Legend says that, Hampi is a place that should be explored by people who are physically fit and the words are absolutely true. "Hampi" - the capital city of great Vijayanagara empire which stands proudly today amidst ruins is a must visit to everyone. This beautiful city of ruins screams aloud the bruises it has gone through by a lot of other emperors from several dynasties.
Surrounded by amazing rocky terrains and the vivacious Tungabhadra stands the amazing city of Hampi in the Hospet taluk of Bellary district embracing the visitors across the globe. Hampi never fails to tickle the curiosity of a traveller and the beauty of this place gets unveiled differently to different people.
Since we all do not have much time these days; let us see an itinerary for 2 days' trip to Hampi.
Click here to know the distance to Hampi
Image of Sri Virupaksha temple
Image Courtesy : Brunda Nagaraj
Day 1 itinerary
One of the most ancient and the most magnificent temples that catches everyone's attention from a distance is the Hampi Virupaksha temple. The eleven storey building has 1100 storeys to narrate; a temple that has undergone renovations multiple times and yet standing tall in pride is a must visit. There are two towers in the temple, while the first one lacks evidence on who and when it was built; the second tower is said to have been built by King Krishnadevaraya at the time of his coronation and is called the "Raya tower".
- Height of the tower- 165ft
- Breadth of the tower-120ft
- Presiding deity of the temple : Pampapati or Lord Virupaksha (Shiva)
- Entrances to the temple : Three
There is a dedicated temple to Lord Bhuvaneshwari and Pampadevi to the north of Lord Virupaksha temple. The tower on the North is known as Kanakagiri tower and you will find the temple of Ratnagarbha Ganapati.
Other temples in the premises
Temple of Vidyaranya (founder of the Vijayanagara empire), Lord Suryanarayana, Pataleshwara, Navagraha, Muktinarasimha, Lakshminarasimha and Mahishasura Mardini, Lord Dhanvantri, Lord Hanuman and Sri Shankaracharya
Not to be missed
The intricate carvings on the walls of the temple, a stone urn inside the Virupaksha temple, the pin-hole camera technology being implemented in a dark chamber at the rear side of the temple, Ranga Mantapa, three headed statue of a Bull, the Loka Pawana Theertha, blessings from an elephant just as you enter the temple premises. The seva counter and footwear stand is available outside the temple and prayers are offered thrice a day in this temple.
Time required: 1.5 hours
Outside view of Kodandarama temple
Image Courtesy : Brunda Nagaraj
Distance from Sri Virupaksha temple: approximately 1.5 km
Legend says that Sugreeva spotted Lord Rama for the first time in this place and the carvings are made by Sugreeva himself. A beautiful temple with the carvings in the fossilized shells of Lord Rama, Goddess Seetha along with Lakshmana which are 6ft tall takes the traveller to a different world altogether. We all know that Lord Rama is incomplete without Lord Hanuman but the carving of a monkey you see in this temple is of Sugreeva along with the rest of the statues.
- Time required to cover: 15 minutes
A view of beautiful tungabhadra river - on the way to Yantrodhaaraka Hanuman temple - Image Courtesy : Brunda Nagaraj
Yantrodhaaraka Hanuman temple
Right behind the KodandaRama temple, on a hillock is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
The Hanuman statue has been installed by the Dwaita Philosopher Sri Vyasaraja and it is believed that this is the first idol to be installed by him out of the 732 installations. Lord Hanuman here is tied in a six angled amulet (yantra) by the sage. Saturdays are usually crowded with a lot of devotees. There are statues of Snake Lords outside the temple premises.
- Time required to cover: 30 minutes
Lord Venkataramana temple
Right above the Yantrodhaaraka Hanuman temple there is a statue of Lord Venkataramana (Vishnu) and legend says that Lord Vyasaraja himself has carved this idol during Treta Yuga. There are steps leading to this temple from the Hanuman temple and the view from this place is amazing.
- Time required to cover: 10 minutes
Hastagiri Ranganatha temple
Adjacent to the Yantrodhaaraka temple, to the right side is the Hastagiri Ranganatha temple (Lord Vishnu in sleeping posture)along with his two wives Bhudevi and Sridevi. This is an isolated temple and there are empty porches in the temple.
- Time required to cover : 10 minutes
Other ruins close to this place
Temple of Varaha which is built in Shaivaite style and another Vishnu temple, Achyutaraya temple, Hattky amma temple, Naga devathe temple - Time required to cover these places : 2 hours
A view of Matanga hills
Image Courtesy : Deep13ak75
If you are a trekking enthusiast, this is one of the must explore hills at Hampi. Covered with dense forests, with a couple or more trails to reach the top of the hill, this place is a trekkers paradise. To the west are the stepped ramps which is said to be the convenient of all the trails. To the east is another trail that connects to the Hampi Bazaar street and the scarcely used path is located to the south. If you are looking for a spectacular view of the entire Hampi city, sunrise and sunsets; you must climb atop. Go up, feel the breeze as you chant prayers to the Lord Veerabhadra.
- Time required to cover: 2 hours
A beautiful place situated on the banks of the river Tungabhadra is Purandara Mantapa. This place is dedicated to the famous poet Purandaradasa who is said to have composed more than 75,000 songs. This place has a statue of Purandara holding Tambura and an annual celebration on the poet's birthday is held every year for two to three days with great and fervour and gaiety. Ruins of bridge that once connected Anegundi to Hampi can be seen from this place.
- Time required to cover : 30 minutes
A beautiful place to relax and relive the moments; a serene place to meditate and forget the hustle-bustle of the city is on the banks of Tungabhadra. Spend some time here and feel the place; you may also go for a coracle ride to explore the places on the other side of the river like Navabrundavana, Anegundi and Chandramouleeshwara temples (if time permits) before we complete the day.
Things to know:
- Entry fee and camera fee are not applicable in any of these places
- Video camera fee applicable at the Virupaksha temple
- Photography allowed in all the places except for Virupaksha temple and Yantoddharaka temple
- It's good to carry water bottles - local snacks are available at almost all the places
- Beware of your belongings as Hampi is a land of monkeys
- Better to have : A small torch, water bottle, energy bars along with you
- Guides are available to take you arounfd the city