is such that the pupil of they eye has never seen a
place like it.." so eulogized Abdul Razaq, a Muslim
envoy who visited Hampi, the erstwhile capital of the
Vijayanagara kingdom, in 1443.
You can still glimpse the splendour of Vijayanagara
in its ruins. The Virupaksha Temple rises majestically
at the western end of a 700m long street that was once
the famous Hampi bazaar. This is the only temple at
Hampi that is still used for worship. Nearby is the
6.7 m tall monolith of Ugra Narasimha, seated under a
canopy of a seven hooded snake.
The most splendid monument of Hampi is undoubtly the
Vithala Temple Complex. The 56 pillars in the
main hall produce musical notes when struck. To the
east of the hall is the famous Stone Chariot with
stone wheels that actually revolve! Hampi is full of
such surprises. Like the King's Balance, where ruling
kings were weighed against grain, gold or money which
was then distributed to the poor. Or the Queen's Bath,
with its arched corridors, projecting balconies and
lotus - shaped fountains. Or even the Lotus Mahal in
the 'Zenana' enclosure.
A beautiful Two-Storied place with recessed archways
set in geometric regularity and opening out to the sun
and the wind like the petals of a flower. The imposing
Elephant Stables have arched entrances and domes. And
in the Royal Enclosure of the city is the Hazara Rama
Explore Hampi at your own pace. Its monuments - like
its centuries old patience and wisdom must be savoured
bit by bit.
The Vijayanagar Festival
is organized by the Government of Karnataka in
December. Dance, drama, music, fireworks, puppet
shows, spectacular processions, all combine to
recreate the grandeur of the bygone era.
Kannada, Hindi, English. When to go there. October to
How to get there:
The nearest Airport is Bellary (74 kms). Other
convenient airports are at Belgaum (190 kms) and
Hospet is the nearest railhead (13 kms). Hospet is
linked by rail to Bangalore, Bijapur, Hubli and
Hampi is 350 kms from Bangalore.