First two days at Hampi, we will engage in a heritage tour that will take us through all the important sights within the UNESCO world heritage site of Hampi. We will learn about the History & Architecture of the medieval city of Vijayanagara, we will hear stories of origin, victory, celebrations, and defeat.
On our third and last day, we will explore Hampi’s connection to the great Indian epic – Ramayana. Hampi and its surrounding villages are believed to be Kishkindha, the Kingdom of the forest dwellers led by Vali & Sugriva. We will visit all places associated with the 4th Chapter of Ramayana as we hear stories narrated by a local.
For more details please refer to the detailed itinerary section. Transportation & Accommodation are included in the itinerary by default but you can opt-out of these if you wish to.
04:00 PM to 06:00 PM – Hemakuta & Virupaksha Temple
As per the local tradition, we will start out the visit of Hampi with a visit to the monolith of Sasivekalu Ganesha. We then climb our way to the entrance of Hemakuta Hill. Hemakuta hill was a fortified hill where the founders of Vijayanagara first set up their residence before moving it a few kilometers to the south. On this hill, we find several shrines ranging from the 8th to 16th centuries with distinct architectural styles.
We then head to the Virupaksha temple complex. Within the Sacred area of Vijayanagara, there are 4 Major temple complexes, of which Virupaksha is the oldest and only surviving one. The much older shrines of Pampa Devi, Bhoodevi & Durga dating to the 6th & 8th centuries are incorporated into the current temple complex. Here we will learn about the origin of the name Hampi & the story of how Vijayanagara was founded.
Monuments Covered: Sasivekalu Ganesha, Double Stories Mantapa, Moola Virupaksha, Manmata Kunda, Virupaksha Temple & Hampi Bazaar.
07:00 PM: Return to Hotel/Resort in Hampi
09:00 AM to 12:00 PM: Sacred Area of Hampi
Sacred Center as the name suggests is the religion center of Hampi, a number of ancient temples and structures are in this area. The sacred area is spread over in a South West – North East direction along the southern bank of the Tungabhadra river. We already covered some sites within the Sacred area yesterday, we will continue from where we left off today.
The lifeline of Hampi is the mighty river Tungabhadra. She is the basis and origin of everything in Hampi. She has witnessed the boulders hills form over millions of years, she has seen early humans settle on her banks, she has seen many a sages and mystics, she has seen the rise and fall of one of the greatest empires in India. On this tour get a glimpse into thousands of years of history as it unfolded on the banks of this mighty river. Learn about the rituals, festivals celebrated along the river. Learn about the birth of Carnatic music and the Haridasa movement. Visit the most beautiful and intricate of all temples in Hampi – Vijaya Vittala Temple & Stone Chariot.
Monuments Covered: Kampa Bhoopa Marga, Kodanda Rama Temple, Surya Mantapa, Purandara Dasa Mantapa, Kings Balance, Vittala Temple (Ranga Mantapa Musical Columns, Stone Chariot, Kalyana mantapa), Pushkarnini, Narasimha Monolith.
02:00 PM to 04:30 PM: Urban Core of Hampi
After the lunch break, we continue our exploration with the Urban Core area. This area was the Citadel of the Vijayanagara kings, it encompasses courtly and military structures of the core zone.
Here we have basements of palaces, administrative buildings, underground chambers, aqueducts, military structures, etc. We will learn about the social lives of people in the city through art, we will learn about festivals celebrated, irrigation, and sanitation plans of the city.
Monuments Covered: Queens Bath, Mahanavami Dibba, Aqueduct, Secret chambers, Stepwell tank, Audience Hall, Public Bath, Hazara Rama Temple, Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stables, Underground Shiva Temple, Nobleman’s Quarters.
05:00 PM: Return to Hotel/Resort in Hampi
Overnight stay at Hotel/Resort
9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon: Ramayana Tour
Hampi and surrounding villages together are believed to be the Mythical Kingdom of Kishkinda mentioned in Ramayana. The Ramayana is an ancient Indian epic that 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. On this tour, we will hear the story as it happened here in Kishkinda after Rama’s arrival, as we visit important sites associated with Ramayana.
12:30 PM: Drop back to Hotel