhagtowers@yahoo.com

Shri Krishna Tourist Home
MJ Nagar, Near 100 bed Hospital
Tel: 225672/74, 228835, 228156

SLV Yatrinivas
Station Road
Tel: 221525, 226770
Mobile: 09448576148 (Mr. Prabhu)

Hotel Vishwa Lodging
Opp: KSRTC Bus Stand
Tel: 227171-75
Fax: 224577

Hotel Shivananda
Beside KSRTC Bus Stand, College Road
Tel: 220700
Fax: 220030

Other Accommodation (At Hospet) :

Inspection Bungalow
Amaravati Extension
Tel: 228441.
Reservations: Asst. Engineer, PWD, No.2, Sub-division
Tel: 228754.

Municipal Pravasi Mandir
Stn. Road,
Reservations: The Municipal Commissioner, City Municipal Council, Railway Retiring Room, Hospet Rly. Stn. Reservations: Station Supdt, Hospet Rly Stn.

At Kamlapur

Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari (KSTDC)
Tel: 08394- 241474
Fax: 241574.

Hampi Power House Guest House
Reservations: Superintending Engineer, Hydro Electric Station, Tungabhadra Board, Tundabhadra Dam

PWD Inspection Bungalow
Reservations: Assistant Engineer, PWD, No.2 Sub Division, Hospet

At Bellary

Pola Paradise
Hospet Road, Cantt
Tel: 08392-242101/302/303
Fax: 242321

Ashoka Comforts
No. 115, Court Road
Tel: 279970-74
Fax: 279977

Hotel Pawan
140/89, Anantapur Road
Tel: 276710-16
Fax: 271333

At Gangawati

Hotel Sarvesh
Bus Stand Road
Tel: 08533 230912/13/14
Mobile: 09449604324, 09480488308
Fax: 230911
E-mail: sarvesh@kishkindaheritage.com

At Koppal

Kishkinda Heritage Resort
Near Stone Bridge Cross, Sanapur
Tel: 08533 287034/35/36
Fax: 287037
Mobile: 09449144167
E-mail: resort@kishkindaheritage.com

Places to Visit

The monuments of Vijayanagara city, also known as Vidyanagara in honour of the sage Vidyaranya or Madhava, were built between AD 1336-1570, from the times of Harihara-I to Sadasiva Raya. Deriving inspiration from the sage, Harihara and Bukka, two of the five sons of Sangama, founded the kingdom of Vijayanagara, in 1336 AD. They named it after him and made Pampapati or Virupaksha their patron deity. A large number of the royal buildings were built by Krishnadeva Raya (AD 1509-30), the greatest ruler of the dynasty. The period witnessed resurgence of Hindu religion, art and architecture on an unprecedented scale. Chroniclers who came from far off countries-such as Arabia, Italy, Portugal and Russia visited the empire and left graphic and glowing accounts of the city. It covered an area of nearly 26 sq km and is stated to have been enclosed by seven lines of fortifications. Temples of this city are noted for their large dimensions, florid ornamentation, bold and delicate carvings, stately pillars, magnificent pavilions and a great wealth of iconographic and traditional depictions which include subjects from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Krishna temple, Pattabhirama temple, Hazara Ramachandra and Chandrasekhara temple as also the Jain temples, are other examples. Majority of these temples were provided with widespread bazaars flanked on either side by storeyed mandapas. Open from sunrise to sunset.

Zanana Enclosure
About ½ km to the northeast of the Hazara Rama Temple. Within an irregular rectangular wall, are the remains of three palaces, three watch-towers, a pond, a store and a double-storeyed mahal. Entrance Fee: For Zanana Enclosure and Vitthala Temple Complex: Citizens of India-Rs. 10 per head, Others: US $ 5 or Indians Rs. 250 per head, Children up to 15 years free.

King’s Palace
This is the largest enclosure including two major platform structures, an underground chamber which must have served as a treasury or private audience hall, several other platforms, double fortification walls and several interesting architectural elements.

Mahanavami Dibba
Equally Impressive is the massive Mahanavami Dibba, where the king once sat on gem-studded golden thrones and watched processions passing by. The platform sports densely carved bands of horse, soldiers and depictions of the various aspects of courtly life.

Queen’s Bath
This structure has a very plain exterior but the interior is stunningly ornate with graceful arched corridors, projecting balconies, and lotus shaped fountains that used to spout perfumed water for ladies of the court.

Lotus Mahal
This visually appealing structure has two levels, with open pavilions at the bottom and balconies above. An elegant example of the fusion of the Hindu and Muslim style of architecture, the Mahal derives its name from its beautiful, geometrically arranged cusped arches that resemble the petals of lotus flower opening to the sun.

Elephant Stables
An imposing edifice with arched entrance and many domes that once housed the magnificent state elephants.

Pushkarani
The stepped water tank excavated in the mid-1980s was originally a part of the palace complex. Almost lyrical in its beauty, the tank is a tiered structure crafted from rectangular pieces of granite.

Hazara Rama Temple
This was a royal temple reserved for ceremonial use. The entire temple is embellished with bas-reliefs depicting the scenes from the epic Ramanayana. The walls are richly carved with friezes depicting processions of horses, elephants, dancing girls and soldiers attired in splendid weaponry. Inside, four exquisitely sculpted granite pillars add to the beauty of ardha mantapa.

Vittala Temple
Vithala Temple is Hampi's crowning glory, with a magnificent stone chariot standing in the temple courtyard. Equally impressive is the large ‘Rangamantapa’ with 56 musical pillars.

Virupaksha Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Padmadevi, this is the only temple that is still used for worship. Parts of the temple predate the Vijayanagar Empire. The temple’s nine storied gopuram towers above the other structures at Hampi. The ceiling of the ‘Rangamantapa’ is beautifully painted with scenes from the Puranas. Entry fees: Rs. 2, Camera: Rs. 50, Video Rs. 500.

Lakshminarasimha
The awesome 6.7 m monolith depicting the man-lion form of Vishnu is seated on a seven-hooded serpent.

Badavilinga
Located next to the Lakshminarasimha statue, it is 3 m high and stands permanently in water that flows through an ancient channel.

Ganesha images
Two Ganesha images (Sasuvekalu and Kadalekalu) can be seen on the slopes of Hemakuta Hill. One of them is enclosed in a temple with unusually tall pillars, while the other is in an open hall. Achyuta Raya Temple; Chakrathirtha; Kodandarama Temple.

Krishnaswamy Temple
Inaugurated in 1513 AD with the installation of a Bala Krishna idol

Museum
There is an Archaeological Survey of India Museum in Kamlapur (3 km). Tel: 08394-241561. Timings: 1000-1700 hrs. Closed on Fridays. Entry Fee Rs. 5, Entry is free for children up to 15 yrs.

Pattabhirama temple
East of Kamlapura. It is one of the most impressive of all the 16th century temples. The towered gateway is complete in all its ascending storeys.

Excursions

Tungabhadra Dam (17 km)
The high masonry dam is about 590 metres long and 49 metres high. The reservoir has a storage capacity of 1, 32,559 million cubic feet of water spread over an area of 379 sq km.
Accommodation: Hotel Mayura Vijayanagar (KSTDC), T.B. Dam, Tel: 259270

Huligi (50 km)
A religious centre on the banks of Tungabhadra River.

Chitradurga (150 km)
This hill fort has 14 temples, remains of a palace, a mosque built by Tipu Sultan and an Archaeological Museum.
Accommodation (STD Code: 08194)
Hotel Amogha International; Maruthi Inn Deluxe Lodge, M.H. Road; Maurya Deluxe Lodge, Santhe Bagilu Road, Tel: 224448, 225244, 229107; Pravasi Nilaya; Hotel Roopavani Paradise, Roopavani Road, Tel: 223450; Veda Comforts, NH 4, Tel: 227393; Hotel Vijay-Vashishta Deluxe Lodge. Chitradurga Inspection Bungalow.

Anegundi (15 km)
Just across Thungabhadra river is the fortress town of Anegundi, predating Vijayanagar Empire and the city’s 14th century headquarters. Anegundi lies in the mythical kingdom of Kishkinda, ruled by the monkey King Sugriva of Ramayana. Anjanadri Hill near Anegundi is believed to be the birth place of the monkey god Hanuman. Anegundi and its tranquil environs are dotted with forgotten temples and fortifications. The dilapidated Huchappa Matha Temple, near the river is worth a peek for its black stone lathe-turned pillars and fine panels of dancers. The other places of tourist interest are the sacred Pampa Sarovara, Aramena (a ruined palace) and Ranganatha Temple.

Conducted Tours

Hampi & TB Dam Tour
Daily. Timings: 0930-1730 hrs. Fare: Rs. 175. Reservation and starting point: KSTDC Office, College Rd, Hospet. Tel: 08394 221008, Telefax: 228537.

Festivals
Hampi Festival is held from 3 to 5 November every year.