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.
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.
In total there are 11 domed chambers, tall and inter-connected, giving it a grand appearance. These halls have different shapes, such as drum-shape and octagonal. In the middle is an ornate hall that was perhaps used for ceremonial gatherings that included elephant processions.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Infront of the Krishna Temple Complex in Hampi, there was once a buzzing market evident from the structure of the buildings around. Circled with rocky structures and raised platforms this is where the central marketplace of the city used to be during the times of the ancient kings. This place is now just a place of loose, huge rocks and historic ruins.
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.
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.
The temple is located underground, and even after so many years the temple is still intact without much damage. You can find the place surrounded by water inside the temple where there is a small Shivalingam and a big Nandi statue.The outer portion of the temple is surrounded by lush green grass and trees.Next to the Narasimha statue, you can find a big Shivalingam. The statue is surrounded by water and is sealed. No one is allowed to touch or go near the statue. However, you can click pictures from the outside. It is believed that Lord Shiva gave darshan to a poor woman here, and hence the temple is called as the Badavalinga Temple (Badava means poor in Kannada). The temple has become deteriorated over time, and now we have only the statue in place.Hazara Rama Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, and you can find lot of carvings on the walls depicting the Ramayana. The carvings are beautiful and detailed. If you know the story of Ramayana, you can relate to them easily. You can also find many guides explaining the story to the visitors.There is one other famous temple: the Monkey Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Since it was on the top of hill, we were not able to visit as we did not have much time.Other famous monuments in Hampi
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.
Another Heritage temple in the royal ruined city of Hosepet, Hampi, this was built in the Dravidian Style. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu whose other name is also Lord Raghunatha. The interesting and unique feature of this temple are the fish and marine creatures carved on the outer walls of the whole temple. The first name Malyavanta is probably kept after the name of the dynasty during whose reign this temple was built.