7 Things To Do In Hampi That Are Totally Worth Your Time
- Visit the Temples and Ruins of Hampi
- Hire a bicycle to explore the town
- Try Bouldering in Hampi
- Go Rock Climbing
- Go for a Coracle Ride
- Try cliff jumping
- Stay in a hut on the Hippie Island
A small town in Karnataka, Hampi is an enchanting destination for pilgrims, beckoning the backpackers, and excavational wonderspot for geologists. Hampi attracts tourists from all over with its temples and ruins. But, the town has more to offer than just these usual attractions. The natural beauty of Hampi is as captivating as its ruins. Most people visit the town for a day or two, cover the temples and then head to their next holiday destination. That isn’t enough time to explore all that Hampi has to offer.
Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site in Karnataka. It takes about 7 hours to reach from the capital city, Bangalore. Considered to be a treasured gem of the state, Hampi is home to some of the most tranquil places in the country. For anyone looking for a calm and peaceful holiday, Hampi is the ideal destination. So, what are the things to do in Hampi that can make your holiday a memorable one? Here is a list.
Visit the Temples and Ruins of Hampi
The most common tourist attraction in Hampi are its temples. The town is flooded with temples for pilgrims. The temples in Hampi are an epitome of architectural finesse and every temple has a story to tell. For people who like history, they should put Virupaksha temple, Vijaya Vitthala temple, Hemakuta Hill temple, and Lakshmi Narasimha temple on the list of their places to visit in Hampi. When you are visiting the Vitthala temple, you should also take a stroll over to the Royal Center and the elephant stables.
Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagara—also known as ‘the forgotten empire’. When the town was in its prime, it was one of the richest, and a sprawling city in the world. It is also said that the first historical settlement in the town took place in 1 CE. Looking at ruins so old takes you back. There are mazes of boulders in the town, the ruins of the Vijayanagra empire. If you are thorough with your search, you will find the Queen’s bathing areas, a Narasimha statue, and even the chariot of the Vijaya Vattal temple. Mythologically, the Ramayana has a lot of events that center around the city. You will also come across a statue of Hanuman while taking a walk in the town.
Timings: The Vitthala temple is open from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. But, if you wish to avoid the crowd, try to reach the temple as early as possible. The elephant stables can be visited between 8 am and 6 pm.
Cost: On average, visiting the Vitthala temple, the Royal Center, and the elephant stables will cost you somewhere around Rs. 500 per person.
Hire a bicycle to explore the town
Walking through the town is definitely a good idea. What’s better is to hire a bicycle and pedalling through the gentle breeze, around town. Renting a bicycle will not cost you much in Hampi. It is available at extremely affordable prices, making it a more viable option than walking. If that’s still slow for you, rent a moped or a scooter. Another interesting thing to do while you are in Hampi is ferrying your cycle or the moped across the Tungabhadra River. You can do this via a coracle and it will not cost more than Rs. 10-20 per trip.
Timings: The bicycle renting shops are open between 8 am to 9 pm. But, if you are an early riser and wish to avoid the rush hours, there are some bike rental shops in the town that even open at 7 in the morning.
Cost: To rent a bicycle without gears, you will have to spend Rs. 100 per day and bicycles with gears will cost you somewhere around Rs. 150 per day. Mopeds are available at Rs. 250 per day and scooters, Rs. 350 per day.
Try Bouldering in Hampi
Hampi has been often associated with picturesque ruins and the intriguing mythology of the place draws people in. What takes a backseat, however, is the interesting geology of the place. It is fascinating to see how nature has placed the large heterogeneous boulders in the town, of different sizes. A popular theory is that these big rocks have some of the oldest surfaces found on Earth. It is interesting to observe the distinctive style of architecture of these boulders by the Vijaynagara artisans.
Go Rock Climbing
Other than stamping the town in the most distinctive fashion, the boulders in Hampi also give an opportunity of rock climbing to the tourists. Covering a vast area, these magnificent rocks are the perfect rock-climbing destination. Hampi has now become one of the most sought-after rock-climbing destinations in the country. The boulders at Hemakuta Hill are one of the go-to destinations among rock climbers from all over the globe. Besides, one can also enjoy the rock-climbing experience at Raghunatha and Tiruvengalanatha temples.
Timings: The best time to go for rock climbing in Hampi is in December. Rock climbing in Hemakuta Hills is available between 8 am and 5 pm on all 7 days of the week. To get the best view during the climb, most climbers prefer going early in the morning.
Cost: Although there are no entry charges, you might have to cough up some money to rent safety gear from the organizers. The charges of these gear vary.
Go for a Coracle Ride
This is a unique experience that you might not be able to experience at any other place in the country. Therefore, when you visit the Tungabhadra river in Hampi, make sure that you go for a coracle ride. Coracles are boats that are round, and they are known as the country boats by the locales. These boats have a capacity of 6 to 8 people. Although the boat ride is not dangerous, people with a weak heart are usually advised against it.
Timings: The boat rides are available during the summer and spring season. So, if you are visiting between January to March or October to December, make sure that you hop onto one. The rides start at 6 in the morning and go on till 6 in the evening. If you wish to avoid the crowd, visit the place early before the rush. During monsoon season, the rides are closed due to heavy water.
Cost: Each ride will cost you around Rs. 50-100 per head.
Try cliff jumping
One of the best things to do in Hampi for is cliff jumping. If you are looking for something adventurous to do in town, head towards the Tungabhadra river or the Sanapur lake. Make sure that you know how to swim, you might have to cross a short distance before you jump off the cliff. The cliffs are not too high, subjectively. The average height is 15 feet.
Word of caution: There can be crocodiles in the water. So, before you jump, make sure that that you don’t spot any. To ensure safety, you can take help from locals who can guide you with the cliff jumping.
Timings: There are no restrictions on the timings. But, to ensure safety, try to go during daylight.
Cost: The activity is free of cost.
Stay in a hut on the Hippie Island
The Hippie island in Hampi is popular for its hut stays. One can find the architectural styles of these huts very basic, but the huts are equipped with all basic amenities for a comfortable stay. The staff is well-versed with Hindi and English both. To keep the guests entertained during their stay, there are live performances at the huts, like a circle. The food served here is prepared by seasoned chefs. They bring some of the most exotic dishes from the global cuisine to your plate and are adept at customizations. If you are staying at these huts to celebrate, you can try out their bakeries.
For personal hygiene, carry your own towels, mosquito repellent creams, toiletries, and sanitizers. If you are traveling during the winter season, you might also need hot water. For this, carry your personal bucket with you.
Timings: The island is about 40 km from Hampi. Therefore, it is advisable to leave the town in the afternoon so that you can enjoy some evening performances on the island.
Cost: The stay costs Rs. 1,000 per night.
Hi! I am Paridhi. When not downing endless cups of coffee and binge-ing on Masala Fries, I can be found deeply engrossed in contemporary novels. Delhiite by birth and nomad by passion. I travel and I know things. I write travel blogs by day and binge watch thriller and rom-com by night.