Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hampi Bazar

This is the only post in Hampi Series that does not concentrate on architecture. Rather this focuses mainly on how the city layout was formed in terms of markets. It gives basic idea on the location of markets and how they are organized.

During the Vijayanagara rule in the 15th century, the Bazaars (markets) happened to be the centers of all the commercial activities. It is believed that these bazaars were not only just commercial regions but were also the sprawling quarters of the capital city of the empire. These bazaars are mostly situated opposite the temples. (click on the image for bigger view)

Hampi there were main four bazaars of varied sizes, all of them in front of the temples. They are, the Virupaksha Bazaar opposite the Virupaksha Temple, the Soolai Bazaar opposite the Achyutapura Temple, the Krishna Bazaar opposite the Krishna Temple and the Vithala Bazaar opposite the Vithala Temple. Today, except the Virupaksha Bazaar, the other three bazaars have been deserted over a period of time and no activity can be seen.

Virupaksha Bazaar with Virupakasha Temple tower at the far end

Virupaksha Bazaar is 1 km in length and the market stretches from the doorstep of the Virupaksha Temple and extends in the western direction till the the Bull Temple. Both sides of the street are lined with a series of old pavilions, some of them are two storied. These structures were once part of a thriving market and residence of the nobles. Today here one can find everything from the coconuts and flowers to offer at Virupaksha Temple to rare coins and antiquities of great value.

Vithala Bazaar

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