I’ve had a deep fascination for places related to Ramayana. So I decided my next destination was going to be the ruins of Hampi. This Hampi travel guide will list down the top places to visit in 2 days, the best time to visit, and how to beware of the scams. For those of you who don’t know Hampi has two sides –
- Hampi with all the historical buildings and monuments
- Hampi hippie side where you’ll find a lot of foreigners(The island has been closed since Feb’22)
Update: I’m updating this article(Jan’24) because a lot has changed since the last time I was in Hampi(Jan’19).
How to Reach Hampi?
The distance from Bangalore to Hampi is 350km approx. To start with, Hampi doesn’t have a railway station. The nearest railway station from Hampi is Hospet which is 13km away. There are a lot of trains from Bangalore and nearby destinations to Hospet. We boarded the Hampi Express (How ironic is that Hampi doesn’t have a railway station but the train is named after that place). The train starts from Bangalore at 22:05 and you reach Hosapete by 7:00 in the morning(9 hrs journey).
The train ticket is just Rs 240 one way. The other way to reach Hampi is by Bus. It usually takes 7-8 hours to reach Hampi. The bus ticket varies from ₹600 – ₹1000 per person booked 15 – 20 days before the journey date. The last option is by your car or bike, which would be amazing since Hampi is not far from Bangalore.
- Train from Bangalore to Hospet (Hampi Express Train Number: 16592)
What is the best time to visit Hampi?
The best time to visit Hampi would be from October to early March. At this time the temperature is also between 20-30℃. It is not advisable to visit Hampi during the monsoon because you won’t be able to see the sunset. Sunsets are an important part of Hampi, they bring colors to village life. We went during Jan and had to experience the rainfall on both days.
Also read: 17 Best things to do in Hampi
Hampi Utsav: 2nd – 4th Feb 2024*
Day 1: Hosapete to Hampi
On reaching Hospet in the morning by 8:00 am we came out of the railway station. There are two ways to reach Hampi from Hospet railway station. One is by Auto which will cost you ₹120 – ₹150 and the second is by Bus. To catch the bus you will have to come out of the railway station and walk 700mts to reach the KSRTC Hospet bus stand. There are buses every 15 minutes from here to Hampi and it just costs ₹20 per head. It took us around 30 minutes to reach Hampi.
Reaching the guest house in Hampi
On reaching Hampi by approx 9 am, we started looking for our hotel which we had booked on Booking.com before leaving Bangalore. Since we had reached the hotel earlier than check-in time, we started by exploring the banks of the Tungabhadra River.
On reaching the banks of the river we found an elephant. We sat there for a good time seeing the elephant being given a bath. Our stomach had started to grumble. We decided to have breakfast at a dosa stall. The dosa was so good and the sambar was authentic Karnataka style(Not the sweet one that you get in Bangalore). The breakfast cost us ₹90 for 2 people. If you want to try this place for dosa, it is located at the beginning of the Hampi market on the right side.
Looking for the best places to eat around Hampi? do read this guide on 6 Most Amazing Cafes and restaurants around Hampi
After finishing breakfast, we went back to the hotel as it was already time to check-in. We stayed at Netra Guest House and the price was ₹400 per night for a room, which was well within the budget. The hotel was decent and had small rooms which were clean and tidy. The only problem this guest house had was its Indian-style toilets. After resting for some time we left the guest house to explore the place.
Update: The Netra Guest house has been closed and since the Hippie Island has been closed the prices for the accommodation in old Hampi have gone up like crazy. I would suggest you go stay in Temple View Guest House or Thilak Homestay, the price would be ₹1200-1500 per night. There is also a Zostel which has opened recently but is 22kms away from Hampi.
Exploring the Virupaksha temple
Just outside our guest house was a cycle shop. We decided to explore Hampi on our cycles. The rent of the cycle was ₹
90 150 per day. Our first stop was the Virupaksha temple. The temple dates back to the 7th century and is one of the UNESCO heritage sites in Hampi. You can find a lot of Monkeys in the temple as this place was also the kingdom of Sugriv(From the Hindu mythology Ramayan). We even found Lakshmi, “the elephant” inside the temple. At the back of the temple, there is a pond which was used as a source of water back in those days
After coming out of the temple we went to the ruins just beside it. It’s a hill which comprises of temples and some old buildings. From the top of the hill, we got a great view of the village and the other side of the river as well which is also called the Hippie village. I’ll tell you more about the Hippie Village on Day 2
It was a bit hot and we were hungry already. So we decided to have our lunch first and then continue exploring the place. We had lunch near the Bus stop and it only cost us ₹80 for two.
Exploring the Group of Monuments in Hampi
After having lunch we started to explore again. Our next stop was the Lakshmi Narasimha statue. It is the biggest monolith statue in Hampi. The best part is that the entrance is free for this place. The best time to visit this place would be during the sunset, as the colors in the sky make the statue look even more Majestic. The sunsets are the best part of the Hampi trip and are visible from all the different places around the city. It is finally your call which is the most important place you would want to see during the sunset.
Just beside the Lakshmi Narasimha statue, there is a 12ft long shivling. You can spend a total of 30 mins in both these places. Next, we cycled off to the underground Shiva temple. This place has a garden outside it. So this place was filled with tourists who had come here for a picnic. We spent 10 mins here and went to the watchtowers which didn’t even have a single tourist and spent some 20 – 25 mins relaxing here.
Stepwell in Hampi
The next stop was the queen’s well. This place was overcrowded and didn’t seem anything like the images we had seen of it on the internet. We next went to the Royal enclosure and the public bath. There is no entry fee for both of these places. We spent a good 30 mins in this place taking pictures. It had started to become cloudy so we decided to skip the Lotus Mahal and Elephant Stables. Next, we cycled to the Vittala temple also known as the ₹50 temple.
Vijaya Vittala temple also known as the ₹50 Temple
We then cycled to Vittala temple which is approximately 6 km from the royal enclosure. It took us almost 30 minutes to get there. We rested for a while at Pushkarini(Public bath). The entry fee for Vijay Vittala temple is ₹40. As soon as we entered the place we saw the stone chariot which was overcrowded. So we went to the back side of the temple and again rested for some time so that the place became less crowded. After some time it started becoming cloudy and therefore plans to go to a nearby hill and watch the sunset were canceled. We took the mandatory photo of the stone chariot which is on the ₹50 note of Indian currency.
By the time we were out of the temple, it had started to drizzle. We took a shortcut back to the guest house which we didn’t know about earlier. Halfway through the path, it started to rain heavily so we waited at a small shop and had tea there. After some time, the rain stopped, we got onto our cycles and rushed back to our guest house.
There are huge rocks on the way where you can’t cycle so we pulled our cycle halfway. We reached a place from where we could go in a coracle boat to see 3 places, majorly the sugriv’s cave. The cost of the boat ride was ₹500 per person. We planned it for the next time we came to Hampi as it had started to become dark already. On the way back we stopped near a scenic way clicked some photos and finally reached the guest house by 7:15 p.m.
Delicious dinner at Hampi and the night view of the village
After reaching the guest house we freshened up. Since it had rained and was still drizzling a bit we thought of eating bhajji(Pakoda). We went to Matanga Hill and sat there for a while to see the village come to light. It was already 9 pm so we got back to the guest house and had dinner at the rooftop cafe. We ordered noodles and rice which cost us ₹320 for 2. We didn’t expect to get such awesome food in such a small place. But if you are coming to Hampi do stay at Netra Guest House, at least just for the food. (*Not a promotion*)
Day 2: Hippie Island, Hampi (Has been closed since Feb’22)
We got up by 8 a.m. and got ready for day 2. Had breakfast at the same dosa place and started our journey to the hippie island. Want to know why the other side of Hampi is called the hippie island? Read till the last to find out about it. After breakfast, it started to rain again so we waited near the temple. One has to take a boat ride to reach the hippie village. The day before we heard the boat cost just ₹15 per person. But today we paid ₹50 per person(*Scam part 1*). After getting down from the boat we climbed up a few stairs. As we had planned to rent a scooter for the day we saw a few shops at the entrance of the village.
The scooty cost us ₹
350 400 which we could use till 6 pm but had only 1 liter of petrol. (*Scam part 2*)The scooty should not be taken to the historical side. Always carry a photocopy of your ID proof for renting a scooty. We started by seeing the Green lush paddy fields and spent a good 1hr in taking pics and seeing the places nearby.
We then went to Sanapur Lake which is about 4.5 km from the entry of the hippie island. The ride to the lake was very beautiful and scenic. You can find paddy fields on one side and boulders on the other. On our way to Sanapur Lake, we found some people who were selling weed. (Reason 1 Why Hampi is called the Hippie Island). We relaxed a while at the lake and then headed to the Anjaneya Hill.
Hampi – Birth Place of Hanuman
There has been a lot of confusion as to where Hanuman was born. Some people say he was born on Anjaneya hill while others say he was born in Gokarna. I leave that for you to decide and believe where he was born. You need to climb approximately 570 steps to reach the top of the hill and it takes 20 – 25 mins. On the way to the top, you will find a lot of old people climbing as well. The 360° view from the top is breathtaking. You can almost see half the Hampi from here.
It was already 2 pm when we reached here and they started to distribute the lunch. We happily had our lunch here and rested for some more time. Do you know the place from where Ram shot the arrow to kill Bali? Well, that also happened here only. The place is near the Anjaneya temple in Anegudi.
By the time we left, it was already 4 p.m. We reached the paddy fields again from where we started.
Bike Scam in Hampi
We were already hungry now, so we had our lunch at one of the cafes on the Hippie Island. While going back our scooty stopped. We tried a lot to make it reach the bike shop but we couldn’t. We finally pushed the scooty to the shop which was almost 200m away. On reaching the shop, the owner said he had 1 liter of petrol in the bike even before he put 1 more liter for us. So now we had to pay more because the tank was dry. Therefore my friend got petrol worth ₹20 from a nearby shop, started the bike, and gave him.
While returning we couldn’t see the sunset so we took the boat ride back to Hampi. After spending some time in the street market we took the bus to Hospet. In the night we had dinner at the Ksrtc bus stop. After having dinner we rushed to the railway station which was 1km from the bus stop. We caught the train in the night at 9:30 p.m. back to Bangalore. The train reached by 7 AM. So this was the ending of an amazing trip to Hampi.
Everything you need to know about Hampi Hippie Island(closed since Feb’22)
- On crossing the Tungabhadra River the other side is called the Hippie Island
- Why the other side of Hampi is called Hippie Island? – It’s because you can find a lot of foreigners coming here and relaxing. Majorly travellers from Israel reside in this part and you can find a lot of shops having signboards in Hebrew and Arabic.
- This part is also called Hippie Island because you can find a lot of locals and foreigners selling hash, weed, and ganja.
- Hippie Island is also famous for its bouldering activities and lush green rice fields.
- You can even camp in the night on the hills on this island
Hampi Travel Guide: All the things you need to know in one place
- The distance from Bangalore to Hampi is 343 km which takes usually 10-11 hours via train
- There are many trains from Bangalore to Hospet(The closest station to Hampi)
- Hospet to Hampi is another 13, you can either take an auto or bus from the KSRTC bus stand
- Hampi is a UNESCO heritage site and is famous for its group of monuments
- Hampi is also famous because of the photo on the ₹50 note(Indian Currency)
- The best time to visit Hampi is from September to February
- Must-visit places in Hampi are Virupaksha Temple, Matanga Hill, Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stables, Royal Enclosure, Queen’s Bath, Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Vijay Vittala Temple, Hippie Island, Anjaneya Hil
- The most important places to visit in Hampi can be covered in 2 days
- The ideal time needed to visit Hampi is 2-3 Days to cover it properly
- Cross the river and visit Hippie Island
- Hampi is safe for women and solo women travelers
Cost breakdown of my complete Hampi trip
|Train, Bus, Food, Stay...
|Bus from Hospet to Hampi
|Breakfast on Day 1
|Stay in Hampi
|Cycle for Hampi Tour
|Lunch on Day 1
|Entry Vittal Temple
|Dinner on Day 1
|Breakfast Day 2
|Boat from Hampi to Hippie Island
|₹400 per scooty
|Lunch on Day 2
|Boat from Hippie Island to Hampi
|Bus from Hampi to Hospet
|Train from Hospet to Bangalore
|Train from Bangalore to Hospet
|Extra cost(Snacks, Water)
I took this trip in 2019 and while I have adjusted some of the costs the total trip cost would come to be around ₹3500 -4000 per person
Let me know if you have any questions regarding this Hampi travel guide in the comments or DM me on Stories of Raku