Hampi Bazaar is a unique attraction of Hampi. Located in front of the Virupaksha Temple, the Hampi Bazaar is a well-known market place that spreads for more than one kilometer. The road passing through the market has series of old pavilions on both sides.
The place used to be a thriving market during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire. Though the market has lost much of its sheen and significance, it is still popular among the tourists.
- Timing: Open on all days of the week from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
- Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed
- Photography: Allowed
- Time Required: 1 to 2 hours depending on how interested you are in checking out the items on display
- Best time to visit: From October to February
History of the Hampi Bazaar
The Hampi Bazaar was once the centre of flourishing trade. It was a well-planned market area. The series of pavilions had an organized structure. Some of the pavilions were two stories. It also had the residences of many rich and important people of that era. It was a market that catered to the demands of the rich people as well as the general masses.
Today what remains at Hampi Bazaar is just a shadow of its glorious past.
Hampi Bazaar as it stands today
The Hampi Bazaar is also known as the Virupaksha Bazaar. The Hampi Bazaar still functions as a market place, though it is no longer as attractive as it was in the bygone era. One can still see the old pavilions lining the street on both sides. However, the west end of the street has been encroached by a number of shop owners and small restaurants.
The eastern section of the street has been occupied by poor villagers, who have settled down there. A large statue of Nandi bull, Yeduru Basavanna, can be seen standing at the east end of the street.
A two-storied pavilion near the bull acts as a photo gallery. It contains various unique photos of the Hampi site that date back to 1856 and were taken by the famous international photographer Alexander Greenlaw. It allows free entry to anyone interested in having a look around the gallery. This photo gallery is a huge attraction for photography enthusiasts.
What can you get at the Hampi Bazaar?
The Hampi Bazaar is a place where one can enjoy local shopping experience. It was once a place where merchants from various foreign lands used to sell exotic stuff like precious stones, jewellery, silk clothes, etc. in the ancient times. It was also a market where cows and horses were traded.
Today the market place is an area that sells a variety of local items like embroidered shawls and textiles, traditional costumes, antique coins, jewellery, colourful bags, stone figurines, carved artefacts, handicraft items, clay dolls, etc. One of the interesting things found in the Hampi Bazaar is the replica of Hampi ruins.
Apart from the items on offer the Hampi Bazaar is also a place where one can enjoy lovely morning strolls before the hustle-bustle of shopping starts for the day.
Hampi Bazaar during the Hampi Utsav
Hampi takes on a vibrant look during the annual festival, the Hampi Utsav. Every year the Hampi Utsav is held in the month of November. During the annual festival, the market place turns into a vivacious place.
Hampi Bazaar becomes the center of all festive happenings that occur in Hampi during those few days. It becomes a hotbed of cultural, religious and temple festivals. As such, the activity in the market place increases many folds as a huge number of tourists visit Hampi to take part in the festivals.
How to reach Hampi Bazaar
Hampi Bazaar is an attraction that visitors don’t miss while on the Hampi trail. It is a place that can be easily reached as most hotels accomodating tourists are located in the areas surrounding the market.
If you want to reach Hampi by air then take a flight to the nearest airport at Bellary. It is situated at a distance of about 64 km from Hampi. The airports at Belgaum (190 km) and Bangalore (353 km) are other options for you to reach Hampi by air. You will be able to avail other modes of transport to reach Hampi from these places.
In case you want to reach Hampi by rail, reach the nearest station located at Hospet. Hampi can be easily reached from Hospet as there are frequent buses that ply between the two towns. There are also other local means of transport that connect Hospet to Hampi.
The road network to reach Hampi is quite good. Hampi is well connected to several towns and cities by the road network. There are several buses that connect Hampi to the nearby places. Private cars and vehicles can be hired from Bangalore or Mysore to reach Hampi.