Explore Hampi

There is really something Mystical and Magical about Hampi that I just can’t describe, there’s a good reason why this place is very much on the backpacker trail in India.

Towering piles of boulders, buzzing backpacker enclaves and fascinating history, perhaps it is the amazing ruins of temples, or the magical stories of myths, legends and gods and goddesses, beautiful lake, Hampi has everything you need to have a truly fantastic time.

 I think I need to hire a writer to explain the History of an old Hampi, because I know I can’t do this place justice to this place.

Exploring Magical Hampi

Day 1

The Oldest Temple In Hampi – Virupaksha Temple

The first we visited one of the famous Virupaksha Temple on first day of my journey to Hampi. The Virupaksha Temple holds a special place in everyone’s heart as our lord Shiva and his wife Parvati got married in the same temple. This is the oldest temple and can be seen from any part of Hampi. In the middle of the temple, there is a canal through which water of the River Tungabhadra flows.

Virupaksha Temple Hampi
Virupaksha Temple

We have to deposit our shoes outside the temple. Then you will find the gate of Virupaksha Temple and to your right there is a way which goes directly to the river. and yes be-aware of our monkey friends🐒🐒🐒🐒

There is an elephant named Lakshmi in that temple. You can give her rs 10 and seek her blessing too🙏🏻

Lakshmi the Elephant
Virupaksha Temple

Chill at the Marvelous Place – Lotus Mahal

Lotus Mahal Hampi
Lotus Mahal

The next stop was the Lotus Mahal. With a mix of Hinduism Jainism and Mughal architecture, the palace is a lotus like structure. This has an extremely big campus and comprises lotus-mahal and elephant-stable. The elephant stables and lotus temple are wonderful memories of the Vijayanagara Empire!

The Stone Chariot at Vijaya Vittala Temple

This is one of the tourist hotspots in hampi which shows the skills and artistry of the architects of the Vijayanagara Empire. It will give you a glance that how glorious would have been during that era. Almost all the carving and sculptures are precious and are very finely crafted.

hampi temple
Carving and sculptures at Vijaya Vittala Temple

And the most fascinating things about this place is the Stone Chariot which you must have seen on the backside of new Rs.50 Indian Currency note. This place worth to know the history of Ramayana and how these temples were formed, musical pillar which can recreate musical notes of numerous carnatic instruments.

Hampi Tourism
Stone Chariot on a new Rs.50 Indian Currency note

There is an Electric bus to reach the temple which is available from the Parking Area. They charged us Rs 20/- for a two way journey.

Vijaya Vittala Temple Hampi
Electric Bus for Vijaya Vittala Temple

Wonderful ruined Ugra Narasimha Statue carved out of One Rock

The next major place that we visited was a Huge Statue of Shivlinga and Narasimha. Narasimha Statue has crafted on a single rock and this is the largest monolithic structure in Hampi. Its shame that the people in those days didn’t understand the value of culture and history and they harmed the most beautiful idol and The Laxmi part of the statue I am yet to see in my life. But despite everything it has its charm and you can imagine the beauty.

Simplistic Design of a huge Shivlinga on a Single rock

This attraction is just next to the Ugra Narasimha statue, this Shiva linga carved out of one stone. The Structure stands in a small room. There is a pool of water around the linga throughout the year. The ancient water systems are still present. The unique thing about this linga, is that the 3 eyes of Shiva are engraved on it.

An ancient stage – Mahanavami Dibba

The Mahanavami Dibba is a pyramid and It is supposed to have been a stage where the king used to watch musical shows, Mock battles, Cultural activities, Wrestling, Army march pasts, Royal animals, Navaratri and Holi celebrations.

Hampi Royal stage
Royal Stage

The Elephant Stables in the Royal Centre

Last visit of the day was The Elephant Stables.  Elephant Stable in Hampi is an impressive structure that was used to give shelter for the royal elephants of the Vijayanagara Empire. This is a gem of a place in Hampi with nuance architecture. It is an example of the importance of Elephants during that era!

Places to Visit in Hampi
Royal Centre

Day 2

Sunset view from Anjanadri Hill

The next day I continued in the same fashion. First we visited a Lord Hanuman temple which has built on an Anjanadri Hill. And it is said to be the birth place of Lord Hanumana after his mother Anjani had done a rigorous worship of Pawan dev…

Anjanadri hill temple
Sunset View from Anjanadri Hill

Unfortunately the 570 steps were too hard for us to climb, but once we climb the hill it felt like lord Hanuman is blessing us as we reached the temple.

A Royal swimming pool for queens – Queens’s bath

Queen's bath hampi
Queen’s bath

Queen’s bath is the royal way to take a bath for Queen.  From outside it looks like a rectangular building, but once you go in you can enjoy the Indo-Islamic architecture. Most intriguing part of this spot is the means by which they had planned water channels from a far off lake to bring water this far for this private pool. The Queen’s shower demonstrates to us the way of life and the extravagance that the royals had. Visit this spot for its chronicled excellence and carvings.

Ruins in the true sense – Achyutaraya Temple

Places to Visit in hampi
Achyutaraya Temple

Visiting this place wasn’t part of the plan. Unlike all the other places to see, this place was not at all crowded which was so refreshing… I wonder what Hampi was like back in its great days. Giving the ruins a vibe of an actual ruin. I spent time exploring whatever corners I could. I can’t say it’s spectacular. It didn’t leave me in awe but in entirety it’s a pleasant and calm place.

A Huge monolithic statue of Lord Ganesh at Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple

Largest Ganesha Statute
Kadalekalu Ganesh Temple

Later on we visited the Kadalekalu Ganesha which is an important religious attraction in Hampi. The temple has traditional stone architecture and has a huge 15 feet monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha which is a believed to be one of the largest in the world. Statue is located on Hemakuta Hill and it is worth to visit in the evening because the temple offers a scenic view of Virupaksha temple and a Hampi Market.

Day 3

Hippie Island

Our third day was the most special one as it was Hippie Island.

The Hampi is not just about temple and ruins, it’s always about something more! On one side Hampi is all about rocky and deserted landscape “Hippie Island” where as in Sanapur you will find never ending green paddy fields, 

Okay, so I am a nature lover and I was ready cut out the outside world for two days.  We crossed the Tungabhadra River via boat which took 5 mins to reach Hippie Island.  They charged us Rs 50 pp.

As the name suggest, we were surrounded by so many hippies in this place. While we were in boat; we were the only Indians sitting there. It was nice to hear people talking in different languages. This is a place where you can relax & chill for hours.

An amazing experience of bike and a Coracle ride

Once we crossed the river we rented a two-wheeler to ride on the beautiful roads of Hippie Island. We took Activa on a rent of Rs.400 for one day.  We headed to explore the hampi roads coracle ride through the Tungabhadra River. It was one of the best experiences of our Hampi trip. The coracle costs 250 Rs per head and is totally worth it!

coracle ride
Coracle ride

February is the perfect time to visit this place. We also witnessed to see the biggest celebration of the Hampi festival 2019.  We had arranged all our accommodations at Hospet but where the festival was going to be, it was near from Hampi and Hippie island . So we cancelled our Hospet hotel booking and stayed in a Hippie island for two days.

Usually the last boat from Hippie Island to hampi is at 6.30 Pm. But because of this festival the boat service was available whole night.

(Note – Guys, There are so many things to talk about Hippie Island and Hampi Festival 2019. So i have written a separate blog on this. I will upload it soon)☺

Other places to explore in Hampi :

Hemakuta Hills, Pampa Sarovar, Durga Temple, Matanga Hill, Hazara rama temple, 

How to reach Hampi :

You first have to reach Hospet that can be reached by train or buses. Hampi does not have an airport. Nearest airport is Hubli Airport which is 150 KM away from Hampi.

Accommodation and Food in Hampi :

We stayed at Hospet for 2 days which 15 Km away from Hampi And for rest 2 days we stayed at Hippie Island which I would most definitely recommend to anyone who plans a visit. Because its truly is a backpacker’s paradise in every sense, on the other side of the river which can be crossed by boat that run from sunrise till sunset.  And there are plenty options of guesthouses that offer basic accommodation in super cute huts, great food, and greater views of the river and the paddy fields.

The best way to travel around Hampi :

Hampi is a place that should be explored and discovered by you.  At Hampi, you will get bicycles at rent at very cheap rate. You will get bicycles without gear at Rs.100/- per day and with gear at Rs.150/- per day.
And also moped for rent at Rs.300/- per day. (You will not get scooty and bikes for rent at the temple side of Hampi)

At the Hippie Island, you will get scooty and bikes for rent at Rs.300-400/- per day depending upon your vehicle.

The rate of the vehicles may likewise fluctuate with seasons.

There are also auto rickshaws that you can take to see the different places in Hampi.

Photography Tips:

The sun shines brightly in Hampi. Try to plan your important visits during the morning or evening. Also have the right equipment, filters etc to counter the blazing sun. I didn’t have any of those, nor did I time it properly… you can see the results in the shape of these pathetic photographs. 😟

My visit to this place was a blast and enjoyed every bit of it. I would recommend 3-4 days for a trip to Hampi as that would be sufficient. Always visit during October to February as that is the best time when the weather is smooth