Prachi is a fashion & lifestyle blogger and an interior enthusiast.
Travelling alone is nerve-wracking, exhilarating, and so very satisfying, all at the same time. It was my first solo trip and I must say, I have learned the straightforwardness and simplicity of various trivial traditions to feel grounded, so I can make the most of being alone, in a new place. If you are a wanderer, you will love Hampi because it provides the chance to come across people from various countries and feels adventurously free without the agony of safety concerns. You are likely to encounter approachable and socially prosperous people.
This trip to Hampi works for me as an aide-mémoire to keep me beaming, laughing and well…less prone to freak out as I get ready for my next escapade.
Hampi Landscape and Architecture
Elevated over the amazing landscape; demarcated by huge rocks and stones, coconut, sugarcane plantations and banana trees—Hampi is a small yet beautiful village in Karnataka, India.
Hampi is regal and captivating. It is a historically and traditionally rich place and is also acknowledged as a southern cultural hub of the country. The beautiful and attractive architecture imparts the whole place an emotion of agelessness and persistence. The stimulating years old structures look magnificent and fascinating even today. Hampi has about 1,600 monuments. The ruins are existent in markets, palaces and temples which have been renovated and preserved by UNESCO and it has been listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
History and Heritage
In ancient times, Hampi was known as ‘Vijaynagara,’ which means the ‘city of Victory’. Gifted with Tungabhadra on sideways and peaks on the adjacent crossways; Hampi is the only vestige of Vijayanagar Kingdom. It has been the native land of numerous praiseworthy kings because of its inordinate geographical surroundings.
Ruins in the form of temples, palaces, etc. provide loads of evidence about the Hindu dynasty in India. The monuments tell everything about the affluent and opulent history of Hampi. Eventually, it was ruined by the Moghuls. Leftovers of Royal Courts, remarkable living complexes, monumental rock statues are some of the greatest examples of medieval Indian architecture.
How to Get to Hampi
Hampi is allied with different junctions of the country by all kinds of transport. However, Hospet is the access point to Hampi.
- Nearest Airport: Belgaum Airport
- For international tourists: Bengaluru International Airport
- Direct flights are available from Delhi and Mumbai
- Hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Hampi
- Hampi does not have a railway station.
- Nearest railway station: Hospet
- Direct trains connecting Hospet with major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa etc.
- Hire an auto or any of the KSRTC buses to reach Hampi.
- Hampi is linked with main cities by road as well.
- KSRTC buses function regularly from Hospet to Hampi.
- You can also choose from other options such as taxis or car rental.
Best Time to Visit Hampi
You can visit Hampi throughout the year but it’s suitable to visit it during the months of November to February as it starts getting intolerably hot in March.
How to Get Around Hampi
Most of the places in Hampi can only be discovered by walking. Bicycles, scooters and mopeds are other options. They are available for rent easily. You can hire any of them at a nominal cost from various shops. You can use your driving license or any other appropriate document as proof of identity. Another suitable option is hiring an auto-rickshaw driver cum tour guide for a day.
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Accommodation and Food
Several options are available, from lavish resorts with all amenities to economical guesthouses. You can stay either at Hospet or at the Hampi Bazaar. It offers economical lodging. However, on weekends or in peak season, prices can vary to 4–5 times the original cost. If you plan to visit during the holiday season, plan your accommodation well in advance.
Budget travellers can also get very basic accommodations on daily rentals as well. Main restaurants and cafes are situated in and around the Hampi Bazaar. Usual South Indian vegetarian food like idli & dosa for breakfast and the Thali meal for lunch is mainly available. You can also get western breakfast like pancakes in a few cafes.
Major Attractions of Hampi
Hampi has been one of the most noteworthy tourist spots. Market place, temples and ancient architectural sites are the main attractions of Hampi. You will discover something exciting at each and every corner of this place. Every monument has a story to tell. A few main places to visit in Hampi are:
- Vijaya Vitala Temple
- Virupaksha Temple
- Kadalekalu Ganesh Temple
- Royal Enclosure
- Hampi Bazaar
Other Must-See Attractions and Activities
- Watch the sunset from the Hemakunta hills.
- Go bouldering in Hampi.
- Walk up to the Matanga hills.
Local Culture of Hampi
Hampi is a perfect place for a peaceful and calming holiday. The official language of Hampi is Kannada. People mainly follow Hinduism and their chief source of income is the agriculture and tourism industry. Hampi can be seen at its best during the Hampi Festival, held every year. It is systematized by the Government of Karnataka.
This festival, also known as the Vijaya Utsav, is an annual event showcasing talent from various parts of the world. Musical events, puppet shows and various cultural activities are the main attractions of this festival. Entry to the Hampi Festival is free of cost.
Things to Consider Before Planning Your Trip to Hampi
- Though Hampi is a significant tourist destination, the amenities and services available at the site are basic.
- Hampi is not a crowded place but safe, even for solo travellers.
- Hampi does not have any ATMs but you will get many in Hospet.
- Hiring a good guide to travel around is always a good option in Hampi.
- Hampi is usually a tropical area. Carry nominal clothes. Wearing light cotton clothes is recommended.
- Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, therefore tripods or any kind of searchlights are prohibited.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Prachi Srivastava