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Hampi – A Small Village with Great Religious Significance
About Hampi
Located in the northern part of Karnatak is the laid back village of Hampi, which is also known for being the last known capital of the Vijaynagar Empire. The village is still considered to be a major religious center, due to the various historical temples that are located here. In addition, the village also houses several other monuments which have made it a place of great historical and architectural significance. The place has also been declared a World heritage Site by UNESCO and is one f the few places that has inhabited since as early as the 1 CE.

Important Historical Sites
Virupaksha Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Virupaksha temple is amongst the most popular temples of Hampi. Located near the banks of River Tungabhadra, this temple has great religious significance because it is one of those few oldest temples which are still operational. Established in the 7th century, the grandeur of the temple was gradually enhanced by the various Hindu rulers of the region. The walls of the temple are beautifully decorated with the carvings of different genres, each of which has a unique story to tell.  The temple also features numerous other shrines, prominent among which are those of Virupaksha and sage Vidyaranya.            

Vittala Temple: Constructed in the 15th century AD, the Vittala temple is the most famous tourist spot of Hampi. Renowned for its splendid architecture, the temple feature a vast compound bounded by walls having towers for gateways.  Dedicated to Vittala, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the temple campus also houses numerous other shrines, pavilions and halls. Vitalla is the primary deity of cattle herd community and the temple compound still features the remains of a town called Vittalapura. The main attraction of the Vittala Temple is its main hall with 56 pillars that elicit musical sounds when they are struck.  Other major attractions are the huge stone chariot as well as the numerous stone sculptures carved on the pillars.

Mahanavami Dibba: This structure, which consists of three layers, is the tallest building in Hampi. Two sets of stair cases lead to the top, where visitors can see the carvings of animals such as elephants and horses on the front side. The back side of the structure, which again features two sets of stairs, is not as beautifully decorated as the front side. The front stairs are used to reach the top of the structure for a majestic view of the entire village of Hampi, and then climb down from the back stairs. The structure was constructed by King Krishnadevaraya, after he won the battle of Udayagiri, and was used mainly for viewing the army processions and other celebrations, the most prominent among them being the Navarathri celebrations.

Narasimha Temple: Located on the Gandhamadana hill that faces River Tungabhadra River, the Narasimha temple is also known by the name of Jain temple due to its roof being constructed in the Jain architectural style. The temple is devoid of any idols, which makes it difficult to determine the presiding deity of the temple. However, it is commonly believed that the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, since there are carvings of this Hindu God on the walls and doors of the temple, along with those of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.

Underground Temple: This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, was constructed several meters below the ground.  Due t its underground location the, temple was mostly inundated with water and hence the entry to its sanctum was almost always restricted. The temple also features a water canal system which has currently dried up, but irrespective of that reaching the inner sanctum is not always possible. .


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