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Hampi Travel Guide: Diving into the ruins

by on January 25, 2011

HampiHampi is one of those few amazing destinations of the world which thoroughly proves the saying, “it has to be seen to be believed”. So, in case you have any recent plans to see this charismatic Indian destination in the near future, check out this Hampi Travel guide by a person who loves to travel like “hell”.

Hampi is located in the state of Karnataka, a southwestern province of India. It is about 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Bangalore, the state’s capital.

Once the main attraction of the world and capital city of an ancient Hindu empire, once you’ll be in Hampi you will understand the worth of this incredible place. The ruins of the place still so beautiful enough to leave you in amazement. The boulder strewn landscape is ideal for exploring and will leave the imagination wild with thoughts of dinosaurs and of times that never existed and never will….

Where to Stay?

The views on the north side of the river Virupapur Gaddi, is quite laid back and friendly. It also has a cheaper accommodation compared to the south side. Well, for further access to the town, you will have to cross the river on a little boat.

There is almost everything that you require including an internet cafe, shop, small exchange office, bike hire and also travel agents. I think there are about 10 to15 different kinds of accommodation options to choose from on this side of the river. Best is to do proper survey before finalizing your deal.

Things to see in Hampi

Hampi portrays the look of ruins like pebbles stacked up on the beach. It is possible to spend several days exploring and not see them all. Here is a short overview on the most popular ruins and things to see in and around Hampi.

Vittala Temple

About 2 kilometres east from the main town, Vittala Temple can only be reached by foot. The temple is truly one of the best highlights of Hampi ruins. It is UNESCO world heritage site. The condition is quite good besides some ugly cement pillars which are saving the ruins from a collapse.

The work on the temple was started around 1509 during a short rule of Krishnadevaraya. The temple was never finished, but still its beauty is one of the best examples of Vijayanagar art.

Royal centre

Different from other ruins of Hampi, Royal centre describes the ruins of Zenana Enclosure, Lotus Mahal, and elephant stables. About 2 kilometres walk from the bazaar, Royal centre can be reached easily by bike.

The Bazaar and Virupaksha Temple

Though small, still Hampi is a bustling village with many old-fashioned little shops, and restaurants. Virupaksha temple is the oldest and most spectacular building in Hampi.

It was built in the year 1442 and is dedicated to Virupaksha, form of Lord Shiva.

Sule Bazaar and Achytaraya Temple

Just between the Vittala temple and bazaar is situated Sule Bazaar and Achytaraya Temple. Sule bazaar is quite similar to Hampi Bazaar.

Anegondi

Wow! This one is my favourite in Hampi. It is situated north of the river and looks like some scene of computer game ‘Age of Empires’. There is some great climbing involved in it, so get ready to burn some calories out here!

The Museum

This is a cool archaeological museum which costs 5 rupees to get in. There are loads of sculptures, weaponry, tools, and some accurate models of the ruins.

Getting there

By Air

Bellary is the closest airport. It is 70 kms from Hampi but flight service is quite limited. The best bet is to fly into Goa and then get a train or bus from there.

By Train

Hospet is the closest railway station and is just 30 minutes away by rickshaw (nearly 100 rupees). The railway station is very well-connected to Bangalore.

By Bus/Road

A lot if people travel to Hampi come by long distance buses either from Bangalore and Goa. Bus journey from Panaji, Goa takes abour 15 hours and a little more Bangalore.

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