Whenever one talks about the most striking world heritage sites in India, the ruins of Hampi always top the list. A laidback village located away from glitz and glamour of the outside world, Hampi peacefully resides in the Northern part of Karnataka. It houses many interesting monuments that narrate some legendary stories of the past, letting you walk down the memory lanes.
Reciting stories of the flourishing kingdom of the 14th century, the ruins of Hampi have been cuddled between granite ridges and the Tungabhadra River. According to the Hindu legends of Ramayana, this place was once the kingdom of the monkey gods, Kishkinda. In the year 1336, Telugu princes Harihara and Bukka established Hampi as Vijayanagar City which later grew as one of the biggest Hindu realms in the history of India. By the 16th century, the city sprawled to an area of 650 sq km with a population of about 500, 000. However, it was in 1565 when the city was struck by the association of Deccan sultanates, resulting in its fatal decline.
Hampi is a blessing for those who love to dig deep into the history and architectural brilliance of India. Start with the majestic Archaeological Museum housing collections of sculptures and assorted antiques. The Monkey Temple is another great attraction here that has a close association with the legend of Ramayana. The Vijaya Vittala Temple makes many jaws drop with its rich architecture and a massive stone chariot.
Virupaksha Temple of Hampi, dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, has also remained popular among pilgrims since 7th century. Do not miss visiting the riverside gorge located to the North of the Kodandarama Temple. These relics are a cluster of outstanding ruins featuring a number of pavilions, tiny shrines and sequence of motifs engraved on the rock surface.
Hampi does not have an airport. Nearest airport is Hubli Airport which is 144 km away from the village. Travellers can take a train to Kariganuru which is only 10 km away from Hampi. Apart from this, regular bus services also connect the village from other main cities of India.
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