Hampi is the most extraordinary construction of India witnessing the 14th century ruins located in the Hospet Taluk, Bellary district of Karnataka in India. Hampi is a small village, the area at Hampi is spread across 26 Sq. Kms. Situated on the banks of river Tungabhadra, Hampi was the capital city of Vijayanagar empire. The splendid architecture and monuments of Hampi calls all kind of tourists, people and is the mirror of great work done during Vijayanagara Empire. The ruins are mainly spread between the village Kamalapuram at South and Hampi at North.
This place was referred to as Kishkinda kshetra in Ramayana. As per the history, Hampi and surrounding areas were ruled by Kadambas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and Hoysalas. During 1320s this area was conquered by Mohammad bin Tughluq. Within ten years, Harihara and Bukka (Sangama brothers) regained the area.
How to reach Hampi
The main nearest city to reach Hampi is Hospet. Hampi is only 13Kms from Hospet. Hospet is well connected by rail and road. Hospet is 343Kms from Bangalore and 74Kms from Bellary. Travel on NH-4 from Bangalore upto Chitradurga. Take right side diversion to reach Hospet and Hampi. Hospet is 125Kms from Chitradurga. People coming from Raichur and Gangavathi via Kampli can avoid Hospet. Nearest airport (mini) is a private one in Torangal (40Kms from Hospet) operating between Bangalore and Jindal. Government buses are available between Hospet and Hampi from 6.00am to 8.00pm. Travellers can reach the ruins area from Hospet either through Kamalapuram or via Hampi independently. Nearest railway station is Hospet. Many trains connect Hospet to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Hubli and many other parts of India.
Standard tourist package available by Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporations (KSTDC) to visit Hampi.
What to see in Hampi
To see the total gyst of this once-glorious city, people have to stay at least 2 days. Few important visiting places include Virupaksha temple, Hampi rath (chariot) made out of single stone at Vittala complex, the huge Ugra Narasimha statue. Vithala Temple which is well known for the music echoes when struck. Lotus mahal is the reflection of the beauy of woman. Elephant stables and watch tower can be seen nearer to this place. Below is the detailed guide to visit all the places at Hampi.
After starting from Hospet towards Hampi, there is a stepped tank and Ananthashayana temple. Proceeding towards Hampi, one will see Mohammadan tomb and Darga to the left. After seeing this, better to reach Hampi and get down near Sasive kalu Ganesha.
Starting from Sasive kalu Ganesha, people can visit Vishnupada temple, Hemakuta temples (located at the hill and spread across wide area). This area is very good for photographers, nature lovers and artistes. Proceed to visit Virupaksha temple. Beside the temple Tungabhadra river flows. Tourists can visit the banks of the river. There are shops on the streets going towards the river side. Antiques and other items are sold but the genuinity is not guaranteed. Then go to Kadalekalu Ganesha, Krishna temple, Badavalinga temple, Ugra Narasimha (Lakshmi Narasimha) temple, Saraswati temple, Chandikesvara temple, Uddhana Virabhadra temple. This covers the first circuit of the visiting places at Hampi.
The starting point of the second circuit is the underground Shiva temple.
Where to stay in Hampi
Most of the local people have converted their houses into hotels. Best option is to stay at Hospet. Hotel charges range from INR 300 to INR 1500 depending upon the type of hotel. Very good lodge facility is available for INR 800 (triple accomodation) at Hospet.
Very good South Indian food is available at Hospet. European style cuisine is available at restaurants and hotels standing on streets at Hampi also. Better carry food from Hospet during the visit to Hampi.
Entry tickets are to be purchased only at two places. Vitthala temple and Lotus mahal. INR 10 for Indians and INR 250 for foreigners. No entry fee for children below 15 years.
Inside the Virupaksha temple photography is allowed. INR 50 is to be paid at the entrace and receipt is to be obtained.
At Vitthala temple battery operated vehicles are available to reach the temple premesis. Vehicle charge is INR 20 per person for to and fro transportation. This facility is arranged by Government of Karnataka, Department of Archeology to avoid further deterioration of monuments which may happen due to vibrations caused by normal vehicles.
Better hire a vehicle locally to visit all the surrounding places. Visitors can bargain for INR 350 excluding guide charges for the entire journey. Bicycles are available for INR 50, motor cycles are also can be hired for INR 150 (small) and INR 200 (big). For one day visit to see important places, it takes 6-7 hours from starting to ending. Guide charges are INR 500 for the entire Hampi visit.