We had taken a short break to Hampi in Oct 2012. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once the centre of the Vijayanagara empire from 1336 to 1565. Now it's home to many ruins- such as of temples- but has one main functioning temple.
It was approx 7 hrs drive from Bangalore. Throughout the drive one could see how endemic corruption is in road construction- constant diversions due to frequent rebuilding of poor quality. More tax money wasted.
The landscape was hilly and dotted with windmills.
Here's a truck carrying part of a windmill.
As Hampi is primarily the main site and not a real functioning city, the nearest town with the main hotels, restaurants and shops is 15 km away and is called Hospet. Our hotel was here.
A signboard of a hotel in Hospet where we had good lunch.
Here's the hotel we stayed at.
Next day we hired a car and driver to visit Hampi. Having seen many Hindu temples, I don't really visit them as a tourist but the architecture here was very nice.
The entrance to the site.
A map of the area.
Here was the first sight: the Sasikevalu Ganesha Temple.
The inscription being talked about is this one:
The area behind was hilly and so provided nice views. It is known as the Sunset Point.
Interesting. I know that there are a lot of Unesco World Heritage sites and it is impossible to have heard of all of them, but I am always embarrassed when I hear of a new one that I have never heard of.
I am also always intrigued by whatever caused such massive sites to be abandoned over the centuries.
That's a really extensive site to visit. The carved wooden ceiling in one of those temples is spectacular, but of course all of the stone carvings everywhere are just as impressive (and of course harder to do!).
Lakshmi Narasmiha doesn't look like he would win any beauty contests. Some of the other incarnations of Lord Vishnu are considerably more appealing.
Yeah- I liked the ceiling too. Although my favourite sights here was the last one I saw (will show later), I found all quite impressive. I typically don't visit Hindu temples when out but these were the exceptions- favourite Hindu temples I've seen by a long shot.
What an amazing, vast site! Excellent job of reporting, Ansh. Your pictures of the trip there, particularly the one one with the truck carrying part of a windmill, really give an idea of how huge the area is and what feats of engineering were required to create the temples. I'm eager to see more.
In Reply #3, in the photo captioned "Next stop was the main temple in Hampi- called the Virupaksha Temple", is that modern housing on the right side of the picture, or an original part of the temple complex?
Hi Bixa. The housing you mentioned is not part of the temple. It is modern- and maybe illegal. The government is razing down many illegal establishments near the historic sites after many warnings which went unheeded.
Next we went to the Underground Siva Temple. Frankly it wasn't anything special and, being underground, was a bit waterlogged. However it was the first of the few green spaces we saw in Hampi so it was a change.
Didn't spend much time here. We then moved on to the Zanana Enclosure, which was a large open space with ruins scattered about. The remains of the walls:
I really like these information boards. Don't you? More of the area:
The last image is the ruins of the basement of the Queen's palace. no idea which queen is being referred to though.
I would guess it's just the area. We went just 2 months after the monsoons and there was a slight rain when we went there...so must be the area rather than the time of the year.
Sorry, can't answer the other two questions; your guesses are as good as mine. However, the Underground Siva Temple is among the oldest in Hampi and also not too popular a sight. Maybe it's just not maintained well enough?
Hi, there's no fee to enter Hampi. However if I remember correctly, there is a small fee to enter for example the Virupaksha Temple and the Vitthal Temple. It is probably more expensive for foreigners.
I thought some street pictures of the town of Hospet would be in order, but I don't have any pictures. However, here are some pictures of the area around the Tungabhadra Dam. Tungabhadra is the name of the river which runs through Hampi.
The main attraction was a botanical garden.
On the left is the Tungabhadra Dam.
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2013 11:17:32 GMT by anshjain97