If there’s any place in India that shines with glory and reverberates throughout with the tales of its past, then it is the grand Hampi. Nestled within the realms of southern charm, Hampi in Karnataka brims with age-old pieces of evidence of its golden history.
Laden with opulent culture and heritage, Hampi used to be a part of the Mauryan Empire back in the third century. Later, under the rule of King Krishnadeva Raya of Tuluva dynasty, the Vijayanagara Empire soared to unparalleled heights.
The temples, the remains, and the mystical earthly beauty are enough to make you want to visit this one, right? If not, don’t worry. We have so much more to tell you about this living southern wonder.
Oh, and by the way, did you know that Hampi is supposedly one of the places where one of the “Kaands” of Ramayana took place in?
Gives it another mythological significance now, doesn’t it?
There, there, folks. Before you get upset about not being aware of the best time to visit this heavenly destination, we are here to make it a tad bit easier for you. After all, in the end, it is your decision, our pretty travelers.
Hampi Tourism flourishes the best in winters. Well, it is also safe to say that Hampi is a very decent host throughout the year due to its moderate climate except for the afternoons in summers. Furthermore, the cool summer evenings and breezy monsoon days make up for some unforgettable times exploring the rich cultural heritage and monuments in Hampi down South.
Pack your bags anytime between July and February. There’ll be rain, there’ll be chills, and there’ll be memories. Could you ask for more?
Also, make sure not to miss out on Vijaya Utsava in winters. You’ll fall head over heels in love with the celebration.
Obviously, you’d want to know how to reach this heritage hoarder of a city. Take the road and embark on a super cool road trip to Hampi. Traveling to Hampi gets easy peasy squeezy owing to its strong road connection with every other town and city in Karnataka.
To be frank, we’d suggest you hop behind wheels and take this up on the road. As a matter of fact, if you wish to travel by air, the nearest international airport is Kempegowda International Airport. Therefore, from Bengaluru, it is wise to cover the rest of the distance on road.
Hampi is an ancient southern paradise, through and through. Also known as the Lost City, Hampi is the biggest open monument in Asia.
Do you know what you need to do?
We’ll tell you. You, our friend, need to check some totally culturally opulent attractions off your bucket list. To be honest, no one helps more in that department than Hampi. Let us be your happy Hampi travel guide. Move on, shall we?
Your venture towards the best places to visit in Hampi is incomplete if you miss out on the grand Virupaksha Temple.
What’s so extraordinary about this one, you ask? Just so you know, Lord Virupaksha. An incarnation of Lord Shiva is the most significant deity of the Vijayanagara Empire. Hence, this aesthetically superior temple is the true reflection of the grandiosity of Hampi heritage.
This 7th century built the holy edifice, undoubtedly, steals the show.
Care to witness its grandiosity for yourself?
Moving on, we’d like to know if you’re a history buff. Well, are you? Do you like digging in the past and coming out victorious?
Strangely enough, the Archaeological Museum is exactly the wonder in the Hampi sightseeing package that you need to visit.
From art to heritage, the Archaeological Museum exhibits the best of the lot taking the visitors back in the Vijayanagara Empire.
Sculptures, paintings, ancient coins, statues, and other aesthetically rich heritage garnish the aura of this safe house with elegance and timelessness.
Take a step into a boulevard of ageless charm.
Brace yourself to enter one of the largest and the grandest piece of heritage that Hampi has to offer to your beauty searching eyes. Be a witness to the grandeur of this holy edifice of Vijaya Vittala Temple.
Visiting this one has got to be one of the top things to do in Hampi.
Why? We’ll tell you.
Dedicated to Lord Vittala, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, this temple brims with holy positivity and what adds on to your travel experience is the enormity of it encrusted with spectacular architectural beauty.
Furthermore, the colossal chariot along with numerous royal pillars forms the true reflection of the 15th century Vijayanagara empire. Also, let the sculptures and intricate designs on the walls of the temple bewitch you.
Nope, you can’t really miss out on this one.
Well, anyone who is even a little bit aware of famous Hindu mythology Ramayana would know the ever-strong and reliable Lord Hanuman.
Furthermore, Anjaneya Hill, crowning Hampi, is the place where Lord Hanuman was born.
To commemorate his birth and to offer prayers to the invincible god of strength, the Hanuman Temple at the top of the hill rests in all its glory.
Do you know what’s the best part? Since it is 4 km away from the village of Hampi, you get to reach the foothill after crossing a river on a boat.
Folks, save your breath for you’ll need to climb the stairs as well. Well, we care for you.
As a matter of fact, this place offers a spectacular view of a sunset and a sunrise. It would be a sheer wastage of your trail to Hampi if you didn’t witness either of the two in here.
Promise us you’ll do.
Hemakuta hill temple complex is a huge treasure trove for those who appreciate history and spirituality.
Well, home to the famous and grand Virupaksha temple, this complex houses some of the most beautiful temples, ruins and fortified remains of age-old centuries.
Hemakuta hill is nothing less than a paradise for all those who appreciate beauty and architecture laden with spirituality. And guess what! There is absolutely no entry fees! All these should suffice to make you want to visit this complex of awe-inspiring temples and ambiance.
Peeps, your Hampi trip is incomplete if you miss out on the riverside ruins.
Wondering what could be so riveting about it? It is the 108 Shiva lingams that rest peacefully on a flat rock that make It one of the most significant places in Hampi. And if that wasn’t enough, the peacefully resting sculpture of Lord Vishnu is breathtakingly beautiful.
Also, to add up the timeless charm of this place, the shrines and the artifacts make it a point to reek of its grandeur.
So, what are you waiting for! Check this off your bucket list already.
It is no secret that Hampi is everything heritage. So, when you hear of something thrilling and adventures, your ears are bound to perk. Well, well, well, why not march into the territory of Daroji Bear Sanctuary?
Fancy witnessing bears climbing trees and just chilling around being the lazy company that they are? Catch a glimpse of Indian Sloth Bear running, climbing, and just being at Daroji Bear Sanctuary.
All you wildlife freaks, this is not it. From leopards to deer, a plethora of flora and fauna are here to welcome your presence. Mind taking a little trip, maybe?
Time for some pampering and self — love.
Rent a bicycle and go ahead strolling through the pavilions of the vibrant and famous Hampi Bazaar. It won’t hurt to take some souvenirs, now would it?
To make it sound even more beautiful and interesting, let us tell you that it is situated at the foothill of Matanga Hill. The one-sided market with a big Nandi Bull sculpture at the end of the pavement steals the show. Just so you know, the sculpture is the star attraction with numerous photos on its opposite side. We reckon you’ll love the bustling bazaar and the crowded feels of the city.
Welcome to the premises of the largest monolith statue in Hampi. Once vandalized by the Mughals, this status of Lord Narasimha who was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, a half man, and a half lion is sheer beauty in itself.
Furthermore, get ready to be blown by the statue resting on another statue of a coil of a seven-headed snake called Sesha.
Moreover, there’s another temple known as Badavilinga temple adjacent to it.
Pray to the gods and you’re sorted.
Wish to feel at the top of the world? Do you feel like shouting at the top of your lungs from the far top in the city where you can drink in the view of the entire Hampi charm?
We’ll tell you exactly where to go. Trust us, you.
Mahanavami Dibba is one of the tallest edifices in Hampi catering to your wish to have a bird’s eye view of the city.
With a twin staircase to the top at the front adorned with the sculptures and carvings of elephant and horse, this one makes up for an eye-catcher due to its rawness.
The back is not so carved and aesthetically managed, though.
Did you know about the history behind this magnificent piece of architecture?
This building was supposedly used by the kings to lay eyes on the army processions and the ever — so — beautiful Navratri Celebrations in the entire town of Hampi. Yeah, you heart it right.
Does it make you want to witness the wonderful destination now?
Thank us later!
Get your history buff ears super alerted. March into the Zenana enclosure to take a closer look at the colossal wall built for the queen and her friends. Hosing the spectacular queen’s palace, this enclosure was strictly opened to only the royal women.
Guess what! This one has another charming and awe-inspiring edifice opposite to it. Wondering which one? Well, the Lotus Mahal resides peacefully just opposite to the Zenana Enclosure.
Moreover, Lotus Mahal is another hub for art lovers. Why?
Strangely enough, through all these years, the ceilings and the walls are still perfectly gleaming with the paintings and carvings adorning them. Furthermore, architecture blows your mind. Well, quite literally for the air pathways across the palace gift the visitors a constant breezy affair.
Do make it a point to check this out during your Hampi sightseeing.
Let us go back in time to the little houses of the elephants of the royal palace. The 11 rooms in the present beautified with intricate carvings on the walls and paintings on the ceilings are what used to be the stables for the elephants back in the time.
Did you know that? Well, now you do.
One of the best places to visit in Hampi, elephant stables talk volumes of the past of Hampi. Moreover, they reek of the royalty and opulence of the day of the past.
Moving on, you can even choose to visit the Guards’ quarter and the Ranga temple from here.
And if that wasn’t enough, a museum nearby puts a shine to your eyes with the exhibition of gold statues.
Didn’t we tell you, we will prove to be your perfect Hampi travel guide?
Smacked right in the middle of the wonderful town of Hampi, Hazara Ramaswamy Temple is a treat for the eye.
Wondering what makes it so special?
Well, can you imagine any temple speaking stories of the great Hindu mythology Ramayana through its walls? Here we are. This is it.
Hazara Ramaswamy Temple takes you to its lush green garden where you can chill and bask in the glory of the temple and a sunny day.
Furthermore, the Lotus Temple and Zenana Enclosure are nearby. You gotta check them all. Win-Win.
To add to the charm, there is a Shiva Temple under. Moreover, a group of shrines and pillars in the territory of the temple are just as visit — worthy. Care to pray on the campus?
Up for some adventure? Ready to pump up your blood and experience a rush of adrenaline?
Well, it is only justified to taste adventure at least once on your trip to Hampi. Epically associated with Ramayana, Matanga Hill is significant and magnificent at the same time. Wear your power shoes and get climbing up the trek to the top. Oh, and by the way, there is a serene temple that awaits you at the top to complete your journey with a profound spiritual experience. Veerabhadra Temple is where you’ll get to drink in the view of the town and the river Tungabhadra.
Just for your information, make sure to carry torches. Why? Well, it is in a village and there might be a possibility of an electricity shortage.
Now you’re good to go! Happy trekking, folks.
Another one among the gems of Hampi, Balakrishna Temple is what golden ruins are made of. The intricacies on the walls of the temple will blow your mind.
Strangely enough, it suffices to say that it attracts the major footfall in Hampi.
Are you into glorified ruins and historical tales? In that case, get ready to dive right into them in here. Did you know that the main idol of an infant Krishna is now taken from the temple and rests in Chennai Museum? Well, now you do!
Furthermore, it constitutes a perfect paradise for photographers. Yeah, grab your cameras and shoot right away. But yeah, don’t disturb the ones who meditate in there. This one is a super tranquil place for meditation and finding yourself.
One more reason to lure you into visiting this, right?
Head over to Anegundi village to witness the grandiosity of the lofty Anegundi fort.
Ever heart of a temple within the fort? Well, this one is quintessential. Loaded with Hanuman Temple, Durga temple, tombs, and best of all, the Ganesha cave temple, Anegundi fort is a must visit among the famous places to see in Hampi. Moreover, did you know that it lies in one of the oldest plateaus on the earth? Intriguing, eh?
Well, an insightful historical tour won’t hurt, now would it? Book your tickets to Hampi right away. Don’t worry, this one is only 5 km from the magical lost city.
Sway to the music and spirits of the poems of Saint Purandaradasa in Hampi. Smacked bear the Vittala temple, this stage — like pavilion is where, in the month of January or February, known Carnatic singers come to perform and steal everyone’s hearts with their soulful music.
And to live up to his spirits, various festivals are celebrated in the Mantapa opposite to a beautiful statue of Purandaradasa with a Tambura in his hand.
Get ready for an eventful time in the Mantapa if you happen to hit this place in January or February.
Supposedly one of the last temples to have been built before the end of the Vijayanagara Empire, Achyutraya temple reflects the modern style of architecture. With the Matanga Hill and the Gandhamadana hill at the background, the temple looks surreal and tranquil.
Furthermore, the ruined pillars surrounding the main shrine of the temple in the middle of the huge complex bring out the beauty of the temple even more.
The walls are inscribed and beautiful carvings adorn the walls of the monolithic block. Drown yourself deep into the stories of Hindu mythology with the carving on the walls glorifying the gods.
Wouldn’t that be interesting?
Covering up destinations to visit is too mainstream, isn’t it? How about doing things offbeat?
After all, it is Hampi. And it’s only justified to spice things up in the lost city. We’ve listed down a few offbeat things you can experience and try in the ruins of Hampi.
Fancy paddling your way through Hampi? Why not cover the famous 13 ruined of Hampi while cycling through the rough terrain and ups and downs.
An adventure through and through, cycling in Hampi is the best way to drink in the very ambiance and heritage of Hampi.
Be that as it may, you don’t get to do that everywhere. Now, do you?
For your information, geared and non-geared cycles are available on rent in the city. All you have got to do is rent one and go paddling your happy way. Also, do cover yourself up with cotton shirts. It might get a tad too sunny and warm in the daytime. Don’t tell us we didn’t want you.
Heard of bouldering? Well, all you gotta do is climb rock solid boulders and enjoy an incredible adrenaline rush.
Adventure junkies, are you listening? Get your power shoes on and start climbing the boulders already.
A newbie? Well, there’s a one day course and a 4-day course too! Isn’t that great! Just move across the river in Hampi and you’ll be set to do some southern bouldering. You can thank us later.
Imagine washing down crushed ice, lemon, mint in the scorching heat of the summers.
Be that as it may, Hampi serves Lemonana which rejuvenates the body and gives energy for the next adventure of the day in Hampi. Get ready to be recharged with just one sip of this heavenly drink accompanied with a lip-smacking Italian dish.
The homemade pasta at a restaurant named Suresh is just what you need to satiate your hunger after a hectic day.
The dripping cheese blended with olives and herbs in white and red sauce is finger-lickin’ good. Trust us, we aren’t even kidding.
What better way to gather energy for the rest of the city exploring session? Isn’t it?
Are you good at bargaining? Do you love colors and everything hippie?
Then Hampi is the right place for you. The bustling bazaars in Hampi exhibit baggy and comfortable harem pants along with hippie kurtas that will attract you with their vibrant colors and spiritual feels.
Also, you’d be lying if you tell us that you don’t like junk jewelry. The market is home to some crazy and gorgeous metal junk jewelry. Grab them all. Will you? A few souvenirs back to home are essential, folks.
Cross the Tungabhadra river and find yourself in the very chilled out part of Hampi.
Make sure to sit by the Tungabhadra dam and witness the sunset. The view of the crimson sky and silent waters is beyond beautiful and very worth the visit.
It might take you some time to reach the damn from the river. But once you do, there’s no going back. Oh, and by the way, do not swim in the damn. We care for you and we don’t want you to end up in some problem.
Pack your water bottle and set on a hike to Matanga Hill from the very bustling bazaar of Hampi. Except that it won’t be bustling early at 5 in the morning.
But that’s exactly what we want you to do. Hike up early in the morning to witness a breathtaking sunrise from the top of the Matanga Hill. With birds chirping and tranquility around in the ambiance, sunrises from the top of the Matanga Hill are precious. We guarantee you’ll come back as a changed person. Peace is yours to take. Go ahead!
Try and text the boats of the old days. Hampi noob? Hop on a coracle to cross the river Tungabhadra. This short and sweet joy ride in a circular lightweight boat gives pleasure more than the modern-day motorboats.
Smile from ear to ear while you float on the waters with your friends and family.
Although, make sure to refrain from making any movement. The boat might capsize and you surely don’t want that to happen. Now, do you?
If you’re someone who appreciates nature and loves to bask in its grandeur, then this little hamlet has a breathtaking view of everything nature for you.
Take a walk along the paddy fields. And guess what? The banana trees lining up the pavement along with the palm trees make up for a jaw-dropping view of nature at its best.
Away from the hustle and chaos of the city, this walk is a must if you need to calm yourself down and be at peace with yourself. Well, who doesn’t?
It’s good that you have an escape in these calm and quintessential paths.
Wake up early in the morning to join other travelers in bathing the adorable elephant that stays in Virupaksha Temple.
You’ll be getting bananas in return for the good deed.
Also, did you know that if the elephant puts its trunk on your head slightly, it is considered a blessing? Count yours and head to Virupaksha Temple for more. It has become a ritual for the travels from all across the world to bathe the elephant. And we recommend, you do the same. Nothing more positive than this to start your day with. Isn’t it?
Hampi is a giant hub of cultural and religious festivals. Where everyone takes part in the celebration of life. Get ready to be a part of the crowd that prays, eats, and loves. For there is one life and no one understands that better than Hampi
Come November pack your bags and head to the lost city of Hampi to drown in a mad celebration of colors and life. Dripping with opulent culture and even richer heritage, Hampi is a no disappointment when it comes to celebrating and enjoying life at its best.
The Hampi festival is as thrilling as it can get. Traditionally known as Vijaya Utsava, it is the most significant and magnificent festival that Hampi gets to celebrate annually. Dance in the village carnival to the beats of the folk songs.
As a matter of fact, professional ethnic Kannadiga dancers come and display their unparalleled art of dance making everybody tap their foot in unison. You sure don’t want to miss out on it, right? Because the puppet shows, the musical shows, the dramas, and the mesmerizing fireworks are all so worth it.
This 3-day event marks the most joyous part of the whole year from everyone In and around Hampi.
The golden era of Hampi’s past is well represented and missed.
Tell your friends and family, and head to Hampi to dive right in the carnival feels. Oh, and by the way, there is something for the adventure junkies too in here. Wondering what?
Well, rock climbing, bouldering, and water sports have become an inseparable part of the festival now. Exciting, eh?
Imagine a full-blown procession adorned with smiles and music carrying colossal idols of Gods and goddesses on the street. Vivid and interesting, eh? Every year in March or April, Hampi celebrates its biggest religious festival known as Virupaksha Car Festivals that marks the ritual marriage of the god and the goddesses. People dance and pray while the idols are carried in huge wooden chariots. You know what to look out for now. Don’t you?
Yep, the sweet sweet chariot. Once you’re done spotting it, immerse yourself in the dance and happy high of the festival.
Even though Hampi is teeny tiny city laden with UNESCORTED world Heritage Sites, there should not be any problem in connecting with the world.
With an abundance in telephone booths at every corner, you are not really away from the world in this so-called lost city.
Just so you know, the network reception for your mobile phones might not be very strong owing to the absence of a tower.
We advise you to use telephone booths.
Don’t you worry, they’ll install the tower soon someday?
A lot of shops crowd the Bazaar that caters to your needs to cash money with your credit cards.
A minute service charge will be applicable, though.
Moreover, to make this transaction smoother and more reliable, Canara bank does this for you.
Smacked right at the entrance of the market, Canara Bank is there to help you out if not for the other tiny shops claiming to do the same.
So, my friend, don’t you worry. You’ll be loaded.
With a cute little post office nearby Virupaksha Temple, it would be easier for you to send your loved one postcards from here with the Hampi stamp.
After all, postcards are ancient and just as adorable, aren’t they?
Souvenirs for your family and friends, maybe?
Well, how about your own personal Hampi travel Guide?
Get your feet walking and find yourself a book shop among the plenty that adorns the market of Hampi.
Flip the pages and there you go! You’ll have all the information about the city and its history.
Also, some book vendors roam around the streets too.
It’s never bad to interact with the locals. Now, is it?
Make sure to NEVER take the help of the travel agents while booking for services in Hampi. They might scam you.
Instead, choose to take help of Hospet for your bookings. A computerized reservation terminal at Hospet will be at your service.
Need we say more?
Oh yeah, the state run buses of KSRTC will help you with bus reservation too.
Always carry torches. Yes, let us reiterate. ALWAYS carry torches.
The sites of the ruins are eerie and remote. Therefore, avoid roaming around these sites at night. Why? The pitch black pathways and isolation of it all will give you creeps and we want you safe and happy. Also, if you happen to stay a while after watching the soothing sunset from the top of the hill, make sure to descend along with the people who were there to experience the same spectacular sundown.
Well, it is Hampi. It is pleasant but the weather can be a pain in the butt during the daytime.
Do you know what to do? Don’t you worry, the Grand Indian Route is there to help you. Carry water bottles, torches, a hat, or an umbrella whenever you head out.
Also, make sure to wear light cotton clothes that cover you from top to bottom. You’ll be protected from tanning and the breeze will be through and through your clothes. Win-win?
Oh, and by the way, be aware of the tours and scammers.
If you’re new to Hampi, you might not be aware of this. Travelers love wearing hats and caps. Although, when you enter the threshold of a sacred place within a temple, make sure to take your hat off. Don’t worry peeps, you can very well wear one in the temple territory.
As and when you enter a temple in the city of temples and ruins, walk in a clockwise direction in order to keep the idol or the shrine on your right.
Consider these the Hindu rituals but it is considered an omen to move anti-clockwise.
Well, now you know! This is going to be smooth.
Do not click pictures inside the sanctum of the temple.
Along with your hats, keeps away your cameras and register your mind to focus on the beauty and spirituality within the walls of the holy temples.
It is a well-known fact that leather goods are made out of the skin of animals. As per Hindu traditions, it is not very respectful to kill an animal.
Hence, the temples don’t allow anyone with leather goods with them to enter the premises of the holy walls.
So, make sure to ditch your leather wallets and belts right before entering the complex.
Folks, this might sound unusual but it is imperative that you remove your shoes before entering the temples.
It is a sign of disrespect to show to the temples with your shoes on.
The temples in Hampi are usually closed between 12:30 hours and 14:00 hours. It is time for lunch for all the holy priests. Hence, the temples are closed for visiting.
Hampi is a wonderful place to be. Dripping with stories of past and the rustic beauty of the ruins, Hampi is just what you need to head to.
***The Grand Indian Route *makes it their heartfelt responsibility to give you the best of Hampi travel. Your opinion about the southern charm that rules India will change forever.
Happy Hampi Travels.
Originally published at www.thegrandindianroute.com on February 27, 2019.