Hampi, the 14th century capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire les in the Deccan heartland, in the state of Karnataka. Hampi is situated at 74 kms from the city bellary and 13 km from hospet city in Karnataka. The ruins of Vijaynagar Empire in and around the village of Hampi are spread over an area of more than 26 sq kms. They are one of the most fascinating historical sites in Southern India.
The area of Hampi is protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and by rocky granite stones on other three sides. There is a magical quality to the ruins of Hampi even 650 years after the empire of Krishnadev Raya disintegrated.
Hampi is famous for its ruins belonging to the erstwhile medidval Hindu Kingdom of Vijaynagar and it is declared a world heritage site. The monolithic sculptures and monuments along the temples are attractive because of their excellent workmanship. The architecture found at Hampi reflects the Hindu culture and splendour of the Vijaynagar Empire. The rugged landscape adds to the historic ambience of this site.
Places of interest in Hampi are Virupaksha temple with its 50m high gopuram, Hemakunta Hill With ruins of Jaintemples and a monolithic sculpture of Narasimha, Vitthala temple, sule bazar, achutaraya temple, purandaradasa mandapa, royal center that has lotus mahal, the queen’s bath and elephant stables etc.
Vitthala Temple : The Vitthala temple, which is also known as the most splendid monument of Hampi is situated on the Southern bank of the Tungabhadra river. It is a world heritage monument dating back to the 15th century and is known for its extensive sculptured work, ornate pillars ant the carvings that decorate them.
Virupaksha Temple : The Virupaksha or the Pampapathi temple is the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi. This temple is in ruins but is still in worship and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known here as Virupaksha or Pampapati, as his wife pampa is associated with Tungabhadra river – daughter of Lord Brahma. It is situated in picturesque surroundings on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra river to the north of Hemkuta hill.