Top 9 Places to Visit in Hampi - 2021
Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is filled with ancient temples, forts and historic relics making it one of the most visited places in India by Indians and foreigners alike. Here’s a list of the 9 best places we recommend you cover on your trip to Hampi, along with the best places to eat!
Known best as the capital of the great Vijayanagara empire (14th – 16th century), Hampi was a thriving city in its prime time. According to historical memoirs left by Portuguese and Persian traders, the city was of metropolitan proportions; they called it “one of the most beautiful cities”. It is said that gold coins and precious stones used to be sold in its streets. Such was the prosperity of this great city.
Vijayanagara empire in its 200 years of existence consisted of 4 dynasties : Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva and Aravidu. Rulers from this empire led by example and gave utmost importance to art, architecture, literature, culture and traditions. Temples, trade and life flourished during their reign. Towards the end of the 16th century, a consolidated Muslim attack mainly by the armies of Tuglaq and Khilji for 6 continuous months tore the city apart and left it in ruins that are left to see today. The city since then has also been called “the city of ruins”.
Best time to visit
☁️ Oct - Feb :
Good mild weather throughout the day. Best weather to walk around and explore Hampi. During the winters i.e. Dec-Jan, the climate becomes cooler and provides a very pleasant experience.
☀️ May - Jul :
Best to avoid Hampi during the peak summer months with temperatures going up to 40°C. The weather is hot and dry and it is difficult to visit places with the scorching sun.
How to reach Hampi
✈️ By Air: Nearest Intl. Airport: Bangalore (300 km)
🚂 By Rail: Hampi has no railway station. The nearest is in Hospet, 13 kms away.
🚍By Road: Frequent buses ply on routes between Hampi and nearby major cities like Bangalore, Hospet, Tumkur etc . KSRTC operates the buses while there are tours conducted by KSTDC . This is the most opted route by tourists.
1. Vijaya Vitthala Temple
💳 Indians: ₹40 / Foreigners: ₹500 ($7) | 🕑 2 hrs
A temple complex housing a cluster of monuments, all of which display similar intricate stone carving architecture that this era was famous for. Built initially by Deva Raya II belonging to the Sangama dynasty in the early 15th century, it was expanded by Krishnadevaraya of the Tuluva dynasty in early 16th century. It is dedicated to Vittala, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is the most visited site in Hampi. Check out the 50 rupees note and you should see the below image in it.
🕔 Timings : Everyday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
⚠️ The temple complex is situated about 1.5 kms off the main road - cars are not allowed till the entrance. There is a huge parking area dedicated for visitors. From the parking area you have 2 options to get to the temple : either walk or take a ride on the government run electric vehicles charging ₹20 per person one way. Please note that this service almost always has a long slow moving line, so be prepared to wait.
2. Virupaksha Temple
💳 Free | 🕑 2.5 hrs
🕔 Timings : Everyday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
🐘 Pro Tip
Don’t forget to visit Lakshmi, the in house temple elephant. She is very friendly and offers her blessings by tapping the devotees head with her trunk! Note that Lakshmi is a very smart elephant and only accepts notes - no coins! Bananas and other fruits are her favorite and she will readily accept and gobble them happily :) Langoors and monkeys surround her and try to steal her food.
3. Queen’s Bath and Octagonal Bath
💳 Free | 🕑 0.5+0.5 hrs
The Octagonal Bath is situated behind the Queen’s bath. It is a gigantic eight sided bathing area with a platform in the center. Its location is pretty isolated as it is not part of the royal areas, and hence is not very popular among tourists. It is known to be a bathing area built for residents and visitors (non-royals).
4. Stepped Tank (Pushkaranis)
💳 Free | 🕑 1 hr
5. Zanana Enclosure
💳 Indians: ₹30 / Foreigners: ₹300 ($5) | 🕑 3.5 hrs
The complex used to have 4 tall watch towers, one in each direction, of which 3 are still seen. Heavy security in the form of Eunuchs was stationed in these watch towers at all times to keep a hawk’s eye watch at the surroundings. No men were allowed inside except for the king. One of these watch towers is still accessible to the public for climbing up top.
Lotus Mahal, a beautiful domed palace built in the shape of a half opened lotus bud. It is a two storied building with an open base floor and tall ornate arched windows. The upper floors have balconies.
6. Gagan Mahal
💳 Free | 🕑 0.5 hr
7. Hippie Island
Note: The once flocked Hippie Island has been completely demolished. No cafes, shacks or guest-houses remain.
Hampi can be divided into 2 parts split by the Tungabhadra river – The Heritage side and the Hippie side. All the sites mentioned till now forms the heritage part of Hampi. A five minute boat ride from opposite Virupaksha temple will get you to the Virupapur village which is home to the backpackers paradise in Hampi – The Hippie Island. Famous among youngsters and foreigners, this part of Hampi has a very chilled out vibe and is best for solace. The peaceful atmosphere lets you reconnect with yourself, reflect on life and enjoy the small pleasures it has to offer. Cycle through the many scenic beauties around this beautiful village, sip a coffee in one of the street side quaint cafes, read a book below a banyan tree and just relish life in this nomadic island! Cycles and scooters are available for rent throughout the village.
⚠️ While getting from the Heritage side to the Hippie side, apart from the road journey there are 2 options to cross the Tungabhadra river : a motorboat ride or a coracle ride. I would highly recommend trying the coracle.
8. Tungabhadra Dam
9. Hampi Bazaar
10. Hampi Utsav
Where to stay?
Accommodation in Hampi is available on either side of the Tungabhadra river which splits it into two sections with the hippie side being one. Use the map below to select the best available hotels as per your convenience.
All Hotels Map:
Best places to eat
🍚 Mango Tree - For Lunch
A multi-cuisine restaurant hidden in one of the small streets beside Virupaksha temple, this place serves the best of Indian and Italian cuisines. Multiple seating options ranging from chairs, charpoys to floor mattresses are available.
🍚 Laughing Buddha - For Dinner
The perfect hippie eatery - great place with people from all over the world lounging on mattresses on the floor and enjoying some mouth watering food.
📌 Use the below interactive map for directions:
✔ Clicking the top right button opens the map in a new tab showing the different sections. Click on view map legend if browsing on phone✔ Save the map in your Google Maps for easy access later: Click the ⭐star button beside the name of the map. You can access the map later from Google Maps > Saved > Maps