Hampi whispers stories from ancient and medieval history at every moment. The world's second largest city at the end of 15th century, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has witnessed hundreds of seasons. Yet its temptations extend even beyond the cultural and historical—even though these are reasons enough to visit in themselves. Here are 12 rewarding (and some surprising) temptations in the treasure chest that is Hampi.
History repeats itself. But for a place that whispers stories from ancient and medieval history every moment, it is something that makes you vulnerable. As a modern pilgrim of the 21st century, you embrace this vulnerability by retracing the routes of medieval paths. Hampi, the world's second largest city at the end of 15th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has witnessed hundreds of seasons. Yet its temptations extend even beyond the cultural and historical—even though these are reasons enough to visit in themselves. Here are 12 rewarding (and some surprising) temptations in the treasure chest that is Hampi.
2. Take a teppa ride
One of the most enjoyable activities on the Tungabhadra River is taking a ride on a coracle (round-shaped boat made of reed and saplings). You can hire one for ₹150-300 depending on the distance. Don't miss this lifetime experience of rowing down the river using a single long stick.
3. Join the free spirits of Hippie Island
As you cross the river in your coracle (or motor boat as the case may be), make your way to Hippie Island. You will be blown away by the free spirits of the hippie community at the island. Tip: knowing how to sing and dance will hold you in good stead!
4. Go shoot your film
As you go around Hospet and walk along the lanes, feeling inspired is natural. With the timeless beauty everywhere, Hampi is a great location for videography.
5. Experience the architectural brilliance
The sheer diversity of the architectural styles evident in Hampi make this a particularly compelling destination for aficionados. Whether religious or military, the monuments and palaces offer a breathtaking blend of Hindu and Islamic elements.
6. Watch Lakshmi the temple elephant
You must amuse yourself by watching the mahout bathe Lakshmi, the sacred elephant, for 30 minutes. It's one of the most auspicious and amazing sights in Hampi.
7. Cycle your way through the temple town
Imagine a lovely ride on a cycle, with stops at every historical moment on the way. Rent a bicycle at ₹75 for a day near the Mango Tree restaurant.
8. Unpeel the layers of the banana plantations
Have a stroll in wonderful banana plantations. A tip, watch the sunset from here and you will know what I'm talking about!
9. Shop your heart out at Hampi Bazaar
When you're done satisfying your soul, enjoy the material pleasures at Hampi Bazaar—handicrafts, leather crafts, musical instruments and handmade stone artefacts.
10. Find yourself awestruck at the Stone Chariot
This landmark attraction is an integral part of your tour. It is a shrine that's built in the shape of a chariot, complete with four wheels and two elephants. Located inside the Vittala Complex, the chariot is a major symbol of Karnataka Tourism.
11. Grab a meal at Mango Tree
It's a must to have at least one meal at the Mango Tree, run by three generations of the same local family. The ambience is soothing, the service is friendly and the food is top-notch. We recommend the Western cuisine and Indian thali.
12. Visit all the exquisite temples and gardens
Gaze upon some of the oldest temples in the country. The temple ruins of the Vijayraja dynasty sit right along the banks of the Tungabhadra River; the Virupaksha Temple is the oldest and the most magnificent one.