Hampi

Hampi Tourism: Complete Travel Guide

Hampi is famous for its ruins belonging to the erstwhile medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar and it is declared a World Heritage site. The temples of Hampi, its monolithic sculptures and monuments, attract the traveler because of their excellent workmanship. The Hindu style of architecture found at Hampi reflects the splendor of the Vijaynagar Empire. The rugged landscape adds to the historic ambiance of this site.

Location

Hampi is located in the central part of Karnataka in the southern part of India. It is 353 km from Bangalore, and 13 km from Hospet. It is located on top of the rugged terrain and is 467 m above sea level. Tungabhadra River flows through Hampi. It has a tropical climate with hot summers (April-June), and cool winters (October-February). It experiences the southwestern monsoon rains from June to August.

History

The first settlement in Hampi dates back to 1st century AD and several Buddhist sites belonging to that time have been found nearby. Hampi was the capital of the mighty Vijaynagar Empire. Vijaynagar was one of the largest Hindu empires in India. Two brothers, Harihar and Bukka, founded it in 1336. Krishnadevaraya (1509-1529) was the greatest ruler and controlled almost all of peninsular India south of Tungabhadra River. The town of Hampi in the 14th century had a population of half a million people. Seven concentric lines of fortifications protected the city. It maintained a huge army to protects it from other kingdoms. Vijaynagar Empire flourished, as it controlled both cotton and spice trade routes of southern India. Medieval historians refer to Hampi as an important center of trade. However, the glory of Vijaynagar was short-lived. With the death of Krishnadevaraya, the combined armies of the five Muslim kingdoms-Bidar, Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmednagar and Berar-destroyed this mighty empire in 1565.

Fairs & Festivals

Hampi is famous for Purandara Festival. This annual festival is held in January-February in the Vittal temple to celebrate the birth anniversary of the medieval poet-composer, Purandar.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Hampi is from October to March.

How to Reach

By Train

BY RAIL -

Hampi does not have a Railway station. The nearest railhead is at Hospet, which is 13 km from the ruins of Hampi. Travelers use Hospet as a base to commence their journey to Hampi.

By Road

BY ROAD -

The prime bus station in Hampi is located in the Hampi Bazaar area. We would provide you all India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and the intercity drives.

Tourist Attractions

Hampi's main tourist spots can be divided into two broad areas: the Hampi Bazaar area and the Royal center near Kamalapuram. The 15th-century Virupaksha Temple is located in the Hampi Bazaar area. It is one of the oldest monuments in the town. The top of the temple rises about 50 m from the ground, and the main shrine is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Lord ShivaHemakuta Hill, south of the Virupaksha temple, contains ancient ruins, Jain temples, and a monolithic sculpture of Lord Narasimha, a look of Lord Vishnu. Hemakuta Hill offers an excellent view of Hampi Bazaar. Two kilometers east of Hampi Bazaar, the traveler can see the World Heritage Vittal temple, built in the 16th century. The carvings on this temple give an insight into the architectural splendor of the Vijaynagar Empire's artisans. The outer pillars of this temple are said to produce music when tapped. They are also known as the musical pillars. Between Hampi Bazaar and Vittal temple, one can see the deserted Sule Bazaar and the Achutraya temple. The Monolithic statue of Lord Ganesh, Nandi, the Kodandarama temple, and the Krishna temple are other places to visit in the Hampi Bazaar area.

The royal center is located between the Hampi Bazaar area and Kamalapuram. One can take a 2-km walk down to this area from the Hampi Bazaar. There are a number of tourist attractions, within the walled area of the royal center. The Lotus Mahal or palace is an intricately designed pavilion within a walled compound, known as the Zenana Enclosure. This palace is a blend of Indo-Islamic architecture and gets its name from the lotus bud carved on its domed and vaulted ceiling. The Elephant quarter is adjacent to the Zenana Enclosure. It is a domed building, which housed the royal elephants. The Queen's Bath, with its unique Islamic architecture, and the Underground Virupaksha temple are other important places to visit within the royal center. The Archeological Museum at Kamalapuram has a good collection of sculptures belonging to the Vijaynagar Empire.

Apart from the Hampi Bazaar and the Royal center, Anegondi is another tourist area to be visited. It is a fortified area north of Hampi Bazaar across the Tungabhadra River. It has many temples in and around it.

FAQ on Hampi

Ques: Why should I visit Hampi?

Ans: Hampi is famous for its ruins which belong to the Vijayanagar Empire. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also renowned for its group of monuments. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, temples, buildings, and captivating ruins, Hampi is a historical delight for history buffs. For those who wish to learn about ancient architecture, Hampi is a paradise. This town is the testament to the glorious past.

Ques: Is Hampi safe for couples?

Ans: Yes, Hampi is safe for couples. It is a popular tourist place and there are no safety issues in Hampi.

Ques: Where should I stay when visiting Hampi?

Ans: There are a plethora of hotels, guest houses, and heritage resorts in Hampi where you can stay during the tour.

Ques: Are 2 days enough for Hampi?

Ans: The ideal duration for the Hampi tour is 2 days. It is sufficient time for the sightseeing tour of the city.



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