Hampi is a popular destination for holidays, and its popularity is increasing every year. Often on our holidays, we visit a place but there is so much we don’t know about it. For example, did you know that Hampi is also a UNESCO World Heritage site? If you are planning to travel to Hampi, here are some things to know. These are lesser-known facts about Hampi that will make your trip more enjoyable. It will make your trip so much more fun!
Why should you Travel To Hampi?!
1. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hampi was a central part of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire. It was actually the capital city of the Empire, dating back to the 14th century. Hampi has a deep cultural heritage. At one point it was probably the richest city in India, and the second largest city after Beijing, in the medieval era. Sadly, by 1565, Hampi was pillaged and destroyed by Muslim Sultanates. To the extent that even today, Hampi is called the City of Ruins. These ruins are spread over an area of 16 square miles. According to UNESCO, it contains over 1600 remains of “forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures, and others”. Most of the ruins are located in the northern region of the city, but you’ll find small structures and ruins all over the city.
2. The main city is relatively untouched by modernity.
When you travel to Hampi, you might notice that the main city of Hampi is devoid of modernization. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986, and hence preservation is the main goal. Continuous restoration attempts are happening in the area, and modern additions are very limited. The goal is to maintain the authenticity of the ruins and remains. When you travel to Hampi, a must visit site is the Virupaksha Temple. The temple is dedicated to the main deity of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire and was built in the 8th century. Another well-known temple is the Vittal temple.
3. Hampi dates back to 1 CE.
Terracotta seals and Brahmin inscriptions belonging to the 2nd century CE have been excavated here. Rock Edicts of King Ashoka have also been discovered, leading experts to believe that Hampi was once under the influence of the Mauryan Empire at around 3rd century CE. Inscriptions dating between the 6th and 8th century CE also mention the town of Hampi. When you travel to Hampi, you’ll notice the signs of this rich cultural heritage everywhere. Hampi is a beautiful juxtaposition of deep culture and modern holidaying options. No wonder it’s such a popular destination for travelers!
4. The culture still prevails.
The people of Hampi still have a strong connection to their beautiful heritage. Culture and arts are still a very important part of their culture. Till date, they have preserved music halls and theatres where concerts and plays used to take place. When you travel to Hampi, you will notice that people are very proud of their heritage. Even if you’re going for a backpacking trip or a leisurely holiday, these places are definitely worth a visit. It shows the beauty of the country we live in and its rich history.
5. Hampi Bazaar has been around since the Vijayanagara Empire.
When you travel to Hampi, you’ll definitely come across the Hampi Bazaar. It is near the Virupaksha temple and is a popular destination for travelers and tourists. In olden times, it was a bustling shopping center and marketplace. When you visit the Hampi Bazaar, you might notice the ancient pavilions still standing there, a reminder of the long history of the bazaar. It was once the capital of a huge Empire and one of the richest cities in the world. The marketplace used to be a busy spot for trading precious silks, gemstones, jewelry and many other things of beauty and rarity.
Though the volume and glory of the trade and market may have diminished, the current day bazaar is still a great place to visit. You will find a lot of artifacts, souvenirs, antiques, and handicrafts. Especially during the Hampi Utsav, the market is the place to be. There are many tourists during this season too. There is also a wonderful flea market you can visit during your stay there. It’s wonderful to be able to take a bit of history back home with you.
6. Their architecture was unparalleled.
After reading some of the facts about Hampi above, it should come as no surprise that the architecture of Hampi was absolutely fascinating. In fact, when you travel to Hampi and visit the ruins, you should try to go with a knowledgeable guide. It is such a popular destination that you might think you’ll be able to do just fine on your own. However, there is such a wealth of culture, history, legend, and heritage here; it is best to go with an expert. It will add another level of enrichment to your trip.
For example, at one point, diamonds used to be sold on the street. This street was called the Pan Supaari Street, and you can see it even today. The Archaeological Society of India has preserved and marked this street. Another great place to visit is the Vittal Temple. The outer pillars of the temple produce music when they are tapped on. They are popularly known as Musical Pillars.
What’s your favorite fact about Hampi? Maybe it’s something we haven’t heard of before! Do share them with us in the comments below. If you want us to help create a wonderful journey for you, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.