Hampi is famous for its ruins belonging to the erstwhile medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar and it is declared a World Heritage site. The Hindu style of architecture found at Hampi reflects the splendor of the Vijaynagar Empire. The rugged landscape does add to the historic ambiance of this site but also can be demanding.
The scale and spread of the sites in Hampi demand you to plan for many days to explore Hampi but here we are going to do it in 3 days. The following gives you an idea on how to plan your Hampi exploration strategy.
First, decide how do you want to do it: walk, bicycle, moped, auto-rickshaw, car. The attractions in Hampi are spread over a very large area (25sq km). Visiting these attractions involve a good deal of walk (trek), cross the river in a coracle, ride a moped or even hire a local taxi (auto rickshaw).
Even in the best scenario, you would have walked almost 3-5 hours of the day.
You’re going to see the itinerary divided into groups, from which you can either go from top to bottom or arrange in your own combination and even transfer any of the groups to the other days. For the sake of convenience, the main attractions in Hampi are listed here based on their relative closeness.
Main Attractions in Hampi
Mathanga hill -Achyutaraya Temple – Courtesan’s Street – Kodanda Rama Temple – Chakratheertha (Riverside Trek) – Sugriva’s Cave – Narasimha Temple
Vittal Temple – Vittala Bazaar-Queens Bath – Mahanavami Dibba – Pushkarni – Secret Chamber – King Audience Hall – Zenana Enclosure – Lotus Mahal – Elephant Stable – Guards Quarters
Underground Temple-Noble Men’s Quarter – Muhammadan Watchtower – Palace of Krishnadevaraya – Hazara Rama Temple – Pan Supari Bazaar.
Sasivekalu Ganesha, Kadalekalu Ganesh – Hemakuta Hill- Virupaksha Temple – Hampi Bazaar
Malyavanta Hill -Ganagegitti Jain Temple -Bhima’s Gate
Laxminarasimha- Badavi Linga – Krishna Temple – Chandikeshwara – Uddana Veerabhadra Temple
Consists of the groups 1,2,3 and 4.Basically covering all the paid locations in Hampi where you will need to buy a ticket. It won’t burn a hole in your pocket and the best part is that you only have to buy the ticket once and show it at all the other locations.
Now if you are staying on the Hampi side then the best way to start your day would be with the sunrise from Mathanga Hill. Start your day early around 5:40. Although the sunrises at 6:30 you’ll take almost 30 mins to climb up the hill as the steps are quite wide and you might want to take breaks and climb. And also you’ll get plenty of time to find the perfect spot for a picture or two.
Note: If you haven’t planned your stay in Hampi yet then you can go read about how to plan your stay in Hampi to cover everything it has to offer and the best places to stay.
Next, you climb down from the other side of the hill to reach the Achutraya’s temple and the walk in the courtesan’s street aka Achutraya bazaar. At the end of the street on to the left, you’ll reach the Kodanda Rama Temple (one of the active temples in Hampi) and also see the other places in group 1. Now that group 1’s over pretty early in the day you have two options
First: walk for 2 km along the riverbank and reach Vittala temple to continue with group 2 and also see the kings balance on way or
Second: Head back to Hampi Bazaar, have your breakfast and then either trek the same way to Vittala temple or take your preferred choice of transport to kickstart start Group 2.
Group 2 can be done in reverse order too. But its would be better to start from the farthest place first and see the rest on your way back to Hampi Bazaar area. Group 2 has the two places for which you’ll have to buy a ticket which are the Vittala temple and the elephant stables. You just have to buy the ticket once in at either of these places and it can be used at the other.
Once you are done with group 2 you can do Group 3 in the same order as mentioned, also this group is totally skippable. Nothing major here except the Royal enclosure, which has the huge dancing platform built where they say that Krishnadevaraya’s second wife used to perform on some occasions and also in Vittala Temple. And then you end your day withGroup 4. This is located very close to the Hampi bus station area. You’ll do the whole of Group 4 on foot. All of these are walkable to one another. With the sunset point being at Hemakunta Hill.
Then you can just chill at one of the cafes or on the riverside or even just stay for some time at Virupaksha temple.
For this day again you start super early, mostly the same as yesterday because the sunset point is about 8km from the Hampi bus station which can take you some time to reach depending on how you are planning on going there. This ones gonna be a really short sightseeing day on the Hampi side and you’d be easily done by 10 or 11 a.m in the day. So, starting the day by watching the sunset from the first Location in Group 5 that is Malyavantha Hill. It’s the best! I have nothing else to say. It’s beautiful, stunning, breathtaking, unlike any other. The sun just seems so close, huge and so red, Like a ball of fire in close proximity that you’d want to touch it. Then visit the Malyavantha Raghunatha Temple also one of the active temples and its open 24×7. Then continue with the other two places in group 5 which will also lie on the same route of coming back to Hampi Bazaar where you’ll do Group 6.
All the places in Group 6 are right next to each other, you can just walk around. At the end then sit in the Ganesh temple for some peace after hectic two days of sightseeing. You can really unwind there with a book or you can even take a nap as its cool inside which is a relief from the heat that you face in Hampi.
Then once you are ready to go, you can head for Lunch to the happening side of this place which is The Hippie island or as I call it Anjuna of Hampi. You can just take a ferry from behind the Virupaksha temple to the other side of the river. And just chill for the rest of the day. Watch a sunset maybe from any of the points on this side. You can just ask around for a perfect spot. Or learn some macrame. Or even take a few pictures in the lush paddy fields. The day is for you to explore.
Day 3 – Hippie Island
This is your last day in Hampi so make the most of it on this side of the river. You can start your day early for the sunrise again if you aren’t bored of them already. Climb 500 steps up on the Hanumanthalli hill for another perfect sunsrise. You can even come back here for the sunset if you want.
This place is also supposed to be the birthplace of the Hindi god Hanuman (from Ramayana). Its also called the monkey hill. You’ll find a lot of cheeky monkeys all over here and also in Hampi. They are too notorious, do keep your water bottles or milkshake glasses close, that’s their first target.
Then you can head to the waterfall close by and take a dip. Much needed after experiencing the other side of Hampi. On your way back you can then see the Durga Devi temple (another active temple). You’ll have to climb up some 70-80 odd steps. There you’ll find a tree covered with coconuts and kumkum wrapped in colorful cloth. It’s pretty!
And that’s it. Return back to your room or chill at a cafe, Laughing Budha cafe is the best place to do that , have a lazy day or get going to the next place on your itinerary.
Note: You can even try bouldering here. That’s what I’ve heard but haven’t tried. Probably will do that the next time I’m here.
He is the best guide and autowala you can find in Hampi, for the two days I was there I did not to hire a guide anywhere. As he would tell me everything before hand. And I also got to know a lot of fascinating stories related to Hampi too.
You can read more about Hampi in these posts:
- Hampi – Things you’ll not come to know on your first visit here.
- 14 Places you have to see in Hampi and a few more.
- How to plan your stay in Hampi to cover everything it has to offer and the best places to stay
That’s all for this one. Hope it helps you in planning your perfect trip to Hampi!
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