Stone Chariot is an iconic monument located in front of Vijaya Vittala Temple in Hampi, central Karnataka. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stone Chariot is a shrine dedicated to Garuda, the official vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Stone Chariot in Hampi is one of the three most popular stone chariots in India. Other two are in Konark (Odisha) and Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu).
Design: Built in Dravidian style, chariot has carvings depicting mythical battle scenes. Standing on two giant wheels, two elephants are seen pulling the chariot. Stone Chariot is made of multiple smaller stones assembled to perfection. Stone Chariot was partially damaged by invading army towards the end of Vijayanagara Empire.
History: Stone Chariot was built in the 16th century by the orders of King Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara Empire. The emperor is said to have been impressed by the Sun temple of Konark during the war with Kalinga and wanted to recreate a similar one in Hampi.
Recently released INR 50 currency notes of India have stone chariot images.
Timing: Vijaya Vittala Temple complex is open between 8.30 AM and 5 PM on all days.
How to reach Hampi:
Hampi is 350 kms from Bengaluru and can be reached via road, rail or air. Vidyanagar airport (Code: VDY) is the closest airport (40 kms from Hampi) and has daily flights from Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Once in Hampi, Vijaya Vittala Temple can be reached by hiring a taxi, renting a bike or bicycle. Electric carts are available at select attractions.
Hosapete is the nearest railway station (15 kms from Hampi). Several buses are available from Bengaluru to reach Hampi.
Places to stay near Hampi:
Stone Chariot is situated in front of Vijaya Vittala Temple in Hampi. Hampi and nearby Hosapete town have accommodation options suiting all budgets. KSTDC runs hotel premium hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari in Hampi and budget hotel Mayura Vijayanagara near TB dam, Hosapete. Evolve Back Hampi and Hyatt Place are the most luxurious stays available at Hampi.