What is so special about Hampi?
Karnataka

What is so special about Hampi?

We have all heard of it, and so many people are making their way there, but What is so special about Hampi? In this post, I will be discussing everything you need to know on why this place should also feature on your itinerary.

Most travellers come to Hampi to explore the epic ruins of the Vijayanagara empire, but there is so much more. You can also engage in birdwatching, otter watching, cooking classes, ayurvedic massage, rock climbing, cycling, hiking and checking out the nearby bear sanctuary. What’s more, all of this happens in one of Indias most breathtaking landscapes. 

With so many activities to choose from, it is not hard to work out what is so special about Hampi, surely? Another big plus point is the well-developed tourist infrastructure that makes this place ideal for both beginners and well-season travellers alike. I wholeheartedly recommend Hampi as I could bet that it would leave even the most hardened of backpackers jaw dropped. I will now walk you through every aspect of what makes this whimsical corner of the universe really stand out, and I will start at the beginning.

Part of what makes Hampi so special is the timeless artwork that adorns some of the buildings from top to bottom. Even to this day, many of these masterpieces are there for you to take in exquisite detail.  This voluptuous lady is an example of some of the racy artwork that adorns some of the timeless monuments. If this post is not enough to whet your appetite, then check out my blog on reasons to visit Hampi

The history of what makes Hampi special.

When I look at the history of what makes Hampi special, there is so much of it I have no idea where to start. One look at the magnificent structures that pepper the countryside, and you can begin to understand just how long it would have taken to build it. I often wonder what a weary traveller coming from another part of the country would have thought upon seeing it for the first time in its heyday.

Hampi was at the epicentre of the Vijayanagara empire and was the second-largest city in Asia next to Beijing and almost certainly India most productive. The Hindu rulers lived a life of omnipotent power and luxury. Hence the grand ruins sometimes carved from top to bottom. Hampi peaked between the 14th and 16th century when the city became one of the most prominent trading posts globally. Buying and selling all manner of goods to foreign markets generated massive amounts of wealth.

The Muslim armies of the north eventually conquered the city. However, it took the combined efforts of five Sultanates and their troops to topple Rama Raya (the ruler at that time) and send Hampi into the pages of history.  The Bijapur, Golconda, Berar, Bidar and Ahmednagar all zeroed in on the city and eventually won. If you have ever visited any of these places and seen the size of their strongholds, you will not find it hard to appreciate how formidable an opponent this would have been. Finally, in 1565 at the battle of Talikota, it was Rama Rayas last stand, and after six months of plundering, Hampi would be reduced to ruins.

Hampi remained an obscure set of ruins lost in its bewitching landscape until 1800 when Colin Mackenzie, a British surveyor for the East India tea company, stumbled across it and what a sight that must have been. Massive excavations followed, and Hampi once again shot to fame, and in 1986, Unesco declared Hampi a world heritage site and became a national treasure.

Here is a standard tourist map of Hampi to help you discover what is so special about it

I also posted this standard-issue tourist map on my post about where to stay in Hampi, and for the same reason. To demonstrate the sheer scale of the area and how long it will take you to discover its charms. To find out what makes Hampi so special will take time, so please give it what it deserves to get the most out of it.

The ruins of Hampi make it special.

Of course, the ruins of Hampi make it special. It is the primary reason why we go the in the beginning.  The ruins are broken down into two major groups, and they both take at least a whole day each to soak it all in.

The city has suffered extensive damage and been subject to the ravages of time, yet this place remains magnificent. The Archaeological Survey Of India is doing continuous restoration work to preserve what is left, and your tickets help fund these expensive projects.

The Ticket for foreigners is currently 600 rupees and 40 rupees for Indian nationals, and yes, that’s a huge difference! It is valid for the day and will get you into most of the paid sights, so don’t lose it. It is not reasonably possible to see everything in one day, and I wouldn’t even try. Take your time and soak it all in. After all, you may as well as you would have put in so much effort to get here in the beginning, and there is so much to see.

Not to mention that while walking around, you will have plenty of opportunities to see a little of Hampi’s incredible biodiversity. In truth, tourism around the area has had a significant impact on its wildlife and is a source of controversy between conservationists and local business. For more information on this subject and how you can do your part check out this beautifully made documentary.

The incredible wildlife is certainly one good reason why Hampi is special.

Do you think this three-meter long Rat snake looks guilty? Because he is! I caught him trying to raid weaver bird nests, and when he saw me, he quickly slithered into the shadows. So exploring the timeless ruins doubles up as a safari. You will have the chance to see a fair bit of wildlife while taking a stroll. For more information on the five best things to do here, check out my in-depth post. It will give a pretty good insight into what makes Hampi so special.

The activities of Hampi that make it special.

It is also the activities of Hampi that make it special. At the top of this article, I stated people come here for the ruins and discover a truckload of extras. I came here for a couple of days and stayed the best part of two weeks. In reality, I could have stayed much longer as there is a lot that appealed to me.

I am an avid nature lover, so the otter and the bear sanctuaries were a big draw for me. The bird watching also put the wind in my hair. I love animals, and there are loads of them here. Oh, and unless you venture to the wildlife sanctuaries, it is all free! It’s a win-win, guys.

Even if the animals don’t do it for you, the landscapes will. Seeing them by Boat, cycle or on your own two feet is sure to be rewarding in the extreme. No matter what way you choose to see the extraordinary boulder-strewn landscapes, please remember it is baking throughout much of the year, so don’t forget to take plenty of water. Another fantastic way to see it all is while dangling off one of the giant rocks by a thin piece of rope. This is sure to get your pulse racing, and I definitely recommend that.

While neither Karnataka nor Hampi are especially famous for food, there is plenty of cooking courses available, and they seem to get good reviews.

With all of this on offer in the same time area, it is hardly surprising that writing a post called what is so special about Hampi is an absolute breeze. It is also super easy to organise as dozens of outfits cater to your every need all over Hampi. So that should answer nicely how the activities on offer here really add to it being exceptional.

when talking about what makes hampi stand out we just need to look at the pictures.

What makes Hampi stand out, hey? Now let me see…… However, you will need to get here so don’t forget to check out my blog on transport in Hampi

In summary of What is so special about Hampi?

A post called what is so special about Hampi could have almost written itself. I hope you have enjoyed it and found it of value. I have many posts on Hampi, so I would imagine I have covered most of the normally asked questions, and I have missed any; simply leave them in the comment section below, and I will get back to you.

I have written so many posts on Hampi because I genuinely think it is worth the time invested in seeing it. So my blogs hope to convince you the same. With that said, I think this topic is covered properly so that I will see you in the next post.

 

 

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