Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city .Saint Vidyaranya established the seat of Vijayanagara empire in 1336 A.D,
with the help of his devotee disciples Hakka and Bukka. . Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. It is 353 km from Bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary.Hosapete (Hospet), 13 km away, is the nearest railway head. Mantralayam, which is also on the banks of Tunghabhadra, is 150 km away.
In Hampi at every turn there is a surprise for the viewers. Every monument hides more than what they reveal. As an open air museum , Hampi has numerous popular locations visitors throng .Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India. The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation. Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendour and fabulous wealth . Hampi is a visual delight, especially due to its stark contrast from most other places. Rocks are all you see whichever direction you look at. It is an ideal spot for people who are interested in history and/or nature.
Before the fall of Vijayanagar, diamonds were sold on the streets, but the main street selling diamonds and other precious stones was surprisingly called Pan Supaari Street (translated in English, it means betel-leaf betel-nut street). A visitor can still see the exact location of Pan Supaari Street in Hampi, which has been marked with a board bythe Archaeological Survey of India.
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Daroji Bear Sanctuary is very near Hampi. Though the sanctuary is relatively new, which began in 1994 in the eastern plains of Karnataka, it has proved to be a suitable habitat for the Indian Sloth Bears in a span of few years.
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The nearest airport at Tornagallu in Sandur Taluk which is 32 kms. from Hospet. The Bangalore based air-charter operator, Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd (TAAL), has launched sightseeing charter flights to Hampi and Mysore in Oct 2002. The second nearest airport is Bellary (74 kms)
The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction (IR station code: HPT), 13km away.
Overnight trains run several times a week from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Goa.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation operates daily buses to Hospet from Bangalore, Mysore and Gokarna. From Hospet you can go to Hampi on a local bus
There are private bus companies operating from most places in Goa and from Gokarna which run an overnight service to Hampi. Unfortunately, there is no direct return so you take a local bus (or taxi) to Hospet and take it from there.