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Sights to See

The monuments of Vijayanagara city, also known as Vidyanagara in honour of the sage Vidyaranya or Madhava, were built between AD 1336-1570, from the times of Harihara-I to Sadasiva Raya. Deriving inspiration from the sage, Harihara and Bukka, two of the five sons of Sangama, founded the kingdom of Vijayanagara, in 1336 AD. They named it after him and made Pampapati or Virupaksha their patron deity. A large number of the royal buildings were built by Krishnadeva Raya (AD 1509-30), the greatest ruler of the dynasty. The period witnessed resurgence of Hindu religion, art and architecture on an unprecedented scale. Chroniclers who came from far off countries-such as Arabia, Italy, Portugal and Russia visited the empire and left graphic and glowing accounts of the city. It covered an area of nearly 26 sq km and is stated to have been enclosed by seven lines of fortifications. Temples of this city are noted for their large dimensions, florid ornamentation, bold and delicate carvings, stately pillars, magnificent pavilions and a great wealth of iconographic and traditional depictions which include subjects from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Krishna temple, Pattabhirama temple, Hazara Ramachandra and Chandrasekhara temple as also the Jain temples, are other examples. Majority of these temples were provided with widespread bazaars flanked on either side by storeyed mandapas. Open from sunrise to sunset.

Museum:
There is an Archaeological Survey of India Museum in Kamlapur (3 km). Tel: 08394-241561. Timings: 1000-1700 hrs. Closed on Fridays. Entry Fee Rs. 5, Entry is free for children up to 15 yrs.

Achyuta Raya Temple ; Chakrathirtha ; Kodandarama Temple


Krishnaswamy Temple
:
Inaugurated in 1513 AD with the installation of a Bala Krishna idol

Zanana Enclosure:
About ½ km to the northeast of the Hazara Rama Temple. Within an irregular rectangular wall, are the remains of three palaces, three watch-towers, a pond, a store and a double-storeyed mahal. Entrance Fee: For Zanana Enclosure and Vitthala Temple Complex: Citizens of India-Rs. 10 per head, Others: US $ 5 or Indians Rs. 250 per head, Children up to 15 years free.

King’s Palace
:
This is the largest enclosure including two major platform structures, an underground chamber which must have served as a treasury or private audience hall, several other platforms, double fortification walls and several interesting architectural elements.

Mahanavami Dibba
:
Equally Impressive is the massive Mahanavami Dibba, where the king once sat on gem-studded golden thrones and watched processions passing by. The platform sports densely carved bands of horse, soldiers and depictions of the various aspects of courtly life.

Queen’s Bath
:
This structure has a very plain exterior but the interior is stunningly ornate with graceful arched corridors, projecting balconies, and lotus shaped fountains that used to spout perfumed water for ladies of the court.

Lotus Mahal
:
This visually appealing structure has two levels, with open pavilions at the bottom and balconies above. An elegant example of the fusion of the Hindu and Muslim style of architecture, the Mahal derives its name from its beautiful, geometrically arranged cusped arches that resemble the petals of lotus flower opening to the sun.

Elephant Stables
:
An imposing edifice with arched entrance and many domes that once housed the magnificent state elephants.

Pattabhirama temple:
East of Kamlapura. It is one of the most impressive of all the 16th century temples. The towered gateway is complete in all its ascending storeys.

Pushkarani:
The stepped water tank excavated in the mid-1980s was originally a part of the palace complex. Almost lyrical in its beauty, the tank is a tiered structure crafted from rectangular pieces of granite.

Hazara Rama Temple
:
This was a royal temple reserved for ceremonial use. The entire temple is embellished with bas-reliefs depicting the scenes from the epic Ramanayana. The walls are richly carved with friezes depicting processions of horses, elephants, dancing girls and soldiers attired in splendid weaponry. Inside, four exquisitely sculpted granite pillars add to the beauty of ardha mantapa.

Vittala Temple
:
Vithala Temple is Hampi's crowning glory, with a magnificent stone chariot standing in the temple courtyard. Equally impressive is the large ‘Rangamantapa’ with 56 musical pillars.

Virupaksha Temple
: Dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Padmadevi, this is the only temple that is still used for worship. Parts of the temple predate the Vijayanagar Empire. The temple’s nine storied gopuram towers above the other structures at Hampi. The ceiling of the ‘Rangamantapa’ is beautifully painted with scenes from the Puranas. Entry fees: Rs. 2, Camera: Rs. 50, Video Rs. 500.

Lakshminarasimha: The awesome 6.7 m monolith depicting the man-lion form of Vishnu is seated on a seven-hooded serpent.

Badavilinga:

Located next to the Lakshminarasimha statue, it is 3 m high and stands permanently in water that flows through an ancient channel.

Ganesha images
:
Two Ganesha images (Sasuvekalu and Kadalekalu) can be seen on the slopes of Hemakuta Hill. One of them is enclosed in a temple with unusually tall pillars, while the other is in an
open hall.



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