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“Hampi - an excellent and tourist friendly destination” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hampi

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Hampi
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Hampi, India
Hyderabad, India
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Hampi - an excellent and tourist friendly destination”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2011

Hampi was once the centre of the mighty Vijaynagara Empire, which held sway over a large part of South India between the 14th and 17th centuries. Over three hundred and fifty years have passed since the empire was put to the sword by an alliance of the Deccan sultanates, but Hampi is a splendid legacy of Vijaynagara's days of glory.

Today, it is an excellent tourist destination that has not yet been ravaged by mindless commercialisation. This little town is simply bursting at the seams with lovely temples, monuments and a rich air of history. It is recommended that travelers keep aside at least 2-3 full days to explore Hampi well.

Getting there

Hampi is easily accessible by road or rail via the nearest town - Hospet, which is less than 15 kilometers away. Karnataka State Transport buses stop at Hospet bus station, If coming by train, look out for Hospet Junction.

We took the Rayalseema Express from Hyderabad, which reaches Hospet at 0530 (which gave us the entire day to start exploring!)

From Hospet, one can take an autorickshaw to Hampi. Be prepared for some haggling here. INR 100 is the usual fare, but enterprising drivers will start at INR 200...or more!

Getting Around:

Hampi is relatively easy to explore. A small part of Hampi can be explored on foot. Bicycles can be hired for the day from any of the shops in the bazaar in front of the Virupaksha Temple. The rent is around INR 20-30. While the bicycles are generally in decent shape, do check the tires and the brakes for wear and tear before you ride off.

Those with good stamina will find that a bicycle is just the ideal way to explore Hampi. If one is looking to move around faster, motorbikes and autorickshaws can also be hired at the bazaar area.

What to see:

We started off by getting hold of a map. Some shops in the bazaar give out maps and a little advice for free. The map is little, but it is not difficult to see the history and heritage that is packed into this place.... and we found our map to be more than enough to do our exploring.

One may even come across a lone pillar in the middle of a field, which may have been a part of some mighty structure that succumbed to the sands (or swords) of time.

2-3 full days are more than enough to explore Hampi.

Make sure your sightseeing checklist includes:
- Virupaksha Temple
- Vittala Temple area
- Elephant Stables
- KIng's balance
- Lotus Mahal
- Narasimha Statue
- Queen's Bath
- KIng's Audience Hall (and surrounding area)

There is truly a LOT to see here, which makes it an explorer's paradise!

Eating

The bazaar street and the surrounding area in the direction of the river has several nice restaurants to choose from. We ate at three different ones while we were there.

We found the food to be reasonably priced and of decent quality. Some restaurants also serve Israeli, Russian and Continental fare. However, one must remember that this is a small town, so the 'international' cuisine they serve is edible, but may not remind one of home!

A few savvy restaurant owners have emblazoned 'Recommended by Lonely Planet' on their signboards! These included two of the restaurants we visited, and we had nothing to complain about.

Where to Stay

One choose from a wide array of budget-friendly guesthouses and homestays. During our research, we found the rates generally ranged between INR 300 - 800 a night.

Do check the rate before you choose a place, especially during season time, when they can go as high as INR 1500.

General Tips

Safety: We found Hampi to be relatively safe. But do observe the usual precautions such as not wandering around alone after dark, especially near the ruins.

Money: Carry enough cash with you. We used an ATM near the Virupaksha temple area, but come with the assumption that it may not always be in working order

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Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“history beautifully combined with mythology”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2011

Hampi, a world heritage site, takes you back into time. And when I say time, its just not a few hundred years back, of which there are many ruins still in place. The visit takes you several thousand years back, into the Ramayan era. Of course, for that you have to have some belief in the Ramayan.

Since you have to walk a lot to fully comprehend the place, its important that the timing of visit is in winters. Even in December, I could feel the heat!!!

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Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
1 review
“Hampi - world largest living heritage site!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2011

Hampi, definately is one of the most extensive & spectacular sites to be found anywhere in the world was the capita of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire, there are 500 plus monuments which have stood the ravages of man and time. and this is the best place to have Indiana style adventuring.

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Oxford
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Hampi via Enflield Bullet the perfect way to see it.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2011

Hampi is a breathtaking natural landscape of huge granite rocks, a wide river and an ancient city packed with temples and buildings dating back centuries. It's a little off the beaten track but I got there by motorcycle tour on an Enfield Bullet with LiveIndia.co.uk. Make sure you see the Monkey Temple at sunset, 600 steps straight up but well worth the climb.

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New York City, New York
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The ultimate hippie trip”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2010

Karnataka has many beautiful tourist spots. But what makes Hampi special than the rest is its 'informal' setting. This is a place you have to go if you want a memorable road trip. A real footloose experience.

I went to Hampi from Bangalore by bus. You get a seat for around Rs 400 ($8). Cheap! There are nice places to stay in Hampi. But no big hotels are there. You have to be prepared to live in cosy, small rooms.

Do visit Mango Tree restaurant by the banks of Tungabhadra river. What I liked the most about Hampi is that there are many archaeological ruins spread across the town. You can rent a motorcycle and ride about town.

Summer is ideal to go to Hampi. Some people like to go in monsoon, which sets in after July. If you like travelling by road, packing a rucksack on your back, with cotton pants and a big smile, go to Hampi. You will like it.

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