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Hampi prospered as the capital city of the mighty Vijayanagar Empire in Southern India. Pixabay

By Prakhar Patidar

There was once a time Hampi prospered as the capital city of the mighty Vijayanagar Empire in Southern India. Known for its elaborate architecture and prestigious kingdom, the city was founded in 1336. For the next two centuries, it was a prime site of culture till the dark clouds fell over the city and it was captured by the Muslim rulers of the Deccan. The city was stripped clean in the next six months and left deserted. Ruins of Hampi are now lauded as the world's largest open-air museum, expanding over an area of 29 km square.

Historians and travelers have marveled over the grandeur of the Vijayanagar empire. In the writings of Abul Razak, the Persian ambassador, it's mentioned how the empire was incomparable to any other in the world at the time. The ancient city was settled along the Tungabhadra River and was divided into the Royal Center that consisted of the palace, baths, gardens, and the Sacred Center, the part where all the temples were built.

Viroopaksha Temple, Hampi, India. Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash

Along with the historical records we also find mentions of Hampi in Ramayana. It is mentioned that Hampi was the site of the monkey kingdom, Kishkindha. A lost city is a place for adventure seekers who wish to engage with history, explore the impressive architectural feats and bask in the beauty of the natural setting of the region.

The heritage site is located in the central part of Karnataka and is 353 km from Bangalore making it one of the most popular weekend destinations for tourists from Bangalore and neighboring areas. This is also a popular tourist spot for students and practitioners of architecture, art, design, and history.

Keywords: Indian heritage, Hampi, Karnataka, history and culture


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