Search This Blog

Thursday, February 17, 2022

A Complete Guide to Explore the Top Places of Hampi in 3 Days?


A Complete Guide to Explore the Top Places of Hampi in 3 Days?

Hampi, once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire in Karnataka state is now known as one of the top UNESCO World Heritage sites in India. It was not only the capital but it is believed to be the ancient ‘Kishkinda’ of Ramayana times where the Monkey kingdom existed. The Hampi is situated in Hospet taluka of Bellary district of Karnataka state in India. Currently, some of the structure of Hampi is in a ruined condition, this magnificent ruins of Hampi captivated many travelers across Indian and foreign countries. There are about 600 monuments to visit in Hampi. It is not possible to cover all the places within a short time but no worry; I will take you through the complete guide to explore the top places of Hampi in 3 days.

How to Reach Hampi from various places?

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage site that can be accessed in various ways from various areas. The only thing is you should be well planned before visiting the Hampi. This is accessible by Air, Road, and Train.

By Air

There is no direct connectivity to Hampi by air. International travelers can head to Bangalore international airport at a distance of 350 km from Hampi. The nearest domestic airport to reach Hampi is Hubli in the Karnataka district. The distance from the airport to Hampi is 175 km. One can take a cab or public transport from the airport to your destination. There are limited public transports from Hubli to reach Hampi.

By Train

Hospet Junction is the nearest railhead. The destination is further 13 km from the railway station. There are express trains that connect to Hospet from major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Goa. After reaching the railway station take an auto or direct cab to reach Hampi. It will cost you 150 INR to 200 INR from the railway station to Hampi main Bazar where most of the guest houses are located.

By Road

Hampi is well connected to major cities and states of India. One can also book Volvo travels from Mumbai, Pune, and other cities to reach Hampi, the average time Volvo takes is around 15 hours from Mumbai. The distance from Mumbai to Hampi is 750 km and it is easily accessible by private vehicles and also by bus. If you are traveling from Mumbai to Hampi by your own vehicle then it is advisable to break your journey and reach further to the Hampi.

How We Explored Hampi in 3 Days?

Hampi was on the bucket list for years but, I could not make it before due to the pandemic situation and some restrictions on travel. The situation now got some relaxation for travelers and I was one of them eagerly waiting for this relaxation news of travel. I scrolled so many pages and videos to create my own itineraries before visiting this ruins structure. After going through social media and various sites I realized that Hampi is one such place that needs at least a month to explore. I was astounded; It is not possible for a job person to reserve a month from the busy schedule. I again started scrolling more pages and sorted out some of the epic spots to visit in Hampi.

As per the plan, we started our journey from Mumbai towards Hampi. The distance was not less than 750 km by car. I knew it was going to be a tough journey but the things that I was going to explore were far better than this tough journey. The route that we followed was Mumbai-Satara-Kolhapur-Belgaum-Hubli-Hampi.

The day started with an overnight journey to the Hampi from Mumbai. The road offers a scenic view along with dense fog and roads are also in very good condition to drive. We started driving towards the destination and took a night halt near Hubli. We resumed and reached the Hampi at 11 am in morning. Due to the pandemic, there were very few tourists to the Hampi and this is the reason we had no pre-booking. There are many homestay and hotels are available in the main Hampi Bazaar which is next to the sacred temple of Hampi. This is the main spot of Hampi. I would recommend you book your stay in the main Hampi Bazar because most of the main temples of Hampi are easily accessible from this area. We headed to Vicky’s guest house in Hampi bazaar. It was in good condition and a typical home kind of stay. If you are looking for something in your budget then home stays are the best options.

Hampi is not a single monument to explore, it is been spread across a 41 square kilometer area. You must know that the beauty of this place is categorized into 3 zones. If you are planning to cover Hampi in a short time then you must prepare for some of the questions like what to explore, the time required to explore, and traveling around Hampi. First and one of the main zones of Hampi areas is a sacred temple that belongs to the Hindu culture. The second zone offers the exquisite beauty of the Royal center and the third zone that offers a gorgeous view of Hippie Island also known for the new Hampi. We had stayed near zone one which was accessible by foot but, we started exploring the other zones which were not possible to reach by walk.

On day one post-lunch we moved to explore one of the important temples of the Hampi from the second zone and that’s a Royal center. The distance was close to a 6 km drive from the main Hampi Bazaar. You must need your own vehicle to travel this distance and around Hampi. We started exploring the magnificent Vitthala Temple along with the stone chariot. This delicate stone chariot is a picture symbol of Hampi. You need to park your private vehicle at the entrance 2 km before the main temple and travel further in their electric vehicle (an electric vehicle ticket will cost you 20 INR per head). I would recommend you to have a 2 km long walk through rocks rather than taking an electric vehicle because there are many other monuments like Puskarani, and Gejjala Mantappa on route to Vitthala temple that can be only explored by walk. Have you seen this stone chariot earlier? Let me tell you where? This stone chariot picture is mentioned on the 50 INR currencies. Yes, you heard me right; now take out your 50 INR note and check. You will fall in love with the architecture of the gorgeous monuments of Hampi.  While traveling to the Royal Center of Hampi you can also explore the monuments from the second zone and that is Queen’s bath palace, Lotus Mahal, Royal enclosure, Hazara Raama Temple, and Elephant Stable. This is been located at a walkable distance of 5 to 10 minutes. After exploring these monuments from the second zone we ended our day with a beautiful sunset of Malyavanta Hill. Malyavanta Hill is around 4 km from the main Vitthala Temple of Royal Center. Manage your time in such a way that you can finish the monuments of Royal Center and can head to the sunset point at around 6 pm. The place itself will make you forget everything while seating and staring towards sunset. Sunset point in Hampi is something where most of the tourist flocks and seat at the edges of the hill. Even if you hire a guide throughout the day then he will drop you in the evening at sunset point of the Hampi.

Historical monument from Karnataka is being represented in the currency note

Entrance of Vitthala Temple with enclosure and three gates on three side

Lotus Mahal showing Indo Islamic style architecture

Elephanta stable is situated at the backside of Lotus Mahal

Sunset view from Malyavanta Hill at the back of Raghunath Swamy Temple

On day two we started with the warm and handsome welcome of the rising sun. We got up at 5 am in the morning and went hiking Matanga Hill at a distance of 800 meters from Hampi bazaar where we had our stay. The trek starts exactly opposite the police station of Hampi bazaar. You may find many people trekking early morning to reach the summit point of Matanga Hill. The trek is of 30 minutes and the route is easily accessible. We sat in a relaxed mood and started waiting for the rising sun to paint the sky. Later we drove the distance of 18 km and headed to the new side of the Hampi or other side of the Tungabhadra River. This side of Tungabhadra River is in Hampi’s sacred places and another side has new Hampi rice fields. One of the best attractions of new Hampi was Sanapur Lake. There are some other places on route to Sanapur Lake that includes Durga Temple, Pampa Sarovar, Mahalaxmi Mata Temple, Anegondi Fort, Anjanadri Parvat, and at last sunset at Sanapur Lake. Do not miss the climbing of Anjanadri Parvat and its astonishing view of the new Hampi. It is a hill located near Hanumanahalli. Anjanadri Hill is also famous for its sunset. It is an uphill trek and you need to climb 575 stairs to reach the summit point. Anjanadri is a mother of Lord Hanuman and the history of it belongs back to Kishikinda of Ramayana. You must reserve your 3 hours for Anjanadri Parvat. We ended our second day at Sanapur Lake. This lake is something different than Hampi’s landscape. Placid water and a serene atmosphere soothe the soul. I was so touched and fell in love with another side of the Hampi. While visiting Sanapur Lake how can you forget the peculiarity of Sanapur Lake? guess what? Coracle ride, yes Coracle ride is one of the thrilling experiences you must take while exploring Hampi. Coracle ride is available in all three zones of Hampi but, I would prefer to ride at Sanapur Lake and that too in the evening time.

Matanga Parvat is famous for sunrise 

Anjanadri Parvat is a place of Anjani Mata with 575 stairs to climb

Durga Temple is located in this new Hampi area

Charges of Coracle ride are 600 per boat for 20 min and 800 per boat for 30 min (do bargain in the off-season)

Coracle ride is the handmade boat which is the peculiarity of the Hampi

On day third we went to the main attraction of Hampi near Hampi bazaar and that’s Hampi’s first zone which is mainly known for sacred temples. Virupaksha Temple was the main face of the Sacred Hampi. Our stay was at a distance of 400 meters from Virupaksha temple, thanks to the Lonely Planet book who helped us to book a stay. The most important thing to remember is the first zone of Hampi can be explored by walking, there are so many scared temples to explore. Virupaksha Temple is the focal point of Hampi bazaar, one of the city’s oldest structures and Hampi’s only remaining working temple. The main shrine of this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Do not forget to take blessings of Lakshmi inside the Virupaksha Temple. Lakshmi is the Elephant who blesses the devotees who come to meet him. One can find eye capturing Hemkuta Hill towards the left side of Viruapksha temple. Hemkutta Hills has multiple groups of temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Anjaneya, and Lord Ganesha. Hemkutta Hill is the place where Lord Shiva was in meditation once. Matanga hill is exactly opposite the Virupaksha temple. You can also see a monolithic statue of Nandi at the base of the Matanga Hill and the statue facing towards the face of Lord Shiva (Virupaksha Temple) this is the peculiarity of Hinduism and it has lots of importance in it. You can also give your visit to the Lakshmi Narasimha, Krishna temple, Saasikaalu Ganesha, and Kadalekau Ganesha. Don’t forget to capture these memories to take home. You may find many foreigners flocking to visit the ruins of Hampi. Though it is ruined condition, the beauty of this place is still attractive. This was a dream come true for me.

A sculpture of the Narasimha Temple

A Shivlinga surrounded by a pool of water is located next to Narasimha Temple

Gopura of Hampi known as Hemkutta Hill is located on the left side of the Virupaksha Temple

One of the most living temples of the Hampi is Virupaksha Temple

Frequently Asked Question:

How to travel around the Hampi?

As I said Hampi is not a single monument, it is been spread in the area of 41 square kilometers, so traveling is a big issue here but, no worry, I will be guiding you to explore the Hampi in your budget.

One who has own vehicle can travel inside Hampi without any worry but, one who doesn’t have own vehicle then they must option below mode of transportation.

Bicycle/Moped Bike

If you know to ride a cycle or bike then you must rent it from Hampi’s main bazaar. You can explore the sacred places and Royal center on cycle, the only thing is you must have a good endurance level to ride under a hot sun. Hampi’s afternoon peak may sometimes irritate you so plan accordingly.

Auto rickshaw

There are auto-rickshaws available on rent to explore the Hampi. Autos on a rental basis will take you around the above main places and will leave you at sunset point in the evening time. They will take you around sightseeing of Hampi and they can also become a guide for you. If you are a group of people then it is better to book an auto on a rental basis.

Cycle rental charges- 30 INR to 50 INR per six hours

Moped bike rental cost- 250 INR to 500 INR a day

Auto rental cost 750 INR to 1000 INR per day

Exploring Hampi by walk is possible only in sacred places and Royal Center but one must have that stamina to walk.

Note- If you are renting any vehicle from Hampi bazaar then you cannot take that vehicle on the other side of Tungabhadra River (zone three of Hampi) and you have to drive 18 km by road to go to another side of the river. I would recommend you to take the boat to another side of the river and then take a rental vehicle to explore the new Hampi (zone 3).

A boat takes 5 min to drop on the other side and the cost per man is 20 INR.

Which are the best locations to stay in Hampi?

Being a world heritage site there are so many guest houses, hotels, and resorts available which are perfect for budget travelers. The prices range from 400 INR to 2000 INR. If you want some luxurious resorts to stay in then you have to stay a few kilometers away from Hampi. You will get most of the budgeted options in the main Hampi bazaar and it is also advisable to stay in the main Hampi Bazaar. It is close to the Virupaksha temple of the Hampi and even other sacred places are closer to walking distance from the main Hampi Bazaar. One can also get the option for shopping close to Bazar. We had stayed at Vicki’s guest house near Virupaksha Temple. He charged us 600 INR per room per day. Some of the other suggestions are Thilak Homestay, Pushpa Guest House, and Manash Guest House which are closer to the Hampi Bazaar.

Vicki’s Guest House contact is 9480141144 (Mr. Krishna). Do bargain in the off-season.

Manash Guest House contact-8277029100

Which are the best restaurants to eat in Hampi?

Due to Hampi’s religious significance, Non-veg food is out of the menu in all the restaurants, and alcohol is also banned in this area.

There are so many stalls offering the taste of typical south Indian food in Hampi. Hampi's restaurants also serve continental food for their food lovers. My all-time favorite restaurant is Mango tree. One who has explored the Hampi must have visited the Mango tree restaurant. Hampi’s most famous ambient tented restaurant is located inside the Hampi Bazaar and within walking distance of Vicki’s Guest House. We had been to this restaurant thrice in three days. I loved these restaurants and their amazing food.

If you are near Sanapur Lake and want to chill out with some drinks then you must visit the Veg spring restaurant within the distance of 2 km from Sanapur Lake. This offers a good ambiance to their visitors. You can also get alcohol here.

Mango tree restaurant is located in the main bazar of Hampi

This is most selling breakfast of Mango tree- Spanish Breakfast

Which is the actual time to visit Hampi?

The best time to visit Hampi is the winter season from October to February. The weather remains moderately cool except for peak afternoon. If you are planning to visit in November then you may get the vibes of the Hampi festival celebrated in November.

You can also visit during monsoon season but one has to be careful as the path becomes slippery.

Avoid visiting Hampi in summer from March to May months as it is scorching and dry. Off-season at Hampi is considered as summer and monsoon.

How many days are enough to explore Hampi?

Hampi is one of those chilling places where spending a month is also very little. Yes, you heard me right but, It is not at all possible for job seekers. I would recommend you to at least reserve 3 to 5 days to explore the ruins of the Hampi. This can also be done within your budget. Take out three days to explore three zones of the Hampi. This ruined structure can also be explored in 2 days but, you need to rush to every place.

Things to remember before you visit Hampi

  • If you are a history lover and want to understand the Hampi from the inside then it is advised to take a guide along with you.
  • I would suggest you book an auto that can also brief you about the Hampi and can take you around these main places.
  • You must have bargain skills for shopping, stay, guide, the rental vehicle if you are visiting Hampi.
  • You need to have proper planning about the zone and places to visit in Hampi on a short trip.
  • Vitthala Temple and Virupaksha Temple are something you should not miss in Hampi.
  • If you don't want to invest in a guide then try buying a book of Hampi to give you detail of the places and their artwork.
  • Do carry sunscreen, goggles, and a cap as the sun is very hot in the afternoon peak.
  • Do not litter the area around you.

No comments:

Post a Comment