Hampi is a village within the large ancient capital of Vijayanagar, one of the greatest Hindu kingdoms in India’s history. In around 1500 Vijaynagar had 500,000 inhabitants, probably making it one of the biggest cities in the world. It has some extremely captivating ruins, strangely mixed in with large boulders dotted all over the landscape. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The ruins, which date back to the 14th century, stretch for just over 10 miles and comprise more than 500 monuments. The most striking monument is the Vittala Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Its main hall has 56 pillars that make musical sounds when struck.
An incredible energy can be felt at Hampi. The sunrise and sunset over the village, viewed from atop the central Matanga Hill, are truly magical and are not to be missed. Be sure to have a comfortable pair of shoes with you as some of the ruins can only be accessed on foot and you’ll need to walk quite a distance in order to explore them. Try taking a ferry trip across the river to Anegondi and exploring the relics there. Alternatively, it’s a good idea to hire a bicycle to get around. Night tours are also possible. The best time to visit is from November to February. In March, it starts getting unbearably hot.
The recently opened Hampi airport has improved accessibility considerably with new routes and flights being added regularly.
This remarkable structure with 11 chambers, once housed the royal elephants. Note the range of roof designs.
Krishna Temple Complex
↑This temple complex has been recently excavated through the last decade, and restoration work is still in progress. The temple has the Sacred Tank or the Pushkarani located on its eastern side. Also here, is the Narasimha Monolith.
Lotus Mahal is a lovely building showing a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture. It is located within the Hazara Rama Temple Complex
This image of Vishnu as half man-half lion was carved out of a single boulder in 1528.
This small, square tank with multiple steps was part of a hydraulic system that brought water to the Hazara Rama temple complex.
↑Virupaksha Temple, known as the Pampavathi temple, is an ancient temple situated in the Hampi Bazzar. It predates the founding of the Vijayanagara empire. The temple has a 50 m high gopura (tower) at its entrance. Apart from Shiva, the temple complex also contains shrines of the erotic statues Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa.
Vittala temple complex
This is perhaps the most famous and well-known among the ruins of Hampi. The iconic Stone Chariot in the vicinity of this temple complex is a symbol of Karnataka Tourism.
View from njaneyadri Hill
A view of farmland surrounding the Hampi ruins from Njaneyadri hill.
Discover the wonderful variety of places to stay in India; including some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, intimate boutique hotels bursting with local character, charming homestays where you’ll have a chance to interact with local families, converted forts & palaces, fabulous lodges and heritage havelis.
Below are a selection of our favourite sample itineraries that we have created based on our experiences of travelling extensively throughout India. As with all our tours, every aspect can be tailor-made to your individual requirements.