"Hampi and Vijayanagar" Hampi by rasta_man
Hampi Travel Guide: 279 reviews and 1,127 photos
Saint Vidyaranya established the seat of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1336 A.D, with the help of his devotee disciples Hakka and Bukka. The empire later became famous for its support towards renovation / reconstruction of temples throughout India. It also became renowned for the re-establishment of Indian culture and its support for music, art and literature. With the prime purpose being the welfare of the people, this empire became a model for good governance all over ancient India.
HAMPI, the seat of the famed VIJAYANAGARA Empire was the capital of the largest empire in post-mogul India, covering several states. The Emperor Krishnadevaraya reigned supreme over the Vijayanagara Empire that stretched over at least three present-day Indian states - Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The destruction of Vijayanagar by marauding Moghul invaders was sudden, shocking and absolute. They reduced the city to ruins amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors defying description.
Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India. The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lie scattered in an area about 26 sq. km, amidst giant boulders and vegetation. Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur, splendour and fabulous wealth. The splendid remains of palaces and gateways of the broken city tell a tale of man who possesses infinite talent and creativity, as well as the power and capacity for senseless destruction.
Strewn over a large area (about nine square miles) the ruins at Hampi offers to the tourist a reminder of the greatest land in the whole world. Every rock, every path and every monument in Hampi speaks the same language; a language of glory and beauty.
Vithala Temple Complex
The most splendid monument of Hampi is undoubtedly the Vithala Temple Complex with its 56 musical pillars.
To the east of the hall is the famous Stone Chariot with stone wheels that actually revolve.
In front of the shrine stands the great mantapa. Resting on a richly sculpted basement, it's roof is supported by huge pillars of granite, about 15 feet in height, each consisting of a central pillar surrounded by detached shafts, all cut from one single block of stone. Several of the carved pillars were attacked with such fury that they are hardly more than shapeless blocks of stone and a large portion of the central part have been destroyed.
Most of the ruins are along the road leading from Kamalapura to Hampi.Three kms down the road, on a commanding site, stands the temple of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy. It is built in the Dravidian style. Strange looking fishes and marine monsters carved along its outer walls are worth noticing.
The Hampi Bazaar, 35 yards wide and nearly 800 yards long was known to be a "very beautiful street with very beautiful houses".
The Virupaksha Temple rises majestically at the western end of the famous Hampi Bazaar. The temple has a 120 feet tall tower on its eastern entrance. The temple contains the shrines of Shiva, Pampa and Bhuvaneswari. Parts of this temple are older than the Vijayanagar kingdom itself. The work of this style dates back to the 11th or 12th century.
Nearby is the 6.7metres tall monolith of Ugra Narasimha. An inscription nearby states that it was hewn from a single boulder in 1528 during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya.
- Pros:A great example of the heritage of man.
- Cons:The destruction of ideals that man can cause.
- In a nutshell:"Dreams sculpted from stone".
To get to Hampi, catch the night train from Bangalore to Hospet. From Hospet get an auto to Hampi, which costs about... more travel advice
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