Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hampi, Forgotten Empire

Hampi has a history from the epical age of Ramayana, ages before the Vijayanagara Empire was born. This history begins and ends with the Ramayana. To prove this there are plenty of materialistic proofs in Hampi which indicate that it might have been the capital of the mighty kingdom - Kishkindha. We shall not delve much into epical history for now.

Later in the 14th century it has been the capital of Vijayanagar Empire from 1336 to 1565. Art and architecture found its special place in Hampi. The rulers were great patrons of art and religion. The city has tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides. The demography is abundant with large stones and these stones have been utilized beautifully to make larger than life statues of Hindu deities. In its hay days the place was known for its splendor and fabulous wealth. For the same reason it was destroyed by Muslim Sultans.


The splendid ruins of palaces, temples and gateways of the broken city silently narrate the story of once glorious past and the final senseless destruction. Today the ruins of Hampi lie scattered in about 26 sq. km areas, amidst giant boulders. One can see a structure of historic importance every quarter of a mile. 





On 5th December 1986, Hampi was inscribed on the World Heritage List for it represents a unique artistic creation. Currently Hampi's monuments - hundreds of them - are popular among tourists, pilgrims and the area is one of the exotic locations. Some of them which we will cover in subsequent posts are:
How to Reach There

From Bangalore it is at a distance of 353 kms. One can travel to this place either by train or road. By road from Bangalore to Chitradurga drive on NH 4. From Chitradurga to Hospet take the NH 13. From Hospet it is at a distance of 12kms. By road it takes 6 to 7 hrs.

57 comments:

Ash said...

Gorgeous architecture!

ewok1993 said...

Splendid is the perfect word to describe this architectural eye candy.

koala said...

All I can say is: hope to see it with my own eyes one day.

Sylvia K said...

Fantastic place, fantastic shot! And wonderful history! Thank you so much for sharing it all with us.

uncleawang said...

This is wonderful scene which you have captured beautifully:)
Have a nice day.

Elisabeth's bright side said...

Very impressive, I'm waiting for more great shots. Have a great week!

Wolynski said...

Wow, these ruins seem in good condition considering they've been destroyed. What beautiful buildings.

joo said...

As usually fantastic post!

Kirigalpoththa said...

Beautiful temple!

It reminds me some of the temples I saw recently in Angkor - cambodia

Onion Insights said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hazel said...

Historic importance every quarter of a mile - I love that. Thanks for sharing very nice pictures of a great past.

Pradip Biswas said...

Are there any accomodation at Hampi or near to it. Hospet shall definitely be 150 KM. Is it near to gadag. Please educate telling us the train route from Bangalore to nearest station and accomodation.

Protege said...

Very interesting architecture, with the multitude of stories. It is interesting to note how different this one is in comparison to the European one from the same century.

nadia said...

Very impressive!

J said...

So sad that it was so wantonly destroyed, but at least the ruins seem relatively intact. A stunning photo of the complex too!

Mar said...

Very enjoyable post and amazing architecture. Such an interesting place with so much history!

Laurie said...

Amazing....it just goes to show that prosperity doesn't last forever...kind of a reminder for these times.

George said...

I"m looking forward to seeing more about this fascinating site.

Gattina said...

Very interesting again, and beautiful pictures.

Arija said...

It is frightening how pollution and time erode stonework and history passes into oblivion.
Lovely architecture and masterful building techniques.aphosica

Wenche said...

Wonderful photo and interesting history. Always interesting to learn more about other places. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. I really appreciated it.

Asta said...

Wow, this is fantastic. Beautiful architecture and a very interesting story. I would like to see this sight.
Best regards
Asta

Karen said...

What an amazingly beautiful building...

To me, it is always incredible, when I look at building like this , to think that they were built in a time when there were not all the modern equipment that we have nowdays...

A living testament to the power of human inguenity..

Carver said...

That's a beautiful place and an interesting post.

Cloudia said...

Such treasures!
Hawaii salutes India with Aloha & Namaste-

Comfort Spiral

Rajesh said...

Kalola: Thanks, it is a beautiful place for to see in person.

Ash: Thank you.

ewok1993: Thanks for the appreciation.

Elisabeth: Thanks, there are more to come on this place.

Sylvia: Thanks for the appreciation.

Wolynski: Thanks, they are in various state of damage. They are maintained in their present state and excavation is still on to unearth more treasures.

unclewang: Thanks for the appreciation.

Joo: Thank you.

Kirigalpoththa: Thanks, very true.

Hazel: Thanks. Excavation in the site is still in progress to discover more.

Pradip: Thanks, Hospet is the nearest place at a distance of 12 kms. There are daily night trains from Bangalore to Hospet.

Protege: Thanks for the appreciation. True, the architecture in this place is unique.

Nadia: Thank you.

J: Thanks, it is really sad to see the damage. One can just not imagine how glandular it could have been in its glory days.

Mar: Thanks for the appreciation.

Laurie: Thanks, very true. We ourselves are reason for our own fall.

George: Thanks, there are more to come on this place.

Gattina: Thanks for the appreciation.

Arija: Thanks, pollution and greed are the reason for not giving right value for our own culture. There is a ban on any industry opening in the surroundings.

Wrenche: Thanks for the appreciation. I too love to learn about new places.

Asta: Thanks for the appreciation. It is a beautiful place for to see in person.

Karen: Thanks for the appreciation. By looking at the architecture and designs they were more advanced than us with limited resources.

Craver: Thank you.

Cloudia: Thanks for the appreciation.

Rush said...

u have an amazing travelogue here,...really nice read..never knew about hampi!!

sandeep said...

beautiful shot. is this from the top of matunga hills? u found a gr8location indeed.

my trip to hampi started with a 'ahhh ... hot and dry place' ... but the more time i spent there i started liking it ... by then it was time to leave :( check out my hampi travelogue here

Aparna said...

Beautiful architecture and lovely snaps. Can you recommend a good hotel near by? How long do we have to stay to see all the sights?

Sharodindu said...

I never had idea about these temple and places of Humpi. thanks for the post itz a perfect blend of
fantastic shot and wonderful history!

LadyFi said...

Wow - all that history, slowly crumbling away... Amazing what our ancestors could build with just their bare hands, a few tools and their ingenuity.

Joseph Jude said...

Rajesh: We visited Hampi some years ago and I should we were taken away by the architecture these places. As you rightly said, with limited resources, they were years ahead. For such a country, we lost all of that importance. Nice pics.

Jeevan said...

Those are great architectures i heard but i know nothing about this place. Nice beginning rajesh, keep going, let we learn many about this place.

Jacob said...

Another amazing place. It is too bad that some of it was allowed to deteriorate. I'm going to put in on my list of things to see when I go to India.

Diane C. said...

Fascinating architecture and art history. The structure looks beautiful in its surroundings.

Indrani said...

Great shot!I had been there and I want to be there again.

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

Very informative post! The architecture of these buildings is absolutely unique! I like the way they were built.

Buenos Aires Photo

Reader Wil said...

I know that religions create culture, but also destroy culture of other believers. I think it's sad to know that beautiful things are to be demolished.

Suhasini K Bhat said...

Really incredible....not only the place, even your shot and post. I have never been to this place and one of the places which I am dying to visit. I hope I will visit this place soon and write about this place too in my travel blog.

Regards,
Suhasini
http://indiancolumbus.blogspot.com
- A unique travel blog

Maggie May said...

Amazing architecture and very informative post. Thanks for all the work you put into it.

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Great piece of information with a wonderful photograph!

TV Tower on Sinhagad - Going Inside Clouds

SandyCarlson said...

Utterly amazing, o be sure.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Rajesh:)

Greetings:)


very interesting narration of a place steeped in history.

The photo is excellent and it is amazing to note that the structure still stands to day to bear silent testimony to the engineering excellence of our forefathers.

Have a nice day Rajesh:)
Joseph

bindu said...

The temples of Karnataka have the most exquisite architecture, Hampi included. Beautiful places.

A Joyful Chaos said...

How interesting! Thanks for sharing.

ShySongbird said...

Just incredible, I wonder how long it must have taken to create these wonders without modern day technology!

Tammie Lee said...

amazing architecture! I am awed.

Rajesh said...

Rush: Thanks for the appreciation.

Sanddep: Thanks, this was taken from Hemakuta hill itself from the Ganesha shrine. You have beautifully put together the Hampi travel details.

Aparna: Thanks. In Hospet there are many decent hotels. To see the monuments in Hampi and nearby you will need 2 days time (Hampi alone 1 day).

Sharodindu: Thanks, this is a nice place worth the visit.

LadyFi: Thanks. Whatever is present today being maintained well. What they have achieved in those days is amazing.

Jude: Thanks, it is a marvelous architecture.

Jeevan: Thanks for the appreciation.

Jacob: Thanks, it is a nice place to visit. Hampi alone needs 1 full day.

Diane: Thanks for the appreciation.

Indrani: Thanks. Even I want to be there as I feel I still might have missed some things.

Buenos: Thanks for the appreciation.

Reader: Thanks, it was intolerance for each others culture in those days led to all this. Still whatever is present today being maintained well.

Suhasini: Thanks for the appreciation. It is a nice place worth the visit.

Maggie: Thanks for the appreciation.

Sanndy: Thank you.

Joseph: Thanks. Very true, it is excellent engineering even in those days.

Bhavesh: Thanks for the appreciation.

Bindu: Thanks, the architecture is reqlly exquisite.

Joyful: Thank you.

ShySongbird: Thanks for the appreciation. It has very long time to build these structures.

Tammie: Thank you.

Sujata said...

Rajesh, very nice post.

shilpa said...

another masterpiece well done

Grace and Bradley said...

Fascinating city, I should like to find out more of the ancient kingdom of Kishkindha and the history of Vijayanagara empire latter on.

JM said...

Another amazing site you have in your country, Rajesh! Never been there...

Mo said...

On my list of places to visit

exposemaximum said...

Must be a great place. :)

Bengbeng said...

gorgeous structures. beautiful

Barbara Martin said...

The photos and the history compliment each other perfectly. Thank you for sharing.

Rajesh said...

Shilpa: Thanks for the appreciation.

Sujata: Thank you.

JM: Thanks, nice place to see.

Mo: Thanks, must visit place.

exposemaximum: Thanks, it is a great place with lot to explore.

Bengbeng: Thank you.

Barbara: Thank you.