Once the liveliest of all the temple streets in Hampi, the Courtesan's Street lies in front of the Achyuta Raya's Temple . On entering this area you witness heaps after heaps of finely carved pillars scattered on either side of the street. These pillars were once part of the pavilions that stood on either side of the street.
During the prime time of the empire, this was a thriving market of gems, pearls, ivory and the likes. For some mysterious reasons this place came to be called also as Sule Bazaar (the prostitute's market).Literatures and archives of the time left behind vivid description about this market.
Roughly half a kilometer long and about 50 meters wide, this street was once thronged by merchants even from far places. Here and there on this now deserted street one can see the traces of the old stone pavements. Among the rows scrambled heaps on either side of the street you can spot the unfinished blocks of pillars. It looks as if the artisans abruptly fled their worksite one day leaving the tools behind.
A large rectangular tank associated with Achyuta Raya's temple is located at the northwest end of the street. Though collapsed, interesting remains of a pillared pavilion can be traced around this stepped-tank called Pushkarani. A further close look at the base of theses pillars, one can spot a row of carved elephants one behind other making a chain around the tank. A small rectangular pavilion is built on a platform at the center of the tank. This was used as a podium to keep the images of the god & goddess during the annual boat festival of the temple.
A bit closer to the main entrance of the temple you can spot the remains of two ramp-like structures on either sides of the street. This was once used as the land for the temple chariot.
The riverside path ( known as Kampa Bhupa's path ) that one takes from Kodandarama Temple to the Vittala Temple runs along the northern tip of the Courtesans' Street. Also you'll find the Varaha Temple and the Rangatha Temple at the far end of the street, near the riverside.
Though unreachable by motor vehicles you can manage to bring your bicycle to this locality.
Tungabhadra is a major river in the south Indian peninsula. Hampi is located on the south bank somewhere in the middle of this river’s path. In this area the river takes a number of twists and turns owing to the rocky terrain.
The river has immense significance in forming the political & religious history of Hampi. The river along with along with the boulder-strewn hills formed the northern barrier of the capital. It was not easy for an invading army cross the river without the fate of a sure defeat.