Hampi India

THIS REPORT ON HAMPI was written by one of our partners in India. I’ve been to India twice and it’s beyond amazing. Haven’t been to Hampi yet, though…

The great ruins of Hampi are located along the Tungabhadra river in central Karnataka. The former seat of power of the Vijayanagara Empire, it was once South India’s largest, wealthiest and most powerful kingdoms. Destined to be forgotten, this 14th century empire caught the attention of an amateur British antiquarian and former Surveyor General Of India, Captain Colin Mackenzie in 1799. Now a UNESCO-protectedlandmark, it enjoys the interest and curiosity of travellers and pilgrims from acrossIndia and the world who are drawn to it for its magnificent landscape and remarkable archeological legacy.

An Unearthly Landscape | Hampi’s fascination is by no means confined to its gods and temples. One of the first things to captivate is the astounding scenery. Precariously perched, granite boulders in varying tones dot the scene, interrupted only by jade-green palm groves, banana plantations and paddy fields, spread over kilometres of terrain. Exploring age-old ruinsin this unreal setting makes for a truly unforgettable experience. 

Ancient Architecture | 200 years of power and artistry are reflected in the city’s surviving structures. Fine examples of which can be found in the shrines on Hemakuta Hill (the oldest of Hampi’s temples), the Virupaksha temple, the impressive Vitthala complex and many more. These well-preserved vestiges of art and architecture feature spacious mandapas, elegant towers, and multi-storied gopuras (gateways) accompanied by a vibrant sculptural tradition that’s best seen in the mythological figures and narratives carved into granite.

Beyond Hampi | A mere 3 hours drive from Hampi, in the Malprabha valley of central Karnataka, lies the extraordinary town of Badami and the neighbouring villages of Aihole and Pattadakal. The sites are home to Hindu and Jain rock-cut shrines and temples built under the reign of The Chalukyas. Dating back to the 6th and 8th centuries, these remarkable ruins are some of the most well-preserved vestiges of temple art in India. And well-worth a visit while you’re there. 

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