Hampi – A UNESCO World Heritage


Hampi – A UNESCO World Heritage

Hampi was the capital of the medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagara Empire. Situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, this city is now known as Hampi and now remains only in the form of ruins. Looking at them, it seems that at some time a rich civilization must have resided here. 

Hampi is famous for its ruins belonging to Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in east-central Karnataka, India.

Every year thousands of tourists and pilgrims visit here. The vast expanse of Hampi is widespread in dunes of round rocks. The temples of Hampi, its sculptures and monuments, attracts the traveller.

The best time to visit Hampi is from October to March.

How to Reach
Being one of the most prominent historical cities in India, reaching Hampi from anywhere in the world is not an issue. The destination is well connected to rest of country via strong network of trains, flights and buses.

By air:
Hubli Airport is the closest domestic airport to Hampi. The Belgaum Airport is another major domestic airport, located around 270 km away from Hampi, having flights for Bangalore, Chennai, Jabalpur and Mumbai. Tourists can easily get a cab or taxi from outside the airport to reach the Hampi.

By road:
Hampi is well connected with major cities and towns of Karnataka by bus services. Besides Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), a number of private and tourist buses also runs regularly from nearby cities and towns.
Hampi roads are in excellent condition. Driving all the way from neighboring cities to Hampi is not a bad idea. One can drive to Hampi taking NH 13 route from Hyderabad (380 km), Bangalore (345 km) and Hubli (165 km).

By train:
Hospet Junction is the nearest railway station to Hampi (13 km away), which is well linked with rest of country via an extensive network of trains. There are regular trains for Hospet from prime Indian cities and towns, including Bangalore, Hyderabad and Goa. Hampi Express, Amaravathi Express and Haripriya Express are some of the prominent trains. After reaching the railway station, one can hire a taxi or cab to reach Hampi.

What all to visit in Hampi 

Virupaksha Temple

It is the most famous temple in Hampi and dates back to the 7th century. It is said that this temple is one of the oldest functioning temples in India. The temple is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra river at Hampi. The beautiful architecture and history of the temple have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. The temple is abode to one of the forms of Lord Shiva called Lord Virupaksha. You will find beautiful stone inscriptions dating back to the 7th century on the walls of the temple as proof of its rich heritage. 

The temple has tall towers as gateways to the inner sanctums, as is usually seen in temples of south Indian style architecture. The sculptures depict mythological stories of numerous Gods and Goddesses. The main deity of the temple is Lord Virupaksha, but it is also abode to few other Hindu deities too. 

Timings : 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Dress Code : None. But it is recommended to dress modestly as it is an active temple.

Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple

It is located on top of the Anjaneya Hill, at a distance of 2 kilometres from the Virupaksha Temple . The temple also known as the Monkey Temple , is present inside a cave. The temple is 500 years old and is dedicated to Lord Hanuman . One has to climb 570 steps to reach the temple since it is located on top of the hill. It is one of the must-visit spots for all the nature as well as religious lovers.

Timings : 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Vithala Temple

Vithala Temple dates back to the 16th century and is a truly splendid example of rich architecture. The famous stone chariot, which has become an iconic symbol of the architecture of Hampi, is located inside the premises of this temple.

The main gate has an impressive arch with carvings, and opens in a large courtyard which has the famous stone chariot in the center. The main temple is located just behind the chariot and has beautiful carvings.

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Lotus Palace

The Lotus Palace in Hampi is one of the most iconic landmarks in the town . This palace was the designated area for the royal women of the Vijayanagara Empire and is found within the Zenana Enclosure.

Timings : Open on Weekdays from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Entry Fee : INR 10 for Indians
INR 250 for foreign nationals
Entry is free for children under 15 years

When in Hampi, you can watch the sunset from almost anywhere. Whether you’re waiting to cross the river to either side of the town or climbing a hill. 

Sanapur Lake

Sanapur is on the opposite side of the river, if you are traveling from Hampi side of the river Tungabhadra. From Virupapur Gaddi (the ferry point near Virupaksha Temple), Sanapur Lake is about 4km. It’s a beautiful lake to see in Hampi . Road and lake goes side by side , so you can also drive just next to the lake .

Its a natural lake surrounded with stunning boulder hills all around . Avoid getting into water, as one cannot judge the depth and undercurrents of water in the boulder strewn lake.

You’ll also find warning notices against diving and swimming. You may not find them easily, beware the water has crocodiles.

Best Time to Visit : Winter is the best time to Explore. Monsoon Adds little greenery to the place but bouldering is not possible during this season. 

Where to shop

Handcrafted stone artefacts which are either figurines of gods or replicas of the Hampi ruins are good option as a memory to take from Hampi. 

You can also buy handmade bags, jewelery, trinkets, belts and patches in several corners in Hampi .

Hampi is also known for banana fiber crafts. Banana is a popular crop of this region, and the fiber extracted from the plant could be made into amazing handicrafts. They include pen stands, bags, baskets and cushion covers.

What to eat in Hampi :

Typical south Indian food is the order of the town that includes Idli and Dosa for breakfast and thali meals for lunch. Some other dishes like Cauliflower Manchurian, Fried Rice and Vegetable curry are also available in Hampi.

Happy Traveling !!!

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