Archaeological Museum, Hampi
(District Bellary, Karnataka)
The collection of sculptures architectural members from various locations of the ruins were made by British officers and housed earlier at elephant stables. Archaeological Survey of India established it’s first museum here. In 1972 the antiquities were shifted to a present modern building at Kamalapur. Presently this museum has four galleries enclosing a model of Hampi valley with a corridor all around.
The exhibits in this museum are manifold consisting of the elegant replicas of Krishnadevaraya most famed ruler of the Vijayanagara dynasty and his queens greeting the visitors at the entrance.
The first gallery has in its display sculptures of the saiva faith consisting of Virabhadra, Bhairava, Bhikshatanamurti, Mahishasuramardini, Shakti, Ganesha, Kartikeya with his consorts and Durga. The central hall has the composition of a look alike a temple with the display of Shivalinga, Nandi, Dwaramantapa with a royal couple at front.
The second gallery has in its display assorted antiquities like arms and armoury, copper plate grants, metal objects of religious utility and brass plates. In the display are the coins of Vijayanagara dynasty in various denominations of both gold and copper.
The fourth gallery has antiquities pertaining to prehistoric and protohistoric period, medieval hero stones and sati stones. Stucco figurines, iron objects, sherds of porcelain, retrieved from excavations are also on display. This gallery prominently has in its display selected dia-positive of archaeological excavations conducted in the citadel by the Survey from 1976 to 1998. To familiarize the visitors to the World Heritage site an information kiosk is also set up in the same gallery.
Opening Hours : 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Closed on – Friday
Entrance Fee :
Rs. 5/- per head
(Children up to 15 years free)
Sculpture Gallery in the Treasury Building
Displayed in this museum are the pre and protohistoric antiquities, narrative lime stone Buddhist panels of circa 2nd century AD, exquisite schist stone sculptures of 12th century AD, austere Jaina Tirthankaras from Parshwanatha Chaityala, elegant Shaiva and Vaishnava sculptures of Vijayanagara period. The sculpture of goddess Bhuvaneshvari from the vicinity of the palace of Vira Harihara is one of the early Vijayanagara sculptures here. The pillar inscription referring to the palace, day to day utilitarian pottery with deluxe porcelain ware, metal objects, miniature figurines and a few selected stucco figures add to the display. However the photo documentation of this glorious world heritage site done way back in 1856 by Alexander Green Law (1818-1873) in comparison with recent photographs gives an insight into the grandeur of the Vijayanagara monuments.
Sculpture Gallery in the Guards House
Displayed in this guards house against the back wall of the verandah are the sculptures of Ganesha, Kalabhairava, Nandi-Vahana, Saptamatrikas and Virabhadra as shaiva specimens. Garuda, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Rangantha from the vaishanava sculpture manifestations. In addition, sculptures of Naga, Nagini, Maha-Sati and hero stones also get their due share amidst the depictions. While some of the sculptures form the examples for various stages of making amongst the finished the sculptures of Ranfanatha and Kalabhairava attract the visitors for their detailed workmanship. Amidst the Hero stones and Maha-Sati stones depicted, a hero attaining heavenly abode by Saula method of sacrifice draws our attention.