Being a traveler and having a passion for experiencing everything, I always have a craving to taste every culture and Vijayanagara Empire has always been fascinating when it comes to knowing about the royal times of India. Hampi is a mystical village in Karnataka.
History of Hampi
At present, Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site located in east-central Karnataka. Before being destroyed by Muslim sultanates in 1565, Hampi- Vijayanagara Empire was the second largest medieval-era city after Beijing and after that, all that remained was the ruins.
Well, you can definitely read more about the history of Hampi at Wikipedia. Trust me, it’s interesting. For now, let me take you through our experience and best places to visit in Hampi
All bags packed with sunglasses, sunscreen, caps, and our soul filled with excitement to explore the ruins of Hampi and I must say, it is definitely a kind of experience you must have.
If you are looking for quick information on exploring Hampi, you can skip our detailed experience. Scroll down to get a quick trip itinerary for 02-03 days in Hampi.
Attractions of Hampi
Hampi is a mystical land that reflects all shades of life.
One is the bizarre side with ruins that reflects the sad yet memorable parts of life and the other part is full of life – happening, full of travelers and tourists, music, greenery, and either side of the roads covered with banana and coconut trees and rice paddle fields.
Hampi is basically divided into two parts by the serene Tungabhadra River.
You’ll easily find the map of Hampi which tells you pretty much all about the places to visit on both sides of Tungabhadra river.
Where to Stay
As we stepped out of our bus in Hosapete at around 8:00 am, we were surrounded by rickshaw wala’s asking us to take a ride for Hampi. It took around 20 minutes to reach our hotel at Kamlapur. Yes, let me tell you very clearly, we made a mistake. We booked Clarks Inn at Kamlapur which is very near to Hampi, but it’s kind of village with no tourists staying nearby. Though the hotel had all facilities and comfort, it did not let us feel the locals of this mystical village. If you want to explore the hippie side of Hampi, you must stay at another side of Hampi, Anegundi Village, unofficially named as Hippie Island.
Well, that does not mean we did not explore it all. We had 3 days which were more than enough to explore all the best places in Hampi
Though I was very tired, nothing could stop my wandering soul.
I quickly got ready and so did force the lazy ass Paresh and Isha to be out. Oh, did I forget to mention? We had a new guest on the trip this time Isha.
Being Paresh’s sister, one more lazy person I accompanied but that’s fine. So, we headed out of the hotel, had some local South-Indian food for brunch and hailed an auto to reach Hampi.
Luckily, I did some research beforehand and knew all about negotiating with rickshaw walas. He took Rs.50 and dropped us at the main attraction of Hampi, the famous Virupaksha temple.
Even in the early month of March, Hampi is extremely hot due to rocks all around the village. We headed for the temple with our caps and sunglasses on. Did I forget to mention? The temple closes at 1 pm and then opens again in evening. Not delaying any further, we headed inside. At the entrance, there was the beautiful giant elephant giving blessings to everyone.
I was amazed by the carvings all over the walls and floors of the temple. The place shows the perfect piece of art and architecture.
How to roam around Hampi?
Since we had to explore all the ruins and temples in a day, we hired an auto at Rs.600 per day (Since it was a long weekend, he charged few bucks extra). On normal days, you’ll easily find an auto at the price of Rs.400 per day.You can either take a bike or bicycle on rent at a very low price to roam around. Since it was damn hot, we preferred an auto.
And yes, let me tell you the best time to visit Hampi is during early rains or winters October to March
Tips to travel around Hampi
The best way to explore Hampi is to explore ruins of Hampi on the first day. The natural beauty, coconut trees all around adds more to the art of ruins.
There are no proper temples but the ruins and some geological formations all around.
The only biggest temples among these ruins are Virupaksha temple and Vijaya Vittala temple.
Not to forget, you can enjoy the little golf cart ride to go to the Vittala temple. This temple is actually a true architectural wonder of Hampi.
Amazing musical pillars and the magnificent stone chariot is a must experience thing here.
And then finally, we ended our evening with local food at a food joint located near the ruins, under the shadow of coconut trees and left for our Hotel as everything pretty much closes after 6.
My suggestion is that you end your evening with a sunset at Matanga Hill (which we missed, unfortunately).
Pretty much this is the list of all the things to do in Hampi, we covered on Day 1
- Virupaksha Temple
- Statue of Ugra Narasimha
- Elephant Stables
- Vijaya Vittala Temple
- Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple
- Group of Monuments at Hampi
- Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple
- Zanana Enclosure
- Queen’s Bath
- Achyutaraya Temple
- Balakrishna Temple
- Hazara Rama Temple
- Lotus Palace
- Stepped Tank
- Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex
Our next morning began with crossing the Tungabhadra river through Ferry to reach on another side i.e., Hippie Island.
Anegundi Village (Hippie Island) - The offbeat side of Hampi
Reaching on another side we realized, it was a totally different place to explore.
The lane of musical cafes on the riverside, all the hippie backpackers roaming around, and a lot of coconut trees, all of it gives you pretty much the feel of Goa (except beaches, of course).
Things to do in Hippie Island:
I suggest you explore this side on a bike, as we did. You’ll easily get a Luna at price of Rs.200 and a scooter at price Rs.400. I recommend to get a Luna and have super fun roaming around this hippie island.
- Durga Temple
- Ganesh Temple
- Coracle ride – You can have the fun of coracle ride at Sanapur Lake at a cost of just 50 bucks. Enjoy riding near the lake side with cold breeze touching your face.
- Anjana Matha Temple – 575 stairs to reach the top but worth the visit. It is one of the best places to visit in Hampi.
It offers the complete view of bouldering Hampi and the sunset is to die for.
“Beware of monkeys” - LOL, they even tried to snatch my bag and sunglasses. 😛 Not only that, some little monkies even slapped one or two people around.
- River Side Cafes and nightlife such as Laughing Buddha Cafe, Nargila resort & restaurant and many more, once you are done with all above temples. Evenings are awesome at these cafes. We went to Laughing Buddha for breakfast and Nargila to spend our evening.
Some pictures of Hippie Island we captured:
Places to eat in Hampi
With rarely good places to eat and apart from local food, these are some places that you must visit to get the vibrant and taste of some dishes from Hampi.
Funky Monkey Café – Didn’t get the chance to visit, but it’s recommended.
Mango tree, Hampi – Banoffee pie is a must
Laughing Buddha cafe at hippie island – They offer great breakfast and different shakes and smoothies, but what is special here is it’s ambiance. It’s a place to just lie there, chill, listen to music, and enjoy the view of Tungabhadra river.
Apart from this, you can have local food, a lot of fresh coconut water, the famous Jeera soda, and of course bananas.
Oops! Stretched more. Helpless! Can’t get enough of this place. Hope this post about magical Hampi will be helpful for you.
It is truly a land of surprises and a lot many incredible stories are behind the ruins. Well, to experience that you must visit Hampi once in your lifetime.
Here are some pictures we captured during our trip
If you are planning to visit this mystical island and need more information, you can always reach out to me on my social media handles or you can leave a comment below.
And as I always say,
"Once a year, go someplace you have never been before"
Do you still have any questions? Need any help to plan? Loved the article? You know what to do 😉