Traveling to Hampi will give you a fantastic experience, and you will go through a great learning process.
In this blog post, I aim to provide a detail travel guide for Hampi based on my experience so that you can have a safer and enjoyable trip. I shall be covering almost every key detail about Hampi.
Facts on Hampi
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘Hampi,’ was once the last greatest kingdom of the Vijayanagara Empire. An empire that was founded by two brothers, Harihara and Bukka, in 1336.
Vijayanagara kingdom was a flourished kingdom with fertile river valleys, lucrative trade, people of different languages and religions used to live.
Soon after the defeat of the Vijayanagar empire in the hands of the Mughals, the city of Hampi started crumbling. During the ongoing war, the temples and statues were destroyed and become an abandoned city.
Even though most of it is ruined, people still come here to visit and learn about its history.
Where is Hampi located?
The magnificent Hampi is located in Karanataka, 350 km away from Bangalore.
When to go and How to go?
Let me first answer the first question, i.e., which is the right time of the year to visit Hampi.
Like I always say, if you are visiting India, try to plan your trip during winter. Here also I will say the same, plan your trip to Hampi in winter.
You will be able to explore and enjoy this beautiful place pleasantly.
Don’t come during the monsoon, although locals say that monsoon is the best time to visit because the surroundings of Hampi look greener, and it gets more adventurous.
But will you take the risk of ruining your clothes? You might not even explore the place entirely if it rains heavy.
One thing you can do is to plan just after the end of the monsoon season.
I will strongly recommend you to come between September to February to enjoy the better.
Now, I would be answering the second part of the question, i.e., how to reach Hampi.
Well, it is not that tough. There are a few ways to get to Hampi.
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By Rail: So, if you are comfortable taking the train, then the nearest railway station to Hampi is Hospet Junction, which is around 13-15 km from Hampi.
There are trains available from Bangalore to Hospet, which takes around 7-8 hours. Also, trains are available from Mumbai to Hospet, which takes a much longer time.
I will definitely recommend to take a flight till Bangalore and then the Bangalore – Hospet train.
By Road: Now, the train is not the only mode of transport to reach Hampi. You can also take buses. The road connectivity from all the major cities to Hampi is good.
You will get buses of Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation daily from cities like Bangalore, Mysore, Goa to Hospet. These are sleeper class buses available at fair prices.
People mostly prefer to take the overnight sleeper buses to Hospet.
Now, how will you reach Hampi from Hospet?
Once you set your foot on Hospet, you will see plenty of auto rikshaws that goes to Hampi.
Don’t expect that you will get an Uber there.
The last option to reach Hampi is by your car or a rented car. You won’t have to go through buses or trains; just book your vehicle from Zoom or Revvor Drivezy.
You can drive straight from Bangalore to Hampi following the “ Bangalore – Tumakuru – Chitradurga – Hospet – Hampi.”
You will have an incredible road drive passing through some beautiful countryside villages, farmlands, and open spaces.
There are so many self-car drive rental services available now in India that it makes traveling even better and easier.
If you ask me which mode of transport I will take, it would always be a self-drive rental car from Bangalore.
Things to do in Hampi
Well, if you think that what adventurous or exciting things one can do on a trip to Hampi, then I would say there are quite a few.
Backpacking is one of the many exciting things to do in Hampi. Over the years, Hampi has now become a widely popular destination, and tourists can backpack and meet other travelers too.
There are several restaurants, tea, and coffee places around Hampi, so backpacking would be fun and a bit offbeat.
- Bird watching
Bird watching is a thing in Hampi. Who doesn’t love watching beautiful and colorful birds and listen to their humming?
If you pay attention, then you might have a look at some of the rare species of birds like the Grey-necked bunting, Brown Crake, Blue Rock Thrush, Indian Robins, and etc.
- Boat Ride on the Tungabhadra River
A boat ride in the Tungabhadra river is fun and exciting. It’s not a usual boat, it’s a round-shaped boat made of interwoven bark, and people use this as a means of transport to cross the river.
You can also meet the villagers and be friendly with them.
- Watch Elephants
You can also watch elephants around bathing and walking. I love elephants. On my Kerala trip, I went to an elephant camp, and it was a pleasure to see all those elephants bathing, playing around with water, spraying through their big trunks.
You won’t see a bunch of elephants here in Hampi, but near the temple, you will see one.
Places to Visit in Hampi
The Virupaksha temple in Hampi is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is said to be one of the oldest and holiest temples that survived over the years.
You will find inscriptions about Lord Shiva on the walls of the temple that are actually engraved in the 9th century. So, this temple is one of the best that you shouldn’t miss during your trip to Hampi.
Vijaya Vittala Temple
The next beauty of Hampi is one of the most ancient monuments with an exceptional architecture is the Vitthala Temple. The temple is situated in the northeastern part of Hampi, near the Tungabhadra river.
This iconic temple has a stone structure chariot with pillars. Although some parts of the temple are in its ruin, still it’s a must-see attraction in Hampi.
The Achyutaraya temple in Hampi was built in the 1534 AD. The unique thing about this temple is that it depicts/represents the Vijaynagara architectural style of temples.
Locals say that this temple was once one of the most elegant temples, but over several centuries, it has lost its luster.
The temple is located between the Matanga hills and Gandhamadana. An offbeat and secluded location than the rest of the temples in Hampi.
Unlike the Virupaksha temple, where Lord Shiva is worshiped, here in the Achyutaraya temple Lord Tiruvengalanatha is praised, who is another form of Lord Vishnu.
So, if you have time enough, then do explore this amazing temple during your trip to the Hampi.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
Well, here is another impressive sculpture the ‘Lakshmi Narasimha statue can be found in the ruined city of Hampi, which is worth a visit.
The statue is located on the southern side of Hemakuta Hill. This huge stone sculpture is considered to be an important monument in Hampi. It attracts thousands of tourists each year because of its uniqueness.
Historical facts say, this statue was built during the rule of Krishnadevaraya, who was one of the rulers of the Vijayanagara empire.
Like the name denotes, the temple is dedicated to the Lord Narasimha, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.
It yet again represents the brilliant wort of art during the reign of the Vijayanagara empire. The statue has the face of a lion with bulging eyes and the body of a human.
Unless you will not see you won’t understand how different it is.
Badavi Linga Temple
Badavi linga temple is another temple that worships Lord Shiva. The temple is located near to the Lakshmi Narasimha temple.
The linga structure is made up of black stone, and it is the belief of the locals that this temple has been in existence even before the establishment of the Vijayanagara empire.
The strange thing about this temple is that the Linga structure is situated on a small pool of water. There are several local beliefs about this shrine that sounds unrealistic, but as it is a matter of faith, we are no one to question that.
There are many other temples in Hampi like the Hazara Rama Temple, Bala Krishna Temple, Ganesha Temple, Monkey Temple/Hanuman Temple, and Malyavanta Raghunath Temple that you can visit.
But I would say, the temples of which I have talked about are worth visiting and worth your time.
Hampi has a lot of history, and each temple has its own history.
So, now I will share some essential travel tips that might help with your travel planning to Hampi.
Travel Tips to Hampi
- Do carry a bottle of water with you
- Do not venture out after the evening. Not safe
- If you don’t want to hire a guide, it is advisable to carry a handy map of Hampi with you.
If you think you can rely on your phone GPS, then let me clear this idea that GPS won’t work in the areas of Hampi. As it is located in a very remote area. You might not even get any signal on your phone.
- Keep some cash with you at your safe place. It is hard to find an ATM nearby. Why take that risk?
- Don’t travel with your valuables like iPod, iPad, gold, or anything like that.
- Dress appropriately and simple.
- Choose the right time of the year to visit Hampi. The temperature in Hampi reaches up to 40 degrees Celsius in summer. Whereas during winter, the climate remains pleasant.
So, these are some of the necessary travel tips that I feel you should know before traveling to Hampi.
Where to stay in?
Okay, as Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and quite a popular tourist destination. There are very few good resorts and guest houses where you can spend a day or two.
I have heard Gopi Guest House in Hampi Bazaar, which is located just a few minutes away from the Virupaksha temple, is a good choice for a backpacker. They have small and decent rooms. So, if you are looking for a cheap and budget hotel, then this one will suit you the best in that locality.
Apart from this, if you want to shed extra money and look for something more of a luxury kind of stay, then I can name two best hotels in Hampi.
The ‘Heritage Resort Hampi’ is among the best place to stay in Hampi. It’s beautiful, spacious, green, and has a lovely outdoor with a swimming pool and spa.
It has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 in Makemytrip. Having said that only if you are willing to spend at around 8k to 10k ($100), then I would recommend you to book your room in this resort.
Or, you can choose to stay in the ‘Hyatt place Hampi’, my favorite stay. It’s safe, fair, and provide a pleasant stay.
You can have a look at Makemytrip for the availability of other hotels too on a lower budget. I always book my stay from Makemytrip, and I often get discounts also like a 10% 0r 15% off.
I am not promoting this platform; I am trying to tell you that if you book your stay through this service, then you might end up saving.
(Suggestion: 1 day of stay in Hampi is enough for covering all the tourist spots. So, while searching for a hotel stay, choose a decent budget hotel to spend just a night. As I don’t see the point of spending 10k in a hotel for just a night.)
Hampi is a great place to explore. Be safe and have fun.
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