Hampi, a place where the sun shines softly on the the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara in the northern Karnataka, India. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It is 353 km from Bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary.
The Hampi’s boulder strewn landscape will mesmerize you. The moment you step into Hampi, its landscape would make you wonder how on earth did these boulders stack onto top of each other. Different theories have come up behind their origin, some call it as the geographical erosion and some go back to mythology to explain it. Even though I consider myself as an atheist, the mythological version appealed to me much more. Good luck to you, if you can connect the dots and figure out their origin.
We went there as a group for two days and a night from Bangalore. But I would highly recommend all the travelers to stay there for at least two nights and enjoy its beauty. NH48 and NH50 from Bangalore to Hampi is smooth as a butter and if blue is one of your favorite color then you are never going to look down. The sky most of the time is crystal clear and blue as a sapphire. So better take a driver and a camera along. It might take you 7-8 hours to reach there.
As we were travelling on a long weekend, we couldn't get any good accommodation in Hampi. Hence we had to settle on the other side of the river Tungabhadra. We checked-in into Hotel Rock Regency . Though the hotel's information says that it is in Hampi, it is approximately 30 kms away from it and is situated near the JSW plant. Since we had our own vehicle, we didn't have any issues with travelling to and fro to Hampi. The hotel is supposed to be 3 stars, but the conditions of rooms somewhere disappointed us. From outside, the hotel does look like a 3 star but the rooms were nothing more than that of a economical hotel. The food though was amazing. It exceeded our expectations. At night they have an open terrace restaurant for families which does provide an amazing ambiance. So if you are running on a tight budget and need a hotel just for the sake of a night sleep and nice food, go for it.
Once you enter Hampi, after few kilometers you would meet a divergent, the way on the right would take you to Vittala temple and the one on the left would take you towards Virupaksha Temple. If you are travelling around 3-4 PM, I would suggest you to take the Virupaksha temple route as the temple is opened till 8:30 PM and in addition to it there is Hemkuta Hill just before the Virupaksha Temple which gives you the breathtaking views of the temple itself and the sunset. The breeze there will take your heart away. So first visit the hill, enjoy the sunset and then you can head towards the temple.
On its way you would be greeted by Talarighatta Gate. It was one of the main entrance points into the urban centre of the capital from the riverside. Talarigata means tollgate, probably that would have been its original intent.
Once you go past the Talarighatta Gate, you will several other monuments on the way to Virupaksha Temple but I would suggest you to leave them for the last day and head straight away to the Hemkuta Hill. Some of the ruins which you can find at the Hemkuta hills are there in the gallery below.
On the next day of your trip, you can treat yourself with the marvel of Vitalla temple's architecture. See for yourself in the images below. It is opened till 6 PM in the evening.
Once you are done with Vittala temple, you can go a few kilometers ahead towards Anjaneyadri Hill. This hill houses a small temple of lord Hanumana and though it doesn't provide you with the ruins like Hemakuta hill but it does provide you the view of in and around Hampi and believe me its worth it.
On our way back we took the Hospete to Bengaluru highway. But I would recommend not to take that NH if you love your back, as it is under construction and you would end up killing your precious time getting stuck in traffic with several trucks on the way.
Last but not the least, Hampi should be on the top of the your list of places to be visited.