Hampi

A legendary lost city that was once the powerhouse of an ancient kingdom and an auspicious temple town standing on the banks of the mighty Tungabhadra river, history and mythology come to life in Hampi, Karnataka. A queen's bath, a spectacular Lotus Palace, a royal stable or a temple, which is said to have been the place where the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place, this UNESCO World Heritage site reveals a facet of history at every turn.

Albeit in ruins, the magnificent structures here stand in testimony to Hampi's rich past under the powerful Vijayanagara empire (1336 – 1646 AD). Hampi finds mention in the Hindu epic Ramayana as well. It is said to be the location of the monkey kingdom, Kishkindha. The grandiose site of Hampi was the last capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom, one of the most significant in southern India. Its rich kings built exquisite temples and palaces, which won the admiration of travellers between the 14th and 16th centuries. Though plundered later, Hampi still retains more than 1,600 monuments, including palaces, forts, memorial structures, temples, shrines, pillared halls, baths and gateways. The architectural ruins are set against a surreal landscape dotted with heaps of giant boulders perched precariously over kilometres of undulating terrain, attracting rock-climbers, trekkers and other adventure sport enthusiasts.

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