Hampi- The city of ruins is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the eclipsed depth of hills and valleys in the state of Karnataka, this place is a historical delight for travellers. It is surrounded by myriad ancient monuments, enchanting temples, bustling street markets and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire. Hampi is an open treasury with numerous locations to explore and a cool way to see the city from the perspective of its history.
Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagar empire around 1500 AD and the second largest city in the world at that time. Now you can explore the ruins of a lot of temples and other structures spread out over a vast area. The land around Hampi is quiet baffling as the city is surrounded by boulders of various sizes and you can climb to the top of them with a little effort to get a stupefying view of the entire town. It is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It is generously famous for its massive, beautifully carved temples, especially the Virupaksha Temple, dedicated to the patron deity of the empire. You can also find remains of the old aqueducts, canals and military barracks and stables here. Hampi was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986 and many efforts have been taken to restore the lost glory of the place - very limited modern establishments are allowed in the main area, which gives an authentic feel to the ruins.
Getting to Hampi
Well, you may opt to drive all the way to Hampi from Bangalore or Hyderabad as it is equidistant from both the cities with a distance of around 350 KM. Alternatively you may choose to go via train/bus. The overnight journey via Hampi Express is the best means to reach Hampi from Bangalore. It is a 9 hour journey from Bangalore Junction to Hospet- the nearest station to Hampi. From there you may take an auto rickshaw/taxi/bus to Hampi which is a further 30 minutes journey.
You may also opt for KSRTC A.C/non A.C buses but make sure to book tickets well in advance. The bus drops you in Hospet town which is 13 km away from Hampi so you can take an auto rickshaw or a bus to Hampi from there.
If you choose to take a road trip to Hampi, take the NH48 (old NH4/ also called Tumkur Road) out of Bangalore. Bangalore to Chitradurga you will be using the NH48 (old NH4). From Chitradurga bypass take the NH50 for Hospet and then drive 13km to Hampi from Hospet. It's a 6 to 7 hours drive from Bangalore. Alternative route would be to choose the Bangalore Hyderabad highway and then go via Bellary.
Where to stay in Hampi
If you love luxury and and plan to travel by your own car to Hampi, go for Hyatt Palace Hampi as it is the best leisure hotel in Hampi and situated 35 km away from the main Hampi. It's quite an experience to stay in the calm and peaceful Vidyanagar Township and if you got time, you may explore the area around the township as well which consists of Kaladham primarily. Visit to Hampi is considered incomplete without a peep into Kaladham. It consists of pictures of Hampi taken by an Australian photgrapher and the 3D show is also quite impressive. The area around is well maintained and very peaceful.
If you wish to stay in proper Hampi or Hippie island, then you have various options of resorts like Gopi Island Guesthouse, Shanthi Guest House, homestays and camp stays as well.