An erstwhile capital, now smeared with boulders and pillared monuments and a world heritage site that still breathes the cultural essence of the Vijayanagara kingdom, Hampi is only seven hours journey from Bengaluru and has much to offer.
Hampi is a place where one can find beauty in the ruins. The imperial capital of the 14th century Vijaynagara Empire is located on the southern bank of Tungabhadra River and is bordered with mountain ranges on the other three sides. This village has been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) and is only 11 kilometres away from the Hospet city, which is a major stoppage while travelling to the royal city of ruins.
Compared to the contemporary urban conglomerations, Hampi is a small village, spread across 25 square kilometers. In spite of its size Hampi brings a sizeable amount of revenue through its tourism industry. The government and the locals have joined hands to promote tourism in the area and organise a festival every year to attract more tourists.
Ayushee Chaudhary, a journalist from BloomberQuint described Hampi as a backpacker’s paradise and a perfect weekend getaway from the bustling life of the cities. She said, “It’s a beautiful place. Us, journalists are always working and rarely have time for vacations, but Hampi proved to be the best possible solution to my busy life. It is a must visit for any ‘Bangalorean’ in search for peace of mind.”
Hampi is also adorned by many temples, which tell tales from the past. “It’s like every carving on the walls has something to tell,” Ayushee added. The most famous ones are Virupaksha temple and Vithhala temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu respectively. Apart from the temples, one can enjoy the scenic beauty around the banks of river, or walk down in the lanes of ‘Paan-Supari bazaar’, which was once known for its precious stones.
While we hired bicycles to look around the place, we also saw people strolling around and trekking. The locals also mentioned that November is the best time of the year to visit the place. It is when the Hampi Utsav takes place. The Utsav takes place from November 3-5 every year. It is a three day mega-cultural event; it’s a visual delight for tourists. One can also witness live performances by several artists, who are invited to make the event successful.
Starting the day with enchanting sunrise from the Matanga hill and ending it with peaceful sunset from Hemakutta hill is the best way to get the most out of your trip to Hampi.