A Great Southern Empire
The Vijaynagara Empire flourished in Southern India for more than 200 years, and at its height, its borders stretched from present-day Konkan coast to the tip of the sub-continent and along the Eastern coast covering most of present-day Andhra Pradesh. The name of the empire stems from its capital, which stands today in Hampi, in the modern Indian state of Karnataka. Hampi was considered one of the largest cities in the world during the medieval era, and considered by many experts, to have been the richest in India.
Rebirth of the Ruins
Today, Hampi is an enigma. The accounts of this site can be found in the works of major historians who chronicled this golden age. The architecture that one can witness in the ruins of Hampi lives on in the rest of the region, a blueprint of sorts for the modern temple architecture of South India.
A Trip Back in Time
Bangalore represents the modern glory of the region, its architecture defined by steel and glass, and the city beats with a cosmopolitan heart. A trip to Hampi would take the informed traveller back to a time when the region was a similar hub of commerce and culture, and its architecture blended the best of the previous dynasties. Bangalore to Hampi is a 7-hour journey along the NH48. An early start is recommended, so the travelling contingent can spend some time exploring some stops on the way. Tumkur is a town where travelers can catch a break and enjoy some local cuisine along with a hot cup of tea.
A Sprawling Complex of Architecture
Upon reaching Hampi, visitors will be greeted by an expansive rocky landscape, with the river Tungabhadra one of the defining natural landmarks. To cover the entire set of monuments that Hampi comprises will take some effort. There are around 1600 of them listed, spread across the terrain.
Highlights of Hampi
The Virupaksha temple is not only the main tourist site in Hampi but it is also an active place of worship. A Nandi Bull carved from a monolith is one of the many highlights in this part of Hampi. The Krishna Temple and its adjoining ruins showcase the scale of the Vijaynagar capital. The roads of the capital were wide enough to provide a thoroughfare for chariots. The Tiruvengalanatha temple is another important section of the ruins. The major temples of Hampi are surrounded by market squares, conjuring images of 15th-century hustle and bustle in the imaginative traveler’s mind. The modern Hampi Utsav is a recurring festival that celebrates the history of this place. The sound and light shows have garnered good reviews.
An experience like this is best enjoyed on one’s own terms. Adventurous travelers choose self drive cars over chauffeured cabs for more freedom and privacy. With a rental, one can take detours and add some spontaneity to the itinerary. For those who look for self drive car rentals Bangalore has many top choices. Zoomcar offers a wide range of car choices at affordable rates and is perfect for a long journey like Hampi.
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