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Inside Hampi: Ruins that Inspired the New Rs 50 Note

Awed by the stone chariot on the new Rs 50 note? This photo-essay reveals more treasures from the ruins of Hampi.

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"Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure," attributed to Rumi - the worst victim of made-up quotes on the Internet - regardless this line certainly holds true for Hampi, the stone-laced temple town in north Karnataka.

Like many an awestruck traveller, that visit this 26 sq km stretch of boulders and architectural marvels that were once boulders, the government has made its admiration for Hampi public by putting it on a currency note.

Breaking Dawn Over the Ruins

This photo-essay takes you around the ruins of Hampi, a UNESCO heritage site, and reveals its many treasures.

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The Stone Chariot at the Vittala Temple

The latest thing in an Indian’s wallet is the neon-y blue Rs 50 note with an image of the stone chariot representing the glorious ruins of Hampi. The lesser known fact about the structure is that it is a shrine for Lord Vishnu’s vehicle, the Garuda, and not a chariot.

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The Temples That Were Once Rocks

The temple town of Hampi is a remarkable site to marvel at humankind’s creative ingenuity. The monolithic temples carved out of giant boulders are awe-inspiring. The message from the town is clear – each commonplace boulder has in it to become a revered temple. As William Blake said, we only need the eyes to see the world in a grain of sand.

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The Army’s Banquet

On the way to the Vittala Temple, you come across these large black slabs. They are nothing but the dining plates for the soldiers of yore. An army certainly marches on its stomach and it better be well-fed!

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One Thousand Lord Ramas

This 15th century structure of the Hazara Ram temple boasts of carved panels depicting the story of the epic Ramayana. The name literally means “a thousand Ramas”.

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Hampi’s ruins are replete with architectural and design masterpiece such as this temple. Go through the galleries below for more pictures and information.

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If you are already packing your bags for Hampi, here are a few pointers:

-The nearest airport is at Hubli, 143km away from Hampi.

-The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction (IR station code: HPT), 13km away.

- Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation operates daily buses to Hospet from Bangalore, Mysore and Gokarna. From Hospet you can go to Hampi on a local bus for ₹20.

- Once you reach Hampi, bicycle around or walk. If you feel lazy, hire an auto-rickshaw for the entire day. The driver may double up as your guide.

- There are plenty of cottages and home stays in Hampi, thanks to the regular foreign tourist inflow.

And if you have already been there, let us know about your experiences from Hampi in the comments section!

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Topics:  North Karnataka 

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