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World Heritage Site - Group of Monuments at Hampi

Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi.
Hampi is situated in the state of Karnataka and sprawls across more than 26 sq kms. River Tungabhadra borders it in the North and granite rocks on the other three sides, making it safer and more inaccessible. It is said that it is near the site that was once Kishkindha, the monkey kingdom mentioned in Ramayana, and still a large number of monkeys reside in the heart of the city. It was here that Bali and Sugriva (Monkey-Princes) fought for supremacy and Lord Rama killed Bali.

The tourist attractions of the city are Virupaksha Temple, 6.7 m tall monolith of Ugra Narasimha, Vithala Temple with its 'Musical Pillars' and ornate stone chariot of Garuda in the temple courtyard, Lotus Mahal, Queen's Bath with stark exteriors and ornate interiors, Singaradu Hebbagilu, the oldest and most massive gateway of the capital, Hazara Rama Temple with its exquisitely carved basalt pillars depicting the incarnations of Shri Vishnu and the ruins of Achuta Raya Temple that showcase some erotic sculptures in its columns.

Place of Interest
Hampi has many hundreds of monuments and other attractions. This page gives a brief list of these attractions. For the sake of convenience the monuments & attractions are grouped based on the locality. Anegondi, across the river, is the northern fringe of the ruins. Sacred Center and the Riverside Ruins are located along the southern bank. Further south is The Royal Center and the Kamalapura village. Full lists of the monuments are linked from at the end of each section given below.
Virupaksha temple is the oldest and principal temple in Hampi. This temple located on the south bank of the river Tungabadra has been an important pilgrimage centre for the worshipers of lord Shiva. Presently the temple is equally sort after by the tourists and pilgrims. The annual festivals attract huge crowds of both types.
Achyuta Raya's Temple : Consecrated in AD 1534, this temple is an example of Vijayanagara style temple architecture in its most advanced form than any other temples in Hampi. This was one of the last grandiose temple projects executed in the capital, before the fall of the empire.
The temple dedicated to Lord Tiruvengalanatha, a form of Vishnu , was constructed by a high officer in Achyuta Raya's court and hence the name. The temple complex and the ruined market street in front of it sit in a semi secluded valley created by two hills - the Gandhamadana & Matanga hills .
Hazara Ram Temple
The Hazara Rama Temple is situated in the core of Royal Centre, dates back to 15th century art work and is believed to be the worship place for the members of royal family. The temple was specifically meant only for royal ceremonies.
The pillars of this temple depict fragile carvings of wide range of various forms of Lord Vishnu. There are also enthralling sculptures displaying few of the significant incidents from the great epic Ramayana. The attachment walls are lavishly carved with friezes displaying horses and elephants processions. The temple also displays the gorgeously decorated dancing women and also grand armor of great soldiers.
This temple is one among the Vishnu temples which is well celebrated in the Hampi region. The temple shows a clear picture of the cultural heritage and also the architectural wonders of former kingdom.
Krishna Temple
Recently, this Krishna temple was exhumed and subjected to renovation which is still on. Vithala temple is one among the well known temple among the debris of Hampi. The Karnataka state tourism possesses the symbol of the iconic stone chariot which is present in the temple campus. The temple was then illuminated with the help of flood lights which added additional glamour to this complex.
The Karnataka state tourism is in highly action mode to safeguard all these monuments. Great efforts were exiled to stabilize these grand Indian monuments and also their related structural features. The excavation process which was carried out recently revealed some interesting objects including wonderful terra cotta objects, large collection of stone images and stucco findings which were once used to decorate the Hampi palaces.

How to Reach
Hospet is the gateway to Hampi. However, the city is connected with different corners of the country by all modes of transport.
By Air : For international tourists, Bengaluru International Airport (BLR) is the nearest airport to Hampi. However, Bellary (BEP) is the nearest domestic airport to Hampi (50 km).
By Train : The nearest railway station is Hospet which is around 13 km from Hampi. Hospet is well connected with the major cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Goa etc.
By Road : Hampi is also connected with major cities by road. State bus services connect all major towns of the nearest states to Hampi. From normal to luxurious, varieties of buses are available for comfortable journey.

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