Hampi's Dravidian Monuments

Hampi is a significant religious centre of the Vijayanagara Empire due to the presence of the historic Virupaksha Temple along with many other monuments of the old city. Hampi was the capital of the three generations of Hindu rulers. The massive rock sprinkled mountains and the river that divides the city of Hampi compose strange scenery of this ancient city. The place has many religious, architectural and natural places which make Hampi ideal tourist destination.

Krishnadeva Raya and Achyta Raya were the most illustrious rulers. UNESCO has listed the Vittal Temple and other ruins of the town of Hampi as a World Heritage Site. Hampi was pillaged by the Deccan Muslim rulers in 1565 for over a period of 6 months before it was abandoned. The World Heritage site of Hampi, set in a landscape of rocks and waterways, holds the evocative ruins of magnificent temples and palaces that testify to the wealth and power of medieval Vijayanagar Empire. The rich Vijayanagar rulers built the beautiful Vitthalswami and Hazara Rama Temples. The temples are adorned with beautiful sculptures. The ruin of the Vitthalswami Temple is dedicated to the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The stone chariot outside the Vittlaswami temple is a shrine dedicated to Vishnu's mount Garuda. Purandra Dasara Mantapa another monument in the vicinity is also worth visiting.

Especially impressive are the Virupakasha temple with a towering spire, the Vittala temple with its carved stone chariot and musical pillars, the 6.7 m tall monolith statue of Narasimha, Vishnu's half man and half lion incarnation and the Royal Centre which has the 14th century Mahanavami Dibba, a massive platform of rough-hewn masonry but superb carving. Its architecture has won the admiration of travelers in the past and present alike.

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