A Three-Day Trip To Hampi With Friends (2020)
Travelling in India can be both delightful as well as a daunting task! Delightful because you get to explore beautiful places and create amazing memories and daunting because it is quite difficult to choose your perfect vacation destination when the country has a plethora of options up for grabs. After a lot of research, me and my best friend decided to head to Hampi for a short three-day trip.
Hampi is one of those places in India which is absolutely safe for solo women travelers, which is the main reason why me and my friend zeroed in on this gorgeous place. Hampi is mainly known for its stone temples which boast of an architectural beauty seen nowhere else in India. If you are a history and architecture lover, then Hampi is one place which is definitely worth visiting! In fact, Hampi has also be accorded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How To Reach Hampi?
With Hampi being quite a popular tourist place among Indians as well as foreigners, it is fairly easy to reach this small little town located in Karnataka’s Bellary district. We were travelling to Hampi from Hyderabad and there were quite a few ways for us to reach Hampi. We could either drive down in our own car, take a bus, or take a train. We decided to travel by train as it was the most convenient mode of transportation for us.
We took an overnight train from Hyderabad and reached Hospet Junction the next day which is the closest train station to Hampi. Once we reached Hospet, we took an autorickshaw to reach Hampi which was just 13 km away.
Once we reached Hampi, we got to know that there are two sides of Hampi which are divided by the River Tungabhadra. While one side of the river has all the famous attractions, shopping bazaars, main town, etc., the other side of the river is more chilled out with beautiful restaurants, picture-perfect accommodations, and some tourist attractions. We decided to head to the chilled-out side by taking a ferry across the river. This to and fro on the ferry was truly one of the highlights of our entire trip. It was just amazing to sit back and relax as we got ferried from one end to the other.
Our Stay In Hampi
Since Hampi has evolved as a preferred tourist destination for many, there is no dearth of options when it comes to accommodations. There are good hotels on both sides of the river, and you can choose the one that matches your budget and requirement the best. We decided to stay at the Funky Monkey Restaurant which had some basic cottages which were ideal for our three-day stay. One of the best ways of starting our mornings in Hampi was to simply sit in the restaurant which had floor seating of mattresses and cushions and gaze out at the perfect view of the river with hot steaming cups of masala chai on our hands!
The restaurant had a good menu and we had the option of choosing from a delicious spread of breakfast items.
How To Travel Within Hampi?
There are couple of ways to travel within Hampi. If you have driven down, then you can obviously explore the town in your own vehicle, or you can hire bikes/bicycles for a nominal fee on a daily basis, or you can take an autorickshaw and book them for the whole day for Rs. 500 – Rs. 600. Based on our restaurant owner’s recommendation, we decided to hire a bike on the first day to explore some places on the side that we were staying and for the remaining two days, we hired an autorickshaw.
We were truly lucky with the autorickshaw that we hired as our driver was a local guy who was extremely knowledgeable not just about the famous tourist spots but also about the ones which were not famous and some which were not even known to many!
Places We Visited In Hampi
If you are not someone who loves to visit and explore ancient temples and monuments, the Hampi is not the place for you as this small little town is filled with ancient temples and other monuments. Below is a list of some of the places that we visited.
- Sri Virupaksha Temple – This beautiful and stunning temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the must-visit temples in Hampi. It is a 7th century temple which has a huge complex featuring stunning gopurams in the entryway. The carvings and ornate stonework are simply stunning! Image Source
- Vijaya Vittala Temple – Another architectural beauty in Hampi, this temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and was built during the 15th century. This temple is primarily famous for its stone chariot which is definitely worth capturing. This is another temple which has a huge complex with beautiful carvings on its pillars.
- Hanuman Temple – This temple truly tested our stamina and endurance as we had to climb a total of 570 steps to reach this temple which is locate don top of a hill. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this temple is almost 500 years old! Of course, our strenuous climb was accompanied by some beautiful and picturesque views on the way which made the climb totally worth it!
- Lotus Palace – The Lotus palace is simply a thing of beauty which should not be missed if you are in Hampi. This palace was solely dedicated for the royal women and the structure looks as if a lotus is in bloom.
- Elephant Stables – As the name suggests, this is the structure which housed the royal elephants during the Vijayanagara Empire. Among all the historical structures in Hampi, this is one structure which has still not been ruined and stands intact! We loved the structure of the stables with its majestic pillars and dome-shaped chambers. This is a great place to get beautiful pictures clicked.
Apart from these popular tourist spots, we also visited other attractions such as:
- Queen’s Bath
- Monolith Bull Lakshmi Narsimha Temple
- Kadalekulu Ganesh
- King’s Balance
Shopping in Hampi
The local markets in Hampi are definitely a haven for shopaholics and we were able to browse through a number of shops looking for amazing souvenirs to take back home. The markets in Hampi are really vibrant and colorful with shops selling everything from handcrafted stone artefacts to leather items such as bags, wallets, duffel bags, etc. to traditional musical instruments such as djembe, flute, ektara, etc. to beautiful travel clothes at a really reasonable rate.
All in all, our three-day trip to Hampi went off without a glitch and was the perfect getaway destination for us from Hyderabad.