Hampi is one place which has something to offer to everyone. Either you are a trekker, photographer, historian or someone who just want to chill over the weekend, Hampi is the place for your next weekend trip.
Hampi is a small town in Karnataka, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage site. Town is divided into two sections by Tungabhadra river. One side is a heritage site inundated with temples and ruins of Vijayanagar city, and other side is completely opposite with small shacks, cafes filled with Israeli tourists. There is no bridge over the river and the only way to cross it is by boat, which has fixed timings 9 am – 5 pm.
There are several temples spread across Hampi: Virupaksha temple and Vijjaya Vittala temple are the most famous ones. The best way to visit all temples is hire an auto for a day, which is very common, and don’t forget to bargain for the best price.
2. Picturesque Sunrise and Sunset over ruins
I love Hampi for its amazing sunrise and sunset shots. The blend of high contrast colored clouds and ruins offers an amazing landscape click. In my last 4 trips to Hampi, I have never repeated a shot and I am confident that in my next trip, there will be a new landscape waiting to get clicked.
3. Learn about ancient architecture
You learn about the ancient architecture, sculptures and culture of Vijayanagar empire. Hiring a guide at major places is recommended to get more detailed information.
4. Trek to Anjuna and Matunga hills
Anjuna and Matunga Hills are the two most popular treks in Hampi. Their location make it feasible to cover both the treks in a weekend trip. Anjuna is on the shack side, which you can cover on the first day evening while Matunga is on the Heritage side, so you can cover it on second day and then catch the bus back to your place. Anjuna trek is fairly easy with proper stairs while Matunga is a little exploration.
5. Roam around with no destination
If you don’t want to plan anything, then you can just roam around in the ruins. You can also rent a bike or moped to explore the place.
6. Chill out near Sanapur Dam
Sanapur Dam is another great place on shack side to chill out. You can easily spend hours there or can go for boat ride in the lake.
7. Spend a lazy weekend in shacks
You can spend the whole weekend in the shack, enjoy awesome food, play poker with friends and have a beer.
8. Experience the Coracle boat ride
Coracle boat ride is a different experience for people coming from North. A circular boat which means there is no specific direction to point. It is fun to see how to control the boat to reach at the destination.
9. Spend some time with yourself
You can easily plan a solo trip to Hampi and spend some quality time with yourself.
10. Street Photography
Hampi offers a lot for Street Photography. Locals are very warm and don’t mind posing for you.
I have been multiple times to Hampi and everytime I stayed at the same place, Sunny Guest House (Call this number for Booking : 09448566368). They have separate huts in the compound with basic facilities at reasonable tariff.
Guest house provides amazing food with all variety of cuisines from Indian to Israeli cuisines. You will find several other restaurants nearby providing great food options.
How to Reach
Nearest big town is Hospete. From Bangalore or from your respective place, you can take a bus or train to Hospete. The moment you step out of the bus at Hospete, you will be surrounded by auto drivers for Hampi. You can do some bargain for the fare to Virupaksha temple.
How many days are required for the trip
You can spend even a week easily at Hampi, but minimum two days are required. You can divided your time to one day for Heritage side of the river (temples and other places) and another day to chill out at shacks.
Best time to visit Hampi
September to Feburary is a great time to visit Hampi. I have personally been at Hampi in Sept, Oct and Feb.