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South India >> Karnataka Cities
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Hampi :

Lotus Mahal, Hampi TourismHampi, the land of surprises was founded in the middle of 14th Century by two local princes, Hakka & Bukka. The Vijayanagar Empire came to be celebrated for its might and wealth and as a show piece of imperial magnificence. Vijayanagara is such that the pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it... " So eulogized Abdul Razaq, a Muslim envoy who visited Hampi.

The city was sacked pillaged and burnt in 1565 AD, after the combined attack of armies of Muslim Sultanates of the Deccan defeated the Vijayanagar Military Commander and the King fled the Capital. Rocky hills and the mighty Tungabhadra River, which flows through this rugged landscape, dominate the terrain. One can still glimpse the splendour of Vijayanagara - one of the largest empires in the history of India - in its ruins. The Vijayanagar Kings were great patrons of Art & Architecture as evident by the vast ruins of Hampi. In an effort to resurrect this abandoned capital, the government has been involved in the restoration, excavation and protection of the ruins, which are spread over an area of 26 sq kms.
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Prime Attractions :

Virupaksha Temple - The Virupaksha Temple at the western end is one of the earliest structures in the city. Hampi Temple, Hampi Travel GuideThe main shrine is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Lord Vishnu. Overlooking Virupaksha temple to the South, Hemakuta hill has a scattering of early ruins including Jain temples and a monolithic structure of Narasimha.

Ugra Narasimha - Nearby is the 6.7m tall monolith of Ugra Narasimha. The gigantic image is situated in the south of the Hemkuta group of temples that includes the Virupaksha Temple. The Narasimha is a seated four-armed figure under a canopy of a seven-hooded snake.

Vithala Temple - To the east of Hampi Bazaar is the Vithala temple, about 2 kms away. The ruins of the temple is a World Heritage monument. It is in a relatively good state of preservation. The temples incredible sculptural work is a pinnacle of Vijayanagar Art. The outer pillars are known as the 'Musical Pillars' as they reverberate when tapped, although this practice is now discouraged to avoid further damage. The temple also features an ornate stone chariot in the temple courtyard containing an image of Garuda.

How to get there ?

Air - The nearest airport is Bellary (74 kms.) Other convenient airports are a Belgaum (190 kms) and Bangalore , Bijapur, Hubli and Guntakal.

Rail - The nearest train junction is at Hospet.

Road - Hampi is 350 kms from Bangalore. KSRTC Buses ply regularly from Hospet.



Bijapur :

Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur Travel VacationsTravel to Bijapur, the ancient town, dotted with mosques, mausoleums, palaces and fortifications, was the capital of the Adil Shahi Dynasty. Once the capital of the Adil Shahis, it was a city that "exceeded anything of its kind in Europe". Even today, it retains its dignity and royal grandeur. Still strongly Muslim in character, Bijapur has many places of historical, cultural and architectural interest. Even though many of the structures were damaged by Aurangazeb, Bijapur remains a must-see town.

Prime Attractions :

Gol-Gumbaz - The tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah, the seventh ruler of the Adil Shahi dynasty, Gol Gumbaz boasts of the second largest dome in the world.

Malik-e-Maidan - 'Malik-E-Maidan' meaning the 'lord of the battlefield' is the largest medieval cannon in the world, fourteen feet long and weighing about 55 tons. Perched on a platform especially built for it, the cannon's nozzle is fashioned into the shape of a lion's head. In 1854 AD, the cannon was auctioned for Rs. 150 but the sale was cancelled in the end.

Jumma Masjid - Jumma Masjid, one of the main attractions of the city has been called one of the first mosques in India. Still used for worship, it holds an exquisite copy of the Quran, written in gold. Also dating back to the period of Adil Shah, this is the largest Masjid in the region. Bijapur Holidays Vacations

Ibrahim Roza - On the western outskirts of the city lies the mausoleum of lbrahim Adil Shah II- Ibrahim Roza, said to have inspired the Taj Mahal in Agra. Embracing 1,16,300 square feet is the Jamma Masjid - "one of the finest mosques in India". The Ibrahim Roza is a beautiful tomb with artistically laid out corridors and interconnecting buildings with richly decorated walls and perforated stone windows. At the centre of the town are large arches signifying the forts and its beauty in moonlight.

How to get there ?

Air - The nearest airport is Belgaum (205 kms.).

Rail - Bijapur is connected by rail to Bangalore , Mumbai, (via Sholapur), Hospet (via Gadag) and Vasco da Gama (via Hubli and Londa).

Road - Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses ply from Bijapur to Badami, Bangalore, Belgaum, Hubli and Sholapur.

Bijapur is connected by road to - Aihole (129 kms) Mumbai (486 kms.) Badami (132 kms) Hampi (254 kms.) Bangalore (81 kms.) Pattadakal (148 kms.) Belgaum (205 kms).




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