Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hampi; the ancient capital city of Vijayanagra Empire, the City of Victory

An ariel view of the Virupaksha temple,
I just got back from a trip to Hampi. It is a visual treat and leaves you awestruck. A must do if you like medieval Indian architecture.

We hired a car from Bangalore; It took us around 7 hours to reach Hospet. Hampi is another 12 kms from Hospet. We stayed in hotel Malligi in Hospet.It is around 335 kms from Bangalore.There are KSTDC overnight bus services to Hospet and overnight trains as well.If your hotel is in Hospet, you can hire an autorikshaw or taxi from Hospet to Hampi.You can also choose to stay in Hampi.If you can ride a bike, you have to option of renting one as well.

Rock cut images at Hampi
Hampi is said to be the mythical Kishkindha-Kshetra from Ramayana.Rama took shelter in Malyavanta hill when Hanuman went in search of Sita. This is where Sugriva and Hanuman lived. It is believed that the Anjanadri Hill temple is the birth place of Hanuman.

Spread across an area of 26 sq kms; Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagara empire.It is said that the kings of Vijayanagara found Hampi very suitable as a kingdom because of the natural advantages like fertile soil, river Tungabhadra, and hills and massive boulders on either side offering natural protection to the kingdom. The Vijayanagara empire flourished for two centuries.This region's history dates back to third century BC, Emperor Ashoka's rock Edicts found in this region suggests that this area was under the Mauryan dynasty.

If you wish to do Hampi, you could consider visiting during Hampi festival that happens sometime in January end. That's when you can see the monuments at night as well. It must be glorious. There are over 40 monuments that you can see at Hampi. There are monuments that are religious, for the general public, and for military purposes as well. I recommend staying in Hampi if you wish to cover all. There is a travelers lodge in Hampi which provides decent accommodation.

In my next few posts, I will share the pictures of the various monument in Hampi. The pictures do not do justice to these precious, awe inspiring monuments. I really-really wonder how people could create such beautiful structures.

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