From Here & There

Showcasing the Vijayanagar era

Located next to the World Heritage Site of Hampi is Kamalapura which has a museum which showcases Hampi’s past. The Archaeological Survey of India established this museum 40 years ago for preserving sculptures and antiquities found during its archaeological excavations. The museum, which originally existed at Hampi’s Elephant Stable during the British rule, was shifted to Kamalapura in the early 1970s.

Apart from the beautiful idols and stone carvings belonging to the Vijayanagar period, the Kamalapura museum has rare collections of many antiquities identified with prehistoric and medieval periods. The exhibits on display include hero stones, Sati stones, stucco figurines, metal and porcelain objects said to have been discovered during the archaeological survey done between 1976 and 1998.

The museum has various denominations of gold and copper coins, objects of religious significance, war weapons, brass plates etc. The Shaivik sculptures on display are that of Virabhadra, Bhairava, Shakti, Mahishasuramardhini, Karthikeya, Durga, and Ganesha. There is also a huge exhibit depicting a temple with dwaramantapa (entrance) and idols. At the entrance is the life-size statue of Emperor Krishnadevaraya with his queens Chinnadevi and Thirumaladevi.

The Kamalapura museum also has on display a miniature model of Hampi valley. This Hampi replica shows all the sightseeing spots such as Hazara Ramamandira, Kamal Mahal,Queen’s Bath, Mahanavami Dibba, Virupaksha temple surroundings, Mathanga Parvatha, etc. The museum’s sprawling lawns also have a display antiquities and sculptures, mostly of gods and goddesses. The museum is open to visitors from 10 am to 5 pm (Friday holiday) The museum runs an information kiosk providing the required (audio-visual) tourist information.

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