Places to see in Hampi

3-Day Hampi Itinerary

Day 1:

Explore the Sacred Sites of Central Hampi

06:00 AM – 12:00 PM

When in Hampi, you must begin your sightseeing with the sunrise at the Matanga Hills.

Matanga Hill is the highest point in Hampi and from the hilltop, you get a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the entire city of Hampi and the Vijayanagara Empire. The place is ideal for witnessing the sunrise as well as the sunset. Our recommendation is to witness both. To reach the hilltop, you have to climb for 40 – 45 mins. Definitely not a place for elderly people and people with knee problems.

Matanga Hill is named after Rishi Matanga whom can be found in the Aranya Kanda from the epic Ramayana.

Time Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

Mode of Transport: Rent a bike/motorcycle/rickshaw.

On the eastern side of Matanga Hill, you can see the Achyuta Raya Temple.

Achyuta Raya Temple was a significant pilgrimage center during the prime of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. Now in a partially ruined condition, the architecture of the temple is still intact and depicts the Vijayanagara style in its best form. You won’t find many visitors here due to its secluded location. This gives you an opportunity to explore every corner the way you want to. If you are fond of heritage and architecture then you should not skip this. The temple forms the Group of the Monuments that is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Time Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

Mode of Transport: 10-min walk from Matanga Hill

After this, you begin exploring the prime and ancient attractions of central Hampi on foot. Here you come across various ruined temples, monuments, and structures. The sequence you should follow is as follows:

 1.  Yeduru Basavanna – The sacred bull of Lord Shiva, locally known as Yeduru Basavanna. The sculpture is made out of a single rock and hence it is called the Monolithic Bull. The sculpture is believed to be more than 500 years old and one of the landmarks of Hampi.

2. Hampi Bazaar / Virupaksha Bazaar – Hampi Bazaar is spread along the 1 km that stretches from the Yeduru Basavanna to Virupaksha Temple. The area was once a thriving marketplace during its prime. You can spot the primeval pavilions.

3. Virupaksha Temple – The iconic sacred site of Hampi, Virupaksha Temple, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The 50-meter high gopuram draws your attention within seconds and can be seen from some distance. This is an active temple and devotees pay a visit to seek blessings.

For luncheon, there are multiple outlets outside the Virupaksha Temple. Mango Treehouse is the famous one and where you find some rush.

Sacred Sites along the Hampi Street

02:00 PM – 06:00 PM

Mode of Transport: The attractions spread along the Hampi Road can be explored on foot. All the attractions are 400 m to 600 m apart from each other. All can be covered in 4-5 hours starting from Kadalekalu Ganesh and ending with sunset at Hemkuta Hill.

500 meters south of the Virupaksha Temple is the Kadalekalu Ganesha. Kadalekalu Ganesh is a 15ft monolithic sculpture of Lord Ganesha. Kadalekalu is the local word for chickpea. The belly of Lord Ganesh appears to be in a form of a chickpea hence it is named Kadalekalu.

Time Duration: 30 mins

Walk 400 meters south of Kadalekalu Ganesh and you reach Sri Krishna Temple. The temple is dedicated to Balakrishna. The temple complex was built in the 16th century by the then ruler of Vijayanagara, Krishnadevaraya to commemorate his victory over the king of Odisha, Gajapati. In front of the temple, you can find the ruined pavilions of Krishna Bazaar.

Time Duration: 45 mins

500 meters south of Sri Krishna Temple is the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple and Badavilinga Temple. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is famous for the gigantic sculpture of Lord Narasimha. The 6.7-meter-high monolithic sculpture is the largest monolithic sculpture in Hampi. Adjacent to Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is the Badavilinga Tempe. Badavilinga Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The shivalinga situated in this temple premise is a monolithic structure.

Time Duration: 1 hour

400 meters north of Badavilinga Temple, you find the Sasivekalu Ganesha. Similar to Kadalekalu Ganesha, Sasivekalu Ganesha is a monolithic sculpture with a height of 8 ft. Here, you can spot a snake tied around the belly of Lord Ganesha.

Time Duration: 30 mins

The final attraction of the day is Hemakuta Hill.

The hill is famous for its group of temples, archways, pavilions, and boulders. The top of the hill is an ideal vantage point to witness the sunset.

Time Duration: 1 hour

Also read: Best Area To Book your Hotel in Hampi

Day 2:

Explore the Heritage Sites

07:00 AM – 12:00 PM

After exploring the sacred sites of the central part of Hampi, you explore some of the iconic heritage sites of Hampi located on the north-eastern part of the town adjacent to the banks of the Tungabhadra River. The sightseeing begins at Malyavantha Raghunatha Temple and concludes at Sugriva’s Cave.

Mode of Transport: Rent a bike/motorcycle/rickshaw to reach Vijaya Vittala Temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The attractions spread within the temple premises and can be explored on foot. All the attractions are 400 m to 600 m apart from each other and can be covered in 4-5 hours

Malyavantha Raghunatha Temple: The temple is dedicated to Lord Shri Ram and his brother Laxman. According to the folklore, Shri Ram and Laxman, on their expedition in search of Devi Sita, halted at this location to take shelter during the monsoon season. The temple is an active temple and is open for visitors 24 hours. The road leading to the main temple is narrow and can be accessed only on foot.

Vijaya Vittala Temple: Vijaya Vittala Temple is located 5 km north of Malyavantha Raghunath Temple. The temple is dedicated to Vithoba, also known as Vittala, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Dravidian style of architecture of the temple is considered to be the grandest of all monuments in Hampi.

The Stone Chariot: Everyone is familiar with The Stone Chariot of Hampi. The image of the chariot can be found on the Rs 50 denomination currency note. Present inside the Vijaya Vittala Temple complex, the chariot is actually a shrine dedicated to Garuda, the carrier of Lord Vishnu. The structure is believed to be the jewel of Hampi.

Sugriva’s Cave: 800 meters from the Stone Chariot, you come across this naturally formed cave along the banks of the river Tungabhadra. According to the legend, the cave was the hideout spot for Sugriva, the king of the vanara army. Inside the cave, you can find the markings of pieces of jewelry of Devi Sita that were dropped when she was captivated by Ravana.

Time Duration: 4 – 5 hours.

Explore the other side of the river

01:00 PM – 05:00 PM

Mode of Transport: Best way to cross the Tungabhadra River is by enjoying a ride in the coracle boat. There are three spots where coracle crossing is done – Near Virupaksha Temple, opposite Kondandarama Temple, and near Vijaya Vittala Temple.

The northern bank of the Tungabhadra River is known for the lesser-known and offbeat places of Hampi.

Sanapur Lake: Sanapur Lake acts as a reservoir for agricultural purposes but also serves as a stunning tourist spot. Although coracle boating on the lake is a popular activity, the panoramic views and the balancing boulders add to the charm.

Time Duration: 45 mins

Anjanadri / Anjaneya Hill: The hilltop is named after Hanuman. According to the legend, this was the birthplace of Hanuman. The temple present at the hilltop is dedicated to Hanuman. There is an accessway to the hilltop that has around 500 steps. This is an ideal place to witness the sunset.

Time Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

Travel Advice: The coracle boat rides are available till 5:30 PM. So make sure you wind up your sightseeing by then.

Day 3:

Explore the Royal palaces of Hampi

10:00 AM – 03:00 PM

On your third day in Hampi, you explore the royal architecture of the Vijayanagara Empire.

Mode of Transport: Rent a bike/motorcycle/rickshaw to reach Royal Enclosure. The attractions spread within the temple premises and can be explored on foot. All the attractions are 400 m to 600 m apart from each other and can be covered in 4-5 hours

Royal Enclosure: This was the administrative center during the prime of the Vijayanagara Empire. The enclosure was fortified and housed multiple darbars, pavilions, and temples. The area is spread around 59000 sq. m.  The enclosure is now in a ruined state but still speaks a lot about the architectural style and way of life.

Queen’s Bath: Although the named Queen’s Bath, it was a private bath for the kings and queens. The rectangular structure with no ceiling and a 6 ft. deep pool is surrounded by balconies. The arched doors and windows have relevance to Indo-Islamic architecture.

Hazara Raama Temple: As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The carvings on the walls of the temples convey the episodes of the epic Ramayana. The temple is located centrally in the royal enclosure.

Lotus Mahal: Another architectural gem of Hampi. The dome of the Lotus Mahal is carved into a lotus-like bud. Lotus Mahal is also referred to as Chitranagi Mahal. It has 3 stories that are supported by 24 pillars and no walls.

Elephant Stables: The Indo-Islamic structure was built in the 15th century to provide shelter for elephants. The stable has 11 domed chambers and can accommodate 22 elephants at a time. This is one of the few structures that are still intact in its complete form.

Time Duration: 4 – 5 hours.

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