City – Hampi
Hampi (Hampe) is a village in the northern region of Karnataka and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. One of the richest and largest cities during its prime, it is now located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara. The site can be visited by road and two-wheelers on rent can be picked up from Bangalore bike rentals to see the place.
Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple. Hampi — traditionally known as Pampa-kshetra, Kishkindha-kshetra or Bhaskara-kshetra, is located on the southern banks of the Tungabhadra river. It is a city with a great history and Emperor Ashoka's Rock Edicts in Nittur & Udegolan suggest that this region was part of the Maurya Empire during the 3rd century BC and a Brahmi inscription and a terracotta seal dating to the II century CE were also recovered from the excavation site. The annual Hampi Utsav or "Vijaya Festival" which used to be celebrated in the reign of Vijayanagara is now organized as Nada Festival by the Government of Karnataka. It is a huge celebration and tourists who wish to see the festivities can approach bike rentals in Bangalore and hire bikes or even get scooters on rent in Bangalore to see the ancient city.
The ancient city of Vijayanagara was originally protected by seven lines of fortifications, which had many bastions and gateways. The seventh and the innermost fortification enclosed the main city and are the best preserved even to this day. There basically three types of monuments in Hampi- religious, civil and military. A number of ancient temples adorn the city and give it a religious and spiritual charm. Achyutaraya Temple, Chandramauleshwara Temple, Muslim Sunni masjid, Preksha temple and groups and Saasivekaalu Ganesha are few of the notable places of worship.
BadaviLinga is the largest Linga image in Hampi. It has three eyes carved on its front, representing the three eyes of Lord Shiva. Hazara Rama Temple Complex is well-known for elaborate frescoes from the Hindu theosophy and thousands of carvings and inscriptions around the temple which tell of Ramayana. Hemkut Jain temples, Ratnantraykut, Parsvanath Charan and Ganigatti Jain temple are few of the well-known Jain temples, belonging to 14th century. Krishna Temple Complex was built in 1513 CE during the reign of king Krishnadevaraya and is now an ASI-protected monument. Vittala Temple Complex is one of the most well-known among the ruins of Hampi and is known for swing-pavilion” of this temple is one of the technical marvels of Vijayanagara architecture and houses the famous musical pillars. Virupaksha Temple, Prasanna Virupaksha Temple, and the Yantrodharaka Anjaneya temple are few other notable temples of Hampi.
The Civil buildings of Hampi include Archaeological Museum at Kamalapura, Lotus Mahal and the Zanana enclosure along with aqueducts and canals while the Military buildings include Elephant stables that used to house eleven royal elephants in King Krishnadeva Raya's army and The King's balance. Other important places in and near Hampi include Anegondi, Anjeyanadri Hill, Kadalekalu Ganesha, Tungabhadra River, Uddana Veerabhadra temple, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha, Virupapura Gaddi, Yeduru Basavanna, Talarigatta Gate, Bhim'a Gate and Tenali Rama Pavilion. It is not possible to visit all these places in a day or two and travellers must have access to their own vehicle for the purpose of riding to these places. For this is advisable to hire bikes in Bangalore and go riding to Hampi on the bikes of their choice. One can choose from a fleet of two-wheelers and pick up a bike on rent or hire a scooter of their choice to ride to Hampi.