Tourism in Hampi
The most interesting and best tourists place in Karnataka is Hampi and its ruins. Hospet is the small town closer to Hampi which is the nearest railway station. Once one reaches Hospet it takes only 20 minutes to half hour to reach Hampi with the help of local buses which runs every half an hour. The city of Hampi is divided into two parts; the Sacred Center and the Royal Center. These clusters are separated 3 kms apart.
The Sacred Center as the name suggests is full of temples and religious monuments. The Royal Center is a cluster with the royal palaces, stables, enclosures for the queens, private areas of the royal family, prayer places for the royals and more.
The construction of Vijayanagar city originally began by seven fortifications, of which large number of batons and gateways were erected. The seventh and the innermost fort is enclosed in the main city and preserved. The main structures of the Hampi are religious, civil and military in nature. The Jain temples on Hemankuta hill, few shrines in the Virupaksha Complex which dates back to 9th century are the amongst the most visited ones.
Some of the must visit places in Hampi are-
Virupaksha TempleAmongst the ruins of Hampi stands the Virupaksha temple with its earlier structures still intact. The temple main diety is Lord Shiva, and one of the few temples where people still use for worship. Virupaksha temple has various incarnations of Lord Vishnu and Shiva as carvings on them. The chariot festival is conducted every year in the month of February in the premises of this temple.
Lakshmi Narasimha TempleThe Lakshmi Narasimha or the Ugra narasimha temple attract a lot of tourist due to its monolithic structure and sheer enormity in size. It is the single largest statue in Hampi, which is in honour of the diety Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu depicted as sitting on the giant coil of the celestial snake Adisesha. The seven heads of the giant snake which shields the Narasimha acts as a Torana in front. He architecture of this piece is admirable.
Hazara Rama TempleHazara Rama Temple is situated in the middle of the Royal Center and was once used as a place of worship by the royal families. Inscriptions in the temple indicate that it was built by the 15th century. The temple is known for the bas – reliefs carvings and inscriptions that illustrate the mighty Ramayana epic and the Mahanavami festival on their inner and outer walls. Depictions of elephants, horses attendants, dancing girls, armoured soldiers indicate the royal presence in this temple. This temple carvings and paintings give an exclusive and admiration for the Vijayanagara artists.
Matanga HillMatanga Hill is a well known attraction of Hampi for offering breathtaking aerial view of the Hampi's landscape especially during sunrise and sunsets. This has been the best trekking paths for many tourists who visit Hampi. The aerial view from the top of the hill covers Tungabhadra River, Kodanda Rama Temple, Veerabhadra Temple and Turthu Canal. Matanga Hill is historically connected to the epic Ramayana too.
Vittala TempleThe Vittala temple is an architectural piece of Hampi, its diety Vitala is an avatar of Lord Vishnu worshipped by the Marathas. One major attraction of this temple is the stone chariot. The pillared halls are intrinsically carved with sculptures which speaks volumes of Hampi history and their rulers. This temple has a speciality where the seven notes of the music are emanated when the pillars are tapped.
Hampi BazaarHampi bazaar is near the Virupaksha Temple also known as Virupaksha Bazaar, most of which have shops, pavilions and restaurants; particularly on both sides of the street.
Government Provisions for Tourism in HampiGovernment of Karnataka has set 'Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation' (KSTDC) to provide infrastructure, conveyance and other facilities for tourists visiting Karnataka which serves as the largest Tour Operator in Karnataka. KSTDC provides various Provisions for Tourism in Hampi.
Hampi is easily accessible by Air, by Train and by Road. Hospet is the gateway town to Hampi which is Just 12kms from Hampi. Apart from Air, Train and bus, also there are Taxi facilities available in Karnataka.
By Road: Hampi is connected to all the major cities of India by road. KSTDC provides various buses in various tariffs to reach Hospet from nearby major places like Goa and Bangalore.
By Train: There are many trains operated to Hospet from various parts of Karnataka. More than 10 train passes through Hospet everyday.
By Air: The nearest airport is at Bellary, at a distance of 77km. The nearest International airport is in Bangalore which is 250kms from Hampi.
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has arranged city taxis for tourists. All the taxis has art technology like GPS, GPRS & Printing machines to enable easy tracking, quick & transparent billing.
Call Number: 080 - 4466 4466
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation has arranged many tour packages to Hampi under Heritage sites. One can avail these tour packages from the Karnataka information Center.
Karnataka government has arranged a special royal train for tourism named 'Golden Chariot'. This train is named after the famous Stone Chariot in Hampi. It has fully air-conditioned cabins, Dining, Restaurants, a lounge bar, conference hall, gym, spa facilities and also Health and recreation. The Golden Chariot is departed from Bangalore on every Monday.
Karnataka government also provides lodging facilities. Karnataka Hotels is a KSTDC brand that provides tourists with quality service and facilities. There are many hotels ranging from Economy to Luxury. Karnataka Hotels Hampi (Bhuvaneshwari) and Shree Laxmi Golden Beach Resort were very famous in Hampi, apart from this there are many Hotels in Hospet.
Tourism Information Centre:
The KSTDC information office is situated in the main Hampi Bazaar area. Informations is also available in all the KSTDC hotels and the KSTDC office in Hospet. Below are the contact details of Information centers.
Tourist Information Counter
Tel: 08394 241339
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation
No. 49, 2nd Floor West Entrance,
Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road
Bangalore - 560 001. Karnataka, India
Telephone: 91-080-22352901/ 22352902/ 22352903,
Timing: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm All days except Sunday