Hampi – History etched in Stone


Hampi – History etched in Stone


Hampi is where; if you listen very, very carefully, the wind whispers tales from a long bygone era and stones sing stories from history.

Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site situated on the banks of the river Tungabhadra in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. It is about 353 kilometers from Bangalore. Hampi is considered as one of the seven wonders of India.

If you love history and historical monuments then Hampi is the place to spend a couple of days walking and exploring the ruins of the once thriving and magnificent city of Vijayanagara which around 1500 AD had a massive army of close to a million men.

We stayed at Hotel Malligi situated in Hospet which is about 13 Kilometers away from Hampi.

We spent a couple of days leisurely exploring the ruins of this once magnificent city on foot and was fascinated by what we discovered, though we must say one must be ready to do quite a bit of walking to explore the place. In fact, when we walked around the ruins of Hampi, we were reminded of another trip on another day which involved a lot of walking to explore history, and that was Rome!!

Hampi, in its hey days, had seven layers of fortification to protect itself against marauding invaders, today the innermost one which enclosed the city is the one whose condition is best preserved. The ruins of the city include buildings from places of worship to palaces, from civil and military offices to stables for elephants and community amphitheaters.

Some of the sights that you should definitely not miss when you are exploring Hampi are:

Vittala Temple

This is one of the famous temples in Hampi and its grandeur will take your breath away, in this very temple complex stands the iconic stone chariot. The temple complex is also home to the amazing musical pillars. In bygone times the road that led to the temple housed markets on both sides, even today you can see the remnants of the market place.
Hampi – History etched in Stone

Hazara Rama Temple Complex

Do not miss this temple complex for here is where you will see elaborate carvings and inscriptions which tell the stories from the Ramayana, one of the most important works of Hindu mythology.
Hampi - History etched in Stone

Lotus Mahal inside the Zenana Enclosure

The Lotus Mahal or Lotus Palace is a beautiful structure built out of a composition of brick and Lime mortar. It is remarkable to notice that it has survived the ravages of time and still retains its grandeur. The structure’s name is derived from the beautiful shape it has taken because of its archways and domed balconies, that of a half opened lotus bud. Though the actual function of the Lotus Mahal is not known, it is surmised that it would have been a community area for the womenfolk of the royal family. The architectural style of this structure seamlessly blends the best of Islamic and Hindu styles. Outside the Lotus Mahal is a large lawn which affords excellent photo opportunities to click your very own selfie with this grand structure.

Hampi – History etched in Stone

The Narasimha Statue

This is the largest statue in Hampi, carved out of a single rock. It is the statue of the Hindu God Narasimha which means Half Man and Half Lion. This imposing statue is sadly damaged, however it has lost none of its grandeur. It towers over the ruins of Hampi with an imposing height of 6.7 meters.
Hampi – History etched in StoneKadalekalu Ganesha Statue

This statue of the Hindu Elephant God is 4.5 meters tall and is housed in a beautiful pillared hall. The hall itself is a delight with its carved pillars and offers a wonderful view of the ruins of Hampi because of its elevation. The statue derives its name from the fact that the stomach of Ganesha is shaped like a Kadalekalu (Bengal Gram).
Hampi - History etched in Stone

There are many, many more such beautiful creations of stone waiting for you in Hampi, Every turn has an awe inspiring surprise in store. Some of the other sights that should not be missed are Virupaksha Temple, Hemakuta Temple Complex, Achyutaraya Temple, Elephant stables, Shivalinga, Stepped tank, Sasavekalu Ganesha, Dasara Dibba and many more. 

The sun was setting casting an orange haze across the silent ruins of Hampi as we made our way back, stopping and glancing back to this beautiful place where time stood frozen for eternity.

Hampi – History etched in Stone

Hampi – History etched in Stone



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46 thoughts on “Hampi – History etched in Stone

  1. Dang Travelers Reply

    Having so manu ruins to see in one place (with lots of walking) reminds me of Pompeii. Have you been and if so, are they similar? The stonework in Hampi is very different and beautiful! We hope to see it one day.

    • imvoyager Reply

      Pompeii is in our bucket list. We missed it in our last trip to Rome. You should definitely plan a visit Hampi. The architecture is marvellous. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Hampi – History etched in Stone | Tripeasel Blog

  3. Marta Reply

    What a fabulous place! I love historical sites but, to my shame, I must confess I didn’t know about Hampi. Thank you for making me discover such an interesting place. I have only been to the North of India and I can see how a trip to the South should be added to my plans 🙂

    • Voyager Reply

      Thank you Marta for checking. 🙂 Hampi is an absolute wonder. Apart from Hampi, South India had many other historical sites that are lovely. So you should plan a visit.

  4. Sabine Reply

    The buildings that people used to build are really amazing. This one looks really pretty and huge. I must say I had never heard of it before, at least now I can include it in my must see places 🙂

  5. Ami Reply

    Hampi is my favorite destination . Vittala temple is on top of my list. I can keep visiting this place over and over again. Check out my account as well 😀

  6. Rob Taylor Reply

    This is such an incredible (and complex) site. Can’t wait to visit! Such different art there and really fascinating structures.

  7. Holly Reply

    Wow this place looks gorgeous! I love exploring old temples and ruins. Have you ever been to Izmir in Turkey? I highly recommend the Ephesus ruins!

    • Voyager Reply

      We too love history, sculpture, architecture. Izmir is on our bucket list. Thanks Holly. 🙂

  8. Rob Taylor Reply

    I have a healthy obsession with Hampi. There are such amazing pieces of art and architecture. I look forward to exploring it on my own someday, with no time restraints… just me.

  9. Tatiana Bastos Reply

    I’ve been to all of these temples, and these photos made me miss them sooo much! 🙂 But what I loved in Hampi where the rice fields and the Monkey Temple… It was probably my favorite place in South India. 🙂

  10. Travel Pockets Reply

    I have not been to a monument where it takes days to explore. I can only imagine how massive it is. I’m still trying to imagine the massive army of a million! Also good to know that there is a hotel that is not too far away from Hampi.

  11. Cori Reply

    What a beautiful place! I’ll have to add it to my list of places to go when I finally travel to India.

  12. Chantell Collins Reply

    These ruins are incredible and really quite well preserved! They must be huge if it took you a few days to explore them all. I had never heard of Hampi before but it it easy to see why it’s a UNESCO site worth visiting 🙂

  13. JM Reply

    I have never heard about Hampi but it looks really exquisite. A kind of place that i would like to visit. Great photos as well!

  14. Amanda Williams Reply

    I absolutely love Hampi and spent a fair bit of time there way back in 1997/98. It doesn’t look like it has changed too much. The stone chariot is my favourite feature. It is amazing how these sculptures and buildings have survived the test of time.

  15. runawaybrit Reply

    I LOVE your opening line: ‘the wind whispers tales from a long bygone era and stones sing stories from history’, it sums up so much of India! I have been living in India for the past two years, but I didn’t get to Hampi – India is just so huge. It would take a lifetime to explore India fully. Your pictures are lovely.

  16. Laura @ Grassroots Nomad Reply

    I love Amanda’s comment that the area hasn’t changed over the last 10 years or so – it means they must be doing a great job of protecting the area. The architecture is gorgeous, especially the Kadalekalu Ganesha Statue.

  17. Wren Reply

    Such amazing photos! It all looks so breathtakingly beautiful. I would love to travel to places such as this someday.

  18. Heather Reply

    I’m amazed at the dwellings that were made back then. It’s almost hard to believe they were able to make them and that they’ve been able to withstand time and the elements all these years.

  19. Krysten Reply

    This place sounds like a really interesting place to visit. I would love it because of it’s history.
    Random question, but when was the last time that Hampi was inhibited?

  20. Elizabeth O. Reply

    Places with a rich history are one of the best places to go to! This is awesome and it would be nice to see the temples up close. Hampi is such a beautiful place to visit.

  21. Lisa Rios Reply

    India is one of those favorite Asian countries that I would love to visit & explore their culture. Hampi sounds amazing with a lot of history behind and it is good to hear that it is a a UNESCO world heritage site as well.

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