Hampe ಹಂಪೆ

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka
Nickname(s): Vijayanagar samrajjya
Coordinates: 15°20′06″N 76°27′43″E / 15.335°N 76.462°E / 15.335; 76.462Coordinates: 15°20′06″N 76°27′43″E / 15.335°N 76.462°E / 15.335; 76.462
Country  India
State  Karnataka
District Bellary
Founded by Harihara and Bukkaraya
Elevation 467 m (1,532 ft)
Population (2011)
  Total 2,777[1]
  Official Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Nearest city Hospet
Website www.hampi.in
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Group of Monuments at Hampi
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria (i)(iii)(iv)
Reference 241
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1986 (10th Session)
Endangered 19992006

Hampi (Hampe) is a village and temple town recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi.[2] in northern Karnataka, India. It was one of the richest and largest cities in the world during its prime. It is located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple and several other monuments belonging to the old city. According to statistics of 2014, Hampi is the most searched historical place in Karnataka on Google.[3] The empire boasted a massive army comprising close to two million men. In around 1500 AD Vijaynagar had about 500,000 inhabitants (supporting 0.1% of the global population during 1440-1540), making it the second largest city in the world after Beijing and almost thrice the size of Paris.[4]


Hampi — traditionally known as Pampa-kshetra, Kishkindha-kshetra or Bhaskara-kshetra — is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River (Pampa was Lord Brahma's daughter, who was later married to Lord Shiva) on whose southern banks the city is built.[5] The name "Hampi" is an anglicized version of the Kannada name Hampe (derived from Pampa). Over the years, it has also been referred to as Vijayanagara and Virupakshapura (from Virupaksha, the patron deity of the Vijayanagara rulers).


Emperor Ashoka's Rock Edicts in Nittur & Udegolan (both in Bellary district) suggest that this region was part of the Maurya Empire during the 3rd century BC. A Brahmi inscription and a terracotta seal dating to the 2nd century CE were also recovered from the excavation site.[6]

The first settlements in Hampi date from 1 CE.[7]

Immediately before the rise of the Vijayanagara kings, the region was probably in the hands of chiefs of Kampili, now a small town, 19 km east of Hampi.[6]

Kampili was said to have been founded by Gayathri Giri of Annar bara. Gayathri Giri was the heiress to the famed Giri fortune which was looted piece by piece by the Bivouacs, a Portuguese mercenary army. Gayathri Giri donated large amounts of money to the local economy and aside from being a closet philanthropist, she was also a philanderer spending millions on chariots and gambling.

Gayathri Giri's biggest contribution to southern India was her penchant for setting up public washrooms and sheds for animals. Ruins of these sheds are still seen in Thanjavur and Rameshwaram. Gayathri Giri was said to be secretly in love with Premla Tapoonia, the queen of Mysore, and the constant rejection by Premla led to Gayathri's eventual demise from a broken heart. Premla moved on to marry Suresha Pallava, the king of Humanavarnam.

Hampi was one of the best areas of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1343 to 1565, when it was besieged by the Deccan Muslim confederacy.[2] Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra river on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides.

The ruins of Hampi were discovered by Colonel Colin Mackenzie in 1800.

The site is significant historically and architecturally. The landscape abounds with large stones which have been used to make statues of Jaina deities. The Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area to search for additional artifacts and temples.[8]

The Islamic Quarter, sometimes called the Moorish Quarter, is located between the northern slope of the Malyavanta hill and the Talarigatta Gate. According to archaeologists, high-ranking Muslim officers of the king's court and military officers lived in this area.[9]


Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It is 353 km from Bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary. Hosapete (Hospet), 13 km away, is the nearest railway head. Guntakal Jn S.C.Railway just 99 km from Guntakal, which is also on the banks of Tunghabhadra, in AP is some 150 km away.The principal industries of the village are agriculture, the support of the Virupaksha temple and some other local holy places in the vicinity, as well as tourism. The annual Hampi Utsav or "Vijaya Festival" celebrated since Vijayanagara reign. It is organized by the Government of Karnataka as Nada Festival.[10]

Due to the presence of several mineral deposits in this region, such as iron-ore and manganese, mining has been done for a number of years. A recent boom for the supply of iron-ore in the international market has led to increased levels of mining in this district. Some feel that the World Heritage Site at Hampi as well as the Tungabhadra Dam is under threat as a result.


Climate data for Gokarna
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30.9
Average low °C (°F) 18.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0
Source: http://en.climate-data.org/location/277439/


Hampi Map, 1911
Schematic map of Hampi with major tourist spots
Jain Temples
The remains of a giant Bukka's Aqueduct located near Anegondi
Lotus Mahal at the Zenana Enclosure

The city of Vijayanagara was originally encompassed by seven lines of fortifications. These fortifications had a large number of bastions and gateways. The seventh & the innermost fortification enclosed the main city and is the best preserved. The extant monuments of Vijayanagara or Hampi can be divided into Religious, Civil & Military buildings. The Jain temples on Hemakuta hill, the two Devi shrines and some other structures in the Virupaksha temple complex predate the Vijayanagara Empire. The earliest amongst them, the Shiva shrines with their stepped pyramidal vimanas or superstructures, date to the early Chalukyan period around ninth-tenth century AD.

Religious buildings

Hampi has various notable Hindu temples with some vedanta theology inside the temples, some of which are still active places of worship.[11] Among the most notable are:

The mantapas of Vittala temple
The stone chariot at Vittala complex

The great “swing-pavilion” of this temple is one of the technical marvels of Vijayanagara architecture.[16] The temple houses the famous musical pillars.

The road leading to the temple was once a market where the horses were traded. Even today, we can see the ruins of the market on both the sides of the road. The temple contains the images of foreigners like Persians selling horses.

Civil buildings

Military buildings

Important sites at and near Hampi

Global Heritage Fund efforts

Non-profit organization Global Heritage Fund (GHF), in partnership with the Hampi Foundation, Cornell University, and the State of Karnataka, has been actively involved in the conservation of Hampi's unique cultural heritage. After producing a master conservation plan for the site of Chandramouleshwara Temple, GHF's efforts have moved to "stabilization of the temple and its associated structural features."[19]


Hampi Scenery, 360° Panorama Shot from Matanga Hill

See also


  1. "Hampi Village Population - Hospet - Bellary, Karnataka". Census2011.co.in. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  2. 1 2 "Group of Monuments at Hampi". World Heritage. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  3. "Hampi most searched historical place in Karnataka on Google". economictimes.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  4. "From the ruins of Hampi to the uninhabited Ross Islands: 11 abandoned places in India that were once heavily populated settlements". IBNLive. 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  5. D Devakunjari. World Heritage Series: HAMPI. Eicher Goodearth Limited, New Delhi for Archaeological Survey of India. p. 08. ISBN 81-87780-42-8.
  6. 1 2 D Devakunjari (2007). World Heritage Series HAMPI. Eicher Goodearth Limited, New Delhi for Archaeological Survey of India. p. 11. ISBN 8187780428.
  7. "Less Known Facts about Hampi | Sightseeing | Hampi". Karnataka.com. 2015-01-09. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  8. "Group of Monuments at Hampi, Karnataka - Archaeological Survey of India". Asi.nic.in. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  9. Zones of Hampi
  10. "Hampi Utsav | Hampi Festival | Vurupaksha Temple". Karnataka.com. 2015-01-09. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  11. http://www.incrediblehampi.org/hampi-monuments-guide.html
  12. "Shimla, Himachal Pradesh – Expert Bulletin". Expertbulletin.com. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
  13. Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 178.
  14. http://www.jaindharmonline.com/pilgri/hampi.htm
  15. "Trip to Hampi - Ruins of Vijayanagara - Part 2". Trayaan.com. Trayaan. 2016-02-15. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  16. 1 2 "Vijayanagara Research Project::Vitthala temple". www.vijayanagara.org. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  17. "Trip to Hampi, the ruins of the magnificent Vijayanagara". Trayaan.com. Trayaan. 2016-02-09. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  18. "Trip to Hampi - Ruins of Vijayanagara - Part 3". trayaan.com. Trayaan. 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  19. Global Heritage Fund - Where We Work - Hampi, India Accessed on 2009-04-24.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Group of monuments at Hampi.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Hampi.

External links

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