HAMPI; WHERE TRAVEL MEETS HISTORY & SERENITY!
Updated: Feb 6
I say this because the place I am telling you about today justifies being a person’s fantasy. Now when a trip is planned we list down a criterion. Okay let’s just do it here;
• Lots of attractions and activities.
• Pleasant weather.
• Good food.
• Water bodies and Mountains both. (this would be a cherry on the cake)
• Best sunrises/sunsets.
The place we are literally going to visit with this blog ticks off every point on this list and rises beautifully.
A small town in the south Indian state of Karnataka and is located in the city of Vijayanagara. A UNESCO World Heritage Site: HAMPI. This place is considered a keeper of ancient sculptures, monumental ruins, scenery, architecturally beautiful temples, and visually satisfying sunrises and sunsets.
Hampi is situated along the banks of river Tungabhadra and is steeped below 1,400 years of history. It was the capital of the Vijayanagara Dynasty. Chronicles say that Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy, and grand city. Almost all the monuments are from 1336 and 1570 CE. Hampi was destroyed by the Muslim sultanates after the Empire was conquered by them in 1565 and since then Hampi is a beauty even in the ruins.
How to reach:
Hubli Airport is the nearest one to Hampi which is 166km away and has regular flights from Bangalore. Belgaum connects Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, and Jabalpur but is 270 km away from Hampi. But Cabs and taxis are easily available outside the airport to reach Hampi.
Hampi is well connected with towns and cities that fall in the state of Karnataka by Buses. Besides the local buses, there are tourist buses available as well. Some of the interstate buses run in Goa, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. When you reach Hospet you can take Auto rickshaws to Hampi.
Hospet Junction is the nearest one to Hampi which is 13km away. The trains travel regularly connecting major Indian cities. You can hire a cab or taxi for further travel.
Hampi is divided into 2 parts; HIPPIE ISLAND AND CENTRAL HAMPI.
• Vipapur village/Gadde aka Hippie Island due to its casual and chilled vibes filled with lush greenery, paddy fields, sunset points, and cafes that serve very tasty food. The purpose of visiting this island is to just relax and have fun.
• Central Hampi is filled with dotting temples, history, and some ruins of the royal stays that have stunning architecture. These structures have wonderful sculpting carved all over them. South Indian food will make you restless when you come here.
ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
How to reach:
Once you reach Hampi, you need to take a boat ride and cross the Tungabhadra River which will take only 5-7 minutes. This you will find near the Virupaksha Temple. The charges are around 50 INR.
Things to do:
1) Anjaneya Hills
Anjaneya Hill is the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. Stories give evidence of this place. You have to climb 600 (approximately) steps to reach the hilltop. You will experience the very popular sunrise view. This is quite popular among the tourists. There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman on the hill. You will find a lot of monkeys hopping around in this area.
There is no entry fee for the temple but you need to pay for the parking.
2) Explore the village of Anegundi
This village is nothing less than heaven. The roads are lined up with Banana trees and Coconut trees and the lands are filled with paddy fields. The rearview covers mountains from Hampi. It is covered in between the huge boulders. The road that takes you to Anegundi has Sanapur Lake. The view is just magnificent and feels like you are in a dreamland. You can also go boating at Tungabhadra Dam in the evening.
You will have to hire a moped to wander around the village. It will cost you 250 INR/day.
3) Sunset at the sunset hill point
This hill point is filled with tourists just to experience the Sunset. You need to climb the rocky hill. It won’t take you long as it is a very easy one. The vibe on this hill is everything. You will see people chanting mantras or some people engrossed in the atmosphere. At times you will find tourists having a musical evening too.
4) Cafes at the Hippie Island
Cafes on the island should be visited. The vibes, décor, food, and music make you fall in love with it.
• Nargila Café
This place serves you the best Tibetian food. It is a restaurant with perfect vibes for a candle light dinner.
• Mowgli Hotel
A cafe that gives you a true feeling of being a hippie. Amazing food with and a vfm place.
• Laughing Buddha
A cafe with laidback vibes and a very colorful interior. The place serves you the tastiest food among all the cafes.
• Evergreen Hotel
The list is quite a big one but these are must-visit ones. These cafes are surely going to enhance your experience.
How to reach:
To explore this side of Hampi you have to hire an auto-rickshaw for the internal transportation. You can also choose for a bus but it will get hectic, the rickshaw is more efficient. The rickshaw will cost you around 200-300 INR/person for the entire day.
You also have an option of renting a cycle which will cost you around 100-150 per day. Climbing the hilly sides might be a little difficult.
1) Virupaksha Temple
This is the only functioning temple in Hampi. Poojas and Aartis are offered every morning and evening. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple being the main attraction is quite crowded.
You should visit the temple early in the morning. You will get to attend the offerings and the architecture looks stunning when the sunrises.
The temple has no entry charges and the bazaar is adjacent to it.
2) Mathanga Hill
If you are a person who fantasizes about sunrise and sunset then this place is a definite visit. This hill offers you an entire view of Hampi.
Imagine this, “You are on top of a hill and it offers you the entire town and deep down you can see banana plantations, coconut trees, paddy fields, and River Tungabhadra. With this, you get to watch a mesmerizing sunrise or a sunset.”
Now isn’t this surreal?
Also if you are visiting for sunset you get to watch the sun setting exactly on the Virupaksha temple’s peak!
This hill is near the Virupaksha temple and has no entry fee. It is easy to climb and takes up to 45 minutes. (Depends on your pace)
4) Vitthala Temple
Have you ever noticed a chariot on the back of Indian currency? Yes! This temple has that Stone Chariot. This temple was built for Lord Vitthal. It is the most artistically built temple in Hampi. This temple has 56 carved beams that produce sound when struck. It was used for playing music and host celebrations in its time. Though the temple does not have a deity inside it, it catches quite an eye of the tourists. The temple is known for its architecture, Stone chariot, and musical pillars.
4) Ugra Narsimha, Badavi Linga and Krishna Temple
Ugra Narsimha also known as Lakshmi Narsimha is Lord Vishnu’s Avatar seated in a yoga position. This is the tallest statue in Hampi. The idol previously had Goddess Lakshmi’s deity too but now it shows signs of damage and thus the shrine is being repaired.
Badavi Linga is the largest monolithic Shiva linga. This Linga stands in water throughout the year as a water channel flows through it. It has 3 eyes sketched on top.
Krishna temple is known for its carvings and architecture. The carvings of mythical Lions are exquisite. This temple reflects the prosperity of the empire.
While the first 2 fall in the same compound the latter is only 200 meters away. These places do not have entry fees.
5) The Royal Centre
The royal center consists of:
• QUEEN’S BATH
• LOTUS MAHAL
This was the place where the Royals of Vijayanagara stayed. This place is known for its outstanding architecture. The architecture is known for its complexity. The Queen’s bath was made especially for royal ladies. Pushkarni was a sacred water tank for temples.
The Queen’s bath and Lotus Mahal have entry tickets while Pushkarni doesn’t have one.
6) Hemakuta Hill
This hill is one of the best parts of Hampi. It is famous for its sunsets. It also has some monuments that refer to the periods before the Vijayanagara Kingdom and during the Reign. The hill has two of the most important temples;
• SASIVEKALU GANESHA TEMPLE
• KADALEKALU GANESHA TEMPLE
Both these are dedicated to Lord Ganesha and possess his statue at the shrine too!
The hill has no entry fees and is near to the Virupaksha Temple.
• You visit Hampi and don’t try the very famous Coracle ride? This won’t be justice to your trip. Rides near Achyutaraya Temple are the best. It will cost you around 500 INR/HR.
• Tickets for Vitthala Temple will also carry a Visit to Queen’s bath and Lotus Mahal.
• Wander around the colorful markets of Hampi.
• Go Boulder Climbing. It is such a unique experience.
• Do not forget to visit MANGO TREE; a place for authentic south Indian food and the tastiest banana pie!
• The German Bakery here serves delicious baked food. Do try!
• Visit in the period of October-February.
• Visit for a trip of 4-5 days to cover both sides.
• Staying at Hippie Island will cost 1000-1300 INR while for Hampi it will cost 700-1000 INR.
And with this last tip, I hope that by now you have already planned a trip to Hampi and if you have already visited then the memories must have rushed back. According to my experience, this place will not satisfy you in a single visit. There are a lot of places and a lot of attractions that catch your attention. Hampi is definitely a place for a second visit. Its history and serenity bind your travel experience.
Be it a family trip, a friends fun tour, or a couple of trips; HAMPI IS FOR EVERYBODY!