Tourism in HospetLocated twelve kilometres from Hampi, Hospet is a major tourist attraction in India. This is because Hampi is famous for its historical heritage and carries the pride of being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the cultural and historical remains are still present in Hospet too and it was once an important seat of the Vijaynagar empire. History says, Portuguese traveler Paes praised the Vijaynagar empire and compared it with Rome. People from across the globe flock to Hospet to visit the ruins depicting splendid art and architecture.
Apart from being close to Hampi, Hospet has other interesting places for tourists. The Lotus Mahal, the Tungabhadra Dam, the Royal Palace and the Fish Aquarium are some of the famous visitor attractions. There is also plenty of wildlife to be observed in Hospet too. Chakra Vana, Nandanavana park and Shri Ramulu Park are some the greatest places to spot wildlife. Daroji Bear Sanctuary near Bellary is voted by tourists as the best wildlife sanctuary near Hospet.
Tourist Places to See in HospetThis small city of Hospet is an admirable place with many tourist spots. Some of the best examples of rich architecture are seen here.
Tungabhadra Dam: Created by Dr. Thirumalai Iyengar, an architect marvel from Chennai, is one of the major attractions in the city. With a storgae capacity of over 130 thousands million cubic feet, this dam is built across Tungabhadra river and serves multiple purposes like irrigation, electricity and flood control.
Chitradurga or Kallina Kote: Also known as the 'Palace of Stone', it means 'picturesque fort' in Kannada. There are seven big walls built across each of the gates with interconnected tank in between to harvest rain water and supply irrigation.
Queen's Bath is a perfect example of the ancient artisans' creativity and amazing craftsmanship. This ancient bath is constructed over a large area of fifteen meters. It has been built beautifully consisting of a gallery, verandas, hanging Rajasthani balconies and steps leading to the water body. Hence the bath is also called the Stepped Bath. History says that there was a waterfall in the bath that poured perfumed cool water through an underground drain. However, currently, only some of these structures are in a mediocre condition, while others have been totally ruined.
Lotus Mahal, as the name implies, is known for the carving of a lotus bud on its dome. Historians have discovered that this Mahal was the socializing area for the royal family's women. This very rare secular structure is located near the Hazara Ram temple. This structure was built using lime mortar and brick. The decoration carvings are a mixture of Hindu and Muslim styles.
Virupaksha Temple: This is a World Heritage Site, listed down by the UNESCO and an important center of religious devotion in Hampi. From the carvings made on the temple walls, historians made out that it was built in the 8th and the 9th century, the tiime when Chalukyas and Hoysalas ruled the region. It is said the construction of the temple began in 1513 but was destroyed in 1565 before it's completion.
Another famous places to visit in Hospet are;
- M.J. Nagar Park
- Tungabhadra (T.B.) Dam Zoo & Park
- The Royal Palace
- King’s Balance
- Raghunath Temple
- Hazara Rama Temple
Things To Do in Hospet
Eating Out in HospetApart from being well known for its historical and religious places, Hospet is also famous for its traditional food dishes. Rice, the staple food, is prepared in various manners. Specialized local dishes are obtained at almost every eating outlet in Hospet. Chole Bhature, Puri Aloo and Vangibath are some of the popular items in the city. Hospet also specializes in sweets such as Gajar ka halwa and Monng dal halwa. Amruth Refreshments and Shanbagh Hotel are good vegetarian restaurants serving tasty varieties. Bellary Biryani Paradise is a very famous non-vegetarian restaurant serving the best biryani in the city.
Best Places to StayHospet has comfortable luxury places at reasonable costs, affordable to almost everyone. Hotel Malligi at 10/90, J.N. Road has excellent facilities and is reasonably priced. Vijayshree Resort & Heritage Village is a heritage resort at V.R. Bhurat Nagari, Hampi Road. It has a whole arena of culture and heritage inside it. Shanbhag Towers International is another good place of accommodation at Shanbhag Circle, College Road. This is a decent hotel close to Hampi with great ambience.
Shopping in HospetAll the items available in Hospet symbolize the ancient days. Hand-crafted items such as beads, pendants, screens, carved tables and caskets are bought the most by tourists. Perfumed items such as sandalwood sculptures, sandalwood panels, perfumes and incense sticks are also loved by tourists. Handlooms like Bijapur Handlooms and jewellery like Lambani Jewellery are also famous here. Those who like local historical artifacts find Hospet a paradise. Andhra Handloom House, Karnataka Handlooms and Tamil Nadu Cooptex are popular handloom shops here. When it comes to shopping for groceries or household products, the Tungabhadra Departmental Stores is the biggest in Hospet. Continue reading...
Getting Around in HospetTo travel locally within Hospet, tourists can avail readily available taxis. Normally, taxis charge Rs. 1100 for 100km. If the travel exceeds 100km, taxi drivers charge Rs.6/km. The taxi drivers here are well behaved, helpful and friendly. There is also the option to rent cars for local transport. There are many car rental companies in Hampi/Hospet. SRB Travels (firstname.lastname@example.org) is famous among them.
Also See: Transportation Facilities in Hospet
Things to RememberWhen visiting Hospet, one must not miss to do the following things:
1) Tourists must visit Hampi to make the most of their trip. Since Hampi is a world famous heritage site, there are very frequent buses from Hospet. From Bay 10, the bus stand has buses to Hampi for every half-hour. The travel time is 30 minutes and the bus fare is only Rs.10.
2) No visitor must fail to taste the delicious meals of Udupi Sri Krishna Bhavan. This restaurant is just opposite to the Bus Stand and the opening hours are 6am-11pm. This restaurant is extremely hygienic. Delicious varieties of Indian vegetarian food can be bought for prices as low as Rs.40-45.
How to get ThereBy Air: Hospet city does not have any airport. The closest airport is the Hubli Airport (136km). Next to it is the Sambre airport in Belgaum (210km). Flights are available everyday from main cities like Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram.
By Train: There are easily available regular trains to Hospet from major cities of the country such as Bangalore, Mysore, Goa and Secunderabad. Hospet junction is the railway station in Hospet.
By Bus: There are regular buses from other major cities of the country like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Belgaum to Hospet. Hospet Bus Station and the Hospet (bye pass) Bus Station are the main bus stations in the city.
Best Time to goBased on the climatic conditions of the city, the best time to plan a tour to Hospet is from September to February. The climate is pleasant during this period. Most of the sight-seeing can also be done favourably during these months.
For more information about tourism in Hospet, contact the following Tourist office:
KSTDC Transport Wing, Regional Tourist Office
K.R.K. Residency Complex
Phone: 08394-221 008, 08970650037
Open hours: 10.00am to 6.00pm