After such a stressful year and long lockdown, don’t we all deserve a break?
If you are planning to take a few days off after things get better, what could be better than to visit Hampi in Karnataka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hampi is a blissful place surrounded by magnificent ruined temples and palaces with breathtaking architecture. It will let you dive into the history of ancient, wealthy kingdoms, leaving you in awe of its scenic beauty.
It would be better if you reach the place as early as possible so that you can explore its magnificence to the fullest. Here is a list of things you can do while in Hampi.
You could see the most mesmerising sunrise of your life if you can reach the hilltop around 5 a.m. The view is surreal. It won’t take more than 40–50 minutes to reach the top and it isn’t even that difficult. But carry a torch with you as there is hardly any light, and wear comfortable clothes in my suggestion.
All your efforts will be worth it when you find yourself surrounded by the beautiful and soft bright light of the sun falling on the giant boulders scattered around the paddy fields and banana and coconut plantation. Believe me, you’ll be glad you live on this planet.
After a beautiful sunrise, you can start the day with the morning aarti in one of the oldest functioning temples of India. The Virupaksha temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is best to visit the temple around 7–8 a.m. as it attracts a huge number of devotees from all over India. And if you can time it properly, you will be able to enjoy the yearly chariot festival conducted in February.
There are no entry fees to the temple and it is right beside the Hampi bazaar.
The epicentre of the ruined town with a huge temple complex, Vitthala temple, is devoted to Lord Vitthal, another form of Lord Vishnu. Here you have to pay a minimum fee that you can later use for Lotus Mahal and Queen’s bath. The best way to reach the Vitthala temple will be through the Tungabhadra riverside trek path.
The path has many shrines, carved artefacts, boulders and ruins of ancient structures and goes alongside the river. It will be a serene walk of around 2 km, or you can rent a bicycle if you want. It’s known for its marvellous architecture, famous stone chariot and mysterious musical pillars.
Here you’ll see the complex ancient Vijayanagara architecture. The Queen’s bath, as the name suggests, was only used by the Royal family. You can use the ticket bought at the Vitthala temple here for the Lotus Mahal and Queen’s bath. And don’t worry, the step-well has no entry fee.
How about some food and street shopping now?
Hampi is not just a small town with ancient ruins; it has some of the most delicious dosas. Make sure to try them. Apart from that, they serve different varieties of dosas, poori with aloo-dum (potato curry, tea), etc. Trying these local street delicacies is a must-do thing in Hampi.
And for jewellery, you can get some stunning pieces if you are lucky.
To end the day, you can sit near boulders and the riverbeds and let the serenity take over your soul slowly as the night claims its kingdom.