Hospet in One DayHospet is a famous tourist city in Bellary District of central Karnataka, India. This city on the Tungabhadra River is just 12km from the World Heritage site, Hampi which contains the ruins from the medieval city of Vijayanagar, the historic capital of the Vijayanagar Empire.
Hospet also known as Hosabettu, is a beautiful place full of greenery and thick forests which once nurtured a huge range of wildlife. This place is also famous because of its gorgeous landscapes, tiny lakes, rain water streams, magnificent hillocks, chirping sounds of birds and so on. This place is also rich in rice paddy fields, coconut, arrack nut and betel leaf gardens. The natural scenic beauty this place offers is doubtless beyond description. Apart from that, various places of tourist attraction have also developed over the years. Even though one day is too short to experience all that Hospet has to offer, let us go about the city as well as the nearby Hampi and try to do as much as we can in our itinerary.
Morning in HospetWould you like to taste delicious breakfast delicacies first or do you want to start your day by visiting a church or a temple? Here are some insights to both:
If you would like to have fantastic breakfast, the best choice is Hotel Malligi situated in J.N. Road, Hampi which offers delicious South Indian delicacies along with other various choices.
St. Andrew’s Church
This spectacularly beautiful Roman Catholic Gothic style church was built in Cruciform and given the name Holy Cross Church Hosabettu. This church is located at a distance of 41km north-east of Mangalore and only 46km far from Mangalore International Airport. This church is also very close to Moodbidri Town (just 6km). The parishes of Kuppepadav, Tacode and Moodbidri surround this church. It is very difficult to trace the exact day of the beginning of the Parish but a sure fact is that the Parish has a Portuguese origin. Thus this Parish has found its place on the pages of The Roman Catholic history in South Canara.
Vishnu TempleNext in our itinerary is the Vishnu temple in Hampi which is just 13km from Hospet.
The Vishnu temple is situated just behind the Ahmed Khan mosque and behind some privately owned plantations in Hampi. This particular temple is a big granite structure in its ruined form. Unlike many Hindu temples, this temple's tower is not decorated with plenty of carvings. There are only a few icons on the lintel and a Yali carved on the tower, and no other images on the tower and walls. Near this temple is a brick towered shrine. The nearest railway station, Hospet is well connected by railway routes. You can also conveniently get a bus to Hampi from Hospet.
Vittala TempleVittala Temple is the center of Hampi’s attractions and the most elegant architectural masterpiece of Hampi. Words are not enough to describe this spectacular architecture. The temple is built very hugely in a sprawling area with a compound wall and gateway towers. It is recorded that this temple was originally built in the 15th century AD.
You can reach Vittala temple by two ways. The first is by road and the second is by walking along the riverbank from Hampi Bazaar. You can also choose to take an auto rickshaw from the Hampi bus stand to Vittala temple and the fare is Rs.40. You could also first catch a local bus from Hampi bus stand to Kamalapura and then another one from Kamalapura to Vittala temple (yould could check with anyone at the Kamalapura bus stand to guide you to the right bus). The admission fee to this temple is Rs.10 for Indian citizens and USD 5 or equivalent for foreign tourists. Preserve this ticket as it can be used to enter the Zenena Enclosure area in the Royal Centre on the same day.
The famous tourist attraction, Zenana enclosure was once a secluded area especially meant for the royal women. This walled harem contains many interesting attractions. The main attraction is the Lotus Mahal situated at the southeast corner of the enclosure. The first thing that would catch the attention of tourists when they get inside is the pastel colored Lotus Mahal at the extreme right corner of the enclosure.
The entrance fee is USD 5 and equivalent for foreign tourists and for Indian citizens, the government offers a concession on the entrance ticket and charges only Rs.10. The admission for children who are below the age of 15 is free. The fee is Rs.25 for the usage of video camera. The opening hours of the enclosure are from 8.30am in the morning to 5.30pm in the evening. It would be the best idea to visit this place as soon as it opens in the morning. This is the only time when you can enjoy seeing the place undisturbed and photograph peacefully before a crowd forms slowly.
Noon in HampiAre you thinking about what to do next? Read on:
All Tribes Coffee Shop (step aside for coffee):It is time to have some great coffee at the All Tribes Coffee Shop, close to Funky Monkey restaurant. This is a wonderful, open, and cheap hangout cafe for travellers. You could meet and get to know nice and interesting local people here. This coffee shop serves coffee and indian tea, cookies, sweets and other items. In the daytime, many activities such as meditation, video screenings and camp fires take place here. There is also a fair trade shop here making this place even more family-friendly.
Archeological MuseumNear the All Tribes Coffee Shop at Kamalapura is a tiny but worthwhile museum. There are two scaled models of the Hampi topography and its different monuments here. There are four main sections in the museum. The first gallery displays the Hampi model mentioned above. In the second gallery, brass plates, arms, religious objects, armoury and copper plate grants are displayed. The third gallery exhibits ancient gold and copper currency coins of different denominations.
The entry fee is Rs.5 per head except for children up to 15 years who are admitted free. It would take you about 90 minutes approximately to complete a decent visit of this place. Photography is prohibited inside the galleries but you are allowed to photograph the exhibits in the outside lawn.
Mahanavami DibbaNext in line should be the Mahanavami Dibba which is the tallest structure in Hampi. This square structure can be accessed by two big staircases containing carvings of horses, elephants, and other carvings on the front side. The front part of the staircase is beautifully decorated whereas the twin staircase at the back portion is not that decorative. The top provides a full and magnificient view of the town. It is recorded that King Krishnadevaraya built this after his victory in Udayagiri (presently an area in Orissa).
Matanga HillFor all those who are nature fans, you must definitely visit the Matanga Hill for the beauty it has to offer. Large crowds gather here for the amazing view of the sunrise and sunset. This place is renowned for its mention in the epic Ramayana. It is a famous tourist destination today mainly because of its temples and trekking tracks. For trekking enthusiasts, there are many good trekking tracks around this hill, the most popular one being the north one starting from Hampi bazaar to Achyuta Raya Temple.
It is an added advantage that the entry to the Matanga Hill is free and easily accessible from all areas of Hampi. Since this hill is at the centre of Hampi and also the highest point, its top is the best place to get an astounding view of Hampi and its environment. A small note of caution to you: this is not a well-lit area, so consider carrying a small pocket torch with you. It is also not a good idea to loiter around at the top till every visitor has left the place.
Daroji Sloth Bear SanctuaryIf you are a lover of wildlife, you can now move on to visit the very unique Daroji Sloth Bear sanctuary which is located only 15 kilometers from Hampi in Kamlapur. This famous sanctuary is shelter for many free ranging sloth bears and the number of the sloth bears here is around 120. To reach Daroji Bear Sanctuary, first take a bus from Bangalore to Chitradurga (199km) on NH-4. Then, from there, take a bus to Hospet (135km) on NH-13. From Hospet, you can take a bus to Kamalapura (12km), then travel 10km towards the Sanctuary. The closest railway station is Hospet where trains from Bangalore and Hubli arrive at. The opening hours of this sanctuary are 9.30am to 6pm and July to March is the best time for sighting wildlife. Read more....
Evening Hours in HampiLet us now take some relaxing evening walks at the Tungabhadra dam Park.
Tungabhadra dam is located about 16km from Hampi and it is on the way to Hospet. It is best to visit the dam in the evening and stay till its dark to view the amazing lighting effects. There is no point in visiting it during the daytime. The Tungabhadra Dam and the gardens associated with it are beautiful and a great attraction. There is also a wonderful and colourful dancing fountain here. This dam is set up across the Tungabhadra river and it is a multi-purpose dam. The dam first collects rain water which is then sent from there to the canals. The storage capacity of the dam is 135 thousand million cubic feet and it is useful to provide electricity, prevent floods and also for irrigation of the land.
You have to park your vehicles at the entrance. There are auto-rickshaws available which can take you directly from Hampi to Tungabhadra dam base and the fare is Rs.400. However, you have to take a government bus to the top of the dam and also to return since autos are not allowed till the top of the dam. The government bus fare is Rs.20 for to and fro. So, if you need to catch your train/bus back from Hospet, you could visit the Tungabhadra dam and then return from Hospet. Instead of just waiting for the bus/train (which is typically at 10pm or 11pm), you can spend your time in a better way by visiting the Tungabhadra dam. It would take you around 45 minutes to 1 hour to see the Tungbhadra dam.
Raghunath TempleYou could also consider visiting the Raghunath temple in the evening. This is a major historic and religious sightseeing place. This shrine contains various architecturally rich sculptures carved on its boulder. The whole temple itself is built within the boulder and the major attractions are the whitewashed pillars at its centre. There is also a colonnade in front of the temple area, standing along the enclosure.
Night Stay in HospetThe following are the best places of accomodation in and around Hospet:
Address: J.N Road, Hospet
Phone: 08394 228101
Royal Orchid Central, Kireeti
Address: Near Railway Station, Hospet
Phone: 08394 300100
Address: Pampa Villa, IV Ward, S.P. Road, Hospet
Phone: 08394 220038
With this, our one-day trip within Hospet and Hampi is more or less complete. You can now take home many valuable memories and rich historical information!
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