The incredibly unique landscape of Hampi is best described as other worldly. Captivating ruins are intriguingly intermingled amongst large, rust-coloured boulders rearing up throughout the landscape amongst palm trees, green paddy fields and plantations. Over 500 monuments and ruins still stand here and date back to the 14th century, spanning 25km. Known as the last capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, the largest Hindu empire in India’s history, the town is now a laid back UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You’ll find the ruins amongst two key areas: the Sacred Centre and the Royal Centre. Virupaksha is Hampi’s only remaining working temple Built in 1442, it’s also one of the oldest structures in the city and is situated on the picturesque, boulder-strewn Tungabhadra River. A serious highlight and one not to be missed is the Vittala Temple. Constructed in the 16th century, wander through and discover this extravagant complex of halls, pavilions and temples, along with the impressive stone chariot. After all the temple hopping, enjoy the sunset from Mantanga Hill, the ideal spot to get an aerial view over Hampi’s landscape.
In the Hampi Bazaar, you’ll find many restaurants and budget accommodations, though across the river, the setting is a bit more peaceful. Evolve Back provides luxury, palace-like accommodation amongst the relaxing, boulder-strewn landscape and is just a short drive from the area’s key attractions and ruins. As well, there is The Ultimate Travelling Camp, a comfortable yet luxurious tented camp not far from the town.
If you’re looking to visit the fascinating landscapes and historical ruins of Hampi, it links well with Hyderabad as direct flights available, as well as south Karnataka and Goa, which you can reach via an incredible train journey across the Dudgeshar waterfalls.