History lovers will fall in love with Hampi. It is food for the soul for those who love history, past grandeur and magical stories. Hampi is of course a UNESCO World Heritage Site and draws domestic and foreign tourists in huge numbers every year. Hampi tourism has earned itself a place on the map of coveted Indian destinations globally and with good reason!
This charming hamlet, believe it or not, was the last capital of one of the greatest Hindu empires of Vijayanagar. The ruins in the area are a spectacular sight along with the plethora of other attractions.
How To Reach Hampi from Bangalore
Thinking about how to reach from Bangalore? Fret not; You can hop onto an overnight train from Bangalore to reach Hospet which is the nearest railway station to Hampi. There are private buses running from Bangalore and Mysore along with Gokarna and Goa. There are tuk-tuks (auto-rickshaws) plying from Hospet to Hampi along with local buses.
The nearest airports are at Belgaum and Hubli which are approximately 3-5 hours away on an average. You can fly from Bangalore and then take buses/taxis to reach Hampi.
Best Time To Visit Hampi
Hampi is best experienced between November and February since the heat starts rising from March. The cool weather from November ensures that you can walk around leisure and suitably explore the place.
One of India’s most colourful and vibrant festivals, the Hampi Festival, takes place in November ever year over three days. It is also called the Vijaya Utsav and is peppered with drama, dance, fireworks, puppet shows and music. There is another Purandaradasa Aradhana classical music festival that is held in January or February every year for commemorating the birth of the poet Purandaradasa. The Virupaksha Car Festival takes place in March or April every year. You can plan your itinerary accordingly if you wish to view one of these festivals in Hampi.
10 Best Places To Visit In Hampi
Hampi is itself a historical and architectural marvel. It is also a major spiritual centre. The ruins here go all the way back to the 14th century and cover 500+ monuments over a 25 km radius.
1. Vijaya Vittala Temple
Arguably Hampi’s most eye-catching monument, this temple worships Lord Vishnu and it is located amidst surreal boulders with 56 musical pillars dotting its main hall. The stone chariot is something to behold by all means.
2. Royal Center
This is another popular landmark that is located towards Kamalapura. Tourists have to venture southwards to this attraction to get a glimpse into how the royals governed their populace and lived out their lives.
3. Elephant Stables
These can be viewed anytime between 8.30 AM and 6 PM on a daily basis.
4. Virupaksha Temple
Another towering attraction in the Main Bazaar, this temple worships Lord Shiva and is believed to have existed even before the establishment of the Vijayanagar Empire. The temple has several gateways and shrines. In an interesting addition, the functioning of the very first pinhole cameras can be observed here.
5. Hampi Bazaar
The old Hampi Bazaar or the Virupaksha Bazaar is a charming retreat for travellers with its artefacts and quaint pavilions on the sides of the street.
6. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
The statue of Lakshmi Narasimha is the biggest in the area. This something worth viewing by all means.
7. Krishna Temple
Built by famous King Krishnadevaraya back in 1513 AD after his victory over the Kingdom of Utkala/Udaygiri, the main idol was Balakrishna (Lord Krishna in his infancy) which is now showcased at the Chennai State Museum.
8. Sasivekalu and Kadalekalu Ganesha Temples
These two Ganesha temples are also worth a visit if you’re an architecture lover.
9. Hemakuta Hills
For amazing views of the ruins, this hill is where you should be and it is also dotted with several pavilions, temples and archways. Viewing the sunset here makes for a mind-blowing experience, not to mention fabulous pictures!
10. Matanga Hills
The hill is centrally located and offers a gorgeous view of Hampi which is even better during sunrise/sunset.
Some other places of interest include the Hazara Rama Temple, Pampa Sarovar, Anjaneya Hill and Temple and of course, the Durga Temple located at the base of the fort. You can also check out the Courtesan’s Street, Sugreeva’s Cave, Bhima’s Gateway, Mahanavami Dibba and Queen’s Bath.
Some Other Tips Tor Travellers
You can definitely rent a bicycle and get around the place or simply walk around as much as you can. You can go on a ferry ride to Anegondi by crossing the river. This place also has a few ancient landmarks while a two-hour journey will bring you to the Krsma Estate vineyards. Enjoy some of the finest wine as you take in the pristine ambience of the place.
You can always cross the river to Virupapur Gadde if you’re a non-vegetarian since alcohol and meat are not available in Hampi town. The place does not have ATMs as well. The nearest one is about 10 minutes away at Kamalapura so keeping some cash in advance will always help.
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