Hampi is a quaint village belonging to the Bellary district of Northern Karnataka. Hampi, which is situated at a distance of 353 km from Bangalore, 74 km from Bellary, and 13 km from Hospet; it can be easily reached by rails and roads.
Hampi is a world renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site as the place is scattered with the ruins of monuments constructed during the period of Vijayanagara Rayas.
As per archeological evidences, the earliest settlements at Hampi can be dated back to 1st century AD. Going by legends, this region was the Kishkindha Kingdom, which is associated with the epic Ramayana. Hampi is situated on the banks of River Tungabhadra. The place was often referred to as Pampa, which was the former name of River Tungabhadra.
Hampi is bounded by river Tungabhadra on one side and high hill extensions on its three sides. Due to this geographical aspect, Hampi was one of the core areas of Vijayanagara city; it was the erstwhile capital of Vijayanagara Empire and ruled over most of the peninsular India for more than two centuries. Later, it came under the control of the Deccan Muslim confederacy.
Things to See and Do in Hampi
Hampi is famous for its ancient temples, which were constructed during the Vijayanagara Period. The most prominent among the Hampi Temples are AchyutaRaya Temple, Vijayavittala Temple complex, Hazari Rama Temple, Virupaksha temple, Ugra Narasimha Temple, Prasanna Virupaksha Temple (Underground Virupaksha Temple), Balakrishna Temple, Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple, and Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple. Vittala Temple Complex is the most famous amongst the various attractions of Hampi. This is also the most magnificent monument in Hampi and the stone chariot of this temple is chosen as the symbol for Karnataka Tourism.
Hampi also offers other magnificent structures such as Stone Chariot, Kings’ Balance, Elephant Stable, Stepped Tank, Water Channels, etc.
Rock Climbing at Hampi
Hampi is regarded amongst the topmost rock climbing destinations in India. This place is visited by the rock climbers from India as well as abroad and offers excellent opportunities in bouldering. It is often termed as the bouldering capital of India as the entire landscape is covered with granite boulders or crags. Rock climbers can easily set out for an exploration of the boulders, on a rented bicycle, towards the site of ancient temples and can engage in bouldering.
Some of the most famous bouldering sites in Hampi are the Hemakuta Hill, Matanga Hill, and the premises of Tiruvengalantha Temple and Malyavanta Raghunatha Temple. Rock climbers can find the largest free standing boulders at Hemakuta Hill. Hampi offers only a few bolt protected routes, which can be found scattered around the pilgrimage site.
October to February is the peak tourist season in Hampi, when the temperature ranges in between 28ºC and 30ºC. December is the most favored rock climbing season during which the place is visited by both Indian and international rock climbers.
Accommodation in Hampi
Hampi, as any other popular Indian tourist destination, offers comfortable accommodation units to its visitors. It offers various accommodation options that fit the budget of the visitors. Hampi offers Economic hotels and Mud huts for the low budget-travelers, which can be found towards the Bazaar. Budget hotels can be found near the Stepped Tank in the place.