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Hampi - Travel Back in Time

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

I think I don't have enough words in my dictionary to do this place justice. Nevertheless, I would definitely try my best to pen down all the glorious, incredible things HAMPI - the city of ruins has to offer!!

It seriously is one of the top places to visit in India and home to many centuries old beautiful landmarks!!

This was our first trip as a married couple except for our honeymoon(which I'll write down about in another article) and we literally fell in love with this historic beauty that we didn't want to ever came back from there.

Hampi, a beautiful quaint village of carvings and ethereal architecture lies on the banks of the Tungabhadra river located in the state Karnataka, India. It is not only a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE but also is a very popular holy place for the Hindus.

If you are from India, you must be familiar with the tales of the Tenali rama and vijayanagara's then empire Sri Krishna Dev ray. Well,Hampi was a proud part of the same Vijayanagara Empire during the 14th century before it was conquered and destroyed by the Muslim sultanates in 1565, after which it remained in ruins.But then this lost city was again discovered by the British in the 19th century and made a come back. Quite a history that is, Right!!

But Enough of history, coming to the travelling part now...

Well, Hampi is a place where nature meets the human mind's creativity. And the blend of these two is so breathtaking here is you need to see it to believe it.

So lets start unraveling the HAMPI stories....

Don't worry, Be HAMPI 🙂

We visited Hampi in the month of November, as winter is the best time to head there considering the heat in the summer. we boarded our train from Kachiguda railway station, Hyderabad by the KCG YPR EXP which takes around 11-12 hrs to reach Hosapet. The clock ticked over to 8:00 and I was woken up my husband as we were just about to reach our destination Hosapet.

From the station it was really easy to get an auto to our final destination, Hampi. The minute we left the main roads of Hosapet, Hampi started to sprinkle its magical vibes on us. It's kind of felt like we traveled back in time to the ancient times or we are in the middle of some mythological movie set!!

The tons of giant rocks scattered throughout the whole area as if someone has done it with so much of care and the precisely balanced huge boulder stones on one side and the tall, proud palm trees on another side of the road made us wonder and appreciate the awesome blend of the ancient architecture and nature's charisma. And in no time, Hampi gradually started its way under our skin, and we were already spellbound by its extraordinary beauty.

After a half hour ride, we finally entered the amazing city of ruins - HAMPI...


The weather in Hampi is very hot in summer, so the best time to visit Hampi is from November to Feb, which is the winter season in India. Don't plan to visit there in summer as it will be too hot that you can't even go outside.


By Train: #Hosapet is the nearest railway station around 13 km from Hampi. You can take either a bus/auto/cab from here to reach Hampi, which takes around less than an hour.

By Flight: Jindal Vijayanagar Airport also known as Vidyanagar Airport is the nearest airport to Hampi. It's just 1 he(35 km) ride from Hampi.

Bangalore is the nearest international airport to Hampi which is 300 km away.

By Road: Hampi is very well connected to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Hubli and other major cities of Karnataka via roadways.

We wanted to make this stay a budget one so we opted for home-stays instead of luxury hotels. The #home-stays in hampi are pretty cheap. You can get a decent stay in just Rs. 500-800/-.we were provided with a decent double bed, a TV, a clean bathroom and even Wifi was available there.

It only cost us Rs.2000/- for our 3 days stay. Pretty cool, Right?

But you can also choose luxury hotels or cottage hotels there. Hampi has to offer something to everyone :)


1. Kishkinda Heritage Resort : Rs. 2265 /- approx.

2. Heritage Resort Hampi : Rs. 5000 /- approx.

3. Hyatt Place Hampi: Rs. 5000 /- approx.

Note: There are few home-stays which provide really cheap accommodation!!


You can go for guided tours in autos/cabs, but we would suggest you to go for a #cycle/ #moped/ #scooter, you can hire a cycle at Rs.100, a mopped at Rs. 150, and a Scooter at Rs. 200 per day. It is as cheap as it gets🙂. It's easy to get a bike on both sides of the river. Opt for a Coracle(or Dongi) to cross the river and then hire a bike from that side. Otherwise to reach the other side of the river, it takes almost an hour via road, and the roads are not that great.

There are 2 parts of Hampi, each on either side of the Tungabhadra river. And trust me, you can't afford to miss either of them!! On the Day 1, we were really tired because of the train journey, so chose to see around in an auto. Our driver cum guide Mr. Raj bhaiya was really sweet and agreed to show us around the ruin city in a very pocket friendly price. We covered lots of ancient temples and ruins on our first day. On the Day 2, we were feeling adventures and hired bicycles instead. In the early morning we headed to experience the sunrise from the hillside, which was truly mesmerizing. Then Out of excitement, we managed to travel all the other places on the cycles the whole day with smiling faces. But the reality stroke us in the evening in the form of sore feets and unbearable pain because of the 15 km cycle rides. But Trust me, it was worth it..the experience on the cycles were worth every pain. On Day 3, we went to the other side of the river where the Anjaneya hills and the beautiful lake reside. We crossed the river by the Coracle also called as Dongi which is a round shaped boat. This is a must experience for one of the most thrilling boat rides complete with whirlpools, high currents and crocodiles.After this fun filled ride on the Tungabhadra river, we headed to a bike rental shop to get a scooter to roam around this part of Hampi. The narrow roads filled with stones gave us a really thrilling ride there. There are a few restaurants on the banks of the river, from where we enjoyed the view of the river with warm cup of coffee. it was a beautiful view. Just thinking about it cheers me up.


1. Virupaksha Temple - #TheVirupakshaTemple is one of the most stunning landmarks as well as the center of pilgrimage at Hampi. It is located on the south bank of the river Tungabhadra. It is part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi, noted for its architecture and has been listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This temple is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Shiva.

Dating back 1,300 years, the magnificent structure consists of a layered tower of elaborate, hand-carved friezes populated by a bevy of Hindu deities and symbols.  It is constructed in Dravidian architecture style. Virupaksha is an avatar of Lord Shiva, and among all the surrounding ruins, this temple is intact and is still in use. It believed that this temple has been functioning uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD. That makes this one of the oldest functioning temples in India.

This temple has ancient inscriptions which date back to 9th and 10th centuries. Originally it was a small shrine, and the sanctuary of Virupaksha–Pampa (Shiva and Pampa) existed well before the foundation of the Vijayanagara Empire. However, the Vijayanagara rulers were responsible for building this small shrine into a large temple complex.

Timing: Open on all days of the week from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed

Photography: Allowed

2. Kadalekalu Ganesha - #KadalekaluGanesha is one of the largest statues of Lord Ganesha that exists in the southern part of India. The shrine housing the statue of Kadalekalu Ganesha is situated on the slope of the Hemakuta Hill in Hampi. It is a remarkable monolithic statue and one of the most popular tourist sites in Hampi.

Kadalekalu Ganesha is one of the largest statues of Lord Ganesha in Hampi. The giant Ganesha statue is 4.6 m (15 feet) tall and was carved out of a single boulder. The belly of this statue resembles a Bengal gram (Kadalekalu in Kannada) and hence the statue has been given the name of Kadalekalu Ganesha. If you would look closely, you would notice a snake wrapped around Lord Ganesha's belly. According to mythology, Lord Ganesha is very fond of food and he ate so much that his belly came to the verge of bursting. therefore, he wrapped the snake to stop his belly from bursting.. Interesting,Right?

The temple of Kadalekalu Ganesha is a beautiful stone structure. A sanctum is built around the statue. The pillared hall in front of this sanctum is decorated with tall and beautiful pillars. The sculptures on the pillars are depicted with mythological characters. The temple also offers picturesque views of the Hampi Bazaar and the Matanga Hill while standing in the hall of the Ganesha temple. The calm ambiance of the temple makes it a wonderful place to spend some peaceful moments admiring the beauty of the temple and the surroundings.

Timing: Open on all days of the week from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed

Photography: Allowed

3. Hampi Bazaar - #HampiBazaar is a unique attraction of Hampi. It is Located in front of the Virupaksha Temple, the Hampi Bazaar is a well-known marketplace that spreads for more than a kilometer,the east end of the temple ends at the foothill of the Matanga Hill. Both sides of the road passing through the market has series of old pavilions on both sides.The place used to be a thriving market during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire.

Though the market has lost much of its sheen and significance, it is still popular among the tourists. Also known as Virupaksha Bazaar, this street is located in font of the Virupaksha temple . Towards the west end (towards Virupaksha temple) the pavilions are now encroached and made into shops, restaurants and the likes making the street narrower. Poor villagers have made the eastern section into their homes. It's interesting the houses of the rich merchants and nobles of the empire are now being occupied by one of the poorest.

One enters into the street from the bus stand through a gate. A huge Nandi (bull statue) called is located at the east end of the street. An open platform nearby is the main stage of the annual Hampi festival. In the middle of the street, somewhat close to the temple, you can spot the wooden temple car covered in tin sheets. As a mark of reverence to the god during the annual car festival devotees pull the car along the street, a tradition that has been in practice for centuries.If you are staying at Hampi, go for a morning walk / cycling along this street. You may witness the Hampi village 'waking up' slowly on either sides of the street. We went for a bicycle. From here we routed to the hilltop to experience the most famous and beautiful sunrise view.

Timing: Open on all days of the week from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed

Photography: Allowed

4. Matanga Hill - #Matanga Hill is located at the eastern end of the Hampi Bazaar. It offers a breathtaking view of the ruined city and the beautiful landscape below. This Hill is one of the major places to visit in Hampi. Being the highest point in Hampi; this is the best spot to get an aerial view of Hampi and its surroundings. Also, the hill is a trekker's delight and offers pleasing views of the entire town below. There are many trekking paths that lead to the top of the hilltop where the Veerabhadra Temple is located.

The hill top of the Veerabhadra Temple is the ideal place for sunrise and sunset view. The climbing can take around 30 minutes. On the way down there is a small cave marked where it is believed that Sugriva, ruler of Kishkinda, used to hide.

According to mythology, Matanga Hill is one of the holy places described in the epic Ramayana as the base of Saint Matanga. It is also the place where Sugriva benefited from the magical protection of the sage Matanga who had placed a curse of death on Vali, if he dared enter the area of Matanga Hill. From the top of the hill, one can view the Achyutaraya Temple, Tungabhadra River, Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Bazaar and surroundings.

Timing: Open on all days of the week from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed

Photography: Allowed

5. Zanana Enclosure - #Zanana enclosure used to be a fortified and secluded area reserved for the royal women of the vijayanagara empire. the enclosure is a sprawling compound that had tall walls surrounding it on all sides and watchtowers to keep guard against any trespassers. This walled harem houses many interesting highlights. The major attraction is the Lotus Mahal located at the southeast corner. the Lotus Mahal is otherwise called the Kamal Mahal, Located inside the Zenana enclosure, this is said to be a socializing area for the women in the royal family, It’s remarkable and unmistakable design is the main highlight of the palace.

The Queen’s Palace (visible only the basement) is located at the middle of this area, on the left side of your path, this has been the largest palace base excavated in the Hampi ruins so far. Also the three-tired elaborate base structure speaks of its importance as a palace. The superstructure was made of wooden or less durable materials compared to the stone base. Along with the other royal structures, a gut during the rival incursion could have destroyed the palace. A rectangular deep tank (now empty) just at east of this probably used as a water source to the palace.

Opposite to the palace base, across the central path, at the east lie the remains of a water pavilion. This is basically a decorated platform at the center of a shallow pool.

The lotus mahal is one of only a handful few astonishing building in Hampi that had not been damaged or destroyed amid the attack on the city. this falls under the secular or nonreligious categories of structures in Hampi. As the name given to the palace is because of the shape it resembles. The balcony and the passages covered with a dome that looks like an opened lotus bud. The central dome is also carved as a lotus bud. The curves of the palace are given an Islamic touch while the multi-layered roof design is moreover related to Indo style of buildings. The style and designs is an inquisitive blend of Islamic and Indian way of architecture.The palace is a two-storied building, well-structured symmetrically. It is surrounded by a rectangular wall and four towers. These towers are also in pyramidal shape giving a lotus-like structure visual.

The walls and pillars are carved beautifully with patterns like sea creatures, animals and birds. The surrounding area of the palace is covered with many shady trees providing a cool ambiance to the palace. when the Lotus Mahal is lit up during the evening, visitors witness a fantastic view. It is a standout venue in entire Hampi to take photographs.

Timing: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days of the week

Entry Fee for Indians: 10.00

Entry Fee for Foreigners: 250.00

Entry Fee for Children: Free for Children under 15 years of age

Photography: Allowed (no extra charges)

Video Charges: RS. 25.00

6. Queen's Bath - The #QueensBath in Hampi is a colossal bath that exemplifies the architectural excellence prevalent during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is located close to the entrance of the Royal Enclosure in Hampi. Constructed during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire, the Queen’s Bath impresses visitors even today, more than 500 years after it was built. For some mysterious reasons this was called as the queen’s bath. But in all probability this was a royal pleasure complex for the king and his wives.

It’s a bit an assuming plane rectangular building from outside. But when you get inside, the story is different.The whole building is made with a veranda around facing a big open pond at the middle. Projecting into the pond are many balconies. An aqueduct terminates in the pond.The balconies are decorated with tiny windows and supported by lotus bud tipped brackets. The whole pool is open to the sky. This brick lined pool is now empty. But it’s believed once fragrant flowers and perfumed water filled this bathing pool. At one end of the veranda you can see a flight of steps giving access to the pool. The domical roof of veranda is a spectacle itself. Just go around the veranda looking at each dome, as they are designed in asset of unique style.

Timing: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days of the week

Entry Fee: No entry fee required

Photography: Allowed

7. Vithala Temple - The Vittala Temple or #VitthalaTemple in Hampi is an ancient monument that is well-known for its exceptional architecture and unmatched craftsmanship. It is considered to be one of the largest and the most famous structure in Hampi. The temple is located in the north eastern part of Hampi, near the banks of the Tungabhadra River.

The iconic temple has amazing stone structures such as the incomparable stone chariot and the fascinating musical pillars. This predominant monument of Hampi is a major attraction of the ruined town and is a must-see for visitors and tourists.

Timing: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM on all days of the week

Entry Fee: No entry fee required

Photography: Allowed

8. Elephant Stables - The #ElephantStable in Hampi is an impressive structure that was used to provide shelter for the royal elephants of the Vijayanagara Empire. The elephant stable is located in the area that lies just outside the Zenana Enclosure. It is one of the very few structures that have not suffered extensive damage during the Mughal attack on Hampi that led to the downfall of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565 A.D. There are 11 domed tall chambers; some of them are inter- connected. The center one is specially decorated and big. Probably the musicians and the associated band troupes had been using this during ceremonies involving elephant processions.

The whole building looks symmetric with respect to this central hall. The tower of the central hall resembles (though mostly destroyed) more like that of temples. However the five pairs of domes on either side are of Islamic in style. They are better preserved and of alternating patterns.Metal hooks (used to tie the elephants) on the inside roof can be seen. At the rear of each hall are small manhole type openings for the mahouts to enter the elephant compartments. You reach here through the #Zanana Enclosure.

Timing: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on all days of the week

Entry Fee for Indians: INR 10.00

Entry Fee for Foreigners: INR 250.00

Entry Fee for Children: Free for Children under 15 years of age

Photography: Allowed (no extra charges levied)

9. Hazara Rama Temple - #Hazara Rama Temple in Hampi is an important shrine in Hampi. This small but beautiful temple is located at the center of the royal area. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, a hindu deity. It was once the private temple of the kings and the royal family of Vijayanagara. The temple is famous for the lovely based relics and panels depicting the story of the epic Ramayana. The first thing comes to mind on seeing this temple, or more precisely its walls, is the locally popular comic strips of Hindu mythology, Ramayana. But the difference is, the stories are carved, in long arrays, onto the walls of this temple.

This is not a huge temple by Hampi’s yardstick. But this #temple at the heart of the royal area has some peculiarities. Firstly it had been functioning as a private temple for the king, or at the most, the royal family. The importance of this temple can be judged from its nodal location in the royal area. The temple got its name Hazara Rama (a thousand Rama) Temple owing to this multitude of these Ramayana panels on its walls.A sprawling lawn located at the north of this temple is an easy landmark you can spot from a distance. The dusty path that connects the Royal Enclosure with the zenana enclosure passes along the temple courtyard.

Timing: Open on all days of the week from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed

Photography: Allowed

10. Tungabhadra River - #Tungabhadra is in fact formed by the union of two rivers Tunga and Bhadra and hence the name. Both Tunga & Bhadra Rivers are originated on the eastern slops of the Western Ghats. Tungabhadra flows in a more or less northwest direction before joining the eastern river Krishna. The Krishna River finally ends into the Bay of Bengal. In modern India a huge dam and hydroelectric project is constructed across Tungabhadra (about 20 kilometer southwest of Hampi), curtailing the original vigor of the river in this part.The Vijayanagara kings took advantage of the river by constructing a host of irrigation canals and aqueducts.

A highly networked water supply system fed the man made water bodies in the urban core of the palace area. Many of the ancient canals are still in use to irrigate the surrounding agriculture fields.The ancient name of the river was Pampa. According to the legends, Pampa, the daughter of Brahma (the God of creation) did penance to please Lord Shiva. Impressed by her devotion Shiva married her and taken the name Pampapati (means husband of Pampa). The name Hampi has origin in Pampa. On the banks if the river, there are numerous shrines and idols associated with the worship of Lord Shiva.

You must have a Dongi ride into the river, which is a really thrilling experience. we sure loved it.

Timing: Open on all days of the week from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed

Photography: Allowed

11. Anjaneya Hill/Monkey Temple - This hill is situated on the other side of the tungabhadra river. At the top of the hill is the temple dedicated for Lord Hanuman, the monkey warrior god. According to Hindu mythology he was born to Anjana, the wife of Bayu, Wind . Thus Hanuman is also known as Anjaneya and his birthplace as #Anjaneyadri (Anjaneya’s hill). You can easily spot this hill from a distance as the temple at the hilltop is whitewashed and a white trail of steps zigzagging all the way to the top.

The temple is of high importance to the worshipers of lord Rama and Hanuman. The icon of Hanuman is carved on the rocks. Also is the small shrine for Rama and his consort Sita inside the temple.The view from the hilltop is marvelous. Patches of paddy fields looks like a solved jigsaw puzzle, coconut tree plantations and the whole of the ruins sites is visible stretching into the horizon. Looking at the ruins from here you would know the reason why they chose this place as their capital. All around in the horizons are the rugged rocky mountains and at one side in the mighty Tungabhadra river. It was a naturally secluded strategically important location for a capital city.The way to the #hilltop is stepped. It’s quite a #climb.

There are no shops at the top. So bring water, snacks etc from the base. There are a few small stalls down selling drinks and snacks. From Hampi you can come to this place by first crossing the river by the coracle. The main crossing points are at the Virupapur Gadde (near Virupaksha temple), Kodandarama temple (coracle ferry + 2 kilometer walk/bicycle ride) or near the Vittala Temple (coracle ferry + 5 kilometer ride by bicycle).

Timing: Open on all days of the week

Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed

Photography: Allowed

Climb to the top: More than 500 steps

12. Sanapur Lake - #Sanapur Lake formed by an irrigation reservoir is a great excursion point from Hampi.The natural lake with stunning boulder hills all around makes the theme of this locale.The road you'll take to reach Sanapur Lake will wind through paddy and banana plantations , before it wiggle around massive boulders precariously overhanging onto the road. Drive to Sanapur Lake and the ambient around the lake has character, you'll savour. You'll also find local village folks offer coracle ride (fun ride) on the lake. Sanapur Lake is still a less frequented place. You'll not find a large tourist crowd in this locale.

Sanapur Lake is a reservoir fed by Tungabhadra Dam canal. It is beautiful to watch deep blue lake in middle of boulders. You will not be able to see lake till you reach very close to it as it is completely hidden. We were free that day so decided to explore the nearby places also, there are small villages before Sanapur lake and after crossing the lake there is a canal along the road and hills of boulders both the sides which was scenic to watch while riding rented scooter. Sanapur Lake is a paradise for cliff divers many people with there Gopro were indulge in cliff diving. Apart from that you can enjoy coracle ride at the Sanapur lake.

Timing: Open on all days of the week

Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed

Photography: Allowed


Coming to the food, there are many #restaurants with beautiful decor and delicious food. If you want something homely you can rely on your host too, the people there are very polite to offer you really delicious homely meal.

You must try the food at the Mango Tree Restaurant, it was mouthwatering,the price was very pocket-friendly. The interior was really cute.


Our trip to #Hampi was a real treat which we will be cherishing for a life. We are really looking forward to head back there again and relive those treasures again. Here are some more beautiful pictures from our trip!!

Thank you so much for stopping by!! :)

Stay tuned for much more unending travel stories like this!! :) #travelandtourism #hyderabadtourism #travelfun #travelblog #travelposts #travelblogger #travelvlogs #latesttravelvlogs #vlogs #2019travelblogs #hyderabadcuisines #hyderabaddiaries

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