Travel to Hampi, the erstwhile capital of the 500 year old Vijaynagara empire, to experience the enigmatic architecture and culture of the most powerful of all South Indian kingdoms in Indian history.
Spread over a vast stretch of arid, undulating terrain dotted everywhere by huge boulders, more than 500 monuments constitute the Ruins of Hampi that today form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The months from November to March remain cooler and are ideal for a Hampi tour. The ruins are organized into two major areas. One is the Sacred Centre around the main travellers’ circuit at Hampi Bazaar, towered over by the Virupaksha Temple. The other is the Royal Centre towards the southern village of Kamalapuram, wherein are housed the walled ladies’ quarters called Zenana Enclosure. The beautiful Lotus Mahal and Elephants’ Stables are to be found here. Further south you come across the majestic Tungabhadra dam as well as various Hindu temples strewn about the area.
Travel to Hampi
You can take a flight from any of the metro cities to the nearest airport at Hubli, almost 150 km from Hampi. From there on till Hampi buses or taxis can be availed. Alternatively, a cheaper yet comfortable mode to travel to Hampi is by rail, the nearest railway junction being at Hospet, 13 km away. To get around the place you can easily hire a bicycle, motorcycle, vespa or a car for nominal daily charges. Hiring a tour guide could be a good idea as it could help you look beyond just rocks and temples and discover the rich, vibrant history of Hampi.
It is best to explore Hampi at leisure, with little or no constraints on time. Life here is slow and almost every plinth and every rock has a story to tell, which makes walking or bicycling around Hampi a fascinating experience. The landscape of Hampi is unique in its own right, with very little vegetation and only rocks encompassing the entire area. Travel to Hampi will offer a most enriching experience for travellers interested in history, art and culture. Just pack lots of water and a hat or scarf to protect your head from the intense heat, put on your walking shoes and you’re good to go.
A Pilgrim’s Paradise
The 16th century Vitthala Temple, with its famed ‘musical’ pillars and sculpted Stone Chariot, is the main attraction that draws devotees to travel to Hampi. Another attraction is the Hanuman Temple atop Anjaneya Hill, in Anegundi village on the other side of the river. It is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. Other must-visits around Hampi include the Hemakuta Hill Temples, Underground Shiva Temple, Achyut Raya Temple and the Queen’s Bath. There is just so much to see and do; a minimum of 3-4 days of sightseeing are mandatory to do real justice to a trip to Hampi.
If you want to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site in India, Shanti Travel’s tour expert is available to help you plan your customized itinerary to Southern India including a trip to Hampi. http://www.shantitravel.com/en/south-india-tours/