Hampi is home to some incredible centuries-old landmarks. Set in an ancient village in the south Indian state of Karnataka, it boasts of numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire.
Hampi’s ruins has been described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site” of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India that includes “forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures and others”.
Many battles were fought here, The hills and boulders surrounding Hampi made for a great hideout for Kings of India’s past.
On the south bank of the River Tungabhadra is the 7th-century Hindu Virupaksha Temple, near the revived Hampi Bazaar. A carved stone chariot stands in front of the huge Vittala Temple site. Southeast of Hampi, Daroji Bear Sanctuary is home to the Indian sloth bear.
The center of town showcases an impressive 49-meter tall Virupaksha temple, an active Adi Shankara-linked monastery and various monuments belonging to the old city!
Hampi has a warm, dry climate year-round. Winter (Dec–Feb) is a common time to visit as the weather is cooler. The hot summer (Mar–Jun) is less busy, and is followed by the monsoon season. The Virupaksha Festival (Mar/Apr) is a major religious festival, with a procession bearing a giant wooden chariot along the main street. The Hampi Festival, (known locally as Vijaya Utsav) features local music, dance and fireworks.
What to do
Apart from sight-seeing and festivising, rock-climbing is also very popular here. Considered as the bouldering capital of India, Hampi’s rocky landscape is dotted with ancient temple ruins, and makes for a unique climbing experience.
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