Places to See in Hampi
Matanga hill is a well known tourist destination in Hampi. Its main attraction being the breathtaking aerial view of the Hampi landscape during sunset or sunrise. When on top, you can appreciate the sheer wisdom of the Vijaynagara rulers for selecting Hampi as their capital. The best track for trekking enthusiasts is the one that begins from Hampi bazaar to the Achyutaraya temple. The picturesque sight from the top comprises the Tungabhadra River, the Kodanda Rama temple, the Veerbhadra temple and the Turthu canal. Matanga hill is historically connected to the epic Ramayana as it was the hiding place for Sugriva, the ruler of Kishkinda.
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm (open all days)
A unique architectural masterpiece, Vithala temple in Hampi is situated opposite to the village of Anegondi. The temple is named after Vithala, an avatar of Vishnu worshipped by the Marathas. Vithala temple is built in the form of a complex with compound wall and gateway towers. The one thing that immediately catches attention is the stone chariot which has assumed iconic heights over the years for Karnataka tourism. The pillared halls are intrinsically carved with sculptures that speak volumes about the glorious past of Hampi. Another feature that is worth mentioning here is the musical pillars that emanates the seven notes when tapped.
Hazara Rama Temple
The Hazara Rama temple complex in Hampi is located in the middle of the Royal Centre and was once used as a place of worship by the royal family members. Inscriptions inside the temple indicate that it was built by Devaraya I in early fifteenth century. This temple is renowned for its elaborate frescos extensively portraying scenes from Hindu mythology. There are about one thousand fantastically carved bas relief and inscriptions that illustrate the mighty epic Ramayana and the Mahanavami festival. Depiction of processions of elephants, horses with attendants, dancing girls and armoured soldiers testify the expertise of the Vijayanagara artists.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
The Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Hampi attracts tourists specifically due to its monolithic structure and the sheer enormity of its size. It is the single largest statue in Hampi with a height of 6.7 meters. Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu is depicted as sitting on the giant coil of the celestial snake Adisesha. The seven heads of the giant snake shielding Narasimha, arched by a Kirtimukha Torana in the front, is an architectural masterpiece in itself. However, several features of the monolithic structure are missing and the most prominent among these damaged and missing structures is the seated figurine of Narasimha's consort Lakshmi on his left lap. By entering inside the enclosure, one can see the land of Lakshmi on Narasimha's back with her fingers, nails and rings, all beautifully sculptured.
Amidst the ruins of the ancient city Vijaynagar the Virupaksha temple stands tall with all its earlier structures still intact. The temple personifies Lord Shiva and is still used for worship. The inside of the temple consists of a sanctum with a madapam in front, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall. Among the three towers the eastern tower is the tallest standing at a height of 160 feet and is nine tiered. Virupaksha portrays Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu in their various avatars. The chariot festival is celebrated in the premises of this temple during the month of February.
Tourist Destinations Near Hampi
Rich in history and architecture, the village of Hampi is a veritable tourist paradise. There are diverse types of tourist attractions in and around Hampi. On visiting them, you will get to know what Hampi is all about from close quarters. Some of the famous landmarks in and around this village that are worth exploring include: