The Granaries in Hampi are ancient structures that were used as storages during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire. The granaries or their ruins are located across various places in Hampi. One of the locations for the ruins of large granaries in Hampi is near the Hazara Rama Temple in the Royal Enclosure.
The granaries were used as storage places to stock up huge quantities of grains. The size of the ruined granaries in Hampi indicates that they served as the public granaries during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire.
The granaries are one of the many attractions for the tourists visiting Hampi to have a look at the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire.
- Timing: From morning to evening on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: No entry fee required
- Photography: Allowed
- Video Camera: Allowed
- Visit Duration: Generally about 20 to 30 minutes (For a particular location of the granaries)
- Best time to visit : From November to February
History of Granaries, Hampi
The granaries of Hampi dates back to the days of the Vijayanagara Empire. The presence of a large number of granaries and other structures and artefacts related to the granaries signify that they were a common feature during the reign of the Vijayanagara Kings.
A remarkable fact to note is that even in that ancient age, the Kings of Vijayanagara took care for proper storage of grains. They built huge granaries in various locations across Hampi and in other places of their kingdom to preserve enormous quantities of grains for future use.
Some of the granaries in Hampi are believed to be associated with the temples while others are thought to have been for general use or non-religious use. This shows the importance of temples in the social life of the people in Hampi during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Utility of Granaries
A granary is a storage place or a store house that is used to stock up grains for future use. In the ancient days, the kings and the administrators of the kingdoms used to build huge granaries to store food grains in bulk and protect them against the attack of mice, insects or other such elements.
The granaries were a place to preserve food grains to counter extreme or unforeseen conditions like scarcity, draught, war, famine, etc. Several precautions were taken to keep the grains in good condition while they were in the granaries.
Structure of the Granaries in Hampi
Remnants of several granaries have been found in many places in Hampi. The characteristic feature of these granaries is that they are huge in size. The granaries were built with blocks of large stones, as was the common practise followed in Hampi during the ancient times.
The ruins of several huge granaries in Hampi point towards the fact that large public granaries were a common feature of Hampi. They were part of the town planning done for Hampi.
The granaries in Hampi were mainly of two shapes – Circular and Cubical.
- Circular Granaries: These were round shaped storage places that were built above the ground. The size of such granaries gives an idea about the huge amount of grains that were stored in them.
- Cubical Granaries: These were cube shaped granaries that were built with deep foundations into the ground. The cubical granaries were arranged in an array of identical rows.
Present Condition of Granaries, Hampi
The granaries in Hampi are no longer the intact storage places that were once used to store grains. They have been destroyed long ago, just like most other structures and monuments in Hampi. Today only the ruins and remnants of the granaries can be seen in Hampi.
There are several places where the foundations of the granaries can still be seen in the ruined town of Hampi. These foundations provide an idea about the planning and administrative qualities of the Vijayanagara kings and the efforts they took to run the kingdom smoothly.
How to reach the Granaries
The granaries in Hampi are scattered across many places. One of the areas where the granaries can be seen is the Royal Enclosure. The enclosure can be easily accessed from all parts of Hampi. It is easy to locate the remnants of the granaries due to their unique shapes.
Some of the granaries can be seen near quarters that were once used by the royal guards of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Hampi is a place that cannot be reached directly by flight as it has no airport of its own. Ballari (Bellary) is the nearest town to have an airport. Ballary is located at a distance of about 64 km from Hampi. Visitors can reach Ballari by flight and proceed to Hampi by means of local transport.
Hampi is not connected directly by the rail route as it does not have a railway station within its area. The nearest railway station is situated in the town of Hosapete (Hospet). It has the Hospet Junction Railway Station. Hosapete is located at a distance of just 10 km from Hampi.
One can easily take a bus or avail other means of local transport to reach Hampi from Hosapete.
One of the best ways to reach Hampi is the road network as the place is well connected to many towns and cities of Karnataka by means of the road network. There are several government and private buses that operate between Hampi and many of the major towns and cities in Karnataka.