Hampi- The Land of Ruins

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Ancient ruins in Hampi, India
Ancient ruins in Hampi, India

Hampi is declared a World Heritage Site and is renowned all over the world for its ruins. These ruins belong to the Hindu Kingdom of Vijaynagar of the erstwhile medieval period. The travelers get attracted to the temples, the monolithic monuments, and sculptures, as they portray the amazing workmanship. The Hindu style adapted for the architecture of these structures helps to showcase the glory of the Vijaynagar Empire. The cherry on the cake for visiting this Historic and heritage site is the rugged landscape.

Let’s know more about Hampi

Ancient ruins of Hampi on sunset. India
Ancient ruins of Hampi on sunset. India

Hampi is sometimes also called Hampe. UNESCO considers the ‘Groups of Monuments’ at Hampi as a World Heritage Site. During the 14th century, Hampi was considered to be the capital city of the Vijayanagara empire.

The Archaeological Survey of India and other historical and geographical teams from all over the world do to numerous excavations, study-excursions, architectural study, and archaeological study, these splendid and beautiful temples, and ruins. 

History of Hampi

Ancient ruins in Hampi, India
Ancient ruins in Hampi, India

 The city of Hampi is not only an architectural symbol but also a reminder of the great Vijayanagara empire. As Hampi was considered to be the city of the Empire,  this place has become a symbol for the same. The Empire was defeated by the equation formed by the Muslim sultanates and the capital city was conquered.  many of the architectures were destroyed by the armies of the Sultanate,  believe to be in 1565. After this incident, it infamously got its name “The Land of Ruins”.

Colin Mackenzie, the Great British interpreter, and a  Scottish army officer was the person who founded the city of Hampi. 

Located near the Tungabhadra river, this city since ancient times was a great attraction for several travelers, especially the Portuguese and Europeans. The city is considered to be the second-largest one, in the medieval era after Beijing.

Even in ancient times, this city was ahead by many generations. It had well-organized trading markets, farms,  and numerous temples with splendid architecture and designs.

Moreover,  Hampi is considered to be India’s one of the richest cities at that time. It attracted several well influential traders from Persia and Portugal.

How did Hampi get its name-

Virupaksha Temple. Hampi, Karnataka, India
Virupaksha Temple. Hampi, Karnataka, India

There is an interesting story behind the naming of the city. Hampi or as traditionally known as “Pampa-kshetra”, or “Bhaskara-kshetra” was derived from one of the names of the Hindu Goddess Parvati. The name was Pampa.  

The story is according to the mythology that, Goddess Parvati wanted to marry Lord Shiva. She was actually the incarnations of Sati. In the beginning, when her parents got to know about her wish discouraged her. But she anyways persuaded that.

Lord Shiva was always lost in the world of meditation and for this reason, Goddess Parvati appeal to God for help in order to get his attention. Lord Indra sent Kamadev,  who is considered to be the Hindu God of love to awake the lord from his deep meditation.

But when Kama shot an arrow of desire at Lord Shiva he was extremely enraged and he opened his third eye in his forehead and burnt Lord Kama to ashes.

But still, the Goddess didn’t lose her hope And she herself starts living like an asceticism in order to attract his interest. 

It is Courage the Goddess Shiva disguised himself and tried to discourage her by explaining the weaknesses. But Parvati refused to listen to him and stayed stubborn. After saying so much determination love and affection for him,  from Parvati,  he finally accepted her.  later after the marriage of God and Goddess, Kama was also brought back to life. 

It is believed that Parvati persuaded her Yogini lifestyle on the Hemakuta hill, which is now part of Hampi.

Also read

Fun Things To Do At Hampi

Hampi – The Backpacker’s Paradise

Location:

Hampi is in the middle of Karnataka, located in the southern part of India.

Hampi is a long-distance car route as it is just 353 km away from Bangalore. Hampi is 467m above sea level and the famous Tungabhadra River flows through the land. The whole place is located on rugged terrain.

Hosapete, also known as Hospet Is the nearest railway station,  which is approximately 13 km away. There are many connective overnight buses and trains that also connect the city with Goa and Bengaluru. 

If you want to visit this place during the summer season then go from April to June. And if you want to enjoy the place during the winters then visit from October to February. And you might want to avoid the southwestern monsoon rains from June to August.

7 unforgettable experiences you can only have on the Hampi trip:

Ruins in Hampi on sunset
Ruins in Hampi on sunset

Hampi is a place full of monuments and sculptures but there are a few additional incentives in this trip which is going to make it an unforgettable one! 

  • The first and the most obvious one in the list are the various temples that are scattered over the whole land. A few of the temples which you need to visit when you go to Hampi are as follows:
  •  Virupaksha Temple 
  • Vithala Temple 
  • Lakshmi Narashima Temple 
  • Achyutraya Temple 
  • Hazara Rama Temple
  • One of the main reasons to visit these temples is to witness the excellent art and architecture work of the workmen of the medieval period. However, there is another reason too. It is to be close and learn about your history.
  • The second one, Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple is also a temple but is counted separately from the previous list. It is so because it is the view from this mountain-top temple that mesmerizes the travelers. Located on the top of Anjenaya Hill, this temple is of Lord Hanuman and the travelers as well the devotees are required to climb 567 steps to get to the temple. 
  • The third place is occupied by the famous Coracle Ride of Hampi. It is a very rare ride and amongst the rare count where this ride is available, Hampi is one! These rides are extremely economically feasible and can be just 50 to 60 rupees for each ride. 
  • These rides are available in the Sanapur Lake, or Sanapur waterfalls, or at the Tungabhadra River boating area. You can even go to Hippie Island on these.
  • The fourth on our list is the Matanga Hills Sunset Point. One of the mountain points in Hampi from where the perfect sunset can be captured. This place also has historical importance and is described as a hermitage site of Saint Matanga.
  • The Daroji Bear Sanctuary occupies the fifth spot on this list. A mini- picnic spot during the trip. This sanctuary was established in 1944 and the thorny forest was converted into the present green forest which is inhabited by the Sloth Bears.
  • After the sunset, a must-go place is our sixth place occupier, the Hampi Festival. Also known as the Vijaya Festival is one of the biggest festivals of the ancient Vijayanagar empire. This festival happens every year at the Virupaksha Temple. In the backdrop of the beautifully made structures, the performance of rich folk dance and music is a heaven-like feeling. Janapada Kalavahini or as known as “The concert of the folk” is the star attraction of the Festival. 
  • Last but not the least, the seventh on the list is Cliff Jumping in Hampi. Giving your historical tour a special touch, this activity is a must! An extremely popular activity amongst adventure lovers, Hampi Lake and the Sanapur Lake are the popular sites for Cliff Jumping.

Apart from all these listed activities and places, there are a lot of things to do and visit several places in Hampi. After reaching Hampi, the locals can guide you to places as they are the best advisors there. Hampi is indeed is a quick weekend getaway spot!