It was established under the initiative of the Archeological Museum – Hampi Survey of India after they undertook the responsibility to preserve the ruins of Hampi.
Some of the preservation work was already done by a section of British officers. These officers had collected several sculptures, statues, relics, and artifacts from the ruins in Hampi and nearby locations and kept them at the elephant stables.
After the construction of the modern building of the Archaeological Museum at Kamalapura by the Archaeological Survey of India, all the preserved items were transferred from the elephant stables to the new museum.
Exhibits in the Archeological Museum – Hampi
It has a rich collection of sculptures collected from various locations of the Vijayanagara ruins.
Apart from the sculptures, the Archeological Museum is a treasure trove of architectural pieces, artifacts, relics, coins, tools, miniature paintings, ivory items, copper plates, and several other things from the glorious era of the Vijayanagara Empire.
The museum is divided into four main sections or galleries to display the preserved items.
The first section – contains one of the two scaled models of the Hampi topography. It is the larger of the two models on display. It presents a complete topography of the region along with the monuments and temples located on it. It provides an excellent idea about the various attractions and their relative locations in Hampi. It also displays the hills and rivers in Hampi.
The second section – contains a large collection of sculptures and idols collected from the Hampi ruins. Some of the exhibits on display in this section include artifacts that belong to Shiva worship. Exhibits in this section also include Veerabhadra (the demon king created by Lord Shiva), Bhairava (Shiva in one of his fearsome postures), Bhikshatana muthi (Lord Shiva as a simple wandered asking for alms), Shakti (a form of the Goddess representing power), Mahisasura Mardini (a fearsome form of Goddess Shakti), Kartikeya (the peacock mounted god), Vinayaka (the elephant-headed god).
The third section – contains an amazing collection of arms, coinage, tools, metal objects, and other artifacts that were popular during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire. Among the many interesting exhibits of this section are some documents that look like a book. These documents are made of brass and are bundled with a ring on display in a peculiar manner.
The fourth section – contains several antiquities that date back to the pre-historic and proto-historic eras. The objects displayed in this section are the oldest of all exhibits in the museum. The exhibits of this section also include hero stones (stone projections in memory of heroes who died on the battlefields), sati stones (stone projections in memory of wives who committed suicide after the death of their husbands in the battlefields), stucco figurines, parts of porcelain pottery excavated from the sites of the ruins and a huge collection of excavation photographs.
Another impressive exhibit of this section is the smaller one of the two scaled models of Hampi. This smaller model is the more detailed one between the two and provides a complete view of the Royal Centre in Hampi along with several fine details.
Timings to visit
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM on all days of the week except Fridays and National Holidays
Entry Fee: Adults – INR 5 per person, Children – Free under 15 years of age
Still Photography/Video Camera: Not allowed inside the museum
Visit Duration: About 2 to 3 hours
Parking Fee: Parking is free
Best time to visit Archeological Museum
Throughout the year
How to reach the Archeological Museum
By Air: Ballari – 64 km, Bangalore – 336 km, Mysore – 407 km
By Train: Hospet Junction Railway Station – 10 km, Bangalore – 339 km
By Road: Kamalapura – 4 km, Bangalore – 338 km, Mysore – 410 km
Archaeological Museum, Daroji-Kamlapura Rd, Kamalapur, Hampi, Karnataka, 583221, India.
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