The magnificent ruins of Hampi dot an unearthly landscape that has captivated travellers for centuries. Heaps of giant boulders perch precariously over kilometres of undulating terrain, their rusty hues offset by jade-green palm groves, banana plantations and paddy fields. While it’s possible to see this World Heritage Site in a day or two, plan on lingering for a while.
The main travellers’ ghetto has traditionally been Hampi Bazaar, a village crammed with budget lodges, shops and restaurants, and towered over by the majestic Virupaksha Temple. Tranquil Virupapur Gaddi, across the river, has become a popular hang-out. However, recent demolitions in both areas have seen businesses closed.
Direct daily flights to Jindal Vijaynagar Airport, 35km south of the ruins, mean that Hampi has never been more accessible.