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5 must visit places in Hampi

Hampi is a small village located on the banks of Tungabhadra River in the South
Indian state of Karnataka. A renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi
village stands within the ruins of Vijayanagara city, the former capital of the
mighty Vijayanagara Empire. Also known as Pampa-Kshetra or Kishkindha-
Kshetra, the name Hampi is derived from Pampa, the old name of Tungabhadra
River. It is one of the top places to visit in Karnataka and also one of the best
heritage sites in India.

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Hampi is a most important place in terms of architecture and its history. Hampi
was an extremely important part of Vijayanagara Empire and also one of the
richest and largest cities in the world during 15th and 16th centuries. The ruins of
the palaces and temples in Hampi stand testimony to the wealth and grandeur of
the Vijayanagara Kings. The ruins of Hampi are spread over an area of more than
26 and are divided into two broad areas; the Hampi Bazaar area and the
Royal center. presents 5 must visit places in Hampi here.

Virupaksha Temple

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Virupaksha Temple, also known as Pampapathi Temple, is an ancient temple

located at the western end of Hampi Bazaar in Hampi. Renowned as one of the
oldest functioning temple in India, Sri Virupaksha Temple is a 7th-century temple
dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The temple is the part
of the Group of Monuments at Hampi, designated as an UNESCO World Heritage
Site. It is one of the top places of pilgrimage in Karnataka and also one of the top
places to visit in Hampi.

The sprawling campus of the Virupaksha temple is architectural grandeur which

houses a huge courtyard, huge entrance towers, a beautifully carved mandapa
and the main sanctum. The annual chariot festival in February and marriage
festivities of Virupaksha and Pampa in December are the major festival at this

Vittala Temple

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Built in 15th century AD, Vittala Temple is an ancient monument located on the
southern bank of the Tungabhadra River in the historical town of Hampi. Also
known as Vijaya Vittala Temple, it is the most famous and popular tourist
attraction in Hampi. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is well-known for
its beautiful architecture and unmatched craftsmanship.

The entire temple complex houses several small temples, enclosures, pavilions
and halls. One of the main attractions of the temple are its marvelously created
pillared halls that reflect true wonders of architecture along with a gigantic stone
chariot. This is one of the three famous stone chariots in India, the other two
being in Konark and Mahabalipuram and is enshrined Garuda, the vehicle of Lord
Vishnu. The Goddess's shrine, the 100-pillared hall, the Kalyana Mandapa and the
pillared corridor are other important structures with in the complex of Vittala
Hampi Bazaar

Hampi Bazaar, also known as Virupaksha Bazaar, is a located in front of the

historic Virupaksha Temple in Hampi. About a kilometer long, the bazaar starts
from the temple entrance and ends at the foothill of the Matanga Hill. Hampi
Bazaar is one of the top Hampi tourist places. It has a series of old pavilions on
both sides and was the place where merchants used to sell precious stones,
jewellery, silk clothes, etc. during Vijayanagara Empire. Yeduru Basavanna, a huge
Nandi is located at the eastern end of the street. There is also a photo gallery near
the bull that displays the photos of Hampi taken by Alexander Greenlaw in 1856

Royal Enclosure

The Royal Enclosure in Hampi is a huge fortified area that was once the seat of
power of the Vijaynagara rulers. Spread over an area of 59,000 square meters, the
Royal Enclosure contains the ruins of several palace bases, water tanks, temples,
ornate platform and canals and many other structures. Some of the important
structures of the Royal Enclosure are the Kings Audience Hall or Durbar Hall,
stepped tank, an underground chamber and the Mahanavami Dibba to the
commonly called Dasara Dibba. Now, it is basically a wide open ground consisting
of a number of small shelters.

Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex

Hemakuta Temple Complex is a cluster of ancient temples situated on the

Hemakuta hill just beside Virupaksha Temple in Hampi. This golden hillock is one
of the most charming hillocks in Hampi and is dotted by over fifty ruined
structures which include temples, mandapas, galleries and gateways of various
sizes. More than 35 temples, built in 9th to 14th Century AD, are located on this
Hill and are dedicated to Lord Shiva. It offers excellent view of Hampi Bazaar and
Virupaksha temple. Hemakuta Hill is one of the top places of sightseeing in Hampi
and also one of the best one day trip from bangalore.