India HolidaysKarnataka

12 Places to Visit in Hampi for a Memorable and Historic Experience

SI.No.Places to visit in HampiOperating hoursTrip Advisor Rating
1Sri Virupaksha Temple06:00 am – 6:00 pm (all days)5/5
2Vijaya Vittala Temple08:30 am to 5:30 pm (all days)5/5
3Hemakuta Hill Temple ComplexOpen all days from sunrise until sunset5/5
4Hanuman TempleOpen all days from sunrise to sunset5/5
5Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)5/5
6Lakshmi Narasimha Temple06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)5/5
7Queen’s Bath06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)4/5
8Riverside Ruins06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)5/5
9Archaeological Museum10:00 am to 5:00 pm (all days, except Friday)4/5
10Matanga HillDawn to dusk (all days)5/5
11Daroji Bear Sanctuary06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)5/5
12Tungabhadra Gardens and Dam08:30 am to 6:30 pm (all days)4/5

Hampi is an ancient South Indian Village well known for its stone temples. Nestled in the rocky terrains in Bellary district of Karnataka, Hampi is today a UNESCO World Heritage site. The stone temples and ruins are a memory of the affluent history and culture of the place. Hampi was the capital of the Vijaynagara dynasty. The city flourished under the reign of Krishnadevaraya. During its finest days, Hampi was known to be one of the wealthiest cities in India. Its wealth and grandeur was well known across the country and abroad and attracted the attention of traders from Portugal and Persia. The witty Tenali Rama was one of the ministers in the court of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire. Consequently, there are plenty of places to visit in Hampi that are sure to catch your eye!

The glory of Vijaynagara was brought to an end by the joint coalition of Muslim Sultanates who later plundered and pillaged the riches as well as the city, leaving behind ruins to tell its tale of a glorious past. Today, the ruins attract a lot of travellers, historians, art enthusiasts, archaeology and geology enthusiasts. Hampi and places to visit around its vicinity still resonate the same old opulence and bounty.

Before we take a look at places to visit in Hampi, let us first see how to reach this temple town.

Distance from the Airport:

The nearest domestic airports are Hubli Airport which is approximately 145kms away and the Belgaum Airport which is approximately 215kms away from Hampi. The closest International Airport is the Bangalore Airport which is approximately 350kms from Hampi.

Hampi is well connected by road and has a lot of buses plying from Bangalore, Hubli and Belgaum. The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction and is 13kms away from Hampi.

Best time to visit Hampi:

October to February is a good time to visit Hampi, when the weather is the most pleasant. Monsoon is also a good time to visit, however, the boulders may become too slippery. The Hampi Utsav takes place in January or February every year and is a cultural extravaganza that is highly recommended.

The most Attractive and Important Places to Visit in Hampi

1. Sri Virupaksha Temple- One of the beautiful places to visit in Hampi

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Dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the Sri Virupaksha temple is one of the oldest temples that still functions and of the beautiful places to visit in Hampi. A popular pilgrim attraction, this 7th-century Hindu temple is considered among one of the most remarkable places to visit. The Virupaksha Temple houses old-style structures, a huge courtyard, gateway towers in its campus. All of which will leave you awe-struck with its magnificence. It is highly recommended that you hire a guide to show you around the major attractions of this temple including the underwater Shiva Temple within the Sri Virupaksha Temple complex.

  • Operating hours: 06:00 am – 6:00 pm (all days)
  • Approximate Cost:
    • Entry Fee: INR 5 for Indian nationals and INR 300 for foreign nationals
    • Video Camera Fee: INR 500
    • Still Camera Fee: INR 50
    • Local Guide Fee: varies
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • Trip Advisor Rating:5/5

2. Vijaya Vittala Temple

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The Vijaya Vittala Temple is considered to be an architectural wonder. This temple was built in the 15th century and is amongst one of the largest historical structures in Hampi. Built in the Dravidian style, this temple is an example of unmatched craftsmanship.  The temple is dedicated to Lord Vittala – an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The stone chariot, intricate sculptures and the elaborately done musical pillars in the temple halls are truly mesmerizing. The Stone chariot is one of the major attractions here. An early visit will ensure best views of the temple since there will be no crowds.

  • Operating hours: 08:30 am to 5:30 pm (all days)
  • Approximate Cost:
    • Entry fee: INR 10 for Indian nationals and approximately INR 300 for foreign nationals
    • Video Camera Fee: INR 25
    • Still Camera Fee: Nil
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 2 hours
  • Trip Advisor Rating:5/5

3. Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex

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Hemakuta Hill is a hilltop dotted with a large number of temples, ruins of walls and broken pathways. It is situated on the Southern side of the Hampi village. The Mula Virupakshi temple is the one of the most popular among this cluster of temples. The sunrise and sunset views from here are breathtaking.

  • Operating Hours: Open all days from sunrise until sunset
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 3-4 hours
  • Trip Advisor Rating:5/5

Must Read: Top 10 Places To Visit In Karnataka

4. Hanuman Temple

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The Hanuman Temple sits snugly on top of the Anjaneya Hill. This place is considered to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman and hence is regarded sacred by the pilgrims. Anjaneya hill is about 4kms away from Hampi village. To get there pilgrims have to take a coracle boat ride and then climb up the stairs to get to the temple. The temple has a calm and serene ambience and offers some breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset. The temple premise is home to a lot of monkeys so beware of your belongings and do not tease the animals.

  • Operating hours: Open all days from sunrise to sunset
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 30 – 45 minutes
  • Trip Advisor Rating:5/5

5. Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple

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 The Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple is located on the southern side of the Hemakuta Hill. The temple derives its name from the resemblance between a mustard seed, which is locally called sasivekalu and the Ganesha’s belly. This 2.4-metre tall statue of Lord Ganesha is carved out of a boulder stone. The temple is another major attraction in Hampi.

  • Operating hours: 06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 45 minutes
  • Trip Advisor Rating:5/5

6. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, One of the Popular Places to Visit in Hampi

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The Lakshmi Narasimha Temple also known as the Ugra Narasimha is the largest monolith statue in Hampi. Built-in 1528 A.D. this 6.7-metre statue was damaged when it was vandalised in 1565 by the Mughals. The statue of Lord Narasimha, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is portrayed as half lion and half man sitting cross-legged with a ferocious expression. Don’t forget to carry a battery backup; this place will make your camera go click, click, click!

  • Operating hours: 06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 1 hour
  • Trip Advisor Rating:5/5

7. Queen’s Bath

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The Queen’s bath was probably a royal bathing chamber for the king and his wives. The royal pool is another architectural wonder with its intricate design. The huge dome-shaped roof, balconies with small windows and a rectangular pool in the middle under the open blue skies will definitely have your attention. Keep cash handy as you will be tempted to buy stone carvings and sculptures made by local artists.

  • Operating hours: 06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)
  • Approximate Cost: Nil
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 30-45 minutes
  • Trip Advisor ratings: 4/5

8. Riverside Ruins- Places to visit in Hampi

A collection of 108 Shiva lingas carved on flat rocky surfaces can be seen here. The rock carved sculpture of Lord Vishnu in a reclining position is the Riverside ruins a hot favourite among photographers, historians and travellers. Hiring a local guide would be a great idea. The local guides will be able to give you in-depth information.

  • Operating hours: 06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)
  • Approximate Cost: INR 30 as entry fee
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 30-45 minutes
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 5/5

9. Archaeological Museum

If you are a history buff than the Archeological Museum is a highly recommended places to visit in Hampi. Situated in Kamlapur, it is a few kilometres away from the main ruins of Hampi. The museum houses some interesting artefacts. From armoury to sculptures to paintings to coins, an interesting piece of history can be found here.

  • Operating hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (all days, except Friday)
  • Entry fee: INR 5/per person (Free entry for children under the age of 15 years)
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 1.5- 2 hours
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4/5

10. Matanga Hill- Places to visit in Hampi

Matanga Hill provides visitors the most scenic views of historical ruins of Hampi and its surroundings. To reach the Veerbhadra temple, one will have to trek up the hill for about 30 minutes. This temple has a rooftop, which is undoubtedly the best place to watch the sunrise and sunset over the lovely landscape of this historical Hampi town.

  • Operating hours: Dawn to dusk (all days)
  • Approximate Cost: Nil
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 3 hours
  • Trip Advisor Rating:5/5
  • Tip: Carry mini torch/flashlight as Matanga Hill and the paths leading up to the hilltop aren’t well lit.

11. Daroji Bear Sanctuary

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The Daroji Bear Sanctuary was established in 1994 and is home to a lot of wildlife like leopards, hyenas, jackals, deers and the sloth bears. The honey-loving sloth bears are endemic to India and are exclusively preserved here at this sanctuary. These sloth bears are found only in India and therefore if you are taking a trip to Hampi, it is highly recommended to stop by to see them. This is an ideal places to visit in Hampi for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Make sure you wear a good pair of sports shoes and carry enough drinking water.

  • Operating hours: 06:00 am to 6:00 pm (all days)
  • Approximate Cost: INR 50 per person for Indian national and INR 300 per person for foreign national
    • Parking fee: INR 500 per car
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 3 hours
  • Trip Advisor Rating:5/5

12. Tungabhadra Gardens and Dam

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The Tungabhadra dam is another attraction located 5kms away from Hospet. This multi-purpose dam is used for irrigation, electricity production and flood control. Built across the Tungabhadra River and one of its tributaries, this dam is the main source of water to the fields.  The lush and beautifully maintained gardens are a treat to watch. This is one place where your camera can go on a clicking spree.

  • Operating hours: 08:30 am to 6:30 pm (all days)
  • Approximate Cost: Nil
  • How much Time to Spend: Approximately 1.5 – 2 hours
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4/5

Hampi is a village that reminds us time and again of the grandeur and riches that the Vijayanagara Empire once witnessed. The rock cut temple complexes, elaborate bazaars and pavilions at Hampi show us the architectural wonders that Indians were capable of. Be it the Hampi Bazaar or the Hazara Rama temple dedicated to Lord Rama, all shows the cultural charm that Vijayanagara had. The stone structures are a witness to the great understanding of architecture that Indians possessed. Do visit Hampi, to soak into its rich history, culture and architectural splendour.

The Hampi Utsav celebrates the spirit of Hampi with music, classical and traditional dance, skits, dramas, fireworks and a lot of enthusiasm. While there is more to see and explore to Hampi, these are a few noteworthy places to visit. This rock and ruin destination is every photographer’s delight.

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Visiting Hampi and have questions on your mind? Here are a few frequently asked questions

1. How to get around in Hampi?

The State Tourism centre rents out bicycles and bikes to tourists at a nominal costs.

2. Can I find Accommodation in Hampi?

There are a few lodging and boarding places with bare basic facilities in the market area. However, finding accommodation in Hospet is a more practical option.

3. Does Hampi have ATMs?

The nearest ATM is in the neighbouring village which is about 10 minutes away. It is best to keep some cash handy at all times.

4. Can debit/credit cards be used in Hampi?

At the moment, the only accepted mode of payment is cash.

5. What are the transportation options available to get to Hampi from Hospet?

To get to Hampi from Hospet, you can opt for auto rickshaws.

6. What are the languages spoken in Hampi?

People mainly speak Kannada, Telugu and Urdu. Being a tourist destination, Hindi and English are also spoken.

7. What is the specialty of Hampi?

Hampi has a rich history of architecture. It is famous for its ruins from the medieval kingdom of Vijaynagar, which is also a World Heritage site. The monolithic sculptures and monuments in the temples of Hampi are also tourist attractions.

8. Are there any adventure activities to do in Hampi?

There are many activities one can do in Hampi. Cycling, rock climbing, coracle ride, cliff jumping, and boat ride are some of the fun things you can do.

9. How many days do you need to tour Hampi?

Ideally, you would need 3 to 4 days to take a complete tour of Hampi, along with Hippie Island. Buy a tourist’s map of the place and you can be on your way to exploring the historic place by yourself.

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