Hospet monuments – old patience & wisdom – must be savored bit by bit

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Hospet - Quick Facts

Area: 54.81 Sq. Km.
Population: 206,159
Altitude: 2,134 m above sea level
Season: August to March
Clothing: Summer- Light cotton, Winter- Heavy woollen
Rainfall: 1530 mm average
Languages: Hindi, Kannada, Telugu & English

Hospet is 325 kms from Bangalore. Its tourist importance lies in its proximity to Hampi, the site of the medieval Vijayanagar Empire, situated about 12 kms away. The Tungabhadra Dam here harnesses the sweet waters of the Tungabhadra river. At the base of the dam is a garden, styled along Japanese lines.

 Hampi – Vijayanagar is much that the pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it. So eulogized Abdul Razaq, a Persion envoy who visited Hampi, this erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagar kingdom in 1443.

You can still glimpse the splendor of Vijayanagar in its ruins. The Virupaksha Temple rises majestically at the western end of a 76- meter long street that was once the famous Hampi bazaar. This is the only temple at Hampi that is still used for worship.

Nearly is the 6.7 meter tall monolith of Ugra Narasimha, seated under a canopy of a seven hooded snake. The most splendid monument of Hampi is undoubtedly the Vithala Temple complex. The 56 pillars in the main hall produce musical notes when struck.
To the east of the hall is the famous stone Chariot with stone wheels that actually revolve 1 Hampi is full of such surprises.

Like the king’s Balance, where ruling kings were weighed against grain, gold or money which was than distributed to the poor. Or the Queen’s bath, with its arched corridors, projecting balconies and lotus-shaped fountains Or even the Lotus Mahal in the Zenana enclosure. A beautiful two-storied palace with recessed archways set in geometric regularly and opening out to the sun and the wind like the petals of a flower The imposing Elephant stables have arched entrances and domes. And in the royal enclosure of the city is the Hazara Rama Temple.

Explore Hampi at your own pace. Its monuments – like its centuries – old patience and wisdom –must be savored bit by bit.

By Air
The Hospet nearest airport is Bellary 74 kms and Belgaum 190 km.

By Rail
Hospet station 13 kms away from city and connected by rail to Bangalore Bijapur, Hubli and Guntakal.

By Road
Hospet is connected by road to most places in south and west India there are:
•        Hampi - 12 km.
•        Belgaum - 190 km.
•        Bangalore - 337 km.

 Chitradurga commonly called the Kallina Kote which means the place of Stones is an important travel attraction of the city. The Chitradurga Fort constructed under the supervision of Hyder Ali and his son the great Tipu Sultan is a marvellous piece of Architecture highly praised by the people who travel to the site. Seven walls encircle the fort area and about nineteen gates provides entry and exit to visitors to appreciate the military architecture. The Fort was built to protect the fort from external attacks of enemy Kings. The fort lies on the highway to Bangalore.

 Situated on the banks of the Tunga bhadra River, Harihara is another travel attraction of Hospet. The holy town of Hari Hara has several thousand devotees coming to the place to relieve themselves of their sins. It is believed that the association of Lord Vishnu with the Tungabhadra River has the power to cleanse the ill of the person taking a bath in the river. There is also a temple dedicated to the deity of Harihareswara.

 Hospet receives importance due to its close proximity to the place of Hampi in Karnataka, India. Declared a world heritage site, Hampi has the distinction of being the site of the most beautiful ruins in India and an important travel destination of the Archeologists. The major travel attractions of this place include the Virupaksha Temple. There is the King's balance where the kings used to be weighed against grains, gold or money to be distributed among the poor. Another travel attraction is the Queen's Bath fitted with lotus shaped fountains that once used to supply perfumed water. Among others the Lotus Mahal and Vithala Temple with the musical pillars waits to be appreciated by the visitors. Ugra Narasimha, the 6.7 m tall monolith can be seen towering high in to the sky from a far away distance.

Virupaksha Temple
 Counted among the oldest monuments of the town, the 15th century temple is in the bazaar area. The principal deity is Virupaksha, one of the many incarnations of Lord Shiva. The temple rises to a height of 50 metres from the ground and belongs to the later Vijayanagar period. The shrines inside the temple are much older. The stone carvings are larger than life in size, with the sculpture of Nandi on the eastern end and Ganesha to the south. A 6.7-metre-high image of Narasimha, the half-man and half-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu in addition to a huge lingam, the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva lies with the base submerged in to the water.

Tourist on their way to Hospet has the pleasure of visiting Mysore in Karnataka, the imperial city and the erst while capital of the Woodeyers. Popular as the city of palaces Mysore mesmerises its visitors with the magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens and the imposing structures. Ruled by the once great Tipu Sultan, Mysore emerged as a thriving market for sandalwood and stone sculptures in Karnataka India.

The Vijayanagar Festivals is organized by the government of Karnataka in November. Dance, drama, music, firework, puppet show spectacular processions... all combine to re-create the grandeur of the bygone era. Annual car festival of Virupaksha is during Chaitra Suddha Humnnime in April.

Shopping in Hospet can be a pleasurable experience as this place is rich in heritage and past glory. Hospet bears testimony to its past and all the things available here bear a mark of the bygone times. From Hospet customers carry home huge amounts of hand-crafted items, beads, pendants, carved tables, screens, dinner gongs, boxes, caskets, mythological figures, a host of stationery items, trays, decorative panels made of sandalwood. Inlaid furniture and sandalwood carvings are favourite pick ups for affluent tourists.

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