Expenditure: INR 3000/-
Duration: 2 days
Hampi Travel Guide
Hampi is the story of a powerful kingdom and how it came to be destroyed and was hidden under the ground for many years before the archaeologists finally discovered it. Known as a World Heritage UNESCO site, Hampi tells you of the story of a prosperous kingdom and how it was overthrown by the Sultans.
While you might feel that this is just a city filled with ruins, it is actually much more than that. It tells you about the lifestyle of the perished kings and queens and about the birth of a powerful god. Ever heard of a kingdom which was so prosperous and laden with diamonds that it didn’t even think of covering it up?
Yes, in Hampi market, people used to leave their goods behind in the market, at night, and just cover them up with a layer of clothing because when the kingdom is rich, why would anyone even bother to steal anything? There is so much which Hampi offers you both in the terms of culture and scenic views that it makes it a must visit place for every history buff.
What makes Hampi so interesting?
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Apart from all the Royal Enclosures of Hampi, You would find it interesting to know that from a defensive point of view, Hampi was your perfect city and that is why it was the capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom. With one side being protected by the Tungabhadra river and the rest three sides being covered with the huge boulders and rocks, this was the perfect capital from a military point of you.
Top Things to Do in Hampi
So, if you have decided to visit Hampi then I have a list of things you should definitely do there and places you just cannot miss. Here are a few things without which your Hampi trip is certainly incomplete:
Learning the History of this place
Hampi has so much to tell you. It tells you about how a prosperous kingdom looked like and what made it such a powerful kingdom that the Deccan Muslim confederation felt like they had to attack this magnificent city. This city was ruled by the Vijayanagara empire when it reached its peak and Krishna Deva Raya was the king at the time. Many important monuments and buildings were designed during this time.
So, one of the top things to do in Hampi is to learn more about this magnificent place. And knowing the entire history of this place is only possible if you have a local guide with you. This because no matter how much you google and search, a local person would be able to narrate the story better to you.
Taking the Bicycle Tour
Yes, we all want to travel and explore this beautiful city of Hampi without spending a lot. So, one of the top things to do in Hampi is to take a cycle tour and get to know about the history of the various important sites and cultures is by taking the cycle tour. This tour would need a little energy but trust me, it is the most rewarding ride you would ever be on. The roads of Hampi are mostly smooth and except a few places, there isn’t much of a climb to be done.
The cycle tour would start at 8 in the morning and would go on for some 5-6 hours, covering all the major monuments and sites present in Hampi. There are some 15-20 sites which it covers. And the only sites which you would have to visit separately are the Matanga hill and the Vitthala Temple. This cycle tour comes with a guide and costs only 400 rupees per person. Now, isn’t that cheap?
So, if you are planning to visit Hampi then, do not miss on this amazing tour and get to know more about the culturally rich and historically popular city of Hampi. You might just make some new friends on the way too!
Exploring the Hampi Island
One of the best things to do in Hampi is to visit the Hampi Island which you can reach from the city by a ferry that costs around 15 rupees per person and you would find one ferry going in every 15-30 minutes. The Hampi island is full of various hills and lakes and temples which have been here for centuries now.
All these places are nearby and would take some 5-6 hours to visit. There are many amazing places to eat on this side too and you will find that it is a fun and party zone at night too. So, if you are looking for a hippie style traveling, then you should definitely spend a night here.
Climbing the Anjaneya Hill
One of the major attractions of the Hampi island is it’s Anjaneya Hill. Although this is a long climb of some 800 steps (Sorry, I can’t recall the exact number of step count), you just cannot miss out on this place. It offers you an amazing panoramic view of the Hampi island. However, that’s not all. It is said that this hill is the birthplace of Shri Hanuman and there is a temple built here for him.
This hill doesn’t have any road, just a lot of steps. But once you reached the top, you will find rocks bunched together which allow you to make your way to the other side to witness the sunrise and the sunset. So, make sure that you go here and don’t miss out on one of the most amazing things to do in Hampi. Because, trust me, the view from this hill is just spectacular and to die for.
Boating in the Kishkinda Lake
This is yet another amazing thing to do in Hampi if you are on the Hampi island. Anyone who has read Ramayana would know that Kishkinda was the place where the Vanaras kingdom was built. You get a boat here in every 15 minutes for just 10 bucks and what a ride it is. It takes you through the lake and the lake is full of various plants and animals and covers the majority of the area while providing you with a mesmerizing view of the lake and the nearby rocks and ruins. This is definitely a ride that you shouldn’t miss.
Visiting the Virupaksha Temple
One of the major attractions of Hampi, you need to spend some time here in the Virupaksha Temple. Although your bicycle tour will start from this place, it is important that you spend some time here separately. Meet the temple elephant and learn about the history of this temple.
You will find many broken statues here which is the indication of the attack of the Sultans. Although the archaeologists have excavated a great deal of this temple, some of it still lies beneath the ground. And the famous Hampi bazaar used to be held outside this temple. You will find those sites excavated too.
Watching the Sunset from the Matunga Hill
One of the most beautiful things to do in Hampi which is perfect for sunset lovers is to watch a sunset from the Matanga hill. It is directly opposite to Virupaksha temple and would take some 30-45 minutes to reach the topmost point. I didn’t have time to visit the much talked about sunset. However, our guide and the local people told us that it is the place to be around 5-6 p.m.
So, make sure you don’t miss out on this one. I might have to go again to witness this sunset. But there is no reason that you all can’t do this in one trip itself.
Visiting the Vittala temple
Another great attraction of Hampi is the Vitthala Temple. You would be familiar with its chariot which is currently the symbol of Karnataka tourism. Although only ruins remain behind, it still tells of more prosperous days. And the road leading to this temple had another famous bazaar on its either side whose ruins can be still seen.
There are two ways to reach this temple. You can walk for 2 km from the Virupaksha temple, alongside the Tungabhadra river bank. There is another 10 km long route but you will have to take an auto for it. You cannot take the auto for just one side, it has to be a return trip, costing 300-400 INR. Personally, I would suggest you choose the river path as it is beautiful and filled with other beautiful ruins and temples.
How to reach Hampi
Chooses buses. We used Paytm.com to find cheap buses.
There are no direct buses to Hampi. You will need to take a bus to Hosapete from other cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc. I took a non-sleeper bus which cost me around 1300 for the to and fro journey. From Hosapete, you can either wait for a bus to Hampi which arrives in every 1 hour and takes just 15 bucks or you could take an auto for 250 bucks which would drop you earlier in the city.
For returning, you can again take a bus which leaves in every 1 hour or you can take a shared auto which takes something around 50 rupees per person. For local traveling, you will find that you can easily rent scooters, motorbikes, cycles, etc. A Scooty costs you 400 bucks for 2 people so it is not really that expensive. You can take your Scooty and bike to the Hampi island too using a Ferry.
Where to Stay in Hampi
You will find many guest houses and homestays here which don’t cost more than 600-700 INR. So, there is really no need to prebook your stay here. There are a lot of places to stay both on the city side and the Hampi island side, so take your pick.
If you want a more happening night, then I would suggest you stay at the Hampi island side.
Where to Eat in Hampi
Our Recommendation: Laughing Buddha (Hampi Island)
There aren’t that many places to eat here really and you won’t find cheap food here at all. Make sure you try a few Russian dishes here, they are really amazing. There are a few decent places on the Hampi island to eat but not so many in the city itself. Your one meal would cost you somewhere around 200-300 bucks per person.
Best Time to Visit
Our recommendation: During Winters (November – February)
Hampi is a hot and humid place. So, if you truly want to experience the true beauty of this place, you should visit this place in winters. The climate is a little more bearable at that time. Also, after the monsoon, it is more green which helps in getting the temperature a little down.
It is quite hot and humid from March to October, so avoid this time period.