My first visit to Hampi

Updated on Sep 26, 2019 by Katie Bushnell

Blog > My first visit to Hampi

Find out what Goa product manager Katie picked as her favourite bits about the historical site of Hampi.

During my last visit to Goa, I was lucky enough to travel to the neighbouring state of Karnataka and visit the incredible ruins at Hampi, and here are some of the amazing things that you can find there…

Hampi is one of India’s most striking and fascinating archaeological sites, once the imperial capital of Vijayanagar in the 14th century. Today it is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site attracting thousands of visitors every year from all over the world.

From Goa, there are two ways to reach Hampi, taking the local train (approx. 9 to 10hrs) or the more comfortable option, which of course I decided to take, travelling by road in an air-conditioned car.

Leaving early in the morning, the seven hour drive was quite spectacular, taking me inland, high into the mountainous Western Ghats and on towards the arid Deccan Plateau.  As we neared our final destination the terrain changed again – vast stretches of boulder-strewn hills, surrounded by coconut palms, rice paddies and banana plantations.

Hampi itself is spread over a huge site and dominated by the Tungabhadra River, running through the city. There are over 500 monuments from beautiful Hindu temples and extravagant palace ruins, to royal pavilions and even bastions. It would be impossible to list them all, so here are a few of my favourites:


Virupaksha Temple

One of the city’s oldest monuments and Hampi’s only working temple, the Virupaksha Temple complex is located at the end of the Hampi Bazaar. The impressive tower at its entrance was built in 1442 and can be seen from many parts of the city, measuring at some 49m high. 

Image credit: Nataliia Sokolovska | Shutterstock


Royal Enclosure

Here you will find some beautiful monuments including the Lotus Mahal, an intricately carved pavilion, believed to be the queen’s recreational mansion and the impressive Elephant Stables, 11 grand doomed chambers which in their day were home to the royal elephants.


(elephant enclosures)


(Lotus Mahal) Image credit: Aleksander Todorovic | Shutterstock


Vittala Temple

One of the most well-known temple complexes in Hampi due to is beautifully ornate structure. Here you will find the iconic stone chariot centrally located in the courtyard.

Tungabhadra River

Tungabhadra River can be seen from many parts of Hampi, twisting and turning through the hills. I enjoyed cooling off by the water and taking in the surrounding peaceful setting.

Watching the sunset

Watching the sunset over Hampi was the favourite part of my trip. There are so many viewing points around the site where you can take a seat and watch the sun setting over the hills and the temples below.


If, like me you fancy seeing a little more of India as part of your Goa holiday, The Goa Experience offers you the chance to book a two night and three day trip to Hampi as an overnight excursion. Prices start from just £90pp and can be booked through our reservations team or with your rep when you arrive in Goa.

To learn more about this extraordinary excursion, visit our website.


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