Bhima’s Gate is one of the massive gateways of the fortified Vijayanagara Empire. The prominent structure is one of the many gateways that allowed one to enter the walled city in the ancient days. Bhima’s Gate is located between the domed gate and the Ganagitti Jaina Temple. It is considered to be one of the strongest entrances of the fortified city that has withstood the test of time and weather.
- Timing: Open on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: Entrance is free for all
- Photography: Allowed
- Visit duration: 2 hours approximately
- Best time to visit: From November to February
History of Bhima’s Gate, Hampi
Bhima’s Gate is an example of the strong defence system of the Vijayanagara Empire. The defence system of the fortified city consisted of massive walls and a number of large gateways. Most of the gateways had adjoining shrines that had sculptures or carvings of Bhima and Hanuman, the two characters of Hindu mythology associated with immense strength and valour.
Following the same pattern Bhima’s Gate also has a carving of Bhima etched on the gateway. The name Bhima’s Gate was probably given in relation to the carvings of Bhima carved on the structure. It could also have been due to the fact that Bhima was the strongest among the Pandava brothers and this gate was also considered to be one of the strongest gateways of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Architecture of Bhima’s gate, Hampi
Bhima’s Gate stands as an amazing example of the Vijayanagara military architecture. The gateway is built as a huge arch complex with several carvings on it. The structure is designed in a unique manner. The interesting fact about this gateway is that no one can cross this archway in a straight line.
One has to enter the gateway through its western arch. Straight ahead stands a large and tall block of a wall like structure. One can exit the structure only when one turns right, then left and then once again left to reach the exit at the north. The structure was designed in such a complex manner so as to create a blind spot for the invading army.
Carvings and murals on Bhima’s Gate, Hampi
The gateway has murals of Draupadi, the wife of the Pandava brothers. Draupadi is seen to be tying her hair in the mural. Another part of the mural depicts the slaying of Kichaka by Bhima to avenge the fact that Kichaka had tried to molest Draupadi. It is to be noted that the murals attract the attention of visitors even today and stand as examples of the exceptional Vijayanagara Empire.
How to reach Bhima’s Gate, Hampi
Bhima’s Gate is located near the Ganagitti Jaina Temple of the fortified city of Hampi. It is one of the easily accessible sites in Hampi.
Hampi has no airport of its own. Bellary is the nearest town that has an airport as well. As such, visitors who wish to reach Hampi by air must take a flight to Bellary and then avail local transport to reach Hampi.
Visitors who want to reach Hampi by the rail network must get down at the nearest station located at Hospet. The Hospet Junction Railway Station is located at a distance of about 12 km from Hampi. The ancient city of Hampi can be easily reached from Hospet through one of the frequent buses that travel between the two places. Visitors can also try other means of local transport to reach Hampi from Hospet.
Hampi is well connected to several towns and cities by means of an extensive road network. The old town can be easily reached by bus from a number of major towns and cities. Visitors can also hire private cars and vehicles from major cities like Bengaluru or Mysuru to reach Hampi.