Tidbits of history that makeup Hampi
Hampi was the cradle of the mighty Vijayanagar Empire ruled by the magnanimous king Krishnadevaraya. Visit this intriguing city and it’ll look like someone spilt a glass of history all over the place. With all the structures dipped in shades of brown and ochre, the Vijayanagar architecture is bound to leave you awe-inspired. Founded way, way back in the very 1st century, Hampi is easily one of the oldest standing cities in India. The history that paints this city brown is what people come to see from far off lands.
Here are a few bits and pieces of historical facts about Hampi that will surely enrich your visit:
The Musical Pillars!
Our favourite architecture marvel in all of Hampi, we still don’t know if these pillars were just a freak accident or pure ingenuity! The music pillars are 56 pillars in the main hall of the Vitthala temple. Strike a pillar with a stone or stick to see what sound it emits! The main hall of the temple came to life back in the day with dancers embellishing the centre, and mellifluous tunes flooding the temple. It is believed that maybe this was the reason for placing these amazing pillars here! Close your eyes and try imagining the area around you thumping with music and fervour.
Hampi: A world-class international trade centre
Did you know that Hampi was the second-largest medieval city and a trading giant in the 14th and 15th centuries? The Hampi Bazaar is living proof of the amazing spectacle that took place every single day back then. Textiles, exotic spices, shiny precious stones and jewels were on the table for your taking back in the day. People from all over the continent flocked to Hampi to get a taste of quality products that were nothing but rare at that time.
Virupaksha temple is one of the oldest of temples to exist
Is then one of those temples you see on glossy travel magazine covers? Precisely! The bold, intricate architecture of the Virupaksha temple is astounding. A battle survivor, this temple has withstood a number of wars waged upon the Vijayanagar empire. It has always been and still is, the people’s rock in ill-times. This 7th-century engineering legerdemain is indeed the rock heart of the city.
Mark of Sugreeva’s presence in Hampi
A footprint from mythology, a natural cave is situated on the banks of a river that is believed to be the former abode of the mighty monkey warrior, Sugreeva. Apparently, this was the place where Sugreeva used to stash away all the jewellery that Sita dropped as she was being abducted by Ravana. One shall find coloured patterns at the rock in local parlance, which depicts the pattern of Sita’s saree.
Ramayana relics that you might not notice
The stories of Ramayana are embossed on the walls of the Hazara Rama temple, another architectural wonder. The outer walls give a glimpse into the past as you can see stone depictions of grand processions of caparisoned horses or elephants along with myriad-coloured dancers. These rare-found relics are one of their kind in all of India.