|Hampi formed one of the core areas 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.
Hampi has various notable Hindu temples, some of which are still active places of worship. Most notable ones are: Virupaksha Temple 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.
Hampi Utsav 2011
Hampi Utsav will be celebrated Fraom 27th January to 29th January 2011.
Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, would inaugurate the Hampi Utsav on January 27 at Hampi.
Karnataka Tourism brings together some of India’s best performers at Hampi. Days begin with melas, wrestling matches, recitals and folk art performances. And evenings celebrate the talent of classical dance exponents, vocalists, folk artistes, puppeteers, actors, instrumentalists and others. As in the days of yore, they perform for the crowd. At five different avenues set within the townscape. As decorated elephants, horses and royal guards dressed in Vijayanagara finery take you back in time.
This year, the tourism department will run a special service of the luxury train, Deccan Chariot, for the festival. The train will roll out from Bengaluru on January 26 and reach Hospet (nearest railhead from Hampi) in the early hours of January 27. The train will be stationed at Hospet for 2 days during the Hampi Utsav. Post the festival, the train will move to Badami and then on to Goa and return back to Bangalore on January 31.
While you are here, take in a bird’s eye view of Hampi on a hot air balloon. Watch the market places and fairs recreate the life and times of what the city used to be. Browse through the handicraft stalls to take home an authentic helping of the festivities. Learn your history at the light and sound show. Arrive. For Vijayanagara awaits you!
How to Reach
By Air: In case you are wondering as to how to reach Hampi by air, you can avail of the Bellary Airport and the Belgaun Airport , both of which offer airline services (Air Deccan) to Bangalore. From Bangalore Airport you can avail of any of the international flights connecting to any of the important cities in the country and the world.
By Rail: Hospet Train station, 12km from Hampi is the nearest railway station. Hospet station is connected directly from major stations like Mumbai and Bangalore. .
By Road: Hampi is well connected by KSRTC bus services with all nearby cities. There are many private bus providers operating from Gokarna and many places in Goa to Hampi.