Hampi (ಹಂಪೆ or Hampe) is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi.
A Hindu temple Kāliya-Mardan decoration at Hampi. The first historical settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE. Hampi formed one of the core areas of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565, when it was finally laid siege to by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra River on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides. The site is significant historically and architecturally. The topography abounds with large stones which have been used to make statues of Hindu deities. The Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area, to discover additional artifacts and temples. Hampi is very great compared to other places on the basis of its architecture.
Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. It is 353 km from Bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary. Hosapete (Hospet), 13 km away, is the nearest railway head. Mantralayam, which is also on the banks of Tunghabhadra, in AP is some 150 km away. The principal industries of the village are agriculture, the support of the Virupaksha temple and some other local holy places in the vicinity, and tourism. The annual Vijayanagar Festival is organized by the Government of Karnataka in November. Due to the presence of several mineral deposits in this region (iron-ore, manganese), mining has been going on for many years now. But a recent boom for the supply of iron-ore in the international market has led to increased levels of mining in this district.
Important Sites At And Near Hampi:
Temples Around Hampi:
- Hemakuta group of temples
- Achyutaraya Temple/Tiruvengalanatha Temple
- Preksha Temple and groups
- Anjeyanadri Hill
- Aqueducts and Canals
- Archaeological Museum at Kamalapura
- Badava Linga
- Chandramauleshwar Temple
- The Kings’ balance
- The Underground Temple
- Tungabhadra River
- Uddana Veerabhadra temple
- Sri Lakshmi Narasimha
- Virupaksha Temple
- Vittala temple
- Yeduru Basavanna
- Yantrodharaka Anjaneya temple
- Zenana enclosure
- Sasivekalu Ganesha
Hampi has various notable Hindu temples, some of which are still active places of worship. Among the most notable are:
Global Heritage Fund Efforts:
- Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy Temple: Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple was constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy stands three kms down the road. Its inner walls flaunt peculiar and interesting motifs of fish and marine creatures.
- Virupaksha Temple: Virupaksha Temple known as the Pampapathi temple, it is a Shiva Temple situated in the Hampi Bazaar. It predates the founding of the Vijayanagar empire. The temple has a 160-foot (49 m) high tower at its entrance. Apart from Shiva, the temple complex also contains shrines of the Hindu goddesses Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa.
- Hazara Rama Temple Complex: This ruined temple complex is well known for elaborate frescoes from the Hindu religion and a sprawling courtyard well-laid with gardens. It is well known for more than many thousand carvings & inscriptions on & in the temple depicting the mighty story of Ramayana. It has about 1000 carvings & inscriptions depicting the story of Ramayana.
- Krishna Temple Complex: This temple complex has been recently excavated through the last decade, and restoration work is still in progress.
- Vittala Temple Complex : This is perhaps the most famous and well-known among the ruins of Hampi. The iconic Stone Chariot in the vicinity of this temple complex is a symbol of Karnataka Tourism. Off late, floodlights have been installed in the temple complex that provide illumination at dusk, thereby adding to the grandeur of the architecture.
Non-profit organization Global Heritage Fund (GHF), in partnership with the Hampi Foundation, Cornell University, and the State of Karnataka, has been actively involved in the conservation of Hampi's unique cultural heritage. After producing a master conservation plan for the site of Chandramouleshwara Temple, GHF's efforts have moved to "stabilization of the temple and its associated structural features."