350kms away from Bangalore is a small hamlet called Hampi, which was once the base of The Vijaynagar Dynasty founded by the elder son Harihara from Sangama Family. A small Indian town, Hampi is now a UNESCO world heritage site as the ruins of the mighty dynasty lie there in the form of rocks and boulders. And the boulders emit crazy amounts of heat and that’s winters are the best time to visit Hampi!
I have thought a lot about this place and wondered that there must be so many stories unheard, so many stories untold. Well, this is how magnificent the place is. The mysterious land of Hampi. Its magnificent ruins are enchanting and take you back centuries into ancient times. Such is the aura of the place, the people, heritage and the history of Hampi. Keep reading for Hampi travel tips for your next visit there!
Our Experience in Hampi
You walk through the paddy field into the open-air restaurants for lunch. Cuisines range from Indian to Chinese to Italian, ask for the Chef’s special as well. Post your scrumptious lunch in the homestay, you wouldn’t be able to resist the comfortable wooden swing in front of your balcony. You can lie down and relax with your favorite book and a cold one.
Lots of points of interest in Hampi but this was our favourite one. In the evening this place literally changes its ambiance and color! As the sun goes down the clear blue sky turns orange and you feel so lucky to experience it and live the moment. An amazing sunset awaits you!
As the night falls and the birds are gone, all you hear are the crickets doing mating calls all over the fields. It’s dark and quiet and the cool breeze has continued throughout the day. It’s the perfect time to pull out your guitar, switch on some tunes or head to the bar with your favorite drink and some good food! This is the time for you to unwind, relax and forget about work, your challenges and focus on just being in the moment. Hampi helps you soak in its beauty and you take away memories for a lifetime!
Where do you stay in Hampi?
You will find lots of hotels and resorts in Hampi that cater to everybody. Homestays in Hampi can be found in Hampi village, backpacker huts in Virupapur Gadde. If you are looking for hotels, then you will find them in Kamalapura. But we decided to go for a homestay and experience some rustic living!
Situated by the banks of a long mighty river, there was this small guest house. It is surrounded by lush green paddy fields, and you will find a melting pot of people from various nationalities, mingling around. For as low as Rs.1000/- OR 67$ (approx) per night, you can book a shack by the river. These small shacks have a comfortable double bed covered with mosquito net, wooden almirahs and a washroom with running hot water to offer. Due to a boom in tourism in Hampi, here are a plethora of hotels in Hampi. But we chose to stay with the local home-stays. You can check out some of these hotels here.
In 2018, we got a chance to stay in the more upscale, Heritage Resorts Hampi and had a fantastic time there. You can read more about them here.
Things to do in Hampi
Plenty of things to see in Hampi and the main tourist spots in Hampi are the Hampi Bazaar area and the Royal center. The 15th-century Virupaksha Temple is located in the Hampi Bazaar area and is one of the oldest structures in the city. The top of the temple rises 50 m from the ground. The main shrine is dedicated to Virupaksha, an avatar of Lord Shiva. Two kilometres east of Hampi Bazaar, you can see the World Heritage Vittal temple that was constructed in the 16th century.
The royal centre is located between Hampi Bazaar and Kamalapuram and it is just a 2-minute walk from the Hampi Bazaar. You can visit The Lotus Mahal which is an intricately designed pavilion inside a walled compound, known as the Zenana Enclosure. Hampi is also famous for The Queen’s Bath, the Underground Virupaksha temple, the Archeological Museum at Kamalapuramand and Anegondi. This is a fortified area north of Hampi Bazaar across Tungabhadra River and has several temples in and around it.
Places To See In Hampi
• Archaeological Museum
• Monkey Temple (Hanuman Temple)
• Vijaya Vittala Temple
• Riverside Ruins
• Queen’s Bath
• Hampi Bazaar
• Royal Enclosure
• Virupaksha Temple
• Underground Temple
• Krishna Temple
• Matanga Hill
• Daroji Bear Sanctuary
• Sasivekalu Ganesha
• Hemakuta Hill Temples
• Old Palace (Gagan Mahal)
Best Time to visit Hampi
Hands down, the best time to be in Hampi is during the winters, from end of October to early February. Although, Hampi doesn’t experience cold weather but during these months its pleasant to walk around without the sun beating down too hard on you!
Summers are harsh and it isn’t advisable to venture out during the hot summer days. It is suggested to avoid visiting Hampi in May and June as the weather is scorching and dry, owing to the geography of the area.
Monsoons get average but inconsistent rainfall, keeping the temperatures a little low but humid. Those looking forward to some adventure activity such as rock climbing, should avoid this season and hence the best time to visit Hampi is only during the year end..
Traveling through Karnataka?
Explore the most stunning beaches in Udupi or travel to the heart of coffee cultivation in Coorg. Karnataka is the ultimate travel destination for backpackers, luxury seekrs, wildlife lovers, bikers and it beckons for you to explore it