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An archaeologist and historians paradise is an ancient village known as Hampi. Residing on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, Karnataka is this UNESCO world heritage site. Hampi is part of one of the most famous historic sites in the world that dates back to the 14th century when it was the capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was considered as the second-largest medieval-era city in the world after Beijing and India’s richest then due to trading practices.

A hugely attractive destination among tourists, this village entices its visitors with a variety of hidden facts.

Hampi

Named after the capital city of Vijayanagar, the Vijayanagar empire was one of the greatest empires of southern India.  The city and its first dynasty were founded in 1336 by five sons of Sangama, of whom Harihara and Bukka became the city’s first kings. Today Hampi, derived from the word Pampa, the old name of Tungabhadra River is surrounded by the ruins of one of the most powerful empires to exist.

Hampi, also known as the group of monuments comprise of a wide array of temples, shrines, mosque and tombs. One out of the numerous of Hampi’s tourist spots is the Virupaksha Temple. The Viruspaksha temple is the oldest shrine of Hampi and rises over 120 feet. Currently, the temple consists of beautifully carved pillars, a sanctum and chambers that are surrounded by courtyards, enclosed gardens and a gateway leading to numerous smaller shrines. Its visitors will also get to witness the Tungabhadra Rive flowing along the temple’s terrace and then descending to the temple-kitchen and out through the outer court.

According to one of the greatest Indian epics Ramayana, Lord Ram and his brother Lord Lakshman visited Hampi in search of Goddess Sita. They sought the help of Vali and Sugreev who were then the rulers of Hampi. It is known that this was the place where goddess Sita dropped her pearls to indicate Lord Ram about her abduction by the evil Ravana. Hampi is also known for the Hazara Ram temple. The temple is popular for the carvings on the outer and inner walls of the temple that depict the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana.

Hampi Temple

The Musical Pillars

The Vittala temple in Hampi is known for its unusual architecture particularly for its musical pillars that provide support to the ceiling of the mandapa. The 56 melodic columns or the musical pillars are known for producing instrumental musical sounds when touched with a thumb. When hit with sandalwood sticks these pillars produce sounds that sound close to the seven notes of music also known as Saregama. That’s why they are known as the SaReGaMa pillars.

At a stretch of over 1000m is the Hampi Bazaar. The Hampi bazaar that was once known as the prominent centre for trade is now famous for its unique display of traditional jewellery and hand made art. It is popularly known that the Hampi Bazaar was also the residence for the rich people. It also catered to the demand of people of all financial backgrounds, whether rich or poor. Though this street is no longer as buzzing as it was centuries ago. But you will still get to witness see the old pavilions lining the street on both sides.

Hampi musical pillars

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