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Hampi, a village in northern Karnataka state is the core area of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565.Traditionally known as Pampa-kshetra, Kishkinda-kshetra or Bhaskara-kshetra is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose southern banks the city is built.

The name "Hampi" is an anglicized version of the Kannada Hampe (derived from Pampa). Over the years, it has also been referred to as Vijayanagara and Virupakshapura (from Virupaksha, the patron deity of the Vijayanagara rulers). Dotted around the hills and valleys are 500 plus monuments. Among them are beautiful temples, basements of palaces, remains of aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings.

It is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river and is 353 km from Bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary. Hosapete(Hospet), 13 km away, is the nearest railway head. Mantralayam,which is also on the banks of Tunghabhadra, in AP is around 150 kms away. The major industries of the village are agriculture, the support of the Virupaksha temple and some other local holy places in the vicinity, and tourism. The annual Vijayanagar Festival is organized by the Government of Karnataka in November.

Important sites at and near Hampi: Hemakuta group of temples, Achyutaraya Temple/Tiruvengalanatha Temple, Preksha temple and groups, Anegondi, Anjeyanadri Hill, Aqueducts and Canals, Archaeological Museum at Kamalapura, BadavaLinga, Chandramauleshwar Temple, The Kings’ balance, The Underground Shiva Temple, Tungabhadra River, UddanaVeerabhadra temple, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha, Virupaksha Temple, Vittala temple, YeduruBasavanna, YantrodharakaAnjaneya temple, Zenana enclosure, Virupapura, SasivekaluGanesha, KadalekaluGanesha, Elephant stables, Lotus temple, Hazara Rama Temple, Lake (Near sanapur), Muslim Sunni masjid etc.

Photography: [Divakar Hiriyadka]

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