Hampi, Karnataka

A magnificent historical site of ancient times, Hampi was the original capital of the famous historical Vijayanagara Empire. It is about 11 km away from Hospet City on the Tungabhadra River. A small area of 25 square kilometers, Hampi is surrounded by mountains (Anjaneya, Malyavanta and Matanga Hills) at three of its sites, and the Tungabhadra River borders one of its sites.

In pre-ancient times (around 1 CE), Hampi was known as Kishkindha and the city was ruled by monkeys (according to the Ramayana).


Due to its designation as a World Heritage Site, Hampi attracts thousands of visitors every year, making tourism a major source of income for the local economy. Besides its opulent manganese and iron ores, Hampi's sound agriculture and culture are major factors of its wealth. The cultural and religious festivals held here are among the most significant aspects of Hampi's culture.

There are several unique celebrations in Hampi, including Vijaya Utsav, Purandara Festival, and Virupaksha Car Festival, in addition to the traditional Indian festivals.

Among the sublime mementos of ostentatious yore set against the backdrop of the Vijaya Utsav, commonly known as Hampi Festival, the most important event is commemorated here. Traditionally, this cultural carnival is held during the first week of November for three days, organized by the Karnataka government. During this season of festivity, Hampi is crowded with tourists as the atmosphere is loaded with ultimate fun and excitement.

In addition to puppet shows, drama, musical concerts, fireworks, and a grand procession, Vijaya Utsav certainly recreates the legacy of the Hampi royal heritage. A magical symphony of art and culture is created here by proficient artists from different parts of the country. Vijaya Utsav, a continuation of the 'Nada Utsav' celebrated in the past, is a celebration of excellence.

The Purandara Festival is a tribute to Hampi's musical heritage, and the Virupaksha Car Festival is another notable event in Hampi apart from the august Vijaya Utsav. The Utsav commemorates the ingenuity of Indian classical music by hosting it in the last week of January or the first week of February.

It marks the birth anniversary of Purandara Dasa, the father of Carnatic music, who was baptized at Hampi's holy temple of Lord Vittal. Virupaksha Car Festival is the most grandiose festival of Hampi, which celebrates the vernacular tradition of the betrothals of many Gods and their wives. It is organized every year in April or March.


The Mauryan Empire used Hampi as a seat of power in the third century BC. A place of such magnificence and opulence is bound to have a rich cultural heritage as well. As far as Ashoka's times were concerned, rock edifices in the Bellary district were a common method of recording significant information.

In 1336 AD, the Vijayanagara Empire was founded by King Krishnadeva Raya, who led his dynasty to unprecedented heights under the leadership of AD.the Tuluva Dynasty. Hampi was the capital city of all four of these dynasties together.

Known for its association with the epic Ramayana, Hampi has a legend that is attached to the 'Kishkindha Kaand', one of the 'Kaands' in Ramayana.

Legend says that this episode occurred when Lord Rama and Lord Lakshman reached Hampi, which is confirmed by many geographical evidences.

Must visits

  • Virupkasha Temple : As you enter the temple, you will find a statue of Nandi with three heads. In the centre, you will find a pillared hall, the Ranga Mandapa. The temple is constructed so that its main entrance faces east and houses two courtyards. One of the best places to visit in Hampi is this temple, which is frequently crowded in December and celebrates its annual festival in February.
  • Vijaya Vittala Temple : In Hampi, there are wonderful stone structures all around the temple, and the pillars appear to be playing music. Vijaya Vittala Temple is one of the top places to visit in Hampi worth visiting. The architecture of this temple reflects South Indian culture and exemplifies Hampi's architectural excellence. It is a great example of creativity and imagination in architecture. This Vijaya Vittala Temple consists of three towering gateways surrounded by high compound walls, Maha Mantapa, Stone chariot, musical pillars, among others.
  • Lotus Mahal : This is one of Hampi's main tourist attractions and displays an explicit architectural design, resembling a lotus blossom more or less. An Indo architectural style is reflected in the roof of this palace, which consists of around 24 pillars that support the arched windows. The central dome forms a bud, while the balcony and passages are petals.
  • Yantodharaka Temple : In contrast to Virupaksha Temple, Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple stands approximately 2 km away from it. It is built into a cave and honours the Hindu deity Lord Hanuman. A river runs through the steps of this hill, and its steps are surrounded by a temple dedicated to Lord Srinivasa. Across the river is another temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
  • Coracle Ride : Known as a country boat in this region, coracles are circular boats that can carry up to eight people at a time. This is an activity you should try at least once in your lifetime.├é┬áDuring your visit to the historical city of Hampi, you must experience the Coracle Ride, which is an experience unlike any other. One of the best Hampi Tourist destinations is the Tungabhadra River region, where you can rent a coracle and cross the river in it for very affordable prices, since the early 15th century, these have been a vital mode of transportation in Hampi.
  • Queens Bath : This magnificent structure still stands as an intact example of Vijayanagara's architectural excellence, as it was once a large bath in Hampi. The Queen's Bath is renowned for its architectural excellence. With its simple exterior blending perfectly with its ornate interior, it gives off an overall impression of grandeur. There is a large sunken bath in the middle of this rectangular building, which measures around 30 square meters. You may be interested in finding arched corridors all around the building.
  • Badavilinga Temple : One of the most popular Hampi tourist spots is Badavilinga Temple, which houses an impressive black stone linga carved in honor of Lord Shiva. There is only one narrow opening in a small stone chamber of this temple where the linga lies, dating back to the Vijayanagar Empire. The linga measures approximately three meters high and dates back to that time. There is no ceiling in the temple, and Lord Shiva's Yone Pitha is reflected in the circular pedestal.
  • Lakshmi Narashimha Temple : It is considered one of the finest tourist attractions in Hampi. It has a figure of Lord Narasimha perched on a serpent coil with seven heads in a yoga position. This makes it the most significant of all religious statues in Hampi. During the month of October to February is the most ideal time to visit this temple. Also, it has an image of Goddess Lakshmi on his lap.
  • Hemakuta Hill Temples : As tourists can reach its top position more easily, Hemakuta Hill offers breath-taking views of ruins, temples, and arches. Some of the best places to visit in Hampi include the Virupaksha temple, Moola Virupaksha temple, Krishna temple, Lakshmi Narasimha shrine and Badivilinga shrine. There are three chambers conjoined together to form a pyramid roof in this group of temples that date back to the Vijayanagara era.
  • Achyutaraya Temple : Achyutaraya Temple lies amidst Matanga Hills and Gandhamadana and is the last place to see in Hampi. A magnificent idol of Lord Tiruvengalanatha resides in this palatial temple, which exemplifies Vijayanagar's architectural elegance. Each tower, pillar, and wall of this beautiful temple is exquisitely carved and ornamented, while its main shrine is surrounded by a concentric rectangular structure.
  • Hampi Bazar : On your leisure day, don't miss the Hampi Bazaar, which spans over a kilo meter and exhibits pavilions on either side of the road. At the east end of this Hampi Bazaar Street, you can find a large Nandi bull statue, the name of this shopping spot is Virupaksha Bazaar, which is one of the best places to visit in Hampi.
  • Archaeological Museum : The Archaeological Museum of Hampi is one of the smallest but most fascinating museums you can visit, and it's also one of the top locations to see in Hampi. Four parts, each concentrating on a different exhibit, make up the museum. The first portion has a replica of Hampi, while the second section displays sculptures and idols honouring the ruins of Hampi. The third part displays equipment, weapons, and ammo. Prehistoric and post historic objects are on display in the fourth area.
  • Hyatt Place : The menu includes all of the well-known cuisines as well as the greatest dishes from across the world and your hometown because it's a multi-cuisine restaurant. Freshly brewed drinks including tea and coffee as well as top-shelf liquor are available at the Coffee to Cocktails Bar.
  • Kstdc : In Hampi, the KSTDC Hotel has a garden, a restaurant, a bar, and a communal living area. In addition to a 24-hour front desk, this 3-star hotel has room service. The hotel provides a chargeable airport shuttle service in addition to free private parking.
  • Greenstone : With three stars and a lawn, Greenstone Resort Hampi is a hotel in Hampi. This property's amenities include a restaurant, room service, a 24-hour front desk, free WiFi, and more. There is a terrace in each of the rooms. At the hotel, a desk is available in every room. The rooms at Greenstone Resort Hampi include a private bathroom with a shower and complimentary amenities, as well as a view of the garden. There is sitting area in each of the hotel's guest rooms.
  • Royal Orchid Central : Each room has a minibar, flat-screen TV, and tea and coffeemaking amenities. All rooms include an attached private bathroom with amenities. The Royal Orchid helps its visitors with their travel arrangements. Services for dry cleaning and laundry are available. On-site parking is cost-free.
  • Whispering Rocks : Whispering Rocks, Hampi provides 5-star lodging with a garden, a deck, and a restaurant. It is situated in Hampi. The front desk and ATM are open round-the-clock at this five-star hotel. The hotel offers complimentary room service, currency exchange, and shuttle service to its visitors. Every accommodation in the hotel has a balcony with a view of the lake. At Whispering Rocks, Hampi, accommodations come with a private bathroom and a view of the mountains.
  • Heritage Resort : Heritage Resort Hampi provides lodging in Hampi with a spa and wellness centre and an outdoor swimming pool. There is free WiFi available all across the place. Cable TV is available in each room. Sip your coffee while admiring the garden or pool.
  • Dusk Till Dawn : Hampi is the location of Dusk Till Dawn, which has a garden. Garden views are available to visitors. Every accommodation at the inn has a balcony that overlooks the mountains.
  • Hampi Roof Restaurant : Tibetan and Israeli cuisine are presented in a mouthwatering and savoury array at the Hampi Roof Restaurant. The restaurant is the ideal spot to relax with a couple of black coffees and take in the experience as the Virupaksha temple fills the skyline since it offers a variety of cuisine and an overhead perspective of Hampi.
  • Ganesh Old Chillout : If it appears that you are close to the Balakrishna Temple, you can go to this eatery. Come to Old Chillout if you enjoy vegetarian and Indian food. Taste excellently prepared falafels, soup, and hummus. It's fun to sample some delicious pancakes here. Don't pass up the chance to order tasty smoothies, masala chai, or fresh juices.
  • Laughing Buddha : The layout of this home is quite lovely. There are rooms for larger groups, little conical top shelters for two people, and so on. We chose a hut with a pleasant, spotless room and a roomy bathroom. Each room has a little private seating area in front of it as well as a swing. Here, you may relax and sip tea in the morning and the evening. Even for the parties and late-night conversations. The most interesting feature of this establishment is the eating room. They offer tables and a floor seating arrangement with bright colourful floor cushions, so you can eat outside while taking in the lovely, green scenery.
  • The Goan Corner : The Goan Corner is a climbers' and travellers' paradise well-known for its rooms and million-star hostel, as well as for its selection of tasty home-style dishes and daily specialties. The Goan Corner succeeds in its mission to unite individuals from all cultures and provide them access to all the comforts of home so that they may get to know one another.
  • Mango Tree : Hampi is home to the Mango Tree Restaurant. You'll find a sitting space and a balcony in each of these rooms. Private bathrooms offer with complimentary amenities and a shower. From the room, you can take in views of the garden and mountains. There is free WiFi access.
Best time to visit
  • The months of October through March are the ideal times to visit Hampi since the weather is cool and comfortable for touring outside during these times. During this time of year, tourism is booming. It is also suggested that you come here for Vijaya Utsav, which is often celebrated in November.
  • It is not advised to take a visit to Hampi during this time since April ushers in the summer season, which lasts until July. The heat and dry weather makes sightseeing quite difficult.
  • But one may decide to take a trip to Hampi in March or April to see the Virupaksha Car Festival, which takes place in the Virupaksha Temple.
Ideal days required to explore Hampi
  • To truly experience Hampi, you will need at least two full days. To pick which locations you wish to see, you might acquire directions from the ASI museum in Kamlapur. The Vithala Temple complex, which might serve as the bare minimum of sites, is a pleasant stroll from the Virupaksha Temple.
  • A trip to the Elephant Stables, Queen's Bath, Hazarnama Temple, and beyond provides a good viewpoint, as does the rising of the sun at Matanga. You might also have lunch at the Hampi Bazzar and watch the sunset at Hemakuta.
  • Perhaps it would be wiser to add an extra day instead of attempt to cover the Badami region as well. As there is minimal shade in Hampi near the monuments, the daytime temperatures will be high.
  • By Air : Tornagallu's airfield is the closest to Hampi, which is only 33 kilometres from Hospet. The second-closest airport to Hampi is Bellary, which is 61 kilometres distant. The city of Belgaum is 191 kilometres from the closest airport at Hampi, and the distance to Bangalore International Airport is 351 km. Domestic airports Bellary and Tornagallu offer just a few services, particularly from the cities of Banglore and Goa. If you're coming from a long distance out to the city, the Bangalore International Airport would be the best option.
  • By Rail : When travelling by train, the closest station to Hampi is Hospet, which is around 12 kilometres away. Major Karnataka cities, including the adjacent state of Goa, are immediately connected to this station. There are major cities with direct access to Hospet Station. The ideal course of action for travellers from northern India is to arrive in Bangalore first.
  • By Road : At Hospet Town, there is a bus station that is immediately connected to the roads that lead to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, and Hubli. Bangalore and Hospet are connected by the NH-4, which was expanded up to Chitradurga; following that, you must use the NH-169. The route that travellers must take through the city of Hyderabad is Hyderabad-Mahboobnagar-Raichur-Gangawati-Hampi. From Hospet to Hampi, you can use regional buses or a private cab or autorickshaw.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Why is Hampi famous?

Hampi is a UNESCO heritage site and is a well-preserved tourists spot of olden ruins. Several ancient monuments and temples from the Mauryan and Vijayanagar empire can be seen here, and the city still hold the charm of the bygone days with a serene atmosphere and stunning landscape.

What are the top places to see in Hampi?

Some of the top places to visit in Hampi are: Virupaksha temple, Vithala temple, Lotus Palace, Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple, Hampi Bazaar, and Hippie Island.

Hampi is in which state?

Hampi is in the southern state of Karnataka.

Who built Hampi?

Hampi was founded by Harihra I and Bukka Raya I of the Sangama Dynasty in 1336 AD.

Where to stay in Hampi?

There are numerous hotels and heritage resorts near Hampi where you can stay during your tour.

Who destroyed Hampi?

Hampi was destroyed during the battle of Talikota in 1565, which was a coalition of Muslim Sultanates with the Vijayanagar empire. They caught and beheaded the king Aliya Rama Raya and demolished a major portion of the architecture and infrastructure fabric of Hampi and the metropolitan Vijayanagar.

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