Winter is approaching, and it is a good
time to start planning a trip to Hampi. It would be all the more
ideal to get there for Hampi Festival, usually held in the first week
of November. For exact dates of the festival, keep watching this
Overview. Hampi, in its glory days was the
capital of Vijayanagar empire, one of the most powerful rulers that
South India's history has seen. Text books speak about richness to an
extent that people sold gold and diamonds on the streets. What
remains today are the ruins of those days, spread over a vast area.
The setup of Hampi itself is amazing, with its boulder strewn
landscapes and a river flowing amidst them.
Hampi is a large area. If you have a short time, say a weekend or
less, it is best to do your monument hopping with your own transport.
You can hire auto-rickshaws near the main Bazar. For those who have
plenty of time, the ideal way to move around Hampi is by hiring
Sightseeing and Activities
Sunrise and Sunset. Sunrise from
Matanga Parvata is a magnificent scenery that you would not want to
miss. The Rough Guide for South India calls the sunrise 'arguably one
of the most beautiful sunrises in the world'. Lonely Planet doesn't
fall short in praises either. Make sure you wake up early enough to
complete the 30-miute climb to the peak before sunrise. For sunset,
head to Hemakuta Parvata near the bus stand.
Vithala Temple. Vithala
Temple is the most prominent temple in Hampi, with its famed stone
chariot, musical pillars and its UNESCO World Heritage Monument
status. The beautifully carved pillars are said to give out melodious
tones on striking them; but delicate that they are, you are not
allowed to touch them.
Viroopaksha Temple. Nearly
all temples in Hampi were desecrated during invasion from Muslim Rulers
from the north, and today, there is no worshipping in these temples.
Viroopaksha Temple is an exception. With its tall gopura, it is
visible from far away anywhere in Hampi.
Queen's Bath Complex. This
is a large area full of ancient monuments. Visit the queen's bath,
Hajara Rama Temple, Lotus Mahal and Underground Shiva Temple in this
King's Court Area. Another
large complex, not very far from Queen's Bath has has the ancient
Vijayanagar City within a ruined fort. Look for King's Court, a large
tank, Mahanavami Dibba where festivals were held, and complex
channels that fed water to the palace.
Around Krishna Temple. Not
far from the main bus stand is an ancient Krishna Temple. And a
little further down are statues of Laxminarasimha and BadaviLinga,
both large monolithic statues.
Daroji Bear Sanctuary. 10Km
from Hampi, this is a small forest which offers protection to bears and
is an excellent place to sight some black bears.
Food and Accommodation
Being a backpacker destination, finding local cuisine in Hampi is not
always easy. What you can find more often is Israeli, Italian and
Continental food. Mango Tree Restaurant behind Viroopaksha Temple is
an good place to eat and while away your time. A lot of basic
guesthouses are available near the main Bazaar. Only organized place
is the KSTDC Mayura Hotel at Kamalapur Village just outside Hampi.
Hotel Malligi is your best bet if you are looking for some good
How to Reach.
Hospet is the nearest train
station. Nearest airport is far away at Bangalore, from where you can
take a bus, train or a taxi to Hampi.