Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hampi - The Royal Ruins


Hampi - Badami - Bijapur is an excellent travel circuit for a week end tour from Bangalore. These three places are hot favorite of the foreign tourists. Many temples and palaces at Hampi and Badami are now in the list of UNESCO Heritage sites. There is scarcity of hotels in Hampi and Badami, so it is better to book before hand before your journey, particularly in the winter.

The nearest railway station from Hampi is Hospet 14 kms. From Bangalore, it is 364 Km can be reached by bus, or hiring a cab. Even night service deluxe busses are also available from Bangalore to Hospet.

Carvings

At Hospet a place worth to see is the dam over the Tungabhadra river, also known as TB Dam by the local people. The picture of perfect villages in India with their farming, huts can be seen on both sides of the road on your way from Hospet to Hampi. Kamalapur is the major junction you will reach after 20 mins drive. From here two different roads are going inside the Hampi.

Carvings

Hampi is place with its unique scenic beauty. The rocks of different shapes, Tungabhadra river with the typical basket boat ( Hargol), ruins of palaces and temples here and there. After lunch we went to visit the Matanga Hill. This is a Hill made by the boulders of differentshapes stacked together, unique in its natural design. steps are there to climb to the top. It was a steep climb! At the top there is ruin of Matangeshwar Mahadev Temple. From the top the total view of Hampi is exceptional.

The Royal Ruins

Hampi was the capital of Vijaynagar Empire and was built on 1336 AD by the two kings of that time Harihar and Bukka. At that time Vijaynagar was vesry strong economically and wast the hub for trade for diamonds, pearls, silk, horses etc. Many palaces, forts temples were built at that time one by one. On 1565 AD Vijaynagar lose the Talikota battle and ruining started.

Carvings

Archeological Survey Of India tried hard to protect those heritage structures, the beauty of which will amaze you even today! At least two full days are required to visit the important sites at Hampi.

Virupakshya Temple

In the afternoon we decided to see the Virupakshya temple. This temple remain open from 6.30 am to 8.30 pm. Tall and huge 9 storey Gopuram, large temple compund with beautiful carvings on the wall, colorful frescos on the ceiling - really a wonder all

Fresco on the ceiling

together. In this temple regular puja and prayer is held till today. The Gods here are Mahadev and Pampadevi.

Tungabhadra River

From the temple we came to the river bank of Tungabhadara, adjacent to the temple. For dinner we went to roof top restaurant, a nice and unique environment to have dinner.

Carvings

The next morning after breakfast we started our journey to see the rest of the places. It took abouut 7 hours to cover the main sites. our first stop was Vithala temple. On the way to the temple we saw the ruins of Vithala market. Entry fee to the temple was INR 10. We witnessed and were stunned by the excellence of the architecture of ancient times! there are 56 intricately curved pillars in the main Rangmandap (Compound) which produce musical tunes when hit.

The King's Balance

The famous chariot made of curved stones is there in the compund here. King's balance, where the king use to donate gold and precious stones of his own weight! There are few ponds (Pushkarini ) inside the compound.

The Famous Chariot

Queen's bath was the bathroom for the queens. Though from outside it look so ordinary but the artistic craftworks in arches, pillars, fountains, balconies inside the palace is wonderful.

Hazar Ram Mandir

Hazar ram mandir is also in this area we saw. The story of Ramayana is curved on the walls of the two temples here. On the wall of main temple the pictorial story of Vishnu Avatar is engraved on the black ballast stone.

The Lotus Palace

From here our next spot was Janana Mahal Royal Complex. The same ticket of Vithala temple we hadto show here to enter. This was the place where queens used to stay in ancient times. The Lotus palace amidst of a beautiful garden was the main place. A museum of Archeological Survey Of india is also here.

Hatisala

Just outside the Janana Mahal is elephant's stable (Hati Sala) with many pillars and a beautiful tower.

Pataleshwar Shiva temple is little away from this palace. It is a temple underground and through the steps we reached inside (Garva Griha). Artistic work on the stones are beautiful even in this underground temple. Baravilinga Siva temple is another temple, where there is a three meter long Shiva linga surrounded by flowing water.

The Narasimha


The famous Lakshmi Narasimha Statue of Hampi is adjacent to this. It is an amazaing 7 meter tall statue made of stone with the fierce expression, under open sky.


After seeing many other temples we reached Acchyut Roy temple in the afternoon. The nearby river bank from here is very quite and secluded. We enjoyed the fun of basket boat (Hargol) ride on Tungabhadra river from here. This kind of boat is very typical of this place.

Tungbhadra Boat Ride

At last we reached the Hemkut hill near Virupakshya temple. Though not as high as Matunga, yet a beautiful view of Hampi is visible from here. We were all tired of the journey through out the day. Sitting on the hill top and observing the sunset over the Hampi - The Royal Ruins....is a memory to remain with us.

The sunset we will remember





Hotels at Hampi:

KTDC Hotel Maurya Bhubaneshwari (+918394 241574) @ INR 1200 - 1800 DB

KTDC Hotel Maurya Vijaynagar at Hospet ( +918394 259270) @ INR 350 DB

Kirtan ( +918394 695194) @ INR 400 - 500 DB

Maliggi ( Favourite of foreign tourists) (+918394 228101) @ INR 500 - 2100 DB

1 comment:

WorldmedTourism said...

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