Hampi is an enchanting temple town situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Ballari district of Karnataka. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its ancient ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire and hence is referred to as ‘The City of Ruins‘. Set on rocky terrain and surrounded by boulders of various sizes and shapes, Hampi is home to several Dravidian temples, monolith sculptures, and monuments that are major tourist attractions of this charming little town. Here we have listed six of the best places to visit in Hampi that you shouldn’t miss!
Sree Virupaksha Temple:
Virupaksha Temple is the most popular temple in Hampi, for this 7th-century Hindu temple is one of the oldest functioning temples in India. Dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, one of the forms of Lord Shiva, this temple is an important religious place to visit in Hampi. Since Lord Virupaksha is the consort of Goddess Pampadevi, this temple is also called Pampapathi Temple. Virupaksha temple impresses the visitors with its grandeur, its ornate stone carvings, huge courtyards, and imposing gopurams (gateway towers to the inner sanctums).
Vijaya Vittala Temple:
Constructed in Dravidian style, Vijaya Vittala or Vittala Temple dedicated to Lord Vittala (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) is one of the finest examples of architectural excellence and hence is a must-visit place in Hampi. Every detail of this beautifully designed temple complex – from the arched main gate and lofty pillars to the intricately carved stone sculptures – will leave you awestruck! The most notable structures of the Vittala temple are the iconic stone chariot and the bewitching musical pillars.
Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple:
Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple is perched on Anjaneyadri Hill, at a distance of 2 kilometers from Virupaksha Temple. Believed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, it is among the sacred places to visit in Hampi. Devotees need to take a boat ride and then climb nearly 600 steps to have the darshan of Lord Hanuman. Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple is often called the Monkey Temple because this hilly area is home to a large group of monkeys. This hilltop temple offers panoramic views of the Tungabhadra River, and the views of sunset or sunrise from the hilltop are just unmissable!
Queen’s Bath is an enormous and elaborate building with a simple exterior and an intricate interior. Designed in such a way that no outsiders could enter it, this royal bathing complex gives you a glimpse of the lavish lifestyle of the Vijayanagara queens and princesses. The rectangular pool (measuring 30 square meters) under the open sky is surrounded by symmetrical balconies with three small windows. The magnificence and the stunning architecture of Queen’s Bath make it one of the best places to visit in Hampi.
Trek to the top of Matanga Hill to catch the breathtaking views of Hampi’s landscape! Matanga Hill is the highest point of Hampi, where the famous Veerabhadra Temple is situated. The rooftop of this Veerabhadra Temple is the perfect place to behold the magical sunrise or sunset over the historic city of Hampi. There are more than two trekking trails to reach the summit, and the trek is moderately difficult but worth taking for the rewarding views of Hampi’s ruins! Matanga hill, named after the sage Matanga, is mentioned in the great Hindu epic Ramayana and thus is a mythologically-significant place to visit in Hampi.
The Archeological Museum situated in Kamalapur is the most recommended place to visit in Hampi, especially for history buffs. It has four art galleries, and the exhibits in these galleries tell you a lot about the royal past of this little village. You’ll see models of Hampi village in the first gallery and the sculptures and idols of Shaiva faith in the second gallery. The third section exhibits artifacts like coins, copper/brass plates, tools, arms, and other ammunition, and the fourth section houses antiquities dating to the pre-Vijayanagara period.
Hampi is one of the must-visit places in India, no matter if you classify yourself as a religious or cultural tourist, a history buff, a shutterbug, or an architecture/ archaeology/ geology enthusiast! Plan your trip and find the best deals on cheap flights to India at India Eagle!