Hampi, a historically rich temple town is located in Karnataka, India. It is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. It’s beautiful ancient temples and majestic ruins dates back to the Vijayanagara Empire. The place is associated with epic Ramayana as well. In Ramayana, Lord Rama and Lord Lakshman goes to the Land of Monkeys and that place is believed to be Hampi. There is Lord Hanuman Temple which is to be believed as birth place of Lord Hanuman.
I recently (mid-October 2018) had a 2 day trip to Hampi with my family. On Vijayadashami day evening we reached Hampi and checked into a guest house right next door to Sri Virupakasha Temple. From our room we had a beautiful view of the temple and the surrounding.
Same night we visited the temple and pleasantly surprised with the Deepotsava that is happening on that day. The pathway leading to the temple was decorated with Diyas and Rangoli. All devotees were lighting the Diyas. It was a very blessed feeling to witness and participate in this ritual of the temple. Checkout a small video of the same that I was able to capture.
Next 2 days we enjoyed visiting all the monuments and temple sites. We had rented an auto rickshaw to go around, he took us to all the sites and briefly explained the significance of the place. So, he kind of worked out as a mini guide for us. There are guides as well, if you want to take their service, who will come along with you and explain everything in detail. However each site is well documented with a monument details placard. You can go at your own pace, read them and enjoy the site.
During our stay of two days, we visited Sri Virupaksha Temple, Hemakuta Hill, Kadalekalu Ganesha, Sasivekalu Ganesha, Lakshmi Narasimha, Badavi Linga (Shiva Linga), Queen’s Palace, Lotus Mahal, Elephant’s Stable, Hazara Rama Temple, Maha Navami Dibba, Pushkarani, Queen’s Bath, Vijaya Vittala Temple Complex, Raghunatha Swami Temple, Sunset at Malyavanta Hill of Ramayana, Sri Durga Devi Temple, Vijayalakshmi Temple, Ranganatha Temple and Lord Hanuman Birth Place. We also visited Tungabhadra Dam and Garden at Hospet.
Here is a Video that covers most of the places we visited.
Now to few general details –
How to get there – Please read my article here where I covered the details of our travel to Hampi.
Where to stay – Hampi is a small village. You will get some home-stay/guest house type of accommodation. No star hotels are available. Hospet is a nearby city which is about 13 km, where you can find hotels and resorts. Kamalapur could be another choice which is just 5 km from Hampi village and there are some good 3-star hotels.
Where to eat – Again being a small place, there are not many big restaurants. Also keep in mind, all restaurants nearby temple serve only vegetarian food and no liquor is served. Mango Tree is a good restaurant, nice ambience and selection of food. But we felt the food was quite spicy for us, may be you need to specify in advance. Other one we tried was Hampi’s Top Secret Restaurant. Also there are many many small shops and mobile restaurant vans serving south Indian food items like dosa, idli etc. The one real good restaurant we liked was Clarks Inn at Kamalapur (5 km away). We loved the taste of their food.
Best time to visit – It gets very hot in Hampi. October to February are the cooler months and best time to visit, but gets crowded. Locals say come in April/May if you want no crowd, but be willing to bear the extreme heat. You have lot of walking around and all attractions are outdoor, hence do go in cooler months. But still carry hat/umbrella, sunglasses and drink lot of water. You will find many coconut water stands everywhere and they are sweet and tasty too!
Do visit and enjoy your time at Hampi!