Scattered about the sepia‑coloured edifices are huge boulders distinct to this part of southern India, plus palm groves, banana trees, dazzling green paddy fields and the snaking Tungabhadra River. There are Hindu pilgrims, too, who come to worship. It adds up to a beautiful, magical setting – the kind you’ll probably dream about for weeks.
Each historical monument has a fascinating story to tell, best described by charismatic expert guides. Most striking is Vittala Temple, which includes a hall whose 56 pillars make musical sounds when tapped. Then there’s the oldest temple, Virupaksha, home to an iconic rock chariot, and Monkey Temple, clambering on which you’ll find plenty of the eponymous, cheeky creatures. The best way to get around is by bicycle, in a tuk-tuk or on foot, following trails through the various puras (suburbs). Allow two or three days for relaxed, sufficient exploration time without rushing.
Secret Hampi Ruins & New Routes
Something of a secret, Hampi’s amazing temple ruins are now far easier to access – but go now before everyone else catches on.
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