It’s been barely a month since I came back from my road trip to Hampi, and boy I still can’t get over it. So much so that even my wallpaper is the famous musical pillars from Vitalla temple. For anyone who loves architecture and history, Hampi is a must-visit place.
While I was on a really short trip due to my father’s leaves, you need a good week-long outing in Hampi if you really want to explore everything. Nonetheless, if you’re like me who’s short of days but yet want to explore the best of Hampi, then this ultimate 2 day Hampi itinerary is just for you.
I’ll try to cover everything you need to know about Hampi and a perfect itinerary that will give you a taste of what Hampi has to offer. You can definitely tweak this 2 day Hampi itinerary according to your taste and interests.
Hampi is a town in the Bellary district of Karnataka. Once the capital of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi today is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. It’s located on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. With beautiful ancient temples, boulders, and ruins of markets, the river just adds to the charm of Hampi.
As per historians (and mythology), Goddess Parvati danced atop Hemkunta hill to please her husband Lord Shiva to come back to her life. She was referred to as Pampa. Pampa over the years became Hampa which later became Hampi. And in the 14th century, it became the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire and in 1986, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How To Reach Hampi
Hampi is about 375 km from Bangalore and almost a similar distance from Hyderabad. You can read my post on Hyderabad to Hampi road trip to know more about how to reach Hampi from Hyderabad. The roads are pretty good all throughout except for the occasional rough patches.
I haven’t traveled from the Bangalore side so can’t comment much about that. But it shouldn’t take more than 8-10 hours even if you drive leisurely. There are regular buses from Bangalore, Hubbali, and Hyderabad.
The nearest major city to Hampi is Hosapete which is about 12 km and that’s also the nearest railway station. You can refer to Hyderabad to Hosapete trains and Bangalore to Hosapete trains to know more. Either way, trains take about the same time as roads, between 9 to 11 hours.
The nearest airport to Hampi is Vidyanagar which is located in Vidyanagar, developed by Jindal because of its steel plant. Alliance Air has one daily direct flight from Bangalore and Hyderabad. The distance from Vidyanagar to Hampi is around 50 km. However, if you’re looking for a bigger airport, then Hubali could be your next best option which is about 170 km from Hampi.
2 Day Hampi Itinerary – Things To Do
Depending on what time you reach, you can plan your day accordingly. This 2 day’s Hampi itinerary is based on my trip and I arrived in Hampi around noon. Most of the trains arrive at around the same time at Hosapete. One thing to remember is that Hampi is a hot place surrounded by rocks, so the temperatures can rise quite a bit. Make sure you carry caps, water, sunscreen, etc. to protect yourself.
Day 1 in Hampi
Stone Chariot at Vittala Temple
You can start by visiting the famous Vitalla Temple. Depending on where you stay in Hampi, this could be a short drive as it is on the outskirts of Hampi. The complex houses some of the best architectural marvels built by the Vijayanagara Empire. Kalyan Mandapa, Vittala Temple, and the beautiful Musical pillars of Ranga Mandapa. However, the highlight of the place is the iconic Stone Chariot. Built in the 15th century, it is inspired by the one at Konark Sun Temple. Read more about the Stone Chariot at Vittala Temple.
With the temperatures coming down as the sun goes down, another activity that you can do is experience the famous coracle ride. Coracle is a small, round boat sort of made from weaves. It is quite popular in Vietnam and other South East Asian countries. Hampi also has this and there are multiple operators who offer this. This can be found along the Tungabhadra River stretch or at Sanapur Lake as well. I’m not a water person, hence I didn’t do this but is quite a popular thing to do in Hampi. Prices range anywhere upwards of Rs 250.
Sunset at Hemkunta Hills
By the time you’re done with boating, it would be time for the sun to set. And one of the best places in Hampi to witness sunset is Hemkunta Hills. A short trek leads you to the top of this rocky hill that not only gives you an amazing view of the sunset but also a breathtaking view of the ruins and temples around. A beautiful spot to view the sunset.
Optional Spots To Visit
If you’re someone who loves to drive like me, then you can also drive a little to witness these beautiful spots near Hampi as part of your Hampi itinerary. The round-trip drive would be around 100-110 km, but trust me, it’s totally worth it.
Narihalla River View Point
The Narihalla Rivew viewpoint is one of the most scenic places one can find near Hampi. It’s close to Vidyanagar and located in Sandur. It’s the backend of a reservoir which has plenty of water and is surrounded by mountains that just make it more beautiful. The place is extremely windy and there’s a lot of truck traffic. There’s no parking space as such, so you need to park your car on the roadside.
Sunset at Tungabhadra Dam View Point
From the river viewpoint, you can drive towards Hosapete and enjoy the scenic drive. Though the drive is marred with large speed breakers and dump trucks. Soon you see tall windmills atop hills with the sun setting and the sky changing shades. As you reach the Tungabhadra Dam Sunset viewpoint, you’ll see the magic of nature. The sky is painted orange as the mighty dam reservoir looks magnificent in the reflection.
Read more about these hidden spots near Hampi that nobody talks about.
Day 2 in Hampi
You can start your day early by paying a visit to the marvelous Virupaksha temple on day 2 of your Hampi itinerary. Built in the 9th century, this is one of the few temples in India where people still worship. Originally there was just a Shiva statue, it was built over the years by different empires. The majority of what you see today is built during the Vijayanagara era and Krishna Devaraya. Morning visits to the temple are pure bliss and a wonderful way to start the day. Read more about Virupaksha Temple.
After visiting the Virupaksha Temple, you can visit the monolithic Nandi bull that is bang opposite the temple. While you can see the bull from the temple, it’s not walkable. You can either take an auto, (or walk) or if you have your own private vehicle then you drive to the Nandi statue. It’s a huge rock-cut statue that’s preserved. However, the local folks have made eyes and face on the bull which makes it look awkward. I’m sure it wasn’t like that originally.
From there you can drive back the same route and take a detour to visit Queen’s Bath. The Queen’s Bath is a royal enclosure with an elegant rectangular structure that dates back to the 16th century and is believed to have been used by the Vijayanagara queens for bathing and relaxation. The bath is adorned with ornate arches, intricate carvings, and a central pool surrounded by corridors with windows for natural light, providing a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Vijayanagara royalty.
Built during the Vijayanagara Empire, it is an excellent example of the blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles. The Lotus Mahal is a two-storeyed pavilion with delicately carved arches, lotus-shaped domes, and ornate windows that resemble a lotus bud, lending it a graceful and elegant appearance. It is believed to have served as a leisure pavilion or a summer palace for the royal women, featuring a harmonious fusion of beauty and functionality. Even today, if you just stand next to it, you’ll feel a cool breeze around you.
It is a large rectangular edifice with tall domes and intricately carved pillars that resemble the shape of an elephant stable, hence its name. The Elephant’s Stable is believed to have been used to house royal elephants during the Vijayanagara era. Its grandeur and unique architecture showcases the influence of Islamic style in the design, with a perfect blend of Hindu and Persian elements
Food in Hampi
What’s a Hampi itinerary without good food? Hampi is a small town as mentioned earlier and there aren’t many fancy eateries. However, a few of them that I absolutely recommend you to try are Taste of Brahmins and Mango Tree. Taste of Brahmins is a typical home-style restaurant serving breakfast dishes like Idli, Dosa, and Paddu (Must try).
Mango Tree on the other hand is a casual yet happening place that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A popular place among foreign tourists, they have a lot of international dishes too. Their lunch is something that you must try. Read more about the best places to eat in Hampi.
Apart from that, there are other restaurants that you can try (I have to try them, just listing them here)
- Suresh Restaurant
- Funky Monkey
- Old Chill Out
- Shambhu Dosa Center
- Tamarind Tree
- Wanderlust Hampi
- Hampi Paradise
I hope this list helps you find the best food in Hampi. If you feel that I’ve missed anything, please let me know and I’ll add them to this Hampi itinerary 🙂
Experience the grandeur of Hampi
Hampi is a mesmerizing destination that offers a unique experience of grandeur and historical richness. With its awe-inspiring ruins, intricately carved temples, majestic palaces, and stunning landscapes, Hampi is a treasure trove for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and nature lovers alike.
In this ultimate 2-day Hampi itinerary, I highlighted some of the must-visit sites, including the iconic Lotus Mahal, the fascinating Queen’s Bath, the majestic Elephant’s Stable, and the mesmerizing Stone Chariot. By following this itinerary, you can immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Hampi, explore its rich heritage, and marvel at its architectural splendor.
Whether you’re a solo traveler, a history aficionado, or someone seeking a unique travel experience, Hampi promises to leave you in awe with its grandeur and charm. So pack your bags, plan your trip, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to experience the timeless beauty of Hampi.
That’s it for this post and also my Hampi blog post series. Let me know your thoughts on this 2 day Hampi itinerary in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram, or Get In Touch.