Hampi; also referred to as 'A Lost Kingdom,' The City of Ruins,' The Boulder City' and Kishkindha Nagari in the Ramayana, Hampi is the place where time stands still, and the magnificent reminiscences of a glorious time that has passed can't help but be cherished !
Hampi has an unearthly landscape of boulders, fascinating history in every corner, destroyed temples and palaces thousands of years old. Hampi is split into two sides, one is the ruin/ heritage side and other is the hippie side of Hampi (across the Tungabhadra river ) .
Hampi allows travelers to dip into history to witness the lost tales of the oldest, richest and most powerful kingdom of South India, the Vijayanagara Empire. No wonder that it was at the top of the New York Times list of places to visit .
Here are 5 must visit places in Hampi :
1. Hampi ruins – Kishkindha Nagari
The spectacular ruins and giant boulders scattered across the landscape establish a spectacular natural backdrop, undoubtedly one of Hampi's most famous attractions. It is no wonder it is regarded as The City Of Ruins as well. Among the Hampi ruins, the Muslim Sunni Masjid, Lotus Mahal, Stepped Tank, Watch Tower and Zenana Enclosure are some prominent structures.
Stepped tank Queen's bath Zenana Enclosure
Mythological story : Kishkindha Nagari is one of the important place in the Indian epic of Ramayana which is worshipped by many. As per Ramayana,
Kishkindha is the monkey kingdom of Sugriva where Lord Rama stopped over for some time during his exile period while on the way to Lanka Puri during his search for his wife. The mythical Kishkindha is believed to be located on the bank of the Tungabhadra river. In the war against Ravana, Kishkindha was Rama’s ally. It is at this place where Rama supported Sugriva in his fight with Bali.
2. Coracle Boating:
Another popular thing to do in Hampi remains the coracle boat ride. Coracles are bowl shaped boats and riding on one along the Tungabhadra River is an experience in itself. Coracle is a traditional boat that has been used in this region for centuries to ferry people across the river. On an average, around eight people can fit into a coracle, and sometimes cycles and bikes can come on board as well.These boats take you to Anagundi which is believed to be the birthplace of Hanuman.
3. Virupaksha Temple :
The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva who is also known as Virupaksha and the known history of the temple dates back to 7th century. The temple has sanctum where regular prayers happen.
Although the Virupaaksha Temple is the only active place of worship in Hampi, there are other notable temples worth visiting in the area. These are Badavai Linga, Achutaraya Temple, Hazara Rama Temple, Krishna Temple, Vittala Temple and the Chandramauleshwara Temple.
4. Daroji Bear Sanctuary: The sanctuary is home to 120 Indian Sloth Bears. In addition, you will also find Wild Boars, Hyenas, Leopards, Porcupines, many different species of birds and over 20 species of butterflies here.
5. Hampi Utsav: Hampi Utsav is held annually between November 3rd to 5th which is a must look out for history enthusiast .Travel back in time as the city comes alive with celebrations, classical music and dance performances, puppet shows and fireworks to invoke the glory of the Vijayanagara Empire.
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