Gagan Mahal is a palace that belonged to the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire. The palace is located in the small village of Anegundi near Hampi. The ancient palace is now just a shadow of its original self. However, it still retains an old world charm and attracts visitors on the Hampi trail.
Once the abode of kings and queens, the Gagan Mahal now serves as the local administrations’ building.
- Timing: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: No entry fee required
- Photography: Allowed
- Visit Duration: About 1 to 2 hours
- Best time to visit: From November to February
History of Gagan Mahal, Anegundi
Gagan Mahal is also known as the Old Palace. The palace is believed to have been constructed in the 16th century by the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was once a gorgeous palace that served as the dwelling place for the members of the Vijayanagara royal family.
However, during the downfall of the empire in 1565 A.D. due to the attack by the Mughals, this palace was also ruined like most other structures in Hampi. This 500 year old palace is one of the many palaces that added to the beauty of the kingdom during the peak of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is said that the palace was once the Queen’s quarters.
Architecture of Gagan Mahal, Anegundi
Gagan Mahal at Anegundi was once an impressive structure that was constructed in the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. Even today it contains intricate carvings that display the fine skill of the workers of that era.
Though most parts of the palace are in ruins, some parts that have managed to survive the destruction offer an idea about the original beauty of the palace. The palace has lovely decorated balconies and protruding windows. The palace also has four towers and is surrounded by a fort.
Uniqueness of Gagan Palace, Anegundi
The Gagan Mahal displays the exceptional skill of the engineers who existed more 500 years before today. The palace was built in such a manner that it remained cool even in the hot summer months.
Though there was no air conditioning in that era, the engineers managed to construct the palace in such a manner that it needed no artificial air conditioning to keep it cool.
The palace had a functional pool with a water drainage system even in that ancient period.
Present Condition of the Gagan Mahal, Anegundi
The present condition of the Gagan Mahal is a semi-ruined structure. Though parts of the palace are used as the local administrative office, some parts are in complete ruins.
Lack of proper maintenance is clearly visible within the palace. The paint has peeled from the walls at several places and the structure itself has been damaged to such an extent that the original beauty of this historical palace is no longer visible to anybody.
Only some parts of the structure offer a glimpse of the real beauty of the palace. The best part is that the palace has not lost its attraction among tourists, who come to visit it from far off places.
How to reach Gagan Mahal
The Gagan Mahal in Anegundi is an ancient palace that attracts tourists with its old world charm. Anegundi is located on the northern bank of River Tungabhadra. It is situated at a distance of 3 km from Hampi and can only be reached by private vehicles or by crossing the river.
There is no public transport that operates between Hampi and Anegundi. Visitors can hire a two-wheeler or autorickshaw to reach Anegundi from Hampi. Another way is to cross the River Tungabhadra and reach Anegundi.
Anegundi is a place that has no airport of its own. Visitors who want to reach there by flight have to fly to to Ballari (Bellary). Ballari is the closest town to have an airport. Anegundi is situated at a distance of about 35 km from Ballari. It can be reached by buses or other means of local transport.
Anegundi does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station is located at the town of Hosapete (Hospet). It has the Hospet Junction Railway Station. The railway station at Hosapete is connected to several other places like Bangalore, Hubli, Bijapur, etc.
One can take a bus or taxi to reach Anegundi from Hosapete. Another way to reach Anegundi is to take a rickshaw or a taxi to Talawarghatta and then cross River Tungabhadra by a coracle (local round boat).
Anegundi is connected through the road network. There are regular buses that operate between Anegundi and Hosapete (Hospet). Hosapete is located at a distance of 40 km from Anegundi. There are taxis available for hire from Hosapete to Anegundi.
The road from Hosapete crosses the River Tungabhadra to reach Anegundi. There are several buses that connect Hosapete to many other towns and cities of Karnataka. Visitors can also reach Anegundi by hiring private cabs and vehicles from places like Bengaluru (Bangalore) or Mysuru (Mysore).