Visit Hampi - Getting There
Planning to visit Hampi? It is one of south India's most stunning destinations, with a fascinating history and truly atmospheric landscape. This guide will give you useful advice on how to get there, and some ideas about where to stay in Hampi once you arrive. There is also a guide to the Hampi ruins, dramatically set over 26 square kms in the beautiful Karnatakan countryside.
Travelling From Goa
The easiest way to visit Hampi from Goa is by catching the train. Trains leave TUE, THUR, FRI and SUN from Margao on the VSG-Howrah Express (no.18048). Tickets can be bought at the station on your day of travel. Departure is at 07:45, so it is worth arriving an hour earlier to secure a ticket (and double checking train schedules on the enquiry section Indian Railway website before travel).
For peace of mind, some travellers prefer to book the train with a travel agent (there are plenty of these in Margao, Panaji, Calangute and at other tourist hotspots in the state). They will often charge a reasonable commission fee, but it is always worth checking a few to compare prices.
It will cost little more than R.200 for non-AC second class, and around R.700 for AC second class. The tinted windows in AC will somewhat obscure the views, despite offering a more relaxing journey. Bear in mind that you will be passing some stunning scenery on this 7 hour route, including the dramatic Dudhsagar Falls. Snacks and food will be available to buy on the train, but it is wise to take a little of your own also, as well as bottled water.
The train pulls in at Hospet Junction, and the onwards journey if you plan to stay in Hampi (13 kms away) must be undertaken by bus, rickshaw or taxi.
Returning to Margao, the train departs MON, TUE, THUR and SAT at 06:30 and takes about 9 hours, so you may need to spend a night in Hospet before travel. Alternatively you could catch the 17:20 train from Hospet to Hubli Junction (every day), then change on to the overnight 23:55 to Vasco Da Gama which stops in Margao at 05:15. The latter train runs only on Tuesday and Sunday, but this is a useful alternative if you find the direct train to be fully booked, or do not want an early departure.
Arranging a taxi to visit Hampi from Goa is far more expensive than the train, and the journey takes about the same time. Taking a public bus (leaving from Panaji) is very cheap, but the 9 or 10 hour journey will be a trial for all but the most hardened travellers. Travelling by coach is the next-best option to the train. You can get an overnight service from Margao where you will pay around R.700 for a sleeper berth. Be warned, coach journeys in India are never as smooth as the train (at best) and can be nightmarish (at worst).
Travelling From Elsewhere In India
If you are travelling from south India and plan to visit Hampi by train, you may want head to Karnataka's capital of Bangalore (Bengaluru) where there is a daily train departing at 21:15 and arriving in Hospet (the nearest rail-link to Hampi) at 06:50 the following day.
Hubli Airport (HBX) recieves direct flights from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai and is the closest popular air-link to Hampi, with trains continuing from Hubli to Hospet Junction daily, and taking a little under 3 hours.
The Hindu city of Vijayanagar (Hampi) can be fascinatingly compared with the Portuguese capital of Old Goa near Panaji in Goa - both of which were flourishing in the 16th Century.
Read more about travel to Hampi.
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