HampiMonuments of Hampi
Sacred Center - Royal Center - Riverside Ruins- Islamic Quarter - Kamalapura - Anegondi - Hills - Others....
Hampi has hundreds of monuments and other attractions. This page gives a brief list of these attractions. For the sake of convenience the monuments & attractions are grouped based on the locality. Anegondi, across the river, is the northern fringe of the ruins. Sacred Center and the Riverside Ruins are located along the southern bank. Further south is The Royal Center and the Kamalapura village. Also see the itinerary, to make plan to explore these attractions in Hampi.
Virupaksha temple is the oldest and principal temple in Hampi. This temple located on the south bank of the river Tungabhadra has been an important pilgrimage centre for the worshipers of lord Shiva. Presently the temple is equally sort after by the tourists and pilgrims. The annual festivals attract huge crowds of both types.Virupaksha temple
Hampi Bazaar , also known as Virupaksha Bazaar, this street is located in front of the Virupaksha temple. About a kilometer long, the east end of the temple ends at the foothill of the Matanga Hill. Both sides of the street are lined with a series of old pavilions, some of them are two storied. These structures were once part of a thriving market and residence of the nobles.... : Hampi Bazaar
Courtesans' Street :Once the liveliest of all the temple streets in Hampi, the Courtesans' 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: Courtesans Street
Achyuta Raya's Temple : Consecrated in AD 1534, this temple is an example of Vijayanagara style temple architecture in its most advanced form than any other temples in Hampi. This was one of the last grandiose temple projects executed in the capital, before the fall of the empire: Achyuta Raya's Temple
Sasivekalu Ganesha : Thanks to the resemblance the giant monolithic Ganesha statue is locally called Sasivekalu(mustard seed)Ganesha. This is located on the southern foothill of the Hemakuta Hill:Sasivekalu Ganesha
Hazara Rama Temple : The first thing comes to mind on seeing this temple, or more precisely its walls, is the locally popular comic strips of Hindu mythology, Ramayana. But the difference is, the stories are carved, in long arrays, onto the walls of this temple: Hazara Rama Temple
Mahanavami Dibba : This is the tallest structure in this area and hence the first thing you would notice as you enter the Royal Enclosure. From a distance this looks like an ordinary elevated square stage. As you go close, the details emerge. The whole structure is made as a giant square structure in three layers.
There are mainly two stairways to reach the top. The front one (east facing) is highly decorated on either sides with carvings of elephants, horses and a host of other things. On the top there is nothing special to see except the great views on the campus around it. At the back of the platform a twin staircase is located. Probably this was used as a service staircase during the ceremonies. Generally one climb up through the front stair & get down through the rear, though there are no restrictions. .... : Mahanavami Dibba
Zenana Enclosure : Zenana enclosure was a secluded area reserved for the royal women. This walled harem houses many interesting highlights. The major attraction is the Lotus Mahal located at the southeast corner.
As the name suggests, you would enter into a sprawling compound with a mud road running through the middle of the compound. Probably the only thing you eyes catch soon when you are inside is the pastel colored Lotus Mahal at the far right corner. It’s a two-storied arched pavilion.
The whole area was the private enclosure for the royal women folks. The Queen’s Palace (visible only the basement) is located at the middle of this area, on the left side of your path. Measuring about 46 x 29 meters, this has been the largest palace base excavated in the Hampi ruins so far. .... : Zenana Enclosure
Granaries : Numerous structures and artifacts related to food grain storage have been identified at various locations in Hampi. Some of them have been associated with the temples whereas a number of them have been non-religious in nature.
The remains of a few granaries can be seen scattered near the east of the Hazararama Temple area across the mud track. This is a bit off mud track that can take you to the Hazararama Temple and the Danaik’s Enclosure. The mud track runs east-west direction along the northern boundary of the Danaik’s Enclosure: Granaries
Palace of Vira Harihara : Like many other palatial structures in Hampi, all what you can see here is the ground level remains of the palace and associated structures. The base of this palace, along with a number of other residential artifacts, is located inside a compound that is at south of Hazara Rama Temple.
The original entrance to the compound is at the eastern side of the wall. You can trace the two large rectangular structures breaking the eastern wall leaving a 3-meter wide gateway: Palace of Vira Harihara
Riverside Ruins : The riverside gorge just north of the Kodanda Rama Temple is remarkable for the various clusters of ruins.
The sought after ones are the array of Shiva Lingas carved on the flat rock surface and the carved Anandashayana Vishnu on the rock cleft.A little exploration of this area, close to the edge of the river, can lead you to a couple of Shiva Lingas arrays (mandalas) carved on the surface a flat rock surface. One is an array of 108 Lingas, the other a more fabulous 1008 lingas in a square area. The numbers 108 and 1008 has some significance in Hinduism. For example lord Shiva has 1008 names quoted in one of the sacred texts: Riverside Ruins
Vittala Temple : The epicenter of Hampi tourism, Vittala Temple is the most extravagant architectural showpiece of Hampi. No amount of words can explain this spectacle. The temple is built in the form of a sprawling campus with compound wall and gateway towers. There are many halls, pavilions and temples located inside this campus.
Vittala Temple : Vittala, after whom the temple is known, is a form of lord Vishnu. This aspect of Vishnu was worshiped in this part of the country as their cult deity by the cattle herds.
The temple was originally built in the 15th century AD. Many successive kings have enhanced the temple campus during their regimes to the present form. You can even see the remains of a township called Vittalapura that existed around this temple complex. The highlight of Vittala temple is its impressive pillared halls and the stone chariot: Vittala Temple
Coracle Crossings : First of all, what’s a coracle?
A circular shaped country boat to cross the river. A huge floating basket is a more appropriate description than calling it a boat. They are huge flat basketlike craft to ferry people & sheep (yes sheep!). About 6 feet in diameter, coracles are made of bamboo, cane, plastic sheets and a fine coating of bitumen to make it leak proof!.
Domingos Paes, the Portuguese traveler who visited Hampi during sixteenth century AD described the coracles as circular shaped, made of bamboo split wickerwork, covered the outside with leather and spins during the sail. They are exactly as it is today as it was four centuries back, except probably the leather has replaced PVC sheets: Coracle Crossings
Gejjala Mantapa : No one knows for sure what exactly was the purpose of this structure. The architecture and the proximity to the Vittala Temple suggest its religious nature. Since lit is located at the end of the chariot street of the Vittala temple, this could have been used as a platform to keep the images of the gods during the annual temple festival: Gejjala Mantapa
Purandaradasa Mantapa : This is a small open pillared pavilion with whitewashed top dedicated to the legendary poet Purandaradasa who lived in Hampi. The pavilion is located at the river shore near Vittala Temple: Purandaradasa Mantapa
Narasimha Temple : The Narasimha Temple, also sometimes referred as the Jain Temple, is built on a sheet of rocky slop of the Gandhamadana hill facing the river. A long flight of steps projecting out of the temple compound takes you to the temple courtyard.
The shrine is devoid of any idols. So it is not sure to which deity this temple was dedicated to. However there are enough evidences to of Vaishnava iconography on the temple walls: Narasimha Temple
Talarigatta Gate was one of the main entrance points into the urban centre of the capital from the riverside. The main road to Talarigatta (the coracle ferry point near the suspension bridge) from Kamaplapura pass through this arched structure.
This largely damaged structure still maintains its original intent, a gateway on the main road: Talarigatta Gate
Ahmed Khans Mosque & Tomb : On the way to Vittala Temple from Kamalapura, you pass this Mosque & tomb. This is located in the middle of an area the archeologist named as the Islamic Quarter.
The cubical tomb with dome appears in the typical Islamic style (Deccani) architecture. Just north of it is a rectangular pavilion with an array of circular decorated pillars supporting the flat roof: Ahmed Khans Mosque & Tomb
Vishnu Temple : This relatively isolated temple is located midway to Vittala Temple from Kamalapura. This large temple is made of granite including the tower, a notable deviation from the rest of the temples in Hampi. The whole temple stands on an elevated platform.
A fluted base followed by the pilasters at regular intervals forms the outer profile of the temple walls. Usually Hindu temples, especially the large ones, are carved with many godly themes on the exterior wall, on the parapet and the tower. But for the icons carved on the door lintels: Vishnu Temple
Archeological Museum : 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 Kamalapura 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: Archeological Museum
Bhima's Gateway : This is one of the many gateways to the walled city. The gate (a huge arch complex) is interesting with its style of construction and the carvings on it.
The gate got its name from the legendary Bhima of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. A figure of Bhima - the strongest of the five Pandavas brothers - is carved on the gate.
Also there are carvings of Draupadi (Pandava’s wife) tying her hair. Slaying of Keechaka who tried to molest Draupadi too is depicted here. Draupadi took the vow that she would not tie her hair unless it’s washed with Kichaka’s blood. Bhima eventually slays Kichaka and tie Draupathi’s hair. All of these scenes are carved as murals on the gate. The lotus bud tipped brackets supporting the lintel is noteworthy: Bhima's Gateway
Ganigitti Temple : Ganigitti temple means ‘the oil women's temple’! The reason for the curious name is unknown. There is the main temple and a small shrine adjacent to it. In front of the main temple is the Stumbha (lamp post) with inscription on it: Ganigitti Temple
Domed Gateway : One of the main gateways to the citadel: Domed Gateway
Anegondi was the capital of the region, before it was shifted to Hampi. In fact this was the core of a tiny kingdom that eventually expanded into the Vijayanagar Empire covering the whole of south India. Currently Anegondi is sleepy village with a principally farming community inhibiting it. This is located at the opposite bank of the river where the Hampi village is located. The easiest way to reach Anegondi from Hampi is by crossing the river by the coracles.
There are many attractions here though not as mind-blowing place like Hampi. Anegondi has a big fort encircling it. Many parts of it is in ruins, nevertheless the remains are interesting, for example, the fort gates:Anegondi
Virupapur Gadde is the area just across the river from near the Virupaksha Temple. The place is known for its laidback ambient, lodges and tourist huts. Though during the peak seasons the backpackers storm this area, Virupapur Gadde is very rural in heart. You need to take a coracle ferry to reach this side of the river, as there are no bridges available so far. The Bukka’s Aqueduct nearby is easily accessible from this area. Also this is a fine place to stay and explore the Anegondi area.
Though the occasional rave parties are not viewed in a favorable light, this area is a popular a ‘hippy hideout’. Also this is the place in Hampi where the post Goa hangover still lingers on, typically after the New Year season: Virupapur Gadde
Bukka's Aqueduct : Due to its size, this ancient aqueduct probably makes the high watermark of Hampi’s hydraulics.
All what remains of this massive aqueduct is a tall section of a bridge like structure. The whole structure is built with rectangular dressed rock blocks: Bukka's Aqueduct
Hachappa Mantapa : This reconstructed pavilion would be your first major stop once you have crossed over to Anegondi from the Talarigata ferry point.
The short but panting climb from the ferry point brings you to a fork. The right branch heads straight into the Anegondi village square located about a kilometer northeast. The rather straight looking left road bypasses the Anegondi village and intersects a main road at about a kilometer away. Take this bypass path if you are straight heading to places like the hilltop Hanuman Temple or Pampa Sarovar: Hachappa Mantapa
Chandramouliswara Temple is located on the north bank of Tungabadhra, in the Rishimukh Island. The ruined ancient bridge once connected this area to the south bank. Because of this location and lack of easy access, visitors do not frequent this place. However Chandramouliswara Temple can be reached by a coracle from near Vittala Temple or through the narrow village paths from the north (i.e. if you have already crossed the river to the north bank).
It’s not a bad idea to combine this visit to Chandramouleshwara Temple with the other sites scattered around the Anegondi area (Like the Anjeyanadri Hill and Pampa Sarovar): Chandramouleshwara Temple
Rishimukh : You need to cross the river at some point to reach this locality. Rishimukh Hill and it’s environs fall within the traditionally less hectic scene of Hampi.
A few lodges and some seasonal restaurants are located nearby. Otherwise the main attraction of Rishimukh is the Chandramouleshwara: Rishimukh
Pampa Sarovar is a sacred pond for the Hindus. This is one among a few Sarovars (sacred ponds) has a mentioned in the Hindu epics. The pond and the shrine are located in a valley hidden by boulder hill at the three sides: Pampa Sarovar
Anjaneya Hill : The hill top Hanuman temple This hill believed to be the birthplace of Hanuman is located in the center of Anegondi area. You can see this hill from the Hampi side of the river as you trek along the Kampa Bhups’s (the riverside trek) Path: Anjaneya Hill
Matunga Hill : Probably this is the most talked about hill in Hampi. Let it be its central location, the oversold sunset/sunrise view or the myths associated with it, this hill commands a special attraction. Being at the centre of Hampi, and also the highest point, Matanga hilltop is the best spot to get an aerial view of Hampi and its environs : Matunga Hill
Malyavanta Hill : In someway detached from the rest of the typical tourist circuits, many Hampi visitors often skip this hill. Those of you take the trouble to venture on to it will be rewarded with a few pleasant surprises.
Hemakuta Hill is one among the best places in Hampi to see the sunrise and sunset; and not as tedious to reach the top say compared to the Matanga Hill nearby. Good news for the ones who find it difficult for a steep climb: Hemakuta Hill