Hampi Unveiled: A 2-Night, 3-Day Itinerary for Long Weekend

by - September 07, 2023


Nestled amid the rugged terrain of Karnataka, India, Hampi beckons travellers with its spellbinding blend of ancient ruins, historical intrigue, and natural beauty. It is one of the best short trips to take from Mumbai, Pune or Bangalore. Keep aside a long weekend, i.e., 2 nights and 3 days, and unearth the wonders of Hampi, an exquisite UNESCO World Heritage Site where the sands of time stand still.

HOW TO REACH HAMPI

Reaching Hampi is an exciting journey, and the city is well-connected to various transportation hubs. Here are the most common ways to reach Hampi:

By Air:

The nearest major airport to Hampi is the Hubli Airport (HBX), located approximately 160 kilometers (99 miles) away. From Hubli, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Hampi. Alternatively, you can fly into Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) in Bangalore, which is about 350 kilometers (217 miles) from Hampi. From Bangalore, you can take a flight to Hubli or choose other transportation options like trains or buses to reach Hampi.

By Train:

Hosapete Junction (HPT) is the nearest railway station to Hampi, situated just 13 kilometers (8 miles) away. Hospet is well-connected to major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Goa. From Hospet, you can easily reach Hampi by hiring a taxi or taking a local bus. Book a train on the IRCTC website.

By Bus:

Hampi is well-connected to nearby cities and towns by a network of state-run and private buses. You can find overnight buses from major cities to Hospet, which is the gateway to Hampi. Once in Hospet, you can take a local bus or hire a taxi to reach Hampi, which is just a short ride away. 

Whichever mode of transportation you choose, the journey to Hampi is part of the adventure, and once you arrive, you'll be greeted by the stunning ruins and enchanting atmosphere that make this UNESCO World Heritage Site a truly special destination.

Save it for the upcoming long weekend!

2-NIGHT 3-DAY HAMPI ITINERARY

Day 1: Mumbai to Hospet bus

For a hassle-free way to reach Hampi, look no further than the overnight bus available through the Redbus website. The last pickup point in Mumbai being the Vashi Plaza, this convenient route begins in Borivali around 4:00 pm, with stops at key Mumbai locales like Malad, Goregaon, Andheri, Dadar, and Sion. Multiple departure points are available, making it a simple and comfortable choice for your Hampi trip.

Day 2: Arrival in Hampi

The bus reaches Hospet next morning around 7:30. Hire a local auto-rickshaw, which you will find at the bus stop. You can either ask the rickshaw to take you around places across your stay in Hampi (INR 1,000 per day) or choose a bicycle or a two-wheeler to tour around. 

πŸ‘‰Check into your stay

Check into your chosen abode, ranging from budget-friendly hostels for intrepid backpackers to heritage resorts for those seeking a touch of regal indulgence. Take a shower, have heavy breakfast and head out for a day of exploration around noon.

πŸ‘‰ MATANGA HILL & VIRABHADRA TEMPLE

Begin your Hampi adventure with a brisk climb up Matanga Hill, your main activity for the day. This relatively short hike of around 600 steps (one hour one way) is well worth the effort for the stunning scenery and unique structures that unfold along the way.

Upon reaching the summit, you'll discover a spiritual haven—a temple dedicated to Virabhadra, a Shiva avatar. A simple bow grants you access to a short flight of stairs leading to the temple top. Here, you can bask in the awe-inspiring landscape of Hampi city stretched out before you, making this hike an unforgettable highlight of your trip.

πŸ‘‰ SRI VIRUPAKSHA TEMPLE

Visit the iconic Virupaksha Temple, an ode to Lord Shiva. As you navigate its labyrinthine corridors and marvel at its intricately carved pillars, you'll sense the spiritual aura that has drawn pilgrims for centuries. The temple complex is spread across vast stretch of land, making you want to sit on one of the structures and play in mind the episodes from past. 

πŸ‘‰ LAKSMI NARASIMHA TEMPLE

The Narasimha Temple in Hampi, dedicated to Lord Narasimha, boasts stunning Vijayanagara architecture. This historic site, with its unique deity representation, sits in Hampi Bazaar and is a must-visit for its cultural significance and intricate carvings. Open during regular hours, it's an essential stop for Hampi explorers.

πŸ‘‰ Dinner at Happy Hampi Cafe

End your day with garlic naan and capsicum masala at Happy Hampi Cafe. Climb up to their upper seating area and enjoy an early dinner amid trees. Do call up before you visit to ensure it's open. 

Save it for the upcoming long weekend!

Day 3: Exploring Hampi

Prepare for a day of exploration with a hearty breakfast at your stay. 

πŸ‘‰ ZANANA ENCLOSURE

Start with the Zanana Enclosure, located in the heart of the Hampi ruins. It is a historical gem that offers a glimpse into the past. This enclosed area was once a private space for the royal women of the Vijayanagara Empire. It houses several remarkable structures, including the Lotus Mahal, a unique blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles. 

Explore the royal elephant stable, Ranga temple, and more interesting structures inside the enclosure. 

πŸ‘‰ ACHUTYARAYA TEMPLE

Just outside the enclosure, in the same area lies the Achyutaraya Temple. Built in the 16th century, this splendid temple is dedicated to Lord Tiruvengalanatha, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Its intricate carvings and ornate pillars are a showcase of Vijayanagara architecture at its finest. The temple complex also houses a colossal stone chariot and a massive courtyard that once hosted vibrant ceremonies and festivals.

πŸ‘‰ QUEEN BATHHOUSE

Head next to the Queen Bathhouse, a mesmerising example of the royal indulgence during the Vijayanagara Empire. This elegant structure, surrounded by a large walled compound, served as a regal bathing chamber for the queens and their attendants. 

Pushkarani stepwell

πŸ‘‰ PUSHKARANI 

In the same area, lies the step-well Pushkarani, a prominent feature in the Hampi landscape. These meticulously designed water reservoirs were vital for religious rituals and the daily needs of the royal courts during the Vijayanagara Empire. Surrounded by intricate stone mantapas and adorned with ornate carvings, Pushkarani in Hampi is not just a source of water but a reflection of the architectural and cultural brilliance of the empire. 

πŸ‘‰ VITTALA TEMPLE / HAMPI STONE CHARIOT

A little away from this area, head next to visit the iconic Stone Chariot in Hampi. There's a lot of walking to do from the main gate to the temple, and there are electronic vehicles at disposal for your comfort. The queue is long, but if you're okay waiting, then take the vehicle else skip it and walk the long, never-ending stretch.

If you see a fifty-rupee Indian note, turn it to find this stone chariot printed on it. Making it a remarkable site, many tourists flock here around the year.

πŸ‘‰ Hearty lunch at Clarks Inn

After a day full of exploration, treat yourself to a posh restaurant on the way to the next location. I suggest the Clarks Inn restaurant for its North Indian food. (They also provide stay options, so you can check them on internet.)

πŸ‘‰ ANJANADRI HILL / BIRTHPLACE OF LORD HANUMAN

Next from the Kamalapur area, we head to the birthplace of Lord Hanuman (which lies approx an hour away). The Anjanadri Hill offers both a spiritual pilgrimage and stunning vistas. A moderate hike (575 steps) leads to the ancient Hanuman Temple, where the serene surroundings enhance the spiritual experience.


πŸ‘‰ Coracle boat ride at Sanapur Lake

Hurry next to the Sanapur Lake for coracle boat ride. Apart from the Tungabhadra river, which is more popular for coracle boat rides, there's another slightly offbeat experience at the Sanapur lake. The round, woven boats (aka the coracle boats) provide a unique and peaceful way to explore the placid waters of the lake. As you float gently, you'll be enveloped by the pristine beauty of Sanapur Lake, surrounded by lush greenery and a sense of calm. (INR 1,000 for thirty minutes)

πŸ‘‰ SHABARI CAVE / PAMPA SAROVAR

On the way back, detour a bit to the Shabari/Sabari cave, which is located opposite to the Pampa Sarovar. This cave holds a special place in Hindu mythology as it is believed to be the abode of Sabari, a devotee of Lord Rama.

To reach this mystical cave, climb a few steps. Inside the cave, you'll find a small shrine dedicated to Lord Rama, with the serene ambiance creating a peaceful atmosphere for contemplation and meditation. This cave is also where the devotee served Matang Rishi. 

Even the Pampa Sarovar has a mythical tale attached. Read on the internet. 

πŸ‘‰ Head back to Hospet for overnight bus to Mumbai

Lastly, pick up your bags (or carry them with you as you explore on the third day) and head to Hospet for your bus. The buses for Mumbai usually start around 6pm. So ensure you reach Hospet by 5:30pm at least.

Hampi's ruins and natural beauty make it an otherworldly destination. In just 3 days and 2 nights, you can immerse yourself in its history, spirituality, and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a seeker of tranquility, Hampi has something special to offer. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey through time and wonder. 

Hampi isn't just a destination; it's an enchanting experience that leaves an indelible mark on your soul. This 2-night 3-day Hampi itinerary is but a glimpse into the treasures of this historical jewel. The hidden wonders of Hampi await your return, promising even more discoveries and timeless moments. 

Things to keep in mind before visiting Hampi: 
  • Book your stay ahead of any long weekend. As sometimes the demand can be higher than the number of stay options available.
  • There's no network whatsoever across Hampi. So choose Wi-Fi enabled rooms and cafes. You'll find good network connectivity in Kamalapur area. 
  • Internal transport is not very apt, so either rent a bike as early as possible (we couldn't as all the bikes were hired) or stick to one auto-rickshaw to tour around. 
Questions? Do comment below!

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