Hampi: A huge open-air museum – II

Asia | | November 10, 2010 at 12:21 am


In the previous article, we saw about the mains structures of Hampi ruins. In this article too, you will be introduced to some more worth visiting structures and temples in Karnataka that are certainly in Hampi.

Among the Hampi temple in Karnataka, the Hazara Rama Temple and Pattabhirama Temple are simply exceptional. The former is the king’s private temple with an unbelievable structure decorated with the uncommonly carved outer walls as well as the episodes of Ramayana that adorn the walls of mandapa as strips of comics. One more stunning aspect here is the four polished pillars embellished with the sculpting of religious themes. On the other hand, the latter one is a vast campus for Lord Ram (the hero of Ramayana). The main highlights here are the pillared halls and tall sequential pillars. Nobody can deny that the most beautiful temples in Karnataka are in Hampi.

Now, I will share some more structures and monuments. The Elephant Stables refer to a big shelter for the royal elephants. It was built as a series of spacious chambers each of which was capable to hold two elephants. Decorated in domical roofs, there is a central hall as well as a tower all of which shows the Hindu-Muslim style of architecture.

The Hampi Bazaar is a long beautiful street with great houses. Among the Hampi ruins, look for the legendary House of Victory that marks the king Krishnadevaraya’s victory in the battle with the King of Orissa. Further, it was here where he used to be his royal throne and observe the nine-day festival of the Dusshera (the fiesta of good winning over the bad). The most remarkable feature here is the sculpting of spaces amidst the plinth-molding rows.

To the southwest of the great Vittala Temple, the King’s Balance edifice holding two tall granite pillars stands  where kings used to weigh themselves against money, grain, or gold. This collected cash was then distributed to the poor. Recently discovered, the Noblemen’s Palace was for the nobles and high-ranking officials.

At a distance of 3 km in the Dravidian style, the Hampi ruins of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy holding the carvings of bizarre fishes as well as aquatic monsters on the outer walls are seen. Close by is the Daroji Bear Sanctuary where many Indian Sloth Bears reside in the eastern plains. Do also check out for the Water Channels in the palace area where many cisterns reside in different sizes and the Stepped Tank that is an appealing relic as a tiled structure in the Durbar area that was utilized by the royals as well as during the religious rituals. Frankly speaking, the complete Hampi ruins are full of several water tanks. Listed below are some more remarkable structures in Hampi.

  • Achyutaraya Temple

  • Anegondi
  • Akka Tangi Gudda
  • Canals
  • Anjeyanadari Hill
  • Archeological Museum at Kamalapura
  • Badava Linga
  • Chandramauleshwar Temple

  • The Underground Temple
  • Uddana Veerbhadra Temple
  • Madhavan Palace with 1000000 pillars


October to March is the ideal time to visit the Hampi ruins because it is the backdrop of many festivals. Among all, the largest one is the Hampi Festival held for 3 days in the first week of November. The main highlights are dance, music, fireworks, puppet shows, and a ceremonial procession focusing on the cultural heritage. Other events include rock climbing, rural sports, and water sports.

Next, the traditional musical festival of Purandaradasa Aradhana is organized for 2 to 3 days in January/February. This commemorates the birthday of the Hampi’s legendary poet called Purandaradasa. In this fiesta, world wide musicians come and fill the ambience with joyful music and rhythm.

Diwali is celebrated with great zeal here in October/November. During this time, the main highlights are the Hampi Bazaar as the venue of all celebrations and the Virupaksha temple where ceremonial functions involving a procession are held in the evenings. In February/March, the most important festival of MahaShivratri is celebrated in all temples of Lord Shiva including nightlong rituals at Virupaksha Temple. Then, Hampi by Night is also the main draw here among the tourists, which offers a great vista of the lit ruins, dinning, and music. If you are interested in knowing about the historic era of Hampi in detail, then attend the glorious Vijaynagar Festival in December, which is organized by the Government of the State.

Hampi is accessible from the closest airport at Tornagallu in Sandur Taluka and the nearest railway station called Hospet at 13 km.

Hampi: A huge open-air museum – I

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