The historical heritage of India stands rich and proud, at the helm of tourism affairs of our country. Whether it is the architectural magnificence of ancient structures or relics and museums that excite you, Hampi is a must-visit site to boost your tourist ego. A small town in Karnataka, lying on the banks of River Tungabhadra, Hampi is a paradise for tourists who love to study ancient relics and ruins. It has been described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site” that talks of “forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures, and others.” Enamored by a mere description of the town? Well then, plan for a visit to Hampi and let us list 11 best places to visit in Hampi, Karnataka.
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Virupaksha Temple, Hampi
While in Hampi, you sure do not want to miss visiting one of the oldest functioning temples in India! Dating back to the 7th century, it is the beautiful architecture and history of the temple that lures visitors aplenty. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Visupaksha Temple is a must-visit for its ornate sculptures, mythological stories, and majestic history.
As the name suggests, the Hippie Island is every backpacker’s delight with its serene ambiance, laidback air, and vibrant hippie culture. A five-minute ride by boat, it has shacks and cafes that offer awesome food and beverages with a magnificent scenic view. Away from the hustle of the city, its quietude holds quite a mesmeric attraction.
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Named after the location of the hermitage of Saint Matanga during the Ramayana, the Matanga Hill holds an ideal trekking ground for adventure enthusiasts, as it is the highest peak in Hampi. So whether you are looking for some excitement or scenic beauty, Matanga Hill is a must-visit while you are in Hampi.
An example of architectural beauty at its zenith, Vithala Temple is an impressive structure in Hampi. It dates back to the 16th The splendid carvings on the walls and pillars of the temple, the arched entrance gate, the spectacular famous stone chariot, the massive temple complex area, all add up to make it one of the best places to visit in Hampi.
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Lotus Palace, Hampi
To understand the history of Hampi, it is imperative to know the lifestyle of that era. This monument was made for royal women and gets its name from the lotus-like dome. Close to the Zenana Enclosure, the Lotus Palace stand out in its design and style.
Boat rides are fun and aplenty. But in Hampi, one gets to have a feel of days-gone-by by riding in a coracle which is an experience by itself. It is one of the few places in India to offer such a ride and that too at a fairly reasonable rate. Be sure to ride in one, on your visit to Hampi to have an experience of a lifetime.
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The structure of a Monolith Bull carved out of a single stone and placed on a high platform is a major attraction in itself. Owing to its huge size and carrying the religious perspective of a bull being the ride of Lord Shiva, this structure is a favorite among tourists for a click.
No Vacation is complete without carrying souvenirs of the place on return. A perfect place for shoppers, Hampi Bazaar offers antique coins, shawls, bags and various articles that are worth buying. The Bazaar faces the Virupaksha temple and hence is also known as Virupaksha Bazaar.
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Atop the Anjeyanadri Hill, the Monkey Temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. 570 steps lead to this temple which is present inside a cave. Apart from being considered a sacred spot for Hindus, it is also acclaimed for its beautiful views and pleasant air. For all nature and religious lovers. Monkey Temple should be an indispensable part of your itinerary when in Hampi.
Daroji Bear Sanctuary
For all animal lovers and admirers of flora and fauna, Daroji Bear Sanctuary is heaven. Established in 1994, this sanctuary was converted from a thorny forest to a lush green area which is now inhabited by Sloth Bears. Other than bears, one can see other Wildlife species as well such as jackals, leopards, and wild boars.
Hampi carries with an enormous history from the Vijayanagar Empire. This government museum houses a number of artifacts, remains and other exhibits found during excavation which makes an interesting study of that era.
With such an interesting list of tourist places which are so diverse and exciting, Hampi makes for a grand vacation spot. Include it in your travel wish-list and you sure are going to have a memorable time spent in there!