Things to do in Hampi – A Complete Travel Guide

Hampi is an ancient town that is a monument in and of itself, similar to an open museum of archaeology and history; it speaks of India’s rich heritage. This place is a living testament to the grandiose Deccan history that existed once upon a time, abandoned with the ruins of broken empires and obscured by time.

hampi

Table of Contents

  1. About Hampi
  2. Things to do in Hampi
  3. How to plan a trip to Hampi
  4. How to reach
  5. Hotels and Resorts in Hampi

About Hampi

Hampi is a small town in Karnataka which dates back as far as six or seven centuries and is regarded as the largest open monument in Asia. It saw its golden years of existence during the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire, with opulent palaces, temples, forts, public buildings, water systems, etc. Today, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the town stands with traces of the bygone era on the background of a rusty and rocky landscape, rendering a picture-perfect sight to the beholder.

Location 

Hampi is a small location covering an area of 25 square kilometres that is bounded by mountains (Anjaneya, Malyavanta, and Matanga Hills) by three sites and the Tungabhadra River by the remaining one site.

Weather 

Throughout the year, Hampi is mostly mild and dry. Summers are hot and humid, so visiting between March and June is not a good idea. Monsoons bring average but infrequent rainfall, keeping temperatures mild but humid. Although heavy rains are uncommon in the region, it is best to avoid the slick terrains to avoid accidents.

History 

Hindus believe Hampi was a Monkey kingdom (according to the Ramayana) before the Vijayanagara Empire in the pre-ancient period (around 1 CE) when the city was known as Kishkindha. Around 1500 AD, the town was the capital of the Vijayanagar empire and, according to some accounts, the world’s second-largest city at the time. It declined in importance over the next centuries, and today you can explore the ruins of many temples and other structures spread out over a large area.

Geography 

Hampi is situated on the Deccan plateau, which is one of the world’s oldest and most stable geographical formations. This region of the plateau is part of the Dharwar craton and contains rocks that are 2.5 billion years old. The river is significant in the town’s religious and political history. The name Tungabhadra comes from the confluence of two rivers, Tunga and Bhadra. It flows northwest before joining the eastern river Krishna, which eventually empties into the Bay of Bengal.

Things to do in Hampi

Things to do in hampi

The ancient town has managed to keep urban trappings at bay and remains a quiet place, except for a few marketplaces catering to tourists. There are about 500 ancient monuments, temples, forts, and of course, the captivating remains of the prosperous Vijayanagara Empire. Here are the best landmarks to delve into its history in its true essence:

  • The historical town is a sheer work of art with about 500 ancient monuments, temples, forts, and of course, the captivating remains of the prosperous Vijayanagar Empire.
  • Visit the Archeological Museum and see exhibits of coins, statues, paintings, metal plates, armouries, and sculptures.
  • Watch the golden sunset from the Veerabhadra Temple sitting atop Matanga Hill.
  • Have a day picnic at the Tungabhadra Dam and the adjacent park, famous for flamingo spotting (only in season)
  • Visit the ancient temples of Virupaksha, Vithala, and other local sacred sites.
  • Explore Hippie Island and discover another facet of Hampi’s culture.
  • Enjoy watersports on the Sanapur Lake.
  • Take a tour of the Elephant Stables, an ornate structure with 11 domed chambers.

[Also Read: The Ramayana Trail: 8 Ancient Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India]

Places to visit in Hampi

Hampi architecture

Here’s the list of tourist places and things to do:

  • Devanahalli Fort, Devanahalli – A 16th- century fort built with mud, lime and brick fortress with semi-circular bastions spreads over 20 acres.
  • Nandi Hills, Muddenahalli – Historic caves in a remote hilltop environment and a popular spot to watch the sunrise and sunset.
  • Dhyanakendram, Anantapur – A public pyramid-like structure in a serene setting, built as a yoga and meditation centre, surrounded by greenery.
  • Ballari Fort, Ballari – A 16th-century fort sitting on a hilltop, great for short treks and catching views of sunsets, or of the town below.

[Also Read: Holi in Hampi]

Places to visit nearby 

Badami
Badami

Below are some scenic places to visit nearby for a wholesome travel experience. 

  • Badami- The area is famous for rock-cut caves built between the sixth and eighth centuries. These caves are popular Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain pilgrimage sites.
  • Aihole– Aihole, located on the banks of the Malaprabha River, is a site of great architectural interest, containing several temples within massive old crumbling walls that enclose a space of over 400 metres in length.
  • Pattadakal: Pattadakkal has temples that were built in the eighth century. In these temples, one can see a fusion of the north and south styles of medieval architecture.
  • Chitradurga Fort: This fort combines stunning views, calmness, and a soothing environment with a delightful touch of the incredible past to create an enticing combination. This magnificent fort is spread across 1500 acres of hills.

[Also Read: A tour around quirky Hampi]

Places to eat

While Hampi is a historical town and a rich archaeological site, the town also has been home to hippies of the bygone days. And thus, its food culture has become predominantly multi-cultural, catering to nomads and tourists.

  • These are some of the best-rated places to eat in Hampi –
  • Hampi Roof Restaurant, Janatha plot
  • Suresh Restaurant, Hampi Bazaar St
  • Taste of Hampi, Janatha plot Hampi, Hospet
  • Little Hampi, Kaddirampur
  • Chillout Bamboo Restaurant, bus stop, 1st Floor, near Padma Guest House

How to Plan a Trip to Hampi

The most suitable way to plan a trip to Hampi is to choose the best route, mode of transport, and more. Here are some dominant transport modes to reach the town. 

How to reach Hampi?

By road

Hampi is well connected with major cities and towns of Karnataka by road. The NH 13 route from Hyderabad (380 km), Bangalore (345 km), and Hubli can also be used to reach Hampi (165 km). Book a cab from any of these cities and travel comfortably to the historical town. If you are traveling from Bangalore to Hampi, read this extensive road trip guide.

By train 

Hospet Junction (13 km away) is the nearest railway station to Hampi, which is well-connected to the rest of the country via an extensive train network. After arriving at the railway station, book a taxi or cab to Hampi.

By air 

Hospet, 13 kilometres away, is the nearest railhead from Hampi. Tourists can easily reach the location by booking a taxi or cab. Hospet is well connected to major cities and towns such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Goa.

Best time to visit

Being surrounded by the hills and forests of the Nilgiris, Hampi enjoys pleasant weather in most parts of the year. But the ideal time to visit this hilly town is from winter through spring. Summers are also comfortable to travel in but can be a little humid. Some people also like travelling to Hampi during the monsoons. But it is important to be cautious while driving around hilly areas during heavy rains.

Hotels and Resorts in Hampi

Place NameAddressPhone Number
Kishkinda Heritage Resort489, Near Stone Bridge, ANEGUNDI, Sanapur, Karnataka 583234094495 44168
Stay Chill HampiWaterfalls Road, Sanapur, Karnataka 583234091410 72453
Hakuna Matata InnSy No. 20/3, Anjanahalli, behind Anjanadhri Hill, Hampi, Karnataka 583227NA
Hampi Nature Cottagesanapur village, near waterfall, Hampi, Karnataka 583234NA
Shankar HomestayKadirampura, Karnataka 5832390094821 69619

Now that you know all about the historic town, why wait? Plan your trip! Soak in the glory by booking a car rental to take you to all these places with a local driver. Install the Savaari cab booking app for offers and discounts on outstation rentals.   

About the author

Full-time writer. Part-time dreamer.

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