- Famous For: Street Shopping
- Entrance Fee: Nil
- Visiting Time: 6 AM to 11 PM
- Visiting Duration: Depends on how much interested you are.
Hampi in India is one place that is considered venerable enough to be awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage site, and if you dig around a little, literally, you will find it very easy to see why. As is common knowledge, Hampi is a world famous ancient ruins site of civilisations of the past. Some lesser known facts are that it was influenced by the Vijajayanagars, houses a temple that has wheel architecture in front, and that it has a wildlife sanctuary that boasts of sloth bears’ existence. Not necessarily in that order. So, whether you’re looking for a laid-back vacation, a historically educative experience, or some time to give yourself. Hampi’s a good idea any day. Check up on the weather, and start packing as we count down the 10 absolute best destinations of here.
The proud capital of Vijayanagara Empire stands in ruins, attracting tourists from all over, the world. Normally it would take at least two days to explore the place in detail. As an attempt to revive the past glory of Hinduism, the main attraction of Hampi is undoubtedly its copious temples; an effort that remained successful withstanding all challenges of time. Exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site leaves you in awe of the ancient past.
Built in 1972, the Archaeological Museum in Hampi houses various sculptures found in the ruins. The sculptures were originally housed in the elephant stables by the British officials before the independence of India and were later shifted in this museum. The museum has 4 galleries enclosing a model of the Vijaynagar valley with a corridor all around. The first gallery has in its display sculptures of the Saiva faith consisting of Veerabhadra, Bhairav, Bhikshatanamurti, Mahishasuramardini, Shakti, Ganesha, and Kartikeya with his consorts and Durga.
The largest statue in Hampi, the Lakshmi Narsimha is one of the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu. Narsimha which literally means half man half lion. The lord Narsimha is sitting on the coil of the giant 7 headed snake or the ‘sheshanaga’, the 7 heads of the snake acts as a hood on the statue, the god sits in a cross-legged Yoga position with a belt supporting the knees. The original statue contained the image of goddess Lakshmi, consort of the god, sitting on his lap.
This is a giant statue of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesha, it is named so as the belly of the statue is shaped like a mustard seed and Sasivekalu is the local name for a mustard seed. In Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is notorious for his food habits. One day he ate so much of food that his tummy was almost about to burst, so he just caught a snake and tied it around his tummy as a belt to save his tummy from bursting; hence, giving the sculpture its unique design.
Located inside the Zanana enclosure which was the secluded enclosure where the women of the kingdom of Vijayanagar resided, it is the highlight of that part of the ruins. The architecture is a pleasant departure from the other structures you get to see at Hampi, which is a mix of both Hindu and Islamic architecture style, The archways and the balcony with the domed construction resemble a half opened lotus bud and the lotus bud shape carved on to the centre dome as well.