Why is Hampi an incredible heritage site ?
Hampi is a spectacular heritage travel-spot, recently being frequented, and has turned popular among the youth, especially, as a tourist spot.
Hampi remains today, as a grand agglomeration of ruins of the great Hindu Kingdom of medieval India. It was the capital town of the Vijayanagara Kingdom, known for the great ruler Krishnadeva Raya. Located on the banks of the river Tungabhadra, the site is in Central Karnataka, in the district of Bellary.
Hampi was an important trade centre, both regional and beyond-seas, and had a dynamic market of various crafts, grains, and horses. The physical terrain of huge rocks and hills, with a beautiful river passing by makes the beauty of Hampi more surreal. It has definitely been a historic and aesthetic site for travel, both among international and national tourists.
If you are planning your next visit to this incredible place, here are 5 things you should definitely see:
Just near the central bus stop, is the grand Virupaksha temple, which is supposedly the most important place for the Vijayanagara Kingdom, as early as 7th century AD. The heritage temple complex has a variety of shrines, pillars, flag posts, gateways, the huge temple kitchen, all of which uphold distinct architecture.
If you can wake up early, or visit in the evening, you can even watch the grand rituals, still performed at the temple, with the grand drums, and distribution of the prasaad. The temple is just beside the river, and has a lot of interesting and geometrical architectures, each holding its own historical importance.
The Ancient Palace Ruins
The palace complex of the Vijayanagar kings, now stands is ruins, but most of its basements remain. Studies have revealed marvelous features of the palace, like the Danaik’s Enclosure area, the Mahanavami Dibba , the queen’s palace inside the Zenana Enclosure and the amazing Octagonal Bath.
Hemakuta view point
A quick climb uphill from the Virupaksha Temple will lead you to a spectacular view point, from where the entire terrain is visible. This is definitely going to be your favourite part of travel.
Wake up early to catch the sunrise, or reach in time to watch the sunset, with your evening tea. At these times, the entire terrain gives off the shade of a beautiful red, with the sun’s light creating a beautiful effect on the entire place. Around Hemakuta there are many ancient shrines and temples that you can check out, too!
Beside theheritage Virupaksha temple, a small centre of local handicraft shops and homestays are lined up. There are a huge number of hand-made crafts- ornaments, clothes, bags, and a lot more beautiful things to shop.
Within this centre too, are many cafes and restaurants that specialize in a host of international cuisines, probably to cater to the huge numbers of international tourists- for example, you can try a Lebanese breakfast, Iranian delicasies, AND the local dosas and idlis! Don’t miss the special coffee, of course!
Unique Coracle Ride
The iconic circular cane boats that take you across the Tungabhadra river can be an incredible and unique experience for your travel. These boats, just like the site of Hampi, are heritage legacies of the region. These boats, also known as ‘Dongis” were used throughout history, to ferry livestock and people across the river.
While on the ride, don’t miss the rocky caves on the sides, where many sages are said to have visited, and still do- to meditate: for long durations of time. The caves are incredible in terms of insulation from the scorching heat of Karnataka. The local boatsmen even take you under the rocky shade to demonstrate how cool these shades are, almost as if a natural air-conditioning system!