Hampi boasts of gripping stories, spellbinding architecture and above all the torn pages of history which have been left unread or unraveled.
In this post, we share some interesting tales about Hampi regaled by our guide. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did and plan a visit to this lost Kingdom real soon.
The Kingdom of Vijaynagara was ruled by four dynasties – Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva and Aravidu dynasty between 1346 AD to 1646 AD and Hampi was the capital of the Vijaynagara empire. The city though is in ruins today but still it exudes an aura of pomp and luxury.
The ruins today, stand as a testimony to the many wars this kingdom fought for its survival and of the treasures that were looted by the raiders back then. A few years ago some of the hidden treasure was found near the Virupraksha temple area.
The sharp cut pillars are a common feature across many structures at Hampi.
Most of the idols in the temples were either destroyed by the raiders or taken by Britishers and a few remaining one are now showcased in the nearby Archaeological museums.
Most of the structures are monolithic and have been carved from one stone. The carvings are intricate and marvelous. Each carving on a pillar is unique and either represents the Gods and Goddesses of Hampi or has a depiction of the daily life of Hampi.
The most iconic structure of Hampi is the Stone Chariot at Vittala Temple. Though many think that it is built up of a single piece of rock however in reality it is built from many large blocks of granite and the joints have been hidden beautifully under the intricate carvings.
All the temples are built with granite blocks which was available in plenty.
The Statue of Lord Ganesha has a snake tied around his stomach to stop him from eating too much.
The monolithic statute of Laxmi Narasimha which had goddess Lakshmi sitting on the lap of lord Narasimha was destroyed during one of the raid of Vijayanagar empire and what remains today is the statue of Narasimha.
Legend has it that the soldiers of Vijayanagar empire were 7 feet tall and used to eat in these huge stone plates.
The inscriptions on the temples are in Telugu, Kannada and Tamil languages.
The tree at Vittala temple is said to be more than 500 years old.
There was also a market for Prostitues called as “Sule Market” and horse trading market infront of the Vittala Temple.
Chinese traders used to come for horse trading to Hampi. There are many carvings of Chinese traders near the Vittala temple which suggests the same.
One sculpture – many forms
The sculptures carved represent different forms from different angles — monkey, crocodile, Lord Hanuman – these kinds of carvings are common in the Vittala Temple.
When you tap the pillars in the temple, each pillar produces a tune of a unique note and no we are not kidding.
When the dancers used to dance on the podium, the pillars used to resonate from the foot tapping and produce music.
Automobiles near Vittala temple are banned as honking resonates with the frequency of the musical pillar and leads to the damage of the pillars.
Birthplace of Hanuman
Across the Tungabhadra river — Anegundi was the region of Kishkinda (in Ramayana) and is the birth place of Hunaman.
The secret chamber of the King
During its heyday, this structure used to look like a small artificial pond with fishes. However under the simple looking pond was a chamber where the King could meet with people and discuss matters which he wanted to keep a secret, ingenious sound proofing with water.
Swimming pools ages ago looked like these …
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