Things to know about world heritage Hampi
History of Hampi dates back to the early period of Lord Rama’s exile. Steeped in hallowed beliefs, the region also reflects the glory and grandeur of the Vijayanagar Empire
When it comes to the important world heritage sites in India, the ruins of Hampi hold the top position in the prestigious list. Hampi is basically a village located in the northern part of Karnataka which forms an integral part of the ruins of Vijaynagar (the once capital of the Vijaynagar Empire). This place, apart from being an important religious centre, is home to several other monuments that belonged to the old city. One of the interesting facts about Hampi apart from its history and culture is that this place is closely associated with the events of the Ramayana. According to the epic, when Lord Rama and his brother were wandering in the forest searching for the trails of Devi Sita (Lord Rama’s wife), who was abducted by the demon King Ravana, both these brothers came to this region in search of Vail and Sugriv (two monkey brothers) who ruled in this region.
The Archaeological Museum of Hampi is one of the principal attractions of the place that houses collections of sculptures and assorted antiques. Although a lot of these findings were made by the British officers who stored them in elephant stables, the Archaeological Survey of India established this museum and started shifting the antiques in 1972.
Monkey Temple (Hanuman Temple)
As mentioned earlier, Hampi has a close association with the incident of Ramayana. One of the important evidences that pinpoints this fact is the Monkey Temple, which is located at a serene spot on Anjanadri Hill in Anegundi. This Hampi Temple is located 4 km from Hampi and is believed to be the birth place of Lord Hanuman. This Monkey Temple is basically a small concrete structure consisting of a granite carved statue of Lord Hanuman along with a small shrine of Lord Rama and his wife Devi Sita. As you reach the main site, a flight of granite steps lead you inside the temple.
Vijaya Vittala Temple
Built in 15th century AD the Vijaya Vittala Temple is a rich architectural temple that serves as one of the important places to visit in Hampi. This temple has an expansive campus which consists of several other Hampi temples, pavilions and halls. This temple as its name suggests is dedicated to Lord Vittala who was one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vittala is believed to be like an ordinary person and is worshipped by the cattle herds.
Lord Virupaksha is believed to be the principal deity of the Vijaynagara rulers, dedicated to whom this temple has been constructed in Hampi. This beautiful and architecturally rich Hampi temple is one of the most important places to visit in Hampi and it also serves as the main centre of pilgrimage in this region. This temple is considered to be built somewhere around the 7th century and it initially started as a small shrine only to be later developed into a marvellous temple under the reign of the Vijaynagara rulers. Several evidences found in the temple indicate towards the fact that a lot of additions were done in the temple during the late Chalukya and Hoysala periods.
The present day fortified area or the Royal Enclosure of Hampi was once the seat of power of the Vijaynagara rulers. In current times this Royal Enclosure is basically a wide open ground consisting of a number of small shelters. Some of the important structures in here are spread across hundreds of square metres of land and consists of a number of interesting and important relics. Some of the important structures of the Royal Enclosure are the King’s Audience Hall or the 100-Pillared Hall, stepped tank, an underground chamber and the Mahanavami Debbie to the commonly called Dossier Platform.