Hampi ruins are one of the major tourist destinations in Karnataka. It is located in the Bellery district of the state. Hampi was earlier the royal capital of the mighty Vijaynagar rulers. Harihara and Bukka established the town in 1336 AD. Today the erstwhile city of Hampi lies in ruins, as remnants of the glory of the Vijaynagar rulers, together with its palaces, huge walls, holy temples, markets, baths, pavilions and stables for imperial elephants. Only the time has gone by… UNESCO has declared the Hampi ruins as a World Heritage Site.
The Vijaynagar rulers were great patrons of art and as such Hampi emerged as the center of prosperous culture during the fifteenth century. However, its glory was short-lived. The empire faced the Moghul invaders from north India in 1565 who mercilessly destroyed the capital city and the Hampi ruins were left to narrate the glory of a former era for the posterity.
The extensive city was designed in a way so that the major structures of the city were segregated into two portions. The Royal Center and the Sacred Center were the two major parts of the city. Today the Royal Center holds the leftovers of luxurious palaces, baths, royal stables and pavilions, whereas the Sacred Center contains sacred temples. The Sacred Center is located on the northern border of the city, beside the banks of the holy Tungabhadra river.
The King's Balance is a beautiful place at Hampi. Here the kings were weighed against money, gold or grain and after that, the things worth the king's weight used to be circulated among the poor. One can also see ruins of enormous elephant stables in Hampi. The Pushkarini Tank and the Mahanavami Dibba are some of the other famous Hampi ruins.
Most of the Hampi ruins are beside the road connecting Hampi to Kamalapura. Today the silent ruins of Hampi Bazaar were a bustling place some centuries ago, adorned with beautiful houses. On a powerful site near Hampi stands the Temple of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy. The temple belongs to the Dravidian order. There are some fish and sea monsters depicted on its outer walls. The Vithala Temple Complex is the most impressive shrine of Hampi. An important feature of this temple complex is that it stands on 56 musical pillars.
The Stone Chariot of Hampi is one of the major Hampi ruins. The chariot has stone wheels. Apart from that, the House of Victory is a beautiful monument at Hampi. The massive monument was built in the memory of Krishnadeva Raya's victorious voyage against the king of Orissa. The seats between the rows of the plinth moldings are structured most stylishly and ornately. The rulers of Vijaynagar used to see the nine-day festival of Dussera, while sitting on a luxurious throne in the House of Victory. The Indian government has started the Hampi Festival to support tourism. The festival takes place every year, in the month of November.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/11