Hampi is a historic place in northern part of Karnataka. This historic place which is spread across 30 Sq KMs has some beautiful collection of art and architecture of Vijayanagar Empire. Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagar Empire and it is believed that this empire was one of the strongest empire during 13th to 15 century.
Hampi is located such that it has Thungabhadra river on one side and mountains and boulders on other side which provided natural defence to this place. This empire was known for their might and was ruled most of the South India. This formidable kingdom was defeated in mid 15th century by combined armies of Bijapur, Golconda and Ahmednagar and robbed subsequently.
We began our journey from Mangalore and Bangalore and met at Chitradurga which is famous for its Fort. We took Udupi->Manipal->Shivamogga->Chitradurga->Hospet->Hampi route. It was a 4 day trip and the itinerary is as below:
- Day 1: Udupi->Agumbe->Shivmogga->Chitradurga ( 250 KMs Covered in 6 Hours)
- Day 2: Chitradurga->Hospet-Hampi (150 KMs Covered in 4 Hours)
- Day 3: Exploring Hampi
- Day 4: Exploring Hampi for half day and back to Udupi (350 KMS Covered in 8 Hours)
It may be noted that the monuments are spread across a vast area and requires at least 3-4 days to explore all the monuments in-depth. Due to limited time we started exploring the monuments early morning and ended our day be late evening. It is believed that there are over 80+ places to visit in Hampi however we are listing some of Major attractions below
Please be noted that not many ATMs are found in Hampi and due to heavy tourist inflow, ATMs sometime run out of cash. Carry sufficient cash just in case. The next nearest town is Hospet which is around 30 Minutes drive.
- Hampi BazaarAs name depicts this is a bazaar (market) which has a huge collection of antiques, jewellery and clothes. This place is an ideal spot for tourists who wish to collect some artifacts and moments.
- Stone ChariotStone chariot may be considered as trade mark of Hampi! No trip of Hampi is complete without a pic this gigantic chariot made of stone. It is believed that during Car festival, the wheels of this stone chariot were rotated by the devotees and assumed that the car is moving forward. This is one of the most popular architecture in Hampi and is situated in Vijaya Vittala Temple Complex. There is a shrine in the chariot which is dedicated to Garuda who is the carrier of Lord Vishnu.
- There are two other such chariots which are as famous as the one in Hampi and are located in Konark of Orissa and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.
- Virupaksha Temple
- This temple was built-in the 7th Century and is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Shiva. The temple is believed to be one of the oldest temple of Hampi and is a major tourist attraction. The temple is near by Hampi Bazaar.. There is a unique three-headed Nandi statue in the temple premise. A guided tour may take around 1 hour to explore the entire temple complex. Plenty of guides are available in and around the temple complex and hiring them is a good idea if you plan to know the understand in-depth history of the temple complex. One of the architecture wonder is that an inverted shadow of Raja Gopuram can been seen inside the temple.
- Vijaya Vittala Temple
- This temple is said to be one of the largest and the most famous structure in Hampi. This place is almost 1 KM from the main entrance and one can either take a walk or a ride in electric vehicle. The architecture and craftsmanship found here is marvelous. This great temple is said to have built-in late 15th century during the reign of Devaraya II. One can find ruins as most of the temples in and around hampi were destroyed by the Deccan Sultanates in 15th century.
- Hazara Rama Temple
- This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and is one of the smallest but well-preserved temple. The temple has a beautiful black granite pillar which makes it unique. It can be observed that right from the entrance entire ramayana is engraved on the walls which looks amazing. One has to take three rounds to complete the story.
- Achyutaraya Temple
- This temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara and is located at the base on Mathanga hill. Vehicles have to be parked at about 1.5 – 2 kms away near the Vitthala temple and one needs to hike to reach this place. This temple falls in between vittal temple and virupaksha temple.
- Kadalekalu Ganesha
- This huge idol is made from monolithic stone and is near Saasivekaalu Ganesha. This massive idol is carved out of a boulder of around 4.5 meters. This is a small temple but the idol is considered as one of the largest in entire southern India. The temple is located near sunset point and can be covered during the evenings.
- Saasivekaalu Ganesha
- This is another idol made from monolithic stone. This temple is located on Hemakunta hills and is nearby Ugra-Narasimha temple.
- Lotus Mahal & Zanana Enclosure
- There is nothing special about this place however the shape of the mahal/building resembles lotus. There is a well maintained lawn and one can take few pics here. An elephant stable is within the same premise as that of lotus mahal. Entry inside the mahal is prohibited and one can take few pics from outside.
- Zanana (feminine) enclosure is a place where Royal women used to stay. This place is located near Ranga Temple. It is said that this place was heavily guarded and no male was allowed to enter this enclosure except the King. Lotus Mahal and Elephant’s stable are located nearby.
- Queen’s Bath
- This is a huge place where queen and other royal women used to take bath. The place now has an empty pool and a small park. This place is generally crowded and is best visited during early mornings. This engineering marvel has a well planned water management system for inlet and exit of water. The architecture is breathtaking and is a must visit for all the visitors.
- Vijaya Vitthala Temple
- Vijaya Vitthala Temple is situated in northeastern part of Hampi and is dedicated to Lord Vittala, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple ruins are known for creative architecture such as a chariot made of stone & musical pillars which emits music when struck on them.
- Royal Enclosure
- This is an historic place where King and Queen of Vijaynagara empire used to live. This used to be a huge fortified area and was located at center of the Vijayanagara Empire.
- Kings Balance
- Kings Balance is a 15th-century stone scale which was used to weigh the king against gold that was gave to the priests.
- Badavilinga Temple
- Badavilinga temple is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This Ancient temple has a Shiva Linga which is surrounded by a pool of water.
- Nava Brindavana
- Navabrindavanam is located at Anegundi, near Hampi. This place has tombs of nine (nava) brindavana (Madhva saints). This place also has shrines of Lord Hanuman and Ranganatha within the premise.
- Elephant Stable
- These are beautiful Indo-Islamic style structure which were constructed as stables for royal elephants of the Vijayanagara Empire
- Monolithic Bull
- This is also known as Yeduru Basavanna or Nandi and can be found in eastern side of the Virupaksha Bazaar. This is one of the major tourist attraction of Hampi.
- Mathanga Hill
- This is one of the highest peak of Hampi. The place provides excellent panoramic view of Hampi. The climb takes around 30 Minutes. The peak has a temple dedicated to Lord Veerabhadra which is probable one of the best place to watch sunrise/sunset in Hampi.
- Vishnu Temple
- This temple is situated behind vittala temple and has got numerous rows of inscriptions carved on its outer walls. This temple is located midway to Vittala Temple from Kamalapura.
- Ugra Narasimha Temple
- Lakshmi Narasimha statue in Hampi is a huge sculpture and is one the major tourist attraction. This temple is located in southern side of Hemakuta group of temples.
- Hemakuta Group of Temples
- These are a group of temples located on Hemakuta hills.There are around 30+ temples which are spread across the hills and the shrines are mostly dedicated to Lord Shiva. However, most of it are in ruins and its idols and statues can be found in the museum.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as i enjoyed writing it. I visited Hampi during 2013 and accuracy of the post as well as images may not be accurate fully, however i have tried to recollect and relate this post to the best of my knowledge. Please comment if i have missed or any post is not accurate so that i can rectify the same.
Hi friends, I love traveling and exploring new places. When I was going through my old travel photos I started to cherish my travel experiences. I wanted to share my experience with you. That is how i started this blog.! I hope you like my work.