The UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site located by the Tungabhadra river is easily accessible and is a must visit place given how Hampi, the capital of Vijayanagara Empire, is known to be one of those places in India for its archaeological significance. Temples with ancient Vijayanagara Empire history-a vastly powerful Hindu empire, engraved in the walls, mountains with mesmerizing sunrise and sunset views, ruins of palaces, the famous huge Stone Chariot that stands magnificent in front of the Vittala Temple Site, the 14ft high statue of Lord Ganesha known as Kadalekalu Ganesha are some of the must-visit places in and around Hampi.
The beauty of this place is the more you go around, the more it brings adventures, knowledge and takes you through an unplanned historical tour that is most definitely worth it. Hampi is the perfect combination of a backpacker’s paradise, surrounded by the three hills Anjaneya, Malyavanta and Matanga hills, and a calm pilgrim location.
You could also set aside some time to visit the archaeological museum which was established by the Archaeological Survey of India. The museum is home to many antiques, great sculptures and the proof to the history of this tourist attraction. Situated approximately 60kms away from Ballari district, every inch of this place has stories of its rich cultural heritage back in the ancient days. Now that Hampi has developed so much better than earlier, accommodation and travel to the location are not going to be an issue for you. So if you are the kind of person who loves trekking and learning something through adventures, well, Hampi is all yours!
Vijaya Vittala Temple:
This 15th-century structure temple is considered to be one of the largest historical structures in Hampi which is dedicated to Lord Vittala- an incarnation of Lord Vishnu- and is a must-visit amongst all Hampi tourist places.
The famous Stone Chariot, the huge pillars in the temple halls and intricate sculptures are the true embodiments of the fascinating architecture of the centuries-old Vijaya Vittala Temple.
Believed to be the oldest functioning temple in India, Sri Virupaksha Temple is a 7th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The temple is also considered as one of the most significant religious places to visit in Hampi and attracts a huge number of pilgrims from all over India.
The temple is seen to have many inscriptions of Lord Shiva. The temple was initially a shrine which was later extended into a huge complex during the Vijayanagara rule.The temple has one big holy place for worship, a hall supported by pillars and 3 antechambers and of all the entrances in the temple, the eastern gateway is highest one. The temple is surrounded by many mandaps around it, making the temple look more beautiful in all its cultural glory.
Hanuman Temple is another famous religious site located on the top of the Anjaneya Hill which is considered as the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. About 4 km from Hampi village, one has to cross a river using a small boat with paddles and then climb up the stairs to reach the Temple.
Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex:
This is one of the most famous and prominent temples in Hampi that is surrounded by a number of beautiful Hindu Temples and archways, pathways that are broken and built with strong, protective walls. The temple is also the perfect place to witness the sunrise and sunset. According to Hindu Mythology, it is believed that this is where Lord Shiva burnt the God of Lust-Kama with his third eye-fire.
Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple:
Located on the south side of the Hemakuta Hill, the Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple derives its name from the resemblance between Ganesha’s belly and a mustard seed which is locally known as Sasivekalu. The statue of Lord Ganesha, which is 2.4 meters is seen to have a snake carved around the stomach of Lord Ganesha. The history of the magnificent pavilion that surrounds the statue of Ganesha dates back to 1506 A.D. Given its significance and being near the Hemakuta Temple, this temple is another must visit tourist attraction.
Lakshmi Narasimha Statue:
The Lakshmi Narasimha statue, otherwise known as the statue of Ugra Narasimha was built in the year 1528 A.D. This is known to be the largest monolith statue in the whole of Hampi. The statue of Lord Narasimha- an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and a half man, half lion- depicts the deity sitting in a cross-legged position in its fierce form.
The Queen’s bath was considered a large open bathing area like a pool, for all the royals, that is, the Kings back then and their wives and is one of the architectures that will get you awe-struck.
The Huge courtyard in the front with a dome-shaped roof, balconies with small windows, and a rectangular pool made of bricks in the middle with open blue sky greet you at the Queen’s Bath in Hampi.