There is a huge stone chariot installed in the temple. It has been carved out of a single stone and the wheel can be still rotated!
Hampi was founded by the Hindu Vijayanagar dynasty in 1336 AD, and quickly became one of, if not THE, most brilliant capital in all India. Today, all that remains are many perfectly preserved temples dedicated to the myriad gods of the Hindu pantheon, parts of SEVEN huge rings of fortifications, elephant stables for eleven, gorgeous kingly dwellings and a village bazaar
The great Pampapati Temple ( Virupaksha Temple) is the oldest and most sacred in Hampi. Parts of it are older than the founding of the city and kingdom of Vijayanagar, Hampi's original name. The temple's first gate is topped by a lofty pyramidal tower entirely covered with hundreds of sculptures and carvings of men, women, hunting scenes, and many other representations, all diminishing in size as the tower narrows toward the top.
The temple has a 50 m tall, elaborately carved gateway
The Virupaksha or the Pampapathi Temple is the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi. This temple is in ruins but is still in worship and is dedicated to Lord Shiva,known here as Virupaksha or Pampapati,as his wife Pampa is associated with Tungabhadra River(daughter of Lord Brahma).
The other temple of significance in this complex is the shrine for Goddess Bhuvaneshwari. This shrine was rebuilt in the Vijayanagara days, over an 11th century temple. This temple is chiefly noted for its marvelously worked door-frame, pillars and articulately chiseled ceiling panels
The area Hampi can be divided into two parts - the Sacred Center and the Royal Center. Scared Center encloses religious sites and the Royal Center encloses the royal buildings.
The Royal Center consists Lotus Mahal or Zanana Enclosure and the Elephant Stables. Royal Enclosure also comprises some of the Hampi temples - one being an underground temple, and the secretly constructed Queen's Bath.
The impressive temple of Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy, built with Dravidian architectural influences, is a good place to begin your exploration with.
Hazara Rama Temple, in the heart of the Royal Centre, is a 15th century work of art, and said to be the place of worship for the royal family. Its pillars have delicate carvings of the various forms of Lord Vishnu. Also fascinating are the rows of sculptures depicting some of the main events from Ramayana.
The House of Victory, the Mahanavami Dibba or the Dassera Platform, ( located in the royal enclosure) built to commemorate the victory of King Krishnadeva Raya is another highlight.
carving at Mahanavami Dibba
The Mahanavami Dibba inside the Royal enclosure.
The Queen's Bath, a rectangular building on the outside while the entire inside is a long veranda running on all sides of a square tank 1.8m deep. This is where the king and his wives would have their baths.
the aqueduct in the Royal enclosure. Notice the channel draining into a tank
A pretty monument is the pavilion called the Lotus Palace, located in an area that is believed to have been the women's quarters or the Zenana Enclosure. It is named after the lotus bud which can be seen carved on its ceiling. The two-storeyed palace is also shaped like a lotus and is said to have been the meeting place for the women of the royal family. Its architecture shows a display of Indian and Islamic influences.
The Lotus Mahal inside the Zenana (Ladies') enclosure.
Adjoining the zenana enclosure is the legendary Elephant Quarter, a dome shaped building, which was the quarters of the royal elephants. While just behind it is an old gateway called Singaradu Hebbagilu, which also happened to be the city's main entrance.
Close by is the Underground Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva situated several meters below ground level. Near that, check the Noblemen's Quarters, which was where the aristocrats lived.
Underground Shiva temple, Hampi ( Vijayanagar)
Mahamantapa in the Vittala temple complex.
Each of the main pillars is surrounded by little pillars of varying thickness,
popularly known as "musical pillars".
one of the pillars in the Vittala temple
that shows emperor Krishnadeva Raya riding a horse.
pillars in the Vittala Temple.