A place synonymous with rich architecture and history, Hampi is slowly beginning to gain prominence amongst Indian and foreign tourists and rightfully so. It has something for everyone, lush green forests to enjoy, rich history and architecture to marvel at and a peaceful and calm atmosphere, making it a perfect holiday destination for many travellers, including me.
HOW TO GET THERE?
There is no direct flight to Hampi. One would have to get down at Vijaynagar and travel one hour by road to Hampi.
Climate is generally warm and dry during majority of the year. The winter period is from November to February, during which the climate is very pleasant and cool. Pack breezy and light clothes for your travels in Hampi.
In this blog, I am going to share my amazing experience at one of the best properties in Hampi, Evolve back-Orange County and will also share some amazing sights you could visit while in Hampi.
EVOLVE BACK- ORANGE COUNTY-
With stunning rugged forests and boulders forming its backdrops , Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, Hampi is located just 4 km from this UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are fort like entrances, stone paved boulevards, arched hallways and regal chambers mirror the famed palaces of the glorious era. It is located near the 14th century Vijayanagara Empire which has influenced the architecture of the place.
The resort is opulent and magnificent and I was awed from the moment I got there. I love vacations and resorts like these, they make it hard for me to go back home.
There are 46 rooms in total out of which there are 9 Jal Mahals and others are Zenana, Nilaya and Nivasa. I stayed at the Jal Mahal which was a reflection of Vijayanagara architecture at its luxurious best. Inspired by the Water Palace within the Zenana Enclosure, the spacious Jal Mahal boasts of separate dining, living and sleeping areas, and a royal sized bath with its own open courtyards. A private deck with a Mantapa overlooking your personal pool provides the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. Suitable for families or couples celebrating a special occasion.
Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, Hampi boasts of several facilities that reflect the magnificence of the Vijayanagara Empire. A large and welcoming infinity pool, a world class spa offering traditional ayurvedic wellness therapies, a reading room, nature walks are all designed to transport people to an era of pampered and unhurried living- the true expression of luxury. If you wish to splurge and live in luxury, think no more, Evolve Back offers an experience of lifetime. Now, what more can one ask for?
WHAT MAKES HAMPI SO SPECIAL?
Due to continuous erosion, at first underground, and later by exposure to sun, wind & rain, the surface cracked, split and eventually weathered into spherical shapes creating rounded and detached boulders, in precarious positions giving the impression that they are about to roll over while some have devolved into random shapes and forms of sculptural merit! That’s the reason Hampi is dotted with rocks. There are a handful of places in India which are soaked in environmental as well as architectural history.
To get the true Hampi experience, I suggest you visit the following sites. You will not be disappointed.
- VIRUPAKSHA TEMPLE- This is the most sacred living temple of Hampi. The temple has numerous subsidiary shrines and pillared cloistered mandapa all along the enclosure wall. A narrow water channel is drawn from the Tungabhadra river which flows along the terrace of the temple and gradually descends to the temple kitchen and finally flows through the outer enclosure and later joins the river. This temple had a worshiping elephant(real) who would give you blessings if paid 10 rupees. This temple was extremely beautiful and of such historic importance which makes it a must visit for a traveller to Hampi.
- QUEENS BATH- This is a large square structure with a plain exterior and an ornate interior. This building is in Indo-Islamic Style. On three sides large arched openings provide lightning necessary to the monument. It was where the queens used to take a bath and was built for their privacy. The amalgamation of Indo and Islamic styles of architecture along with the intricate details makes it an unique structure and is definitely on the “must visit” places in Hampi.
- VITTHALA TEMPLE- This is one of the most important temples found in Hampi, as it marks the highest workmanship indicating the mature Vijayanagara phase of architecture. It has a massive enclosure, with entrance gateways on three sides. The main temple was dedicated to Vishnu as vitthala. The temple faces east. The garuda shrine at front is fashioned in the form of a chariot with meticulous decorations with four wheels. It houses and image of garuda- the vahana of Vishnu.
- LOTUS MAHAL- It is an important secular structure at Hampi. It is a very good example of indo- Islamic style of architecture is a two storied structure built in rubble masonry and finely plastered.
- ELEPHANTS STABLE- The elephants stable is represented by a homogenous group of chambers with high arched façade with doomed roof. Eleven chambers are built side by side in north south orientation. It is something I would definitely recommend you to see.
- MANGO TREE- It is a restaurant situated in the bazaar lane right in front of the Virupaksha temple. It offered mouth watering food of all varities. From Italian to Chinese to North Indian and South Indian. The ambience of the restaurant was amazing. Light hearted, soothing music filled the entire room.
- Hampi is also one of the largest producers of sugarcane and coconut water is also available at all the tourist spots to help tourists energize.
Although, Hampi is one of the places on the hippie trail, it is a place which every age group can visit. I, for one had an amazing time exploring and learning about Hampi’s history and architecture with my family. Hampi is one of the trips you need to take in a lifetime. It is classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. I would recommend this place to anyone who loves to travel, just like me!