Hampi, once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Karnataka, Southern India. It houses the remains of the magnificent palaces, and many other monuments of the prosperous kingdom of the 14th century.
Hampi spreads over an area of 25 square-kilometers and is also known as the ‘bouldering’ capital of India. The ruins of Hampi are a UNESCO world heritage site. It is also one of the most important religious sites in India. The Vedanta mythology is depicted in various Hindu temples in Hampi. The people living in this village earn most of their income through agriculture, tourism, and help from the various holy places in the village.
How to reach Hampi?
The main mode of connectivity to Hampi is by road. Rail communication comes second, and air link is the last option.
The nearest railway station is a place called Hospet, which is 12 kilometers from Hampi. Hospet has connectivity to various important places like Bengaluru, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Delhi, etc. via rail.
The closest airport to the village is a town called Bellary, which is about 60 kilometers away or Hubli, which is about 130 kilometers away from Hampi.
If you’re not a native of India, then the best option is to get airdropped at any airport close to Hampi (about 100-400 kilometers) and head towards Hampi by rail or road.
The most appropriate time to visit Hampi is from November to February.
What to see in Hampi?
Hampi is known for its architecture and ancient Hindu god temples that are still in use. It provides the tourists a chance to experience and learn facts about India before the Moghul rule.
One of the most important places to visit in Hampi is the Vittala Temple, known for its extraordinary architecture like the musical pillars that resonate when tapped. This temple also comprises other small temples, halls and shrines. The main part of the temple is the stone chariot. The pillars of the temple have many ancient historical carvings on them that might interest tourists who intend to learn facts about ancient India. The ancient Hampi market is connected to the temple with the help of the riverside ruins, consisting of 1008 Shivalings.
The Virupaksha temple is the temple of the Hindu god of destruction is located at the riverbank.
It is the oldest active temple in India (since the 7th century), and gives tourists the chance to experience Hindu functions up close.
The Krishna temple in Hampi is one of the most beautiful temples and is a must visit place. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna, who was known for his political smartness and romanticism.
Hampi houses a huge number of pillars, statues, temples and shrines, but the tallest of all statues is of the man-lion god, Lakshmi Narasimha. This statue was destroyed during an enemy invasion.
The Lotus temple in Hampi is a mixture of Islamic architectural style and Hindu architecture, which is present at the base of the temple. It is assumed that the military officer of the 17th century used this structure as his private office.
Hazara-Rama Temple, the private temple of the king, has an unusual design when compared to other temples of the Vijayanagara temples.
Hampi has various other structures like the Pattabhirama temple, Achyuta Raya’s temple, and Matanga hills.
What to do in Hampi?
Hampi is not only known as a historical and archaeological place, but is also know for its adventure sports.
The rocky terrain of Hampi provides a good scope of rock climbing for rock-climbing enthusiasts. The size of the rocks and crags range from 4m to 60m, providing easy and challenging options to the people. Several organizations have started setting up camps for tourists interested in rock-climbing.
Hampi also has a lot of hilly terrains, which provide good opportunities for trekking. Each trek provides a different view of the village Hampi. Most of the trekking routes lead to hilltops like Matanga Hill trek, Anjaneya Hill trek, etc. The only route that does not involve any climbing is the Kampa-Bhupa path, advised for people with knee or leg injury.
One of the most unique sports offered at Hampi to its tourists, is the Coracle ride. It takes place in the Tungabhadra River. A Coracle is actually a circular boat that can house around 6-8 people. Considered one of the most beautiful river rides in India, is also very dangerous for the weak hearted people.
The best way to explore Hampi to its fullest is the bicycle ride. People can explore the nooks and corners of the city by riding a bicycle throughout the village. Bicycles, and other two wheelers are available for hire at the local shops. Hiring a bicycle is also economical and eco-friendly, as you wouldn’t be spreading pollution and also save fuel.
If you’re not a resident of India, it is advised to carry a copy of your passport or driving license as proof to be submitted at the shop.
Where to stay in Hampi?
If you want to explore Hampi completely, you need to plan to stay there for at least 3 to 4 days. There are few resorts and hotels that take great effort in making your stay comfortable. They also make you experience the Great Indian Culture.
Hospet town provides a very luxurious stay to its tourists. Most of the state-run hotels are located in Kamalapura.
Hampi village provides budget hotels and guesthouses. Most of the houses here are guesthouses that are either connected to the main house or are at a different location.
Virupapur Gadde is the place suggested to tourists who prefer to stay around nature in small huts alongside the river.
Accommodation is provided at any time of the year, but it is advised to pre-book if you are planning to come during the tourist season.
In a nutshell, Hampi is a magnificent place, with a lot lying under, it is perfect for a good rejuvenating vacation.
Some travel agencies which offer tour packages to Hampi can be found on QuickSearch.