Hampi ( Karnataka, South Indian State )
A place of antiquity situated between two rocky mountains dating back to pre-historic times, the region is considered to be the Vanara Kingdom Kishkindha of the Ramayana epic. On one of the hills is the Fort consisting of a citadel guarded by outer lines of fortification.
HAMPI OR VIJAYNAGAR RUINS: Hampi is the world famous ruins of Vijaynagar kingdom considered as World Heritage Centre. It is the most beautiful and captivating ruins in Karnataka, fittingly called as the "Pompei of India". Founded in 1336 AD under the inspiring guidance of Vidyaranya, the Vijaynagar Empire reached its zenith of glory and prosperity until it fell in 1565 AD at the battle of Talikote. Covering an area of 10 square miles, it arouses unusual interest and curiosity in the visitors. Hampi is full of surprises. Lotus Mahal is a delightful two storeyed structure, a synthesis of both Hindu and Islamic culture. Elephant Stables is a row of eleven chambers which were once used for housing the elephants.
Two structures sheltering monolith boulders carved with Ganesha images are very popular among the tourists. One of them is enclosed in a temple while the other stands within an open hall. A little distance away is the celebrated Narsimha sculpture carved out of a single stone. Nearby is a chamber with a monolith Linga. The Krishna Temple, now in ruins, was once a cluster of shrines patronized by the famous king Krishnadeva Raya. Matanga Hill is the most commanding natural feature within the capital. Beneath the hill is the Kodandarama Temple commemorating the spot where Lord Rama crowned Sugriva after killing Bali. The Vitthal Temple complex, even in its ruins, represents the highest achievement of Vijaynagar art. To the east of the hall is the attractive stone chariot fashioned like a miniature shrine with wheels. Other important temples are the Raghunatha Temple and Hazara Rama Temple. Nearby is an enclosure usually called as Zenana, but which may have been used by the king himself.
VIRUPAKSHA TEMPLE: The temple of "Pampathi" popularly called "Virupaksha", dedicated to Lord Shiva- the dynastic deity of the Vijayanagar kings, is almost located in the midst of the Hampi ruins and is probably the only monument which has not been destroyed during the siege of the place by the Muslims. It has been pyramidal tower which is said to be the largest of its kind. The staircase inside to reach the top is built into the stone work. A part of the temple is older than the Vijaynagar kingdom itself.