Karnataka’s Pride, ‘The Hampi Monuments’ Will Be One Among 10 Tourist Destinations Soon


New Delhi: As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting the Union Budget on February 1, had proposed to develop 10 prominent tourist sites across the country into iconic tourism destinations through a holistic approach, involving infrastructure and skill development, development of technology, attracting private investment, branding and marketing.

The selected tourist locations were announced this Tuesday and one among the 10 tourist destinations across India to be developed as ‘Iconic Tourism Site’ by the central government is the ‘Hampi monuments’ which are part of Karnataka’s cultural heritage.

The monuments are located in Hosapete taluk of Ballari district. There are 57 major monuments, most of them falling in the core zone of Hampi, which includes four villages spread across 41.8 sqkm.

The architectural splendour of the monuments resulted in Hampi being declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  These come under the Central Archaeology Department and are maintained by them.

Annually, more than two lakh people, many of them foreigners, visit the destination every year. Some of the monuments have ticket systems, but there are no toilets. “Many visitors use the space behind the monuments to attend to nature’s call, which is a sad state,’’ an official has said.

Therefore, it is perhaps befitting, that the Central Government, is considering Hampi as one of the 10 tourist destinations pan-India, to be developed as an ‘Iconic Tourism Site.’ This initiative also includes use of technology in interpretation and dissemination of information.

In addition, under the Iconic Tourism Site scheme, tourist amenities also will be upgraded at 100 Adarsh Monuments of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

As part of the initiative, some steps that the scheme will implement are as follows:

  • Make monuments visitor friendly.
  • Upgrade existing washrooms, drinking water facilities, signs, cafeterias and wi-fi facilities, or install them if required.
  • Provide interpretation and audio-video centres.
  • Streamline wastewater and garbage disposal and rainwater harvesting systems.
  • Make the monument accessible to differently-abled citizens.
  • Improve existing/provide new, suitable parking facilities.

Coming back to the proposed tourist destination Hampi, just 13 km from Hospet, it is not a new phenomenon for well-versed travellers. Due to the proximity of the area from Bengaluru, it is a popular weekend getaway. According to estimates, every year, more than 2 lakh visitors descend upon Hampi!

Karnataka’s famous tourist destination has amassed name and fame for a reason. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the epicentre of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire, in the 14th century. Browse through chronicles and journals left behind by Persian and European travellers, to find mention of Hampi, which is described as a prosperous, wealthy and grand city.

With Hampi chosen for development as an iconic tourism site, the place is set to be spruced up. So, before you visit Hampi in future, here is a list of the most important attraction of this place so that you can enjoy your visit completely.

Following are the popular attractions of Hampi: 

Vijaya Vittala Temple: It is a prosperous architectural temple which has a magnanimous campus which consists of numerous other Hampi temples, pavilions and halls. One of the main attractions of this temple are its wonderfully created pillared halls which reproduce true surprises of architecture along with a colossal stone chariot. 

Virupaksha Temple: It is one of the most significant places to visit in Hampi and it also provides as the major centre of pilgrimage in this region. This astonishing temple lost most of its great attractive structures and creations in the 1565 war. 

Archaeological Museum: It is one of the foremost attractions of Hampi that houses the collections of sculptures and separated antiques. It has four galleries of sculptures, antiquities, Shivalinga, Nandi and Dwaramantapa. 

Queen’s Bath: It is one of the main places to see in Hampi. The splendour of the ruins of Queen’s Bath gets the hold of your eyes on the amazing architectural technique of this prehistoric royal pool. 

Riverside Ruins: It is one of the most appealing places to visit in and around Hampi. An array of 108 Shiva Lingams shaped on the plane rocky plane and a delicately rock-carved sculpture of Lord Vishnu in a reclining position make it one of the major places to see in Hampi. 

Matanga Hill: It offers the panoramic views of historical ruins of Hampi and its adjoining. You will find Veerabhadra Temple sitting right at the top of Matanga Hill. It is the best place to see sunrise and sunset over the beautiful landscape of Hampi. 

Tungabhadra Dam: It is a pure natural heaven. With beautiful flamingos playing around the stunning garden on one side of Tungabhadra Dam, it’s the best place to take great shots. 

Hampi Bazaar: It is also famous as the Virupaksha Bazaar, located at a kilometre long street at the peak of the Matanga Hill situated in front of Virupaksha Temple. On both sides of the street there is a collection of old exhibition areas, which were once the element of the flourishing market. 

Underground Temple: Underground temple of Lord Shiva is one of the oldest temples in Hampi. There is a cubical pillared main hall in front of the temple. Outside the temple, there is a beautiful turf built around it. This place is less crowded thus it gives you the chance to see the outside of the temple. 

Old Palace (Gagan Mahal): Gagan Mahal or the old palace is a place of great importance in legends and history. It is surrounded by a fort most of which is truly in ruins. This yellow coloured palace consists of wonderfully decorated windows and four impressive towers.

 Hemakuta Hill Temples: It consists of a large number of temples, doorways and pavilions being protected by the tall wide stoned walls, the ruins of which can be seen here. 

Lotus Palace: It is one of the main places to see in Hampi. One of the 1st things that give pleasure to your eyes is the symmetry and the reddish shade emanating from the rocks. 

Hampi is measured to be the largest unlock monument and lost city of Asia. This place reproduces the power and wealth of the Vijaynagara Empire.









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