Have you ever travelled to a place so dramatic in its natural form; you can’t help wondering what sort of people and what sort of life it has seen? Well I did! My trip to Hampi was so exciting that it left me wanting much more. So transfixed I was at the barren land, old column structures, huge giant boulders and long stretch of craggy mountains that all my doubts about Hampi and its magnitude melted away.
Hampi – a dreamworld made of boulders, monoliths and ruins of ancient edifices is a delight for tourists and thus is considered among best places to visit in Karnataka. Though the place is majorly ruins and remains, there are several reasons to visit Hampi that is blessed with several temples, florid ornamentation, bold and delicate carvings, stately pillars, magnificent pavilions and a great wealth of iconographic and traditional depictions.
So read on and plan your next sojourn to Hampi!
1) Marvel at the striking landscape
Vast stretches of boulder-strewn hills make the backdrop of Hampi unique.There are indeed very less places in India where you’ll find ruins of a bygone city on a rocky terrain being gifted with lush green stretches of banana plantations and paddy.
Giant boulders seem to be the most prominent feature of Hampi. Old stone structures which include the finest specimen of medieval Indian architecture spread across acres. The luxurious palaces, imposing temples and the bustling bazaars echo the life of Hampi.
2) Meet Lakshmi the temple elephant
Although this capital city of the Vijayanagaram kingdom, is now in its ruin, still the ritual of bathing the royal elephant at the Tungabhadra ghat is prevalent. Just get up and take a stroll up to the Ghat and at 8AM, you can see the elaborate and fun affair. It’s absolutely worth a watch.
3) Lose yourself amongst the ruins
Hampi’s sprawling landscape is famous for its ruins belonging to the erstwhile medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar and it is declared a World Heritage site. The temples of Hampi, enormous boulders,its monolithic sculptures and monuments, make it an unmissable destination for every type of traveller. The Hindu style of architecture found at Hampi reflects the splendor of the Vijaynagar Empire. The rugged landscape adds to the historic ambience of this site.
4) Enjoy majestic views of serpentine Tungabhadra
The Tungabhadra, one of the major rivers of Karnataka flows serenely along this town, providing an awe-inspiring natural setting from atop the hills. It is an endearing sight to behold for a lifetime.
Luckily, there won’t be anyone disturbing you while you’re experiencing the majestic sun setting down the gorge.
5) Experience a coracle ride
Are you in for some fun adventures? If yes, then surely Hampi has to be on your list. After all, not in many places do you get to indulge in coracle ride! Yes the bowl-shaped boat made of reed, saplings and hide. It’s indeed an experience of lifetime of floating in those tiny baskets on the gushing river!
6) Rock climbing and hiking
If you are an adventure enthusiast, Hampi is surely for you. Numerous adventure clubs take groups on regular rock climbing and bouldering expeditions at Hampi. So, if your not the enchanting scenery and the admirable history buff, for adventure and fun, you must visit Hampi.
Hampi with its boulder strewn hills also is a favourite hiking destination. One of the most popular short hike is the Anjanadiri hill located north of the river Tungabhadra. Travellers flock to the hill every evening to watch the sunset from here.
7) Breathe in the Architecture
The architectural aura of Hampi is akin to numerous fantasies. It is sure to take you back to the times of imperial beauty and legacy. Once you’re there, you are bound to get mesmerized amid the ruins.
Hampi is also famous for its religious history rather than just the architectural beauty of its ruins. There are many well known temples here including the Virupaksha Temple, Anjeneyadri, the Vittala temple which has been adopted as the emblem of the state’s tourism department.Any visitor to South India should not miss this epitome of Hoysala architecture.
8) For A True Backpacker Experience
Hampi is a backpacker’s paradise and every art lovers bucket list. With its enchanting rocky terrain, a mesmerizing view of the Tungabhadra the forlorn ruins of Hampi, around 330km from Goa,is an alluring experience. They lie scattered over a landscape that leaves you spellbound.
9) For The Significant History
Hampi is one of the most beautiful and evocative of all historical sites in south India.A place so larger than life cannot have a past any less glorious. It was established in the mid 14th century, a time when art and architecture flourished in South India.
It has been the homeland of various Kings marked in history and they made use of this land due to its great geographical advantage. This small village is naturally endowed with Tungabhadra on one side and massive boulders and hills on the other. This always proved as a great advantage to its rulers. This city hence was also called ‘Vijaynagara’ – the city of Victory. Today, the hillside and the river offer tourists some unforgettable natural and archeological splendour.
If you want to virtually transport yourself to the times of kings and their kingdoms, to the times of heroic battles and battlefields and to the times of long forgotten wonders that hand carved this land for you to unravel, then this is the place for you.
10) A photographer’s paradise
Travelling to the ancient town of Hampi is every photographer’s dream. This awe-inspiring age old construction has lived through the test of time and is alluring even today. You will fall in love with the textured landscape created by these monuments against the backdrop of rich plantain groves.