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Introducing Hampi

Best time to visit : September to February
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The captivating ruins, arid topography and contrasting oasis with palm, mango and banana groves in Hampi is worth a visit. This laid back village located in Karnataka on the bank of River Tungabhadra offers exquisite landscape with scattered large boulders amidst the ruins that date back to the 14th century, at a stretch of more than 25 sq. km. It has more than 500 striking monuments; the most prominent one being the Vittala Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This travel guide provides important tourist information about this prime Hindu kingdom in India’s history.

Facts

This historical site is located in central Karnataka approximately 365 km. from Bangalore. Hampi was the last capital of Vijayanagar, ruins of which are a UNESCO World Heritage site today. The interesting novel of "A Forgotten Empire" by Robert Sewell describes the birth and decline of Vijayanagar Empire. During those royal days, diamonds were sold on the streets and it was called ‘Pan Supaari Street’; it is now marked by Archaeological Survey of India with a sign board. Kannada, Hindi, Telugu and English are the languages spoken in Hampi. Hampi gets crowded with tourists during the 'Hampi Utsav', held during first week of November. The luminous monuments, views of the ruins during the night and spectacular dance and music show are sure to be a treat to the eyes. Hampi also has a religious signifance for Hindus as it is “home of Pampa”, the daughter of Lord Brahma who was married to Shiva. Hence, the village was earlier famous as Pampakshethra.

Hampi eateries are mainly concentrated in the Hampi Bazaar. Almost all of them are vegetarian serving Idli, Dosa and other south Indian snacks for breakfast and Thali for meals. Some westernized eating joints do serve pancakes, burgers, pizza etc. There is an Italian bakery also. Some popular restaurants at Hampi are Mango tree restaurant, Welcome Restaurant, Bhavani Hotel, Shanthi Restaurant, Om Shiva, Raju Roof Restaurant, Sri Venkatashawara Restaurant etc.

The town has shops all around, especially near the tourist places. Shops in Hampi bazaar sell locally made garments, bags, jewellery, shawls, toys etc. The tailor made clothes sold in Hampi are very popular. Try to bargain in these shops for bagging a good deal for your purchases.

Nearby Places:
Sightseeing around Hampi is incomplete, if you do not visit the nearby interesting places stated below:

  • Hospet: Drive for about 13 km. from Hampi and you are in the city of Hospet on the Tungabhadra River. Some of the attractions in Hospet are Anantashayana temple, Queen’s Bath, Chitradurga Fort, Lotus Mahal, Raghunath Temple etc. Hospet has many luxury hotels, banks, ATMs, bus terminal and railway station.
  • Bangalore: From Hampi, it takes around 6 hours to reach Bangalore– The Silicon Valley of India. One of the major economic and cultural hubs of India located at a distance of about 365 km., this city is the fastest growing metropolis. With its name now being changed to Bengaluru, the places of interest here include Lal Bagh, Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore Palace, Bannerghatta National Park, Wonderla, Cubbon Park, Bellandur Lake, Iskcon Temple and so on. Flaunting magical natural beauty, this city boasts of plethora of museums, galleries, historical buildings, parks, religious institutions, wildlife sanctuaries etc.
  • Anegundi (or Anegondi): This is a picturesque village near Hampi with numerous sites frequented by tourists. Some of them are Ganesh Temple, Anegundi Garuda Sthambha, Huchchaiappana Mutt, Gagan Palace, Pampa Sarovara Laxmi Temple, Anegundi fort, Srikrishnadevaraya samadhi, the entrange gate and so on. 

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