Tourist Places Hampi Karnataka
Hampi is a village located in the north of Karnataka, amongst the ruins of the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, Vijayanagara. The town lies on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, 74 km away from Bellary. It is located atop a rugged terrain, 467 m above sea level. The place is a significant religious centre of the Vijayanagara Empire due to the presence of the historic Virupaksha Temple along with many other monuments of the old city. UNESCO has listed the Vittal Temple and other ruins of the town of Hampi as a World Heritage Site.
History of Hampi
The history of Hampi is related with the historical Kishkindha, which is known for the ‘Vanara’ or Monkey Kingdom, whose reference is also there in the epic Ramayana. Hampi was the settlement of main areas of the Vijayanagara Empire since 1336 to 1565. After this, these areas were persecuted by the Deccan Muslim Confederacy due to the decisive location of Hampi with the Tungabhadra River on one side and hills on the other three sides.
The Archaeological Survey of India and other researchers also take deep interest in the place due to its historical and architectural significance. The region of Hampi is full of large stones, out of which the statues of Hindu gods and goddesses have been crafted. The town is also an important mining site due to the presence of several mineral deposits in this region.
Major Attractions in Hampi
Kodanda Rama Temple
The Kodanda Rama Temple is situated towards the east of Hampi at the end of the Virupaksha Bazaar. A small pathway from Virupaksha Bazaar at the east end leads along the river bank to Kodanda Rama temple. This temple faces Chakrathirtha, the most sacred bathing ghat in the river. The temple is still in use and is considered a must for religious pilgrimage in this part of Karnataka.
Shri Vijayavitthala Temple
If one wants to witness the competition between man and Vishwakarma ( the Architect God of Hindus ), this is the place on earth. Any number of words would fail to do justice to this wonderful monument dedicated to Lord Vitthala or Lord Vishnu. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu found it too grand to live in and thus returned to his own humble home. The Stone Chariot is situated to the east of the temple hall.
Though inside the Vijayavittala Temple complex, the Stone Chariot gets our special attention because it deserves. One will fall short of words if he / she tries to describe the beauty of this wonderful man – made piece of art. Situated to the east of the hall, Stone chariot has stone wheels which some believe actually rotate. We have not tested it tough.
Hazari Rama Temple
This temple for Lord Rama is popularly called “Hazari Rama Temple” or “Hazara Rama Temple” because of the large number of Ramayana panels on the walls. This temple is believed to have been the private place of worship of the Royal family..
Fun Festivels in Hampi
Hampi Festival ( November )
This is the largest festival at Hampi. Generally they are scheduled for 3 days during the first week of November. The celebrations typically packed with shows of music, dance puppet shows fireworks and a pomp procession as the grand finale showcasing the cultural richness of the place. Of late items like rock climbing, water sports and rural sports also has been included in the schedule. The programs are state sponsored and the admission is free. The celebrations attract are too much crowd for this otherwise low profile town to handle. Major Attractions
Purandaradasa Aradhana ( January / February )
This is principally a classical musical festival. The festival is held every year to commemorate the birthday of the ancient poet Purandaradasa who lived in Hampi. The 2-3 days long program is scheduled during the months of January or February. Though not as grandeur as The Hampi Festival, Purandaradasa Aradhana is a feast to the classical music enthusiasts. The venue is typically centered on the Purandaradasa Mantapa located near the Vittala Temple. Sometimes programs are conducted at other places too. Musicians of national and international repute participate.
Virupaksha Car Festival ( March / April )
Held during the months of March or April ( based on the local calendar ), this is the largest religious festival in Hampi. The highlight is the procession along the main chariot street in Hampi. The image of the god & goddess is kept of the temple car ( the giant wooden chariot ) which is the centre of the procession. The festival marks the annual ritual marriage of the god & goddess.
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