Hampi – Part 1
The former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi was one of the most beautiful cities during the medieval period. The ruins of the 14th century temples and monuments speak volumes of its past glory and the destructions due to invasions. The ruins of Hampi have been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. The architectural splendour of monuments makes Hampi one of the most striking ruins of the modern world.
Hampi is located in the central part of Karnataka. The magnificent ruins are set in an extraordinary landscape of giant boulders, lush paddy fields and banana plantations on the banks of the Tungabhadra River.
Hampi is divided into two parts. The Sacred Center and the Royal Center. These clusters are about 3 kilometers apart. As the name suggests a number of temples and religious structures are located in the sacred center, and the ruins of palaces and military structures are found in the royal center.
It’s one of the popular tourist attractions in Karnataka which draws more foreign tourists than locals. It takes a couple of days at least to see all the attractions in Hampi. The best time to visit is between November to March which is the peak season as the climate is cooler.
Virupaksha Temple is the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi. It is believed that this temple has been functioning uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD. That makes this one of the oldest functioning temples in India. This temple is located near the Hampi bus stand and the bazaar.