Hampi was a prosperous town of the Vijayanagar Kingdom that flourished in South India from the 14th to the 17th century A.D. It is said that diamonds and precious stones were once sold on the streets of Hampi. Situated on the banks of the River Tungabhadra, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site today and is famous for its ancient temples, palaces, and the ruins of an entire city waiting to be explored. The undulating rocky terrain of Hampi is dotted with the remains of the ancient city interspersed with thousands of giant boulders that seem to defy gravity. Spend a day exploring this open air museum.Highlights • Musical columns of Virupaksha temple • Stone chariot of Vittala temple • Underground temple of Lord Shiva • Mustard Ganesh and Peanut Ganesh temples • The King’s balance
You will be picked up from your hotel in Hospet and driven to the ancient town of Hampi, which is just 10 miles from Hospet.Once there, start your visit with the magnificent 15th Century Virupaksha temple. The temple is carved in stone and its walls and pillars are decorated with sculptures that depict scenes from Shiva’s life and episodes from the Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The outer pillars of the temple are said to produce music when tapped.Another temple famous for its magnificent architecture is the Vittala Temple. A giant chariot carved out of stone stands on the grounds of the temple complex. The temple has several pillared halls. The intricate carvings on the walls of the temple depict stories from Hindu mythology, the military conquests of King Krishnadevaraya and the daily life of the citizens of this glorious Empire.Visit the 14th century underground temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. The temple remains submerged in water for most part of the year. The reason why the temple was constructed several feet below the ground level is still not known.Spend the morning exploring other important temples like the Kodanda Rama temple, Achyutaraya temple, Yantrodharaka, Chakra Tirtha, Pattabhirama temple, Ganagitthi Jain Temple, Hazara Rama Temple, Ugra Narasimha, Badavi Linga, Krishna Temple and the intriguingly named Mustard Ganesh and Peanut Ganesh temples.Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (own expense).After lunch explore the area around the Old Bazaar and the Royal Center. Visit the old scaffold and the King’s balance on which the Kings of the Vijayanagar Empire were weighed in gold, silver and precious stones that were then distributed to the poor. The elephant stables are another interesting sight amidst the ruins. Visit the Lotus Mahal, the Watchtower, the Queen’s Bath, Mahanavami Dibba (a giant 3-storeyed royal platform), Aqueduct, the Secret Chamber, the King’s Audience Hall and the open shower. At the end of the tour, you will be driven back to Hospet and dropped off at your hotel.