Beaches, Hills Valleys, Heritage
Ideal Duration : 2-4 days Best Time : October to March
"The abode of bygone ruins, rusty colors and fascinating landscape" Hampi Tourism Hampi, the city of ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the shadowed depth of hills and valleys in the state of Karnataka, this place is a historical delight for travellers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi is a backpacker's delight. Hampi is an open museum with 100+ locations to explore and a favourite way to see the city from the perspective of its history. Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagar empire around 1500 AD, and by some accounts, the second largest city in the world at that time. Over the next centuries it fell out of importance, and now you can explore the ruins of a lot of temples and other structures spread out over a vast area. The terrain around Hampi is as mysterious as the ruins itself - the city is surrounded by boulders of different sizes, and you can climb to the top of them with a little effort to get a stunning view of the entire city and the geography. It is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. Famous for its massive, beautifully carved temples, especially theVirupaksha Temple, dedicated to the patron deity of the empire. You can also find remains of the old aqueducts, canals and military barracks and stables here. Hampi was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986 and many efforts have been taken to restore the lost glory of the place - very limited (if any) modern establishments are allowed in the main area, which gives an authentic feel to the ruins. Download Hampi PDF Guide > What's Great? Well preserved and maintained heritage/tourist spots. Very beautiful and serene atmosphere. Riverside. Good food and a bit of hippie culture. You can walk or cycle around the town. What's not so Great? Limited options of staying within the town. No direct channel of transport from major cities. Public transport is available only till Hospet. Going to the island via river could be difficult in rainy seasons when the water level is high. For Whom People interested in history and ancient architecture, backpackers. Ideal for school/college excursions. The Enchanting Ruins Covering an area of 30 square kms, Hampi has a large number of monuments which are preserved in excellent condition. The Virupaksha and Vitthala temples are the most famous and do-not-miss monuments, but take a walk (or cycle) through the city for hours, and you'll be happy to see a lot of less popular temples/palaces and other buildings which are equally as fascinating. Most of the ruins are located in the northern part of the city, just south of Tungabhadra river, and the rest of them are scattered all across the city. History of Hampi The first settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE. The Emperor Ashoka?s Rock Edicts indicate that the region was once under Mauryan influence. A terracotta sealing and a Brahmi inscription have been recovered from the excavation site. Both belong to the 2nd century CE. The historically and architecturally dominated site has also been besieged by the Deccan Muslim Sultanate. The Vijayanagara Empire had a heavy flow of trade with Hampi being the main centre. Due to this many Hindu and Muslim rulers were attracted towards the small town. Different rules and different empires have resulted in the vibrant culture of people of Hampi. The ancient town has its fame for its archaeological importance. The ruins, concert halls, bazaars, and boulders speak of the greatness of Vijayanagara Empire. Here is a deep dive into theHistory of Hampi Culture and Religion Pilgrims delight and backpackers holidaying spot is rich in culture which remains unaffected by westernization in the modern day. The culture has been restored and preserved by UNESCO as the small town has been declared as the world heritage site. The culture is a clear reflection of people's beliefs and lifestyle. Theatrics, music, and dance are all the integrated parts of Hampi's culture. The town has preserved concert halls where the traditional music gatherings have left their imprints. The culture of Hampi, rich and vibrant is tied to its roots. The architecture in Hampi speaks of the traits of both Hindu and Muslim architecture. Temples like Krishna Temple, Hazara Rama Temple, and Pattabhirama temple are flanked with Hindu, Muslim and Jain architecture. Religion: Hinduism in Hampi richly followed within 2 sets, first being the Saivites and the second being the Vaishnavites. The former group worships Lord Shiva, the destroyer and the latter group worships Lord Vishnu, the preserver. The minds of people are even enriched with the teachings of Jainism. The remaining lot shows faith in Islam as Hampi once was even ruled by Muslim emperors. Language Kannada is the official language of Hampi. The locals understand Hindi and a few common English words. Communication should not be a big problem as there are foreigners who have settled in Hampi after falling in love with the place. Basic knowledge of Hindi words will help you to make others understand your needs. Shopping Hampi Bazaar or Virupaksha Bazaar Hampi Bazaar is in front of the Virupaksha Temple. The bazaar during the ancient times was a thriving marketplace. The old pavilions on either side of the market still exist. It was once the centre for flourished trade. Even though the market now has lost its lustre it is famous among the tourists visiting the town. Today, it stands as an image of glorious past and encroaches with small shops and restaurants. In the bygone era, precious items such as jewellery, precious stones, and silk clothes. Today, Hampi Bazaar offers the tourists with artefacts, handicrafts, embroidered shawls, stone figurines, traditional costumes, antique coins and colourful bags. One can enjoy lovely morning strolls before the hustle bustle of the evening market. One should buy stuff with Lambani prints as it is the speciality of the place. The Bazaar turns into a vivacious place during Hampi Utsav. It is a centre of all festive happenings. There is a huge inflow of tourists during the season of festivities. The flea market in Hampi is a great opportunity for the travellers to grab junk jewellery, cotton clothes, and leather books. Smoking and Drinking Policy Hampi is a town known for its religious beliefs. Therefore, boozing and smoking are completely prohibited in the temple town. The town is dry and you cannot afford to drink during your stay as it would affect the religious beliefs of the natives. In case you want to then you have to travel to Hippie Island via boat which is 5 minutes away across the river. Sipping a bottle of beer with non-vegetarian food by your side is possible here. Itinerary Day 1:Reach Hampi by mid-day. Visit the Virupaksha Temple and spend some time near the Tungabhadra river in the evening. If you are staying on the island, then take a ferry and go to that side and spend rest of your evening there. You can also visit the local handicrafts stores and spend some time in cafes. Day 2:Rent a cycle or a moped and start on a city tour by yourself. Take a local city map and visit all the points by yourself at your own pace. If you have another day in hand, then you can spend more time at each of the heritage sites. Restaurants and Local Food in Hampi Amid the ruins of the Vijayanagara Kingdom in lies a huge variety of South Indian cuisine. The rise in inbound travelling has lead to the opening of restaurants serving a flattering variety of cuisines from all over the world. But being a town of temples, one bank of Tungabhadra River accommodates the temples due to which nonvegetarian food is completely prohibited on that side. The restaurants offer cakes, cookies, pita bread and, hummus. Therefore, just in case you find a need to linger your taste buds on some continental dishes you can choose to visit these restaurants. Do not forget to give clear instructions, if any, about the food being ordered to the person in service. If you are a fan of pasta you should try homemade pasta by a small home run restaurant, Suresh. The pasta is known for its unique flat, thick and long shape. With Indian spices, the pasta reaches further heights in its taste. Some popular restaurants Try some vegetarian thalis at Mango Tree and Suresh. Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants-Mango Tree, Laughing Buddha, Funky Monkey Restaurant, The Goan Corner, The Bridge, Tibetan Kitchen Asian and Israeli-Chill Out In Bamboo Restaurant, Hampi Roof Restaurant, Funky Monkey Restaurant, Tibetan Kitchen, Nargila Guesthouse Restaurant All of the restaurants are concentrated in the small markets on both sides of the Tungabhadra river - although the northern side definitely has a lot more variety and better cafes. You will find a lot of restaurants serving Italian (pasta/lasagna/pizzas) and Israeli (lafa/shakshouka) food, along with the usual Indian food. Most of the cafes here are very laid back, so expect leisurely service and a chill ambience with pleasant music and some scenic views. If you would like to get a good view, crossing the river to the north side is definitely worth the effort - there are some cafes with a view of either the river or the rice fields. View 8 Restaurants in Hampi >> Oct-Maris the best time to visit Hampi Cooler months of October to March are the peak season for Hampi. You can also visit during the monsoon season (mid-July to Sep), although you would have to be careful while walking on the boulders since they become quite slippery during these months. The best time to visit would be when the Vijaya Utsav (Festival of Hampi) is celebrated. Vijaya Utsav typically happens in the month of November. Weather in Hampi Loading... Hampi in Summer (Apr - July) The summer months are very hot and dry in Hampi, and specially because of the geography of the area (hard rocks), it would be uncomfortable to explore the ruins in this weather. We would recommend you avoid visiting Hampi in this weather. Hampi in Monsoon (July - Sep) Although it doesn't rain a lot in this area, it still sees occasional rains which make the weather nice and pleasant. However, you would have to be careful while walking on the boulders since they become quite slippery. If you are planning to do a little bit of rock climbing, we would recommend you visit during the winter months, but otherwise for casual sightseeing and exploring the monuments and the area on cycles. It also becomes difficult to cross the river on the boat during monsoon as the water level in the river is quite high. Hampi in Winter (Oct to Mar) These are definitely the best months to visit Hampi - especially November to February. The temperature is pleasant throughout the day and there is no rainfall, so it is easy to trek the boulders if you would like and generally explore the ruins on foot. Hampi celebrates great cultural and religious events throughout the year. People from all over the world visit Hampi to witness these grand celebrations. Here is a list of few festivals which you should be a part of if you are visiting in during these months: The Karnataka govt. has recently started organising some concerts in the market area in front of the Virupaksha temple - the setup and the lighting of the ruins are amazing and makes for a stunning venue for concerts. Vijaya Utsav also happens in the month of November. Purandaradasa Aradhna- This classical music festival of Hampi is celebrated in the name ancient poet Purandaradasa. The festival is a treat for all music lovers and is celebrated in course of 2-3 days either in the month of January or February. National and International classical musicians are a part of the cultural festival. The venue of the festival is Purandaradasa Mantapa which is located near Vittala Temple. Virupaksha Car Festival- Celebrated in Virupaksha temple, it is the largest festival celebrated in Hampi. The festival attracts thousands of people from different countries. It is an annual ritual marriage festival of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The idols of divine couple are placed on a chariot for the procession. The festival takes place during the month of either March or April. Monthly Weather in Hampi Month Avg. Minimum (°C) Avg. Maximum (°C) January 19 30 February 20 34 March 24 36 April 26 39 May 26 37 June 24 32 July 23 29 August 23 30 September 22 29 October 21 32 November 20 31 December 18 30 Events in Hampi Hampi Utsav 9th - 11th January With the beautifully carved ruins of Hampi serving as the backdrop, the rich culture of this region is shown through folk song and dance performances. The Janapada Kalavahini, a concert of folk songs, and the light and sound shows are special attractions which you can't afford to miss.
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