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Things To Do In Hospet
Hospet in Karnataka may provide the gateway to the World Heritage Sites at Hampi, but the city does not run short of its own treasures that might interest the tourists. Go ahead and enjoy what Hospet has to offer, be it a bustling night life, neighbouring towns that can be explored on a one day trip or weekend getaways trekking up the hills, or coracling down the rivers. Hospet combines an old world charm with a urbane setting keeping in tandem with the flow of tourists from all over the world on their way to Hampi.
Here's a list of things you can do in Hospet and its vicinity.
According to mythology, Anegundi was the Kishkinda kingdom ruled by the monkey king Vali and later by his brother Sugreeva. During the Vijayanagara rule, Anegundi was used as the bathing area of the royal elephants. Visit the Ganesh and Durga temples inside the Anegundi Fort and the Lakshmi and Shiva temples by the lotus laden Pampa Sarovar Lake, the ruined Aramane or palace and the village of Nimvapuram which has a heap of ash assumed to be the remains of monkey King Vali and the tomb of King Krishnadeva Raya.
Tour the Island of Nava Brindavan
Nava Brindavana is a tiny island on the Tungabhadra River, near Anegundi. The Nava Brindavana contains the Brindavanas or tombs of Nine Madhwa Saints. The Brindavana has temples for Ranganatha and Hanuman, which are said to have been installed by Vyasaraja. Ferries to the Brindavana are available from Talagarighatta Gate in Hampi or Gangavathi.
Pujas are held in the morning and the Shri Ragavendra Mutt can make arrangements for lunch and stay with prior intimation. If you are travelling in summer, carry water bottles along.
The Hampi Archaeological Museum exhibits a model of the topography of Hampi, along with sculptures and statues salvaged from the ruins at Hampi; coins and weapons used during the Vijayanagara reign, Sati and Hero Stones and relics of the oldest prehistoric settlements of Anegundi. The Museum is at Kamalapura, about 11 km from Hospet. The Museum is open from 10.00am-5.00pm daily, excluding Fridays and National Holidays.
Roam the Tungabhadra Gardens
Spend a quiet evening at the Tungabhadra Dam, watching the sunset from the top of the hill.You can also visit the musical fountain, the small aquarium, the deer park, the gardens or go paddle boating on the lake with the kids. The vast expanse of water at 378 sq kms that irrigates the paddy fields of Bellary, Raichur and Koppal district looks most spectacular.
It’s amazing to watch the beautiful sight of the dam as the flood gates are opened, accompanied by special lighting effects on the 15th of August. When you visit the dam, you might have some walking along to do, so carry a water bottle and some bites.
Trek up the Anjanadri Hill, which is believed to be the birthplace of Hanuman. Climb up the 500-600 steps to reach the small temple at the top. You can see the Rushyamukha hill peak, the Tungabhadra River meandering over the plains, the fields of lush paddy watered by the Tungabhadra and the ruins of Hampi not far away. Tourists prefer a morning or evening trek up the hill, for the sunrise or sunset beyond the yonder hills is amazing to watch. You will find plenty of monkeys around.
Anjanadri Hill lies about 3 km from Anegundi.
Hampi is one of the most sought after rock climbing destinations of India. You find large smooth free standing rocks in Mathanga and Hemakuta Hills and near Malyavantha Raghunatha and Tiruvengalantha Temples, ideal for bouldering and rock climbing. Rock climbing enthusiasts from across the world find the rocks of Hampi most suitable for scrambling up and about.
There are climbing shops that rent out rock climbing gear, hold climbing sessions and offer you professional guidance. Otherwise you could join a group of climbers.
The Hampi Bazaar is the prototypical shopper’s paradise. You find a variety of souvenirs to take home. You can buy small goods like purses and slippers of leather, stone crafts, banana fibre bags, Lambani embroidered clothes, hand crafted wooden musical instruments etc at the Hampi Bazaar near Virupaksha Temple. If you are travelling around Hospet, check out the ever so beautiful lightweight wooden Kinnal Toys of Koppal district (31 km from Hospet). At Hospet you can buy wood carvings with inlays, metal idols and lamps, perfumes and sandalwood oils.
Hampi Utsav or Vijaya Utsav is one of the most extravagant gala festivals of Karnataka. Said to have been celebrated from the time of the Vijayanagara reign, the fest of music, dance and drama draws visitors and participants from all over India and the world. Usually held in winter, the Utsav celebrates art and culture in all its glory. There are sound and light shows, a variety of cultural programs, photography and painting exhibits, rural sports and puppet shows. Dance and music shows are held in various venues of Hampi with the whole area spruced up for the occasion, there are horse and elephant procession like in the days of the kings and there is more shopping to be done in the markets of Hampi.
Hospet’s tourism is predominantly an explorative one. What with trudging up and down the ruins of Hampi or coracling down the Tungabhadra, one might need a break from the hectic schedule. Visit a movie theatre or go to a restaurant for a late night dinner. You’ll find a good number of restaurants and bars like the Waves at Hospet. If you’re spending the night out at Hampi, you have more choice of restaurants that stay up till 11.00 pm at night; like the Mango Tree or Ganesh Chillout.