Hampi, a village in northern Karnataka is one of the most searched historical places in India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara empire. Known for its ruins, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi is a must-visit for many reasons. The ruins at Hampi stand there to tell the story of India’s rich cultural and historical past.
- According to the Ramayana, Lord Rama and his brother, Lakshmana had visited this region, while looking for Sita. They visited to seek help from Vali and Sugreeva, who ruled the region.
- It is believed that the monkey king, Sugreeva lived here. And it’s the spot where Sita dropped her jewels as a mark when Ravana abducted her. A rock here has the design that the local people believe is similar to that of Sita’s saree.
- One of the most attractive structures in Hampi is the Vittala Temple. This ancient temple is known for its splendid architecture. However, the temple is also known for another special quality. It has 56 musical pillars. These pillars, when tapped gently, produce musical sounds. The most interesting fact is that the pillars are made from solid stone and are not hollow inside. The musical pillars of Vittala Temple are also known as Saregama pillars.
- The Hemakuta Hill myth has it that it’s on this hill that Lord Shiva did penance before marrying his consort, a local girl who impressed him by her earnestness for him.
Also, this is the place where he burnt Kama (the God of lust) with his third (fire) eye. Hence, a number of temples in this area are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Lord Ganesha is known for his love for food. One day, he ate so much food that his tummy almost was almost bursting. So, he just caught a snake and tied it around his tummy as a belt to save it from bursting. There is a statue where you can see the snake around his stomach. Also, he holds the goad, pasha (noose), and his broken tusk. The hand which holds modak (a kind of sweet ball) is broken and not reconstructed. This monolithic statue carved out of a huge boulder measures about 2.4 meters (8 feet). An open pavilion is build around the statue. According to inscriptions found nearby, this pavilion was built by a trader from Chandragiri (in present day Andhra Pradesh) in 1506 AD, in memory of one of the Vijayanagara kings – Narasimha II (1491-1505 AD).
- The name Hampi was derived from the word ‘Pampa,’ which is the old name of Tungabhadra River, on whose southern bank the city is built.
- While it’s a known fact that the ruins of Hampi are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hampi monuments popular for their carvings date back to the 14th century.
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