One of the oldest and largest in the city of ruins, this temple was built in the 7th century and is still in use. The temple is on the southern banks of the River Tungabhadra and has a very simple design and architecture. Over so many years and the changing rule of so many kings, a number of additions and expansions had been made in the form of pillars and small rooms. The temple is one of the gems of this ruined place and was built of simple brick and mortar. The life size idols of Lord Shiva is attractive and overall this place is an important site of pilgrimage for Shaivites. The present temple is also almost in ruins but still in use.
This is the central landmark of the city of ruins and also known as the Matunga Hills. The peak of this hill is a place from where you can enjoy awesome views of sunset and sunrise and also some of the most spectacular views of the city. On the southern part down the hills is the Tungabhadra River and on top is the famous Veerbhadra Temple. This temple is dedicated to one incarnation of Lord Shiva known as Veerbhadra. On another side of the hills is the Achutya Raya Temple and last but not the least is the Hampi Bazar. This old market is the starting point of people who come for trekking here.
Mango Tree Restaurant
This is a restaurant in Hampi which seems to be completely under the shade of a large mango tree from where it derives its name. Eating over here is absolute value for money. They mainly serve Indian food but also make pizzas and other foreign dishes. The decor of this small restaurant is worth a mention. They have all sorts of masks and deity paintings on the walls. The seating arrangement is small and not many people can fit in at the same time. This is also an advantage since you can eat properly in this way. The stuffed capsicum curry and the thalis are special mentions over here. The servers are very prompt and efficient and the ambience is really good too.
This forms the central temple of Hampi and is the most beautiful piece of architecture here. The grandeur of this temple till today cannot be expressed in words. The pillars and sculptures inside this 15th century temple are just awesome. The taste of art and the expertise of sculptors and artists even so long back will make you awestruck. The stone chariot is the most attractive part of this temple and the mineral paintings left till date on the lower part of this extravagant stone chariot tells a lot about the type of art in that time. The temple is believed to have been beautified and expanded by all the following kings of this place. Vitthala is a form of Lord Vishnu who is believed to have been worshipped as the cult deity especially of the cattle rearers during the 15th century. The elephant statues, main mantap, the Narasimha carvings on the pillars of the northern hall and the life size statue of God Garuda are all very beautiful too.
Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex
This is a whole temple complex where most of them are in complete ruins and some are partly in ruins. The temples all look like Jain Temples mainly due to their beautiful architecture of typical Jain Temples but most of these are dedicated to Lord shiva, Vishnu or Lord Ganesha. As you go further, you find a beautiful ond which is now dry but the group of temples around, especially the Veerupaksha Temple complex is extensive and beautiful. The other temples are the Kalu Ganesha, Kadalekalu and Sasivekalu Ganesha. The Lakshminarasimha and Badavalli are two more attractions and there is also an old Hanuman Temple here. This is a perfect spot for history buffs and photographers.
Hazara Rama Temple
An important shrine and a hindu temple, this is located right in the middle of the royal omplex in Hampi. This temple was once the private temple of the Vijayanagara rulers and the others following them. The temple is now in ruins but the bas and the relics here still look beautiful. These are the specialties of the temple and on them are depicted the whole story of the epic Ramayana. The temple was built during the 15th Century during the rule of the Vijayanagara Ruler Devaraya II and initially had nothing but a single mandap. Later all the pillars and designed structures were added to make this temple look more beautiful. The name Hazara Rama came from the fact that there are a large number of idols and structures of the deity here. Also there are relics of royal scenes, horses, elephants and other royal animals. Surrounding this temple is a sprawling lawn which is a popular spot of tourists especially during the afternoon.
While returning from Dorji Bear Sanctuary you'll come across Lotus Mahal and the Royal Elephant Stables. Entry to Elephant stables is rs 10 for Indian tourists and is open from 8 AM to 6 PM in the evening. These stables were once used for bringing large rocks to the city that built these massive buildings.
Krishna Temple Market Road
We next stopped at the Krishna temple, engraved with the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and Kamasutra carvings. The complex consists of the main shrine, shrines of the goddesses, the chariot/market street and the temple tank. The main hall spots a series of pillars carved with mythical rampant creatures.
9. Relax by the lakeside of Sanapur Lake and enjoy the cool breeze!: This beautiful lake is situated around 5 kms away from Hippie Island. It is surrounded by rocks and giant boulders, besides being less frequented. Visit this place to relax and enjoy the breeze. I am told that you can do cliff jumping as well from here. WITH CROCS waiting down under! but I didn't see anyone jumping and I didn't see any crocodiles. Phew! You can also take a ride on a coracle. The boatmen will charge you around 100 rupees for a trip. But without proper gear, its a do at your own risk thing!
Hampi is one of the best ruined cities you will find in the world and the Queen's Bath is a popular attraction here. This is a part of some very old palace and this was the place where the royal ladies and queens would bath themselves. From the outside everything looks very simple but as you go in you find beautiful corridors and a central courtyard. The corridor has a number of ornately decorated arches and also fountains. These fountains supposedly were filled with perfumed waters and sprouting options during the earlier times. This is now almost in ruins except for the fact that you can make out the beautiful architectural patterns.
A normal stepped tank, this is also known as the Pushkarani in hampi. This is nothing but a mere rock structure now but by the design which we can still see here, it is evident that this place was once a royal pride. This place has resemblance with a number of typical Rajasthani stepped tanks and as you stand here you will be able to take a view of the surrounding areas very well. Also, there are quite a large number of other stone temples, buildings and monuments surrounding this stepped tank. It is over here that you will realize how grand a city this place must have been at one time. Trekkers also find interest over here.
Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple
The specialty of this temple is the huge monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha which was built by a rich trader of chandragiri, which is the present day Andhra Pradesh. This temple was built in the honor of King Narasimha II. The idol of Lord Ganesha here holds a noosh in one hand, a modak in another, his broken tusk in the third and an axe in the fourth. It is said that once Ganesha ate so much that his belly was about to burst and so he took a snake and tied it round his belly as a belt. Even in this temple there is a snake carved on the belly of Lord Ganesha according to this story. This temple is on the southern foothills of the Hemakuta Hill and is almost in ruins.
This is the most beautiful as well as the most popular building inside the Zenana Enclosure in Hampi. The actual purpose of this monument is not known but it is assumed that this was the socializing place for the royal ladies. The name is derived from the shape of the palace. It is one of the very few non- religious structures in hampi and strangely was not destroyed during the seige here. It is two storey and has an open base with pillars and balconies and high arched windows. The palace is decorated with lights in the evening and this makes it even more beautiful.
We then headed towards the Royal quarters-a fortified campus with numerous palace bases, underground temples, aquatic structures and the likes. The place was supposed to be the heart of activities in the kingdom where annual parade of imperial majesty and military might took place and the royalties sat and watched the entertainments and processions, etc.
No more used as a temple, this ruined site is on the north eastern slopes of the Hemakuta Hill. The 15 feet idol of Lord Ganesha here is the largest structure of a God in South India. The name is derived from the fact that the idol of Lord Ganesha in this temple has a big belly resemblimg a Bengal Gram which in Kannada is called Kadalekalu. The pillars are simple yet attractive with the inscription of mythological themes which is otherwise very common in this city.
Malyavanta Raghunath Temple
The Malyavantha hill, on which the Malyavantha Raghunatha temple is located, is the most sought after sunset point in Hampi. A small gate from the back of the temple opens to the west, with plenty of little rocks for one to choose their vantage point from. The sunset we managed to witness was truly one of the most special memories of the trip, the solitude and the beauty lending it a serenity quite unparalleled.
The Goan Corner
Great location and a very friendly set of staffs is what you find in this hotel in Hampi. The hotel is surrounded by green paddy foelds, the river and also some of the caves. The rooms are cheap but are too good for the harge. The bathrooms are spacious and clean and the room service is nothing lesser to an all star hotel. The food they serve is mostly non- vegetarian though they have options for vegetarians too. The grilled chicken varieties are recommended strongly. You can stay here and sometimes not even find a need to go anywhere else.
On the way we came across the beautiful clean Sanapur lake. It was exotic beautiful but hot. The lake is clean, untouched and offers some stunning views. We can have a bath in the lake or can jump from the cliffs. The view is amazing and so is the road leading to the lake. People sit in a coracle and just relax and sail across the lake. A must visit.
We ended the day with a chicken thali from one of the restaurant from 'other side of the river'.Also we opted for auto rickshaw to visit places this time, since the distance between the places is so far and we were little bit tired from the previous day (very little :) ) .So we decided to visit the most important place to which is the Vittala temple. We took a coracle from Hampi and reached Vittala.And there were some amazing views on that journey.We decided to walk back to Hampi Bazaar and see some of the places we missed on our first day.We reached our stay and checked out by evening, but our train from Hospet was at 9PM, so we spent lots of time there in mango tree restaurant and took maximum use of indian style seatings :).so our three journey came to an end, but the memories and experience I am going to carry on my heart for a life long.PS: I always thought why the travellers not giving us a step to step details ...and after writing my experience (first time writing it down,bcz of tripoto) I know why... drears, it is difficult to put down everything what we done and seen in this pages... go out and experience it, travel writing can only encourage you but the real experience is something else.
The Ugra Narasimha Statue is an enormous rock cut icon of Lord Narasimha situated toward the south of Hampi in northern Karnataka. One of the significant Tourist attractions of Karnataka, the Ugra Narasimha Statue Hampi is accepted by some to have been made in 1528 AD, amid the rule of Krishnadevaraya. Ugra Narasimha-who is in the posture of holding HiraNyakashipu on his lap and tearing endlessly at his guts with two hands. The rest of six hands hold different weapons. At the foot of this eight gave savage Narasimha is the little Prahlada remaining with collapsed hands. Ugra Narasimha who is in the stance of holding HiraNyakashipu on his lap and tearing ceaselessly at his digestion systems with two hands. Initially, the Ugra Narasimha Statue Hampi bore a smaller picture of Goddess Lakshmi situated on one knee of Narasimha. The whole statue of Narasimha and Lakshmi was cut out of a solitary rock, thus the specialists needed to repay the complication of the work by the hugeness of the structure.
Pampa Sarovar is among one of the few sarovars or sacred ponds which find mention in the religious scriptures of the Hindus. It is believed to be formed by Lord Brahma and is in fact one of the five sacred sarovars of the Hindus. It is named after Goddess Pampa Devi which is a form of Parvati who did Tapasya or deep meditation for a long time for Lord Shiva at this place.
Day 2The plan was to dig deeper into the pages of mythology, and explore Kishkindha – the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, according to Ramayana.The lush green fields on both sides guided us till the Anjaneya Hill, atop which stood a Hanuman Temple, where people flock to get their wishes fulfilled. The view from the top makes it worth climbing up!At a little distance stands the huge Tungabhadra Dam, which supplies water to the nearby Kishkindha Water Park. This place has grown as a major tourist attraction, although one wouldn’t mind skipping it.
Rocky Guest House
Just beside the main temple of Hampi, this guest house is simple yet very popular. The oener and host is very friendly and welcoming. He takes care of all his guests. The rooms are standard and perfectly clean. There is no hot water facility but the owner makes sure you get it. There is also wifi facility in such a location which is actually value for money. The food is good quality though they do not store alcohol. The location is prime and the hotel is easy to be found.
Daroji Bear Sanctuary
Dorji Bear Sanctuary is few kilometers away from Hampi town famous for Sloth Bears. You need to wake up early the next day and after witnessing sunrise from Matange hill take a ride for Bear Sanctuary. The best time to see bears is around 12 in the afternoon so by the time you reach there you'll see sloth bears resting in grass or looking for water.
Thilak Home Stay
Thilak is the best place to stay at when in Hampi. The place was recommended to me by a friend and that one advise made our trip a super success... Big rooms... Bathrooms as good as new. Fast WiFi and hot water... Ever helpful owners and their friend Vinny. Also, please call Vinny (+919448794050) for any transport needed from Hospet and in Hampi. Vinny is the trump card when in Hampi. He literally takes one for a ride - explains Hampi's culture, helps meet locals and interact with them. Helps in shopping for reasonable rates. Is always cheerful and most of all loved Hampi and is proud of it. There can be no better person to explore Hampi with than Vinny.