Hampi - Hanuman birth place
Hampi was once the capital of the powerful Vijayanagar Empire, which flourished for two centuries and was one of the most powerful empires in Indian history. It is 360km north of Bangalore. Vijayanagar means the “city of victory.” It was once considered greater than Rome and was one of the richest cities in the world. At its height, half a million people lived here; the Vijayanagar army alone consisted of over a million men. Now only about 1,000 people live here.
It is a big tourist spot and is especially popular with young travelers. If it weren’t so difficult to get to, it would definitely be one of the top five most visited tourist sites in India—it is an extremely interesting place. I never knew a place like it existed on earth. The ruins are spread over a 26 sq km area and there are over 500 monuments. On a day trip, you could see the Virupaksha complex in the morning and the royal area in the afternoon. If you go quickly, you can see everything in one day if you go by foot. The sites are spread out; and you should bring good walking shoes.
You can hire a bicycle to get around. The Virupaksha Temple and the Vitthala Temple are the two most interesting temples to visit. The Vitthala Temple has fifty-six pillars, each of which produce a different musical tone when tapped. History Hampi dates back to 1343 when two Telugu princes, Harihaka and Bukka, founded it. They were captured by the Delhi Sultanate and supposedly converted to Islam. Later, they were returned to this area as rulers, but broke away to set up their own kingdom, abandoning Islam. After a short time, they established their capital at Vijayanagar, and over the next two hundred years, it became the largest, most powerful kingdom in South India. During the reign of Krishna Deva Raya (1509-29), the Vijayanagar Empire controlled most of South India. The city was destroyed in 1565 when the five Bahmani Muslim kingdoms united to defeat the Vijayanagar army. The battle took place 100km north of the city. The emperor of that time, Rama Raya, was captured and killed, but members of his family fled, taking with them as many riches as they could carry. Over 100,000 people were massacred and the city destroyed.
This place is said to be where Lord Rama first met Hanuman. It is also said to be the place where Parvati (known locally as Hampi) met and married Lord Siva. Getting Around Most people take a bus or taxi to Hampi Bazaar from Hospet, then walk to the Vitthala Temple. They then walk south to the Palace complex and either walk back to Hampi Bazaar or to the village of Kamalapuram. You could also get off the bus at Kamalapuram and visit the site museum first, then the palace area, then head north to Hampi Bazaar, then walk to the Vitthala Temple. This would be my preference. It is possible to see all the sites in one day. You could take a bus to Kamalapuram and then hire a bicycle. You could then ride to Hampi Bazaar, stopping at the Palace Complex on the way, and walk along the river to the Vitthala Temple (leaving your bike at the bazaar). You could then ride back to Kamalapuram, stopping at the shrine of Ugra Narasimha on the way. Kishkindha The town of Anegundi is believed by the local people to be the ancient place known as Kishkindha, where Rama met Sugriva and Hanuman.
Also by Hampi is the Rsimukha Mountain, mentioned in the Ramayana. The ancient Kishkindha was ruled by the monkey chiefs Sugriva and Vali. After a quarrel with Vali, Sugriva and Hanuman were driven out. They went to live at Matanga-parvata Hill. You can get a view of the surrounding area from the top of this hill. While searching for Sita, whom Ravana had kidnapped, Rama and Laksman came south and met Sugriva and Hanuman. Rama killed Vali and restored Sugriva to his kingdom. While Hanuman went to search for Sita, it is said that Rama stayed at Malyavanta Hill, on the road to Kampili, about 6km east of the Virupaksha Temple.
There is a Raghunath Temple there now with a large Deity of Rama. On the way between the Virupaksha Temple and the Vitthala Temple there is a cave on the bank of the Tungabhadra, where Sugriva is said to have hidden Sita’s jewels for safety. There are marks and streaks on the rocks said to have been made by Sita’s garments.