The monuments of Hampi located 13 kilometers from Hospet; in Karnataka is the last capital of the Vijaynagar kingdom. The famous rulers of the Vijaynagar kingdom Krishnadeva Raya and Achhyuta Raya were the pioneers of the Dravidian architecture which is evidenced in the ruins of Hampi.
The glorious Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar which extended to parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra was shattered by the repeated Muslim invasions, the remnants of which lay in Hampi over a vast area of 26 sq. kilometer. The remnants of this World Heritage Site are enough to speak of the glorious past that attracts large number of tourists. Being a favorite hunting ground for the historians, the students and the researchers throng here to unearth valuable information. These ruins of the 14th century lay amidst the rocky structures and vegetation with the river Tungabhadra flowing in the north.
Sites to visit
The famous Dravidian Temple of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy stands few kilometers down on the Kamalpura and Hampi road. The walls carved with unusual looking fish and monster demands special attention.
On the way to main complex one comes across the Lotus Mahal shaped like a lotus from the top was used to be the resting place of the queens due to the air cooling feature. The geometrical design and accuracy of this Mahal deserves special appreciation.
The huge elephant stables standing on the lush green lawns depict a perfect blend of Hindu-Muslim architecture which can accommodate 11 elephants in different compartments.
The Pushkarini Tank and the Mahanavmi Dibba are well noticed due to their architectural specialty.
The mustard Ganesh is a notable single stone statue which is 9 feet tall known as Sasivikalu Ganesha.
The House of Victory built after a victorious expedition of Krishnadeva Raya is another magnificent structure with elegantly designed plinths and the spaces.
The Vithala Temple Complex is the most magnificent monument among the Hampi ruins with 56 musical pillars. The famous stone chariot that stands in the eastern side of the hall is unique masterpiece of architecture with revolving wheels. The sculpted basement and the huge granite pillars 15 feet tall that consists of a central pillar, all carved out of a single stone derive lots of praise and admiration of the tourists.
The King's Balance and the Ugra Narasimhs statue are other beautiful sculptural works worth noticing.
The Virupaksha Temple located in the centre of Hampi bazaar is another famous site worth visiting. The shrines of Shiva, Pampa and Bhubaneswari are located in this temple. The temple is said to be much older than the Vijaynagar kingdom.
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