10 Best Places to Visit in Hampi to Garner the Stories of Vijaynagar Kingdom

Do you know the best places to visit in Hampi indicate the glory of India’s last Hindu Kingdom, the Vijayanagara Empire? From the 14th to 16th century, mind-boggling craftsmanship has gone into every single detail of Hampi’s brilliant architecture. This is why Hampi in Karnataka was rated 2nd by New York Times’ must-visit destination list for 2019. Looking for more reasons to visit the top sights in Hampi? Scroll on!

What’s Special About Attractions in Hampi?

Firstly, Hampi is the famous temple town of Karnataka and was once the heart of the Vijayanagara Empire. Secondly, it is the same kingdom under which currencies were gold and silver during the spice and cotton trade. Thirdly, buyers and merchants from western countries used to flock to Hampi for trade. Today, Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Hampi group of monuments constitutes Dravidian temples, monoliths, ruins of ancient edifices. Moreover, the tourist attractions in Hampi are much more than the ruins.

 

Take a look at 10 of the Best Tourist Places in Hampi

1. Sree Virupaksha Temple

  • Entry Fee Per Head: 5 INR (approx.)
  • Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM for entry, and 1 PM – 5 PM for Darshan
  • Ideal Duration: 1.5 hours (approx.)


Garner the story of Vijaynagar Kindgom at Sree Virupaksha Temple. It is one of the best places to visit in Hampi. Build-in dedication of Lord Shiva, Sree Virupaksha Temple is the perfect craftsmanship of Dravidian architecture. This temple of Hampi is a part of a group of monuments at Hampi and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The intricate carvings and the Dravidian architecture of the Sree Virupaksha Temple make it the top religious place to visit in Hampi.

Sree Virupaksha Temple is the oldest functioning temple of India, whose roots being found from the 7th century AD. Lord Virupaksha, the incarnation of Lord Shiva, is the deity here. Inside the temple, there are many sub-shrines, pillar halls.

The main temple is east-facing and has two large courtyards. As you enter the temple’s main entrance, Triple Headed Nandi (Bull Statue) welcomes you! Adjacent to the temple is Hemakuta Hills, where the sunset is best witnessed. Sree Virupaksha Temple complexes had been added under the different kings of the Vijayanagar Empire.

Ways to  Reach: There are two ways to reach Sree Virupaksha Temple – one is through Hampi Bazaar, and the other descends down the Hemakuta Hill.

  • Festival Celebrated: Phalapuja Festival Festival in December, Chariot Festival in March/April
  • Distance and Travel Time from Hampi Bus Stand: 2 kilometers, 10 minutes (approx.)
  • You Must Know: 50 INR (approx.) addtional for still camera

Sree Virupaksha Temple Travel Tips

  • Photography is not permitted
  • Leave your shoes at the shoe counter
  • Wear an Indian outfit and don’t enter wearing Western dress
  • Hire the guide to understand the complexity of the architecture and historical aspects

2. Queen’s Bath

  • Entry Fee Per Head: Free for all
  • Timings: 6 AM – 6 PM
  • Ideal Duration: 1 hour (approx.)


Explore this historical landmark in Hampi, which was once the bathing chamber of the Vijayanagara Queens. The history of this brilliant architectural masterpiece dates back to 500 years ago but is still intact in its construction. Queen’s Bath is one of the best sightseeing places in Hampi near the Royal Enclosure entrance. This erstwhile royal bathing complex has ornate balconies, which is perfect for photography. When you visit the Queen Bath, be welcomed with the huge courtyard and a rectangular pool in the middle and sky above.

The pool is now an empty structure. Bedazzled with the architectural style of the Queen’s Bath. A visit to Queen’s Bath will make you realize that rejuvenation has had its roots since the Vijayanagara era. You can visit the garden for a picnic in front of the Queen’s Bath if you are looking for places to visit in Hampi with family.

  • Architecture Style: Indo-Saracenic style
  • Distance and Travel Time from Hampi Bus Stand: 3 kilometers, 15 minutes (approx.)
  • You Must Know: Parking facility is available and next to it, washrooms are located

[ Also read 10 Best Places to Visit near Hampi with Family. ]

3. Vijaya Vitthala Temple

  • Entry Fee Per Head: 30 INR (approx.) for Indians, SAARC, and BIMSTEC countries while 500 INR (approx.) for foreigners
  • Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM for entry, and 1 PM – 5 PM for Darshan
  • Ideal Duration: 1.5 hours (approx.)


You have seen the photo of the temple in Indian Currency of 50 INR. Ever wondered about the place where the photo belongs? It is the Vijaya Vitthala Temple in Hampi whose brilliant architecture and unmatched craftsmanship are testimony to the prosperous Vijayanagar Kingdom. The Chariot-shape is the key reason why Vijaya Vithala Temple is one of the best place to visit in Hampi for architecture lovers. 

The highlight of exploring Vijaya Vitthala Temple is 56 SaReGaMa pillars, and each sounds different when hit with the sandalwood stick. Several kings of the Vijayanagara era tried their best to contribute to the architecture of the Vijaya Vithala Temple. The main deity at this temple is Lord Vitthala, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

The main temple complex is around 1 kilometer (approx.), and battery cards are available to reach the main complex. Only 3 temples in India have stone chariots, out of which two are in Konark and Mahabalipuram, and the one is Vijay Vitthala Temple itself.

Note: Children below 15 years of age can enter for free. Also, expect to pay an additional 25 INR (approx.) for the video camera.

  • Festivals Celebrated: Punandaradasa Festival in January/February
  • Distance and Travel Time from Hampi Bus Stand: 9 kilometers, 25 minutes (approx.)
  • You Must Know: Electric vehicle is available from parking at extra cost. Plus, 30 INR (approx.) for video camera

Vijay Vitahala Temple Travel Tips

  • No short skirts and shoulderless dresses are allowed for girls
  • Men should also wear decent clothes, not anything like shorts and funky outfit

4. Hippie Island

  • Best Experiences: Cliff jumping, rock climbing, cafe hopping
  • Staying Options: Hotel, camping, homestays
  • Ideal Duration: 2 days (approx.)


Unfold the hippie’s way of life in the temple town of Karnataka because Hampi is much more than its historical ruins. Hippie Island is on the other side of the Tungabhadra River and is located at a 5-minute boat ride from the heritage group of Hampi monuments. Topography-wise, the island is tucked on the flip side of the river banks called Virupapur Village.

There are hippie culture cafes to relish meals, banana plantations to stroll amidst the lush greenery and swaying palm trees that provide the picture-perfect backdrop. If you have an appetite for rock climbing, climb the boulders, followed by a coracle ride in Sanapur Lake. Hippie Island bill itself as the most popular place to visit in Hampi with friends. 

A bike ride to Anegundi Village near Hippie Island, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another highlight of traveling to Hippie Island. Staying options on Hippie Island are vast and starts at 700 INR (approx.).

  • How to Reach: A 5-10 minutes boat ride from Virupaksha Temple
  • Boating Timings: 8 AM – 5:30 PM, every day
  • Boating Price: 50 INR (approx.) per person

[ Check out customized Hampi tour packages Here. ]

5. Matanga Hill

  • Timings: 5:30 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Trekking Duration: 30 – 45 minutes (approx.)
  • Trekking Distance: 1 kilometer, 5 minutes (approx.)


Capture the aerial views of the ruined city of Hampi from its highest point – Matanga Hill. You could reach Matanga Hill via a moderate level trek of a few minutes. At the hill summit, Veerbhadra Temple sits with a rooftop setting for sunrise and sunset viewing. There are many routes to trek to Matanga Hill, but the most popular form is from the base of the hill that starts from Hampi Bazaar.

Embark on an early morning trekking excursion to Matanga Hill for a sunrise viewing expedition if you are looking for the top places to visit in Hampi in 2 days with friends. From the summit, the views of the Tungabhadra River, Virupaksha Temple, and boulders will spellbind you!

  • Routes to Reach Matanga Hill: Virupaksha Temple (Near Hampi)
  • Distance from Hampi Bus Stand: 1 kilometers (approx.)
  • Best Known For: Providing aerial views of Hampi

Matanga Hill Travel Tips

  • Wear good gripped shoes and climb carefully and keep yourself hydrated
  • Avoid hiking in the monsoon because the terrain is slippery

6. Lotus Mahal

  • Entry Fee: 20 INR (approx.) for Indians, while 250 INR (approx.) for foreigners
  • Timings: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM (approx.)
  • Ideal Duration: 2.5 hours (approx.)


Get bewitched with the Indo-Islamic architecture of Lotus Mahal, aka Chitragani Mahal and Kamal Mahal. It is another popular historical landmark in Hampi to visit for couples. Wrapped within Zenana enclosure, Lotus Mahal was the same place where the royal ladies of Vijayanagara Kingdom used to hear birds chirping and enjoy the lush greenery.

The archways of Lotus Mahal resemble the petals of the Lotus, and thus, the structure seems like a half-open Lotus bud. If you are looking to spend some peaceful time amidst the greenery, Lotus Mahal near Elephant’s Stable is one of the best tourist places in Hampi.

  • Architecture Style: Harmonious architectural combination of Indian and Islamic (or Saracenic) architectural styles
  • Things to Do: Photography, picnic
  • Distance and Travel Time from Hampi Bus Stand: 3.5 kilometers, 15 minutes (approx.)

7. Hampi Bazaar

  • Timings: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM (approx.)
  • Ideal Duration: 2 hour (approx.)
  • What to Shop: Shop replica of Hampi ruins, clay dolls, antique coins when you are at Hampi Bazaar


Explore the primeval market of the Vijayanagara Empire either on foot or on a bicycle. Watch the series of ruins of the pavilion on both roadsides of Hampi Bazaar, which sprawls over 1 kilometer. Located in front of Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Bazaar is a shopper’s stop and, therefore, also one of the best places to visit in Hampi in the evening irrespective of the weather.

A 30-45 minutes (approx.) trek to Matanga Hill starts from here. Towards the east side of the Hampi Bazar, make your way to another temple – Achyuta Raya’s Temple. In contrast, the west end of the Hampi Bazaar has souvenir shops, restaurants.

  • Timings: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM (approx.)
  • Distance and Travel Time from Hampi Bus Stand: 1 kilometer, 5 minutes (approx.)
  • You Must Know: Hampi Bazaar is also called Virupaksha Bazaar

Hampi Bazaar Travel Tips

  • Keep cash with you as there is no ATM facility
  • Test your bargaining skills before buying anything

8. Laxmi Narasimha Temple

  • Timings: 8 AM – 6 PM
  • Entry Fee: Free for all

 


Spiritual buffs should make their way to the Laxmi Narasimha Temple as it is the biggest monolith statue of Hampi. Here you will witness the fierce avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu sitting on the Sheshnaag, i.e., Seven Headed Snake. Inside the temple, Laxmi’s Ji idol is also placed along with Narasimha. Laxmi Narasimha Temple is one of the most visited temples of Hampi, and it is no brainer why it is so!

  • Height of the Largest Monolith Statue: 6.7 m
  • Distance and Travel Time from Hampi Bus Stand: 1 kilometer/10 minutes (approx.)
  • You Must Know: Parking space is available with minimal parking charges

9. Tungabhadra Dam

  • Timings: 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Enterance Fee: Free of cost
  • Ideal Duration: 1.5 hours (approx.)


Do you love birdwatching? Want to try this adventure in the city of ruins? If yes, head to Tungabhadra Dam as it is one of the top-rated tourist places in Hampi, where Flamingo flourishes through the year. Put on your binoculars with your near or dear ones, including kids, couples, or friends, and enjoy a picnic in the beautiful garden on one side of the Tungabhadra Dam. It is a multi-purpose dam opened in 1953 for irrigation, electricity generation, and flood control. This is a good place to visit during the monsoon in Hampi and hear the crashing sound of water.

  • Distance and Travel Time from Hampi Bus Stand: 24 kilometer/45 minutes (approx.)

10. Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple

  • Timings: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: Free for all
  • Ideal Duration: 1.5 hours (approx.)


Hampi has dozens of historical and spiritual attractions within its belts, and Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple is one of them. This temple in Hampi dates back to 1506 A.D and houses a 2.4-meter statue of Lord Ganesha in a half-lotus position with four arms folded. The deity statue is carved from a single rock and has a snake wrapped around Lord Ganesha’s stomach. Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple is one of the best places to visit in Hampi with family throughout the year.

  • Height of the Lord Ganesha Statue: 8 ft (2.5 meters)
  • Distance and Travel Time from Hampi Bus Stand: 200 meter, 1 minute (approx.)
  • You Must Know: Photography is allowed and the temple surroundings are perfect for birdwatchers

Wrapping Up

Hampi in Karnataka is divided into 2 parts – one is the Hampi group of monuments while the other is across the Tungabhadra River, called Virupapur Village. The latter one has chic chafes, a pampering Ayurvedic spa center, and lush greenery to admire.

The best time to visit Hampi is from October to February. Between these 5 months, the temperature remains salubrious for outdoor sightseeing of the historical sites in Hampi. Moreover, November marks the festivals in Hampi, which will show you the cultural aspects of Hampi.

Kannada, Telugu, English are widely spoken languages in Hampi. The nearest airport to Hampi is Hubli Airport, 168 kilometers, 4 hours (approx.). While the closest railway station to Hampi is Hospet Junction, 13.5 kilometers, 30 minutes (approx.).

Hampi is suitable for couples, family travelers, and backpackers on a budget from Bangalore, Hubli, Hyderabad, Hospet, Gadag, Bellary.

Akshay Negi

Akshay Negi is the raddest writer at heart and passionate word nerd by choice. He became a writer the way other people become monks and nuns. Akshay has got a pair of eagle eyes. His approach geeks out on studying the personas of the human mind.