I have been to Hampi twice and trust me I won’t shy away from going again. It’s a place where “once is never enough” phrase comes from. Ever since I moved to Karnataka, I had Hampi on top of my bucket list. So, one good day which was Oct 2nd, 2018(As we have a long weekend in India due to Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday) decided to tick this place off the list. I and my husband started by car from Bangalore around 4AM and reached Hampi crossing Tumakuru, Sira, Hiriyur, Chitradurga, Hosakere, Kudligi, Hosapete and last stop Hampi. We covered this total distance of 380 km’s in just 7 hours including fewer tea and one breakfast break on the way. Checked into the hotel by 12PM and took a nap to start fresh by evening.
A brief about History :
Hampi, the city of ruins is a UNESCO world heritage site and is located in north Karnataka. Hampi is like an open-air museum which you can cover at your own pace. Hampi is full of stories both historical as well as mythological. The history starts with the popular folklore that two local chieftains Hakka and Bukka were on a hunting expedition when they viewed an unusual sight. A hound was chasing a hare which was normal. But suddenly, the hare became all-powerful and started chasing the hound. Hakka and Bukka reported this strange incident to their guru, Vidyaranya. Vidyaranya tells them that the place is so special and asks them to establish their’s local capital at this place. The seed of an empire was sown. Over the next 200 plus years (1336 AD – 1565 AD) four dynasties ruled Vijayanagara.
But the golden era of Hampi did not last long. The empire was brutally attacked by the Deccan Sultans during 1565 and Hampi fell under their attack. The Deccan Sultans looted and ransacked the city for almost six months leaving only mass destruction everywhere. The temples were damaged and the markets were robbed. The empire was ruled by different kings after the massive attack, but it could never regain its lost glory. Gradually, the city lost its strategic importance and gradually lost into oblivion. The city became a ghost city.
Mythologists believes that Hampi was once a monkey kingdom. In the intense battle between two brothers Bali and Sugreeva, the threw stones at each other which got piled up as boulders around the Hampi.
Places to visit in Hampi:
1. Virupaksha Temple
2. Vijaya Vittala Temple
3. Matanga hill
4. Anjaneya Temple
5. Elephant’s stable and Lotus Temple
6. Queen’s Bath
7. Hampi Bazaar
8. Tungabhadra River side
9. Hippie Island
As the sun set down, we started our journey of exploring this open air museum and the first destination was Matanga hill. We parked our can near Hampi Bus stand and strolled towards hills which is 10 mins walk from the car parking. Started climbing hill up and reached to the top in just 25 minutes. The climbing hill isn’t very safe as the boulders are little curvy, slippery and there is nothing to hold for support. Don’t forget to carry water and a torch with you.
View from the hilltop is breath taking. You can get a 360 degree surreal view of Hampi displaying Virupaksha temple, Hampi Bazaar, Boulders scattered to the places on one side and green paddy fields, Anjaneya Hills on the other side of the Tungabhadra river.