Hampi Travel Guide : How to reach, Where to Stay & Things to do !

I got to know about Hampi in 2007 when I had started learning photography and I used to bug a lot of my mentors to click some creative shots with DSLR cameras/lenses. That was the time when I used to spend a lot of weekend time with Camera & traveling. Some of my Bengaluru friends had visited Hampi & shared their photographs. Heritage sites and  Architecture used to be the favorite sites of Travellingcamera and they still are. This year I got a chance to get a glimpse of Hampi and it’s ruins. I would still say it glimpse as Hampi is a lot of offer and you can spend good amount of time around these ruins to learn about history and architecture at the same time. I strongly believe that it’s certainly a must visit place for Photographers & Explorers. There is so much diversified subjects to explore. Without any delay let me come to the main Agenda of this post and let’s talk about ways to reach Hampi.

I got to know about Hampi in 2007 when I had started learning photography and I used to bug a lot of my mentors to click some creative shots with DSLR cameras/lenses. That was the time when I used to spend a lot of weekend time with Camera & traveling. Some of my Bengaluru friends had visited Hampi & shared their photographs. Heritage sites and  Architecture used to be the favorite sites of Travellingcamera and they still are. This year I got a chance to get a glimpse of Hampi and it’s ruins. I would still say it glimpse as Hampi is a lot of offer and you can spend good amount of time around these ruins to learn about history and architecture at the same time. I strongly believe that it’s certainly a must visit place for Photographers & Explorers. There is so much diversified subjects to explore. Without any delay let me come to the main Agenda of this post and let’s talk about ways to reach Hampi.

How to reach Hampi, Karnataka? There are overnight buses available from Bengaluru to Hampi. These are pretty comfortable buses. There are plenty of options online, but you can check Volvo buses which are more comfortable (although a little expensive - almost double the price you pay for ordinary bus) Nearest Railway Station : Hospet junction is nearest railway station which is around 15 km away from Hampi.  Nearest Airport : Hubli is nearest airport which is approximately 160 kilometers away from Hampi.  Luxury Train - Golden Chariot : If you chose to have a luxurious affair, you can chose Golden Chariot train tour and if you opt for it, you don’t need to worry about hotel booking & local commute. The only caveat is that you only get 1 day in Hampi, but then train takes you to some of the other interesting places around Karnataka state in India. More about costing & whole plan, please visit this link of Karnataka Tourism.   Taxi from Bengaluru or other main cities in Karnataka.


How to reach Hampi, Karnataka?
  1. There are overnight buses available from Bengaluru to Hampi. These are pretty comfortable buses. There are plenty of options online, but you can check Volvo buses which are more comfortable (although a little expensive - almost double the price you pay for ordinary bus)
  2. Nearest Railway Station : Hospet junction is nearest railway station which is around 15 km away from Hampi. 
  3. Nearest Airport : Hubli is nearest airport which is approximately 160 kilometers away from Hampi. 
  4. Luxury Train - Golden Chariot : If you chose to have a luxurious affair, you can chose Golden Chariot train tour and if you opt for it, you don’t need to worry about hotel booking & local commute. The only caveat is that you only get 1 day in Hampi, but then train takes you to some of the other interesting places around Karnataka state in India. More about costing & whole plan, please visit this link of Karnataka Tourism.  
  5. Taxi from Bengaluru or other main cities in Karnataka.
 Best time to visit Hampi ?  Weather is best from Nov to Feb, otherwise Hampi is very hot. I visited Hampi in the month of March and it was little hot but bearable. It's extremely important to keep a water bottle with you to keep the body hydrated.   Public Services in Hampi & precautions ?  Hampi offers various heritage sites spread over huge area. It's like Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. There are public toilets at places but don't expect them in best condition. So be prepared while you plan to use any public services around Hampi. It's recommended to get a sense about the locations and consult these things with your Taxi driver or guide.

Best time to visit Hampi ?


Weather is best from Nov to Feb, otherwise Hampi is very hot. I visited Hampi in the month of March and it was little hot but bearable. It's extremely important to keep a water bottle with you to keep the body hydrated. 


Public Services in Hampi & precautions ?


Hampi offers various heritage sites spread over huge area. It's like Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. There are public toilets at places but don't expect them in best condition. So be prepared while you plan to use any public services around Hampi. It's recommended to get a sense about the locations and consult these things with your Taxi driver or guide. 


 Shopping opportunities around Hampi ?   If your travel is incomplete without shopping, then let us share few inputs around what you can shop around Hampi. Stone Artefacts, Lambani crafts, Leather stuff, Musical instruments & Banana fiber crafts are few things you would find around Hampi. If you are interested in collection post-cards, do spend some time with book/card sellers around the entry gates. You might find interesting stuff they sell.   Please be aware the bargaining happens at a big scale so be open for that. You would hardly see a shopkeeper/hawker who would put appropriate price in first go.   Main places to explore & Things to do around Hampi ?


Shopping opportunities around Hampi ? 


If your travel is incomplete without shopping, then let us share few inputs around what you can shop around Hampi. Stone Artefacts, Lambani crafts, Leather stuff, Musical instruments & Banana fiber crafts are few things you would find around Hampi. If you are interested in collection post-cards, do spend some time with book/card sellers around the entry gates. You might find interesting stuff they sell. 


Please be aware the bargaining happens at a big scale so be open for that. You would hardly see a shopkeeper/hawker who would put appropriate price in first go. 



Main places to explore & Things to do around Hampi ?


Vithala Temple Complex : The Vittala Temple or Vitthala Temple in Hampi is an ancient monument that is popularly known for its exceptional architecture and heritage . It is considered as one of the largest and the most famous structure in Hampi estate. This beautiful temple of Vitthala is located in the north eastern part of Hampi which is around banks of the Tungabhadra River. The famous stone chariot and the fascinating musical pillars are part of this temple compound, which is surrounded by huge boundary-wall.

Vithala Temple ComplexThe Vittala Temple or Vitthala Temple in Hampi is an ancient monument that is popularly known for its exceptional architecture and heritage . It is considered as one of the largest and the most famous structure in Hampi estate. This beautiful temple of Vitthala is located in the north eastern part of Hampi which is around banks of the Tungabhadra River. The famous stone chariot and the fascinating musical pillars are part of this temple compound, which is surrounded by huge boundary-wall.

Vehicles can be parked at a distance and one needs to hire green-rickshaw to reach this campus. Interesting part is that chain of these green-rickshaws is maintained by a women society.   Timings of Vithala Temple in Hampi : 8:30 am to 5pm Entry Ticket Fees for Vithala Temple in Hampi: Nil Camera Charges for Vithala Temple in Hampi: Nil (Still & Video cameras allowed)


Vehicles can be parked at a distance and one needs to hire green-rickshaw to reach this campus. Interesting part is that chain of these green-rickshaws is maintained by a women society. 

Timings of Vithala Temple in Hampi : 8:30 am to 5pm

Entry Ticket Fees for Vithala Temple in Hampi: Nil
Camera Charges for Vithala Temple in Hampi: Nil (Still & Video cameras allowed)

Virupaksha Temple : Virupaksha Temple in Hampi is part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is dedicated to Virupaksha, which is considered as one of the forms of Shiva. The temple was built by Lakkana Dandesha, a chieftain under the ruler Deva Raya II of the Vijayanagara Empire.

Virupaksha TempleVirupaksha Temple in Hampi is part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is dedicated to Virupaksha, which is considered as one of the forms of Shiva. The temple was built by Lakkana Dandesha, a chieftain under the ruler Deva Raya II of the Vijayanagara Empire.

 Virupaksha Temple has been considered the most sacred sanctuary over the centuries and one of the important pilgrimage place. This place is intact among the surrounding ruins and is still used in worship. There is also a Virupakshini Amma temple (mother goddess) in a village called Nalagamapalle, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, approximately 100 km from Tirupati.   Inside the temple, there is an elephant who blesses every person entering into the temple. There is a hill around Virupaksha temple which has huge rocks placed all across. They make a great place to click photographs. The main photograph of this post on the top is clicked on the same hill.

Virupaksha Temple has been considered the most sacred sanctuary over the centuries and one of the important pilgrimage place. This place is intact among the surrounding ruins and is still used in worship. There is also a Virupakshini Amma temple (mother goddess) in a village called Nalagamapalle, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, approximately 100 km from Tirupati. 

Inside the temple, there is an elephant who blesses every person entering into the temple. There is a hill around Virupaksha temple which has huge rocks placed all across. They make a great place to click photographs. The main photograph of this post on the top is clicked on the same hill. 

Elephant Stables : This is a huge place where elephants of Vijayavara empire used to take shelter. This place is just close to Zenanan Encosure. To know more about Elephant Stables in Hampi, do check out this link.   Timings of Elephant Stables: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Entry Ticket Fees for Elephant Stables: 10 Rs for Indians & 250 Rs for foreigners Camera Charges for Elephant Stables : Nil

Elephant Stables : This is a huge place where elephants of Vijayavara empire used to take shelter. This place is just close to Zenanan Encosure. To know more about Elephant Stables in Hampi, do check out this link

Timings of Elephant Stables: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

Entry Ticket Fees for Elephant Stables: 10 Rs for Indians & 250 Rs for foreigners
Camera Charges for Elephant Stables : Nil

Statue of Ugra Narasimha : This structure is located a little away from other monuments in Hampi. Narsimha statue & Shivlinga temple are located nearby.  Timings of Narsimha temple in Hampi : 5am to 9pm  Entry Ticket Fees for Narsimha temple in Hampi: Nil Camera Charges for Narsimha temple in Hampi: Nil

Statue of Ugra Narasimha : This structure is located a little away from other monuments in Hampi. Narsimha statue & Shivlinga temple are located nearby.

Timings of Narsimha temple in Hampi : 5am to 9pm 

Entry Ticket Fees for Narsimha temple in Hampi: Nil
Camera Charges for Narsimha temple in Hampi: Nil

Badavalinga Temple (Shivalinga in Hampi) : This is located close to Narsimha Temple. This is largest Monolithic Shivalinga in Hampi which is 3 meter high, which is made up of black stone. This was also built during Viajayanagara Empire.   Timings of Shivalinga in Hampi : 5am to 9pm Entry Ticket Fees for Shivalinga in Hampi: Nil Camera Charges for Shivalinga in Hampi: Nil


Badavalinga Temple (Shivalinga in Hampi) : This is located close to Narsimha Temple. This is largest Monolithic Shivalinga in Hampi which is 3 meter high, which is made up of black stone. This was also built during Viajayanagara Empire. 


Timings of Shivalinga in Hampi : 5am to 9pm

Entry Ticket Fees for Shivalinga in Hampi: Nil
Camera Charges for Shivalinga in Hampi: Nil 

Lotus Mahal : In Hampi there is a huge enclosure which is known as Zenana Enclosure and as the name says it's the place for ladies of the royal family in Vijayanagara. And Lotus Mahal is above show structure inside the enclosure which is very beautiful. You are not allowed to go inside this Mahal but can see it from outside and appreciate it's architecture & beauty. This is also called as 'Kamal Mahal' or 'Chitrangi Mahal'.  Timings of Lotus Mahal in Hampi : 8am to 6pm Entry Ticket Fees for Lotus Mahal in Hampi: 10 Rs for Indians and 250 Rs for Foreigners Camera Charges for Lotus Mahal in Hampi : Nil

Lotus Mahal : In Hampi there is a huge enclosure which is known as Zenana Enclosure and as the name says it's the place for ladies of the royal family in Vijayanagara. And Lotus Mahal is above show structure inside the enclosure which is very beautiful. You are not allowed to go inside this Mahal but can see it from outside and appreciate it's architecture & beauty. This is also called as 'Kamal Mahal' or 'Chitrangi Mahal'.

Timings of Lotus Mahal in Hampi : 8am to 6pm

Entry Ticket Fees for Lotus Mahal in Hampi: 10 Rs for Indians and 250 Rs for Foreigners
Camera Charges for Lotus Mahal in Hampi : Nil

Stepped Tank : There is this huge water tank in Hampi which is pretty different from other architectures around Hampi Heritage site. Usually you would find these water tanks close of temples and especially in South India. Usually they are symmetrical and used for storing water for cleaning temples. Many times, devotees would also take a dip and some of these tanks are considered medicinal which would help in recovering from some of the diseases. To know more about this Water Tank in Hampi, do check out this link.

Stepped Tank : There is this huge water tank in Hampi which is pretty different from other architectures around Hampi Heritage site. Usually you would find these water tanks close of temples and especially in South India. Usually they are symmetrical and used for storing water for cleaning temples. Many times, devotees would also take a dip and some of these tanks are considered medicinal which would help in recovering from some of the diseases. To know more about this Water Tank in Hampi, do check out this link 

Tungbhadra River : The beautiful Hampi is around Tungbhadra river and it's approachable from many of these monuments in Hampi. Supposedly there are crocodiles in the river and at some of the places you would see signs mentioning the same. We wanted to witness sunset around Tungbhadra but had to move back early as green-rickshaws stop operating after a particular time (6pm I guess, but not sure).  One needs to walk a lot in Hampi to explore these heritage sites and when you feel like relaxing river-side can be a best place to sit down and enjoy the views or the serenity.

Tungbhadra River : The beautiful Hampi is around Tungbhadra river and it's approachable from many of these monuments in Hampi. Supposedly there are crocodiles in the river and at some of the places you would see signs mentioning the same. We wanted to witness sunset around Tungbhadra but had to move back early as green-rickshaws stop operating after a particular time (6pm I guess, but not sure).

One needs to walk a lot in Hampi to explore these heritage sites and when you feel like relaxing river-side can be a best place to sit down and enjoy the views or the serenity. 

Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex : (please note that above photograph is not correct photograph of Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex. We will updating it soon)  As the name indicates, Hemakuta is a hill and there are temples on this hills which are worth exploring. This are little different from other temples in Hampi. Some of these are dedicated to lord Shiva and there are stories associated why these are dedicated to Shiva. If you are keen on knowing what these temples and what are the stories associated, please do check out this link for more details on Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex.

Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex : (please note that above photograph is not correct photograph of Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex. We will updating it soon)

As the name indicates, Hemakuta is a hill and there are temples on this hills which are worth exploring. This are little different from other temples in Hampi. Some of these are dedicated to lord Shiva and there are stories associated why these are dedicated to Shiva. If you are keen on knowing what these temples and what are the stories associated, please do check out this link for more details on Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex

Queen’s Bath (Hampi) - This beautiful structure is located near the entry gate of Royal Enclosure in Hampi. This place was built for ladies of Royal family to take bath. Exteriors of this building are not very encouraging so at times, people may plan to skip it as there is so much to explore in Hampi, but interiors are worth seeing once.   There is another consideration that this complex was private bathing place for not only queens but also King. This has come from the fact that it's located just outside the Royal enclosure. To know more about Queen's Bath in Hampi, please do check out this link.  Timings of Queen's Bath, Hampi : 6am to 6pm Entry Ticket Fees for Queen's Bath, Hampi : Nil Camera Charges for Queen's Bath, Hampi : Nil

Queen’s Bath (Hampi) - This beautiful structure is located near the entry gate of Royal Enclosure in Hampi. This place was built for ladies of Royal family to take bath. Exteriors of this building are not very encouraging so at times, people may plan to skip it as there is so much to explore in Hampi, but interiors are worth seeing once. 

There is another consideration that this complex was private bathing place for not only queens but also King. This has come from the fact that it's located just outside the Royal enclosure. To know more about Queen's Bath in Hampi, please do check out this link.


Timings of Queen's Bath, Hampi : 6am to 6pm

Entry Ticket Fees for Queen's Bath, Hampi : Nil
Camera Charges for Queen's Bath, Hampi : Nil

Queen’s Bath (Hampi) - This beautiful structure is located near the entry gate of Royal Enclosure in Hampi. This place was built for ladies of Royal family to take bath. Exteriors of this building are not very encouraging so at times, people may plan to skip it as there is so much to explore in Hampi, but interiors are worth seeing once.   There is another consideration that this complex was private bathing place for not only queens but also King. This has come from the fact that it's located just outside the Royal enclosure. To know more about Queen's Bath in Hampi, please do check out this link.  Timings of Queen's Bath, Hampi : 6am to 6pm Entry Ticket Fees for Queen's Bath, Hampi : Nil Camera Charges for Queen's Bath, Hampi : Nil


Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple : Most of these places around close to each other. Like Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple is pretty close to Virupaktha Temple. There is a hill between Virupaksha Temple and Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple. And there are plenty of interesting sites to get photographs clicked.

Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple : Most of these places around close to each other. Like Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple is pretty close to Virupaktha Temple. There is a hill between Virupaksha Temple and Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple. And there are plenty of interesting sites to get photographs clicked.

Achyutaraya Temple : Achyuta Raya Temple in Hampi is one of the major and popular temples of the town located between the Matanga hills and Gandhamadana. This magnificent temple depicts Vijayanagara architecture style of temples in its best and most evolved form. This was among the last temples which were constructed in Hampi prior to the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire.

Achyutaraya TempleAchyuta Raya Temple in Hampi is one of the major and popular temples of the town located between the Matanga hills and Gandhamadana. This magnificent temple depicts Vijayanagara architecture style of temples in its best and most evolved form. This was among the last temples which were constructed in Hampi prior to the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire. 

Dasara Dibba : This part of Hampi is pretty interesting which offers views of some grand things of Viajayanagara empire. There is a huge Swimming pool, a water pond, Burnt diwan-e-aam and broken structure. Dasara Tibba, which is shown in above photograph, is the place inside Royal Enclosure where the emperor used to celebrate festivals. There are some interesting carvings on the surface of Dasara Dibba. Please do check this link, to know more about Dasara Dibba.

Dasara Dibba : This part of Hampi is pretty interesting which offers views of some grand things of Viajayanagara empire. There is a huge Swimming pool, a water pond, Burnt diwan-e-aam and broken structure. Dasara Tibba, which is shown in above photograph, is the place inside Royal Enclosure where the emperor used to celebrate festivals. There are some interesting carvings on the surface of Dasara Dibba. Please do check this link, to know more about Dasara Dibba. 


Huge Swimming Pool : Royal enclosure in Hampi is very interesting place where you find some unique things like this huge swimming pool. This was super deep so I was trying to understand the depth and what would be height of people using it. It is easily more than 12 feet deep.

Huge Swimming Pool : Royal enclosure in Hampi is very interesting place where you find some unique things like this huge swimming pool. This was super deep so I was trying to understand the depth and what would be height of people using it. It is easily more than 12 feet deep. 

Huge Swimming Pool : Royal enclosure in Hampi is very interesting place where you find some unique things like this huge swimming pool. This was super deep so I was trying to understand the depth and what would be height of people using it. It is easily more than 12 feet deep.

Sanapura Lake

Monolith Bull : Just in front of Virupaksha Temple, there is a old Bazar and this huge Nandi is on the other end of the road. This is certainly an interesting place to find diverse things like a temple, huge rocks on the hill, old bazar & this huge Nandi.

Monolith Bull : Just in front of Virupaksha Temple, there is a old Bazar and this huge Nandi is on the other end of the road. This is certainly an interesting place to find diverse things like a temple, huge rocks on the hill, old bazar & this huge Nandi.   

 Matunga Hill : If there is a place which can offer you brilliant aerial views of Hampi, Matunga Hill is that place.

Matunga Hill : If there is a place which can offer you brilliant aerial views of Hampi, Matunga Hill is that place. 

 Matunga Hill : If there is a place which can offer you brilliant aerial views of Hampi, Matunga Hill is that place.


 The famous Stone Chariot of Hampi - Above photograph

The famous Stone Chariot of Hampi - Above photograph



 I got to know about Hampi in 2007 when I had started learning photography and I used to bug a lot of my mentors to click some creative shots with DSLR cameras/lenses. That was the time when I used to spend a lot of weekend time with Camera & traveling. Some of my Bengaluru friends had visited Hampi & shared their photographs. Heritage sites and  Architecture used to be the favorite sites of Travellingcamera and they still are. This year I got a chance to get a glimpse of Hampi and it’s ruins. I would still say it glimpse as Hampi is a lot of offer and you can spend good amount of time around these ruins to learn about history and architecture at the same time. I strongly believe that it’s certainly a must visit place for Photographers & Explorers. There is so much diversified subjects to explore. Without any delay let me come to the main Agenda of this post and let’s talk about ways to reach Hampi.


 I got to know about Hampi in 2007 when I had started learning photography and I used to bug a lot of my mentors to click some creative shots with DSLR cameras/lenses. That was the time when I used to spend a lot of weekend time with Camera & traveling. Some of my Bengaluru friends had visited Hampi & shared their photographs. Heritage sites and  Architecture used to be the favorite sites of Travellingcamera and they still are. This year I got a chance to get a glimpse of Hampi and it’s ruins. I would still say it glimpse as Hampi is a lot of offer and you can spend good amount of time around these ruins to learn about history and architecture at the same time. I strongly believe that it’s certainly a must visit place for Photographers & Explorers. There is so much diversified subjects to explore. Without any delay let me come to the main Agenda of this post and let’s talk about ways to reach Hampi.


Where to stay in Hampi ?  Since I have stayed in Golden Chariot train, so I don't have strong recommendations to make. But I am certainly trying to fetch genuine inputs from fellow bloggers & friends who have actually stayed there.   We would encourage your inputs in form of comments, if you have suggestions to improve this post. Thanks !

Where to stay in Hampi ?


Since I have stayed in Golden Chariot train, so I don't have strong recommendations to make. But I am certainly trying to fetch genuine inputs from fellow bloggers & friends who have actually stayed there. 


We would encourage your inputs in form of comments, if you have suggestions to improve this post. Thanks !

Comments

Jai said…
Lovely very lifelike photographs... Very exhaustive and detailed descriptions...
Anonymous said…
Stunning pictures!
rupam sarma said…
Amazing pics from Hampi. Very useful post.
Thanks Jai, PostCardTales & Rupam !

Unknown said…
Excellent write-up and outstanding photographs.
Shoma Abhyankar said…
Hampi has been on my radar for long. With your post more so now.

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