Hampi is better known for its temples and ruins. It is a UNESCO’s world heritage site and spread across the town of Hampi. The ruins are on both sides of Tungabhadra River though there are fewer ruins on the other side, which is known as Hippie island. Most of the ruins are on the bazaar side. The Hippie Island side is more popular among foreign and Indian travelers, who want to relax. That side is comparatively cheaper than the bazaar side. During my first trip, I visited several places in my 3 days Hampi itinerary.
We traveled from Hyderabad to Hampi by an overnight train. There are overnight buses also. Most of the people travel from Bangalore or Goa or Hyderabad by train to Hospet. There are buses also from these cities and from Mumbai.
Our train arrived on time at the Hospet railway station. From the railway station, we took auto-rickshaw for Hampi, which is approx 12 km. We paid autorickshaw 200 INR after a little negotiation and it was half an hour’s drive. Before we entered Hampi village, we saw several monuments on both sides of the road.
My Hampi itinerary for 3 days
Hampi is a small town with narrow lanes near the bazaar area. We reach our guesthouse, which I had already booked online. Our room was not ready as we reached early, so went for breakfast.
Day one of Hampi itinerary of 3 days
After check-in and freshen up, we decide to explore the Hampi. We planned to see the temples and monuments around the bazaar area later because those were within walking distance from our guest house. I had a list of places we wanted to see and our guesthouse own also provided us a map of Hampi’s tourist attractions. We booked an autorickshaw for the whole day as we like to explore the places away from the town area.
Autorickshaw is most convenient and economical to explore Hampi, though Cycles are also very popular. We came across many people riding bicycles but it was quite hot during the day. Moreover, we have only 3 days, so didn’t want to get lost and waste time. Mopeds are also available for rent.
Loaded with water, map, and camera, we started our sightseeing tour of Hampi monuments. Our first stop was Narasimha Vigraha. Then we visited Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple, Shivlinga, Vithala Temple Complex, King’s balance, Dasara Dibba, Achyutaraya Temple, Queen’s Bath, Lotus Temple, Elephant stable, Hazara Rama Temple, Archeological gallery, Zanana enclosure, underground Shiva temple and a group of monuments.
This tour may sound too busy but it is workable. It is possible to see these monuments on a full-day tour of Hampi.
Between the monument hopping tour of Hampi, we stopped in a farm-style place for lunch. There was a small restaurant in the middle of the plantation. The food was basic but fresh and the place was very peaceful. There are not many options for lunch if you are away from the Bazaar area or Hippi island market.
While returning from our tour of Hampi monuments our autorickshaw driver shown two huge rocks side by side. He told us these are sister’s rock. We returned to our guesthouse much before sunset, we saw many places. We were happy but due to heat and walking in dry hot weather we got tired.
Later on, we went to the Tungabhadra river, which is only 5 minutes walking distance from our guesthouse. It was fun watching life around the river.
We watched a beautiful sunset from the Manmatha tank next to the temple.
Hampi is small but there are several big and small restaurants in the bazaar area close to the temple. They serve only vegetarian food. Nonvegetarian food is available across the river. We had our dinner at the Mango tree, which is recommended by almost everyone been to Hampi.
The mango tree was decorated in an interesting manner, they have a comfortable sitting arrangement on the floor as well as have tables with chairs. I always found it full of travelers during my visits.
After dinner, we walked around in lanes for some time to get the feel of the town. While we were walking I saw a place, where some benches and tables were placed but otherwise no activity. On our inquiry, we came to know that this is a good option for breakfast. We decided to give it a try the next morning and called for the day.
Day 2 of Hampi in 3 days
The day before at sunset point, we met a photography group and they advised us to go to the old Hampi bazaar area for sunrise. According to them, it becomes quite hazy at Matunga hill when the sun rises. Moreover, my friend was not keen to climb Matunga so we followed the advice and went to old Hampi Bazaar. The sun came up behind the hills. There were not many people around and initially place looked secluded.
After watching the sunrise and strolling around we came back to our guest house.
On the second day, we decided to explore the Hampi across the river but before starting our day we went for breakfast at our last night’s discovery. There were 4 women preparing fresh south Indian breakfast of Idli, Dosa, and Puddu. They were serving these with chutney and potato curry. It was very economical, tasty and fresh. We finished it with 2 cups of south Indian coffee.
We checked out and left the luggage with our guest house. We decided to stay at Hippie island overnight so we carried an overnight bag with us.
We walked for 8-10 minutes and reached the ferry point at the Tungabhadra river. There are two ways to cross the river, one by Coracle or the second by shared boat with the engine.
From the riverbank, we had to climb and reached a small bazaar on Hippie Island. The scene on this side of the river was somewhat different, there were lush green paddy fields with coconut trees.
The market has a row of shops and restaurants across the paddy fields. We bought some goodies from the German bakery. The quality we found on par with any good city bakery.
After roaming around for some time around paddy fields, we took an auto to explore nearby places of Agegudi, the old palace, Pampa Sarovar and other temples. We visited all these places one by one and noticed there were no tourists anywhere except for a couple at Pampa Sarovar.
We returned to the market area after sightseeing for lunch. In Hampi, I noticed that it easy to get cuisine from any part of the world since the number of foreign tourists visiting here is more than Indians. Indian food is also available on Hippie Island. I ordered a vegetarian pizza and loved the preparation. It was a wood-fired pizza and base as well toppings were just perfect. After relaxing for some time, we looked for a room in a guesthouse and decided to stay there for one night.
It was very hot outside so I decided to rest for some time. Later on, we walked to nearby areas. If you are looking for adventure then go for bouldering. We visited the Hippie market and later on went to sunset point. After watching sunset we returned to our guest house. There is nothing much to do on the hippie island and had a relaxing dinner before going to sleep.
Day 3 of Hampi itinerary of 3 days
After breakfast, we crossed the Tungabhadra river and return to the bazaar side of Hampi. After leaving our day bag at guest we went to the Virupaksha temple. We had crossed it a couple of times in the last two days but we went inside on 3rd day.
It’s not very well maintained and some places/walls were dirty. Monkeys were jumping around.
The sun was up and it started getting hot, my friend decided to go back to the guesthouse. But I decided to visit the sunset hill. I walked around for some 2-3 hours and returned to our guest for lunchtime.
I and my friend thought of trying some other place for lunch but after checking a few places, we again went back to the Mango tree. We ordered falafel and noodles, they served those also on banana leaves.
We did some small souvenir shopping in the market for remembrance. There is nothing much to shop in Hampi. There are lots of good Indian souvenirs you can buy in different parts of India.
We went to the sunset point where I went earlier that day. It is on a small hill next to the Virupaksha temple. When we reached the top it was quiet and there was not a single soul only a few monkeys were running and jumping on ruins. But as sunset time approached, the place filled with people. The sunset behind the hills was beautiful.
After watching the sunset, we quickly returned to our guesthouse as we have to catch a night train from Hospet. We had booked the autorickshaw in advance before going for sunset so we reached Hospet on time.
I spend 3 days in Hampi and managed to see most of the places. Though I think there is so much to experience in Hampi and if nothing more than relax doing nothing. I visited Hampi once again from Mumbai for 2 days and I still love to go there again. That’s what Hampi’s attraction.
Useful information –
* Hampi is not even a town, it’s more like a village with lots of guest houses / small hotels and many restaurants. People are very open-minded and friendly with tourists.
** Food is good and you get several options between Indian, continental, south Indian, Italian and Israeli.
* There are so many monuments and ruins after a while, you may start jumbling up the names. Every other place has some old ruins. You travel a few hundred meters and see something interesting.
** The main attractions are Virupaksha temple and surrounding areas. Vithala temple complex and areas around it.
* When in Hampi be prepared to walk and enjoy.
** It gets hot during the day even in winter months, so carry something to cover the head and drink a lot of water.