Hampi is one of the prominent places in South India where thousands of people visit this Ancient town every year. Hampi or Hampe is a group of monuments that is also a UNESCO world heritage center located in the Northern part of Karnataka state in Southern India. Hampi was a rich capital of the Vijayanagara Empire during the 13 century, Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese, say that Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy, and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms, and trading markets. Hampi's ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares (16 sq mi) and it has been described by UNESCO as an "austere, grandiose site" of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India that includes "forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures, and others
Let’s explore the top 10 Temples and ruins in Hampi to visit along with Top things to do in Hampi while you are on a Motorcycle Tour to Hampi.
1. Visit the Ancient Temples and Ruins Of the Vijayanagara Dynasty:
There are numerous temples and ancient ruins in & around Hampi, but all among these are the Top 10 temples/ruins of Hampi:
Sri Virupaksha Temple
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, it was built during the 7th century. It started as a little shrine and later developed into a huge complex during the Vijayanagara rule. There is evidence that indicates additions were made to the Virupaksha temple during the later years of the Hoysala and Chalukyan sovereignty. Native art, craft, and culture flourished during the fourteenth century during the reign of the dynasty. But these beautiful architectures and creations were destroyed when the Vijayanagara rulers were crushed by Muslim intruders. Krishnadevaraya then king of the Vijayanagara dynasty was a contributor to this temple.
Vijaya Vittala temple
Vijaya Vittala temple is a perfect example of ancient art and craftsmanship which is built during the 14th Century. It has some amazing stone Chariot and Fascinating musical pillars. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vittala an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is rich in culture and one of the grand temples during the Vijayanagara Dynasty. The temple is built according to the South Indian Architecture.
Sasivekalu Ganesh temple
Sasivekalu Ganesh temple is undoubtedly one of the important monuments in Hampi. It has a huge statue of Lord Ganesh which is carved out by a single rock, the statue is about 2.5 meters tall. The temple was built during the 15th century AD, when you are doing a Motorcycle trip to Hampi, don’t miss this temple for sure.
Hemakuta Hill temple
Hemakuta group of temples is a group of ancient monuments situated in the Hemakuta hills of Hampi. The temples are built during the period of the Vijayanagara dynasty during the 9th to 14th century. Most of the temples are dedicated to lord shiva. According to mythology, Lord Shiva performed penance on Hemakuta Hill before marrying a local girl named Pampa or Parvati. Lord Shiva was pleased with the dedication of the girl and consented to marry her. Due to this decision of Lord Shiva, it rained gold on the hill. Since gold is known as Hema in Sanskrit, this hill came to be known as Hemakuta.
Riverside ruins of Hampi
The riverside ruins are situated on the northern side of Kodandarama Temple, the riverside ruins are famous for 1008 lingas, which makes them one of the most sacred places for Hindu culture.
The Lotus Mahal is one of the prime attractions during Hampi Motorcycle Tours, the structure is designed like a lotus flower. It is one of only a handful few astonishing buildings in Hampi that had not been damaged or destroyed amid the attack on the city. Lotus Mahal was designed as a palace for royal ladies of those times to mingle around and enjoy recreational activities. The Mahal also served as a meeting point for the king and his ministers.
Queen’s bath was built during the period of the Vijayanagara dynasty, it was built during the 15th century. Queen’s bath was built for the royal women of Vijayanagara. Though named as the Queen’s Bath, it was in all probability used as the private bathing chamber of the king and his queens. It is also believed that the lavish bath was a royal pleasure complex. This belief is due to the location of the bath, which is outside the Royal Enclosure.
The Elephant Stables are built to provide shelter for royal elephants of the Vijayanagara dynasty, it was built during the 15th century. The elephant stable is built by using the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The uniqueness of the elephant stable is that it has a distinct central dome. The central dome is the largest and most decorated among the 11 domes of the building. The design of the central dome represents the architectural style found in the temples of Hampi.
Monolithic bull or locally known as Yeduru Basavanna or Nandi, The statue is housed in a twin storied pavilion built on an elevated platform. A heap of gigantic boulders behind the pavilion offers an interesting backdrop. Though partially mutilated and carved in a coarse style, this Nandi attracts visitors owing to its giant size.
Monolithic Bull pavilion Nandi is the mount of Lord Shiva and it's symbolic that this one faces the Shiva shrine (Virupaksha Temple) located at the opposite end of the street, about a kilometer from it. At a little distance in front of the Nandi, you can also spot a tall stone lamp post with metal spikes over it.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
Lakshmi Narasimha Statue temple is one of the prominent structures that we can visit in the Ruins of the Hampi, the statue is the largest monolithic statue in Hampi. It was built during 15th century during the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire, it is a rare statue with a huge size and was crafted with great details. The statue has a height of 6.7 meters. It is one of the finest existing samples of the Vijayanagara style of architecture.
Explore Anegundi Hills
Anegundi or historically called Anjanadri hills is one of the important places to visit during your Motorcycle Tour to Hampi, it is also said that Anegundi hills is older than Hampi. It is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. One has to climb around 500+ steps to reach the top and the views from the top are one of the amazing things to do in Hampi. It is advised to climb the hill during the early morning or evening.
Coracle Ride in River Tungabhadra
Coracle ride is a unique and little adventurous activity where one can enjoy during the rest day on Hampi Motorcycle Trip. It is advised to take these rides during the evening at Sunset time, the views from the Thundabhadra river are amazing during sunset.
Visit Hippie Island – Virupapura Gaddi
Virupapura gaddi is a small village settlement across the river on the other side of the Hampi. The village is famous for its backpacker’s paradise, one can find Hippie culture in this place and most of the time the village is filled with Foreigners especially from Israel and Russia. There are a lot of farm stays, huts, and homestays with some nice cafes to hang out with during the stay. So, don’t miss to pay a visit to this small village during the Hampi Bike trip.
Take a Tuk-tuk ride through the town
Tuk-tuk ride is one the interesting and most economical way of exploring Hampi during your visit, one can hire a tuk-tuk for a whole day at the price of around 500-700INR based on the number of places you visit, one tuk-tuk can easily accommodate 3-5 people and it is more enjoyable to explore the ruins of Hampi.
Bouldering in Hampi
If you love bouldering then Hampi is a perfect place to enjoy Bouldering, Hampi has many places for bouldering, among them the most famous is Anegundi. Few hostels organize bouldering in nearby areas. It is always advised to take a guide if you are doing this for the first time.
Visit Daroji Sloth bear sanctuary
Daroji is the only place where you can see Sloth Bears, the wildlife sanctuary is 25Kms from Hampi and you need at least half a day to explore the sanctuary, the major attraction is the sloth bear that is abundantly seen in these scrub-covered topographies. The sanctuary maintains a good number of sloth bears who are hidden in the caves in the green-covered hillocks.
Tungabhadra dam is located in Hospet which is 20kms from Hampi. The dam is built for River Thungabhadra, Sound and Light Show: TB Dam is a visual treat to watch when illuminated with rainbow colors at night. Water from each of the 33 crest gates is given different colors. TB Dam lighting is held each day between 7.15 PM till 8.30 PM. Exceptions may appear in the case of public holidays or when the water level is low.
Hampi Bazaar is centrally located in the heart of the town, it is more likely a small shopping place in Hampi. Most of the travelers visit this place to buy some souvenirs during their Hampi trip.
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