UNESCO World Heritage “Hampi”
A UNESCO world heritage site, Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire. It is situated on the banks of river Tungabhadra in Karnataka. The ruins of the palaces in Hampi , the temples and the royal buildings stand testimony to the wealth and grandeur of the Vijayanagar Emperors. The name Hampi is derived from the ancient name of Tungabhadra river, Pampa, the daughter of Lord Brahma. The town is locally known as the town of Pampa.
The capital of the Vijyanagar Empire from 1336 to 1565, the city was ruled by four dynasties — Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva and Aravidu dynasty. The princes of these dynasties built more than 500 monuments. As a capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi grew as a trade center for cotton, spices, horse and gem stones. Rubies and diamonds were believed to have been sold on the streets and gold and silver were used currency.
The main street selling diamonds was called Pan Supari street and the temples and palaces were admired by Arab, Portuguese and Italian travelers. Hampi’s heydays came to an end when a combined army of Muslim kingdoms laid siege to the town in 1565. The town was looted for six months before it was abandoned.
The Virupaksha temple is the most prominent building in Hampi.It is believed that Lord Shiva married Parvati in this temple. Other attractions of Hampi are the Lotus Palace, Hazara Rama temple and Lakshmi Narasimha temple built in Vijayanagar style of architecture. The Hampi Utsav, also known as Vijaya Utsav, is a cultural event organized by the Karnataka government in January each year. The festival of Purandaradasa Aradhana conducted at the Vithala temple is also famous. It is celebrated to honor the poet-composer Purandaradasa.
Best time to visit Hampi
Hampi has played an important part in shaping the history and tradition of Karnataka and India. The glimpses from the dynasties that have ruled Hampi and the ruins of the temples and monuments that have stood the test of time, Hampi is regarded as one of the most wonderful holiday destinations in Karnataka. When visiting Hampi it is important to keep the weather and climate conditions in mind too. To enjoy the beautiful monuments, the gorgeous temples and the plush greenery of Hampi, one needs to have good weather conditions!
The best time to visit Hampi is between October to March when the coolness in the air helps you take a complete tour of this village. October marks the beginning of winter and the temperature begins to settle around this time. During the day one can move about comfortably as the temperature is just right and apt for sightseeing. The gorgeous view of the city is accentuated from atop the Matanga hill, which has rich foliage and spellbinding landscape and best enjoyed with your loved ones during October to March. The coolness in the air continues till February and along with this sees heavy influx in tourists as well. Tourism in Hampi is mostly concentrated around these months as few of the major festivals too take place from November to March. The golden red hue of the skyline during evenings, the fresh breath of air during nights and the feeling of absolute calm and tranquility felt during the winter months leaves an inerasable mark in your memory.
Keeping all the tourists needs and requirements and the beauty that exudes from this heritage site can b best enjoyed only from October to March. Come and enjoy the regalia of Hampi with your near and dear ones!
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