Weekend in Hampi: Up close with heritage, nature, and wilderness


Veda Reddy, CEO, Planetwildlife

Veda recounts her weekend trip to Hampi in India.

I had come across people traveling to Hampi, and coming back with ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ about the place, and showing off the beautiful pictures they had taken, and this tempted me to make a trip of my own. After planning for a while and finding some time to spare, my friends and I packed our bags and cameras and boarded a train from Hyderabad to Hampi.

Stepping off the overnight sleeper train with its musical array of snorers, bed bugs, and people who think it’s acceptable to make nasty sounds while brushing their teeth, we arrived in Hospet, the nearest railway station to Hampi, at 6.am. It took us less than half an hour to reach our chosen Resort, the Sloth Bear Resort & Sanctuary, where we checked in, rested for a while, and were ready to hit the road.

A peek into history

Hampi was the capital of the ancient and magnificent 14th century Vijaynagara Empire, and the ruins of this empire can be found scattered around Hampi’s lush landscape. The Vijaynagara dynasty was so prosperous that diamonds were once sold on the streets. Today, Hampi is marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


With ancient magic in the air, and lush landscape dotted with magnificent ruins, Hampi is a real treat to visit. The Vitthala temple is the most well known structure in Hampi. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument for its musical pillars and a beautiful stone chariot. Each pillar produces a distinct musical note when you knock with your fingers. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to touch the pillars anymore. I was so tempted when I saw few kids sneaking in and enjoying the sounds, but decided not to try it myself.



Other must see sights are Krishna Temple, Narsimha Temple, Badavilinga Temple, Lotus Mahal, Virupaksha Temple, elephant stables, and stepped well. However, due to lack of proper preservation and restoration, this popular heritage destination is in danger of erosion and destruction.

Sloth Bear Resort & Sanctuary

My friends and I had a wonderful stay here and the staff was really accommodating.  This is an excellent place to get away from the grind of the city. It’s such a great feeling to wake up to the sound of birds and animals. The highlights of the cottages were the private balconies. Since we visited in August, we could just sit out and enjoy the cool breeze, occasional drizzles, and the amazing view of the Sloth Bear Sanctuary. We also went on a game drive into the Sanctuary where we spotted couple of sloth bears from a distance. It was a thrilling experience.


Tungabhadra Dam

Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. As we visited during the monsoon, the Tungabhadra was overflowing and looked like an ocean, and the dam was quite a sight to see. All gates were open letting out torrents of water and the absolute green surroundings and fresh breeze, made it a perfect half day trip from Hampi.

Hampi makes for the perfect holiday for those living in and around Karnataka looking for weekend trips. It has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway amidst ancient ruins, or an adventurous escapade on the rocks, or simply interested in history.

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