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Info And Facts, Hampi

About Hampi

Hampi, are one of the most fascinating historical sites in south India. The superb ruins are set in a strange and beautiful boulderstrewn  landscape which has an almost magical quality.
Hampi has become a thriving travelers center and most people stay at least a couple of days to soak up the atmosphere and explore the area. If you're in a hurry, you can see the main sites in one day, either by bicycle or on foot. Signposting in some parts of the site is inadequate, but you can't really get lost. It's not wise to wander around the ruins alone at dawn or dusk, since occasional muggings occur. There are two points of entry to the ruins. Hampi Bazaar and the small village of Kamalapuram to the south. Most people prefer to start in Hampi Bazaar and walk of cycle to the main sites and then visit the museum at Kamalapuram. From Kamalapuram there are buses back to Hampi Bazaar (and to Hospet), or you can walk back along the road to Hampi Bazaar in about 40 minutes. There are restaurants in Hampi Bazaar and Kamalapuram, as well as a few soft drink and snack vendors at key monuments.

Population

930

Telephone Code

08394

Season  

Can be visited year-round but its best between September and March.


History

Hampi is identified with the historical Kishkindha, the Vanara (monkey) kingdom mentioned in the Ramayana. The first historical settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE.
Hampi formed one of the cores of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565, when it was finally laid siege to by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. 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 site is significant historically and architecturally. The topography abounds with large stones which have been utilized to make larger than life statues of Hindu deities. A structure of historic importance appears every quarter of a mile. The Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area, to discover additional artifacts and temples.

Geography

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. The chief languages spoken are Kannada and Telugu. The principal industries of the village are agriculture, the support of the Virupaksha temple and some other local holy places in the vicinity, and tourism. The annual Vijayanagar Festival is organized by the Government of Karnataka in November.
Due to the presence of several mineral deposits in this region (iron-ore, manganese), mining has been going on for many years now. But a recent boom for the supply of iron-ore in the international market has led to excessive mining in this district. The World Heritage Site at Hampi as well as the Tungabhadra Dam are now under threat.

FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

Hampi is famous for Purandara Festival. This annual festival is held in January-February in the Vittal temple to celebrate the birth anniversary of the medieval poet-composer, Purandar.