The laid back village of Hampi was the last capital of Vijayanagar, one of the greatest Hindu kingdoms in India's history. The city was planned out in neat grids, had a well thought of sewage system, bustling market place full of luxurious goods and magnificent palaces. What's left today are extremely captivating ruins dating back to the 14th century. They stretch for just over 25 kilometers and comprise more than 500 monuments. Moreover, the landscape is remarkable, with huge boulders standing against the blue skies.
Day 1 - Overnight Train
Today you take the air-conditioned sleeper train from Bangalore to Hospet.
Day 2 - Hampi
Arrive at Hospet railway station and transfer to your hotel in a village close to Hampi. Hampi is a small farming town in the state of Karnataka, nestled amongst mind-boggling ancient ruins and sculptures. The ruins are the remains of the old city of Vijayanagara, the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the early mornings and late afternoons, the combination of gentle light and striking landscape gives Hampi a special ambience that defies description.
Day 3 - Hampi
After breakfast, you'll spend the whole day exploring Hampi with your English-speaking guide. The ruins are spread across a large distance between massive rocks, banana plantations and bright green shrubs. The remains of the palaces and gates to the city tell a magical story and showcase the creativity of the emperor of Vijayanagara. You'll visit many extraordinary sites - the Temple of Malyavanta, Hampi Bazaar (a beautiful street in the days of the Vijayanagaran Empire), the Virupaksha Temple, the Ugra Narasimha Burial Mound and the Vithala Temple complex with its 56 musical columns. At the end of the day, you'll be dropped off at your village or the resort. There's nothing planned for the evening, so you'll have plenty of time to explore. You'll get a real taste of Indian rural living, with buffalo carts, cows and goats, roaming everywhere. Sunsets here are wonderful, so do take a walk up a hillock to enjoy this magical sight or enjoy a coracle ride on the river.
Day 4 - Hampi
Today is completely free and there's plenty to discover in this little town before you head back to Goa. Hampi was once a huge capital city in the Vijaynagaran Empire, larger at that time than Paris or London. Like Fatehpur Sikri in the north, it has been deserted for centuries. One of the most famous ruins is the massive stone carriage that is parked in front of an impressive gallery of decorated pillars, each sculpted from a single block of stone. Alternatively, hire a bicycle or scooter and head for the dam, jumping into the clear blue waters from the overhanging boulders.
Day 5 - Goa
After breakfast this morning, you'll say farewell to unforgettable Hampi, and set off on a 7 hours drive to the former Portuguese colony of Goa. Your tour ends on arrival in Goa. You can extend your holiday by staying in Goa - A Tropical Paradise.