Being such an immense country with hundreds, if not thousands of amazing places to see, there are also many sites that few people think of exploring in India. One of these places is the magnificent temple complex of Hampi, once the capital of a powerful and rich empire.
Today, set in an unbelievable landscape filled with millions of boulders and stretching for miles in each direction, Hampi is more famous outside India than for its own people. The splendid temples and structures of the old capital rise from the rocky surface, attesting to the splendor of the old Vijayanagara Empire and creating one of the most beautiful and inspiring places to visit in India, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To experience the true grandeur and importance of this site, visitors should definitely spend several days exploring the ruins and the surrounding area, which is also spectacular.
The last great Hindu Empire of Vijayanagara reached its maximum development around 14th to 16th centuries, finally being conquered and pillaged by the Muslims in 1565. Although the most impressive and best-preserved monuments of the complex are from the Imperial period, Hampi features a plethora of other attractions, both cultural and natural, some dating back for 2 millennia. To see all of the majestic landmarks of Hampi, travelers should allow enough time to explore the huge area, each ruin and stone having its own fascinating story.
The richness and power of the Vijayanagara Empire can be attested by the impressive architecture of the temples, the magnitude of the site and the seven lines of defensive structures. Among the most interesting must see attractions inside the historical complex of Hampi, visitors should discover the Vitthala Temple complex, the Virupaksha Temple, Krishna Temple, Hazara Rama Temple complex, the Hampi Bazaar, the Monolith Bull, the Royal Enclosures, the Queen’s Bath, the Elephant Stables, Lotus Mahal, the Stepped Bath and dozens of other temples and structures.
It is considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites for the inspiring VirupakshaTemple.
In and around the main site of Hampi, travelers can also discover and explore other magical sights, starting with a fascinating visit over the river.
Passing over with the local ferries, travelers can discover another world, the traditional Indian village with serene rice fields.
One can also rent two-wheel vehicles and explore the charming countryside, filled with interesting highlights. A short hike up to Anegundi Hill will reveal the pilgrimage site of Hanuman Temple, the believed birth place of Lord Hanuman. Another amazing experience can be had by walking to the top of Matanga Hill, from where the unforgettable panorama of Hampi is simply stunning, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Overall, this is one of the most impressive historical destinations in the world, filled with inspiring remnants of an old empire, but also featuring pieces of the traditional daily life in the Indian countryside.
- Prefer to Stay on other side of Tungbhadra River where Anjaneya temple is situated. There are good guest houses and beautiful views of rice fields. The river can be crossed using a coral at the rate of Rs. 10/- per person. The other good option is to take a hotel in Hospet and take a taxi or auto to visit Hampi. Hampi is just 13 kms away from Hospet.
- Hampi is going to be extremely hot even if the neighbouring areas have low temperatures. Therefore, come prepared with a hat, sunscreen lotion and a spirit to bear the heat.
- Do rent a bicycle or bike on the other side of the river and enjoy the ride through the green landscape.
- Visit Mango Tree restaurant in Hampi – it has got out of Hampi ambience, a variety of dishes and reasonable prices.
- Tourists are not allowed to touch the musical pillars of Vitthala complex anymore.
- Do trek to Matanga Hill early morning to see the sunrise. It offers many incredible views of Hampi temple complexes and the boulder capital.