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Hampi - Karnataka

Hampi is a small town in Karnataka state of India, that is renowned for its cultural heritage, and collection of ancient temples and monuments. Located on the banks of the River Tungabhadra, it is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, listed as 'Group of Monuments at Hampi'. The ruins of the old Vijayanagara Empire is the greatest highlight of Hampi. Most of the remnants that make Hampi a heritage site were built during the old times, when the city was ruled by different dynasties.

Those who are in search of a spot rich with culture for trip may find Hampi as their suitable destination. This place is mostly preferred by travellers from Bangalore and Hyderabad, though people from all over the country visit there. The best time to visit Hampi are the months of February, September, October, November and December. There are so many monuments to visit in Hampi.

Vijaya Vittala Temple

Originally built in the 15th century AD, Vittala Temple is one of the most popular attractions in Hampi. Built in a rich architectural style, this is in an expansive campus with compound walls and towers as gateways. Many temples, pavilions and halls also are constructed along within the campus. Vittala is another incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who was amongst the ordinary people and is worshiped as a deity by the cattle herds. There are still the remnants of a township called Vittalapura, which existed around this temple compound. Vittala temple has extraordinarily pillared halls and a stone chariot, which is the chief attraction of the temple. Also, an array of sculptures are present on the giant granite pillars carved in the halls.

Mahanavami Dibba

The Mahanavami Dibba is the tallest structure in the city. Three layers constitute this square structure. There are two stair cases to reach the top, which has carvings of elephants, horses and the like on the front portion. The back side of the structure has another twin staircase, which is not as decorative as one in the front. One can climb up from the front staircase and reach the top that provides a complete view of the town and get down through the other staircase. King Krishnadevaraya had built this structure after his victory in Udayagiri, presently located in Orissa. This was used by the kings to see the processions of the army, other celebrations and the Navarathri celebrations of their empire.

Elephant Stables

Elephant Stable near Lotus temple is an important site in Hampi that draws attention of many tourists. This building which was once used to tie up elephants is now preserved as a monument. There are eleven rooms adorned with high domes and roofed with amazing carvings. The centre hall is quite big, more decorated and has a larger dome. There are metal hooks hanging on the top which were used to tie the elephants. Manholes are located at the rear of each hall through which mahouts can enter the elephant compartments. The architecture clearly displays the royal extravaganza of the past and intricate artworks. From here one can proceed to the Guard's Quarters and to the Ranga Temple located nearby. There is also a museum housing an exhibition of gold, stone statues and pictures. The best time to visit the place is between September and February when it is cool.

Zenana Enclosure

The Zenana Enclosure was initially a place that was restricted to the entry of royal women only. The enclosure has a huge wall to protect the harem and to the south-east corner is the famous Lotus Mahal. The Lotus Mahal is built in the shape of a lotus. The building is two-storied and was built with a sharp geometrical touch. The Queen used this as a summer palace since it had many openings as windows. The Zenana Enclosure has a huge compound with a mud road leading into it. This place was primarily for the Queen, her friends and those who accompanied her. The queen’s palace, that is around 49x24 m, is the biggest archaeological site in Hampi.

Monolith Bull

The Monolith Bull is the idol of Nandi, Shiva's vehicle. Nandi facing the sanctum sanctorum is a very common sight in every Shiva temple. However, the Monolith bull of Hampi is the star attraction of this town. This massive stone-made Nandi bull's idol is housed in a two-story pavilion constructed on a high platform near the east end of the Virupaksha Bazaar Street. It is placed in the background of a heap of mammoth boulders. There is a big stone lamp with metal spikes over it, in front of the idol.

This Nandi idol sits facing the Virupaksha Shiva temple, which is situated at the other end of the street. The Virupaksha temple compound houses a Nandi statue that has three heads. The sheer size of Nandi bull idol, also known as Yeduru Basavanna, is simply overwhelming. A visit to the Monolith Bull site is a must for the students of archeology and architecture. The place is well connected by road. The weather is generally warm and dry and the best time to visit the Monolith Bull is from September to February.

Queen's Bath

Queen's Bath was a royal bath constructed for the kings and their wives to take bath. Basically, it is a rectangular building, which has a long veranda inside that leads to a square tank, that is six feet deep from all sides. During the King's reign, water in the tank is believed to have filled with perfumes and fragrant flowers for royal bath. The architecture resembles an Indo-Saracenic style and looks more like Islamic style than Hindu style. There is a pond that encircles the building, which lies outside the Queen's bath. The building has a crude design that prevents any intruders from walking into the place, where the royal women take their bath. Now, there is a small garden at Queen's Bath, which is made just in front of the bath.

It is a favorite spot for the local picnics groups. Tourists, photographers, archaeologists and historians will enjoy a visit to the Queen's Bath. Reaching the Queen's Bath is easy as Hampi is well connected with the cities nearby. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Vithala Temple Complex, Hazara Rama Temple and Old Palace are some attractions nearby. A visit to Hampi is recommended to casual tourists, photographers as well as history buffs and archeology students.
Thilak Home Stay

River Road, Hampi, India - 583239

Situated at just 2-minute walk from Virupaksha Temple and Tungabhadra River, Thilak Home Stay is located in Hampi. Free WiFi access is available in this homestay. Other facilities offered include a ticket service, a tour desk and luggage storage. The property offers free parking. The in-house restaurant serves Indian, Chinese and continental delights. Room service can be requested for in-room dining comforts.

Archana Guest House
 
Janata plot, Hospet Tq, Bellary Dist, Hampi, India - 583239

Located just a 2-minute walk from the Virupaksha Temple Complex, Archana Guest House is located in Hampi. Free WiFi access is available. The fan-cooled rooms feature a river view and a work desk. Private bathroom also comes with a shower. Also you will find a 24-hour front desk, a garden and a terrace.

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