Hampi, also known as Humpi or Hampe, is one of the most
visited tourist destinations in all of India. A historic and religious site,
Hampi was the capital of the Hindu Empire Vijayanagra, and is home to the
Vijayanagra ruins that are now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This once magnificent Hindu capital was ravaged by a six-month Muslim takeover in the second half of the sixteenth century. Only stone, brick, and stucco structures were able to endure the attack. Hence, most of the monuments in Hampi are in very poor shape, seemingly much older than their four or five hundred years of existence.
However, the riverside setting of Hampi makes it an irresistible place to miss. Situated along the south bank of the River Tungabhadra, Hampi is a picturesque landscape of golden-brown boulders and leafy banana fields. Although many people come with the intentions of only staying for a weekend, the scenery, fantastic sunsets, and hilltop temples make many stay for much longer.
Rent an SUV if you have a big group and crave the nature and trekking Hampi has to offer, or rent a sedan such as the Vento if a temple tour is what you crave.
If you don't own a car or don't want to take your own car, then Zoom has several options for you to consider :-
Hatchback : Take our Ford Figo ZXI for flexibility in your travels. Whether you want to hike or visit temples, the Figo gives you freedom to explore Hampi however you want.
Sedans : Zoom with Volkswagen Vento or BMW 320d if you want to ride around Hampi in style. These cars are great if you have a small group or are with your significant other.
SUV : If trekking is what you crave, the mighty Scorpio is all yours to explore the unexplored. No need to worry about steep uphill climbs or rough terrain, the Scorpio can handle it all. The Scorpio is especially good if you are with a large group of people.
All Zoom cars come with the following :-
- All inclusive tariff which includes fuel, comprehensive insurance and taxes.
- A 3G enabled tablet which makes navigation a breeze.
- No deposit required to zoom off.
The best way to explore Hampi is to
take your Zoom car and explore the various ruins that Hampi has to offer. The
roads are easily accessible and a breeze to navigate. Cruise with the windows
down while you take in the breathtaking scenery, or stop at ruins of your
choice and stay for as long as you please. With the Freedom of Four Wheels,
your life is at ease.
Below you will find a map of Hampi’s main ruins. Use this map and avoid having to buy one from the various street vendors who will hassle you as you walk by on the streets. While driving pay attention to road signs and there will be a different sign for every temple.
Here are some examples of sights you will see along the way
Vittala Temple : This temple is dedicated to to Vittala, a form of the Hindu god Vishnua. It is easily one of the most recognizable highlights of Hampi and contains various architectural marvels. For example, a set of pillars known as the “Musical Pillars” resonates when tapped. There is also a massive stone chariot that stands in front of the main temple. If you are looking to get a nice glimpse into the history of India, this is a must see.
Matanga hill- This destination is a must for anyone who is a serious trekker and nature enthusiast. The breathtaking view from the top of this hill encompasses the Tungabhadra River, the Kodanda Rama temple, the Veerbhadra temple and the Turthu canal. The best route for trekkers begins from Hampi Bazaar and stretches to the Achyutaraya temple. Matanga hill is also historically famous for its connection to the epic Ramayana, as it was the hiding place for Sugriya, the ruler of Kishkinda.
Hampi Bazaar – Also known as the Virupaksha Bazaar, this one kilometer long road is a blast from the past. Here you can see pavilions which were once a part of the markets of the nobles, and authentic shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, in 2011 district administration authorities of Hampi demolished over 200 shops, as they were declared legally encroached.
Insiders Tip: Stay on the other side of the river for a truly unique Hampi experience.
The best time to visit is anytime but Christmas/New Years. During this time of year many International travelers and backpackers will visit Hampi and stay there for weeks at a time. There are more people and the roads are much more crowded.