Hampi, the city of ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the shadowed depth of hills and valleys in the state of Karnataka, this place is a historical delight for travellers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi is a backpacker's delight. Hampi is an open museum with 100+ locations to explore and a favorite way to see the city from the perspective of its history.
Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagar empire around 1500 AD, and by some accounts, the second largest city in the world at that time. Over the next centuries it fell out of importance, and now you can explore the ruins of a lot of temples and other structures spread out over a vast area. The terrain around Hampi is as mysterious as the ruins itself - the city is surrounded by boulders of different sizes, and you can climb to the top of them with a little effort to get a stunning view of the entire city and the geography. It is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. 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 (if any) modern establishments are allowed in the main area, which gives an authentic feel to the ruins.
How to reach Hampi?
Your gateway town to Hampi is Hospet, bustling town located very close to the Hampi village. This is the major travel hub from where you can get the travel connections.
Some of the long distance express trains pass via Hospet. There are a few passenger trains that connects Hospet with nearby cities. Many private operators run regular long distance bus service to Hospet. Check out with the Red Bus or VRL Travels. Mumbai to Hospet regular buses are available.
The KSRTC operates many buses from Hospet to Hampi. It will cost you INR 15 only. Or you can hire Auto Rikshaw, they will charge you between INR 100-300.
Nearest Airport is Hubli (160 km. from Hampi).
Where to stay in Hampi?
Best place to stay in Hampi for Backpackers is at other side of the Tungabhadra river, known as Hippie Island. Many budget options available at Hippie Island, like cottages guest houses and hostels. They are beautiful, less crowded, and traveler friendly. It will cost you 300-600 per person per night. To reach Hippie Island you have to cross Tungabhadra river, Coralcle and boats are available from 7.00 am to 5.30 pm. They charge INR 20 to 50 per person.
Guest houses and cottages are available also in Hampi market near Virupaksha Temple. Or you may prefer the conveniences of Hospet town and Kamalapura village area with many hotels choices.
There are few 5 star hotels and resorts are available around Hampi.
Best time to visit Hampi
The winter season (October to February) is the best time to visit Hampi. However, Hampi is mostly moderate and dry throughout the year. The weather remains moderately cool except for peak afternoons but mostly perfect for exploring the World Heritage Site. The summers bring soaring high temperatures and therefore, March to June is not the best time to visit.
How much time you need to explore Hampi?
You have to keep minimum 2 to 3 days to explore Hampi. Well, the meaning of satisfaction is relative. For those who like Hampi's charm, even a week spend at Hampi might look it was too short. Make your own version of Hampi itinerary. You can easily make tweaks to the Hampi itinerary as you start exploring it. Hampi is a Do It Yourself travellers' delight.
Hampi has an overwhelming many big and small attractions to see. Get hang of the Top Attractions (popular) of Hampi before you craft a sightseeing plan. Also, you may need to pick and choose the attractions based on your interest like photography, hiking the hills, bouldering or even the religious sites like Virupaksha and Vithala Temple.
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