Guide to our favourite spots on our Hampi ruins tour
The magnificent city of ruins, Hampi, was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, an extremely powerful Hindu empire brought to its knees by Mughal rulers. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ruins see hundreds of tourists going temple to temple in the hot Indian sun everyday. These attractions are so beautiful and something you cannot miss! This guide will share our favourite Hampi ruins. Also, check out our post on the ‘logistics of Hampi’ for where to stay and how to get around, as it is a little different to other places!
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Also read: Guide to sightseeing and things to do in Hampi
Map of the ruins so you can plan your tour. This is also pasted on the walls around the ruins:
#1 Virupaksha temple
This is the most famous, and the focal point of Hampi. Standing tall, you can see it from all over! There’s ticket touts at the door but it’s actually free to enter! Tell them you’re just going in the grounds and not the temple and you should be able to see everything for free (as it should be). They’ll also try to charge a ‘photography fee’ so if you have a proper camera then hide it as you go in to avoid these silly charges.
#2 Urga Narasimha Statue
This half-man half-lion is one of the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The statue sits on a coil of a giant seven-headed snake, guardian of Lord Vishnu. Its said Goddess Lakshmi used to sit in his lap, but the statue was vandalised in 1565AD. You can still see the broken hand of the Goddess resting on the back of Narasimha. The damaged statue of Lakshmi now resides in the Archaeological Museum of Kamalapura.
#3 Underground Shiva Temple (Badavilinga)
Located right next to the Urga Narasimha Statue, housed inside a chamber with an opening at the front. Legend has it that this monument was commissioned by a peasant woman and hence the name (Badav means poor in the local dialect).
#4 Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple
This intricate major sightseeing spot houses a massive statue of Lord Ganesha , standing almost to three times the height of an adult male! The giant statue was carved out of a single boulder, with the belly chiselled to resemble a Bangal gram (chickpea).
#5 The Hemakuta Hills
The Hemakuta group of temples are situated on the Hemakuta hilltop. It’s a great place to stroll around incredible architecture and to simply sit and take in the amazing views.
#6 The Krishna Temple Pond
This temple was erected by the ruler of the Vijayanagara period, Krishnadevaraya, in 1513 AD. It was built in honour of winning the battle of Utkala. This picture was taken at the temple’s beautiful pond, a short walk from the Sri Krishna Temple.
#7 The Krishna Temple
The 16th-century temple ruins with elaborately carved stone pillars and towers. The King Krishnadevaraya was a lover of art and architecture. This ruin is a prime example of the famous architectural design during his reign.
#8 Courtesans’ Street
This bazaar street is located close to the Virupaksha and was once a flourishing marketplace. Stroll through the pillars and step back in time. It is also used as residence for villagers and some shops inside some of the old buildings.
These are but a few of the incredible monuments dotted around the UNESCO world heritage site. We didn’t plan our trip as well as we should have so ended up missing out on some of the other incredible sites. Alas, we still had a great day and saw some amazing things. We hope this guide inspires you to explore the ruins of Hampi! Check out our guide to the logistics of Hampi so you don’t make some of the small mistakes we made! Also check out our guide to more sightseeing/ activities to do in Hampi.