This is a tiny but worthwhile museum located at Kamalapura. The museum can be visited on the way to the relatively isolated sites (like the Pattabhirama Temple) located towards the southeast end of the Hampi ruins. From Kamapaluram you can walk to the museum by taking the road that goes towards the east.
Apart from the usual suspects in a museum, this one contains an immensely useful exhibit to a novice visitor: A scaled model - in fact two - of the Hampi topography with the monuments located on it. This is an excellent display to get an idea about the area plan and the relative locations of the sites. The large one located at the central courtyard is miniature copy of Hampi as a whole, complete with its hills and rivers. The smaller but more detailed model located inside the last gallery gives you a comprehensive view of the Royal Centre.
The museum has four principal sections. The first one exhibits the Hampi model mentioned above.
The second section is dedicated mainly to the sculptures and idols from the Hampi ruins. A large number of artifacts belong to the Veerabhadra cult and Shiva worship is prominent.
The exhibits in this section include:
Veerabhadra (the demon God created by Lord Shiva),
Bhairava (Shiva in the fearsome posture on hearing the death of his consort, Sati),
Bhikshatana-murthi (depicting Shiva in his ascetic aspect, wandering and begging with a bowl made of human skull),
Mahishasuramardini (the terminator of the buffalo demon; A fearsome aspect of the goddess Shakti ),
Shakti (Shakti is a Goddess represents the power of the God. Always Shakti appears as the consort of the god, For example, Vishnu it's Lakshmi. For Shiva it's Parvati. ),
Kartikeya (the peacock mounted God, created by Shiva out of fire).
Vinayaka (The elephant headed god born to Shiva & Parvati)
The third section displays an array of tools, arms, coinages and other objects that were in use during the Vijayanagara Empire days. The book like documents made of brass and bundled with a ring on display is peculiar.
The fourth one is the oldest of all display objects. An array of antiquities from the prehistoric and proto historic period (the nearby Anegondi is a prehistoric settlement) , hero stones (stone flange dedicated to heroes who died in battle ) and sati stones (Stone flanges in memorial of wives committed suicide after the death of husbands in the battle). Stucco figurines, portions of porcelain pottery from the excavated sites and a gallery of the excavation photographs. The miniature replica of the Royal Centre is impressive with finer details.
The Archeological Survey of India runs the museum. Timings of Visit from 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM. Closed on Fridays and other national holidays. Entrance Fee: Rs. 5/- per head. Children up to 15 years are admitted free. In about 90 minutes you can complete a decent visit. Photography is not allowed inside the galleries. However you can photograph the exhibits on display in the lawn outside.
Archeological Museum at Hampi