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Hampi

Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka, India. It is located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi. A great place to visit to experience the India that was.

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Hampi has some fantastic places to see including the almost thousand years old Virupaksha Temple, Vittala temple, Saasivekaalu Ganesha Temple, Pushkarani and the lotus temple. One can visit the Virupaksha temple early in the morning to listen to the prayers. There is more than enough to do in a day’s time near the Hampi Bazaar itself. Go trekking up the matunga hillock, about 5 mins by walk from the Hampi Bazaar and if you are lucky and there is no mist, watch a beautiful sunrise.

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A recommended method of touring the ruins would be renting a bicycle. Hampi is a small village and one can easily tour all the major ruins by just cycling around. In addition, it will work out much cheaper and is so much more fun. The other mode would be renting an autorickshaw but it could be slightly more expensive and tourists, especially foreigners are susceptible to swindling.

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In order to make it easy , book one of the many available home stays right in the middle of Hampi bazaar. These are really cheap off season and its convenient to tour the ruins as well. Best time to visit Hampi is from October to January since the place gets really hot rest of the year.

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There are more than enough convenient places to eat. The recommended place is the mango tree restaurant within the hampi bazaar. They serve a variety of dishes ranging from Chinese, Continental, English and of course Indian.

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There are a lot stray temples amongst the ruins. So the ideal way to really soak in the beauty of hampi would be just to take the road less travelled. Some tourist spots are across the river and it can be crossed on a small motor boat for a small fee. Once there, take a motor bike for a minimal charge post negotiating with the locals. This is a Hanuman Temple atop a hillock which is the prime attraction in this region.

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Travelling to hampi is fairly easy. If you have your own car, it should take about 6 hours from Bangalore. (Just use navigation to reach the destination). The road from Bangalore to Chitradurga is national highway and is the easy part of the journey; from there the road becomes narrow with lot of trucks plying. So it gets significantly slow from here.

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In all, a great place. Spend a minimum of two days at least so that a majority of ruins can be covered.

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