Stone Chariot of Hampi
Every tourist place has that one spot which earns it galore and admiration. For Hampi, it’s the iconic Stone Chariot. It’s the leading man in the army of exquisite beautiful sights that Hampi has to offer and depicts Karnataka tourism an icon itself. Stone Chariot of Hampi now has a place in the new Rs. 50 denomination banknotes, released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The chariot is actually a shrine dedicated to Garuda, built inside the Vittala Temple Complex. The massive sculpture of Garuda, Lord Vishnu’s escort once was seated atop the chariot but it is empty at the present date. The Hampi Chariot has earned its name among the other three famous stone chariots in India- One in Konark, Odissa, and the other in Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu).
The chariot was built by King Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire during the 16th century, who got fascinated with the Konark Sun temple chariot while fighting a battle in Odissa. The chariot is meant to represent the beauty and artistic perfection of the Empire. An interesting folklore emanates from the Hampi chariot as villagers believe that the world would come to a halt when the chariot moves from its place. It has come to have a sacrosanct presence and is internationally recognized as a world heritage site even by the UNESCO.