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Hampi

A small yet enchanting temple town of Hampi is surrounded by the intriguing historical ruins of Vijayanagara city in the state of Karnataka. Hampi grew as a trade center for cotton, spices, and gem stones over the time. The status of UNESCO World Heritage Site further accentuates the eminence of Hampi as one of the most popular historical and religious tourist places in India. The main tourist spots in Hampi can be divided into two broad areas; the Hampi Bazaar area and the Royal center near Kamalapur. With a host of tourist places to see in Hampi, let us take a look at some of the famous touristic sites here.

One of the most impressive structures of Hampi is the Vithala Temple. This temple is the perfect example of rich architecture. Spread over a huge area, the temple complex with its magnificent main gate exudes royalty. There are also several other smaller temples inside the courtyard, all of which are definitely worth a visit. The carvings on the walls/pillars of these structures depict various gods in different forms. Dedicated to Lord Vittala, the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, this temple is a must visit amongst all Hampi tourist places. The most appealing structures of the temple are its pillars which once tapped delicately make musical chimes.

Sri Virupaksha Temple located at the western end of Hampi Bazaar is one of the most renowned temples here. It is situated on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River and it is part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is renowned as one of the most sacred temples in Karnataka. Virupaksha is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and among all the surrounding ruins, this temple is intact and is still in use.

For the shopaholics, there is Hampi Bazaar. Since the bazaar is situated right in front of the Virupaksha temple, it is also known as the Virupaksha Bazaar. Various artifacts including antique coins, shawls, bags etc, are available here. The bazaar is a unique attraction of Hampi with both sides of the street having old pavilions, some single storied and others two storied.

For those who have an inclination towards history can visit the Archaeological Museum at Kamalapur dedicated to the ruins of Hampi and surrounding places. This museum exhibits graceful replicas of Krishnadevaraya and his queens greeting the visitors at the entrance. The Museum houses a large collection of sculptures and artifacts spread across four galleries. The museum provides an excellent idea about the various attractions and their relative locations in Hampi, while the smaller one gives a comprehensive view of the Royal Enclosure.

The temples of Hampi, its colossal sculptures and monuments, attract travelers because of their excellent workmanship. The Hindu style of architecture found at Hampi reflects the splendor of the Vijaynagar Empire. The rugged landscape adds to the historic ambience of this site.



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