April 29, 2016

Hampi And Nearby Places

Note: Scroll down a lot, if you are in a hurry to see just photos before reading these.... 

About Hampi, History and Best time to visit

Hampi is full of boulders, huge rocks, hills and ruins. Located on banks of river Tungabhadra in North Karnataka, this is one of the very famous UNESCO World heritage site. There are lots of visitors from other countries here. In olden days this was believed to be called as "Kishkinda"

Numerous kings belonging to Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva dynasty ruled Vijayanagara for more than two hundred years till its fall in 1565 AD. The battle at Rakkasa-Tangadi (Talikota) was a disaster to the city and empire. Harihara and Bukka played the crucial role in establishing Vijayanagara empire. Praudha Devaraya, Krishna Devaraya, Achyutaraya were the well known rulers of this empire. Hampi was one of the best areas of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1343 to 1565, when it was besieged by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra river on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides. Read more in Wiki here

Very hot in Summer (April to June) and you may want to avoid or carry an umbrella if you visit in summer. Except for summer and rainy time (July,August) you can visit this place in all other months. We got to visit in end March and it was very hot as well. Carry your sun glasses as well.

Stay options

I suggest Shiva Vilas Palace at Sandur as an option to consider and this is just 40Kms from here. Wonderful place to relax and enjoy. Read my tripadvisor review. (Shiva Vilas Palace.) . We just loved this Palace than anything else around and for sure will choose this for our next trip. Suggest the same to readers as well.

Around Hampi Bus stop there are few basic options like Padma guest house, Gopi guest house. Always refer to review sites like Tripadvisor/HolidayIQ to decide. Near Queen's bath spot, there is a KSTDC's (Karnataka State Transport Development Corporation) Mayura Bhuvaneshwari. If you know of Jungle Lodges and Resorts in Karnatka, then there is one here as well at Kamalapura called Jungle lodges Sloth bear resort.

Though there are few options in Hampi itself, many prefers Hospet which is just 12Kms and has many options. We stayed in Hotel Malligi but it was too expensive for a very basic room .Check all options and decide. See the room first before you commit and pay. Here are my reviews of Hotel Malligi and Shiva Vilas Palace.

Food options

Once you start your tour around places in Hampi, you will find very few places to have decent food. You will get Tender coconut in many places, drink it instead of any cool drinks. Try having Banana, both green and yellow which will give instant energy. Water melons were also available. Carry or buy bottled water. Carry other snacks of your choice. Toilets (not so clean but for urgency this is only option) are available at many of the spots. We had powerful and heavy breakfast so managed with Bananans and Tender coconut and few snacks till late evening. Heard MangoTree restaurant behind the river is an good option but we have not gone there. Venkateshvara in Hampi Bazaar is good option. For authentic food try Shankar hotel in main road. Ask for these to get the directions.

Hiring Local Guides and Guide Books

I suggest you to buy the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) publications booklet on Hampi that costs just Rs.100/= and start exploring. Once you reach the site, you will see many small boys selling these. Unfortunately the local guides are demanding too much and there is no proper or formal way to hire an approved guide. I have seen very formal and official way to hire guides at Belur and Halebidu sites. Guides at Belur and Halebidu are very organized and take nominal approved and common rates, I really appreciate them. But unfortunately that option is not there in Hampi. Use the book I mentioned above. No Audio guides as well, like in Jaipur. Still if you could hire a good guide, go ahead and hire him for the whole day and take him along to see all places around.

There are too many places to see in Hampi and any books/guide will talk about around 65+ places.  We reached the Hampi entrance by 11:15AM and it was so hot. We thought we could hire a guide at Virupaksha Temple. We parked the car and started walking towards the temple entrance, looking for the counter where we can ask for guide. But they said guides are available elsewhere, you talk to them and hire yourself. It was then we decided to visit by ourselves.

Planning your Hampi and Nearby places visit

There are plenty of places to see around Hampi. We have covered the most important ones as listed below.
  • Hampi and all places in Hampi (This Blog covers all these)
  • Sandur Shiva Vilas Palace Hotel and Kumaraswamy Temple
  • Badami and Banashankari
  • Pattadakal, Aihole, Mahakuta and Kudala Sangama
Distance details for the above places
  • Hampi to Sandur - 40 Kms
  • Hampi to Badami - 149 Kms
  • Badami to Kudalasangama - 70 Kms
  • Badami to Pattadakal, Aihole and Mahakuta - All within 40 to 50 Kms on same route

1. Plan 1 including all places (4 days): (Check my blogs for photos/details and decide)
  • Stay at Hampi or Sandur for two (minimum) or more days. Start early morning to visit all places in Hampi and complete in one day.
  • Next head towards Badami from Hampi which is 149 Kms. Stay at Badami for next two days. Same day of arrival, visit places in Badami and Banashankari. This takes about 4 hours in all. May be after lunch. 
  • Next day have breakfast and start to Pattadakal, Aihole and Mahakuta. If interested visit Kudala Sangama.
2. Plan only Hampi (Check my blogs for photos/details and decide)
  • Refer this blog for all details. 
  • If you are driving from Bangalore, it takes about 6.5 to 7 hours and it is 350+ kms.
  • Over weekend you can cover and return back to Bangalore on Monday.  You need to take off on Friday or Monday as well for sure to avoid getting very tired of walking around.

Note: Click them images or the Place titles to visit the respective Blogs

Badami Sandur
http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2016/04/badami-color-of-almond.html http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2016/04/sandur-kumaraswamy-temple-and-shiva.html
Pattadakal Aihole
http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2016/04/pattadakal-historical-temples.html http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2016/04/aihole-historical-temples.html
Makakuta, Kudala Sangama 
and Banashankari


Reaching Hampi options

Train: From Bangalore, there is a Hampi Express leaves bangalore by 9PM daily and reaches Hospet at 7AM morning. 

Bus: KSRTC buses ply from Bangalore.

Driving: Follow NH4 to Tumkur and Chitradurga, stay on NH4 Chitradurga bypass. Stay below the flyover intersection and take right below to NH13 for Hospet via Hosahalliu. I suggest to avoid night driving for safety reasons. 

Most important places to visit and Tips/Guide/Plan to see places around

Start early in morning after having breakfast at your hotel. You can hire a cycle or auto-rickshaw/Taxi or drive your own car to see around the places. You need the whole day to see many of the important places I have listed below and follow the instructions. You can cover these places in the same order. I suggest reach Virupaksha Temple first and see around the places. Park your car in parking area opposite to temple and walk a little.

1. Virupaksha Temple - Visit this first.
2. Hemakuta hill temples - beside Virupaksha temple
3. Kadalekalu Ganesha - very close to Hemakuta hill temples

After all these, walk straight opposite to the Virupaksha Temple tower, you see Hampi Bazaar on both sides. Incase if you want to do shopping, check the shops. Keep walking till dead end and you will see..

4. Eduru Basavanna - Big Monolithic Nandi right opposite to Virupaksha Temple
5. Matanga Parvatha (you may need to climb a little)
6. Achyutaraya Temple
7. Kodanda Rama Temple
8. Varaha Temple

9. Tungabadra River - After seeing all the above places, from Nandi walk little further and take right and go inside the small lane and you will see the banks of river Tungabhadra.(ask for it if you get a doubt)

After the above come back to Hampi Bus stop road where you parked your vehicle. Start your vehicle and you can see other places as listed below.

10. Sasivekalu (Mustard Seed) Ganesha
11. Krishna  Temple (ruined and not much to see, yet if you like you can visit)
12&13. Narasimha shrine and Badavi Linga (you need to stop the car on main road and walk little inside, both are just right next to each other).

14. Prasanna Virupaksha Temple (or) Underground Shiva Temple.

From the Prasanna Virupaksha temple, go inside (ask for Lotus Mahal, Elephants Stable etc).  You will get a parking area where you park and walk a little to see below places

15. Lotus Mahal
16. Elephants Stable

From here, again come on the same road further and see the below place

17. Hazara Ramachandra Temple

From the Hazara Rama temple, again drive straight further and you will see

18. Queens Bath

There are many other places on this above route and I did not mention and I did not visit as well. They are all ruined and nothing much to see there.Anyway there are many boards that shows directions.

19. Vitthala Temple and world famous Stone chariot

All the above places takes around 3 to 4 hours to cover. Once after all these, you come back to the "Hampi entrance" where you see "Welcome to Hampi" board and take left towards Vitthala Temple. You will find a huge car parking area and a place where battery operated cars are taking visitors to Vitthala Temple.

Join the queue and take a ticket to Vitthala Temple and board the battery car. They stop at Vitthala temple only. In between on the way you will see many places. If interested you better walk instead of taking this car. I would say nothing much to see as they are ruined.

Vitthala Temple, World famous Stone Chariot, Kudre Gombe (toy horse) Mandapa, Utsava Mandapa, Kalyana Mandapa all are in same place.

All the above can be covered in a day's time from morning till evening. Apart from the above, there few hill temples and if you have time and interest climb. You will get a nice Arial view of things.

Moving onto Photos....

Hampi Virupaksha Temple Tower
160 feet high, the Majestic Virupaksha Temple Tower

Hampi Virupaksha Temple Tower

Hampi Virupaksha Temple and Hemakuta Temples
Panorama of Virupaksha Temple(right) and Hemakuta Temples(left)

Entrance to Hampi
This is the entrance to Hampi tourist places
Hampi Map of Tourist places
Map of all the tourist places in Hampi, Zoom to read !

Hampi Virupaksha Temple Inner Towers
Inside the Virupaksha Temple - there are small towers

Hampi Virupaksha Temple Tower Ganesha
Ganesha sculpture on the main Virupaksha Temple Tower

Hampi Virupaksha Temple Murals
Murals on the ceiling of Virupaksha Temple

Hampi Kadlekalu Ganesha
Monolithic big Kadlekalu Ganesha

Hampi Eduru Basavanna or Nandi
Monolithic Eduru Basavanna or Nandi

Hampi Tungabhadra River
From the banks of Tungabhadra River, do you see the mandap on the other side?

Hampi Bazaar
Hampi Bazaar

Hampi Sasivekalu Ganesha
Hampi Sasivekalu Ganesha

Hampi Krishna Temple Tower
Krishna Temple Tower

Hampi Narasimha Shrine
So beautiful and huge one, Narasimha Shrine

Hampi Badavi Linga Shrine
Big Shivling - Badavi Linga always inside water !

Hampi Vitthala Temple Tower
Vitthala Temple Tower

Hampi Stone Chariot
World Famous Vittala Stone Chariot

Hampi Stone Chariot
Front view of World Famous Vittala Stone Chariot

Hampi Stone Chariot
Closer look at the wheels of Stone Chariot

Hampi Vittala Temple Kudre Gombe Mandapa
Kudre Gombe (Toy horse) Mandapa

Hampi Queens Bath
Queens Bath

Hampi Lotus Mahal
Beautiful Lotus Mahal

Hampi Lotus Mahal
See the intricate works on the arch of Lotus Mahal

Hampi Elephant Stable
Elephant Stable

Hampi Elephant Stable Tree on Tree
Why suddenly a Neem Tree now? Zoom and see... do you see young peepal tree?

Hampi Elephant Stable Tree on Tree
Now you see the Peepal tree on top of Neem tree... after few years it will grow big

Hampi Hazara Ramachandra Temple
Hazara Rama or Ramachandra Temple Wall

Hampi Hazara Ramachandra Temple
Beautiful pillars of Hazara Rama Temple

Hampi Hazara Ramachandra Temple
Lord Krishna on the pillars of Hazara Ramachandra Temple

Hampi Prasanna Virupaksha Temple Underground Shiva Temple
Hampi Prasanna Virupaksha Temple (or) Underground Shiva Temple

Hampi Prasanna Virupaksha Temple Underground Shiva Temple
Beautiful Nandi at Hampi Prasanna Virupaksha Temple Underground Shiva Temple

Hampi Prasanna Virupaksha Temple Underground Shiva Temple
Water filled up and no one enters inside, not maintained at all - The Nandi is so beautiful

Hope you liked this Blog post, Dont forget to share with your friends and add your comments below. Thank you.  Read my other Blogs on Sandur, Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal....etc all.  

Badami - Click here to read 

Sandur - Click here to read 

Patadakal - Click here to read 

Aihole - Click here to read 

Banashankari, Mahakuta, Kudalasangama - Click here to read


Badami Color of Almond

About Badami and history

Known as Vatapi those days, this is located in North Karnataka near Hampi. This is the capital of Chalukyas and there are many rock-cut cave temples. During 6th and 8th centuries, Chalukyas ruled Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and this rock-cut cave temples were also sculpted during this period.

There are four cave temples and Cave 1 devoted to Lord Shiva, Cave 2 and 3 are for Lord Vishnu and Cave 4 is devoted to Jain Tirthankaras. In Tamil Nadu near Thanjavur there is a temple "Uthrapathiswaraswamy Temple" where Vatapi Ganapathi idol is installed. This is brought from Badami by Pallavas.

Best time to visit and photography

Except during the summer which is from April to June, you may visit any time of the year. If you get a chance to visit this place right after rains or during rains i.e. August/September, you will see a fantastic scenery where there will be water falls from the hills behind the Bhootnath temple and the water joins the Agastya lake.

If you like photography, then this is perfect place. Many photography tours are arranged here. Late in evening when the sun is shining on the Agastya lake and on Bhootnath temple, it is amazing. Best place for Landscape photography and for architecture photography.

Stay options and Food options

There are few good options. Heritage resort is a good option with independent bungalow type and good food (only veg). Refer my review on tripadvisor. There is also Clarks Inn and Badami court. But I suggest you to read the reviews and decide.

Reaching Badami options

Train: Gadag junction is the nearest(70kms) and many trains from Bangalore, Mysore, Hubli, Bijapur and Solapur. Solapur express from Bangalore, Rani Chennamma express from Bangalore, Kachegoda express from Yeshwantpur(Bangalore) are options. 

Bus: From Bangalore there are buses direct to Badami and starts at 7PM in evening and reaches by 6:30 or 7AM morning. 

Driving: Time to time the road conditions changes, so use Google and also check with friends. It took around 8 hours when were are coming back to Bangalore from Badami.  We have used Google map. 

Places to see in Badami

You need atleast 4 to 5 hours to visit all the places below. (except Sidlapadi cave)

1. Agastya Lake
2. Bhootnat Temple
3. Badami Archaeological Museum
4. Badami Caves
5. Jambulinga and Virupaksha Temples
6. Malegitti Shivalaya - is on top of a sandstone hill
7. Upper and Lower Shivalayas - Can be reached from behind the museum.
8. Sidlapadi cave - Ask locals for directions, there is a prehistoric cave. If you happen to visit in early morning the sun light enters the it looks very beautiful. Good for photography. A must visit. But don't visit alone, take locals or guide along and be cautious.

Few years ago, one or two polished stone axes belonging to Neolithic in the Chalcolithic cultural stage (Circa 1700 to 800 BCE) were traced near the southeastern fringe of the Bachangudda. Also found were Neolithic pottery, chert (a semi precious stone) and microliths in a unique rock shelter locally known as "Sidla Phadi" which is 5Kms from Badami.

Tips to visit places in Badami

Start from the place where you can park your vehicle or from Mosque. If you are a photographer and want to take great photos then, I suggest you visit this early in morning or late in evening. 

First start with the Museum, Malegitti Shivalaya (top of the hill). You can also buy the ASI guide on Badami at museum (Archaeological Survey of India). After this walk further and visit Mallikarjuna Temple complex and head to Bhootnath Temple. You will walk around the Agastya lake to see all the places. After visiting the Bhootnath temple, come back to Mosque and head to the actual Badami Caves. Start visiting from Cave 1 till Cave 4. From the top cave, check the beauty of the Agastya Tank and Bhootnath Temple. 

It takes about 2 - 2.5 hours to see all the above places.

Jambulinga and Virupaksha Temples are located off the main road and are built on 8th century.

Nearby Places  and my Blogposts (refer my other Blogs which has lots of photos)


Note: Refer my Hampi blog which has the details on planning all these places in 4 days. Click the images or the place name title to read the respective blog.

Hampi Sandur
 http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2016/04/hampi-and-nearby-places.html http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2016/04/sandur-kumaraswamy-temple-and-shiva.html
Aihole Pattadakal
http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2016/04/aihole-historical-temples.html http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2016/04/pattadakal-historical-temples.html
Banashankari, Mahakuta, Kudalasangama

Moving onto Photos

Let me start with few photos that might impress you about this place.....

Badami Cave Temple Lord Vishnu
Lord Vishnu in Cave Three, Look at the colors on the stones/pillars... Pink/Red/Yellow mixed up ..

Badami Cave Temple Cave
View of the Cave in Badami Cave Temples
Badami Agastya Lake and Bhootnat Temple
Wonderful scenery, Behind the temple you see a rocky hill right, in Aug/Sep you can see a waterfall, it will be an amazing sight !

Badami Agastya Lake and Bhootnat Temple Panorama
Zoom to see it clear, Panoramic view of the entire Badami, Cave on right side and Malegeti Shivalaya on Left

Badami Mosque and Temples
View of Mosque and Temples from Badami Cave

Badami Cave Temple View
View of the Badami Cave Temple

Badami Agastya Lake and Bhottnat Temple
Closer Look at the Bhootnath Temple, Do you see the Upper Temple?

Badami Mallikarjuna Temple
Mallikarjuna Temple Complex

Badami Bhuthanatha Temple Side View
Side view of the Bhootnath Temple

Badami Cave Lord Shiva
Rudra Thandava of Lord Shiva - Nataraja, Bull and Ganesha are also seen

Badami Cave Lord Shiva
Harihara - Lord Shiva and Parvathi with Bull ! Bhringi is seen on the left side.

Note: To know about the story of Bhringi, read Wiki here.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhringi

Badami Cave Temple Vishnu in Cave Ceiling
Lord Adi Sesha or Snake God, Wov, so beautiful !

Badami Cave Lord Shiva
Harihara - Combination of Shiva and Vishnu. Shiva in left half of the body with Parvathi on left side and Vishnu on right half with Lakshmi on right side. A Master piece of art work .

Note: Harihara is the fused representation of Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara) from the Hindu tradition. Also known as Shankaranarayana ("Shankara" is Shiva, and "Narayana" is Vishnu), Harihara is thus revered by both Vaishnavites and Shaivites as a form of the Supreme God.Notice the snake on the left hand which is Shiva (left hald of the body) and Conch on right hand which is Vishnu (right half of the body). Nandi Deva is seen on left side between Parvathi and Shiva. Read Wiki for more details here .... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harihara

Badami Cave Goddess Durga or Mahishasuramardini
Goddess Durga or Mahishasuramardini slaying the buffalo-demon Mahishasura

Badami Cave Temple Ganesha
Lord Ganesha, Elder Son of Lord Shiva

Badami Cave Temple Subramanya
Lord Subramanya or Karthikeya or Murugan on Peacock, younger son of Lord Shiva

Badami Cave Temple Ornate Pillars
So sharp and intricate, ornate pillars

Badami Cave Temple Pillars

Badami View from Cave Temple
View from Badamoi cave !
Badami Cave Temple Colors of Rocks
Notice the colors - Almond (Badami) color ...!

Badami Caves Varaha Avatar
Varaha Avatar and Bhudevi 

Badami Caves Fish spokes wheel
Wheel of 16 fish spokes in a square frame along with swastikas and flying couples

Badami Caves Vamana Avatar
Vamana Avatar with Eight Arms - Ashtabhuja, One leg on earth and the other on sky

Badami Caves Pit holes
Pit holes on the Almond colored rocky hills in Badami Caves

Badami Caves Narasimha Avatar
Narasimha - Half human and Half Lion

Badami Caves Vamana Avatar
Vamana Avatar

Badami Caves Harihara
Harihara - Shiva and Vishnu

Badami Caves Dragon

Badami Caves Garuda
Garuda (Eagle) - Vahana of Lord Vishnu

Badami Caves Lord Vishnu Avatar
Look at the pillars and its colors, murals on the ceiling, Wov !

Badami Caves Lord Subramanya
Lord Karthikeya or Subramanya or Murugan with Valli and Deivanai (two wives) on Peakcock 

Badami Caves Lord Vishnu Avatar
Lord Vishnu seated on a Serpent !

Badami Caves Varaha Avatar
Varaha Avatar

Badami Caves Harihara

Badami Agastya Tank View
View of Agastya Tank from Topmost cave - Cave 4

Badami Cave Tree on Rocks
Tree can grow on Rocks, yes no need of soil and water (moisture in air enough) !
Note: Refer my blog on "Tree on Rocks" and "Tree on Trees" for similar photos and more details/observations.

Badami Cave Tirthankaras
Jain Caves and Tirthankaras

Badami Cave Parshvanath Tirthankara
Parshvanath Tirthankara in Jain Caves

Badami Cave Tirthankaras
See the changing colors on the rock - At Jain caves - Tirthankara

Fields of North Karnataka

While driving through the rural areas, we also saw Onion fields and Groundnut fields. Have you ever seen an Onion flower and a Honeybee collecting nectar from there? See below. How yummy it will be - Onion flavored honey?

Onion Field in North Karnataka
Onion Field of North Karnataka

Onion Flower and a Honey Bee in North Karnataka
Onion Flower and a Honey Bee collecting Nectar from it... !! Yummy Onion Flavor Honey ?

Ground Nut field in North Karnataka
Ground Nut field !

Ground Nut field of North Karnataka
Now do you see the Ground Nut ?

Hope you liked this Blog post, Dont forget to share with your friends and add your comments below. Thank you.  Read my other Blogs on Hampi, Aihole, Pattadakal....etc all. 

Hampi and all Nearby places - Click here to read

Sandur - Click here to read 

Patadakal - Click here to read 

Aihole - Click here to read 

Banashankari, Mahakuta, Kudalasangama - Click here to read