The Virupaksha temple (or Prasanna Virupaksha temple) is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra river at Hampi, Karnataka. Built during the 7th century, the beautiful architecture and history of the temple contributed to it being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The temple is abode to one of the forms of Lord Shiva called Lord Virupaksha. While it is located at present day Hampi, it was once a smaller shrine in the middle of the ancient and majestic Vijayanagara empire. You will find beautiful stone inscriptions dating back to the 7th century on the walls of the temple as proof of its rich heritage. Architecture-lovers and history-buffs, do visit the temple when you are in Hampi!
The most impressive structure in Hampi, the Vithala Temple dates back to the 16th century and is a truly splendid example of rich architecture. The famous stone chariot, which has become an iconic symbol of the architecture of Hampi, is located inside the premises of this temple.
The Elephant Stables served as an enclosure for royal elephants back in the day of the Vijayanagra Empire. Eleven domed chambers are seen here with a particularly decorated one which served as an enclosure for the musicians during any performances.
A part of the Royal Enclosure, this aquatic enclosure was the Royal bath during the times of the Vijayanagra Empire. It was built in such a way that no outsiders could enter the bath, and has lost much to ruins at the date.
Close to the Zenana Enclosure, is a monument that stands out in its design and style from most of the structures of Hampi. Another complex, for royal women, this one gets its name from the lotus-like dome
The ride of Lord Shiva, the bull is represented here as a sculpture placed on a high platform. It is partially ruined, but is a major attraction owing to its huge size.
Carved out of a single boulder, this Shivlinga stands at a height 3m amidst water. It is a major attraction in Hampi.
The Zenana Enclosure was primarily the Women's Quarters. A part of the Royal Enclosure, this was a place especially for the Royal women i.e. the Queen and her friends and companions. This palace is the biggest excavation that has been done in Hampi. The south east corner has the Lotus Mahal.
This temple features the biggest effigy in Hampi, of Narasimha sitting on SeshaNaag i.e. the seven headed snake acting as a shelter to him. The idol of Goddess Lakshmi is placed along with that of Narasimha.
The Hemakunta Hill houses a temple complex, many of them dedicated to Lord Shiva. These are all protected by a fort, providing a secluded atmosphere.
The Old Palace, surrounded by a fort, and is in ruins as of today. It is located in Anegondi, for which kingdom this palace served as the center.
This structure served as a focal point from where the Vijayanagara kings ruled their Kingdom. Various aspects of courtly life are depicted on this huge structure, including a gem studded throne.
This temple is also known as the Tiruvengalanatha Temple, after the main deity, a form of Lord Shiva. It has modern architecture in comparison to the other temples of Hampi. Many carvings here depict mythological legends, seen on pillars, walls and monolith blocks.
Hazara Rama Temple, a mesmerizing temple dedicated to Lord Rama, is located in Hampi Village in the south-western Indian state of Karnataka. The breathtaking view of the temple and its intricate carvings attract tourists from all over the world. From a distance, one will notice the beige granite temple under the clear blue skies.
King's Balance is an ancient 15th century attraction which was used to weigh the king with the royal Jewels every year on special occasions. The jewels were then donated to the temple priests. The structure has intricately carved pillars. It is made of granite and the pillars support a stone beam that has hoops which were used to suspend the balance.
Sasivekalu Ganesh has a gigantic monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha. The statue is over 8 feet tall and was created in the memory of a Vijayanagara King - King Narasimha II. It is often associated with the legend of Ganesha when he tied a snake around his belly when his stomach was about to burst after he had consumed a lot of food. The snake can be clearly seen around Lord Ganesha's belly.
Kadalekalu Ganesh is an important religious attraction in Hampi. The temple has traditional stone architecture and is located on Hemakuta Hill and has a huge 15 feet monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha which is a believed to be one of the largest in the world. The reason why the attraction is called Kadalekalu is because the belly of the deity is chiselled to look like Kadalekalu (Bengal gram).
Riverside Ruins have a splendid cluster of ruins 108, 1008 Shivalings, several shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu and other Hindu deities, some of which are partially submerged. These Ruins can be spotted all across the gorge. The excitement of identifying the idols is an experience to remember.
Located on the banks of River Tungabharda, Anegundi village is famous for the Aramane Palace Ruins, the Kamal Mahal, the Huchappayana Matha Temple, the Ranganatha temple and the Nava Brindavan. The village is older than Hampi and is considered a World Heritage Site. The rich culture and the beautiful architecture of the important monuments make it at apt attraction for tourists.
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