Virupakasha temple

Hampi carving

Near the village of Hampi are the ruins of the city of Vijayanger (city of victory), the capital of a large and prosperous south Indian Hindu kingdom. The Vijayanger kingdom was founded by two brothers during 1336. From the 14th to the 16th centuries the kingdom flourished and the rulers of Vijayanger built many impressive temples and palaces. For two hundered years the rulers of Vijayanger unified all of southern India and created a force strong enough to hold back the Muslim invaders from the north. The Vijayanger kingdom was often in conflict with the Muslim kingdoms of the north Deccan and in 1565 the Deccan Muslim confederacy conquered the city and pillaged it.

During 1986, Hampi was added to the UNESCO world heritage list of sites considered to have outstanding universal value. In 1999 Hampi was added to the UNESCO list of world heritage in danger because of the construction of road bridges and heavy motor-vehicle traffic nearby.

Vitthala temple The ruins of Vijayanger are spread out over a large area of about 26 square kilometers. Among the ruins are some notable temples. The Vitthala temple, dedicated to Vishnu, is famous for it's stone chariot drawn by a pair of elephants, originally the wheels of the chariot could revolve. The `musical' pillars of the temple make the sound of different musical instruments when lightly struck. The Virupaksha temple with it's 50 meter high tower is still used for worship.

Indian travels: Sun temple at Modhera [] Temples of Khajuraho

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