Location: Bellary district, Karnataka, India
Distance: 353 km from Bangalore, 254 km from Bijapur, 74 km away from Bellary and 12 km from Hospet
How to reach there: By road and train to Hospet and then by local bus or taxi/auto rickshaw to Hampi. Buses are available every half an hour from hospet. One can use this option from Bangalore, Bijapur, Hubli, Guntakal, Hyderabad and Goa.
Journey Time: 8 hrs by bus and 8 and 1/2 hrs by train from Bangalore,
1. Bangalore – Tumkur – Chitradurga – Hospet – Hampi
2. Chennai – Tirupati – Anantapur (all along NH205) – Gooty (on NH7) – Bellary – Hospet – Hampi (on Nh63)
Language spoken: Kannada, however English and Hindi is understood to an extent.
Where to stay:
1. Hampi – Virupapur Gadde (for budget stay), Vishnu Guest House
2. Hospet – Hotel Malligi, Hotel Priyadarshani and Shanbhag Towers International (for luxuary)
3. Kamalapura – Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneswari (mid range), Hampi Boulders (luxuary), Shree Laxmi Golden Beach Resort
Where to eat: Bhavani Hotel, Sri Venkatashawara Restaurant, Welcome Restaurant, Raju Roof Restaurant, Shanthi Hotel (cheap and best), Mango Tree Restaurant ( nice food), Geetha River View Restaurant (great ambience), Hoova cafe (serves fish and non veg food).
Hampi was the capital city of the powerful Vijayanagar empire which ruled over this part of Karnataka from 14th – 16th century. The kingdom was ransacked by a confederation of Muslim army which lead the sudden demise of the beautiful empire.
What to see:
Hampi can be divided into a few sections for the convinience of exploring:
1. Virupaksha Temple: Virupaksha temple is located near the local bus stand on the southern bank of river tungabhadra. This is perceived to be one of the oldest functioning temple in India since 7 AD.
2. Hampi Bazaar: Hampi bazaar is located in front of Virupaksha temple and is also known as Virupaksha Bazaar. It is about one kilometer long and the eastern side ends at the foot hills of Matunga Hill. In its heyday this used to be one of the best markets in the world and now lay in ruins. Some parts encroached and turned into shops, restaurants and some occupied by poor villagers.
3. Courtesans Street: Once upon a time it used to be the market for gems, ivory and various jwellery. Located in front of Achyuta Raya’s Temple, this place also got a name Sule Bazaar (Prostitution market). May be prostitution was prevelent then too.
4. Achyuta Raya’s Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Tiruvengalanatha, a form of lord Vishnu. Built in around 1534, this temple is said to be the most advanced in its style among the other temples here.
5. Sasivekalu Ganesha: This is a giant monolithic Ganesha statue and is due to its resemblense to a mustered seed it is called Sasivekalu(mustard seed) Ganesha.
1. Royal Enclosure: Royal Enclosure is the area featuring all royal structures. This is a seat of erstwhile kings who used watch military parades, processions etc.
2. Hazara Rama Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Ram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The speciality of this temple is it has the gist of whole Ramayana sculpted on its wall. Also, known as Hazari Rama Temple. As it is located inside the royal enclosure,(in front of the Mohammadan Watch Tower and the Nobelman’s Quarters) it is believed that this temple was the private shrine of the royal family.
3. Mahanavami Dibba: Mahanavami Dibba is the first monument you will see after entering the royal enclosure. By the very look it creates an aura of mystery as it resembles to an extent to Egyptian pyramids. Entry is free and timmings is from sunrise to sunset.
4. Stone Doors: This amaizing big stone doors are lying near the queen’s bath. Not sure those doors could have been fitted but it would be surely a high security area and think how many people would be required to operate the door!
5. Zenana Enclosure: The Zenana enclosure was an all women area and the most attractive thing of this area is the lotus mahal. Also, there are a few watch towers.
$5 for foreigners
Rs 10 for Indian citizen
Free for children below 15 years
6. Palace of Vira Harihara: It is a palace of one of the kings of Hampi Vira Harihara. But most of the magnificient structure is gone now. A confederation of muslim army attacked Vijayanagar empire and ransacked everything.
7. Granaries: Towards the east of Hazara Rama temple, one can find a lot of storage house for food grains both religious and non religious in nature. These are the granaries of the kingdom.
1. Riverside Ruins: The riverside gorge is a view in itself and has various things to see like shiva lingas, rock crafts etc.
2. Vittala Temple: Vittala is a forum of Lord Vishnu and is the presiding deity of this temple. Vittala temple is a architectural master piece. The creativity on stone and art work is extravagent. No word can describe it, probably one who sees it will be able to understand what he or she is witnessing. The temple was constructed in 15th century and succesive kings have added to it. The temple complex features stone chariot, giant granite pillars, pavillions, halls etc.
Entry: Rs 10 for Indian citizens; USD 5 or equivalent for foreign nationals. You can use the ticket for the same day to enter the Zenena Enclosure area in the Royal Centre. Admission is free for children under age of fifteen.
Video camera fee – Rs 25, Still camera – free
Timmings – 8.30 am to 5.30 pm
3. Coracle Crossings: Coracle is a country boat made of bamboo and a fine coating of bitumen on plastic. There are three prominent ghats which act as feiry points. One need to take a boat in order to reach Anegodi. Charges vary, so fix it before you board.
About Rs 2 -5 per person one way
With bycycle – Rs 10
with Motorcycle – Rs 15
4. Gejjala Mantapa: The purpose of this structure is not know. It is located near vittala temple.
5. Purandaradasa Mantapa: Purandaradasa is a famous peot who lived in Hampi and this structure in the form of a platform near the river bank is dedicated to him.
1. Talarigatta Gate: Talarigatta Gate used to serve as the main entrance from the river side from the Talarigatta feiry point.
2. Ahmed Khans Mosque & Tomb: These structures were built after Ahmed Khan, a high ranking officer of the then Hampi kingdom.
3. Vishnu Temple: Vishnu temple is located halfway between Vittala Temple and Kamalapura. It is little isolated.
1. Archeological Museum: The museum is relatively small but has historically important artifacts.
Timmings: 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM and closed Fridays and National Holidays
Entry fee: Rs 5 per person. Children below 15 yrs allowed entry free of cost.
Photography not allowed inside the museum.
2. Bhima’s Gateway This one of the grand entrance gates and got its name from the Hindu epic Mahabharath’s Pandav brothers Bhima. There is craving of bhima on this gate.
3. Ganigitti Temple This temple is sorrounded in mystery as the name Ganigitti temple means ‘the oil women’s temple’. The temple was built in 1386.
Anegondi was the erstwhile capital of Hampi kingdom and was latter shifted to Hampi. Now Anegondi is a small village located on the other side of river Tungabhadra. There are many places to see there like the fort, temples, country side etc
1. Bukka’s Aqueduct It is nothing but water channels which supplied water in Humpi.
2. Hachappa Mantapa: This is a reconstructed pavillion and it is the first thing you see if you are comming from Talarighatta feiry point.
3. Chandramouliswara Temple: Chandramouliswara Temple is located on the north bank of Tungabadhra, in the Rishimukh Island. The ancient stone bridge which connected this area is ruined now. However, one can reach here bu coracle or from the northen side.
4. Rishimukh: Rishimukh is an island in river Tungabhadra and has to be crossed by a coracle to reach there. Here the Chandramouliswara Temple is located.
5. Pampa Sarovar Pampa sarovar or lake is a sacred Hindu religious water body. It got its name from the nearby temple of Shiva and his wife Parvathi (Pampa). The lake is sorrounded by stone boulders on three sides and it is covered lotus leaf throughout the year.
1. Anjaneya Hill: It is believed that Hanuman – the monkey god who fought against Ravana under the leadership of Ram was born on this hill to Anjana and hence Hanuman is also known as Anjaneya. Hence the hill name Anjaneya hill or Anjaneyadri. In this temple the recitation of Ramayana takes place in Hindi rather than the local language Kannada.
2. Matunga Hill Matunga hill is at the center of Hampi and is also the center of attraction. It gives an awesome view of sunrise, sunset and areas below.
3. Malyavanta Hill Malyavanta Hill is little lesser known in the tourist circuit of Hampi. However, you will feel rewarded if you go there. It is less crowded, the hill top gives a awesome view, see Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple. Also, you can reach there by a vehicle.
4. Hemakuta Hill: Hemakunta hill is relative small in height but offers a great view of sunrise and sunset. The hill is also showered with huge number of temple and architectures.