Introduction: Hospet, a small dusty town in Northern Karnataka, was once the seat of the powerful Vijayanagar Empire. Though the town does not have much to offer the visitors, its importance lies in its nearness to Hampi, the erstwhile capital of the Vijayanagar rulers. There was a time when Hampi was the epitome of architectural wonders. Most of the great buildings of this place are now in ruins, though UNESCO and the Archaeological Survey of India have tried their best to recreate the original charm of the place. Hospet is the ideal base for tourists visiting Hampi and other nearby places. Description: Hospet, the site where the great Vijaya Nagara Kingdom was situated lies about 13 km from Hampi in the state of Karnataka, India. It is also reachable from Bangalore, capital city of Karnataka, placed 350 km away from Hospet. As has been called the gateway to Hampi, Hospet stands proud of the Tungabhadra Dam which keeps the river Tungabhadra from being devastating and befitting to the peoples in generating power. There is a garden in the Japanese style at the base of the Dam which is a popular travel attraction of this historical city of Hospet.
Hospet Quick facts
Best time to visit Hospet
The ideal time to travel to Hospet is September to February.
How to reach Hospet by Road
Hospet is well connected to all the major cities of Karnataka. Transport buses from the capital city Bangalore are regular to Hospet. Bangalore is around 350 Km from here. Hampi is among the most important travel destination in Karnataka which is only 13 km from here. Hospet thus is the best place from where you can head to Hampi.
How to reach Hospet by Rail
There is a railway station in Hospet itself. It receives regular trains from Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad and Hubli. Railway station is situated close to the city center.
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How to reach Hospet by Air
The nearest airport to Hospet is in Bellary which is at a distance of 77 Km. Bellary is one of the most importnat airports in Karnataka and is served by service of all major operators like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Deccan. From the airport you can hire a taxi to Hospet. It will take around 2 hrs to cover the distance. There are KSRTC buses as well that ply between these cities.
Hospet Festivals and culture
Hospet Religious Places
Harihar Harihar is a temple attraction situated on the banks of Tungabhadra River. It is believed that taking bath in Tungabhadra River on the ghats of Harihar, will relieve you of all your past sins. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Harihareshwar which was built in the year 1223. The architecture of the temple is in Hoysala style. The temple is the main attraction of the town. Other attraction of the town is an archaeological museum. The museum displays traces of wars that took place here, ancient coins and manuscripts. Himavat Kedaya waterfall is a popular picnic spot among the locales and is worth a visit for its scenic beauty and pleasant atmosphere. VITHALA TEMPLE A World Heritage Site, the temple is located 2 km east of Hampi Bazaar. It was built in the 16th century and displays the architectural splendour acquired by the artisans of Vijayanagar Empire. There are beautiful carvings on the walls of the temple and its columns are so balanced that they have musical qualities. RAGHUNATH TEMPLE Located on a hilltop, the Raghunath Temple is known for its Dravidian style, excellent views from the rock above at sunset, and tranquil environment. VIRUPAKSHA TEMPLE - Hospet One of the oldest monuments in the town, this 15th-century Virupaksha Temple is part of the Hampi Bazaar area. The principal deity is Virupaksha, one of the many forms of Lord Shiva. Rising to a height of 50 metres from the ground, the temple belongs to the later Vijayanagar period, though many shrines inside the temple are much older. Most of the stone carvings are larger than life in size, as for instance the Nandi on the eastern end and Ganesha on southern end. There is also a 6.7-metre-high image of Narasimha, the half-man and half-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu, as well as a huge lingam, the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva with its base in water. ACHYUTRAYA TEMPLE It is a large temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu, whose image has been shown in a reclining position on the coils of a snake (Sheshnag).
LOTUS MAHAL The Lotus Mahal is an exquisite pavilion located in the walled area of zenana near Hazara Ram Temple. The pavilion derives its name from the lotus bud thatiscarved on its dome and vaulted ceiling. A fine blend of Indo-Islamic architecture, it was used by the women of the royal family living in the Queen\?s Palace to disport themselves in the water pavilion within their protected enclosure. The structure is later became a model for Mughal monuments in Agra with some modifications VIJAYANAGAR EMPIRE Founded by the legendary brother princes Harihara and Bukka in 1336, the Vijayanagar Empire was once the mightiest kingdom of the South. It looks quite strange that a kingdom can perfect the art of building construction while fighting throughout their reign. The empire reached its height during the reign of Krishnadevraya (1509-29), a legendary king who controlled the entire peninsula south of Krishna and Tungabhadra Rivers, barring some area on the Malabar cost. The kingdom had a continued source of income from the spice trade to the south. A confederacy of Deccan rulers including that of Bidar, Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmednagar, and Berar attacked Vijayanagar in 1565 leading to the sudden end of this mighty empire
Hospet Entertainment and Night Life
Kidding around Hospet
Mysore : Tourist on their way to Hospet have the pleasure of visiting Mysore in Karnataka, the imperial city and the erst while capital of the Woodeyers. Popular as the city of palaces Mysore mesmerises its visitors with the magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens and the imposing structures. Ruled by the once great Tipu Sultan, Mysore emerged as a thriving market for sandalwood and stone sculptures in Karnataka India. A little away from Hospet lies the Tungabhadra Dam (6 km), which was completed in 1953 to provide electricity for irrigation in the surrounding districts. It is a major picnic spot today with a deer park, aviary, and ornamental gardens.
Hospet Museum and Hill Stations
HAMPI Many of the travelers, who come to Hospet, are here to visit the World Heritage Site of Hampi. Hampi is among the most visited site in entire Karnataka. Hampi is the second largest World Heritage Site. Hampi has many times been referred to as the most beautiful ruins in India. Hampi was once the capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagara. Hampi was attacked by Muslim ruler and many parts of the city and temples got destroyed. Still many of the magnificent temples remain and continue to mesmerize its onlookers. The main attractions in Hampi are Vithala temple, Hazara Rama Temple, Ugra Narasimha and Stone Chariot. In Vithala Temple there is a hall that has 56 pillars which produce sounds. Just tap them gently and the sound echoes inside the hall. For all enthusiastic travelers, Hampi is a must visit. CHITRADURGA FORT - Hospet The fort is situated at Chitradurga around 290 km south of Hospet on the Bangalore-Hospet road. Also known as the Fort of Seven Rounds, it was built in the 17th century by the Nayak Poligars, the wealthy semi-independent landlords who fled south after the collapse of the Vijayanagar Empire in 1565. Haider Ali later crushed the Poligars and captured the fort. He replaced the mud fort with stone and later his son Tipu Sultan built a palace, granaries, oil pits, and a mosque in it. MUSEUM & ART GALLERY The museum run by the Archaeological Survey of India has a very good collection of sculptures belonging to the Vijayanagar Empire. It is situated at Kamalapuram, a small village near Hampi.
Hospet Travel Tips
Tourist importance of Hospet lies in its proximity to Hampi, the site of the medieval Vijayanagar Empire. Though the place of Hospet is not so large yet, the place has some of the best hotel that provides furnished accommodation to its visitors. The nearest airport is situated at Bellary about 75 km from the place of Hospet. The Bangalore and Belgaum airport is placed about 350 kms and 200 kms.