Hampi Travel Guide
Places to visit
places to visit
Hampi is a visual delight, especially due to its stark contrast from most other places. Rocks are all you see whichever direction you look at. Vegetation is visible in the wet months; but again it never dominates the landscape. It is an ideal spot for people who are interested in history and/or nature.
There are many sites of interest in and around Hampi. The must-visits are Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Bazaar, Monolith Bull, Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Hemakuta Hill temples, Big Shivlinga, Vithala Temple (the famous Stone Chariot is located here), Hazara Rama Temple, Royal Enclosures, Queen's Bath, Zanana Enclosure (which also houses the Lotus Mahal), Elephant Stables, Achyut Raya temple, Statue of Ugra Narsimha, Virupaksha Temple, Mahanavmi Dibba, the Stepped Bath and the Matanga Hill (from where one can see the most beautiful sun set ever). All these places are towards Hampi Bus Stand area and you dont need to cross river.
You can buy a local map costing Rs 15, and cover all the places on your own taking a bike/scooty on rent. Otherwise, you can hire and auto to do local sight seeing. It would cost you around Rs 400-Rs 500.
Tungbhadra dam is another 16 km from Hampi and it is towards Hospet. Hence, if you have plans to catch your train/bus back from Hospet, you could see Tungbhadra dam and return from Hospet. It takes around 45 min to 1 hr to see Tungbhadra dam. You need to park your vehicles at the entrance and take Govt bus to the top and return. It takes Rs 20/- for to and fro.
There are also several "Shivalings" along the river which the boatman will guide you to. The old capital called Anegundi, across the river from Hampi also has many sites. The Hanuman Temple on Anjenaya Hill (involves climbing up 572 steps, is believed to be the birth place of Hanuman) and the Old Palace are definitely worth a visit.
There is Doroji bear sanctuary around 16 kms from Hampi, opposite side of Kamalapura/Hospet. It opens between 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Not a must see but you can go there for a nice drive/ride if you have some time to kill.
To do justice to all the sites, one needs a minimum of 3 full days of sight seeing. To discover all the ruins, it may take much more than 3 days. May be months.
There are lots of places in Hampi Bazaar where you get satisfying and inexpensive food, though be prepared for a long wait at most places as the chefs are typically family members who prepares food to order. However, they are good at their jobs and can offer a wide range of different cuisines.
* Mango Tree. One of the nicest, most relaxed restaurant settings you will ever come across. Set along side the banks of the river, you can lounge comfortably on the steps underneath the huge mango tree sipping some of the best lassis you will come across in India. They also offer thali at lunch time and have a broad range of food on the menu. Its the perfect place to hideaway from the afternoon heat and zone out to the beautiful view.
* Laughing Buddha restaurant This is on other side of river (Virupapur Gadde) and close to Shanthi guest house. There are mattress, cushions and low benches in it. So, you can just lie down and sit at ease. Continental food is very nice here with good variety. It also offers Punjabi food.
* The Goan Corner , an idyllic cafe on the other side of the river is an experience in itself. Really really famous among the foriegner crowds, it takes a 10-15 min walk across the green paddy fields to make your way to this place.It is run by a very friendly family where the lady don, Sharmila reigns supreme.Unlike the other closely arranged cafes, Goan Corner is rather desolated and adds to the magic that Hampi creates.
* Sagar Hotel's Idli, Dosa & Gunta Pongal. Just besides Gopi Guest House and right infront of the Shambhu Guest House, which are located near the Virupaksha Temple, 'Shankaramma' under a thatched roof makes delicious idlies, dosas and the tasty 'gunta pongal.' Do not miss this place. The food is not only delicious but also very cheap.
* Mayura Bhuvaneshwari, Kamalapura. Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari serves delicious buffet lunch. If you plan your day such that you reach kamalapura around mid-day, this can be a great place for lunch. Unlimited food is served in very clean and serene surroundings. Even thought a very popular and a very clean hotel, make sure you use packaged drinking water. 60. edit
* Durga Roof Top, Near Virupaksha Temple (From the bazaar when you approach Virupaksha Temple, take a right at the temple, next take a left ( as the road turns), take a right further and you will find yourself at Durga Roof Top.). Very good and authentic north indian food and their Hello to the queen dessert is simply amazing.
Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. Located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, Hampi is the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city.
As the village is at the original centre of Vijayanagara, it is sometimes confused with the ruined city itself. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi.
Hampi is identified with the historical Kishkindha, the Vanara (monkey) kingdom mentioned in the Ramayana. The first historical settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE.
Hampi formed one of the cores of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565, when it was finally laid siege to by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra river on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides.
The site is significant historically and architecturally. The topography abounds with large stones which have been utilized to make larger than life statues of Hindu deities. A structure of historic importance appears every quarter of a mile. The Archaeological Survey of India continues to conduct excavations in the area, to discover additional artifacts and temples
The stone carvings are made by local artists and are a good buy here. The same thing in Bangalore will cost ten times the price. The hand stiched blankets are also a good buy.