HAMPI – Visual Treat for History Lovers
Hampi had been on our wish list from the day Steps Together journey started, but somehow the plan did not materialize. We did not want to postpone our visit to Hampi any further at any cost and decided to plan a weekend trip in the month of February 2018. The pleasant weather forecast motivated us for planning. However, the first big question we had was if two days would be enough for this trip? Initially, we decided to extend for three days and later decided to complete as many sites as possible in the two days of time and our plan worked perfectly fine. We will give you our itinerary later in this post.
Date: 10-Feb-18 to 11-Feb-18
Hampi is one of the most popular destinations in India. Situated on the banks of Tungabhadra river in Ballari district of northern Karnataka, the place attracts a huge crowd from all over the world. Hampi was the glorious capital of mighty Vijayanagara empire in the 13-14th century. Historical stories state that Hampi was a very prosperous and wealthy town filled with extraordinary temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India’s richest at that time. It is said that the gold and other valuable jewels used to be openly sold in the markets of Hampi just like how vegetables are sold in modern days.
The Vijayanagara empire was defeated by the Muslim Sultanates in the 15th century. The precious monuments and temples were destructed very badly during the fall of Vijayanagara empire. The Archaeological Survey of India conducted excavation in the area and the results can now be seen in the form of ruins of this great empire. The group of monuments of Hampi is declared as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986 and the monuments are well preserved.
Surrounded by hills filled with huge boulders, lush green agricultural lands, ancient priceless monuments at each and every corner of the town, Hampi is a must visit place in India. The rich temples are scattered all around the town and need proper planning to avoid missing any of the attractions.
The Tungabhadra river broadly classifies Hampi into two parts – 1) Hampi center side (Kamalapura side) and 2) Anegundi side. Hampi center side contains almost all the tourist destinations and is usually filled with tourists. Anegundi side is on the other side of Thungabhadra river and is usually less crowded. It is often called the hippie island.
- The major Hampi center attractions (the one on the Kamalapura side) can be grouped as follows. The places within each group can be covered by walk:
- Group 1 – Hampi Bazar, Virupaksha temple, Hemakuta Hill temples, Sasivekalu Ganesha, Kadlekalu Ganesha, Monolithic bull, and Krishna temple.
- Group 2 – Ugra Narasimha and Badavi Linga (these are on the way from Royal enclosure to Virupaksha temple)
- Group 3 – Royal Enclosure (Queen’s bath, Mahanavami Dibba, King’s Audience Hall, Stepped Tank, and Public tank), Hazara Rama Temple, and Zenana Enclosure (Basement of queen’s palace, Lotus Mahal, Elephant’s stables, and watchtowers)
- Group 4 – Monolithic Bull, Mathanga Hill, and Achyutaraya temple
- Group 5 – Vittala Temple complex
- On the Anegundi side, the main attractions are Anjanadri Hill, Gagan Mahal, and Sanapura Lake.
Below is the summary of our trip:
- Day 1: Start early in the morning. Take Tumkur > Hanagal > Ramapura road and reach Hampi. Visit Virupaksha temple, Hemakuta Hill and its temples, Sasivekalu Ganesha, Kadale Kalu Ganesha, and Hampi Bazar. Have lunch at Mango Tree restaurant. Post lunch, visit Krishna Temple, Krishna Bazar, Lakshmi Narasimha (Ugra Narasimha), and Badavi Linga. Proceed to Royal Enclosure area and visit Queen’s bath, Mahanavami Dibba, and Stepped Tank. Head to Gowri Resort on the other side of Thungabhadra river and check-in.
- Day 2: Wake up early morning and walk to Sanapura lake to watch the sunrise. Spend time near the lake and return to the hotel, get ready, finish breakfast, check-out, and start today’s trip. Visit Vittala temple and King’s balance before lunch. Post lunch, visit Hazara Rama temple, Paan Supari Bazar, and Zenana Enclosure (Basement of queen’s palace, Lotus Mahal, and Elephant’s stable). Head towards Matanga hill. On the way, visit Underground Shiva temple. Then, visit Monolithic bull and trek to Achyutaraya temple. Initially, we decided to trek the Matanga hill to watch the sunset. Since I was very tired for the steep trek trail, we visited Achyutaraya temple instead.
Note that, we have completed only the main attractions of Hampi. There are few other sites to cover if you have more time. If you like trekking, there are many hillocks which would give you the spectacular view of the marvelous landscapes of Hampi. The famous hills are Matanga Hill and Anjanadri Hills. Watching Sunrise/sunset from these hills with the foreground of bouldered hillocks can be a breathtaking experience. We missed this opportunity this time. Nonetheless, Hampi is not a one-time destination, it keeps calling you back. 🙂
- Route Travelled: Day 1: BTM Layout > Yashwantpur > Nelamangala > Tumkur > Sira > Hiriyur > Challakere > Hanagal > Ramapura > Kamalapura > Hampi attractions > Gowri Resort
Day 2: Gowri Resort > Sanapura Lake > Anegundi > Bukka Sagara > Hampi attractions > Ballari > Anantapur > Bagepalli > Devanahalli > BTM layout
- Total Distance (To & Fro): 818 km
- Mileage (Car): 14.9 km/l
- Fuel Expense: 4100 Rs
- Total Expense: 8085 Rs
- Photos: Day 1 Album and Day 2 Album
- The weather in Hampi is usually very hot. Carry water and umbrella. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before exploring.
- Carry good, comfortable pair of shoes as you need to walk a lot to cover all the monuments.
- There are no good hotels inside Hampi town. You need to come to Kamalapura to have food. Mango tree is the most popular hotel and it truly deserves the popularity. You can get all cuisine food and the serving is very fast.