Stone chariot at Vitthala Temple, Hampi, India
Stone chariot at Vitthala Temple, Hampi, India


LOCATION The ancient city of Hampi lies near Hospet in the Indian state of Karnataka


14th–16th centuries


Jan: 70°F (21°C); Apr: 82°F (28°C); Jul: 75°F (24°C); Oct: 75°F (24°C)

The great ruined city of Vijayanagar, more commonly known as Hampi, is all that survives of the capital of what was once the most powerful kingdom in central India, the Vijayanagara Empire.

The city was largely destroyed in a siege in 1565, and today its ruins lie scattered over more than 12 miles (20 km) of countryside. The monuments range from the intricately carved Achyutharaya, Vitthala, and Virupaksha temples to the former royal quarters, complete with its famous set of elephant stables – a lavish stone palace fit for a prince, let alone elephants.

Surrounding the city is a surreal, beautiful landscape bisected by the meandering Tungabhadra River and studded with rocky hills and gigantic boulders said to have been tossed down by the armies of the Hindu god Hanuman in a superhuman show of strength.

Practical Information

Getting There The nearest major airport is at Bangalore, which receives both domestic and international flights. From here, there are regular trains to the city of Hospet, which is close to the ancient site.

When to Go The best time to visit is in the dry season (Oct–Mar).

Leave a Comment