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On the banks of Tungabhadra River near Hospet in Karnataka, lies Hampi, where the ruins of the great Vijayanagara Empire can be found today. Founded by Hairhara and Bukka, the empire fell by 1565 to Muslim sultans. Even though the once proud city of victory lies in ruins today, it has a sense of timelessness. It was referred to as Kishkinda during Ramayana era while in modern times Jackie Chan and Mallika Sherawat starred in the movie “Myth” with Hampi as the backdrop! You can call this UNESCO world heritage site as one of the world’s largest open air museums.

Remnants of the Vijayanagara Empire can be found all around Hampi. There are more than 30 prominent sites which will take anywhere from a week to 10 days to visit.

The magnificent Virupaksha temple is a good place to start with. It is from the Hoysala period and is the oldest temple in Hampi. The temple tower has eleven storeys and goes up 165 ft in height. The river Tungabhadra flows inside through a canal. Some prominent landmarks inside the compound are the pilgrim rooms, ancient marriage hall and temples of Pataleswara, Muktinarasimha, Suryanarayana, Laxminarasimha and Mahishasuramardini. Before leaving the premises, do visit the back side of the temple and take the steps up to a dark chamber. You will find a shadow of a perfectly inverted image of the main tower made by light coming from a hole in the eastern wall. A pin-hole camera in action from ancient times!

read the complete travelogue at
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