Hampi – the open-air museum

The land of ancient palaces, stone carvings, tons of monkeys, swaying palm trees, paddy & sugarcane fields, and banana orchards. I was mind blown by the things Hampi had to offer and enjoyed my 2.5 days to the fullest.

If you plan to visit Hampi anytime soon, this blog is for you. I am going to share multiple important things which will help you plan your trip to Hampi.

As one of the guides said, Hampi is an open-air museum, and I couldn’t agree more. You will find innumerable things to admire and time will not be enough to soak in this beautiful place.

As you visit each Temple, each palace ruin, and every courtyard that existed you will only be left to imagine how wealthy and prosperous the Vijayanagar empire must have been during its times.

Hampi as we already know is a world heritage site and is being maintained very well by the Govt.
Now let’s get to the details.

How to reach and move about in Hampi:

Hampi is accessible by road, and rail from most places such as Goa, Bangalore, Pune, and Hyderabad. And the closest airport is Bellary airport. If you travel by public transport, you can hire an auto-rickshaw, Bike, or Car. The best option, in my opinion, is to take your own car.

Best time to visit:

September to January, as these months are less hotter than the rest, and the greenery left behind by the rains is still prevalent.

Pro tips for your next visit:

  1. Wear solid colors and preferably cotton to beat the heat. This way you’ll stand out when you take your picture in light hues of Hampi architecture.
  2. If you are going to climb mountains for those exotic sunrises and sunsets, make sure to wear appropriate footwear. Be ready to walk a lot.
  3. Hire a guide at each important place. Look for government-registered guides.
  4. Make sure to book your stay well in advance to avoid last-minute high prices.
  5. Bargain with the auto-wala in case you are hiring one.
  6. Main Hampi offers mostly vegetarian cuisine. However, the other side of Hampi (Anegundi) serves non-vegetarian dishes.

Places to see:

  1. Vitthala Temple: the ultra-famous temple with the stone chariot, which adorns the 50 rupee note. This is the most beautiful temple you will visit in Hampi. Make sure this is the first place of the day you are going to visit, to avoid rush during the later part of the day. You can even walk to King’s Balance from here which will take you 10 mins. Please cover Jain temple and Talarigatta gate while on the way to Vitthala temple.
  2. Bhima’s gate: Beautiful structure with unique detailing. Visit it while coming back from Vitthala temple.
  3. Virupaksha Temple: Enter the main Gopura (Gate) to enter the Shiva temple. Don’t forget to buy a bunch of Bananas for the elephant (fondly known as Laxmi). Laxmi is very obedient and will gorge on the bananas you feed. Please make sure to hire a guide at this temple. There are too many details that would be unknown if not for them.
  4. Monolithic Bull: Right opposite Virupaksha temple is the large bull temple: Eduru Basavanna at the foot of Matanga Hill. Follow the trail to reach Achyutraya Temple. If you are here for sunset, make sure to climb Matanga hill for the breezy vibe and orange hues.
  5. Achyutraya Temple: One of its kind and my favorite, hardly visited by tourists, cause it takes some walking. Route less traveled can take you to amazing places, and one such is this temple. Make sure to walk to Pushkarani from here if you are visiting during the post-rainy season.
  6. Pushkarani – Holy Tank: This holy step tank is most admirable in rainy or just after the rainy season. I experienced calmness and solitude here. Much talked about yet hardly visited due to the amount of walking it needs. Must visit from my list.
  7. Matanga Hill: It is the highest peak in Hampi, known for its gorgeous sunsets and sunrise from the top. Go here for the 360-degree hawk-eye view. Only once you climb through the not-so-easy way up, do you get the feel of how vast, massive, yet meticulously constructed the Vijayanagara Empire must have been during its time.
  8. Hemakuta Hill: Another short hill in Hampi, easier to climb for sunrise/sunset. Preferably the sunrise is beautiful and hardly anyone is around during that time. Gates open at 6am here. Cover Sasivekalu and Kadalekalu Ganesh temples within its periphery.
  9. Royal Enclosure: Historic site with remnants of the royal complex where the king of the Vijayanagara empire lived. It consists of Elephant Stable, Zanana enclosure, Lotus Mahal, Step-well, Mahanavami Dibba, and Noble man’s quarters. Also, in the same area, there are other temples such as Hazararama temple, Underground Shiva temple, and Saraswati temple.
  10. Other temples: Badavi Linga, Laxmi Narsimha Temple, Krishna temple.
  11. Other spots: Make sure to buy a map and cover all the remaining spots if time permits.
  12. HanumanHalli/Anegundi : They say that this is the birth place of Lord Hanuman. Make sure to climb 565 steps to reach the peak and visit the temple. Gives a great view from the top.

Places you can eat at:

  1. Taste of Brahmins
  2. Mango tree
  3. Panchmukhi Restaurant

Make sure to grab a glass or two of locally-grown Sugarcane juice.

Thank you for reading!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s