Living in Bangalore has a great advantage. It is surrounded by a lot of weekend getaways; one of them being Hampi. Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site which is around 350 km from Bangalore.
We started our journey from Bangalore at 9 AM in the morning. The road being awesome; our journey was filled with joy and excitement. Enjoying nariyal paani, jackfruit and breath-taking view of windmills on the way ; we saw a mesmerising view of sunset and stopped there. The place was called Vijayanagar.
After spending 1-2 hours, we continued our journey and reached Hotel Royal Orchid situated in Hospet; very near to Hampi. It’s a 4-star hotel and at the same time very economic (around 3k per night including breakfast). After relaxing in the swimming pool, we enjoyed a buffet dinner (around Rs 400 per person) which was very delicious.
The next morning we began exploring Hampi. We heard many fascinating stories of the Vijayanagara empire from the local guide. Some of them being highlighted below:
- Vithala temple complex : Once we reached the Vithala temple complex, I could not believe; what we used to see in history text books during school days, was right in front of me. Its magnificent and very beautiful. Though there is a golf cart available at a very minimal price, I would recommend to go on foot since the Vithala complex is huge and there are lot of things to explore. The main highlights being the stone chariot and the musical pillars near the Mandapam.
2. Matanga Hill : Famous for its sunrise, we reached here early in the morning to capture the mesmerising view. Its the same place where Sugreev hid from Bali during the Ramayana. Its the topmost point of Hampi and we could visualise the complete Hampi ruins. Beware of the monkeys on the way.
3. Virupaksha temple : Famous for its great energy and history, the main attraction of this temple is Lakshmi, 29 year old elephant. In south India, in most of the temples its very common to get blessings from the elephant. You need to place money on the trunk of the elephant and it will give its blessings by putting its trunk on your head. The experience is beyond words.
4. Statue of Ugra Narsimha : It was originally a statue of Lakshmi- Narsimha. After the statue of Lakshmi, who was seated on left of Narsimha’s, was destroyed by invaders; Lord Narsimha became Ugra (Fierce) .
Hampi is a must visit for people who :
- Love archaological sites and admire history
- Have bought a new SLR camera recently and looking for a photogenic place
- Are fond of visiting temples
- Are adventurous and want to experience rock climbing