That’s an interesting title you must be thinking, so what is all about? It’s an experience of enjoying the beautiful city Hampi, from visiting its Sunrise spots to ending the day with its Sunset point. and those hours doing a number of things which would leave you mesmerized and you would take back a postcard of memories.
Let me tell you about Hampi – Hampi is an ancient village in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It’s dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara dynasty. The city flourished under the reign of Krishnadevaraya. Hampi during its finest days was known to be one of the wealthiest cities in India. Its wealth and grandeur was well known across the world and hence attracted the attention of traders from Portugal and Persia. The witty Tenali Rama we read in History books was one of the ministers in the court of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi is today a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Traveling to Hampi was on my mind for a very long time. I had read about Hampi in the History textbooks in school. My Business trips to Bengaluru had increased and with my every stay I used to always manifest going to Hampi and keep talking about it with my Business associates based locally in Bengaluru.
On one such Saturday, I was informed by my partners that we have to travel outside the city for a meeting and that we would come back the next day, hence I should carry my extra clothes and change.
When I inquired about the whereabouts of the location we are heading to, they said it’s someplace outside Bengaluru and would take around 6 hours to reach and I should enjoy the journey and the car would halt at regular intervals to enjoy the local delicacies.
Bengaluru – Hampi, Road Journey – 7 hours with Breaks
This was one of the interesting drives out of Bengaluru, it was smooth as the roads are decent and lovely.
After covering over half a distance, I was thinking are we on Hampi Road? as the mountains beside the road had rocks that are similar to those which are even found in Hampi.
We stopped by at a Local South Indian Restaurant Chain, and while talking my Partners laughingly said, we ain’t going for a business trip, we are taking you to Hampi, as you wanted to go there since long, and we had a free window for two days and those two days we would be spending in Hampi.
I was too happy and couldn’t wait to reach Hampi.
As this was an unplanned trip, we had not booked any Hotel Property yet, and had decided to reach Hampi and book one.
We reached to the city centre and after inquiring we came to know that only Guest Houses are available in the main city and there is a 3 star hotel 5 kms away, it was almost twelve so we decided to get hang on to any good guest houses, and after searching we found the number of Ravi of Archana Guest House. and we decided staying up there.
We got a nice Air Conditioned Room with a very clean Bathroom with neat good beds, which was good enough for us for our stay.
So this was like an adventure trip which wasn’t in my mind for Hampi at all.
Ever since the time I knew I want to visit Hampi, I always wanted to see the Sunrise from the Matanga Hill with the monkeys.
And that’s where we began our trip.
Matanga is the highest point in Hampi and is the best spot to get an aerial view of Hampi and its surroundings. There is a small temple on the top of Matanga Hill. On the way down don’t miss out on a small cave which is believed to be the hiding place of Sugriva, ruler of Kishkinda.
According to mythology, Matanga Hill is one of the holy places described in the epic Ramayana as the base of Saint Matanga. It is also the place where Sugriva benefited from the magical protection of the sage Matanga who had placed a curse of death on Vali if he dared enter the area of Matanga Hill.
The hill is a trekker’s delight and offers pleasing views of the entire town below. There are many trekking paths that lead to the top of the hilltop where the Veerabhadra Temple is located. The climbing would take not more than 30 minutes. The Rooftop of the Veerabhadra Temple is the Ideal place for sunrise and sunset view.
From the top of the hill, one can view the Achyutaraya Temple, Tungabhadra River, Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Bazaar, and surroundings.
After the lovely sunrise needed a few minutes of rest, so it was time to be back into the Guest House for a lovely shower and change and then proceed to the other beautiful sites of Hampi.
This had to be my second immediate in Hampi, Virupaksha temple also known as Pampathi temple is one of the oldest temple dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. As per the sources, this temple was built in the 7th Century, and it has been running since then.
The Temple houses old-style structures, a huge courtyard, gateway towers in its campus. All of which will leave you awe-struck with its magnificence.
This place is a blessing in disguise for history buffs and architecture lovers as you could find massive scriptures and crafts on each wall which tells you loads about ancient history and makes you relive the ancient era.
The Archaeological Survey of India recognizes that the temple was built by the queen of Vikramaditya II, named Lokamahadevi, to commemorate the King’s success in a battle over the Pallavas of Kanchi. Hence, many inscriptions also refer to the temple as ‘Lokeshwara Mahasila Prasada’ in praise of the queen’s generosity.
There are few caves and underground Temples where one could go to check the beautiful carvings. And on the outside, there are riverside ruins wherein you can feed fishes and little ducks.
Goddess Lakshmi The Elephant at Virupaksha Temple
The other most significant part of the Virupaksha Temple is that it is home to the most beautiful Elephant. As per many Hindus, this elephant is Holy and is actually a living reincarnation of Lord Ganesha. I would talk more about her in another blog.
One can take blessings from her at the temple.
Vijaya Vittala Temple
From Virupaksha Temple we headed to the Vijaya Vittala Temple, the architectural wonder dated back to the 16th century.
One needs to park their vehicle almost at 1 km distance and either walk till the temple or take their Golf cart service and be driven, I would suggest you take this service if you have less time and more of Hampi to explore.
The Vijaya Vittala Temple was built in the 15th century and is amongst one of the largest historical structures in Hampi. Built-in the Dravidian style, this temple is an example of unmatched craftsmanship. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vittala – an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The Stone Chariot
The stone chariot which is the iconic sight of Hampi and even visible in the currency of India is located inside the premises of this temple along with other intricate sculptures.
The elaborately done musical pillars in the temple halls are truly mesmerizing and most appealing. It is said that these pillars once tapped delicately make musical chimes. The great architectural marvel is also known as 56 melodic columns with each column being made of stone. SAREGAMA Pillars is another name given to them for their stand out construction.
Now it was time for the gorgeous Lotus Mahal. The Name Lotus Mahal or Kamal Mahal originated because it resembles the shape of a lotus flower. The central dome of this Mahala resembles the bud of lotus and the balcony and passages as petals. The roof illustrates a multi-layered design reflecting and Indo architectural style. There are around 24 pillars to provide excellent support to the arched windows of this palace. This palace was home to all the Royal Women and queens.
Walking past the Lotus Mahal you would enter into the Elephant Stables. The Elephant Stables is amongst the significant tourist places to visit in Hampi to witness a little to absolutely no destruction in these many years. There were Eleven Chambers which served as an enclosure for royal elephants back in the day of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
The Lakshmi Narasimha Temple also known as the Ugra Narasimha is the largest monolith statue in Hampi. Built-in 1528 A.D. this 6.7-meter statue was damaged when it was vandalized in 1565 by the Mughals. The statue of Lord Narasimha, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is portrayed as half lion and half man sitting cross-legged with a ferocious expression. You would see Narasimha sitting on SheshNag i.e. the seven-headed snake acting as a shelter to him. The idol of Goddess Lakshmi is placed along with that of Narasimha.
Sasivekalu Ganesh is a gigantic monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha. The statue is over 8 feet tall and was created in the memory of a Vijayanagara King – King Narasimha II. It is often associated with the legend of Ganesha when he tied a snake around his belly when his stomach was about to burst after he had consumed a lot of food. The snake can be clearly seen around Lord Ganesha’s belly.
Carved out of a single boulder, this Shivlinga stands at a height 3m amidst water.
Kadalekalu Ganesh is an important religious attraction in Hampi. The temple has traditional stone architecture and is located on Hemakuta Hill and has a huge 15 feet monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha which is believed to be one of the largest in the world. The reason why the attraction is called Kadalekalu is that the belly of the deity is chiseled to look like Kadalekalu (Bengal gram).
Riverside Ruins- Places to visit in Hampi
A collection of 108 Shiva lingams carved on flat rocky surfaces can be seen here. The rock-carved sculpture of Lord Vishnu in a reclining position is the Riverside ruins a hot favorite among photographers, historians, and travelers.
Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex
For the Sunset I preferred staying in the same area and walked up to Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex. It is a hilltop dotted with a large number of temples mostly dedicated to Lord Shiva along with ruins of walls and broken pathways. The Mula Virupakshi temple is one of the most popular among this cluster of temples.
The Temple Complex is in the center of the city and is best for its breathtaking Sunrise and Sunset views, and I decided to enjoy my sunset time here.
I had many monkeys as my co-tourists and visitors.
I ended my beautiful Journey to Hampi but nevertheless came back with happiness and loads of memories in the form of pictures and multiple TravelPostcards.
Below you can find and scroll through a few more pictures that I enjoyed clicking during my time in Hampi.