Dravidian Monuments at Hampi
The World Heritage site of Hampi, set in a landscape of rocks and waterways, holds the evocative ruins of magnificent temples and palaces that testify to the wealth and power of medieval Vijayanagar Empire. Located in the state of Karnataka, Hampi was the capital of the three generations of Hindu rulers. Krishnadeva Raya and Achyta Raya were the most illustrious rulers.
Especially impressive are the Virupakasha temple with a towering spire, the Vittala temple with its carved stone chariot and musical pillars, the 6.7 m tall monolith statue of Narasimha, Vishnu’s half man and half lion incarnation and the Royal Centre which has the 14th century Mahanavami Dibba, a massive platform of rough-hewn masonry but superb carving.
What we see today in Hampi are the ruins of magnificent monuments. Hampi was pillaged by the Deccan Muslim rulers in 1565 for over a period of 6 months before it was abandoned.
The rich Vijayanagar rulers built the beautiful Vitthalswami and Hazara Rama Temples. The temples are adorned with beautiful sculptures. The ruin of the Vitthalswami Temple is dedicated to the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The stone chariot outside the Vittlaswami temple is a shrine dedicated to Vishnu’s mount Garuda. Purandra Dasara Mantapa another monument in the vicinity is also worth visiting.
The Virupaksha Temple is dedicated to one of the forms of Lord Shiva. Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple reflects the Dravidian form of art and architecture. Its walls are opulently decorated with sculptures of marine animals and beautiful artworks. Its architecture has won the admiration of travelers in the past and present alike.
The house of victory for where the Kings would view the Dassera celebration is an exemplary piece of sophisticated sculpture. Do not miss the Hazara Ramaswami Temple, Elephant Stables and the exceptional Queen’s bath.
The grandiosity and austerity of this place can be understood only by visiting.
Hampi Travel Guide