The Peninsula Tour – Hampi

Next stop is Hampi. We are staying in the neighbouring area of Hospet. Even as we drive in we see monuments scattered all over the place. Some of them are simple pavilions, while others are elaborate temple like structures. This is true of Hospet, Hampi, Anegundi, Hirebenakal and every other place we visited.

Hampi has hills everywhere. comprised of delicately and well balanced rocks and boulders of all sizes, shapes and colour! Some of the formations are quite stunning. Between these hills, roads that connect towns are flanked by very very green paddy fields and coconut trees.

We checked in and immediately left to view the Archaeological Museum. The Museum was superb.

We visited an elaborate complex near the museum. Queen’s Bath, Hazara Rama, Elephant Stables, Zanana Enclosure, Stepped Well and the Royal Enclosure. There are massive high platforms built like ziggurats where the king held court, or entertained and rewarded his subjects. The superstructure, believed to be of sandalwood was completely gutted and all that is evident is the housing to locate pillars to suppport the roof. There is also evidence of a complex waterway and reservoirs, stables, queens quarters etc. Most of the structures that are near the queens quarters have an Islamic architectural influence.

We were invited to visit the ancestral home of Krishna Devaraya in Anegundi. The house has been restored by its current occupant, Shri Krishna Devaraya, a direct descendent of the late ruler. The restoration was very painstakingly done over several years and is very beautiful. Our conversation with Shri Devaraya was very engaging.

We then visited Onake Kindi that had a couple of caves. Here we saw cave paintings from the neolithic area. The once in a life time opportunity to see a cave painting was like a thrill that we cannot explain.

A very interesting spot is the remains of an old stone bridge across the Tungabhadra river. There are stone columns on either banks but the midsection is missing. the supports of the bridge have been buttressed with stone that has been housed into the vertical members. The rocks have been cut by creating a series of housings with wedges and splitting them with water. I am posting a picture of this below. Along the banks of the river there are interesting rock formations and various places from which the sunset looks spectacular. There are also landing sites along the banks for coracles, which are used for crossing.

We were told that there were more cave paintings and Dolmens that we could see at Hirebenakal. An early morning start led us to the base of a hillock accessible through paddy fields from where we started our climb. Our first stop was to see the cave paintings. Here one could see the entire canvas, clear in some places and faded due to to weather and water in other places. Climbing a little higher, the sight before us by surprise. There were several Dolmens all over. We were the only visitors at the site. The place is known to have sloth bears and leopards, but barring droppings and some pug marks, we didn’t come across any animals. We have a separate blog on the Dolmens and cave paintings that can be accessible here –

Hampi- Dolmens and Cave paintings

We then visited the Vijaya Vittala temple complex. While we were not allowed to listen to the musical columns, we did manage to get some pictures here. As in Badami and Patadakkal, we witnessed the scale models that the builders created before they actually created the main structures. The engineering design, the precision with which the structures are built leaves one wondering about the knowledge that existed centuries ago.

On our last day at Hampi, we were fortunate to see a recently excavated swimming pool close to the ancient Bhojanalaya. We visited the Virupaksha Temple complex and saw the Sasivekalu Ganesha, the Kadalekalu Ganesha, Hemakunta Hill temples, Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Badavilinga temple etc.. A blog on the temples is accessible here –

Several people made our visit to Hampi memorable. Chetan Shivaprasad, an architect in Hospet, took a day off to spend with us along with his father and son. Vijay Bellare, a young architect passionate about local architecture and a brilliant photographer, is the one who took us to see the Dolmens and cave paintings. His enthusiasm is amazing and we wish him success. We also enjoyed the company of our friends, Srinath and Mohan, and their friends, Bharti, Anupama and Nagaraj. New friends and a lot more that we are yet to see in Hampi will see us visiting Hampi in the near future.

9 thoughts on “The Peninsula Tour – Hampi

  1. I hope Hampi …but these are the BEST shots I have seen of this magnificent rocky architecture & ruins of the place !!!


  2. Brilliant coverage and breathtaking photography 😍.
    It must be great to be accompanied with such passionate personalities who are keeping the history alive


  3. You are lucky to have these people share this valuable information and accompany you. Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained. Wah


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