The City of Ruins – Ancient City of Hampi

Updated on Dec 20, 2023 | Indian e-Visa

Telling stories of India from a thousand years ago are the ruins of the city of Hampi, one of country’s most well known UNESCO Heritage sites, dating back to the period of 14th century Vijayanagara empire.

The city of Hampi, today left with its ruins spread on vast stretches of land, although looks abandoned from outside, but the architecture and art from the city speaks volumes to this day. Belonging to the medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagara, the sculptures and monuments spread across Hampi, offer an excellent display of workmanship from the past.

The forgotten city finally comes to life as its ruins reflect the greatness of ancient India from its every corner and stone.

History Speaks

The ancient city of Hampi located in southern India, in the state of Karnataka, was one of the main centers of the 14th century Deccan empire and was considered as the greatest, richest city of its time. Ruins of temples and market complexe located by the Tungabhadra river of south India were one the busiest and most developed places of the 14th century. The city attracted traders and explorers from Persia and Europe, making it the largest city of its time after Beijing.

The Vijayanagara empire was established as the result of coalition formed among the south Indian kingdoms to wave off the incoming Muslim invasions of the time. As a result of invasions from Muslim sultanates the empire was left barren, with only a few ruins of Hampi visible today, telling centuries old great stories of their times.

Places to Explore in Hampi

Although known as the city of ruins, the centuries old remains of Hampi have numerous temples and majestic structures located at every corner of this forgotten land. The temples have the most intricate details on their walls, with a display of fabulous architecture of the Vijayanagara empire, which became a foundation for Hindu temple structures of the later times, considering that many temples around the country were constructed with the same architectural style from this time.

Hampi, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a cluster of temple ruins located at its center. Some temples located within the site are older than the city itself, with many dating as far back as the 7th century. As one goes through the ruins of the city, every aspect of royal life of the times can be sensed, from the royal courts and chambers, to markets and gardens located by the palaces.

The famous Queen's bath, located in one of the palace’s, is one such place decorated with beautiful windows and embellished roofs, reminding the feeling of ancient royalty. As you go from palace to palace, it would be almost like going back in time and taking a walk through ancient India!


Coffee Farms of Chikmagalur

Besides exploring the city of Hampi itself, there are numerous things to do around, including a visit to the Archeological Museum, which is a site of artifacts from the ancient city with heaps of lessons from history. The Archeological Museum of Hampi, located a few kilometers away from the ruined city has many sculptors collected from the historic site.

Other things to explore around the place include a ride through coracle, a rounded traditional boat used in many parts of South Asia or it might appear more like a basket floating in the river. It will not be a usual boat ride!

Located at some distance from Chikmagalur, which is one of southern India’s beautiful hill stations, begins a journey to India’s most dense side, the Western ghats. Chikmagalur is home to amazing trails through forests and grasslands with a scenic hill station of K.R. Hills, with many attractions of dense jungles, rose gardens and mountain streams.

As an adventure enthusiast there are various jungle paths to explore the views as far as the dense forests of Western Ghats. Known as India’s own coffee kingdom, Chikmagalur which in local language means ‘daughter’s town’, can be best explored through a visit to one of its resorts located amidst the beautiful greens.

Even among the ruins dating back a thousand years ago, the city of Hampi is a peek into the rich history of India and as traveller it is definitely a place worth taking a walk around, with many beautiful attractions all around the city.

As you travel along this stone architecture from the past, colours of India would surely come to life, singing the songs of its golden past. Now this could be a good rhyme to say it all!

With its numerous coffee farms, Chikmagalur has a constant scent of coffee in the air. Chikmagalur is a famous tourist destination and a brief vacation for international visitors, known for its steep mountains, rich green woods, and calm environment.

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