A testimony to the mighty Vijayanagara Empire
Hampi is a destination earmarked for every backpacker's trail and has been a flourishing tourist spot. All this is for good reason since Hampi is considered as a prestigious heritage spot and is even recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage site. There is something truly magical about this place that is tough to pinpoint. Maybe it is the landscape composed of surreal boulders, interspersed with lush paddy fields, and juxtaposed with the ancient ruins of this place. Nevertheless, it is a place well worth the anticipation that it sets forth.
Apart from being a feast for the eyes, Hampi shot to fame as a major tourist attraction backed with its fascinating historical background. The whole setting along with the ruins of historical value feels like a museum open to exploring. You can relish in this rustic landscape which once belonged to the Vijayanagara Empire. It was believed to a bustling metropolis and one of the most important landmarks in Indian history. It was dotted with bazaars making fortune through the trade of precious stones and other riches that attracted a number of merchants from all over the world. This beauty and capital of the Vijayanagar empire came to an end when the Deccan Sultanes ambushed this place, leaving it with nothing but the ruins of the majestic structures, as we see it today.
Hampi is also close to hearts for many Hindus who have ever read the Ramayana. Known as 'Kishkinda', it was in Hampi that we are introduced to the monkey God, Hanuman. All the relics and stories add up to the experience of embracing the mesmerizing touch of this destination. The captivating essence of this heritage clad destination is very hard to ignore. No one has ever left Hampi without awe for the architecture.
It is easily accessible from both Goa as well as Bangalore, owing to which you can see people visiting Hampi all throughout the year. People come here from across the globe and leave fascinated by the ancient rock paintings, the intricately crafted architecture and the legends that are connected to this beautiful place. Hampi is untouched by the beam of modernity and this makes it even more special. It poses as a life-size canvas where you can let your imaginations go wild. It is almost impossible to soak in the extent of this place within a day. Every day here opens up a new portal for something new to explore and indulge in. Pamper yourself with a walk along the river through the boulder-strewn landscape. You can either walk across the stretch of the whole of Hampi or rent a bike/cycle to quench the needs of the adventurous soul in you.
There are these little coracle boats that are used as a means to cross the river by locals and travelers alike. It is an experience that you shouldn't definitely miss! It is one of the most traditional ways of transport here and cherished by many who come here. You can use one of these little circular basket-shaped boats to cross the river and visit destinations like Anegudi. Anegudi also falls under the umbrella of UNESCO Heritage Site but witnesses a much smaller footfall of tourists.
Top things do in Hampi
How to reach
The nearest airports are Vidyanagar ( 35km ), Hubli ( 140km ), Bangalore (350km ). KSRTC runs bus services between Hospet and cities like Bangalore and Mysore. Hospet has a railway station which is connected to major cities in India.
How to Reach by Flight
Vidyanagar is the nearest airport which is at a distance of 35km. TruJet operates daily flights from Hyderabad to Vidyanagar. Bangalore is the nearest Internation airport, it is at a distance of 350km.Hubli airport is at a distance of 140km.
How to Reach by Train
Hospet ( HPT ) is the nearest railway station, it is at a distance of 13km from Hampi.Overnight trains operate between Hospet and cities such as Bangalore, Goa and Hyderabad. Auto rickshaws charge about Rs 200 from the railway station to Hampi. Govt buses run between Hampi and Hospet bus stand ( Rs 10 ).
How to Reach by Bus
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation runs buses from Bangalore, Gokarna and Mysore to Hospet.Auto rickshaws charge about Rs 200 from Hospet to Hampi. Govt buses run between Hampi and Hospet ( Rs 10 ).
How to Reach by Road
Bangalore: 350km; drive till Chitradurga on NH-4, take a right turn on NH-13 towards Sholapur till Hospet, and then drive another 13km to reach Hampi. Mumbai is at a distance of 800km and Hyderabad at 360km from Hampi.
How to travel within
There are auto rickshaws available to take you around, but they can be very expensive at times. Many travelers prefer to rent a two-wheeler or a bicycle to explore around Hampi. It is not only the cheaper option but also helps you to explore in your own terms.
- Bicycles are available from Virupaksha Temple market
Cost INR 50 to 150
- In case you are hiring an auto for the entire day, it can cost INR 300 to 500
- You can also walk around Hampi to explore and visit places.
The inflow of increasing tourists over the years has played a crucial role in facilitating many facilities in and around Hampi. It has opened up the choice of a number of various cuisines to cater to the tourists who come from different parts of the globe. However, it comes as a note of caution to know that since it is a temple town, non-vegetarian food is not allowed in the part of Hampi that houses these temples. You can even relish in the scrumptious delicacy of homemade food from nearby homestays.
Some of the well-known and recommended eateries here are:
- Funky Monkey
- Mango Tree
- Laughing Buddha
- The Goan Corner
- Tibetan Kitchen
- Hampi Roof Restaurant
- Tibetan Kitchen
Even though the northern side of the Tungabhadra river has a comparatively varied choice of eateries, but worry not both the banks are spotted with eateries where you can spend good leisure time. The ambiance here is also laid back and meant to give you a good time when in Hampi. Some of these gems open up to a view of the river and paddy fields which adds up to the experience for anyone.
- Reach by morning, rent a bicycle/scooter
- Start exploring the city
- Enjoy an early morning walk across the ruins.
- Spend the evening at sunset point, Matanga hill and watch the sun sinking into the Tungabhadra river