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Hampi Travel Guide

Hampi Travel Guide

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The most reliable & authoritative travel guide on Hampi, compiled by a team of locals & experts.

Introduction

Towards the end of 13th century an invading Turko-Afghan army marched into South India and demolished the great dynasties of the time. In the power vacuum & confusion that ensued, a band of brothers built an empire that rose as a bastion resistance against invading armies of the north. In a short period of 30 years the empire grew to include most of southern India, all of this wealth was directed at building a grand city at Hampi.

Vijayanagara – “The city of Victory”, went beyond the being citadel of defensive orthodoxy to be the seat of wondrous innovations. Its rulers went beyond religious resentments to grab opportunities and build an eclectic future. Men and Women from all over the world arrived in the capital, bringing bold ideas and cultural influences. The glorious rule of Vijayanagara, shaped the south Indian cultural ethos & geo-politics in substantial way. 

Close to 250 years after the city was built, the invading armies from the north finally succeeded in breaching its defenses and laid it to ruins. Hampi today is a protected UNESCO world heritage site, whose core zone is spread over an area of 42 square kilometers encompassing ancient temples, basements of palaces, remains of aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings and more. 

WHAT MAKES HAMPI TRULY UNIQUE?

Many of India’s glorious cities of the past survive in some form within the modern urban sprawls of today. Sites like Old Delhi, Panjim are good examples of how the new and old parts of cities co-exist. These sites have never been completely abandoned, people have lived and replaced parts of old with the new, these sites have seen continuous change. In India we even have cities like Varanasi or Madurai that have over 2000 years of continuous history.  What makes Hampi unique amongst the heritage cities is that it was completely abandoned in 16th century and has been in rural hinterland ever since. Due to this most of the city’s layout, temples, forts, administrative, ceremonial and military structures still survive in various stages of ruins. Nowhere else in India you can see ruins of an entire royal citadel spread over 40 square kilometers. In its prime, the city of Vijayanagara was amongst the richest & most populated cities in  the world. Visiting Hampi is like travelling back in time, you can relieve the life of a glorious a medieval Indian city. 

The Group of monuments at Hampi are designated as a UNESCO world heritage site spread over 42 square kilometers. Most heritage sites in India will comprise of single monument or structure, some of them will be a collection of structures, here in Hampi there are over 1500 heritage structures that include temple complexes, ancient markets, aqueducts, water tanks & irrigation systems, royal & public baths, administrative & ceremonial structures, zenanas & palaces, military & defensive structures, stables for elephants, residences of nobleman. No where else in India will you find such an expansive heritage site.

the jatra at hampi

There are some 29 villages within the protected core zone of the site amongst the ruins, people living in these communities are an important part of this site, the festivals they celebrate, their traditions and livelihoods are deeply influenced by their shared past and proximity to the medieval capital city of Vijayanagara. This is why Hampi is often referred to as a living heritage site. Along with enjoying the sights of Hampi, one can immerse oneself in the culture of this place through its people. 

view atop anjanadri hill 2

One of the first thing a visitor notices as they enter Hampi, is its awe-inspiring landscape filled with uniquely shaped boulders stacked on top of each other. These readily available rocks were used as the primary building material for the Temples in Hampi, as pillars, lintels, roof and so on. Through human ingenuity and hard work this dry arid landscape was transformed into lush river valley by people of Vijayanagara. The boulder hills provided natural defence against invaders. Today this is a rich agricultural belt that is able to harvest upto 4 or 5 crops in a year. The area is home to a variety of endemic as well as migratory species of birds. The river ecosystem supports river otters, crocodiles and many species of fish. The boulder hills are home to sloth bears, leopards, fox and other wild animal species. All together this is a stunning landscape that has a lot more to offer to the visitors.

The temple architecture of Vijayanagara style is a natural evolution of Dravidian styles of the past, it is influenced by the Chalukyan and Tamil Pallava styles. What is more fascinating and unique is the courtly style of Vijayanagara, which is an amalgamation of Deccan Islamic style and Dravidian Hindu styles of architecture. Vijayanagara was a place where bold ideas and cultural influences from an increasingly globalised world merged and gave rise to its own unique styles. It is here that some of the first structures in Indo-Islamic styles were built, this is before the Mughals and Rajputs of the north. This courtly style of Vijayanagara is truly unique. 

THINGS TO DO IN HAMPI

Most visitors are drawn to Hampi due to its historic importance as the erstwhile capital of Vijayanagara. But there is so much more to see and experience in & around Hampi that you’d need 3 to 4 days at minimum. We have listed activities and experiences you can engage while in Hampi here, for a more information please refer to our article dedicated to Top 10 things to do in Hampi.  

Click or hover your mouse over the tiles below, the tiles are interactive.

Explore the Heritage sights of Hampi

Know the history of Vijayanagara, delve into its architecture & function of different monuments. Learn about the social lives of its medieval citizens

Ride mopeds & explore the countryside

Visit villages, lakes, agricultural fields and interesting sights to the north of Tungabhadra river on mopeds. This is the most fun and engaging activity

Coracle Boat ride over Tungabhadra river

Coracles are small circular boats weaved from bamboo. Traditionally these were used for fishing and ferrying people across the river. Today you can enjoy a boat ride on the river.

Catch a stunning sunrise or sunset

Hike up Matunga hill or Anjanadri hill for a panoramic view. Given the unique landscape the sunrise and sunsets in Hampi are pure poetry.

Enjoy a home cooked meal with local hosts

Coracles are small circular boats weaved from bamboo. Traditionally these were used for fishing and ferrying people across the river. Today you can enjoy a boat ride on the river.

Buy local handicrafts & interact with the artisans

Meet local artisans in Anegundi village that make handicraft from banana fiber & water hyacinth. A art workshop can be arranged where the artisans will teach you the basics of their trade.

Discover the Ramayana connection

Hampi and surrounding villages together are believed to be the Mythical Kingdom of Kishkinda mentioned in Ramayana. Visit numerous places associated with the great epic and relive the stories

Visit prehistoric caves and megalithic tombs

The earliest residents in this region were nomadic cattle herders from around 1000 BC, who would seek shelter in the boulder caves. Hampi's boulder hills have many hidden cave systems with prehistoric cave art, megalithic dolmens

Try your hand at Bouldering

Hampi is the bouldering capital of the world. Every year thousands of professionals and climbing enthusiasts come to Hampi to master the unique boulders of Hampi.

Go on a birding tour

With over 230 species of birds documented in the region, Hampi is a birders paradis. You can spot rare birds like the yellow throated bulbul, paradise flycatcher, rose necked parakeet amongst others.

Day trip to Badami, Aihole & Patadakkal

The town of Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal, are celebrated for their magnificent rock-cut shrines and structural temples. Together these may be considered among the earliest, best preserved remnants of temple art in India

Visit India's only sanctuary dedicated to Sloth Bears

Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is the only place where one can spot these Sloth bears, who are the honey-lovers endemic to India.

PLACES TO STAY & LOCATION

Hampi is a protected heritage site, which means commercial activity within the core zone is heavily regulated by the local administration. The local administration over the years has tried to move guest houses/homestays outside of the core zone under the pretext of protecting the heritage site. This has affected the livelihood opportunities of hundreds of local residents. Due to the reasons above most licenced accommodation options are located outside of the corezone in neighbouring towns and villages. We have tried to list the different areas where accommodation options are available, and the pros & cons of each area. You can visit our blog for a recommended list of accommodation in Hampi

Janata Plot : Years ago the district administration drove out the residents who lived amongst the heritage structures at Hampi Bazaar. The displaced residents then built a shanty town next to Virupaksha temple. Over the years some residents built guest houses, restaurants and shops within this area named Janata Plot. Rooms here are simple and comfortable. If you are a budget traveller who will be spending most of your time out exploring then this could be a good option. The location is a big plus because you are close to the center of Heritage sites in Hampi. No alcohol or Non Vegetarian food is served in this area due to its proximity with Virupaksha Temple. The area is under litigation so their status keeps changing, so check with the property owner before booking.

Virupapura Gaddi / Hampi Island / Hippie Island : This is an Island on Tungabhadra river, and is connected to Hampi by a ferry boat (or 30 Km route by road). It is partly agricultural, partly forest land and it comes under the protected core zone of Hampi. This area has the highest density of guesthouses near Hampi, set amongst paddy fields and along the river. If you are a budget traveller and would like to spend some time relaxing amongst beautiful surroundings then this is a good option. This is also a good option if your looking to go boulder climbing.

Kadirampur / Prakash Nagar / New Hampi : Some of the displaced residents from Hampi Bazaar have been allotted government land in nearby villages. Here they have started to build guesthouses and restaurants. Some have started calling this place “New Hampi”.  This area is a 15 minute autoride from Hampi. Another convenient location for budget travellers. 

Kamalapura / Malapanagudi : Just beyond the core zone of Hampi are villages of Kamalapura & Malapanagudi. You can find a variety of properties here. Standard category properties like KSTDC’s Mayura and Clarks Inn Hotel. Premium category properties like  Heritage Resort Hampi and Jungle Lodge’s Wilderness Resort. Luxury world class property like Evolve Back Resorts. All of these are within 5 to 8 Kms from Hampi.

Anegundi : This is a heritage village located on the northern bank of Tungabhadra. It is connected to Hampi via a ferry across the river at Talwar Ghatta boat point (Close to Vittala Temple) or alternatively it is 22 Kms by road to hampi.  If you want to immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Hampi through its people, then this is a good option for you. You live amongst people in guesthouses or homestays, away from the mad tourist traffic but fully immersed in life of an idyllic Indian village.  The Kishkinda Trust (TKT) operates few properties here.

Hospet : This is the main town located 15 kms from Hampi. There are several properties catering to all kinds of budgets. This is where most visitors to Hampi choose to stay for its affordability and options. You can choose amongst Royal Orchid Hotel, Mallige Hotel, Krishna Palace, Priyadarshini Pride and many others

REACHING HAMPI

By Plane: The nearest airport is at Vidyanagar (45 Kms), which operates daily flight from Bangalore and Hyderabad. Check Trujet website for more details. We also have airports at Hubli (143 km – 5 Hours), Bangalore (360 Kms – 7 Hours) and Goa (360 Kms – 8 Hours) 

By train: The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction (IR station code: HPT), 13km away. Overnight trains run several times a week from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Goa. From Hospet train station it is very easy to hop on a local bus which goes between the railway station and the main bus station and onward to Hampi (same bus). If you don’t want to wait then you can also get an Auto Rickshaw to take you to Hampi (INR 300 – 350)

By bus: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation operates daily buses to Hospet from Bangalore, Goa, Mysore and Gokarna. Book your tickets in advance if you want a coach or an air-conditioned service. There are private bus companies operating buses on these routes too, in addition there are buses from Pune & Mumbai. 

By Road: You can hire a cab from one of these cities or drive down yourself.  If you are booking tours/accommodation with us, we would be happy to arrange a pickup from any of these cities as well.  Please contact us for assistance or more information.

  • Bangalore: 350 km / 7 Hours
  • Hubli: 150 km /4.5 Hours
  • Hyderabad: 360 km / 8 Hours
  • Pune: 560 km / 11 Hours

You can browse our blog section for more information like various ways available to a traveller to reach Hampi from Goa or Bangalore.  

GETTING AROUND IN HAMPI

The sites in Hampi are spread over 42 square kilometers, use of local transportation therefore becomes a must. If you opt for a private tour or package then the operator will provide local transportation and pickup/drop services included in it.  Here are the different options to consider for local transportation. 

Hired Car : This is the most convenient option for travellers to Hampi. Specially if your accommodation is in Hospet or one of the distant villages. It also allows you to cover sites that are away like the Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Anjanadri Hills, Megalithic Tomb Sites etc. Hampi also gets warm during mid-day, having a comfortable air-conditioned car to get to in between places might be something you want to consider.

Hired Auto Rickshaws : The most popular way of getting around different sites in Hampi is the humble Auto Rickshaw or the tuk-tuk as some people call it. You can even book one for the entire day. You can find auto rickshaws at the stand near Hampi Bazaar anytime of the day. 

Bicycle Rental : This is a great way of exploring the monuments in Hampi as long as you have the energy & time on your side.  There are plenty of vendors in the Hampi Bazaar area that will rent cycles on hourly basis. Only single speed cycles are available as of today. Please inspect the condition of the bike before renting it. 

Mopeds / Motorcycles Rentals: Currently entry of rental mopeds or bikes are strictly regulated within the protected areas of Hampi. Only rental vehicles with appropriate registration papers are permitted. You will know if the rental vehicle is legitimate by looking at its registration plate, which should be in black colour with number displayed in yellow colour. If it is any other colour then do not rent it, as you will be denied entry.  Mopeds can also be rented at Hampi Island to explore the countryside. 

Arjun Bhat

Arjun Bhat

Travel Entrepreneur who works on curating immersive local experiences of South India. TEDx Speaker. Yoga & Meditation.

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Top 10 Things to do in Hampi (2020)

Top 10 Things to do in Hampi (2020)

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Insider tips on all the fun and engaging things to do in Hampi

#1 Thing to Do in Hampi
Explore the ruins of the medieval city of Vijayanagar, which today is a UNESCO world heritage site
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#2 Thing to Do in Hampi
Ride a Moped & explore the stunning landscape of the countryside
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#3 Thing to Do in Hampi
Ride a Coracle boat over the mighty Tungabhadra river
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#4 Thing to Do in Hampi
Hike up a hill to view a magical sunrise or sunset
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#5 Thing to Do in Hampi
Try the authentic local food
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#6 Thing to Do in Hampi
Buy local handicrafts and meet the artisans who make them
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#7 Thing to Do in Hampi
Relive the stories from Ramayana as visit sites associated with the great epic.
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#8 Thing to Do in Hampi
Discover prehistoric cave paintings and ancient burial tombs near Hampi
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#9 Thing to Do in Hampi
Try your hand at bouldering in Hampi
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#10 Thing to Do in Hampi
Try your hand at Bird Watching in Hampi
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DISCLAIMER: While this list is by no means exhaustive, we have tried to compile all the most interesting and unique things to do in Hampi here. The list follows no particular order or ranking either. We understand that every individuals has a different perspective, so a ranked list would look different from each person’s POV (Point-of-view). Our intent in compiling this list is to provide you with inspiration to plan your trip, we hope this will give you some idea on what you could be doing while in Hampi. 

#1 of things to do in Hampi : Explore the ruins of the medieval city of Vijayanagara

To Showcase Outer Wall of Hazara Rama Temple
Relief sculpture showcasing the grand festival procession of Mahanavami

Spread over 40 Square kilometers the UNESCO world heritage site of Hampi comprises of temples complexes, fortifications, step well tanks, festival platforms, medieval markets, basements of palaces, baths, military and administrative structures, stone carved monoliths, aqueducts, stables, armoury and many such structures. Nowhere else in India you will find ruins of an entire city including parts of the citadel of a Hindu King in such well preserved condition. Explore the Vittala Temple considered as pinnacle of temple architecture in Vijayanagara style, famous for its musical pillars & stone chariot. Visit the 1200 year old Virupaksha Temple that continues to function as a living heritage temple. Do not miss the exquisite monoliths of Laxmi Narasimha & Sasivekalu Ganesha. Finally visit the Royal Enclosure & the Zenana Enclosure to get a glimpse into the Indo-Islamic architecture style pioneered by the Vijayanagara artisans. 

Explore Hampi offers an engaging Heritage Tour of Hampi, where we explore the rich history of Vijayanagara empire, learn about unique architecture of various monuments, hear stories of victories and defeat. If you are looking for a well researched tour of Hampi that covers all the important monuments then this one is highly recommended. This is the top rated tour of Hampi on all of the review sites. 

Alternatively you can explore the site on your own, make sure you buy a good guide book on Hampi. This will ensure you make good use of your time and have context to what you are seeing. You can also hire ASI guides that will be able to show you around the sites. 

#2 of things to do in Hampi : Ride a moped & explore the countryside landscape

Things to do in Hampi
Ride Mopeds through beautiful landscape

On the northern side of Tungabhadra river are many small charming village settlements, people living in these villages are an essential part of the cultural heritage of Hampi. To see and experience the local culture of Hampi, one has to visit these villages. The mighty river cutting through the awe inspiring boulder hills also makes for a unique landscape.  

The best way to explore these villages and the landscape is on rented mopeds. You can easily rent mopeds at the Hippie Island. Be sure to fuel up before you set out exploring. 

You can also join us on our Mythical Landscape Tour, where we provide you with mopeds and fuel, where we show you hidden spots only locals would know. On this tour we explore the landscape in fun and engaging ways!  We ride mopeds through the countryside, cross the river on a coracle boat, hike up a hill to watch the sunrise and eat delicious local breakfast. 

If you are not the adventurous type but are interested in an immersive experience of village life and its culture, then you could join us on our Village Life Tour. This tour is all about immersing yourself into the local culture and learning about life in villages. We will interact with locals from the community and hear their stories. We will eat home cooked lunch at a villagers home, meet a farmer and learn handicraft from local artisans. 

#3 of things to do in Hampi : Coracle Boat Ride over Tungabhadra river

coracle boat ride along the tungabhadra
Coracle Boat Ride along the Tungabhadra

A unique thing to experience in this ancient town is to enjoy a coracle ride on the waters of the River Tungabhadra. Coracle is a circular shaped country boat that can carry about 6 to 8 people on a single trip across the river. These coracle boats have been in use in Hampi since before the Vijayanagara period. Traditionally these boats were used by local fisherman for fishing and to ferry people across the river.  

A Coracle boat ride on Tungabhadra provides a unique visual perspective of Hampi that you cannot get any other way. On your ride you can make pit stops near Surya Mandapa and explore hidden river side relief sculptures. 

Head to the Chakra Tirtha Point and you will find a few boats ready to ferry you. They will provide you with a safety jacket. We arrange coracle boat rides on  our Mythical Landscape Tour or on request we can arrange it on our Heritage Hamp Tour.

#4 of things to do in Hampi : Hike up a hill to catch a Sunrise or Sunset

Sunrise at Hampi
View of a Sunrise from top of Matunga Hill

One of the first thing a visitor notices on entering Hampi is its awe-inspiring landscape of boulder hills. This landscape provides some of the most beautiful backdrop to sunrise and sunsets you will ever see. So catching a sunrise or sunset is a must do activity for all visitors to Hampi. 

For a good sunset view you can climb up Anjanadri Hill or watch it from Sunset point on the Hemakuta Hill. There are other lesser known spots like the Malyavanta Hill, Gangavathi Bridge overlooking the river and sunset point on hippie island. 

For a Sunrise you can climb up Matunga Hill for the best view. Other alternatives are Anjanadri, Malyavanta Hill and Chintamani Ghat at Anegundi village. 

If you are unsure of doing this yourself then join us on our Mythical Landscape Tour, which includes a sunrise hike followed by river side walk, coracle boat ride, moped ride through countryside and delicious local breakfast. We also have an optional Add-on to our Hampi Heritage Tour with a Sunset & Home cooked dinner with a local family option

#5 of things to do in Hampi : Enjoy a Delicious local meal

Local Food
Guests enjoying a home cooked meal on our Village Life Tour

Food is an essential part of any travel experience, a trip to Hampi would be incomplete without having tried local food. This region in Karnataka is known for its dishes made from Brinjal, Banana Flowers, Banana Shoot, sprouted lentils. The Bedgi Mirchi from this region is famous and used generously in all preparations. Holige is the most popular sweet on offer. Variety of pickles are available. Jowar Roti with a spinach lentil curry is a staple in most households. 

You can visit the Mango Tree Restaurant and enjoy their traditional Vegetarian Thali. Another popular place is the Green Restaurant at Kamalapur. However for an authentic food experience you have to try the home cooked meal. On our Village Life Tour, a local family will host you for a traditional lunch. All the food prepared is organic and from your hosts own farm, prepared in their kitchen with a lot of love. So sign up for this tour if you want to experience authentic food of Hampi. 

#6 of things to do in Hampi : Buy local handicrafts and support local economy

Local Handicrafts of Hampi
Handicraft Workshop run by local women artisans

Travellers today are more conscious of what they buy and where they buy from. Buying locally made products ensures that your money goes into supporting local endeavours. 

Anegundi village is home to over 250 women artisans who turn naturally available materials like Banana Fiber and Water Hyacinth into trendy handicrafts. You can buy mats, vases, baskets, purses, handbags and variety of other designs. Sandur village about an hour from Hampi has a women’s cooperative that makes Lambani Jewellery and Fabric Pieces. 

 

Another local craft from this region is the Ilekal handloom cotton saree. Beautiful and classic designs are available in the town of Ilekal which is a pit-stop on the way to Aihole from Hampi.  

Explore Hampi organises special art workshops for groups that are interested. On our Village Life Tour, you will get an opportunity to get hands-on and learn from a local artisan. You will also have the opportunity to buy directly from the artisan should you choose to. Such a purchase is a lot more meaningful because you will know the name and location of the artisan from whom you bought it, and hopefully it’ll make you cherish the product a lot more. 

#7 of things to do in Hampi : Relive the stories from Ramayana

Local artisans dressed as Vaali, Sugriva and Dindhubi

Hampi and surrounding villages together are believed to be the Mythical Kingdom of Kishkinda mentioned in Ramayana. The Ramayana is an ancient Indian epic which follows Prince Rama’s quest to rescue his beloved wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana with the help of an army of monkeys. In the fourth chapter of Ramayana, Rama arrives in Kishkinda in search of his abducted wife. 

The story of Ramayana here begins from Rama’s arrival at Kishkinda. Different sites associated with this part of the story are located here in Hampi and surrounding villages. For instance Pampa Sarovar where Ram meets Shabari who advices him to meet Hanuman. Rishimukha Parvath where Ram & Lakshman first meet Hanuman and then Surgriv. Anjanadri hill which is believed to be birth place of Hanuman. The Cave at end of Chintamani ghat where Ram stood and shot arrow at Vali to kill him. Vali Gufa where Vali and Dindhubi fought to death. Malyavantha Hill where Ram & Laxman spent few months before proceeding towards Lanka. Many such sites and many stories to hear. There is also a lot of iconography and living heritage that adds to the richness of Ramayana stories here. 

Explore Hampi runs the Ramayana Tour, where we narrate the story of Ramayana as we visit important sites associated with the epic. This tour allows you to immerse in the story, devotion and find a spiritual connection to Ramayana. For larger groups we also arrange folk art performance of Ramayana by a group of tribal artisan community. A 10 member crew will perform in the open at a stunning location with accompanying music and singing. This can be arranged on request, please contact us for enquiries. 

#8 of things to do in Hampi : Discover the prehistoric cave paintings and Megalithic tombs

Prehistoric cave paintings from Hampi

While Hampi is known as the erstwhile capital of Vijayanagara empire (1336 to 1565 CE), human settlements in the region date back to at least 1500 BCE.  Boulder hills surrounding Anegundi village to the north of Tungabhadra are filled with evidence of neolithic sites. At Kadebaklu there is a neolithic metal foundry adjacent to a rock shelter where ceramics of different types have also been recovered.  At Hire Benakal we find ancient burial sites with over 60 dolmens (burial tombs) made of stone. Ceramics and rock art has been found at this site as well. 

Our own team at Explore Hampi have discovered several undocumented sites in the area. The image above for instance was captured by our team on one of our expeditions.  It depicts someone important, perhaps a tribal leader (with a headgear) and his partner (with a skirt like garment or robe) participating in some sort of ritual.  Other scenes depict hunting, dancing, cattle herding. These paintings give us an important insight into lives of prehistoric humans in the region. 

Most of the rock shelters with cave paintings are inaccessible, some of them are high up on boulder hills, some are on private land with restricted access. Today it is very difficult as a visitor to gain access to these locations on your own. At Explore Hampi we can organise special expedition with required permissions on request. It is also possible to organise a hike to Megalithic site of Hire Benakal on request. 

#9 of things to do in Hampi : Try your hand at bouldering

Climbing Campi for Women
Pic Courtesy: Climb Like A Women

One of the first thing one notices as they enter Hampi, is its awe-inspiring landscape filled with uniquely shaped boulders stacked on top of each other.

About 3600 million years ago magmatic action metamorphosed older gneiss rocks into Pink Porphyritic granite hills. What started off as large monolithic granite hills slowly transformed into boulders & slabs due to the weathering by the elements along the natural fractures in the rocks. 

These unique features of the boulder provides a great opportunity for climbers. Bouldering enthusiast and professionals from all over the world come to Hampi to try their hand at conquering the boulders of Hampi. 

Several climbing festivals and events are organised every year at Hampi focused on bouldering. These events are the best opportunity to learn climbing. One of favorites camps is the one organised by CLAW (Climb Like A Women) which is focussed on women only climbers. Alternatively you can head to the Goan Corner on the Hippie Island or visit one of the many climbing shops at the hippie island. For seasoned climbers these shops will provide you with mats and required equipment on rental basis.  

#10 of things to do in Hampi : Spot some rare and beautiful birds

Tour Cover Picture
Birds of Hampi

Hampi is known for its archaeological grandeur, dramatic natural landscape and rich biodiversity. Its rocky hills, scrub jungle, mighty Tungabhadra river, lakes, irrigation canals and fertile farmlands are home to more than 230 species of resident and migratory birds. It has also been recognised as Important Bird Area (IBA). 

If you set out early morning you could spot at least few amongst these Yellow throated bulbul, Green bee-eater, laughing dove, Rose-ringed Parakeet, yellow-billed babbler, black drongo, white-throated Kingfisher, Indian robin, Indian silverbill, little cormorant, gray heron, indian pond heron, little Egret, Indian peafowl, Red Avadavat, Purple Heron, Asian Openbill and Indian paradise flycatcher. 

Some of the best spots are at the base of Matunga Hill, Sanapur Lake, Kamalapur Lake, Jangli Valley Irrigation Canals. 

 

If you are serious about birding then pick your copy of BIRDS OF HAMPI a handy birding guide authored by Samad Kottur who is a wildlife activist and naturalist based on Hospet. The book helps in easy identification of the regional avian species. Each species is described with the vital information such as plumage, breeding season, identification tips, best place to see. 

At Explore Hampi we organise birding expedition on request. A naturalist or wildlife photographer will lead you to the best spots and guide you with the entire experience.  

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Bangalore to Hampi – Everything You Need to Know

The highest footfall of domestic & foreign tourists to Hampi comes from Bangalore. Amongst all the big cities in India, Bangalore has the best connectivity to Hampi and it is expected to improve further. This article will give you all the information needed to plan and execute your trip to Hampi from Bangalore.

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How to get from Goa to Hampi (and back)?

There are 4 main ways and below we have tried to elaborate about each method in detail.

BY FLIGHT: Trujet just started daily flights from Bengaluru to Bellary Airport. Hampi is 40 Kilometers from here and can be covered in 45 mins by road.  This is without a doubt the most comfortable way to get to Hampi. However the flight timings are such that you will need to spend a day or two extra in Hampi. For accurate timings and booking please visit – TRUJET.COM

Bengaluru to Bellary Flight details

BY TRAIN: Daily overnight train from Bengaluru. You will have to book your ticket well in advance especially if you are looking to travel on weekends during the peak season (November to January). You can check the availability and book your train ticket online on the Indian Railways Website or Travel Sites.

BY BUS: Several state-run and private buses depart every day from Bengaluru to Hampi. You can check availability and book your buses  online on the State Road Transport Website or private sites like Redbus or MakeMyTrip. Alternatively you can get any ticketing agent in Bangalore to help you with the booking.

BY PRIVATE CAR: You can also hire a private car with a driver to take you to Hampi from Bangalore. This is the most expensive option of all but it is also the most flexible. At Explore Hampi we also offer our guests an option for pickup from Bangalore or any other cities. Submit an inquiry on one of our itineraries and choose pickup options from Bengaluru, we will send you a detailed quote. 

[Click here for a sample Itinerary: The Beauty of Hampi Package]

Frequently Asked Questions

Hampi is the kind of place where you can’t just visit and tick places off a check-list. You must really soak it in and immerse yourself. Most travellers leaving Hampi regret that they did not spend enough time here, don’t be that person. Plan to spend at least 3 to 5 days in Hampi. If you cannot dedicate that much time then at minimum spend 2 full days here.

There are a variety of options in Hampi for every type of traveller. For our recommendations please refer to the following article:10 Top Hampi Hotels for Every Kind of Traveller

No. If you are a foreign national all you need is a valid visa and passport.

September to March: The season in Hampi starts in September and peaks in December/January and ends by March. This is the time when the weather is the best in Hampi and allows you to spend more time outdoors. It can get really crowded towards December end and January. So make sure to plan your travel ahead of time. 

April & May: The weather is unforgiving in the summer months of April and May. Most businesses that depend on tourist inflow shut down for these months in Hampi. Many guest houses, resorts and hotels run special promotion and drop prices as much as 30 – 50% during this time.

June to August: The temperatures drop during these months, but since it is still considered off season, the prices are low. The entire landscape transforms with the monsoon and there is lush greenery. This is a good time to visit Hampi if you are looking for a budget trip.

Hampi has warm weather especially during the day between 10.00 AM and 3.00 PM. So wearing comfortable light colored clothing is recommended. Please note that keeping the local cultural sensibilities in mind, we recommend you wear tops that cover the shoulders and bottoms that cover up to the knees. Carry sunblock or sunscreen lotion, sunglasses, hat or an umbrella. Insect repellent is also recommended if you are staying in a guest house. 

See some handpicked itineraries of Hampi >>

With these curated itineraries all you have to do is come to Hampi, we take care of the rest.  Your accommodation, travel and tours are all integrated into one seamless experience. We can arrange pickup from Goa for you. 

Categories
Recommendation

10 Top Hampi Hotels for Every Kind of Traveller

Want to stay someplace that has a unique and local flavor? Wish to experience the lap of luxury? Want to discover the local culture in a village? Want to stay like a beach bum in guest houses? Or just want to know about the best budget options in Hampi? Read on for our top 10 recommendations for all types of travelers.

Running a tour company, we know all the options available intimately. Moreover we get constant feedback from our customers on properties they have used. This puts us in an unique position to be able to review and recommend the best places in Hampi for varying interests and needs of travelers.

NOTE : The prices given on this post are subject to change. For the latest prices offered, please click on the ‘Read More’ option for the hotel of your interest.

 

hampi hotel boulder resort

Beautifully designed, Hampi Boulders is an ‘eco-wilderness’ resort set in a leafy gardens on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. Engage in nature walks, swim in their chlorine free swimming pool and eat organic food. If you want to spend your time in seclusion of wilderness, then this place is perfect for you. There is a choice of themed rooms and chic cottages with elegant furnishings, river views and outdoor showers. 

Read More >>

Location: Narayanpet village (located 7 kms from Virupapura Gaddi)
Price: INR 7,000 to 16,000 per night. (Breakfast, Dinner & Taxes Included)
Suitable For: Nature lovers, romantic couples, artists, discerning travelers.
hampi hotel clarks inn

If you plan to spend of most of your time in Hampi exploring the site and want a standard, reliable and comfortable accommodation to rest then this is your option. The best part of this hotel is its location, a 5 minute auto ride and you’ll be inside the core zone of Hampi. 

The hotel does not have open spaces, so if you want to spend more time in the property there aren’t many common spaces.  But the price and location (close to the site) more than make up for it.

Location: Kamalapur Village (located 3 kms from Hampi Center)Price: INR 3,300 per night. (Taxes Included)Suitable for: History lovers, Photographers, Groups, Students

hampi hotel shanthi guest house

Shanthi guest house is located on the crowded Virupapura Gaddi. There are several budget accommodation options on this stretch frequented by backpackers. Shanthi stands out amongst the others for its unique location overlooking paddy fields and the river at distance. There is a choice of rooms with paddy view and garden view. Rooms are basic and do not have air-conditioning.  The in-house restaurant is alright, you can simply walkover to other restaurants in the neighborhood for more choice.

Read More >>

Location: Virupapura Gaddi (Boat ride away fro Hampi)
Price: INR 1,650 per night.
Suitable For: Nature lovers, budget travelers, bouldering.
hampi hotel orange county

This recently opened luxury resort is inspired by the indo-islamic architecture of Vijayanagara empire. World class amenities include infinity pools, private Jacuzzi, library, restaurants and SPA.  The service and food is the absolutely best it can be.  

If you’d like an immersive experience of Hampi in lap of world class luxury then this is your choice. 

Read More >>

Location: Halli Road, Kamalapura Panchayat Limits (8Kms from Hampi Center)

Price: INR 34,000 per night onwards

Suitable for: Discerning travelers, Romantic couples, Families with kids

hampi hotel mowgli guest house

Mowgli guest house is located on the crowded Virupapura Gaddi. There are several budget accommodation options on this stretch frequented by backpackers. Shanthi stands out amongst the others for its unique location overlooking paddy fields and the river at distance. There is a choice of rooms with paddy view, river view and garden view. Rooms are basic and do not have air-conditioning.  The in-house restaurant is good and serves the best woodfired over pizzas! 

Read More >>

Location: Virupapura Gaddi (Boat ride away fro Hampi)
Price: INR 1,650 per night.
Suitable For: Nature lovers, budget travelers, bouldering.
hampi hotel maurya bhuvaneshwari

Another simple option with great location to explore the various sites in Hampi. The property is walking distance from the core zone of Hampi which a big advantage.  There is a lot of greenery in and around the property which makes it suitable for families with kids. There are three categories of rooms, all of them come with air-conditioning. This is the only place that serves Beers in Kamalapur and Hampi. It lacks a bit on the service side but the pricing and location make up for it.

Read More >>

Location: Kamalapura Village (3 Kms from Hampi Center)
Price: INR 2050 per night onwards.
Suitable For: Families, Budget travelers, History lovers
hampi hotel goan corner

Founded in 1998 by Thakur and Sharmila the Goan Corner is a travellers and climbers paradise. It was one of the first guest houses in this stretch. They have a great in-house restaurant and a stunning location.  If you are into bouldering then you have to make this your base.  You can easily team up with other travellers and plan your climbing. 

Read More >>

Location: Virupapura Gaddi (Boat ride away fro Hampi)
Price: Not Available
Suitable For: Budget travelers, bouldering.
hapi hotel heritage resort

One of the most popular choices among families is the Heritage Resort.  The hotel has three categories of Villa/cottage style accommodation.  The property is set in a spacious mango and coconut plantation. 

Reliable and good quality accommodation for families and groups. 

Read More >>

Location: 7 Kms from Hampi Center
Price: INR 7500 per night onwards.
Suitable For: Families, Groups, Couples
hampi hotel royal orchid keerti

Royal Orchid Central Kireeti, is a premium 4 Star Hotel in Hospet. The hotel is belongs to a popular chain of hotels known for its standard hospitality and service. Located in the heart of the Hostpet town it is just 500 meters away from Hospet Railway Station and 12 kms from Hampi Center. 

Read More >>

Location: 12 Kms from Hampi Center
Price: INR 5000 per night onwards (including breakfast).
Suitable For: Families, Groups, Couples
hampi hotel shivavilas palace hotel

Former Royal home of the Ghorpade family, it has been restored and converted into a luxury heritage hotel today. Set in 20 acres of lush gardens this place allows you to experience the life of Royal families of the past. The hotel has a bar, billiards room, library, swimming pool, SPA and own private vintage car museum to keep you occupied. The rooms are available in three categories, each room in the palace is unique. The only drawback of this hotel it distance from Hampi. It takes more than an hour to commute the 42 Kms.  If you are looking to experience your slice of royal luxury at affordable prices then go for this place  

Read More >>

Location: 42 Kms from Hampi Center
Price: INR 7,900 per night onwards. (inclusive of taxes)
Suitable For: Families, History lovers, Couples

For the best and most immersive experience of Hampi take part in one of our tours

We have curated specialised private tours to showcase the best and offbeat side of Hampi. Different aspects of Hampi are explored on these private tours such as History, Architecture, Mythology, Wildlife, Adventure, Village life, Rural livelihoods, Food, Music and Art forms of the region.

For a more complete experience choose from one of our curated itineraries

With these curated itineraries all you have to do is come to Hampi, we take care of the rest.  Your accommodation, travel and tours are all integrated into one seamless experience. 

Categories
Recommendation

Goa to Hampi – Everything You Need To Know

This is an extremely popular route for most international travellers to visit Hampi. In fact, it was the backpackers & hippies of Goa that discovered the charm of Hampi and help put it on the world tourism map. Many travellers hear about Hampi for the first time when they are in Goa from fellow travellers and then decide to visit. Travelling to Hampi can be challenging, but it is well worth the effort. This article will give you all the information needed to plan and execute your trip to Hampi from Goa.

Related Articles

How to get from Goa to Hampi (and back)?

There are 3 main ways and below we have tried to elaborate about each method in detail.

BY TRAIN: This in our opinion is the best and most convenient way. Check the table below for information on the trains and their timings. You will have to book your ticket well in advance especially if you are looking to travel on weekends during the peak season (November to January). You can check the availability and book your train ticket online on the Indian Railways Website or Travel Sites. Alternatively, you can get any ticketing agent in Goa to help you with the booking.

goa to hampi train listing
Goa to Hampi Train Schedule and Timings
goa to hampi train listing
Hampi to Goa Train Schedule and Timings
*HPT – Hosapete Railway Station (15 Kms from Hampi)
*VSG – Vasco-Da-Gama Railway Station (30 Kms from Panjim, Goa)

BY BUS: Several state-run and private buses depart every day from Goa to Hampi. Check the table below for information on the bus timings. You can check availability and book your buses  online on the State Road Transport Website or private sites like Redbus or MakeMyTrip. Alternatively you can get any ticketing agent in Goa to help you with the booking.

goa to hampi bus listing
Goa to Hampi Daily Bus Timings
goa to hampi bus listing
Hampi to Goa Daily Bus Timings

BY PRIVATE CAR: You can also hire a private car with a driver to take you to Goa. This is the most expensive option of all but it is also the most flexible. You can use services of a travel agent in Goa to arrange this anytime. At Explore Hampi we also offer our guests an option for pickup from Goa. Submit an inquiry on one of our itineraries and choose pickup options from Goa, we will send you a detailed quote. 

[Example Itinerary: The Beauty of Hampi Package]

Hampi is the kind of place where you can’t just visit and tick places off a check-list. You must really soak it in and immerse yourself. Most travellers leaving Hampi regret that they did not spend enough time here, don’t be that person. Plan to spend at least 3 to 5 days in Hampi. If you cannot dedicate that much time then at minimum spend 2 full days here.

There are a variety of options in Hampi for every type of traveller. For our recommendations please refer to the following article:10 Top Hampi Hotels for Every Kind of Traveller

No. If you are a foreign national all you need is a valid visa and passport.

September to March: The season in Hampi starts in September and peaks in December/January and ends by March. This is the time when the weather is the best in Hampi and allows you to spend more time outdoors. It can get really crowded towards December end and January. So make sure to plan your travel ahead of time. 

April & May: The weather is unforgiving in the summer months of April and May. Most businesses that depend on tourist inflow shut down for these months in Hampi. Many guest houses, resorts and hotels run special promotion and drop prices as much as 30 – 50% during this time.

June to August: The temperatures drop during these months, but since it is still considered off season, the prices are low. The entire landscape transforms with the monsoon and there is lush greenery. This is a good time to visit Hampi if you are looking for a budget trip.

Hampi has warm weather especially during the day between 10.00 AM and 3.00 PM. So wearing comfortable light colored clothing is recommended. Please note that keeping the local cultural sensibilities in mind, we recommend you wear tops that cover the shoulders and bottoms that cover up to the knees. Carry sunblock or sunscreen lotion, sunglasses, hat or an umbrella. Insect repellent is also recommended if you are staying in a guest house. 

See some handpicked itineraries of Hampi >>

With these curated itineraries all you have to do is come to Hampi, we take care of the rest.  Your accommodation, travel and tours are all integrated into one seamless experience. We can arrange pickup from Goa for you.