Hampi is one of the momentous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Located in northern part of Karnataka, Hampi is best known for its religious centres and galore of shrines. During the Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi was counted amongst the world’s richest and largest cities. If you plunge into the mythological saga of Hampi, you will come to know a great connectivity of this place with Ramayana. It is said that when Lord Rama and his brother were searching for Devi Sita, they stepped into the province of Hampi where they met Vail and Sugriv. This is the place from where they started their revolutionary journey with the troop of monkeys.
The name of Hampi was taken from the Kannada name ‘’Hampe’’. Today, this location is one of the major attractions of Karnataka. Located in the ruins of Vijayanagara, the place amazes plenty of visitors with a blend of its religious subsistence and eye-catching architecture. Being an eminent religious centre, the people and tradition of Hampi reflects its cultural significance to a great extent. If you happen to visit this location, your presence will fell the charismatic traditions and beliefs of people here. The festival they celebrate and the tradition they follow truly reflects the intoxicating customs of Hampi in one way or the other.
The people here are relatively hushed and generous towards the visitors. Likewise their rich culture, the inhabitants of Hampi are also fond of their traditional food. Most of the popular eateries are situated near Hampi Bazaar. They prefer to eat popular South Indian foods like dosa, idli, puffs, pancakes, pastries etc.
People here also involve into various cultural activities during the festive season. If you visit Hampi in the month of November, you will have a memorable experience here. November is the month when the people of Hampi celebrate the captivating Hampi Festival every year. During Hampi Festival people here plunge into some electrifying music performances, puppet shows, fireworks and dance. The people of Hampi show a great sign of cultural diversity by celebrating some other festivals as well. These festivals include Diwali, Shivratri, Virupaksha Car Festival, Phalapuja Festival, Purandaradasa Aradhana etc. While celebrating these festivals, equal amount of enthusiasm can be noticed from the people of Hampi.
The official language of Hampi is Kannada. However, many people can speak here Malayalam and Hindi as well.
Climate of Hampi
Like any other parts of India, Hampi also witnesses a seasonal variation from summer to winter. The summer hits Hampi in the month of March and the climate remains hot till May. During these three months you can feel a maximum temperature of 40°C here. Therefore, visiting Hampu during hot summer days is not recommended.
After a despondent humid and hot climate, monsoon enters here in the month of June, which lasts till the month of August to September. The wet and drizzling atmosphere makes the place more pleasant for the visitors. During monsoon, you can reveal the picturesque exquisiteness of Hampi to a great extent.
The best weather of Hampi can be felt from the months of October to February. This is the time when winter arrives at this religious location. In winter, people face a soothing climate when the maximum temperature is around 32°C and minimum temperature stands somewhere around 12°C. During winter visitors find this place relatively comfy. At day time the climate is quite pleasing and after dusk it becomes cold.
When to visit Hampi
Being a significant possession of Karnataka, visiting Hampi during summer is not a good idea. The reason being, in summer the temperature climbs up to 40°C, which is quite hot. Hence, the best time to visit Hampi is from October to February-end or March. The climate during these periods turns absolutely pleasant and favourable for the visitors.
Places to Visit in Hampi
The religious province of Hampi is also famed as ‘’the lonely planet’’. But the place has lot many attractions to explore that will never let you feel lonesome. Let’s get into some of the arresting prehistoric structures and relics here.
Visiting this museum will glimpse you the relics of Hampi. Once you entre to Archaeological Museum, the prehistoric environs and antiques inside will plunge you to the past. Initially, most of the findings here were brought by the British officers. Over the periods of time, ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) has started shifting these antiques to this museum. Currently, four attractive galleries are there inside the museum. These galleries hold exclusive collections of antiques like sculptures of Goddess Durga and her family. In addition, you can also come to see some religious metal objects, ancient coins, shards of porcelain, stones, iron objects etc. Visitors flock here to see the imperative artefacts of Hampi. Except Friday you can visit this Archaeological Museum every day.
As per Hindu mythology, Hampi was associated with Ramayana. Existence of Monkey Temple conveys the eternal saga of monkey and Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Hanuman took his birth at this place and this temple was built as a gesture of adoration towards Lord Hanuman. Monkey Temple is situated around 4Kms away from Hampi. After entering to this temple you can see stonework of Lord Hanuman accompanied by a small memorial of Lord Rama and Devi Sita. In addition, ample of restless monkeys will also draw your attention here greatly. If you reach the peak of the temple, you can have an astonishing view of Hampi and its surrounds. From the top you can also experience a striking vista of sunrise and sunset. Scroll
Note: There are many other sites near the Monkey Temple that you can visit. These are Anegondi Fort, Rishyamukha Sarovara, Pampa Sarovara Laxmi Temple etc.
#Vijaya Vittala Temple
This temple carries its long lasting existence since 15th century AD. It is believed that Vijaya Vittala Temple was the outcome of a sheer dedication to Lord Vittala. The key tourist puller in this temple is its spectacular pillared halls exhibiting the gorgeous stone chariot. The stunning marvel and entire architecture of Vijaya Vittala temple amaze all the visitors to Hampi.
Built in 1514 A.D, the tall stand Mahanavami Dibba is one more luring tourist pulling site in Hampi. The existence of Mahanavami Dibba carries its triumph tales, which signifies the conquest of Krishnadavaraya over Udayagiri. One of the most interesting parts of this grand architecture is that if you look it from long distance, the architecture looks merely like an elevated structure. But once you reach close to Mahanavami Dibba, you will surprisingly reveal its three-layered structures. If you look at the sides of Mahanavami Dibba, you will come to see various eye-catching pictorial depictions of ancient hunting, royal ceremonies and various creatures. The stairways are beautifully tinted with statuettes of horses and elephants. Earlier, the king used to step into this place to view the combat games, march-pasts, animal shows and royal music performances.
Note: Mahanavami Dibba is also famous as Dasara Dibba. The best time to visit this place is from November to February. No entry fee is required to enter Mahanavami Dibba and it will hardly take 45-50 minutes of yours to explore this place. The best time to visit here is from morning to evening.
A paradise of religious centre and architectural ruins turned Hampi to one of the most visiting world heritage sites in India. Out of many inherited remnants, Lotus Palace made a distinguished mark of its existence in Hampi. Lotus Palace is one of the edifices which remained untouched even at the time of siege of the city. Visitors come to sight the archways of the temple, which was structured in the shape of petal of lotus. Some of the stunning attractions of Lotus Palace are watch tower, Islamic styled construction and its breath-taking view after dusk. The lush green area of the palace is a perfect canvas that every photographer will like to capture.
Located near the Tungabhadra River, Virupaksha temple was constructed during 7th century dedicating to Lord Shiva. One of the key attractions of this temple is its mesmerising architecture. Once you enter the temple, the flourishing decors will arrest your attention for long. Earlier, Virupaksha temple was merely a tiny shrine. However, over the periods this temple turned to one of the key pilgrimage in entire Hampi. You will come to see plenty of evidences at this temple that will depict you about the prehistoric Hoysala and Chalukya periods.
According to local inhabitants, Virupaksha temple lost a major part of its eye-catching structures and decor during 1565 war. Moving ahead in the 19th century, the devotees and tourism authority took initiative to renovate the structure and sustain its inventive elements and aesthetics. Despite of loads of confronts, Virupaksha temple still manages to grab the attention of many visitors here.
Queen’s Bath is situated at the South-West corner of Hampi complex. As the name suggests, based on Indo-Saracenic style architecture, this place was constructed during Vijayanagara Empire for private bathing chamber of queens. It is believed that the rectangular complex of Queen’s Bath was constructed by Achyuta Raya around 500 years back, which was delimited by giant water channel. The pool used to be filled with aromatic water and flora that time. However, over the periods the place today is occupied with an empty brick-lined pool where people come for picnic purpose.
To access this 500 years old construction, no entry fee is required. You are allowed to visit Queen’s Bath for 1 hour any time between 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day. There is no rigidity for the photographers, and the best time to visit this place is from November to February.
This place is situated adjacent to Virupaksha Temple, which is why Hampi Bazaar is also called as Virupaksha Bazaar. If you walk around the Bazar, you will come to notice ancient pavilions, which used to be the busiest market once and residence of many aristocrats. Gradually Hampi Bazaar turned to small shops and shelter for many poor villagers. Not only this, one part of this prehistoric structure is now also converted to a nursery school for the academic purpose of village children. The best way to explore the entire Hampi Bazaar is by walk or on bicycle. At the East of Hampi Bazaar, one enormous Nandi is located, which is used as the prime stage for annual Hampi festival. It will consume hardly 30 minutes of yours to reveal this site.
As the name suggests, this used to be the prevailing seat of Vijaynagara sovereign. One of the key attractions here is King’s Audience Hall or the Hundred Pillared Hall. The massive open areas of Royal Enclosure consist of several prehistoric relics. With an expanse of around hundreds of square metres areas, Royal Enclosure can best be revealed by a long walk. No vehicles are allowed to access Royal Enclosure. Hence, it is recommended to visit here either in early morning or in the evening. This is because at these hours, the soothing atmosphere and gentle wind will make your walk less weary. Also, the place is not much crowded.
Underground Temple is one more ancient temple in Hampi, which grabs the attention of numerous tourists across the country. This is a temple of Lord Shiva, which was constructed well below the ground level. Over many years, the main part of the temple was under water level. To access the temple you need to cross a series of steps. The end portion of the temple has a cubical pillared hall. Whether one can step ahead or not after the end point, it depends on the water level. The outer part of the temple has a green lawn, which is less crowded. So you can spend some tranquil moments here.
The list of religious temples and structural remnants is in Hampi is quite long. Hence, before visiting here make a comprehensive travel plan. In addition to the aforementioned architectural decor and ancient relics, there are many other luring places in Hampi that you must visit. Some of these eminent sites are Sasivekalu Ganesha, Hemakuta Hill Temples, Riverside Ruins, Old Palace (Gagan Mahal), Krishna Temple etc.
If you happen to be in Hampi, you must reach the peak of Matanga Hill. This is an ultimate point from where you can have an aerial vista of Hampi and its surroundings. The low-lying northern part of the hill top follows a crisscross pathway that bridges the gap between Achyuta Raya’s Temple and Hampi Bazaar. Matanga Hill contains lot of tedious trails that joins the hill top with many adjoining temples and ancient ruins. Apart from a splendid view of Hampi, from the peak you can also see the stony mound and tall standing palm trees.
Being one of the most famed historical tourist pulling sites in India, getting there is no way a big constraint for visitors. Hampi is conveniently connected to different parts of the country through various modes of transport.
There is no airport in Hampi. Hence the best way for air commuters is to fly till its nearby airports. The nearby airports to Hampi are Hubli Airport, Bellary Airport and Sambre Airport, Belgaum. The distances from these airports to Hampi are around 144kms, 60Kms and 216Kms respectively. However, the nearest international airport for foreign travellers is Bengaluru Airport, which is located around 350 Kms away from Hampi. From these airports, you will find many cars and taxis to reach Hampi.
The religious city Hampi is well connected to its adjoining cities by bus. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) plays a significant role in this regard. Apart from KSRTC, you will find plenty of private buses as well to reach Hampi. Travelling Hampi by road is fun, as you come to see lot many natural sceneries on the way. In today’s date, numbers of interstate bus services are also there from the places like Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh to reach you till Hampi.
If you are driving towards Hampi via NH 13 route, it is around 380 Kms away from Hyderabad. Likewise, from Hubli and Bangalore the distance to reach Hampi is 165 Kms and 345kms respectively.
The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction, which is situated within 13Kms reach from Hampi. Some of the important trains to reach Hampi are Haripriya Express, Amaravathi Express and Hampi Express. Hospet Junction is well connected to some major cities of India like Goa, Bangalore and Hyderabad. From Hospet Junction, you can hire private cab and taxi that will take you to Hampi. You will also get auto-rickshaw to reach Hampi for Rs.200-Rs.300. However, before getting into any private taxi or auto-rickshaw bargaining is highly recommended.
Travelling within Hampi
If you want to get a close and extensive view of Hampi’s ancient structures across the township, try it by foot or on a bicycle. Most of the visitors hire bicycle for Rs.50-Rs.150 from the Virupaksha temple area. The roadways on the way to Vitthala temple from Virupakha can be best be revealed by trekking. It is around 6Kms long paths that you can complete by walk. If you are not comfortable with cycling and walk, you can also hire an auto-rickshaw for complete day. It may charge you around Rs.300-Rs.500. During this ride you can see the adjacent monuments around the town.
Places to Stay
Hampi has plenty of luxurious and budget hotels for visitors. Due to frequent footfalls of tourist here throughout the year, it is recommended to book hotels in advance. The charges may vary as per the amenities you avail. However, within a range of Rs.2, 500 to Rs.3, 500 you will get some good and quality places to stay here.
Some of the recommended places for you are listed as follows:
H.P.C Road, Opp A.S.I Museum, kamalapur,
Karnataka, India 583221
#Hotel Rock regency
Shankar Hill Town, Opp Sanjeevani Hospital,
Toranagallu, Close to Hampi,
Karnataka, India 583123
#Heritage Resort Hampi
48/C & 4B, Hosamalapanagudi, State Highway 49,
Hampi 583239, India
Narayanpet, 2km from Basapur Village,
Hampi 583227, India
#Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari Kamalapur
Hospet, Bellary District, Kamalapur,
Hampi 583 221, India
#Kishkinda Heritage Resort
Near Stone Bridge Cross, Sanapur,
Anegondi, Hampi 583234, India
Janatha Plot, Hampi 08394, India
In addition, if you intend to have some delicious food experience, Hampy has lot many eateries for you. You will get to taste variety of cuisines from various parts of the sphere. Most of the popular restaurants are situated on the banks of Tungabhadra River. Do not forget to taste the luscious Italian and Israeli food here served by many restaurants.
Some of the popular foods that you must try in the restaurants of Hampi are pizzas, lasagne, pasta, shakshouka, lafa etc.
The following is a list of few restaurants for you:
#Udupi Sri Krishna Bhavan
Time: 6:30 AM to 11 PM
Charges: INR 350 (approximately)
Popular for: cheap vegetarian thalis
Address: Gopi Guest House, Hampi Bazaar, Hampi, Opposite to the bus stand.
Time: 8 AM to 10 PM
Charges: INR 70-200 (approximately)
Attractions: From this restaurant you can enjoy a picturesque vista of the riverside. Shiv Moon is known for its quality food.
Address: Hampi Bazaar, Bellary, Hampi, India
#Durga Huts (Cafe)
Charges: Time: INR 120-200 (approximately)
Popular for: Blend of music and food.
Charges: INR 80-120 (approximately)
Popular for: Soothing view of small group of waterfalls and vicinity of banana plantation
Location: 2km trek out of Hampi town, India
Time: 7:30AM-9:30PM (approximately)
Popular for: Vegetable curry, banana fritters, ‘hurricane-lantern dinner’.
Address: River Side Drive, Near Temple, Janata Plot, Hampi, Karnataka 583239
- Hampi is a place with lot many attractions to explore. So, plan your trip in advance and book hotels accordingly.
- It is recommended to accompany a government approved guide during your visit to Hampi.
- If you want to avail modern accommodation facilities, Hospet is the best place to stay. In addition, some guest houses are also there in Hampi Bazaar catering basic amenities to visitors.
- For continental breakfast and quality food you can try at Hampi Bazaar. For lunch, you can try visiting the ‘The Mango Tree’, which is a popular eatery located near the Virupaksha Temple. Here you can taste some luscious Chinese and Indian cuisines and Nutella pancakes.
- To commute within Hampi, bicycle and auto-rickshaw are the best options that you can try.
- To enjoy a pleasant atmosphere, try to visit Hampi either after monsoon or in winter season.