Sightseeing in Hampi

Hampi is a place of many historical monuments and palatial structures, most of which are in ruins today, however plays an important role in tourism today. Palace of Vira Harihara is one such example of exquisite architecture and innate beauty. The Palace in Hampi takes you on a sojourn journey through time showcasing its once towering presence and royalty that walked these lands.

Hampi Bazaar

Located near the Virupaksha Temple, the Hampi Bazaar is also known as Virupaksha Bazaar. On either sides of this one kilometer long street near the temple, are pavilions which were once a part of the markets of the nobles. Most of these pavilions, particularly towards the west of Virupaksha Temple have shops and restaurants. The street is congested and therefore, most of the vehicles are restricted in the bazaar except for two wheelers. The market is also reachable via local bus.

Matanga Hill

Matanga hill is a well known tourist destination in Hampi. Its main attraction being the breathtaking aerial view of the Hampi landscape during sunset or sunrise. When on top, you can appreciate the sheer wisdom of the Vijaynagara rulers for selecting Hampi as their capital. The best track for trekking enthusiasts is the one that begins from Hampi bazaar to the Achyutaraya temple. The picturesque sight from the top comprises the Tungabhadra River, the Kodanda Rama temple, the Veerbhadra temple and the Turthu canal. Matanga hill is historically connected to the epic Ramayana as it was the hiding place for Sugriva, the ruler of Kishkinda.

Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary

Covering a sprawling area of nearly 55.87 sq km Daroji Bear Sanctuary is located in the Bellary district of Karnataka, 15 km from Hampi. In October 1994, the Bilakallu forest reserve - a vast stretch of barren land was declared as Daroji Bear Sanctuary by the Karnataka government. Within a span of few years this area was converted into a lush green forest with enough vegetation for wildlife. With an estimate of nearly 120 sloth bears, 90 different species of birds and 27 species of butterflies, Daroji bear sanctuary is a must visit for all tourists. The best months to visit the sanctuary are between August and April.

Timings: 6 am to 6 pm (open all days)

Vithala Temple Complex

A unique architectural masterpiece, Vithala temple in Hampi is situated opposite to the village of Anegondi. The temple is named after Vithala, an avatar of Vishnu worshipped by the Marathas. Vithala temple is built in the form of a complex with compound wall and gateway towers. The one thing that immediately catches attention is the stone chariot which has assumed iconic heights over the years for Karnataka tourism. The pillared halls are intrinsically carved with sculptures that speak volumes about the glorious past of Hampi. Another feature that is worth mentioning here is the musical pillars that emanates the seven notes when tapped.

Hazara Rama Temple

A unique architectural masterpiece, Vithala temple in Hampi is situated opposite to the village of Anegondi. The temple is named after Vithala, an avatar of Vishnu worshipped by the Marathas. Vithala temple is built in the form of a complex with compound wall and gateway towers.

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

The Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Hampi attracts tourists specifically due to its monolithic structure and the sheer enormity of its size. It is the single largest statue in Hampi with a height of 6.7 meters. Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu is depicted as sitting on the giant coil of the celestial snake Adisesha. The seven heads of the giant snake shielding Narasimha, arched by a Kirtimukha Torana in the front, is an architectural masterpiece in itself. However, several features of the monolithic structure are missing and the most prominent among these damaged and missing structures is the seated figurine of Narasimha's consort Lakshmi on his left lap. By entering inside the enclosure, one can see the land of Lakshmi on Narasimha's back with her fingers, nails and rings, all beautifully sculptured.

Virupaksha Temple

Amidst the ruins of the ancient city Vijaynagar the Virupaksha temple stands tall with all its earlier structures still intact. The temple personifies Lord Shiva and is still used for worship. The inside of the temple consists of a sanctum with a madapam in front, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall. Among the three towers the eastern tower is the tallest standing at a height of 160 feet and is nine tiered. Virupaksha portrays Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu in their various avatars. The chariot festival is celebrated in the premises of this temple during the month of February.



Elephant Stables

A large dome shaped building was used as Elepahant Stables to house the ceremonial elephants of the royal household. The architectural style of the building has a strong Indo-Islamic influence that gets reflected in its domes and arched gateways. The building consists of eleven chambers amongst which ten of these are crowned with domes. These chambers were used as elephant stables. The metal hooks that were probably used to chain the elephants are still visible in the ceiling of some of the rooms. Special manholes were constructed for the mahouts to facilitate their easy entrance to the elephant compartments.




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