Bangalore To Hampi Road Trip

Driving from Bangalore to Hampi on a Weekend? We have shared everything you want to know…

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History has to live with what was here…

As I run down my hands on the intricate carvings of the ruins that tell tales of the bygone era, thousands of thoughts swim in my head, I can  imagine the traumatic yet magnificent past. I can hear the music coming out of the mysterious musical pillars. I can imagine  soldiers fighting to prove their bravery, dance being performed by the queen in an open platform stage, crowds cheering. The laughs and laughter of women gossiping while taking a bath in a huge octagonal bath place. The king performing rituals at the underground Shiva temple surrounded by dozens of diyas. ( oil lamp — usually made from clay)

Everything looks so real yet is so unreal. I could imagine an entire civilization coming to life for a split second.

Oh hello, HAMPI!!, yes we are talking about you, and you are magical!!!

History

Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagar empire during 14th to 16th century AD, ruled by four dynasties from 1336 AD to 1565 AD.

It was during the regime of King Krishnadeva Raya (1509-1529 AD) of the Tuluva Dynasty the empire was at its peak. The kingdom was rich in wealth, wisdom, and literature. It was the center of the civilization. People were happy and content with life — music and dance were part of their lifestyle. Horse trading to women trading, Vijayanagar empire had it all. After his death, his successors and rulers fought among themselves and that gave an opportunity to the Deccan Muslim confederacy to besieged the capital.

People were massacred , everything was destroyed , the treasure was looted from palaces and temples. And the year 1565 was the year when Hampi was turned to ruins.

Today, everything is in crumbling state and the boulder-strewn landscape looks straight out of a history book. The ruins scream about the unread pages of history which are now buried in dust and left behind are the mysterious and untold stories.

Hampi —  a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986 and many efforts have been taken to restore the lost glory of the place.

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If you follow us on twitter and Instagram you might already know that we went on a road trip from Bangalore to Hampi. Since this was our first visit to Hampi, we did not want to stretch ourselves and visit everything it has to offer. Well, we are planning to be back in Hampi again this November.

–  Road Trip : Bangalore To Hampi –

We intended to start by 4 AM but by the time we were up and ready it was around 8:30 AM, so we got a little traffic on the way. But nonetheless the drive was awesome and we were at Hampi by 2:30 pm. The route we took was via NH4 and Kudligi. Barring a stretch of 70 KMs, the rest of the route was amazing and was also pretty scenic towards the end of the journey.

Bangalore To Hampi Road Trip

On the way to Hampi – A small scenic lake where we stopped for some photo ops.

– Stay  –

We stayed at Hyatt Place Hampi. This trip was completely planned by Sam and no doubt he wanted a relaxing trip than a hectic one. Since we were supposed to go to Kashmir and our plan was canceled at the last minute due to the JNU row, we ended up at Hampi. A long weekend and last minute bookings meant most of the hotels were sold out or were extremely pricey.

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Hyatt Place Hampi is not exactly at Hampi but is at a distance of 27 KM from Hampi. If you have your own commute then we would recommend you to stay here. Cabs can also be booked from the hotel.

Another perk of staying at Hyatt Place is that you can also explore the Vidyanagar township on a bike and visit the famous 3D Museum that houses tons of photographs of Hampi.

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The satellite/topographical image of Hampi region

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The numerous photographs on display.

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A small souvenir shop.

If all of these does not interest you, then you’d plan to stay at Hampi or Hospet. Most of the websites suggest staying at Hospet as there are not many luxury stays at Hampi. But if you are on a backpacker budget there are numerous quirky hotels/ hostels at Hampi.

Check HERE for more deals and offers on hotels in Hampi.

– Places to visit in Hampi –

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Hampi is vast, and to explore each and every corner you need ample time to soak in the beauty and explore at your own pace. But due to the crunch of time, we were very clear about the places we wanted to visit.

So, we ditched the sample itinerary and started exploring on our own with the help of the map we picked from the hotel reception desk. 

If you are a history buff, the charm and mystery of this place will entice you.

 Below are all the places we were able to squeeze in a day on our visit to Hampi.

Chandrasekhar Temple

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We reached Hampi in just 30 minutes by car from the hotel. As we pulled our car in through the gates, all we could see was barren landscape strewn with huge boulders and a few temples popped out from the landscape at a distance.

Our first stop was the Chandrasekhar Temple which was off the touristy trail and we were the only souls around. On the first glance, the temple looked similar to the temple in Lepakshi. The only difference was that these temples do not have any idols in them. The inner sanctum of the temple was lit by a sunbeam peeping through the opening on the ceiling of the temple.

Each and every pillar of the temple is adorned with intricate carvings and the architecture is sure to impress anyone and we were no different.

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Intricate Carvings on the pillars of Chandrasekhar Temple

Octagonal Bath

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This happened to be our second stop of the day and just 500 meters away from the Chandrasekhara Temple. The structure looks dilapidated from a distance but once you enter the structure you can immediately recognize the shape of an octagon.  One can  visualize what a beauty this place would have been back then.

Picture this – A small pond filled with water, falling from the aqueducts on the ceiling, surrounded by stoned pillars and a sitting area in the middle. Swimming pool ages ago looked something like this

Saraswathi Temple 2

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The Saraswathi temple is located in the same complex where the Octagonal Bath and Chandrasekhar Temple are located. The temple is perched on top of a small hill.

Like the Chandrasekhar Temple, the pillars of this temple is also laden with intricate carvings and not a single pillar have been spare.

Queens’ Bath :

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Queen’s Bath is another impressive accolade. The architecture of the Queen’s bath is a mix of Hindu and Islamic style. The center of the structure is 8 feet deep and was used as a swimming pool by the Royal Family. Access to the first floor is restricted to visitors as it is literally falling apart.

Canals and drainage have been designed intelligently for fresh water to flow in and the used water to flow out of the structure.

Vittala Temple :

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The temple with dazzling architecture. Nothing can obscure the sheer beauty of the temple.

As one delves deeper into the temple one discovers the mysterious musical pillars, temple walls littered with symbols, endless corridors, the famous stone chariot and a huge courtyard. Each and every corner qualifies for an interesting tales.

As our guide regales the fascinating stories of each and every nuance of the temple. We stand gasping in disbelief. We try to listen to the various musical notes coming out from the pillars. Legend has it that ages ago dance were performed from the various sound produced by the pillars. Archaeologists did try to investigate to find out the origin of the music but alas they could not fathom the mystery.

The pillars are rock solid and are not hollow from inside but the different musical notes it produces on tapping is strange and mysterious.

 Hampi where music comes out from stone pillars 

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The stone chariot with the Mandapas in the background.

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The musical pillars of the temple.

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The famous Stone Chariot of Hampi

Purandradasa Mantapa

At a short distance from the temple — towards the river is the Purandradasa Manatapa. It is a small structure which was used by sages to meditate and is considered to be holy. From here, you can see the famous stone bridge and Hanuman temple perched top on Anjeyanadri Hill — birthplace of Hanuman.

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View from the Manatapa

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 Hampi is definitely a work of art

River Side Ruins

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Ruins. Ruins & More Ruins … Sad but true. All these beautiful structures are in bits and pieces now. It makes you both sad — seeing the condition now and proud — thinking about such architecture brilliance used to exist.

As you walk past the ruins, you can’t stop thinking about the fascinating lifestyle that the people led back then.

Anjaneya Hill & Temple

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Anjaneya hill — famous as Kiskinda – birthplace of Hanuman is just across the Tungabhadra river. A small whitewashed temple perched on the top of the hill and  could be reached by the zigzag trail that leads to the temple.

PS : We are planning to explore more in Nov.

Stone Bridge

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You can still find the remains of the abandoned stone bridge over Tungabhadra river. The bridge used to connect Anegundi to Vijaynagar.

Royal Center

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One of the most popular attractions of Hampi and can’t be miss at any cost. The royal center was placed where most of the trading and celebrations used to happen.

An 80 square feet high platform is a tiered structure embossed with different symbols like horses, Chinese men, elephants, swords etc.

There is also an underground secret chamber which was used by King to conduct secretive discussions.

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The recently discovered stepped tank is also quite popular for photo ops. The tank was built from the blocks of black schist stones. It is considered scared and was usually used for religious activities by the royals.

Watch Tower

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Watch towers were used by guards to keep an eye on the intruding enemy.

Lotus Mahal 

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Also known as Chitanrangi Mahal. It is a two-storey building built of mortar. This was mainly used by queens to relax.

Interesting fact of this architecture is that it had a cooling system in place. The water from nearby well was pumped in and was sprinkled all around the place to keep it cooler from the sweltering heat.

Elephant Stable

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Royal elephants were also treated well. They had their own beautiful place to rest. The are total eleven stables interconnected.

The building is built of stone and mortar and have beautifully carved arches.

Underground Shiva Temple

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Not visited by many, the underground shiva temple is one of a kind. The tottering, gutted structure  used to be a beautiful temple and was built below the ground level.

Due to its structure, most of the time the sanctum and other parts of the temple are underwater. Entry is free and the temple closes at 5 pm.

The temple was frequented only by the Royal household.

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Noblemen’s Quarters Road trip bangalore to hampi-1-119

The ramshackle structure on your way to underground Shiva Temple to Ugra Narasimha is the Noblemen’s quarters.

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Mohammadan Watch Tower

Sister’s Rock

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Natural creation of two huge boulders leaning towards each other.

Legend has it that there were two sisters were turned to rocks on making a derogatory remark about Hampi.

The sister rocks can be found near Pataleshwara temple.

Ugra Narasimha

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Close to Bdavi Linga is one of the biggest idols in Hampi. Its height is 22 ft and was carved by a Brahmin during Krishnadevaraya’s regime.

The majestic statue has been vandalized and disfigured by the invaders.

Badavi Linga

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One of the must visit places in Hampi. This huge Linga is the one of the biggest of all Lingas  in Hampi made up of black stone and nearly 12ft in height. The inner sanctum has no ceiling.

Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple

This 15ft tall statue carved out of a single boulder  is one among the largest sculptures in Hampi and is quite a popular tourist attraction.

Matunga Hill & Veerabhadra Temple

It is considered to be one the best places to watch the sunset. Make sure to reach here by sunset and  marvel the changing of skyline into riots of colors.

The view from the top is breathtaking.

Virupaksha Temple

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Among the number of imposing ruins that are interspersed stands the imposing Virukapla temple which was our last but one stop at Hampi.

By the time we reached, the temple was bathed in the last sunrays of the day and looked surreal with all the intricate carvings.

It is one of the oldest temples of Hampi and has been renovated umpteen times. The temple has a huge complex and various idols of different god and goddess are dotted inside the complex.

Hampi Bazaar

Our last stop of the day was Hampi Bazaar which was loaded with trinkets, eateries, street side stalls selling an array of souvenirs.

After gulping from the side stall, we headed straight to the hotel where a delectable dinner buffet was waiting for us. 

As we retire the day engrossing in the fascinating tales, we promised to be back soon and explore places in and around Hampi.

Hampi – “A dream made up of stone”

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To be honest, we were stuck in awe admiring the architectural marvel and taking in the mysterious and interesting tales.

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 Getting Around

 You can reach to almost all the places by car.

 You can hire bikes( Cycles) and moped at a price of 100/ per day and 300-400/ per day.

You can also hire a tuk-tuk to cover the trails.

 Where To Stay

Check HERE or in the below search box for some amazing deals on hotels in Hampi.

 

Where To Eat

Kahanavali’s

Mango Restaurant

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Handy Tips

Grab a map and plan your itinerary well as most of the places closes by 5/6 pm

Hampi official site also suggests 1 – day and 3 -day itinerary.

 Vittala Temple is huge and buggy services are provided from the parking place.

There are no proper shops and restaurants as you cover the trail. You might find few coconut seller or ice-cream vendors at few significant places. Pack something to snack around.

Don’t miss the amazing sunsets at Matunga Hill.

 Bus No. 301 starts from the Hampi bus stand which is right in front of the famous Virupaksha temple.

Hire a government authorized guide to know more about every nuance of the temple.

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We would highly recommend having more days on hand to soak in all the beauty and splendor HAMPI has to offer.

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    BIDDU
    August 9, 2016 at 8:40 am

    In my personal experience, to get the best feel of Hampi stay in Hampi Bazar area.
    There are quite a few homestays and lodges available in the area, with few eateries nearby.

    • Reply
      The Tales of a Traveler
      August 11, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      Thank you, maybe we would try your suggestion the next time we visit Hampi. Cheers. 🙂 🙂

      • Reply
        Biddu
        August 12, 2016 at 7:02 am

        I went there recently and stayed in one of the homestays, spent 3 days roaming around on a bicycle.
        The charm of the place was alluring to me, and it was a perfect retreat from city life.

  • Reply
    Mani @ A New Life Wandering
    August 9, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Amazing photos!

  • Reply
    Vaisakhi Mishra
    August 10, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Rightly said. Hampi is a dream made of stones! It is just sad how such ancient places are destroyed and lot to time. Vijaynagar must have been crazy prosperous in its time! Loved the account 🙂

  • Reply
    Prasad Np
    August 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    For any traveler Hampi is a must visit.. your post has rekindled my visit to Hampi but there is so much more it seems that you covered so now I need to plan my next visit… 🙂

    • Reply
      The Tales of a Traveler
      August 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      You should definitely plan for a visit and we are sure your pictures would be stunning. 🙂 🙂

  • Reply
    Dipika Desai
    August 11, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I would love to visit this place once for sure. You have detailed each & every thing so well that for a second I thought I was there only.

  • Reply
    Jyoti
    August 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Excellent post . How was your stay at Hyatt Place?

  • Reply
    Jyoti
    August 17, 2016 at 4:50 am

    I heard Orange county has opened near Hampi. http://www.orangecounty.in/hampi-resorts/

    • Reply
      The Tales of a Traveler
      August 17, 2016 at 8:23 am

      We visited Hampi in March this year and the Orange County site was under construction when we were checking for luxury property to stay, we are anyways planning to visit Hampi again 🙂

  • Reply
    Karlie
    August 24, 2016 at 2:49 am

    Your pictures are gorgeous! I’ve been to India once before, for several weeks, and thought it would be the only time I would go. Turns out I was wrong, and I’ll be going again in January. But, I keep seeing wonderful places I want to visit, like Hampi, which makes me think a third visit will be in order 🙂

    • Reply
      The Tales of a Traveler
      August 29, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      India is full of secret gems Karlie. World in itself, you can say — starting from culture, architecture, beaches to mountains — it has just everything. If you are a history buff, do visit hampi on your next trip. You won’t regret 🙂 😉

  • Reply
    Madhu Jayaram
    August 26, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    That’s an awesome write up guys..very detailed..kudos..will be really helpful for my visit to Hampi..

  • Reply
    Gopalakrishnan
    October 7, 2016 at 7:48 am

    HI, Planning a trip to Hampi tomorrow. Came across your site and writing. Well detailed indeed. Pictures are awesome. You could include little more details about the blore- hampi routemap, breaking places etc. Can all the locations mentioned by you be covered in one day or two days?.

  • Reply
    KSReddy
    November 25, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    This blog is very informative.

  • Reply
    Ashley Smith
    February 28, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I love your photos! And the ruins! I can only imagine what they must have looked like at one point in time – such beautiful and unique architecture. And the Hyatt Hampi looks like a great place to stay!

  • Reply
    Lydia@LifeUntraveled
    February 28, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I didn’t go to Hampi while traveling in India but everyone I met who had been said it was one of the most inspiring places they visited! How interesting that Hampi was originally a place of pleasure and joy before it was overtaken and destroyed. You’re very lucky to live in a country with so many beautiful ancient sites!

  • Reply
    Noemi of Pinay Flying High
    February 28, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    That is amazing! Hampi looks like a dream and since I love visiting ancient ruins, I think this is the kind of place I’d spend hours in. The history of this place gave me goosebumps along with the beautiful photos you have. The musical pillar I think is a testament that people from the past are actually much better than us. I think someone should definitely make it a goal to figure out how music is being produced by those pillars. Lol.

  • Reply
    Rhiannon
    February 28, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    I really wanted to make this trip when I was in Bangalore last May but we unfortunately got held up and ended up having to miss out 🙁 It’s a real shame, especially now seeing your post as it looks like somewhere I’d love! All the incredible architecture and history – I really must make the trip next time I’m in the area!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    March 1, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Very detailed post on all the ins and outs of visiting this cool spot. So much to photograph

  • Reply
    Jean
    March 1, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Your photos of Hampi are simply stunning. I didn’t know about Hampi or the history. It’s so sad to think that it was in ruins from the 15th century. You are so right that the buildings themselves are now their own art work, still living. The underground temple is high on my list of places to see.

  • Reply
    Only By Land
    March 1, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Wow, Hampi is huge! The Virupaksha Temple you photographed at sunset is amazing, I must visit Hampi. I think staying at the Hyatt works as it’s a good quality hotel and 27 km is not far away.

  • Reply
    Gareth
    March 1, 2017 at 11:04 am

    As a self-proclaimed history buff, this really does look right up my alley. Certainly, it is incredible how well the temples have been maintained and a vast majority of the carving details seems to be in place. Beyond the site itself however, Hampi looks a stunningly beautiful setting and that sunset photo you’ve captured really is great. A very readible and extremely thorough write-up.

  • Reply
    Bhushavali
    March 2, 2017 at 10:32 am

    I’m just back from Hampi and my posts on Hampi are coming up! Yes, even I took a road trip from Bangalore to Hampi and its one heck of a journey in both positive and negative sense! If travelling spring or rainy season (when its not raining) it could be so so beautiful with greenery on either sides. But on a sunny day it can really punishing!!! Though Google Maps says its just 6 hrs to take easily 7.5 hrs incl stopping for food, so its really long!!!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    March 2, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    The ruins in Hampi seem like you could spend so much time exploring the history. I also love that sunset photo you took while you were there. The musical pillar also sounds incredibly interesting–now I just really want to know how it makes music. hopefully someone will solve the mystery!

  • Reply
    Jitaditya Narzary
    March 3, 2017 at 5:09 am

    This post refreshed some old memories. I cycled through Hampi in 2011 which feels like a different era now. Apart from the ruins, even the rock formations are unique in Hampi. This also reminds me that I have been ignoring the south of late. Need to make it right.

  • Reply
    Christie
    March 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    This looks like such an amazing trip! There are so many details to the ruins, they are stunning. I can see how one would want to spend more time there, there is so much to explore.

  • Reply
    Ami Bhat
    March 4, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Hampi is just magical. And my favorite always. I can keep going again and again and finding things that I missed the last time around. Loved your pictures of it.

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    March 6, 2017 at 1:48 am

    A road trip to Hampi has always been on my radar. The routes are said to be beautiful.Moreover, The ruins of Hampi and the temples are treasures waiting to be discovered. Thanks for sharing about the amazing 3D museum. You must have had a pretty good weekend.

  • Reply
    R Srivastava
    March 6, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Stunning pictures and a fantastic writeup. A small mistake in the write up. In handy Tips the last tip “Hire a government authorized guide to know more about every nuisance of the temple”, the word ‘nuisance’ should be ‘nuance’

  • Reply
    neha
    March 6, 2017 at 11:12 am

    This brought a lot of nostalgia. As I had visited Hampi couple of years back. The place is simply amazing. Although I couldn’t explore the length and breadth of it since I had a small baby and even in december it was quiet hot there. I want to go again and cover everything else, will use your post as my guide.

    • Reply
      The Tales of a Traveler
      March 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      It is a lovely place and I can re-visit n number of times without a second thought 🙂

  • Reply
    Raksha
    March 6, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I was planning to visit Hampi last month and it didn’t seem to work out. Looking at these pictures, now is making me jealous 😀 Hopefully, I will visit Hampi soon. Thanks for the detailed itinerary 🙂

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