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Hampi : Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

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Weekend Getaways from Bangalore - Hampi
| Places to see | Places Nearby | Places to Stay | Fact File |
Hampi Quick Facts
  • Heritage getaway, 350 km from Bangalore
  • A 3-day holiday destination
  • Best from July–Sept & Nov- Feb
  • Nearest City – Bellary, 60 km away

Poetry in stone as Hampi - the capital of the erstwhile Vijaynagar Empire - is often called is a perfect weekend escape in Karnataka. A Unesco World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination Hampi in its sunshine days was a magnificent city with countless temples and palaces. The city was robbed of all its grandeur in later half of the 16th century, when it was attacked by the Mughals.

Today, more than 600 years later the ruins of Hampi still attract thousands of travellers, who make a beeline to Hampi just to be transported into the bygone era. Hampi was constructed by Harihara and Bukka, two brothers from the Sangama family in 1336 AD. In all, 23 kings from four dynasties ruled the land over a pe­r­iod of 300 years. Krishna­de­va Raya was its most legendary ruler, who was finally defeated in the battle of Talikota in 1564. His defeat resulted in mass-scale pillage of Hampi. It is said that such were the riches of Hampi that it took hundreds of elephants and more than six months to carry the loot out of Hampi!

No wonder Hampi was noted for exotic palaces, lovely temples, formidable forts, lively markets, and stables of royal elephants. It was a hub of many monuments, many of which are now in ruins. But these ruins are what draw many a travellers to Hampi. A perfect place for the one interested in history, heritage and art, Hampi is one of the historical gems of Karnataka.

Places to see in Hampi
Achyutraya Temple

It is difficult to make a note of many wonders that lay around in ruins in Hampi.   The huge boulders are scattered everywhere and the ruins resemble a movie scene. Achyutraya Temple (Tiruvengalanatha Temple) is a lovely place and a perfect example of advanced form of Vijayanagara style of architecture. Sanctified nearly 500 years back, the temple was constructed during the period of Achyutaraya. The temple has the main deity as Tiruvengalanatha, a variant form of Lord Shiva. Virupaksha Temple is popular landmark in Hampi and is hard to miss. A 12-story structure, the temple is the tallest in Hampi. Even some scenes of the movie The Myth were shot in this temple.

The Royal Centre is where you find palaces, zenanas and baths, as well as the Hazara Rama Temple located in the middle of the Royal Centre. The temple is said to be the place of worship for royal members. This temple was set aside for royal ceremonies only.  Fragile carvings of a range of forms of Lord Vishnu adorn the pillars. There are lots of fascinating sculptures showing some of the important events from the epic Ramayana.

Lotus Mahal and the Elephant Stables are two other places of interest to tourists. The places are in good shape, the reason some historians say that these were built after the ran­sacking of the city but recent evi­d­ence suggests that they were contemporary to the other rui­ns. There is another enc­l­o­sure near by, a water pavilion, which co­u­ld have been the Queen’s Bath. A step-well in Maha­rashtra-style has been recently excav­ated here, indicating the reach of the Vijayanagara Kingdom.

Matangi Hill

Matangi Hill commands spectacular views and in fact is the most talked hill in Hampi. Matanga Hill is one of the holy places described in the epic Ramayana as the hermitage of Saint Matanga. Matanga Hill is the perfect spot to capture a panoramic view of Hampi and its surroundings. The rooftop of the Veerabhadra Temple at the summit is the best place to enjoy the spectacular sunrise and sunset at Hampi.

Nandi, the monolithic bull is one of the grandiose wonders in Hampi. This bull is locally known as Yeduru Basavanna, the ride of Lord Shiva. At the east end of Hampi bazaar, this bull is placed like a guard. Statue of Ugra Narsimha in its terrifying form is a mammoth statue of 6.7 meter height located in the south region of the temple complex of Hemkuta group which contains the Virupaksha Temple. Narasimha, being half-man and half-lion, is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This gigantic statue is worth seeing.

Hampi Bazaar
The Hampi Bazaar is the hub from where one can explore the entire area. There are shops lined-up that showcase and sell numerous products which one can pick up. Both sides of the street have a series of very old pavilions, some single storied and others two storied. These buildings were once the part of a booming market and houses of the upper class.

The Hampi Bazaar is well-known for jewels prepared by the Lambani nomads and also for embroidered textiles. Shopping here is interesting - one can purchase shawls, skirts and bags among other things. One could also get antique coins as mementos and other artifacts. Read more Hampi Reviews

Places near Hampi
Daroji Bear Sanctuary

Not too far from Hampi is the Daroji Bear Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to the Indian Sloth Bear. Hospet 13 km away is quiet popular and is well known for the Tungabhadra Dam, which an important source of water supply to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Places to Stay at Hampi

Since Hampi is a popular tourist destination, there are a number of hotels in Hampi. Hotels in Hampi range from luxury hotels to holiday resorts, home stays, mid-price hotels and budget hotels.
Check hotels in Hampi or read Hampi hotel reviews

How to reach Hampi

By Air: Bellary is the nearest domestic airport, which is about 60 km away. Bangalore is the nearest International Airport, which is 350 km away.

By Rail: Nearest railhead is Hospet, which is nearly 13 km from Hampi. Hospet is well connected to Bangalore, Hyderabad and other major cities in Karnataka and neighboring states.

By Road: Hampi is well connected by KSRTC bus services with all nearby cities. Daily KSRTC super deluxe night bus from Bangalore to Hampi. There are many private buses operating from Gokarna and many places in Goa have bus service to Hampi.

Best Time to Go: The monsoon (July-September) and winter (November-February). Catch the 3-day Hampi Festival in November

About Hampi: Hampi Information & Fact File
Altitude 467 meters
Summer 40 (Max) & 23 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Winter 29 (Max) & 12 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Best time to Go Monsoon & Winter
Monsoon July to September
Summer March to May
Winter November - February
Clothes Cottons in summer and woolens during winter
Nearest Airport Bellary (Domestic) - 60 km & Bangalore (International) – 350 km
Nearest Railway Station Hospet - 13 km
Bus Station Hampi
Hospital & Doctor

The nearest medical help can be taken from Government Hospital, Kamalapur Ph: 08394 - 241444

Places to see Achyutraya Temple, Hazara Rama Temple, Matanga Hill, Monolith Bull ...
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