Hampi is an ancient city that was once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, one of the largest and richest kingdoms in Indian history. Hampi is located in the state of Karnataka, in southern India, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts tourists from all over the world for its stunning ruins, magnificent temples, and scenic landscape.
Hampi is also a place of spiritual and cultural significance, as it is associated with many legends and myths of Hinduism. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive travel guide to Hampi, including the best time to visit, things to do, places to see, must-see attractions, and some FAQs. Visit during One Day Hampi Sightseeing Trip – Visit Famous UNESCO SiteBest Time to Visit Hampi
The best time to visit Hampi is from November to February, when the weather is cool and dry. The temperature ranges from 15°C to 30°C during this period, making it ideal for sightseeing and exploring the ruins. The monsoon season from June to August brings heavy rains and humidity, which can make the travel uncomfortable and risky. The summer season from March to May is very hot and dry, with temperatures reaching up to 40°C. However, if you don’t mind the heat, you can also visit Hampi during this time, as it is less crowded and cheaper. Karwar- Best Travel GuideThings to Do in Hampi
Vijaya Vitthala Temple
Hampi offers a variety of activities for travelers of different interests and preferences. Here are some of the things you can do in Hampi:
Explore the ruins: Hampi has over 1,600 monuments spread over an area of 25 square kilometers. You can spend hours wandering around the ruins and admiring the architecture and artistry of the Vijayanagara Empire. You can see temples, palaces, markets, stables, tanks, wells, platforms, and more. Some of the most famous ruins are the Virupaksha Temple, the Vijaya Vitthala Temple, the Lotus Mahal, the Elephant Stables, and the Queen’s Bath.Enjoy the nature: Hampi is surrounded by rocky hills, green valleys, and flowing rivers that offer a picturesque view of nature. You can enjoy the scenery by taking a boat ride on the Tungabhadra River, hiking on the Hemakuta Hill or Anjaneya Hill, or cycling around the countryside. You can also spot some wildlife such as monkeys, peacocks, crocodiles, and birds in Hampi.Experience the culture: Hampi is a place of rich culture and heritage that reflects the diversity and harmony of India. You can experience the culture by visiting the local markets and shops that sell handicrafts, clothes, books, and souvenirs. You can also taste some local delicacies such as idli, dosa, vada, jolada rotti (sorghum bread), ennegai (stuffed eggplant curry), badanekai yennegai (brinjal curry), etc. You can also attend some festivals and events that celebrate the history and spirituality of Hampi. Some of the popular festivals are Purandara Festival (January-February), Shivaratri (February-March), Hampi Festival (November-January), etc.Learn about the history: Hampi has a fascinating history that spans over several centuries and dynasties. You can learn about the history by visiting some museums and galleries that display artifacts, sculptures, paintings, coins, inscriptions, etc. Some of the museums are Archaeological Museum at Kamalapuram, Virupaksha Temple Museum, Vijayanagara Museum at Anegondi, etc.
Places to Visit in Hampi
Hampi has many places to visit that showcase its beauty and glory. Here are some of the places you should not miss when you visit Hampi:
Virupaksha Temple: This is the oldest and most sacred temple in Hampi, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a 50-meter high gopuram (tower) that dominates the skyline of Hampi. You can also see the inverted shadow of the temple tower on a wall inside the temple, which is a unique phenomenon.Vijaya Vitthala Temple: This is the most spectacular and ornate temple in Hampi, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It has several attractions such as the stone chariot, which is one of the three famous stone chariots in India; the musical pillars, which produce different musical notes when tapped gently; and the 100-pillar mandapam, which is a hall with intricately carved pillars depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology.Lakshmi Narasimha Temple: This is a temple that houses the largest monolithic statue in Hampi, depicting Lord Narasimha sitting on a coiled serpent with Goddess Lakshmi on his lap. The statue is about 6.7 meters high and was carved from a single boulder.Lotus Mahal: This is a part of the Zenana Enclosure, a secluded area for the royal women of Hampi. The Lotus Mahal is a two-storied pavilion with a lotus-shaped dome and arched windows. The structure reflects a blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles and was used as a pleasure palace for the queens and princesses.Elephant Stables: These are a series of 11 domed chambers that were used to house the royal elephants of Hampi. The chambers are interconnected by arched doorways and have small windows for ventilation. The stables are built in an Indo-Islamic style and reflect the importance of elephants in the Vijayanagara Empire.Hampi Bazaar: This is a street market that stretches for about one kilometer along the Virupaksha Temple. You can find shops selling souvenirs, clothes, books, and snacks. You can also enjoy some local delicacies such as idli, dosa, vada, and chai at one of the many eateries along the bazaar.Queen’s Bath: This is a large pool surrounded by a rectangular building with arched corridors and balconies. The pool was used by the royal family for bathing and relaxation. The pool has a sophisticated water supply system and has fountains that spray perfumed water.Hemakuta Hill Temple: This is a group of temples located on a hill near the Virupaksha Temple. The temples are dedicated to various gods and goddesses and have different styles and sizes. The hill offers a panoramic view of Hampi and its monuments.Sasivekalu Ganesha: This is a giant statue of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success. The statue is about 2.4 meters high and was carved from a single boulder. The statue has a snake tied around its belly as a belt.Hanuman Temple: This is a temple located on top of Anjaneya Hill, across the Tungabhadra River from Hampi. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the monkey god who was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. The temple is also known as the Monkey Temple, as it is inhabited by many monkeys. The temple offers a stunning view of Hampi and its surroundings.Stepped Tank: This is a rectangular water tank with five tiers of steps leading to it. The tank was used for ritual bathing and ceremonies by the royals and priests of Hampi. The tank is made of finely cut stone blocks that fit together without any mortar or cement.Zenana Enclosure: This is a walled area that was reserved for the royal women of Hampi. The enclosure has several structures such as palaces, pavilions, watchtowers, and gardens. The enclosure also has some secret passages and underground chambers that were used for security and escape purposes.
Must See Attractions in Hampi
Hazara Rama Temple
Hampi has many attractions that are worth seeing, but if you have limited time or want to see the best of the best, here are some of the must-see attractions in Hampi:
Stone Chariot: This is one of the most iconic and impressive structures in Hampi. It is a replica of a wooden chariot that once carried an image of Lord Vitthala. It has four wheels that can rotate and a small shrine inside it. It is made of granite and has intricate carvings on it.Musical Pillars: These are pillars that produce different musical notes when tapped gently with fingers or nails. They are made of granite and have hollow chambers inside them. They are located in the Ranga Mandapa of the Vijaya Vitthala Temple and are also known as Saregama Pillars, as they can play the seven notes of Indian classical music.Lakshmi Narasimha Statue: This is the largest monolithic statue in Hampi, depicting Lord Narasimha sitting on a coiled serpent with Goddess Lakshmi on his lap. It is about 6.7 meters high and was carved from a single boulder. It is also known as Ugra Narasimha Statue, as it shows Lord Narasimha in his fierce form.Virupaksha Temple Tower: This is the tallest structure in Hampi, measuring 50 meters high. It is located at the entrance of the Virupaksha Temple and has nine tiers with intricate carvings on them. It also has a unique phenomenon of projecting an inverted shadow of itself on a wall inside the temple.
Significance of Hampi
Hampi is not only a place of historical and architectural marvels, but also a place of spiritual and cultural significance. Hampi is considered to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, the monkey god who was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. Hampi is also associated with many legends and myths of Hinduism, such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana, etc.Hampi is also a place of harmony and diversity, as it reflects the fusion of Hindu and Muslim influences in art and culture during the Vijayanagara period. Hampi is also a place of inspiration and creativity, as it showcases the skill and talent of the craftsmen and artists of that era. Hampi is a place that can enrich your mind, body, and soul with its beauty and glory.FAQs
Q: How can I reach Hampi from Bangalore?A: You can reach Hampi from Bangalore by road, rail, or air. By road, you can take a bus or a cab that will take about 6 to 8 hours to reach Hampi. By rail, you can take a train to Hospet, which is the nearest railway station to Hampi, and then take a cab or an auto-rickshaw to Hampi. By air, you can take a flight to Hubli or Belgaum, which are the nearest airports to Hampi, and then take a cab or a bus to Hampi.Q: Where can I stay in Hampi?A: You can find various options for accommodation in Hampi, ranging from budget to luxury. You can stay in hotels, resorts, guest houses, homestays, hostels, or campsites. Some of the popular places to stay in Hampi are Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, Heritage Resort Hampi, Clarks Inn Hampi, Rocky Guest House, Goan Corner, etc.Q: What are the timings and entry fees for visiting the monuments in Hampi?A: The timings and entry fees for visiting the monuments in Hampi vary depending on the monument. Most of the monuments are open from sunrise to sunset. The entry fee for most of the monuments is included in the ticket for Vijaya Vitthala Temple, which costs Rs. 30 for Indian citizens, visitors of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries, Rs. 500 for other foreign nationals, and free for children up to 15 years. The ticket is valid for one day and also includes entry to other monuments such as Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stables, Zenana Enclosure, etc.Q: What are the things to carry while visiting Hampi?A: Some of the things to carry while visiting Hampi are:A valid ID proof such as passport, Aadhaar card, driving license, etc.A camera or a smartphone to capture the memories.A water bottle and some snacks to keep yourself hydrated and energized.A hat, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion, and umbrella to protect yourself from the sun.Comfortable shoes and clothes to walk around the ruins.A guide book or an audio guide to learn more about the history and significance of the monuments.
ConclusionHampi is a destination that will leave you spellbound with its charm and splendor. It is a place that will take you back in time and make you feel the glory and grandeur of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is a place that will fill you with awe and admiration for the craftsmanship and artistry of the ancient Indians. It is a place that will enrich your mind, body, and soul with its beauty and significance.If you are looking for a memorable and meaningful travel experience in India, you should definitely visit Hampi. You will not regret it!