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Hampi

TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City
Magically alluring, dreamy Hampi is going to seduce you with its sun-kissed charms. Humongous beige boulders on cliff tops with a beautiful calm river in between and ruins all over it, Hampi is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Rent a bike and ride around town; you’ll see endless ruins of temples, houses and a city in short. There are two sides of Hampi, ‘this side’ and the ‘other side’ of the river. A small, circular dingy transports you to the ‘other side’, which is filled with foreign tourists, seasonal food places serving yummy comfort food and ‘chai’, relaxed super-cheap places to stay and endless roads to reservoirs and paddy fields. ‘This side’ is the more religious part of town and most of the shops and other things are here. Whichever side you may be, Hampi will never fail to relax you and make you feel like you’re on another beautiful planet altogether. Explore one of the richest and largest cities of the world during its heydays and get awestruck by its fascinating cultural heritage.
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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum

Managed by the Archaeological Survey of India, the Archaeological Museum features interesting displays that enthrals all its visitors. Divided into four main sections, explore all of them one by one. The first and the largest section features an impressive model of Hampi beautifully designed in its central courtyard. Walk past a series of sculptures and idols belonging to Hindu deities in the second section. Explore the relics and artefacts of the Vijayanagara Empire and its ruins in the third section. The fourth section will take you to the pre-historic times with its numerous antiquities on display that have been carefully dug out during excavations.

Image Courtesy: industrialtour.com
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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Vittala Temple

Vittala Temple

Vittala Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is the most iconic structures in Hampi boasting of exquisite beauty. The intricate carvings on the huge granite stones are awe-inspiring. It is like a temple complex as it consists of numerous halls, pavilions and temples. Marvel at numerous sculptures brought to life on huge granite pillars. Watch in amazement the marvellous Stone Chariot, a temple that is made by joining together many granite blocks with intricate carvings depicting battle scenes as well as decorative floral motifs. Feel the rhythmic vibe in Maha-Mantapa featuring elaborately carved monolithic pillars that are believed to emit a musical tone.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple

The Virupaksha Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is thronged by both worshippers as well as tourists. Believed to be operational since the 7th century, it is the oldest functioning temple in India. History buffs will be enthralled with this site for it marks the origin of Hampi's history. Besides history, this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is an architectural wonder. You cannot miss the imposing nine-storeyed tower with cow horns protruding from its sides. The stucco figures decorate the exterior of the temple, some of which feature erotic figures of couples depicting the significance of fertility.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Sasivekalu Ganesha

Sasivekalu Ganesha

Situated on the slopes of Hemakuta Hill, Sasivekalu Ganesha houses a giant statue of Lord Ganesha. Gaze at the 8 ft tall monolithic statue of the Lord standing amidst an open pavilion. The statue is like none other, as it has a snake carved around its huge belly. The elephant-headed deity is fondly remembered by a rib-tickling legend—once when Lord Ganesha, a foodie, had had too much to eat, felt his tummy would burst. To prevent this, he tied a snake around his waist. As funny as it sounds, he is the most adored deity by worshippers across India.

Image Courtesy: Ravi basarihalli via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Krishna Temple

Krishna Temple

Plan a visit to the Krishna Temple dedicated to Lord Balakrishna and admire its architectural beauty. Marvel at the extremely beautiful and elegant architectural design of the temple comprising of pillared halls and other tiny shrines. The temple was built by King Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara period who was fond of art and it displays exquisite designs worth gazing at. Look closely and you will see epics inscribed on the tower walls, which is a very unique sight. The idol of Lord Balakrishna (Infant Krishna) is now shifted to the State Museum in Chennai.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Underground Shiva Temple

Underground Shiva Temple

Discover the Prasanna Virupaksha temple, also known as the Underground Shiva Temple, which is one of the oldest temples in Hampi. Due to the unique construction of this temple it remains under water for most parts of the year. Take a walk through the underground water canal system created around the temple, which allows you to stroll freely. Spend a few minutes admiring and taking pictures of the impressive Kalyanamantapa—a ceremonial marriage hall.

Image Courtesy: Fraboof via Flickr
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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Queen's Bath

Queen's Bath

Explore the Indo-Muslim architecture of the Queen's Bath, a colossal royal bath during the time of the Vijayanagara Empire. Though looking plain from the outside, its interiors are ornately decorated. It is surrounded by arched corridors adorned with stucco designs carved on the ceilings and vaults. Even the balconies and windows are noteworthy for their architectural design. Follow the steps leading you down to the bath area and appreciate the architectural beauty crafted by artisans many centuries ago.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City  Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

Your eyes will be glued to the monolithic structure of Narasimha (half man, half lion), which is dedicated to Lord Narasimha, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Although it was severely damaged by the Mughals that lead to the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire, the architecture beauty of the temple is awe-inspiring. The statue of Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu, is completely damaged although her hand with clearly engraved nails and rings is wrapped around Narasimha's back. Chiselled with fine carvings and prominent bulging eyes, the Narsimha statue is a sight to behold.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Monkey Temple on Anjaneya Hill

Monkey Temple on Anjaneya Hill

Enjoy an early morning hike to the Anjaneya Hill, birthplace of Lord Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god. Perched atop the hill, is the whitewashed Monkey Temple or Hanuman Temple where the image of Hanuman is carved on the rock. Tread carefully as the path is filled with monkeys. They mean no harm but make sure you do not flaunt food items or tease them. After a tiring climb up the hill, be rewarded by breathtaking views of Hampi, its classic ruins and the green cover of paddy fields and coconut trees.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Hazara Rama Temple

Hazara Rama Temple

Breathe in divine bliss at the private Hazara Rama Temple of the royal family of Vijayanagara, a temple dedicated to Lord Rama. Gaze at the architecture on the panels and relics closely as they depict stories from the Ramayana. Parades of elephants, horses with attendants, military contingents, and women depicted in a rhythmic dance are beautifully carved on the compound walls. Surrounded by a vast green cover, the temple is hard to miss. The bas-reliefs found in this temple is perhaps the most unique in Indian art.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Elephant Stables

Elephant Stables

Spared by the destruction of the Mughals in the struggle to bring down the Vijayanagara Empire, the Elephant Stables are quiet unharmed. Explore the dome-shaped chambers and arched gateways of the Elephant Stables, a place that once housed the ceremonial elephants of the royal household. You can reach here through the ‘Zenana Enclosure’ and witness the marvellous symmetry of the structure. The centre dome is most elaborately decorated with carvings. Appreciate the craftsmanship of the artisans who created this fine ensemble having Indo-Islamic architecture with acute precision way back in the 15th century. .

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Bouldering

Bouldering

Hampi is regarded as the bouldering capital and one of the most famous rock climbing destinations in India. It gives you a range of bouldering options based on your level of expertise. Amateurs as well as skilled climbers will find several opportunities to challenge themselves. Feel the thrill as you come across huge boulders that have vast cracks, posing a bigger challenge for those who love bouldering. You may even consider camping here for there are plenty of options to camp here along with other bouldering enthusiasts.

Image Courtesy: Ryguywy via Flickr
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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Lotus Mahal

Lotus Mahal

The Lotus Temple is also known as Kamal Mahal or Chitrangini Mahal. As the name goes, the temple is designed in the shape of a lotus. It resembles a half open lotus built in the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The architecture takes a detour from the traditional style. Appreciate the exceptional and distinctive architecture made up of 24 square pillars whose arches are adorned with intricate carvings. Located inside the ‘Zenana Enclosure’, the pyramid towers give the Lotus Mahal its desired shape. Marvel at this unique piece of architecture of exemplary design.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Tungabhadra Dam

Tungabhadra Dam

Take an excursion to view the majestic and spectacular work of construction at the Tungabhadra Dam, a place famous for bird watching where over 3,000 flamingos can be spotted between March to June. If we dig a little into the technical facts of the dam whose storage capacity equals 1,35,000 million cu ft, it will get you to visualise the vastness of this structure. Take a pleasant stroll in the neighbouring garden and enjoy a picnic spread with family or friends.

Image Courtesy: Soham Banerjee via Flickr
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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Hampi Bazaar

Hampi Bazaar

Hampi Bazaar is also called as Virupaksha Bazaar and can be easily reached on foot from the numerous tourist hotels surrounding the Bazaar. Stroll down this one km long stretch with pavilions on both sides giving a glimpse of how thriving this market would have been during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire. Indulge in some local shopping of embroidered shawls, jewellery, colourful bags, carved artefacts and more. Browse through the two-storey photo gallery showcasing pictures of Hampi during the 18th century taken by the renowned international photographer—Alexander Greenlaw.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and Meditation

All those who are spiritually inclined will enjoy taking up a yoga and meditation class in Hampi. There are several yoga training centres here where you can enrol and gain insights in understanding the unity between body, mind and soul. Learn different forms of Yoga and meditate in the blissful surroundings of Hampi to achieve a state of calm, away from the stress and rush of city life. Get in touch with your inner self in a land of glorious history and noteworthy ruins of monuments and temples.

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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City  Coracle Ride

Coracle Ride

Enjoy a Coracle Ride (more like a floating basket than a boat) over the Tungabhadra River to experience a journey you will reminisce for the rest of your life. The boat is made of cane and is sturdy enough to carry people, horses, oxen, and motorcycles! Generally manned by two men who use a makeshift paddle to row the boat that moves ahead but in a circular motion due its round shape. So hop on and feel the excitement of riding on a coracle in Tungabhadra River with a dash of swirl and rough patches adding some adventure to your boat ride.

Image Courtesy: Dey.sandip via Wikimedia Commons
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TraveLibro India Hampi Featured City Trekking at Matanga Hill

Trekking at Matanga Hill

Put on your sports shoes and get ready for a trek up the Matanga Hill. Start early to view an amazing sun rise shining over the ever flowing Tungabhadra River from the top of Matanga Hill, the highest hill in Hampi. The trek is graded as easy and one can reach the top in a short duration of 30-40 minutes. Even the sunset view is a spectacular scene revealing shades of yellow and orange stretching over the Hampi skyline. Enjoy a breathtaking aerial view of Hampi's ruins and green landscape on this short and easy trek.

Image Courtesy: Nomad Tales via Flickr
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