A quick guide to Hampi

Photo of A quick guide to Hampi by Rasika Tamhane

Hampi UNESCO World Heritage sites can aptly be described as ‘The Lost Kingdom’. A land once rich with a flourishing kingdom, of mountains and valleys and rivers, of stunning landscapes is magical enough to teleport you to fantasy land.

Get Hampi-ready

Hampi is an archaeological wonderland which is best experienced by foot.

• November to February is an ideal time & a hat, glares and water should keep you going.

• Quick tip: load yourself with a good amount of sunscreen lotion be it any time of the year.

Touchdown Hampi

Hampi has not only sparked interest amongst the locals & architecture students, but is also flocked by many foreign tourists exploring the country.

• With Hospet being the closet city to the village, you may commute from various cities nearby via bus.

• You may also reach Hampi via Hubli Domestic Airport which is about 160 km from the village.

Stay and Travel in Hampi

• Hampi is a haven for all – solo backpackers, tourists and luxury travellers. From guest house accommodations, to budget hotels, to fancy resorts – Hampi has it all.

You may also find a couple of options to commute within Hampi.

• Mopeds are readily available, however it is recommended to book one beforehand as they run out quite fast.

• A strong recommendation for a sunny day is to hire an auto-rickshaw to take you around the place.

Exploring Hampi

Broadly speaking, the World Heritage site could be divided into 2 parts making it easier to go sight-seeing.

• The highlight of the first part could well be the worshipped temple of Virupaksha.

• Moving further are multiple non-worshipped temples of Ganesha carved in monolithic rocks.

• Close by is the Krishna Bazaar, a beautiful colonnaded area of land housing a Pushkarni.

• Other sightseeing places in the area include the Badavilinga Temple and the Lakshminarsimha Temple.

With a hectic half-day itinerary, there are quite a few popular spots around the area for a nice lunch. To spend the rest half of the day at leisure, there are 2 must-do activities in Hampi.

• You can enjoy a relaxing coracle ride on the still waters of the Tungabhadra river.

• You can then hike up the Mathanga Hill to watch the sunset with its beautiful hues spreading across Hampi.

With a satisfying variety of activities for Day-1, explore the other half of the city on day-2.

• Starting at the Underground Shiva Temple, move on to Royal Complex along the way. Dotted with Lotus Temple, an iconic elephant and horse stable, walk in to the depths of this ruin city exploring the tiny gems of the kingdom.

• Heading further to the Hazararama Temple followed by the Royal Enclosure, a sprawling area spreading over almost 54,000 sq.m., absorb the grandeur of the olden days by walking around the secret underground chamber, the holy Pushkarni and the celebrated Mahanavami Dibba.

Grabbing a quick lunch, head out to witness the Vitthal Temple and the stone chariot.

• A walk on the beaten pathways, you feel like entering a different world altogether. As you enter the complex of the Vitthal Temple, the glory of the place casts its magic on you. The intricate detailing, the extent of musical columns, the beauty of the moving stone chariot standing proudly is all a sight to behold.

• Walking further around is the King’s Balance, a perfect place to watch the setting sun splash vibrant colors of the palette to make a perfect evening sky.

Day-3 could be laid-back to explore the Hippie Island across the river and a quick visit to Anegundi to witness the last bit of heritage Hampi.

Signing off tip: Finish off your trip to Hampi by visiting the heritage sites of Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami.