Hampi Matanga Hill

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Hampi has many holy hills one of which is Matanga-parvata, on which Sugriva took refuge. 2 other hills associated with the Ramayana are Anjanagiri and Rishya-mukha. It is the highest point in Hampi. Sun rise from here is a must see. This pic of Matanga Hill taken from Achuttaraya Temple which is at the hill base eastern side.

Left the hotel at 5.45am. Walked thru market and climbed for about 35-45 minutes. Initially there is a pathway but after a while u walk on boulders, some of which are huge. One mistake and you could go rolling down. We met a Canadian girl mid way who was too scared to climb. Helped her climb up. U see sun rise.

Sun rise. In this section we have covered virtually all the key monuments of Hampi (except Royal Citadel). Like giving you a aerial quick view.

Of the 40 odd people that early morning there were only 3 Indians. The guide, chaiwala (whom u shall see later) and me. There is a temple on hill top and a platform where u see people sitting.

A tourist sitting on a huge rock in a contemplative mood while a monkey enjoys a banana.

This is the ruins of the Veerbhadra Temple. It is dedicated to the cult deity Veerabhadra.

A view of Achuttaraya Temple from hill top. Made in 1534 A.D. Has two Prakaras or wall compounds. On extreme left is outer Mahadwara. In inner section has 3 Mahadwaras. Only one exist today. In the centre is the main temple. Can see more pics later.

U see the ancient bazaar as you come out of Achuttaraya temple. Left of pic is Pushkarni or stepped water tank. When u turn right from the bazaar u walk towards Vitthala Temple. This is also part of the ancient walkway.

A close up of Pushkarni or stepped water tank clicked from hill top. A number of these pics clicked early morning so not very clear. It was excavated in the mid 1980s, was originally part of the palace complex.

A close up of Anjanadri Hill ie believed to be the birth place of Lord Hanuman. The morning pic was too blurred so showing this pic that was taken around 5.30pm. Climb to temple is app 500 steps.

A distant view of the magnificient Vithalla Temple which houses the Stone Chariot.

Vithalla temple was on north eastern side. U see landscape on south eastern side clicked from hill top.

Landscape south western side. This is the direction of the Royal Enclosure area where the King stayed.

South Western side is the magnificent Krishna Temple. It was made in 1523 by Krishnadevaraya in memory of his victory against Orissa king.

Western side you see the Hemakunta Hill. It houses the famous Ganesha statues, temples and at the far end is the famous sun set point.

Early morning sun rays on the Virupaksha Temple.

U see pathway up to the hill. There are monkeys and monkeys. A tourist engrossed in a conversation with a monkey.

All over Hampi see sculptures in the rocks. This one was we climbed the hill. The trishul indicates it is Lord Shiva. Can someone mail me full description please.

This tea stall owner was the third Indian on Matanga Hill. He charged foreigners a princely Rs 50 per cup. I paid Rs 30 saying it had to be cheaper for Indians.

From hill top down to the temple is quite steep. U need to be careful. Great fun though. I started the climb at 5.45am and walked along the ancient trail to reach Hampi market by lunch time.

This Gopuram is at the first level entrance. What is the left today is lower portion made of stone and a bit of the brick portion above that. In its hey day the temple dvara would have surely looked magnificient.

Inner temple entrance u see Gopuram panel. Has Narasimha, Hanuman, Narasimha in Yoga posture, Krishna having cheese, Krishna playing the flute n dancing, Baby Krishna, Ram Laxman, Sri Ram etc. Admire their work.

This is one of the two doorkeepers-guardians at the entrance to the temple known as Jay Vijay.

This is Yali ie has a elephants trunk, aligators mouth, lion ka body, bulls eye etc.

This is the Navrang Mandap or Dancing Hall inside the temple.

Close up of the pillar, has icon of Lord Vishnu.

Close up of the pillar, has Lord Hanuman.

Courtyard inside temple. Next to gopuram u can see mantapas that exist all round the temple. It was used by priests to relax. Inner courtyard has the Amman shrine.

A close up view of the pillars that support the mantapas. Note the intriacy of the work.

Just outside the temple is the Sabha Mandap or 100 pillared hall. The King had discussions with key administrators here. I forgot the description of this place and some others. Time n again called up my guide in Hampi Ranganathan. He was very sweet, always helped out. Do use his services 09448791222.

A close up view of the pillar supporting the hall.

After that walk for a few minutes and on the left is Pushkarni (stepped water tank). Left of pic is the Ranganatha Temple. The tank is a tiered structure crafted from rectangular pieces of granite.

All along the tank are mantapas like these. The purpose of this pic is to show u the ruins today to get an idea of they looked. Note the elephant carvings at the plinth level.

This is a row of mantapas ruins surrounding the step water tank. Must have looked magnificent in its hey day.

A few minutes ahead is the Ranganatha Temple. U see entrance to temple.

Sleeping Vishnu inside the temple resting on the serpent Ananta. The snake with its 7 headed hood forms a canopy over Vishnu''s head. Right hand supports his head. It also holds the chakra. Left hand holds a conch shell named Panchajanya.

U see entrance to Sugreeva''s cave. According to tradition this is where Sugreeva lived. He used the cave to hide the jewels dropped by Sita when Ravana abducted her. The colored pattern at the rock is called Sita Konda in local parlance. It depicts the pattern on the costume of Sita.

Inside the cave this carving of Sri Ram, Sita and Laxman. In case of any suggestions to improve narrative or errors please mail me.

Taken from the side ie the other end the huge area that you see in the centre was the market area, then entrance to Achuyata Temple and right is step water tank Puskarni.

My day started at 5.45am with climbing up Matanga Hill. Till lunch time covered the places that you saw and Vithala temple. After that went to Royal Citadel area. Amidst the ruins is a sun set point. From there clicked this picture of Matanga Hill. Then went to see sun set at Hemakunta Hill. Reached hotel by 7.30pm. A long but memorable day. Tributes and pranams to Sage Vidyaranya of Sringeri - matha who played an important role in building the Vijayanagara Empire.