Hampi was one of the richest and largest cities in the world during its prime as the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire. The ruins of Hampi houses temple, ponds, ancient markets etc. for which Hampi has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its group of monuments. In this Hampi Travel Guide, we will talk about different places to see in Hampi trip and how can we see places of interest in Hampi in one day.
VITTALA TEMPLE / VIJAYA VITTALA TEMPLE :
The Vijaya Vittala or Vittala Temple is the most famous and popular tourist attraction in Hampi. It was built around the 15th century AD during the reign of King Devaraya II (1422 – 1446 AD). Several areas of the temple were expanded and enhanced during the reign of Krishnadevaraya (1509 – 1529 AD). In this temple Lord Vishnu in the form of Vittala.
The temple is most famous for its exceptional architecture and unmatched craftsmanship. This typical monument of Hampi is a major attraction of Hampi and is a must-see for visitors. The temple is built in the Dravidian style and stands in a large rectangular enclosure. The Vijayanagara towers three lofty on the east, north, and south are now dilapidated.
FACTS ABOUT THIS TEMPLE :
The full complex houses several enclosures, pavilions, temples, and halls. The main front temple is the world famous stone chariot or ratha. There are three famous stone chariots in India, the other two being in Konark and Mahabalipuram. In this temple, the chariot is built on a rectangular platform, is built out of giant granite blocks.
All around the base of the chariot is carved with mythical battle scenes. The concentric floral motifs adorn the wheels of the chariot.
The chariot wheel can be rotated but the ASI cemented them to avoid the damage caused by the visitors. Two elephants are positioned in front of the chariot but originally there were two horses positioned here.
QUEEN’S BATH :
The Queen’s Bath is constructed by Achyuta Raya for the women of the royal family of Vijayanagara. The Queen’s Bath is in Indo-Islamic style, an elaborate structure with a simple exterior and an ornate interior.
It is a surrounded by ornate balconies, rectangular building and is each having a set of three windows. Each bay having arched surrounding the bath is decorated with intricately carved stucco ornamentation on the ceilings and the vaults placed above the arched bays.
QUEEN’S BATH DEPTH POOL :
The Queen Bath depth pool is 6 feet and has stone steps leading to the bottom of the tank. The 30 square meter structure is surrounded by a moat on all sides and a bridge-like structure is made to reach the pool. Probably this was designed to prevent people from entering the area when the Royals were bathing. Queen Bath pool is one of the historical places in Hampi, You should not miss this while having a Hampi trip
The Queen’s Bath is an empty structure now. The bath floor has some empty sockets that were once used to support pillars. The support pillars are believed to have been part of a canopy that was destroyed during the Deccan Sultans attack on Hampi.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM :
Archaeological Survey of India established the museum in Hampi is a must-visit for anyone interested to know more about the history of this city. In this museum having artefacts, gold and silver coins metal objects and even sculptures of deities from Vijayanagara Era.
It also has several galleries that display the history of Hampi beautifully. There is an entry fee of Rs 5 to visit the Archaeological Museum. It is worth visiting for any history buff. The museum stays open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days of the week.
KING’S AUDIENCE HALL / DURBAR HALL :
The Durbar Hall is also known as King’s Audience Hall, is located inside the Royal Enclosure at Hampi. The structure is ruined whose remnants can be spotted on the western side of the Mahanavami Dibba or Dasara Dibba.
This Hall was built during the time of the Vijayanagara Empire. According to Abdul Razzak, the famous historian who visited Hampi during the reign of Devaraya II, the Audience Hall was one of the most magnificent buildings in Hampi during that time. In durbar hall that the place where the king addressed his administration and the public.
HALLS OF 100 PILLARS :
The Durbar Audience Hall was a huge building built with huge blocks of stone and wood. The ruined structure stone stairway at the rear of the hall that suggests it might have been a two-storied building. The superstructure is not present right now. Vestiges of pillar sockets and bases show that it was originally a hall of 100 pillars. It is believed that the superstructure of the building was mostly made of wood and the pillars were carved out of sandalwood trees.
They believed that the building was destroyed by fire during the Deccan Sultanate attack in 1565 AD. The several noblemen used to attend the court of the King of Vijayanagara held at the Durbar Hall. Today, only the basement of the Hall is survived.