Hampi can be reached by air, trains and road.
There is no airport in Hampi. Therefore you can take flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Belgaum, Hubli or Bangalore airport. From there you can take taxi.
- Belgaum to Hampi (270 Kms / approx. 5 hours)
- Hubli (Hubballi) to Hampi (165 Kms / approx. 3.5 hours)
- Goa to Hampi (320 Kms / approx. 6.5 hours)
The nearest railhead to Hampi is Hospet (13 Kms). Hospet is connected to many main cities in India. Once you reach Hospet, you will have to take a taxi to reach Hampi.
In case you are in the mood of a road trip, then Hampi is easily connected to Bangalore and other main cities of Karnataka and Goa.
- Bangalore to Hampi is approx. 350 Kms/ approx. 7.5 hours
- Hassan to Hampi 345 Kms./ approx. 7.5 hours
- Badami to Hampi 140 Kms / approx. 3.5 hours
- Goa to Hampi 320 Kms / approx. 6.5 hours
Today, Hampi is appreciated for the views of the monuments that tell the story of its rich history. At one time, Hampi was considered as the richest cities in the world. And today, it is one of the most searched and toured sites in India. Tourists from all over the world visit Hampi to experience its aesthetic beauty and learn about the history.
A BRIEF BACKGROUND
Hampi has been given several names due to the presence of the Tungabhadra River Pampa. The city has a story to tell as it is involved in the Hindu mythology. The river Pampa gets its name from the daughter of Brahma. The daughter is also known as Parvati. According to the mythology, she decided to marry Shiva despite the discouragement from her parents. Shiva was a yogi and deep in meditation. Parvati prays for his awakening but in vain. Shiva only acknowledges her when she begins a similar lifestyle to his. Upon awakening, Shiva discourages her too but she insists. They finally get married and Parvati continues to live the yogini lifestyle so she can convince Shiva to return to a householder life.
Hampi is also known to be the place where Ram and Lakshman stayed when searching for Sita when she was abducted by Ravana.
There are several spots and temples in Hampithat are associated with the events of the Hindu mythology. This is one ofthe many reasons why touristsvisit with great interest.
The history of the city can be traced back to 2nd and 3rd centuries. Many ceramic potteries that were discovered from the area show signs of belonging to that era. According to the city’s folklore, local chiefs Hakka and Bukka wereona hunting trip when they encounteredan unusual incidence. They reported this to their guru, Vidyaranya. The incident includes a hare being chased by the chief’ hound; only the hare turns around bravely and chases the hound instead. The guru found this to be a very special occurrence; deeming the place to be special as well. As a result, a decision was made to move the local capital to this area. Hence, this was the beginning of Hampi that went on to become quite rich and experience the rule of 4 dynasties over 200 years.
HAMPI AS A TOURIST SPOT
If you have come across the history of Hampi and the beautiful pictures available online, then you won’t be able to resist a visit. Once you get to Hampi, it is just not aboutviewing all those monuments and learning about detailed history.
5 SITES IN HAMPI YOU MUST VISIT
Here is a list of principal sites that you should see when touring Hampi. Many of the sites are mainly temples:
1. The Elephant Stables
This site of Hampi is in quite a good condition as compared to other ruins. These elephant stables were once used by the royals of the area. The site consists of 11 domed chambers that are quite tall and interconnected. The grand appearance of the structure adds to the appeal of viewing it. It also features an ornate hall that lies in the middle. It was used for the ceremonial gatherings and the elephant processions.
If you love grand structures that tell stories, then don’t miss out on this Hampi site. It also happens to open to the Guard’s Quarter and Ranga Temple, which are also immensely popular tourist sites of the area.
2. The Monolithic Bull
If you have a love for architecture, then you must visit this amazing site. The bull has been placed as a guard and is significant to Hindu Mythology. The bull is locally known as Nandi or YeduruBasavanna. Nandi was the vehicle for Lord Shiva. This structure has a rough texture but this has not deterred the tourists that come to visit it from all over the world.
3. Virupaksha Temple
This temple is opposite to the Monolithic Bull. So if you are visiting one, you should definitely visit the other too. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the oldest in India. Its history can be traced back to 7TH century AD. The temple was built as a commemoration to Lokamahadevi’s husband’s victory over the Pallavas of Kanchipuram. The temple experienced a lot of additions over time. It features lamp and flag posts, pillars, sub-shrines, temple kitchen, towered gateways, and pillared halls.
4. Vittala Temple Complex
The Vitalla Temple Complex is a representation of the arts and architecture of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hampi. It specifically attracts tourists with an interest in the history of architecture. The entire structure is a great embodiment of the Dravidian temple architectural style. The name Vittala is derived from a form of Lord Vishnu who was worshipped as an important deity by the herdsmen of the empire.
5. The Lakshmi Narishma Temple
This temple features the biggest statue of Narishma. Narishma is one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The original statue also included goddess Lakshmi sitting on the lap of the Narishma. However, the statue was destroyed during the many raids on the Vijayanagara Empire. The shattered part of the statue is missing too but one can clearly see the hand of goddess Laxmi attached to the back of the Narishma.
Since the original statue features both the god and goddess, the temple’s name embodies that. Hence, it is called the Lakshmi Narishma. One can visit the temple from 6AM TO 6PM and the duration of the visit is usually 1 to 2 hours.
HERE A FEW THINGS TO ENJOY:
Take the Taxi Boat
Want to experience the quiet and toned-down side of Hampi? All you need to do is get on the taxi boat and cross the river. On the other side, you will discover a life that is quitehippie in nature.
Beat the Heat
If you happen to visit Hampi during the summers, you will need to stay hydrated. And what could be better than having fresh coconutwater? Make it even better by going to Lotus Mahal. Take your coconut water and find a grassy shade. Relax and totally make the most out of your vacation.
Visit the Temples
If you are Hindu or have an interest in the religion, then you will be able to spiritually appreciate the many temples in Hampi. Otherwise, it is just pleasant to view so much history and old architecture in one place.
Capture the Stone Doors
Having mentioned architecture, you may appreciate the stone doors. Thesedoors are like a testimony to the golden days of the Vijayanagara Empire. Even among the ruins, you will be able to find the beauty in these structures.
For the full Hampi experience, we highly recommend that you hire a guide. You will get to know a lot of details about the area and guides also know how to make people have fun with interesting activities.
BEST TIME TO VISIT HAMPI
Since Hampi is in India, the temperature can be an issue for many tourists. The best time to visit the place is from August to March. The weather is quite pleasant during these months. It makes for an easy vacation, especially when you want to explore.
If you can brave the summers and want to avoid the rush of tourists, you should visit in the months from April to July. The temperatures will between 30 to 40 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, if you are taking a winter vacation, then October to March are ideal.