Hampi is a rich archaeological site in Karnataka and the home of the erstwhile Vijayanagarempire, which flourished in ancient times between the 14th and the 15th centuries. The entire city complex is worth touring, and there are several ancient temples, palaces, and halls worth exploring. The best time to visit Hampi is during winter months, from November to February, when the climate is pleasant. How to reach Hampi? There are several ways to reach Hampi. The closest railway station is Hospet, just 13 km from Hampi and lies on the main train route connecting Goa, Mumbai and Bengaluru. The nearest airport is Bellary which is about 54 km away from Hampi, and the rest of the journey can be covered in a cab, hired car or even a bus. There are overnight bus services from Mumbai, Goa and Bengaluru as tourists like to cover the 11 hour distance to Hampi by bus.
There are plenty of places to stay in and around Hampi, and the resorts in Hampi are excellent with great living comfort and plenty of things to do within the resorts
Places to visit and things to do
It is not always that tourists get to visit an entire archaeological city. Hampi is one such site and the only sight in the vicinity in the entire ruined city with its rich treasure trove of temples and exquisite buildings. There are plenty of things to do in Hampi along with the best places to visit in Hampi.
There is a lake with cliffs, and one of the things to do in Hampi is cliff jumping and swimming. Though there is a sign warning tourists about crocodiles, locals reassure tourists by telling them that the crocodiles are mostly found in the Tungabhadra river. Tourists hiring local guides can consult them for the best places from the cliff to jump into the water and whether there are any crocodiles in the water. The swim and the cliff jumps are exciting and could easily take half a day.
A surprise element among the things to do in Hampi is to get a rare opportunity to savour delicious Hampi food while touring the ancient world heritage site. There is an excellent eatery called the mango tree, and it is just beside the Virupaksha temple. Extensive touring on foot make tourists hungry, and the Mango tree is just at the right place and is very popular with tourists. Tourists can enjoy a thali or several kinds of snacks that make up Hampi food.
Oneof the great things to do in Hampi is to make a short trek up the Matanga hill. There are several temples along the way, and the view from the top of the hill is unbelievable. The virupaksha temple and the idol of Lord Ganeshare mesmerizing. This hill is said to have been the abode of the sage Matanga from the Ramayan.
The elephant stables are a great place to explore. There are very few archaeological sites that have elephant stables. The large stone stables are amazing for their sheer size of the stables and are visited by many tourists.
Another great thing to do in Hampi is to play music at the musical pillars at the VijayaVittala Temple. Besides the majestic stone chariot, 56 musical pillars emit musical notes when struck correctly. Local guides can be a great help in identifying the most musical pillars, and enthusiasts can have a field day trying out music on the pillars.
Another unusual activity out of the things to do in Hampi is to get coracle rides. Coracles are boats made of woven basket and are traditional boats used by locals from times immemorial. Coracles can be hired at very low prices and used to move along the Tungabhadra river, the Sanapur lake and the waterfalls. A coracle expedition is the experience of a lifetime and is very popular with tourists.
An autorickshaw ride around Hampi is one of the great things to do in Hampi. Most autorickshaw drives are excellent guides themselves and will happily take tourists for a day-long tour, a mix of temples, palaces, and other great sights.
A short vacation in Hampi can be a marvellous experience with so many things to do and places to visit.