Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hampi heritage continued......









Hampi heritage

The history of Hampi during the Vijayanagar empire spans from 1335 upto 1365 for more than 230 years. Krishnadevaraya from the Tuluva dynasty reigned from 1509 upto 1529, during which time vijaynagar witnessed entered the golden era.

Krishna Temple :

The Krishna temple was built by Krishnadevaraya., it is one of the most beautiful monuments located close to Virupaksha temple. The gopuram is vandalized to a large extent.by the Sultans robbing its deities and ornaments. The entire royal family members were massacred in this temple. Blood flowed in the temple premise, women and children were set on fire. The burn marks are visible inside the temple. Luckily after looting the enemy soldiers diverted their attention to grab wealth from many other temples, and spared mass scale demolition. Free entry


Hazaar Rama Temple :

One gets to witness the epic of Ramayana depicted on the fa├žade of the temple. The outer boundary walls is filled with battle scenes displaying the royal army in its full splendour. The pillars inside the temple are beautifully finished. The temple has not suffered much of the destruction unleashed by the Sultans. Free entry



Mahanavami Dibba :

This place had been the public parade ground for the Dusherra festivity. The Kings had a beautiful stage on the Mahanavami Dibba to witness the procession and various acts enacted during the 10 days festivity, which replicated in the form of Hampi Utsav during Nov every year. During the ancient times puppet show, dance, drama, fireworks and fancy dress competition were enacted to enthrall the Royalty and commoners alike. Many of the monuments are demolished in this area. An underground meeting place for the king and the commanders is also built. Water duct is one the architectural wonder seen leading to the stepped tank. An amphitheatre seems to be destroyed too. Free entry


Vittala Temple :

Stone Chariots and musical pillars are the prime example of the perfection of the artisans during the Vijaynagar era. Many a films were shot in this premise in vernacular language as well as Bollywood. The famous Myth movie of Jackie chaan too has been shot over here. Unfortunately the musical pillar temple has collapsed and nobody is allowed inside this premise. The ASI is planning to resurrect this temple, which is a mammoth task.



Lotus Mahal :

Lotus Mahal is supposed to be queen’s palace during the summer. The entire momument is beautifully ventilated with privacy for the the women folk. This Mahal is having a Sacrcenic influence. The royal palace is demolished in front of the Lotus Mahal. This place needs tickets for visiting, which can be combined ticket with Vittala temple. Photography charges are separate.


Elephant Stable :

The royal herd of elephants were stationed in the elephant stables. It is a majestic structure which still survives in pristine condition.



Jain Temple’s

Behind the Lotus Mahal enclosure one finds small jain temple signifying that Jains too had influence in Hampi.

Sasvekallu and Doddakalu Ganesh :

The lord of knowledge Ganesh is adorning these temple, a portion of his stomach has been destroyed by soldiers of Sultan. The destruction seems to have halted in the midst for reasons unknown.

Urga Narashima and Badavi Linga :

Urga Narashima has been the symbol of Hoysalas and Vijaynagar empire. One can see a partially destroyed statue of Urga Narashima ( Lion headed Diety ) enroute to Hazaar Rama temple. The Shiva Linga seems to have built by a poor lady in honour of the King. This place is always immersed with water. Some people try to throw coin to perch on the linga for good luck and wishes to come true.

Underground Shiva Temple :

A marvelous archicteture with water channels routed to the temple, to keep the place cool. This temple is immersed with water, without a clue by the present archeologist, whether it was a faulty construction or breach of water channel. The entrance to the temple is beautifully landscaped. Free Entry


Zenana :

The bathing place for the queens of the sultans has been beautifully constructed near the Underground shiva temple. It is now a lovers den to have privacy. There is no water standing in this place, which is surprising. Free Entry



Anegundi :

This place was the first capital of the Vijaynagar empire and later transformed Hampi into their primal capital.

T.B. River :
Coracle ride is taken across to reach Anegondi by tourist, to explore the monuments and hilltop. One can see a temple Malliarjun being under resurrection.

Muesuem : Kamalapur has a beautiful museum of the left over monuments which have been destroyed by the Sultans. These monuments are only partially recovered majority of them seems to have been smuggled to Europe by the britishers. Entry ticket


Bear Park : Bear sanctuary is supposed to be 14 km away from Kamalapur. Honestly I was not interested in visiting this place for spending more time @ Hampi. Some foreigners stay months undertaking research or trying to feel the rustic atmosphere of Hampi.

T.B. Dam :

A beautiful dam is built across the river tungabhadra to harness the energy unleashed by the river. The dam has a beautiful garden and musical fountain is played during the night. Entry ticket for the gardens is charged.

Old Bridge : An old bridge across the T B river which was supposed to be replicated has been stopped by the World Heritage committee, if one wants to witness and get the feel one can notice the same enroute to Jaggan chakki falls.


Tips to travellers :

Guides are available at the Virupaksha premises. The charges range from Rs 150 to Rs 500/- per family. On guided KSTDC tour the charges are Rs 100/- per head for entire trip of 3 days. The temperature is extremely hot, visit during the rainy season or winter season is advised. In case one likes to travel during summer vacation it is better to carry an umbrella and sunscreen. Drink plenty of water since one skin can become dehydrated with loss of water. If one has the habit of sweating then it is between to consume salt and sugar added water to replenish loss. It is better to have mosquito lotion as a precaution. The river bed at Tungabhadra is extremely slippery, I was personal witness to another co-tourist having a toss into the river, luckily he escaped unhurt. Do not undertake coracle ride during rainy season it could be dangerous.