Hampi, a famous religious and heritage center in the northern Karnataka State. History majors, Archaeology students, architects, Indologists, Lit majors, Book lovers, explorers, travellers, photographers etc etc….phew! Here’s a common destination for all of you. If you are a true Indian or if you have any amount of fascination for India, you’re going to love this place. It stands as a testimonial to the past grandeur of the glorious Vijaynagar Empire.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Hampi is a must-visit for any person who has a love for travelling. It houses many precious monuments which dates back to 13th and 15th century. Until now, the archaeological Survey of India works in full swing to excavate more artifacts and temples. Its typical geological location was framed by Tungabhadra River one side and Hilly region on the three other sides.
The sightseeing in Hampi will inspire both History and Nature lovers. Situated on the banks of the mystic Tungabhadra, this is the official venue of the annual Vijaynagara Festival organized each year by the Karnataka Government. Hampi Ustav or Vijaya Ustav, takes place for three days in the first week of November every year. This is something you really don’t want to miss out on. You get to see the vibrant culture of the area and feel enormously happy amidst all the enjoyment here. Make a list of the temples in Hampi because you simply ‘have to’ visit them when you come here. They would include Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy Temple with its curious marine motifs, the Hazara Rama Temple with the thousand frescoes depicting scenes from Ramayan that leaves an onlooker speechless, the newly excavated Krishna Temple, the eminent Vittala Temple with its wondrous stone chariot, the time-worn but beautiful Achyutara temple, the extremely ancient Virupaksha Temple that predates even the Vijaynagara empire with its 160 feet marvel of a tower at the entrance, the zanana enclosures and the elephant stables of Krishnadeva Raya. You can imagine the number of things there would be to see in a town that has existed for milleniums!
Hampi is considered one of the best rock climbing destination in India. Hampi is visited by the rock climbers from across India as well as abroad and offers some of the best bouldering opportunities in the world. It is famous amongst rock climbers as the bouldering capital of India. Landscape around Hampi is full of granite boulders & cliffs. Place shot to the fame amongs climbers around the world after rock climbing legend Chris Sharma visited it and shot his climbing movie Pilgrimage.
There are many hotels and resorts in and around Hampi. Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) maintains its own hotel named KSTDC Mayura Bhubaneswari Hotel. The food is of typical South India delicacies but delicious food from around the world can also be had here, thanks to numerous tourists from around the world. Travelers can pack some interesting souvenirs from Hampi which is famous for its jewellery sets, embroidered wallets, bedspreads, shoulder bags, and long skirts by Lambani women. These items made from cloth are made up of colorful fabrics and mirror pieces. Hampi also provides look-alike antique artifacts and coins.
The monuments of Hampi show us a picture of life like it was in bygone eras, battles fought, lost and won; the civilization that we carry within us and the extreme talent, sincerity and artistry of those who painstakingly erected these magnificent marvels with nary a modern amenity. It shows us incredible India.