Places to Visit & Things to Do in Hampi, India : Temples, Ruins, Bouldering, Chill & More

Hampi , a small town in the Indian State of Karnataka, used to be the capital of the Vijaynagar Empire, and was the richest city in the world at its peak. Now all that is left is ruins of temples, stone structures and everything else.

How To Reach Hampi

The best way to reach Hampi by train is to take the Hampi Express from Mysore or Bangalore to Hospet, or by overnight buses from Bangalore, Goa and Gokarna to Hospet. There are regular buses from Hospet to Hampi that take about half an hour to reach.

One should rent a bicycle and start early to go around these ruins and temples, as it gets hot during the day.

Hampi - Rent a Bicycle
Rent a Bicycle

TEMPLES AND RUINS

Hampi - Virupaksha Temple
Virupaksha Temple
Hampi - Roof Patterns
Roof Patterns
While on your Ruins Exploration trip, you will find amazing stone architecture, roof patterns, aquaduct, pillared structures, Ganesha and Shiva Linga carved out of a single huge rock, stone chariot, elephant stable, Lotus Mahal, amazing stone and brick art done on the gates.
Hampi - Ruins
Ruins
 But the most ignored and intriguing would be the ruins around the Band Tower. It is the most expansive site of ruins and with not a single soul in sight.
This should be the “Image at the back of our head” to remind us what have we done, and also to what our future generations are going to do with us. (Karma)
Hampi - Ruins Panorama
Ruins

CAVE PAINTINGS

Hampi - Cave Paintings
Cave Paintings
The cave paintings around Hampi are one of the least known pieces of history around, even the locals don’t always know about them, let alone know the location of the site, which lies in Chikrampur. Ancient cave people used leaf paint to draw these minimal art forms, speculated to be at least 8000 years old. The site has paintings of animals, symbols, a huge snake, humans etc.

SUNSET AND SUNRISE POINTS

All the Sunrise and Sunset Points offer a very unique Hampi Landscape full of Boulders, Rice and Banana Plantations and Palm Trees.
Hampi - Sunset from Drum Circle Point
Sunset from Drum Circle Point at Hampi
Hampi - Drum Circle
Drum Circle at Hampi 
Monkey Temple is the most famous Sunset Point, which has 500 steps to climb but the view is equally rewarding.
Matanga Hill is also quite a climb, but as it is a Sunrise Point, only a few people end up enjoying the beautiful Hampi Landscape from this view.
The best place to be during the sunset is the Drum Circle Point, where a bunch of people are playing unique instruments and singing along together while the sun goes down.

ROCK CLIMBING/BOULDERING

 Hampi is one of the world’s biggest Bouldering sites, and you can find fellow climbers staying there for months. There are a couple of shops where you can rent the climbing gear and hire a trainer. The best place to meet fellow climbers is The Goan Corner.
One should definitely give Bouldering a try during their stay in Hampi.

 HAMPI ACCOMMODATION/STAY

While in Hampi, one should stay across the river because that is where all the activity takes place. Your Purpose of visit should determine where you stay in Hampi.
Hampi - Hanumanhalli
Hanumanhalli
1) The Goan Corner for Rock Climbing/Bouldering because that is where all the climbers are.
2) White Elephant for being in the middle of nowhere (Rice Fields and Boulders).
3) Mowgli Guest House for a comfortable stay in a central area.
4) Hanumanhalli for the best of everything. That is where all the long term travelers stay, as it is central, cheap, laid back and exactly where you find the cool people.

FOOD

Hampi - Awesome Dosa and Uttapam near Hospete Bus Stand
Hampi – Awesome Dosa and Uttapam near Hospete Bus Stand
Mango Tree is the best rated restaurant in Hampi, pretty famous for their Special Thali. Their Banofee Pie is to die for.
Laughing Buddha has the most chilled out vibe, a great view of the river and the Temples across the river. They are famous for their Chicken Cutlet.
My favorite kind of place is the one where the locals relish their food. Sri Shiridi Sai Tiffins, a self service outlet, near the Hospete Bus Stand takes the cake, serving the most outstanding (and good enough for 2 people) Masala Dosa and Uttapam for INR 25-30, serving to over 1200 people daily.

 SWIMMING

Hampi - Swim Across the River
Swim Across the River
There are also some reservoirs you can end up going to, but the best place to enjoy a nice swim is Hanumanhalli, where there are small natural ponds and a lot of trees and a cool breeze to have a quick afternoon nap in the shade.

 RUMOUR ABOUT HAMPI

 A lot of locals around Hampi are worried about their livelihood, which depends on tourism, as the rumor has it that all the commercial activity around THE WORLD HERITAGE SITE, is going to be stopped, to preserve the ruins. And that is exactly the reason that you should go visit Hampi, while you still can.