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Festivals at Hampi speak of rich cultural and traditional background. The colorful festivals were an integral part of this empire, few of which are still celebrated. Its when the magnificent ruined city of Hampi, Karnataka once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire (One of the greatest empires in the history of India), comes alive. The elaborate celebration recreates the glories and the grandeurs of the bygone era.
Also known as the Hampi Utsav , Festival of Hampi has been celebrated from the times of the Vijayanagar reign. Hampi being a World Heritage Site is a international tourist spot . This festival is attributes to the mega cultural extravaganza, held from 3rd November to 5th November every year. Renowned artistes all over India come forward in bringing the grandiose days of the Vijayanagar Period to the present day . The celebrations typically packed with shows of music, dance puppet shows fireworks and a pomp procession as the grand finale showcasing the cultural richness of the place complement the beautifully carved.
Classical dance exponents and classical vocalists are set to entertain the guests with their brilliant performances in five avenues. Special lighting of monuments across the 15 km of Hampi ruins on the banks of Tungabadra is another attraction guaranteed to make the visitor mesmerize and put the spell of the ancient days.
For those who are fond of traditional shopping there cannot be a better place than Hampi to shop. Color, gaiety and excitement follow the long and spectacular processions which wind their way to the sounds of pipes and trumpets reliving the Golden past.
This is principally a classical musical festival. The festival is held every year to commemorate the birthday of the ancient poet Purandaradasa who lived in Hampi. The 2-3 days long program is scheduled during the months of January or February. Though not as grandeur as The Hampi Festival, Purandaradasa Aradhana is a feast to the classical music enthusiasts. The venue is typically centered on the Purandaradasa Mantapa located near the Vittala Temple. Sometimes programs are conducted at other places too. Musicians of national and international repute participate.
The betrothal and marriage of Pampa to Shiva under the name of Virupaksha are still celebrated. Held during the months of March or April (based on the local calendar), this is the largest religious festival in Hampi. The highlight is the procession along the main chariot street in Hampi. The image of the god & goddess is kept of the temple car (the giant wooden chariot) which is the centre of the procession.
Though not specific to Hampi, Diwali is celebrated in Hampi in a grand way. Noisy nights with firecrackers are the hallmark. Hampi Bazaar area is the epicenter of the celebrations. Visit Virupaksha temple to witness some special ceremonial functions during the evening. That includes a local procession where the temple elephant too participate.
This is a special festival earmarked for all Siva Temples in general. This nightlong religious offering is held at Virupaksha Temple.