Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city.
The name is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose 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).
Hampi formed one of the cores of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565, when it was finally laid siege to by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra river on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides.
The site is significant historically and architecturally. The topography abounds with large stones which have been utilized to make larger than life statues of Hindu deities. A structure of historic importance appears every quarter of a mile. The Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area, to discover additional artifacts and temples.
Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. It is 353 km from Bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary. Hosapete (Hospet), 13 km away, is the nearest railway head. The chief languages spoken are Kannada and Telugu. The principal industries of the village areagriculture, 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.
Due to the presence of several mineral deposits in this region (iron-ore, manganese), mining has been going on for many years now. But a recent boom for the supply of iron-ore in the international market has led to excessive mining in this district. The World Heritage Site at Hampi as well as the Tungabhadra Dam are now under threat.
Important sites at and near Hampi
- Achyutaraya Temple/Tiruvengalanatha Temple
- Akka Tangi Gudda
- Anjeyanadri Hill
- Aqueducts and Canals
- Archaeological Museum at Kamalapura
- Badava Linga
- Chandramauleshwar Temple
- The Kings’ balance
- The Underground Temple
- Tungabhadra River
- Uddana Veerabhadra temple
- Ugra Narasimha
- Virupaksha Temple
- Vittala temple
- Yeduru Basavanna
- Yentrodharaka Anjaneya temple
- Zenana enclosure
- Madhavan Palace with more than 1,000,000 pillars
- Sasivekalu Ganesha
- Elephant stables
- Lotus temple
Hampi has various notable Hindu temples, some of which are still active places of worship. Most notable ones are:Virupaksha Temple complex: Also known as the Pampapathi temple, it is a Shiva temple situated in the Hampi Bazaar. It predates the founding of the Vijayanagar empire. The temple has a 160-foot (49 m) high tower at its entrance. Apart from Shiva, the temple complex also contains shrines of the Hindu goddesses Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa.