Posted by: getaway2india | July 22, 2011

The Magnificent Ruins of Hampi

Hampi

Hampi  in Karnataka state, India is the site of the once-magnificent capital of the Vijayanagar Empire.  The ruins of the empire is spread over the area of 26 sq km.  It is said that at one point of time, diamonds were sold on the streets of this empire. The area is stunning and the ruins could easily put you in awe.  The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a place for people who love History, study Ruins, the past, Architecture and Construction.

Map

Map of Hampi

Always buy a local map for easier and faster getting around and understanding the place much better.

Hampi is a great place to spend a few days wandering around and discovering the rich, vibrant history while also having a bit of ‘your’ time. Within this arid landscape lies a little oasis with lush palm, banana and mango trees nestled near the river.

Hampi hosts ‘Hampi Utsav’ every year during first week of November. It is a visual delight as all the monuments/ruins are lighted in the night and it is a cultural extravaganza of dance and music. Jan 2010 marked Vijayanagar king Sri Krishnadevaraya ascending the throne 500 years ago.

Weather         

Peak Season      October to March

Off Season          April to September

GPS Position      15°20′06″N  76°27′43″E

Getting In  

By Air    The nearest airport is at Bellary.

By Road 

By Bus

 

Multi Axel Volvo Bus                AC Sleeper bus

Always choose Volvo buses over another type of bus. AC Sleeper (mostly interstate or long distance) is an excellent choice for night time travel as it saves the cost of overnight hotel room, and saves your time by traveling in the night.

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation operates daily buses to Hospet from Bangalore, Mysore and Gokarna. From Hospet you can go to Hampi on a local bus for Rs. 10.

There are private bus companies operating from most places in Goa and from Gokarna which run an overnight service to Hampi. Unfortunately, there is no direct return so you take a local bus (or taxi) to Hospet and take it from there.

By car 

Bangalore: 350 km. Drive till Chitradurga on NH-4, take a right turn on NH-13 towards Sholapur till Hospet, and then drive another 13 km to reach Hampi (direction towards Hampi is well marked). The road is in excellent condition till Chitradurga but then deteriorates rapidly. You are also likely to encounter traffic jams due to ore-laden trucks plying on NH-13.

Hubli: 150 km

Hospet: 13 km

Hyderabad: 360 km. Take NH-7 till Jadcharla X-Road, turn right towards Mahboobnagar and carry on till

Raichur. From Raichur, take Karnataka State Highway 20 towards Lingasugar, turn left at 10 km after Raichur onto Karnataka State Highway 23 to Sindhanoor. The road on the last 15-25 km stretch, after Gangavati, is not so bad. Lots of speed breakers in Karnataka. The 5-10 km stretch just before the Andhra Pradesh – Karnataka States Border on Andhra Pradesh side is full of potholes.

Mumbai: About 800 KM or less : Take NH 4 upto hubli & then go via Gadag-hospet. Alternately Take NH 4, exit to Sangli/Miraj, Go to Athni -Bijapur. (Donot take short cuts as roads are real bad.). You may choose to see Badami, Pattadakkal, Aihole as a 2 day add on excursion, else proceed to Hampi Next day. Roads are average exept speed breakers combined with potholes & heavy traffic of large trucks. (Strictly avoid night driving). Prefer high ground clearance cars on this roads.

By Rail  

Hospet Junction - Railway Station

The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction (IR station code : HPT), 13 km away. Overnight trains run several times a week from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Goa.

The trains are a much cheaper and more comfortable route than the tourist buses most people are led into. (2 AC – bed with linen – costs 750Rs from Bangalore to Hampi) .

From Hospet it’s convenient to take a rickshaw to Hampi (Rs.80-120). Rickshaw drivers can be persistent and will poke their heads in the train before you even get off, but they may very well be the best option.

India Govt Rail Website:                http://www.indianrail.gov.in

India Govt Rail Website for Train Nos:     http://www.indianrail.gov.in/inet_trn_num.html

History 

In 1309 A.D Malik-kafur become the first foreigner to attack south India and he sacked the capital of Hoysala Dynasty that ruled Karnataka. Few years later, Warangal in current Andra Pradesh met the same fate. Decades later as Muhammad bin Tughluk took charge, the entire Deccan was open for him with hardly any opposition. All the small to tiny kings of the south were shaking in their royal boots.

Krishnadeva Raya

It was at this time, a pair of brothers belonging to the tiny kingdom of Anegundi (Elephant Hole) decided to create a new empire across the Tungabhadra river and called it Vijayanagara. The brothers were Harihara and Bukka. This evoked an instant response and within a decade or so, every kingdom in the south submitted their allegiance to the fresh and upcoming Vijayanagara Empire in return of protection from the marauding northern horde. As regular tribute, every kingdom in the south sent treasure, food grains and fighting manpower to Vijayanagara. As a result of this Vijayanagara Empire become the richest empire in the world and remained so for nearly 230 years from 1336 to 1565.

The reign of Tulivas is described as the golden age of the empire which saw two eminent rulers Deva Raya and Krishnadeva Raya. The name and fame of the kingdom reached its zenith during their period. The kingdom was extended from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal and from the Deccan Plateau to the tip of the southern peninsula.

Map of Vijayanagar

The Vijayanagara Empire that was founded in 1336 A.D. was totally decimated in 1565 A.D., and the victors spent 6 months in the capital city looting what they can and destroying what they can’t. Every palace, temple and idol was damaged or destroyed. Never in the history of the world was the richest city of its time so thoroughly destroyed that it could never rise again.

Being part of the royal family was a hazardous occupation. Throughout the history of Vijayanagara, whenever a king came to power, the first thing he did was eliminate competition. That means either killing or blinding brothers, cousins and uncles who may be next in line for the throne. They mostly preferred blinding, the compassionate kings used to send their competition to far away provinces or just put them in prison.

In fact, Krishna Deva Raya was destined to be blinded. But the prime minister Timmarasu had realised that Krishna would make a great future king, so he presented goat’s eyes to the previous King to assure him that Krishna has been blinded. Soon that king died and Krishna came to power, becoming the greatest of Vijayanagara kings. Once Krishna came to power he sent all his opponents to prison or to distant province.

However, it is ironic that two decades later Krishna at death bed ordered Timmarasu and his sons blinded because he was told that they may be plotting against him. Then he makes his formerly imprisoned brother Achyuta raya King, who was basically incompetent and thus began the decline of Vijayanagara.

Reading Material:

A forgotten Empire: Vijaynagar by Robert Sewell http://www.nalanda.nitc.ac.in/resources/english/etext-project/history/vijayanagar/

Getting Around

 

  100 cc Bike                           Kinetic Honda Bike (Scooter)

Motorcycle/Scooter/Moped – It is very hot! Dry dry heat. And the walk between some sites can be at least 5 km. Plus, the surrounding area is quite breathtaking to ride around and you can explore some parts that the rickshaws won’t take you. Guides are willing to ride on the back with you as well. This is a more expensive option (not for the thrifty!) than the rickshaw but it gives you more freedom and you can cover more in one day without rushing it. Take a guide with you one day, then do it all again by yourself the next. A bike like a scooty or kinetic honda will cost you about Rs150 a day with additional fuel charges. You can also hire a 100CC motor bikes for Rs 200 a day. A liter of petrol will be sufficient for sight seeing around Hampi, but two liters would be handy if you have plans to go to Tungabadra Dam (some 15 Km from Hampi)

When renting a scooters/motor bikes petrol costs extra, and normally sold at 40-50% premium in the place you rent (A liter may cost Rs 100). Two litres will get you to the major sites around Royal Centre and back, but three litres is a safer option. The countryside is a beautiful place for a leasurely drive so it’s worth taking lots of fuel.

Bicycle – Eventhough everywhere you can rent bicycle it is not such a good choice to cycle in the heat the hills up and down, if you want to enjoy the landscape. It is simply too hot.

Auto Rickshaw

Rikshaw and official guide – Another more convient variant is to see all the sights without climbing the hills is by Rikshaw. Bargain with your Rikshaw driver for a fixed rate (400-500 for a full day seems to be okay) and then hire an offical Karnataka Travel guide (at the tourist office, they have fixed rates: 4h – 500Rs, 8h – 800Rs.) It costs a little bit, but the explanations help you to see more then just stones and temples.

4 in the front and 4 in the back - in an Auto Rickshaw

Car Rental – Bit more costly variant is renting a car. Various Car Rentals are available in Hospet. They normally charge Rs 750 to Rs 1000 for a day site seeing and pick up/drop to railway station etc. Few known Car Rental Agencies are Hamsa Tours & Travels(08394 228101 & 9845205589); Pushpa Tours and Travels (08394-241958,9448795120).

The ruins of Hampi are located within a 30 sq km area. While most of the famous places have motorable roads leading upto them, the real pleasure in exploring Hampi comes from on the bicycle or by walking around. Virtually every rock in Hampi has a story to say. This story is best heard if you give it time and walk around from rock to rock.

What to See

Hampi is a visual delight, especially due to its stark contrast from most other places. Rocks are all you see whichever direction you look at. Vegetation is visible in the wet months; but again it never dominates the landscape.

There are many sites of interest in and around Hampi. All these places are towards Hampi Bus Stand area and you dont need to cross river.

Stepped tank  

Steppd Tank

One of the beautiful remains in the Durbar area is tile Stepped Tank built in chlorite schist, used by the royals and for religious purposes. The small but neat tank is about 22 square meters and about 7 meters deep. It has five distinct tiers, each fitted with steps set in a pleasing pattern. The mason marks on the individual blocks indicating the direction, the row and the location of the steps reveal that the layout of this stepped tank was well thought out in advance and all the different block stones were prepared in accordance with the plan elsewhere and assembled on the site later. This tank was discovered during the recent excavations.

Elephant Stables     

Huge Elephant Stables - 2 Elephants fit in one stable

This long structure is made of a series of chambers with domical roofs. Each chamber is big enough to accommodate two elephants. The elephants were tied to the chains hanging from the centre of the ceiling as can be made out from the iron hooks embedded in some of the ceilings. Apart from the royal elephants, temples also had elephants of their own to perform various pujas. One such elephant can still be seen in Hampi.

The Zenana enclose was heavily guards by eunuchs or female warriors placed in high towers.

Located outside the Zenana Enclosure, on the East, is an oblong structure of considerable size, called the Elephant stables which was the shelter for the royal elephants. This building is also fine example of Indo-Islamic style of architecture.

Zenana Enclosure completely demolished only the foundation remains

Zenana Enclosure or Royal ladies parlour or Harem area. The building is completely razed to the ground, only the stone foundation exists now. (Zenana Enclosure = the Harem).

Lotus Mahal or Air-conditioned hall

This area includes a Lotus Mahal or Air-conditioned hall. The ground is cold to a touch even under harsh sunny weather. The pillars of this hall are hallow, and A/C mechanism worked by continuously pouring water through these hallow pillars from above. The water mechanism has been stopped since it damages the building.

Stone Chariot - with moving wheels

Lotus Mahal

“By far, this is the most amazing monument in Hampi and is portrayed as the icon for Hampi. One will fall short of words if he/she tries to describe the beauty of this wonderful man-made piece of art.

It resembles the temple chariots or rathas in which the idols of the temple are taken out on a traditional procession. An image of Garuda (the eagle god, according to the Hindu mythology, is the vehicle of lord Vishnu) was originally enshrined within its sanctum.

The chariot is built on a rectangular platform of a feet or so high. All around this base platform is carved with mythical battle scenes. Though the chariot is not resting on it, the four giant wheels attached mimic the real life ones complete with the axis shafts & the brakes. A series of concentric floral motifs decorate the wheels. It appears from the marks on the platform, where the wheels rest, the wheels were free to move around the axis.

You can still see the remains of the painting on the carvings of the chariot. Probably because it was relatively protected from the natural wearing elements, the undercarriage of the chariot spots one of the best preserved specimens of this kind of paintings. It is believed the whole of the Vittala Temple’s sculptures were once beautifully painted in similar fashion using the minerals as medium.

In front of the chariot two elephants are positioned as if they are pulling the chariot. In fact these elephants where brought from elsewhere and positioned here at a later stage. Originally two horses were carved in that position. The tails and the rear legs of the horses can be still seen just behind these elephant sculptures. A broken stone ladder once gave access to the sanctum is kept between the elephants. You can still spot the marks on the floor and the doorsill where once the ladder stood.

Stone Chariot represents the sparkling creativity of the artistes of the fifteenth century. “

Underground Shiva Temple - many meters below the ground

Underground temple  

“This temple is one of the earliest in the capital, built during the Sangam rule. The temple is dedicated to Lord Prasanna Virupaksha or Shiva. This ruined temple is fairly large with a few Mantapas and the pillared cloister. The Sanctum and other parts of the temple are perennially under water.

Water Inside Underground Shiva Temple

The maha-mantapa leads to the three-aisled ardha-mantapa, the large cubical pillars of which are also of an early type, with cubical base, octagonal shafts, a thin pionted kumbha and large idol. The Kalyanamantapa is ornate and was built during the l5th century.”

Statue of Ugra Narsimha/Lakshmi Narasimha

This image of Lakshmi-Narasimha, popularly called Ugranarasimha, meaning Narasimha of terrifying countenance, is the largest icon in Hampi. This 6.7 m giant monolithic statue of Narasimha which is one of the ten incarnation of lord Vishnu was cut in a single boulder, Originally, the icon bore a smaller image of Lakshmi sitting on his lap. The entire image is set within a Makara torana, or arch, with a lion-mask above the hoods of Adisesha. This gigantic image was mutilated and the figure of Lakshmi was entirely damaged and vandalized. Narasimha with an articulately chiseled and well delineated mane and large bulging eyes and broad chest still retains His awesome charm.

Mahanavami Dibba 

Mahanavami Dibba is 10 feet beautifully covered single rock for royalty view. The kings of Vijayanagar used to sit on a grand throne in the House of Victory and witness the nine-day Dasara festival. Sasivikalu Ganesha or the Mustard Ganesha is curved magnificently from a single rock of 9 ft tall, Ugara Narasimha is a 22 ft high single stone statue with an incarnation of half like a man and half like a lion seated in a canopy of seven headed snake is world class. Kadalae Kalu Ganesha or Peanut Ganesha is an 18 ft high single stone statue

Achyutaraya temple 

“This temple can be reached either from Kodanda Rama Temple through the Bazaar wrongly called “Soolai Bazaar” or from the Virupaksha Bazaar by climbing the steps next to the monolithic Nandi at the end of the bazaar. Achyutaraya Temple is a large complex built by an officer of the King Achyutaraya, Salakaraju Tirumaladeva. This temple is better known as Achyutaraya temple, in whose period it was built rather than the name of the deity “Tiruvengalanatha” or Lord Venkateshwara.

Unlike the other temple complexes, this temple complex has two enclosures, each marked by an entrance gopura. The main temple is situated within the second enclosure. Opposite to the temple is the shrine for Garuda, the celestial bird and the vehicle of Vishnu. To the south west of the temple is a shrine for Devi. Running around the inner courtyard is the pillared cloister. The Kalyana Mantapa is located in the northwestern corner of the outer enclosure. Like all major temple complexes, this temple complex was also provided with a Kalyana Mantapa where the annual marriage ceremony of the deity was conducted. The slender pillars of this Mantapa bear dexterously carved bas relief including a few erotic. The basement of the Kalyana Mantapa is richly decorated with the relief of elephants.”

Hemakuta Hill Temples 

“According to mythology, Lord Shiva did penance on the Hemakuta Hill before he married Parvati. This was also the place where Lord Shiva burnt Kama, the God of lust. This sacred hill lies to the proper right of the Virupaksha temple.

On the hill are a large group of temples built in pre- Vijayanagara and Vijayanagara periods. According to the inscription found on the second of these temples, the temple was built in 1309-1310 A.D. Two temples, facing north, have a compact three-celled plan with an antechamber, a pillared hall and an entrance porch. Their beauty is enhanced by the well balanced but simple Shikhara or spires above the sanctum. These shikaras are different from the other shikaras found in Hampi. They are stepped pyramidal in shape, resembling the Shikaras of Jain temples. Hence these temples are also mistakenly called as Jain temples.”

Hazara Ramaswami Temple 

Hazara Ramaswami Temple is believed to have been the private place of worship of the royal family. The walls and pillars of the temple are beautifully adorned illustrating the chief episodes of the Ramayana. The outer walls depict images of god, goddesses and the social life of the people of Vijayanagara kingdom, horses, elephants, dancing girls and infantry in procession.

Vithalla Temple Complex - seems the top took a cannon ball hit

Vijaya Vittala Temple

Vijaya Vittala Temple is the most splendid of temples at Hampi which was constructed by Krishnadeva Raya. It is considered to be the most decorated temples of the Vijayanagar kingdom. Vittala is an incarnation of Vishnu. This temple has 56 ornate monolithic pillars which have world class architecture because getting musical notes from the columns require great accuracy. Each pillar is surrounded by stone columns. On striking these columns gently, we can hear different musical notes.

The temple stands over a large rectangular enclosure. The main temple occupies the centre and compromises three distinct sections-Maha Mantapa, Ardhamantapa, Garbhagriha. The Stone Chariot, a heavy stone car with movable wheels is the other specialties of the temple. The temple has variety of styles that is characterized in the shrines within the temple courtyard.

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple

This temple has been around for 1400 years, worshipped continuously making it one of the oldest temples in India. Even during the razing operation in 1565, the looters left this place alone. According to our guide, there was a huge symbol of a boar (Varaha) in the arch of the temple. The looters mistook it for a pig and refused to enter the place. It was constructed in the 15th century, has 12 storeys and is 50 meters tall. The temples of Hampi are famous for their large dimensions, florid ornamentation, both in painting and carving, majestic pillars, magnificent pavilions and a great wealth of religious and mythological depictions, including subjects from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Hampi Market - Yesterday's version of the Shopping Malls

Virupaksha Bazaar   

“Virupaksha Bazaar is the largest of the many bazaars of Vijayanagara. Each major Temple complex had its own bazaar around which a township developed. This is the only bazaar around which a township of a sort still exists. This bazaar is flanked by the main gopura of Virupaksha temple called Bishtappa’s gopura on the one end and the monolithic Nandi at the other end. The 9 storied, 53 meters high gopura adds elegance to the 732 meters long and 28 meters wide Virupaksha Bazaar.

“You have a broad and beautiful street, full of rows of fine houses and mantapas, in this street live many merchants and there you will find all sorts of rubies, and diamonds, and emeralds, and pearls and seed pearls and clothes, and every other sort of thing there is on earth and that you wish to buy” exclaimed Domingo Paes, a Portuguese traveler who visited Hampi during the reign of Emperor Krishnadevaraya.”

Monolithic Bull

Monolith Bull  

Queen’s bath, or the swimming pool. Those stone supports you see under the windows are hallow, acting like showers

Queen’s Bath,

Looking at the different level of the edges this could be the Kids' bath area

The Matunga Hill

The Matunga Hill, this hill is visible from everywhere in Hampi, almost acts like a lighthouse. This hill has been mentioned in Ramayan, this is where Hanuman was born and where Sugreev was in exile.

Hampi is considered the ultimate city of ruins, and most of the ruins are yet to be identified or even excavated. There are lots of underground buildings whose signs are visible, but no work has been taken up.

Tungbhadra dam is another 16 km from Hampi and it is towards Hospet. Hence, if you have plans to catch your train/bus back from Hospet, you could see Tungbhadra dam and return from Hospet. It takes around 45 min to 1 hr to see Tungbhadra dam. You need to park your vehicles at the entrance and take Govt bus to the top and return. It takes Rs 20/- for to and fro.

There are also several “Shivalings” along the river which the boatman will guide you to. The old capital called Anegundi, across the river from Hampi also has many sites. The Hanuman Temple on Anjenaya Hill (involves climbing up 572 steps, is believed to be the birth place of Hanuman) and the Old Palace are definitely worth a visit.

There is Doroji bear sanctuary around 16 kms from Hampi, opposite side of Kamalapura/Hospet. It opens between 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Not a must see but you can go there for a nice drive/ride if you have some time to kill.

To do justice to all the sites, one needs a minimum of 3 full days of sight seeing. To discover all the ruins, it may take much more than 3 days. May be months.

Advice:

Be a wiseTraveler – Tip only for good service. Tip moderately. Generous tipping can lead to indirect begging, and no traveler likes beggars. Dont be a creator of a clan of Beggars.

To Do  

A good amount of walking is a must, as the ruins are scattered over a huge area. Moped/bicycle hire is a good option to move around.

Cross the river by one of those coracle ferry. As of December 2008, the cost is Rs 10 per tourist without luggage (2009). The other side of the river (Anegondi) spots a number of pre Vijayanagara relics.

Coracle Ride

A circular shaped country boat to cross the river. A huge floating basket is a more appropriate description than calling it a boat. They are huge flat basketlike craft to ferry people & sheep (yes sheep!). About 6 feet in diameter, coracles are made of bamboo, cane, plastic sheets and a fine coating of bitumen to make it leak proof!”

If you go there in Jun-August, you will not find coracle ferry in action, so if you want to go Anegondi you have to travel ~40 KM extra, I dont think you will like Anegondi after Hampi, actually there is nothing to see except the Hanuman temple on Anjana hill, but be prepare for a ride of about 600 stairs.

Could do a little of rock climbing too.

What to Buy       The stone carvings are made by local artists and are a good buy here. The same thing in Bangalore will cost ten times the price. The hand stitched blankets are also a good buy.

Where to Eat  

There are lots of places in Hampi Bazaar where you get satisfying and inexpensive food, though be prepared for a long wait at most places as the chefs are typically family members who prepares food to order. However, they are good at their jobs and can offer a wide range of different cuisines.

Restaurants:

Mango Tree. One of the nicest, most relaxed restaurant settings you will ever come across. Set along side the banks of the river, you can lounge comfortably on the steps underneath the huge mango tree sipping some of the best lassis you will come across in India. They also offer thali at lunch time and have a broad range of food on the menu. Its the perfect place to hideaway from the afternoon heat and zone out to the beautiful view.

But they are known for their poor service and reserve the best seats for the Guides bringing in Foreign Tourist.

See Partho’s comment here:

http://afteruse.blogspot.com/2006/08/hampi-mango-tree-restaurant.html

Laughing Buddha Restaurant This is on other side of river (Virupapur Gadde) and close to Shanthi guest house. There are mattress, cushions and low benches in it. So, you can just lie down and sit at ease. Continental food is very nice here with good variety. It also offers Punjabi food.

The Goan Corner , an idyllic cafe on the other side of the river is an experience in itself. Really really famous among the foriegner crowds, it takes a 10-15 min walk across the green paddy fields to make your way to this place.It is run by a very friendly family where the lady don, Sharmila reigns supreme.Unlike the other closely arranged cafes, Goan Corner is rather desolated and adds to the magic that Hampi creates.

Venkateshwara   

Geetha  

Sagar Hotel’s Idli, Dosa & Gunta Pongal. Just besides Gopi Guest House and right infront of the Shambhu Guest House, which are located near the Virupaksha Temple, ‘Shankaramma’ under a thatched roof makes delicious idlies, dosas and the tasty ‘gunta pongal.’ Do not miss this place. The food is not only delicious but also very cheap.

Mayura Bhuvaneshwari, Kamalapura. Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari serves delicious buffet lunch. If you plan your day such that you reach kamalapura around mid-day, this can be a great place for lunch. Unlimited food is served in very clean and serene surroundings. Even thought a very popular and a very clean hotel, make sure you use packaged drinking water. 60.  edit

Durga Roof Top, Near Virupaksha Temple (From the bazaar when you approach Virupaksha Temple, take a right at the temple, next take a left ( as the road turns), take a right further and you will find yourself at Durga Roof Top.). Very good and authentic north indian food and their Hello to the queen dessert is simply amazing.

Drinks  

“Hampi is a religious center so drinking is not allowed. Therefore, beer or other alcoholic drinks are generally not available at local restaurants. However, Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari in in the neighboring town of Kamalapur has a bar that serves beer and wine.

Although few hotels like Shanti and Kishkinda, which are located across the river, do serve beer and hard liqour. “

Where to Eat   

Where to Stay  

Most of guest houses are on other side of the river (area called Virupapur Gadde). To access them, you need to cross river by Motor boat. Motor boat charges for river crossings Hampi Bazar area to Virapapur Gadde (Rs. 10 for locals, Rs. 15 for tourists ). In case you are staying in Virupapur area, you should reach the river side by 6:00 p.m. , since motor boats stop plying after 6pm. In case you dont make it by 6pm you can pay autorickshaw Rs 500-600 to take you other side via Hospet-Hugili- Hanumanhalli, which is a 40km tour. During moderate/high rains, gates of Tungbhadra dam are opened which increases the water level and water flow in river.

There are several guest house in Hampi, though staying in Hospet or the nearby town of Kamalapur are also options. Staying at Hospet gives easy accessibility to Railway Station and better Hotels. Hampi is also not very far from Hospet.

Economy Guest House 

Most guest houses in Hampi are rather basic. Do not expect too much. Avoid places recommended in the Lonely Planet guide, because they immediately raise their rates and lower their quality.

Sunny Guest House is situated across the river(Virupapur Gadde, Hampi). It is a nice place to stay. They have a nice garden. This place is very calm and relaxing. The prices are affordable. Their phone number is (+91)8533-287109.

Shanthi Guest House is situated across the river Tungabhadra. After you cross the river, take a left and at the end of the lane, as you walk besides paddy fields, is the Shanthi Guest House. This is a nice place to relax, as it offers cottage-style accommodation. The prices are around Rs.650-800 per room (as of Dec 2008). Their phone number is (+91)8394-325352

Priyadarshani Guest House is situated in hospet on the way from the railway station to bus stand. People here are very friendly and co-operative when asked for any guidance or help. It has hotel attached to it called naivedhyam it serves average tasting food but hygienic enough. There are two different types of rooms avaliable here like standards costs Rs 450 and executive costs around Rs 750 exclusive of taxes ( as of Feb 2009). One major draw back is a bar and restaurant near the guest house and this does not belongs to guest house management. The bar waiters have some attitude problem to mention one of the problem so be cautious in dealing with them.

The Kamala Guest House is clean enough and has screens on the windows and mosquito nets in the rooms. All the rooms have solar powered lights and some have solar powered fans, which can come in handy because the regular power goes out regularly. It’s worth bargaining for the rate. A decent price is Rs.200-300 per room (Sept. 2007).

Sree Rama Guest House is close to the main temple offers decent accommodation with private bathroom. From the bazaar, turn right just in front of the main temple and then follow the main road. The hotel also gives electronic mosquito killers for free. The Internet downstairs is one of the best in Hampi. Room charge is Rs.200-250 per night (Jan. 2008)

Vicky’s charges around Rs. 500 per room (Jan. 2008) and has a mediocre rooftop restaurant. The rooms are not the cleanest and the bathroom definitely needs refurbishment. There are three computers downstairs and only the one on the left is in working condition. The other two are very slow.

Mid range     

Vijayshree Heritage Village Located half way to Hampi from Hospet amidst serene valley and nature in it’s tranquility, we have the perfect blend of tradition and culture with the technology and hospitality to make you feel comfortable and homely.  With 60,000 plants / saplings planted one can very shortly feel close to nature and the principle of our resort is being “Eco Friendly” that stops us from entertaining guests from the usage of Liquor, Smoking and Non-Vegetarian food and promote the concept of Health Consciousness amongst our guests. Visit web.vijayshreeheritagevillage.com for more details

Hotel Malligi in Hospet (near train station, but far from Hampi) has 170 rooms. Among these, 100 are air-conditioned luxury rooms, 6 are air-conditioned luxury suites and 14 are A/C supplement rooms. All the rooms have well-furnished bathrooms with running hot and cold water supply and also with shower facilities. The Tariff for these rooms ranges from 300 to 5000 (excluding luxury tax).

Kishkindha Heritage Resort offers all inclusive packages. The place is only 3km WALK from the ruins on the other side of the river. Non Veg and liquor is available. This resort is on the other side of the river Tungavadra where Hampi site seeings are situated. To reach Hampi it takes around 15 KM of travel on road. Anegondi, Anjeyanadri Hill, Pampa Sarovar are near to this resort.

Hotel Hari Priya Lodge, IceLand Road Hospet,13KM from Hampi. Tariff starts from 300 for Double Bed room.Rooms are really good and well maintained. People are really helpfull. Food you have to go outside, near by you will get lot of Darshni’s and fast food centers. Phone Number-(08394)-224622

VSL Wonder Valley Resorts in Sandur, (Approx 45 minutes drive from Hampi), offer 66 rooms spread over 80 acres along with an amusement park, go karting track, water sports, swimming pool, wave pool. The resort is located in a pictersque location surrounded by Hills and just beside the backwater of Narihalla Dam. The resort also offer tekking routes covering the hills. The rooms are well furnished and Airconditioned. Prices range between Rs.2000 to Rs.3000. visit web:www.vslresorts.comfor more details.

Nearby Places of Interest:

Tungabhadra Dam and its associated gardens are nice. It has got a nice dancing fountain too. Visiting the Tungabhadra dam can be a nice filler instead of just waiting for the bus/train (typically at 10/11pm at night). Auto-rickshaw can take directly from Hampi to Tungabhadra dam at a cost of 200 INR (as of September 2009).

Remember:

Out of deference to the sacred nature of the site, do not consume drugs and alcohol in the area.

When visiting the temple or ruins of former temples, cover up and do not show too much skin. Local might not stop you but bear a silent grudge. Be a good guest.

Make sure you bring with yourself a good pair of walking shoes before you reach Hampi. You will have to do a lot of walking to take in the sights.

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Responses

  1. woow…this is one complete article about hampi…i have never seen anything that illustrative…amazing..

  2. fantastic article. gives us the essence of the beauty of that place


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