Hampi was the capital of fourteenth-century Vijayanagara Empire. The ruins of the empire are spread over the area of 26 km2. "A Forgotten Empire" (ISBN 1419101250) by Robert Sewell is an interesting book that describes the rise and fall of Vijayanagara Empire.
Being a UNESCO world heritage site, Hampi attracts a lot of foreigners. For first-time visitors, it is highly recommended to take a guide along with you, because the magic and grandeur of the place is fully understood only when one knows the history and legends associated with the place.
Before the fall of Vijayanagara Empire, diamonds were sold on the streets. The main street selling diamonds and other precious stones was surprisingly called Pan Supaari Street. A visitor can still see the exact location of Pan Supaari Street in Hampi, which has been marked with a board by Archaeological Survey of India.
Hampi is well worth at least one visit. The area is simply stunning and you will be in awe of the millions of boulders surrounding the area. However, within this arid landscape lies a little oasis with lush palm, banana, and mango trees nestled near the river.
Hampi is a great place to spend a few days wandering around and discovering the rich, vibrant history while also having a bit of 'your' time.
Hampi hosts the 'Hampi Utsav' (literally 'Hampi Festival') every year during first week of November. It is a visual delight as all the monuments/ruins are lighted in the night and it is a cultural extravaganza of dance and music.
Bellary is the nearest domestic airport, 60 km away while Bangalore is the nearest international airport, 350 km away from Hampi. Private taxis cost INR1200 for Bellary to Hampi and more than INR6000 for Bangalore to Hampi.
Hubli is another nearest airport, 143km away from Hampi. Flying from Goa means that you have to change planes in Mumbai (or Bengaluru), making it an expensive and time consuming trip, and therefore useless.
The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction (IR station code: HPT), 13km away.
Overnight trains run several times a week from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Goa. The trains are a much cheaper and more comfortable route than the tourist buses most people are led into. (2 AC - bed with linen - costs INR750 from Bangalore to Hampi). You can also catch an overnight train from Mysore to Hubli and from there to Hospet/Hampi.
Here are some useful trains to get into Hampi:
|Train Number||Train Name||You may board at||You may alight at|
|16592||Hampi Express||Bangalore City Dept. 10PM, (Bangalore)||Hospet Junction Arr. 7:50AM|
|18048||Amaravathi Express||Vasco da Gama,Madgaon Junction||Hospet Junction|
|17603||Kacheguda Express (Slip Route)||Kacheguda (Hyderabad)||Hospet Junction|
|17003||KOP-HYD Express (Slip Route)||Hyderabad||Hospet Junction|
|16534||YPR JODHPUR Express (Slip Route)||Bangalore Yashwantpur Dept. 05:20 PM, (Bangalore)||Hospet Junction Arr. 02:55 AM|
From Hospet it's convenient to take a rickshaw to Hampi (Rs.80-120). Rickshaw drivers can be persistent and will poke their heads in the train before you even get off, but they may very well be the best option. Buses to Hampi are cheaper. It's about a kilometer and a half walk from the train station to the bus station. Take an Auto-rickshaw up to bus-stand (INR5 per head) and you can easily get frequent government buses for Hampi (INR10 per head).
Also see Rail travel in India
- Bangalore: 350km; drive till Chitradurga on NH-4, take a right turn on NH-13 towards Sholapur till Hospet, and then drive another 13km to reach Hampi (direction towards Hampi is well marked). The road is in excellent condition till Chitradurga but then deteriorates rapidly. You are also likely to encounter traffic jams due to ore-laden trucks plying on NH-13.
- Hubli: 150km
- Hospet: 13km
- Hyderabad: 360km. Take NH-7 till Jadcharla X-Road, turn right towards Mahboobnagar and carry on till Raichur. From Raichur, take Karnataka State Highway 20 towards Lingasugar, turn left at 10 km after Raichur onto Karnataka State Highway 23 to Sindhanoor. The road on the last 15-25 km stretch, after Gangavati, is not so bad. Lots of speed breakers in Karnataka. The 5-10 km stretch just before the Andhra Pradesh - Karnataka States Border on Andhra Pradesh side is full of potholes.
- Mumbai: About 800km or less: Take NH 4 up to Hubli & then go via Gadag-Hospet. Alternately Take NH 4, exit to Sangli/Miraj, Go to Athni-Bijapur. (Do not take short cuts as roads are real bad.) You may choose to see Badami, Pattadakkal, and Aihole as a 2 day add on excursion, else proceed to Hampi Next day. Roads are average except speed breakers combined with potholes & heavy traffic of large trucks. (Strictly avoid night driving.) Prefer high ground clearance cars on this roads.
- Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation operates daily buses to Hospet from Bangalore, Mysore and Gokarna. From Hospet you can go to Hampi on a local bus for INR15. Book your tickets in advance if you want a coach or an air-con service, because the number of travellers is large (given that the place is very famous amongst foreigners) and the frequency of buses is less.
- There is a KSRTC daily Panaji - Hampi / Hampi - Panaji service. It is a very comfortable ride and it starts / ends at Hampi bus station itself. Details and online ticketing can be done on the KSRTC site.
- There are buses every 15-20 minutes from Hospet (new terminal) to Hampi. Getting seats is not a big problem.
- There are private bus companies operating from most places in Goa and from Gokarna which run an overnight service to Hampi. Unfortunately, there is no direct return so you take a local bus (or taxi) to Hospet and take it from there.
- For Indians who wish to stop at different places en route to Hampi, this is an itinerary you can follow using KSRTC buses. This is ex-Mumbai and was done in March 2013. Mumbai to Belgaum (overnight bus, approximately 8 hours). Belgaum to Bijapur (NWKRTC Inter-City bus, approximately 3 hours). Bijapur to Hospet (KSRTC Inter-City bus, approximately 3 hours). Hospet to Hampi (regular city bus, 15 minutes)
The real pleasure in exploring Hampi comes from on the bicycle or by walking around. Virtually every rock in Hampi has a story to say. This story is best heard if you give it time and walk around from rock to rock.
Do note that the weather in Hampi can be a big factor. With all the boulders, big and small around, with soil from years of erosion, there is a lot of dust that blows in the air. There are open spaces with strong winds and while the wind keeps you pleasant, you can have a lot of dust blowing into your nose / mouth. In many of the monument areas, there are no trees or anything to provide shade (except the monuments themselves). So walking / cycling around the area involves a lot of exposure to direct sunlight. Keep your sunblock creams, hats, wet towels around your neck and bottles of water with you all the time.
Bicycle is the best way to explore Hampi if you enjoy history, culture and nature. You can rent a 21-speed Trek bike from Art of Bicycle Trips. It usually costs around ₹100/day with a ₹15,000 security deposit. Helmet and lock is included in the price. Please note that with bicycling, a little bit of walking is always required for exploring the interior of sites.
Regular, non-geared cycles are available at INR50 per day, no security deposit is required. These cycles are available at the Hampi village.
Another more convenient variant is to see all the sights without climbing the hills is by rickshaw. Bargain with your rickshaw driver for a fixed rate (₹400-500 for a full day seems to be okay) and then hire an official Karnataka Travel guide (at the tourist office, they have fixed rates: 4h costs ₹500, 8h is ₹800) It costs a little bit, but the explanations help you to see more than just stones and temples. To get an estimate of cost/content, you can talk to the guides before coming down to Hampi. The guides willingly share their cellular numbers and email addresses.
It is very hot! Dry, dry heat. And the walk between some sites can be at least 5 km. Plus, the surrounding area is quite breathtaking to ride around and you can explore some parts that the rickshaws won't take you. Guides are willing to ride on the back with you as well. This is a more expensive option (not for the thrifty!) than the rickshaw but it gives you more freedom and you can cover more in one day without rushing it. Take a guide with you one day, then do it all again by yourself the next. A bike like a Scooty or Kinetic Honda will cost you about Rs150 a day with additional fuel charges. You can also hire a 100CC motor bikes for Rs 200 a day. A liter of petrol will be sufficient for sightseeing around Hampi, but two liters would be handy if you have plans to go to Tungabadra Dam (some 15 km from Hampi)
When renting a scooters/motor bikes petrol costs extra, and normally sold at 40-50% premium in the place you rent (A liter may cost Rs 65-75). A petrol pump is located in Kamalapur, which sells petrol at ordinary price. Two liters will get you to the major sites around Royal Centre and back, but three liters is a safer option. The countryside is a beautiful place for a leisurely drive so it's worth taking lots of fuel.
Bit more costly variant is renting a car. Various Car Rentals are available in Hospet. They normally charge Rs 750 to Rs 1,000 for a day site seeing and pick up/drop to railway station etc. There are several car rental companies in Hampi/Hospet including some prominent ones like SRB Travels (firstname.lastname@example.org), etc. Car rentals are also available from various nearby rail heads and airports like Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad, and Belgaum to Hampi.
The ruins of Hampi are located within a 30 km2 area. While most of the famous places have drivable roads leading up to them.
Most of the guest houses are on other side of the river (area called Virupapur Gadde). To access them, you need to cross river by Motor boat (Rs. 10 for locals, Rs. 15 for tourists, boat runs until 6PM. If you cannot get on the boat, you have to pay auto Rs 500-600 to take you other side via Hospet-Hugili-Hanumanhalli, which is a 40km tour. During moderate/high rains, gates of Tungbhadra dam are opened which increases the water level and water flow in river. In that case, one might get stranded on other side of river (Virupapur Gadde area)
Hampi is a visual delight, especially due to its stark contrast from most other places. Rocks are all you see whichever direction you look. Vegetation is visible in the wet months; but again it never dominates the landscape. It is an ideal spot for people who are interested in history and/or nature.
There are many sites of interest in and around Hampi. The must-visits are:
- Achyut Raya temple. Built in 1534, it was the last temple executed in the city, before the fall of the fall of Vijayanagara Empire at the Battle of Talikota in the early 1565.
- Badavilinga Temple. The largest monolithic linga in Hampi.
- Elephant Stables.
- Hazara Rama Temple.
- Hemakuta Hill temples.
- Lakshmi Narasimha temple.
- Mahanavmi Dibba.
- Matanga Hill. From where you can see the most beautiful sunsets.
- Monolith Bull.
- Pushkarani step wells.
- Queen's Bath.
- Royal Enclosures.
- Virupaksha Temple.
- Vithala Temple. Dedicated to Vithoba, an avatar (incarnation) of the gods Vishnu and Krishna. The famous Stone Chariot is here.
- Zanana Enclosure. Also houses the Lotus Mahal.
All these places are towards Hampi Bus Stand area and you don't need to cross river.
You can buy a local map costing Rs 15, and cover all the places on your own taking a bike/Scooty on rent. Otherwise, you can hire and auto to do local sightseeing. It would cost you around Rs 400-Rs 500.
Tungbhadra dam is 16 km from Hampi towards Hospet. Hence, if you have plans to catch your train/bus back from Hospet, you could see Tungbhadra dam and return from Hospet. It takes 45 to 60 min to see Tungbhadra dam. You need to park your vehicles at the entrance and take a government bus to the top and return. It costs Rs 20/- return.
There are several "Shivalings" along the river which the boatman will guide you to. The old capital called Anegundi, across the river from Hampi, also has many sites. You can also go to Anegundi from Virupapur Gadde by road. There is a road alongside old broken bridge (Bukka's Aqueduct). The Hanuman Temple on Anjenaya Hill (involves climbing up 572 steps, is believed to be the birthplace of Hanuman) and the Pampa Sarovar are worth a visit. Both of these places are around 7-8 km from Old broken bridge.
There is Daroji bear sanctuary around 16 km from Hampi, opposite side of Kamalapura/Hospet. It opens between 1PM to 6PM Not a must see but you can go there for a nice drive/ride if you have some time to kill.
To do justice to all the sites, one needs a minimum of 3 full days of sightseeing. To discover all the ruins, it may take much more than 3 days. Maybe months.
A new feature introduced by the tourist department of Karnataka called the Hampi By Night is magnificent where in the monuments are lit in bright varying colors in the night. For more information, contact the tourism department of Karnataka.
Hampi specifically is a small settlement on the river (Hampi Bazaar, Virupaksha Temple, etc.). The old city of Vijayanagara encompassed an area of 25 square kilometers and ruins, monuments, structures, etc. lie scattered across the area. In fact, when arriving at Hampi from Hospet, one will pass many of these things.
If one sets base at Hampi Bazaar, one can get a manageable, navigable orientation of the entire area, one can look at four main zones.
- Anegundi (north-east of Hampi Bazaar). Crossing the river to the north and heading east, one can reach Anegundi whose history goes back, according to local legends, to the Ramayana (the Hindu epic).
- Hampi Bazaar (Hampi Bus Stand). This is the main village of Hampi as defined on the map and on the local administration files. It is essentially two clumps of settlements on either side of the Virupaksha Temple. Within walking distance is the river and the structures along the river bank, Virupaksha Temple, a still in use sacred area, at the western end of the Hampi Bazaar, the Hampi Bazaar itself which is one long "main street" (now in ruins) running east-west and the Hemakunta hill (with a number of structures on it and under it).
- The Royal Enclosure (Old City Citadel) (4 km south of Hampi Bazaar). This, according to the official ASI literature, was the heart center of the city, the downtown so to speak. There is the Mahanavami Dibba, a large platform, almost three stories tall, which gives a brilliant view of the country side. This platform was used as a base for various religious functions involving the royal family with the general population standing down. Apart from this, there is a stepped well, an underground shrine, lots of smaller platforms (meant for assembly / public meetings), etc. There is the Hazaar Rama temple on one side and the Queen's bath (or "Rani Ki swimming pool" as the cleaning lady told me) on the other side. A little further away from the central area of the Royal Enclosure is the Pan Supari Bazaar (opposite the Hazaar Rama temple).
- The Sacred Enclosure (Towards the Vithala Temple) (1.75 km east of Hampi Bazaar). At the eastern end of the Hampi Bazaar, there are two paths. One goes up the hill while the other goes left towards the river. Either path takes you through lines of temples, extant and in ruins. If one takes the hill path, on the right is the Matanga, Elephant hill. Going up straight, one will see the Achyutarama Temple. This can also be reached by following the stone path along the river bank. Next to the Achyutarama Temple is a long market area called Courtesan's Street. Apparently, it was a market for jewels, precious stones, etc. Walking further along the river, one passes various small structures, essentially different temples. One kilometer or so from the Courtesan's Street is the majestic Vithala Temple inside which is the iconic Stone Chariot. This trail can be done by a mix of walking and cycling. There are rocks (with steps cut into the rocks) to climb so at some point the cycles will have to be left behind. The Vithala Temple can be reached by road / car as well. It is a winding route and requires a detour to Kamalapur.
Apart from all this, between Hospet and Hampi, there are a number of small towns and villages like Kamalapur, Kadirampura, etc. which are various parts of the old Vijayanagara city and which have now become fragmented settlements and small towns.
- A good amount of walking is a must, as the ruins are scattered over a huge area. Moped/bicycle hire is a good option to move around.
- Cross the river by one of those coracle ferry. If you do not know swimming, ensure that the coracle is not overcrowded. Your life is at stake. As of November 2009, the cost is Rs 15 per person and Rs 5 for each piece of luggage. The other side of the river (Anegondi) spots a number of pre Vijayanagara relics.
- If you go there in Jun-August, you will not find coracle ferry in action, the river is usually very high then, so if you want to go Anegondi you have to travel ~40 KM, I don't think you will like Anegondi after Hampi, actually there is nothing to see except the Hanuman temple on Anjana hill, but be prepare for a climb of about 600 steps.
- If you are staying at Virupapur Gadde side of the river, plan and return by 6'o clock. If you have a train/bus to catch in the night, checking out before 6'o clock in the evening helps. If the ferry closes, the auto/car option becomes a much longer and costlier affair.
- Rock climbers frequently visit Hampi to scale the boulders and can often be seen around with their crash pads, mostly on the Virupapura Gaddi side of the river.
- Wildlife - The occasional crocodile may be encountered in the river or on rocks midstream, sometimes several meters long.
- Leopards frequent some of the rocky hills, sometimes not too far from human habitation, and may venture out at night to prey on dogs or the odd goat. *Sloth bears are not only confined to Daroji sanctuary, but may wander the sugar cane fields at night. They can be dangerous when encountered with cubs in tow.
- As many as 185 species of bird can be identified at various times of the year in the Hampi environs.
- The stone carvings are made by local artists are a good souvenirs to buy here. The same thing in Bangalore will cost ten times the price. The hand stitched blankets are also a good choice.
- Shops can be found all over the Hampi, mainly near to Virupaksha temple, selling jewelry, bags, clothes, shawls etc. Visitors can bargain in these shops to fetch good deal. You can even opt for tailor made dresses, if you have enough time and patience.
- In Hampi, one can see clothes hanging in diverse range of colors and variety with beautiful edges. The town is a real paradise for the people who want to buy western costumes but not for ladies who are looking for saris.
- Hoova Craft Shop & Café - It is located in city center and tourists can have a tea or coffee, while looking around the local goods and handicrafts.
There are lots of places in Hampi Bazaar where you get satisfying and inexpensive food, though be prepared for a long wait at most places as the chefs are typically family members who prepares food to order. However, they are good at their jobs and can offer a wide range of different cuisines.
- All Tribes Coffee Shop, near Funky Monkey. Great, cheap and open hangout place for travellers and backpackers. Get to know local people. The coffee shop serves coffee and Indian tshai, cookies and other sweets. There is a fair trade shop and vegan friendly. During the day are many activities, like meditation, video screenings and camp fires. Family friendly.
- Chillout Restaurant. Excellent food and very friendly staff. Try their divine Nargis Kofta. They also make decent pizza.
- Durga Roof Top, Near Virupaksha Temple (From the bazaar when you approach Virupaksha Temple, take a right at the temple, next take a left ( as the road turns), take a right further and you will find yourself at Durga Roof Top.). Very good and authentic north Indian food and their Hello to the queen dessert is simply amazing.
- The Goan Corner, an idyllic cafe on the other side of the river is an experience in itself. Very famous among the foreigner crowds, it takes a 10-15 min walk across the green paddy fields to make your way to this place. It is run by a very friendly family where the lady don, Sharmila reigns supreme. Unlike the other closely arranged cafes, Goan Corner is rather desolated and adds to the magic that Hampi creates.
- Garden Paradise. This is behind the line of shops in Hampi Bazaar which are towards left in the direction towards Virupaksha Temple. Located by the banks of Tungabhadra River, the ambiance is quite pleasant. Reasonably priced too. They offer huts as well for accommodation.
- Laughing Buddha restaurant. This is on other side of river (Virupapur Gadde) and close to Shanthi guest house. There are mattress, cushions and low benches in it. So, you can just lie down and sit at ease. Continental food is very nice here with good variety. It also offers Punjabi food.
- Mango Tree. One of the nicest, most relaxed restaurant settings you will ever come across. Set alongside the banks of the river, you can lounge comfortably on the steps underneath the huge mango tree sipping some of the best lassis you will come across in India. They also offer thali at lunch time and have a broad range of food on the menu. It's the perfect place to hideaway from the afternoon heat and zone out to the beautiful view. But the food is very expensive and quality is not so good. Also, due to the boom in the mining industry near Hampi in the recent times, they have become less focused towards Tourists and more towards the Mining owners.
- Mayura Bhuvaneshwari, Kamalapura. Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari serves delicious buffet lunch for vegetarians. Approximately 100/-. If you plan your day such that you reach kamalapura around mid-day, this can be a great place for lunch. Unlimited food is served in very clean and serene surroundings. Even though it's a very popular and a very clean hotel, make sure you use packaged drinking water. 60.
- Sagar Hotel's Idli, Dosa & Gunta Ponganalu. Just besides Gopi Guest House and right in front of the Shambhu Guest House, which are located near the Virupaksha Temple, 'Shankaramma' under a thatched roof makes delicious idlies, dosas and the tasty 'gunta pongal.' Do not miss this place. The food is not only delicious but also very cheap.
- Tom & Jerry. Located on the east-side of the bazar-area near the boulders. Small but very comfortable rooftop-restaurant that serves delicious home-cooked food in a very friendly atmosphere.
Hampi is a religious center so drinking is not allowed. Therefore, beer or other alcoholic drinks are generally not available at local restaurants. However, Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari is in the neighboring town of Kamalapur has a bar that serves beer and wine.
Other hotels like Shanti and Kishkinda, which are located across the river, do serve beer and hard liquor.
Few cafes and small shops are also spotted in Hampi Bazaar providing soft drinks, lassi and some other famous south Indian beverages.
In Hampi specifically, there are two clusters of settlements. There is the Janata Plot on the river road, just under the Virupaksha Temple. The other is opposite the bus stand. These settlements resemble hamlets, not even villages. Guest houses are essentially village huts modified for guests. Most have attached bathrooms while some may have shared facilities.
As of March 2013, there were frequent power losses. A few wealthy guest house owners had power generators / inverters with which basic lights and fans could be operated. There are a few who offer air conditioned rooms but with the frequent power cuts, one is not sure how effective those AC rooms really are.
There are several guest houses in Hampi, though staying in Hospet or the nearby town of Kamalapur are also options. Staying at Hospet gives easy accessibility to Railway Station and better Hotels. Hampi is also not very far from Hospet.
Most guest houses in Hampi are rather basic. Do not expect too much. Avoid places recommended in the Lonely Planet guide, because they immediately raise their rates and lower their quality. A lot of cheaper guest houses are situated across the river on the Hampi Island (Virupapur Gaddi), popularly known as the 'Hippie Island'. Properly check the guest houses near bus stand, as those are ill maintained and not properly clean.
If coming in April through to September (off season), check with the hotel for bookings, especially if you plan to stay on Anegondi side of the river. Many guest houses and restaurants close down, except a few prominent ones (e.g. Shanthi Guest House, Mowgli Guest House etc.).
- Hema Guesthouse, Across the river. Check-out: 9:30AM. Nice, well-maintained and clean bungalows, each with hammock. 300 rs (mar 2011).
- Hotel Malligi, 10/90 JN Rd, ☎ . Check-in: 24hrs, check-out: 24hrs. This is the first and the finest star hotel, which is just 9km from Hampi ruins. Malligi offers some of the best dining options in the town. Blue Mist, Temptations & Waves are the restaurants at Malligi. Malligi also offers spa, pool, sightseeing, shopping etc.
- Kiran Guest House, Janata Plot, ☎ . Check-in: 9.00am, check-out: 9.00am. Clean rooms with attached bathrooms. 24 hours hot water. All the rooms have solar powered lights and all have solar powered fans, which can come in handy because the regular power goes out regularly. It is run by a family and is in a very quiet location. There is a roof top where you can view both the sunrise and sunset. Had to part with 1200 for a 14 hour stay in a 8ft by 7ft room. 300-400rs.
- Mayuram Home Stay, Janata Plat, near Gopi Guest House, ☎ . (mobile), (owner's residence)Check-in: anytime, check-out: 9AM. Mayuram Home Stay is very near to the temple and offers recently refurbished clean tidy in-suite rooms with hot water, mosquito nets, and a backup generator for 24 hour electricity. A good place to stay in clean and comfortable surroundings. The owner Ravi also owns a very good travel agency nearby called ISSTA travels. Recommended. 400 to 500.
- Mowgli Guest House, Across the river. Next to Shanthi guest house and good view of river. However, it doesn't have balcony and swings like Shanthi guest house. Rooms are priced at Rs 600-700/- It has a nice restaurant which again provides river side view and has good Indian food.
- Rolling Stone Homestay, Across the river. Really basic huts for Rs. 400 per night - based on 2 sharing a hut. Not the cleanest, constant power cuts but have a bed, mosquito net, very basic shower and western toilet plus a fan. Only stay here if you can deal with just the basics.
- Sai Plaza, River Rd - Virupapur Gaddi Island, ☎ . , Check-in: 10AM, check-out: 10AM. A nice river view guest house situated just across the river. It has nice thatched-roof rooms, oriental look, and river-side location. Rooms have double beds, attached bathrooms, swing bed. Multi-cuisine restaurant, where you can relax on mattresses, listen to music while ordering. Rs.500 a night.
- Shanthi Guest House, ☎ . Situated across the river Tungabhadra. After you cross the river, take a left and at the end of the lane, as you walk besides paddy fields, is the Shanthi Guest House. This is a nice place to relax, as it offers cottage-style accommodation. It is managed by Krishna and Rao. The prices are around Rs.650 (back side room) or 1200 (having river view) per room (as of Oct 2010). Shanthi doesn't have a good restaurant and food/service isn't very good, which is only negative point of Shanthi.
- Shiva Guest House, Janata Plot (next to Vicky). Check-in: 12 noon, check-out: 12 noon. As of March 2013, I stayed for two nights at Rs 300 per night. This is essentially a village hut with two rooms. Each room is a bare space of four walls, ceiling, fan, a bed and a toilet / bathroom. Best suited for those willing to slum it out. If one is going to spend most of the day exploring and only come back at night to sleep, then Rs 300 for a bed and toilet is a good deal. Rs 300 per night.
- Sree Rama Guest House. Close to the main temple offers decent accommodation with private bathroom. From the bazaar, turn right just in front of the main temple and then follow the main road. The hotel also gives electronic mosquito killers for free. The Internet downstairs is one of the best in Hampi. Room charge is Rs.200-250 per night (Jan. 2008)
- Sunny Guest House. Situated across the river (Virupapur Gadde, Hampi). It is a nice place to stay. They have a nice garden. This place is very calm and relaxing. The prices are affordable. Their phone number is (+91)8533-287169.
- Uma Home Stay, Janatha Plot, Hampi (Post.) Hospet (Tq.), Bellary (Dist) South Karnatkaka India Pin: 583239 (Near Virupaksha Temple), ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: any time, check-out: 9AM. Janata Plat, Hampi +91 9481645104 (mobile), +91 8394241945 & 08394210956 (owner's residence). Check-in: anytime, check-out: 9AM. Uma Home Stay is very near to the temple and with hot water, and a backup generator for 24 hour electricity. A good place to stay in clean and comfortable surroundings. The owner UMASHANKAR also owns a very good travel agency nearby called RKS travels. Recommended. 400 to 500. edit 400 to 500.
- Vicky's. Charges around Rs. 500 per room (Jan. 2008) and has a mediocre rooftop restaurant. The rooms are not the cleanest and the bathroom definitely needs refurbishment. There are three computers downstairs and only the one on the left is in working condition. The other two are very slow. It used to be good until all the tourists swarmed into it under the guide of Lonely Planet.
Visitors should be sure to watch out for monkeys. They are notorious for snatching and running away with visitors' handbags, cameras, and other loose belongings.
Keeping mosquito repellent on hand is a good idea.
Be extra careful when you choose to explore rocky places, especially when you are trying to climb over boulders.
Avoid travelling to Hampi during the months of April and May, as temperature can get as high as 43°C (110°F). If you are planning to visit it during summer, remember to carry sufficient water so as to avoid the risk of dehydration. Bottled drinking water is easily available. You may not be able to get chilled bottles (as electricity will sometimes cut out).
- Out of deference to the sacred nature of the site, do not consume drugs and alcohol in the area.
- When visiting the temple or ruins of former temples, cover up and do not show too much skin. The locals will not stop you, but may bear a silent grudge. Be a good guest.
- Please visit any monument only for the sake of visiting, but not for any other purpose. Please do not scribble or climb or sit on any monuments. Do remember that they have stood rain and sun for centuries and have to continue to stand for many more centuries.
- Bardoli — Located more than 34 km from Hampi, it is one of the must visit destination in Karnataka. Bardoli has received historical importance and foreigners like to visit this place on their visit to India.
- Kakkabe — It is located very near to Hampi and highly famous for Padi Igutappa temple. What makes this place extremely unique is its peaceful and serene environment.
- Tungabhadra Dam and its associated gardens are nice. It has got a nice dancing fountain too. Visiting the Tungabhadra Dam can be a nice filler instead of just waiting for the bus/train (typically at 10/11PM at night). Auto-rickshaw can take directly from Hampi to Tungabhadra dam at a cost of 200 INR (as of September 2009). Or another option is from the gate you can have the bus by paying 20/- per person for a half an hour visit to the dam.