Being one of India's most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site, History and Hampi go hand in hand. It's one of those well preserved marvels of ancient Indian culture that would magically transport you back to the historic times. When I visited Rome in 2015 (you can read about it here), I felt amazed by the fact that it had a soothing old world charm to it. Walking through the ruins of Hampi, I had a similar, pleasant feeling.
In its prime, Hampi was the richest and most prosperous city in the entire world. Now, around 500 years later, it draws scores of travelers from all around the globe in search of unparalleled peace and tranquility.
Hampi is a convenient 5 hours drive away from Bangalore and is a refreshing getaway from the hectic city life. We went there in February end, which may not be the best time to visit Hampi. In spite of the scorching heat and burning sunshine we managed to have a good time in the 2 days we spent there. I wouldn't classify us as history buffs so we didn't rush about much to check all the hundreds of places of interest in this ancient town. We visited a few select places that we thought we must not miss and saved the others for another visit at a later time.
I would let the pictures do the talking, as I know I would not be able to do justice to the numerous spectacular sites that Hampi offers. Just before my trip I started reading the plenty of material available online on blogs and travel sites and I suggest the same for anyone who wants to witness the history of Hampi. There are numerous 1/2/3 day itineraries and you may choose the one that suits you best based on time or comfort.
Travelling through town is quite easy. We had our car and had no problems in parking etc. Rental scooters/bikes/cycles are also available easily at very nominal rates and serve as an efficient means of sight seeing.
This post would be incomplete without a mention of another interesting facet of Hampi. Its a charming example of a global village and is visited by travelers from different parts of the world. In fact you may witness more foreigners here as compared to locals. The best part of this is the kind of food you get here. You can try all sorts of tempting world cuisine at very affordable prices in the hundreds of little cafes spread across town. The atmosphere around the backpackers village or hippie village across the Tungabhadra river is leisurely laid back and refreshing. At the time we visited the water level was extremely low and we could easily jump around on large rocks and cross the river. I have decided to visit Hampi again in the monsoon season when the river is full and the weather is more pleasant.
The highlight of Hampi for me was the hike to Matanga hilltop. The panoramic view from the summit are breathtaking and the picturesque sunset is definitely worth whatever little trouble the hike offers. That crimson sunset accentuated by magnificent views of ancient ruins, neighbouring boulder hills, menadering river and vast fields of coconut and banana trees is on top of my list of amazing sunsets.