Road Trip
to Hampi

From Goa's beaches, to Karnataka's temple towns, this drive has everything

Most travellers are known to attempt the Bengaluru-Goa drive in one stretch. The only common factor between them and this drive is the word ‘stretch’. This circuit encourages you to lounge, sun bathe, relax and, yes, stretch at some of the most beautiful beaches in India. And while Goa’s pristine beaches will offer plenty of relaxation and fun activities, the cultural aspect of this drive will be fulfilled by visits to some of Karnataka’s most prominent temple towns.

Route:Bengaluru-Mangalore (365 km)-Udupi (55 km)-Maravanthe (55 km)-Murudeshwar(49 km)-Gokarna (79 km)-Karwar (58 km)-Panjim (107 km)-Dharwad (164 km)-Hampi (180 km)-Bengaluru (340 km)
Total distance:1,452 km
Time:14 days
States:Karnataka & Goa

DAY 1-2

Distance:365 km
Time:7 hours

The traffic in Bengaluru can test the stoicism of even the most patient soul. It is best to exit the city as early as possible, especially since it is a long drive to Mangalore. Carry a packed breakfast or wait till you reach Sravanabelagola to eat a heavy brunch. Follow the NH48 westwards out of the city past Malleswaram. Continue on it for about 128 km until you reach Mattanavile. Then take the SH47 to Sravanabelagola. This town has been a centre of Jain religion, art and architecture for over 2,000 years. The first Indian emperor, Chandragupta Maurya, made his retreat here after relinquishing his empire to his son and undertaking a fast unto death in accordance with the Jain tradition, over 2,300 years ago. The Chandragiri hill in this town has the older and richer monuments. A little lower down the hill, within an old stone wall, are 16 monuments, 13 of which are temples of Jain tirthankaras. The oldest temples date to the 8th century CE and the earliest inscriptions to at least the 6th century CE. The larger hill, Vindhyagiri, has the famous statue of Bahubali at its summit with a temple around it and several smaller temples below. The statue is supposed to have been consecrated in 983 CE. An elegant three-celled temple, 572 steps up, stands on a high terrace buttressed by slabs of rock. This is the Odegala Basadi with images of the tirthankaras – Adinatha, Neminatha and Santinatha. It is another 100-odd steps to the top of the hill and there are smaller shrines and many structures along the path. After a climb of a few more steps you come to the quadrangle where Gommatesvara stands. He is sculpted with all the mahapurusha lakshana (signs of a great man) such as long earlobes, broad shoulders and long arms. The expression of peace on his face is worth travelling a long way to see. Sravanabelagola is a vegetarian town. Hotel Raghu is a reasonable place for refreshments, with tiffin and thalis. There is a Jain Dosa Palace on the northern end of the tank, with much the same rates. Jain food is available at the Digambara Jain (SDJMIMC) temple hostel. After a bout of sightseeing and a heavy brunch, take the SH8 to rejoin the NH48, and follow it to Mangalore.

Of Temples and Churches

Religion dominates society in the primarily agrarian district of Mangalore. There are exquisite temples as well as churches to explore here, in addition to the pristine beaches, which now attract a steady stream of visitors.

Things to See & Do

The main beaches in Mangalore are Tannirubavi (12 km), Panambur (14 km) and Surathkal (17 km) to the north, and Someshwar (11 km) to the south. Ullal is a small town that boasts of Someshwar Beach. Located right in the centre of the city, on the campus of St Aloysius College on Light House Hill Road, is a chapel that was built in 1900. A series of paintings cover every inch of its roof and walls. Built in 1680, the Milagres Church was razed by Tipu Sultan. Rebuilt twice after, its frontage is modelled on St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Rosario Cathedral is the city’s oldest cathedral, built in 1568 by the Portuguese. The ornate wooden pulpit with images of the Evangelists and Mary and Jesus is superb. On the Kadri Hills within Mangalore city lies the Kadri Manjunatha Temple, dating back to 1068 CE. The caves atop Kadri Hill are popularly known as the caves of the Pandavas. The Sharavu Maha Ganapathi Temple, dating back seven centuries, hosts Yakshagana performances, the dance drama famous in the Canara region. The Talamaddlay performance, a narrated drama, is free to watch. Built by King Kundavarma on the advice of two sages, the Sri Mangaladevi Temple comes alive in a celebration that takes place during Navaratri in October.


Distance:55 km
Time:1 hour

After spending two nights in Mangalore, take the NH17 to Udupi.

Temple Town

The word ‘Udupi’ has two origins: Udupati, which means Lord Shiva who wears the moon, or a place situated on the edge of rice fields. Both are accurate.

Things To See and Do

Ananteshwar and Chandramoulishwar are Udupi’s grandfather temples, and ceremonies at the famous Krishna Temple begins with a visit to them. Non-Hindus are not allowed near the main sanctum Pajaka is the house where the philosopher Madhavacharya was born, and is worth a visit. Traces of his life and times still exist there. Located 6 km from Udupi is Manipal. This town and education hub lives the high life of student culture. But tradition also has a strong voice in Manipal. Hast Shilpa is a stunning wooden house housing antiques from across the country. About one kilometre from Hast Shilpa, the Heritage Village is enriched by the 600-year-old houses such as the Jungama Mutt Puchamoru, Hungarkatta Bandsale Mane and the early 19th-century Kunjur Chowkimane. This place holds Vijaynath Shenoy’s ‘collection’ of old houses. Through the trust, he rescued, relocated and restored 26 houses. The trust has set up a museum of folk arts. Contact Vijaynath Shenoy (Tel: 0820- 2572061) for more information.


Distance:55 km
Time:1 hour

After a night in Udupi, continue down the NH17 and NH66 to Maravanthe.

Sandy Shores

Maravanthe offers something few other places in India can lay claim to: a beautiful, non-touristed beach. There are no sun umbrellas here, no vendors or shacks. Just the quiet beach and solitude. Weekdays are especially peaceful.

Things to See & Do

Most hotels offer boat rides on the Arabian Sea; usually, these rides are to an unnamed island in the sea, roughly 5 km from the shore, which has an abandoned lighthouse and a beach. The Turtle Bay Resort arranges snorkelling and scuba diving trips around Netrani Island. For the boat ride, tourists are first taken on a 45-min drive either to Bhatkal or Murudeshwar, and from there ferried on boats to the island. Kanchugodu Village provides a glimpse of the lives of fisherfolk. The whole community gathers by the coast in the morning when the fishermen take to the sea. Locals here believe that the Sowparnika river, which flows down from the Kodachadri Hills, carries with it the essence of 64 medicinal herbs. Hence, a dip in the river is said to cleanse all ailments. During the ride, also look out for Padukone Village, the Maharajaswamy Temple and Kodachadri Hills. Kodi, Koravadi and Beejady beaches can be reached from the town of Kundapur (19 km). Kinara Restaurant, popular with the locals, is situated at Kodi. Koravadi and Beejady are wonderful stretches of sand with few visitors. There are no eateries here, so carry snacks. The two beaches are considered safe for a swim


Distance:49 km
Time:1 hour

Enjoy the pristine beach at Maravanthe, and after a peaceful night at one of the resorts here, head northwards on the NH17 to Murudeshwar.

Things To See and Do

Murudeshwar’s main attractions are the Murudeshwar Temple and Statue Park. The latter is a theme park built on Kandukagiri hillock, centred on mythological characters such as Arjuna and Krishna. The complex also houses the town’s tallest claim to fame – all a 123-ft-high Shiva statue. This colossal tribute to the lord was sculpted over two years. Additionally, visitors can also head to Murudeshwar Beach to splash around or enjoy watersports.

DAY 6-7

Distance:79 km
Time:2 hours

The next day, continue northwards on the NH17 to Gokarna.

Hippie Paradise

The rocky cliffs interspersed between the picturesque beaches in Gokarna present a unique geography. This temple town boasts some of the most beautiful beaches on this drive. Small and isolated by the ghats rising around them, they have begun, over the years, to attract those wearying of the crowds across the border in Goa.

Things To See and Do

Gokarna’s four beaches are its popular attractions. Kudle Beach is a fine stretch of sand that is closest to the town. To reach the Half Moon and Paradise beaches, be prepared for a long walk from Om Beach, or you can also take a motorboat from another beach. Few Indian tourists come this way. There are shacks offering accommodation and cafés on all the beaches. Apart from the beaches, the well-known centuries old Mahabaleshwara Temple in Gokarna Town is popular with tourists. The Maha Ganapathy Temple is just around the corner. There are also many Brahmin dwellings around the Koti Theerta tank. Some of these are over a hundred years old and worth a visit.


Distance:58 km
Time:1 hour 40 mins

Spend two days in Gokarna and then continue on the NH17 to Karwar.

Seafood Central

This seaside town offers a host of attractions for tourists, including its pretty coast and a plethora of seafood. Rabindranath Tagore Beach, named after the great poet whose first play was written during his stay at Karwar, is today the nucleus of the town’s social life. There is also a Naval Museum and an aquarium close by. The Vithoba-Rakhumai Temple, built in 1603, is close to the bus stand. The Dattatreya Temple at Baad, around a century old, has an old-world charm. The Muralidhara Mutt at Kodibagh has a tiled roof, carved pillars and airy courtyards. A morning walk across the Kali River Bridge is quite refreshing. Sadashivgad Hill, at the northern end of the bridge, is a popular hangout.

DAY 9-11

Distance:107 km
Time:3 hours

Spend the night in Karwar and then continue on the NH17 to the Goan capital, Panjim.

Slice of Portugal

In Panjim, the river meets the ocean; as does the old and the new. The River Mandovi flows along Panjim from Ribandar and the Ponte de Linhares, before it empties out into the blue waters of the Arabian Sea at Campal. Then the ocean takes over, curling around the shores of Panjim all the way from Campal to Dona Paula and the Taleigao Plateau, creating lovely little coves and beaches at Miramar, Caranzalem, the Dona Paula Cove, Hawaii Beach and Orchel. When Old Goa grew unsanitary with disease and death in the 18th century, the Portuguese decided to shift the capital to Panjim, ‘the land that never gets flooded’. They pulled down the magnificent structures of Old Goa, built in Portugal’s heyday, and carried the stones to Panjim, where they set up less impressive structures. Panjim was bestowed the status of ‘city’ on 22nd March, 1843 and was renamed ‘Nova Goa’ or New Goa. Today’s Panjim is a city struggling to come to terms with the modern; reluctant to let go of the past with heritage areas like Fontainhas and Campal contrasting with areas like MG Road and Patto Plaza.

Things To See and Do

Panjim is a walker’s paradise – there are tree-lined roads, jetties and promenades and the best walking areas are any of the quiet lanes on Altinho. In Panjim, all roads lead to the Church Square, dominated by the towering Immaculate Conception Church at the heart of Panjim, so this is a good place to begin. The Municipal Garden, facing the church, is great for a stroll. Emidio Garcia Road goes behind the church to the left, leading straight to the heritage precinct of Fontainhas and continuing down to the Ourem Creek, where it meets the Rua de Ourem, which runs down to the Patto Bridge. The next left from the church is Boca de Vaca Road, which leads up to the Mahalaxmi Temple, the Boca de Vaca Spring.

DAY 12

Distance:164 km
Time:4 hours

Spend three days taking in the sights of Goa. You can make day trips to the northern beaches, or choose to stay in the peaceful southern beaches. Don’t forget to try some traditional Goan cuisine. On the afternoon of the fourth day, take the NH4A and SH34 to Dharwad.

The Sound of Music

Dharwad means a place to stop during a journey, derived from the Sanskrit words dwar (door) and wata (town), which perhaps also indicates that the town separated the hills from the plains. More or less equidistant from both Panjim and Hampi, it’s the logical place to spend a night en route but, unfortunately, does not offer very much more. Despite its rich cultural history – Dharwad was where some of the biggest names in Hindustani classical music, including Mallikarjun Mansur, Gangubai Hangal and Bhimsen Joshi lived, and it was also home to numerous writers and poets, including Dr Bendre – the town’s potential for tourism remains underdeveloped. Still, for those willing to brave its dense traffic and interested in uncovering the moments of history hidden in narrow lanes, Dharwad could become more than just a night halt.

Things To See and Do

If, as is likely, you have limited time in Dharwad, the best excursion would be a walk or drive through the 750 acres of Karnataka University, along the western edge of the city on Chhota Mahabaleshwar Hill. Established in 1949, the university’s grounds are delightfully shaded, and paths lead away from the campus buildings to patches of green along the edges of the hill, from where you can see the town spread out below. Dharwad’s pedas are justly famous, and Babusingh’s Thakur Peda their most well-known provider. They have shops in Line Bazaar and on Station Road, and their pre packed boxes of the soft milk sweets don’t stay on the shelves too long. Also try Mishra’s Best Peda on Subhash Road. Dharwad produces the distinctively embroidered Kasurti saris, available at Kanchan Silk Saris and Mehta Sari Kendra, both in Line Bazaar.

DAY 13

Distance:180 km
Time:4 hours

After a music-filled evening, and a restful night, leave Dharwad early in the morning to make the most of Hampi. The NH63, via Hospet, leads straight to Hampi.

Rock of Ages

Born out of a resurgent Hinduism determined to prevent the incursions of the Delhi Sultanate into the Deccan, the Vijayanagara Kingdom took root in Hampi. In all, 23 kings from four dynasties ruled the land over a period of 300 years. Krishnadevaraya and his half-brother, Achyutaraya were its most legendary monarchs. They were finally defeated in the battle of Talikota in 1564-65, which resulted in mass-scale pillaging of Hampi. Over the last century, pillaging of a different kind has made Unesco declare Hampi a ‘World Heritage in Danger’. Hampi is spread over 18 km, with the rocky terrain and the surrounding hillocks making it an ideal defensive location. This was a dry, hilly area that faced a scarcity of water. The kingdom therefore invested in tank and canal irrigation; water was diverted from the Tungabhadra transforming the land into a city capable of supporting a large populace.

Things To see and Do

Along the riverside, the sacred centre comprises temple complexes such as the ancient Virupaksha Temple, and those dedicated to Pattibhirama, Raghunatha, Balakrishna and Vittala. The distinctiveness of the Vijayanagara style of building lay in the construction of mandapas and huge gopurams called rayagopurams. Hemakuta Hill, to Virupaksha’s right, has many temples and offers views of the entire complex. There is a small museum near the base of the Matanga Hill, which houses an exhibition of 60 enlarged photographs of Hampi, taken in 1853 by a British photographer. There is another set of photographs, taken 130 years later (from the same angles), by an Australian photographer.Take the Chariot Road (Ratha Veedhi) at the base of Matanga Hill. En route is the Kodanda Rama Temple, about 60 ft above the rippling Tungabhadra. Bathe your feet in the simulated whirlpool below, called the Chakra Thirtha. Here you will find 5-foot idols in the Temple of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, carved out of a single rock. Vittala Temple’s construction began in 1513 under Krishnadevaraya, but was never completed. It is a lovely place with halls, a beautifully-carved stone chariot in its courtyard and slender pillars that emit musical tones when tapped. Krishna Temple was also built by Krishnadevaraya in 1513. Down the road to Kamlapura is the Badavi Lingawhich means ‘small’ or ‘poor’ linga, but the structure is actually 12-ft tall. At the Royal Centre you will find palaces,zenanasand baths, as well as the Hazara Rama Temple meant for royal worship. The most imposing structure is the 14th-century Mahanavami Dibba, a massive platform with roughly hewn masonry, but neat joints and fine carving. Walk around the Lotus Mahal and the Elephant Stables here. These buildings are fine examples of Indo-Muslim architecture. In the Lotus Mahal, for instance, the arches are distinctively cusped and itschhajjasor window awnings bracketed. Even the Elephant Stables have a dome over each individual stall. There is a water pavilion close by, called the Queen’s Bath. Hampi’s huge rocks are also a hotspot for bouldering. The main climbing hangout is Goan Corner. Kishkinda Trust offers equipment and instructors.

DAY 14

Distance:340 km
Time:7 hours

After a day or two, drive back to Bengaluru on the NH13 and NH4.

The Route

For the most part, this route follows the coastal NH17 (Mangalore-Panjim). You reach Mangalore via the NH48 and you exit Panjim on the NH4A. From Dharwad, the NH4 leads to Hubli from where you have to take the NH63 to Hampi. The NH13 and the NH4 lead back to Bengaluru from Hampi.

Tips and Tricks

This is a relaxing and enjoyable driving experience, though likely to begin on a chaotic note. Unless you leave before dawn, you’ll find that the NH4 (Tumkur Road), which leads out of Bengaluru, is jammed with trucks and swathed in dust and exhaust fumes. Don’t let the frustration of prolonged immobility get to you, however. The real drive begins the minute you turn off at Nelamangala onto NH48. This is a smooth road that becomes increasingly picturesque, particularly when, post Hassan, it begins to climb through hilly coffee plantations. The next stretch, along the coast on NH17, is pure leisure. The road allows acceleration, so you’re completely in control of how slowly or rapidly you want to go from one stop to the next. Both entering and exiting, Goa (along NH17 and NH4A respectively) requires more concentration: the roads are good, but hilly. On the way in, the road rises and falls regularly, which means driving with your foot almost always on the clutch, while the exit is a prolonged and steep climb through the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary – watch out for many hairpin bends and the possibility of wild animals crossing the road. Unfortunately, NH63, which leads from Dharwad’s twin town Hubli to Hampi, is much less efficient – narrow and roughly paved, it also has a lot of commercial traffic, which might slow you down.

Where to Stay & Eat


The Taj Gateway Hotel (Tel: 0824-6660420; Tariff: ₹7,000-20,000) overlooks the confluence of the Netravathi and Gurpura with the sea.

The Saffron(Tel: 4255542; Tariff:₹3,999-5,999; offers decent midrange rooms, as doesHotel Mangalore International(Tel: 2444860- 64; Tariff:₹950-3,500).Hotel Navratna Palace(Tel: 4261104; Tariff:₹1,499-4,999) and Hotel Parkway(Tel: 2443961; Tariff:₹600-1,500), located on KS Rao Road, are both great options. The Pereira Hotel (Tel: 2425430) opposite Government Law College serves dishes like sannas, pork sorpotel and fish curry rice.Cardamom(Tel: 6660462) at The Taj Gateway Hotel has a multicuisine menu.Utsav(Tel: 4250500), on KS Rao Road, serves vegetarian food.Yuvaraj(Tel: 2440171) at Hotel Poonja International is good. Try Hotel Ayodhya (Tel: 2493681) for vegetarian treats.


Paradise Isle Beach Resort (Tel: 0820- 2537791, 2538666; Tariff:₹5,000- 12,000), located on the Malpe Beach, is Udupi’s most luxurious hotel. Hotel Sumer Park(Tel: 2535904-07; Tariff: ₹832-2,300), is also a good option. They also have a restaurant.Udupi Residency(Tel: 2530005; Tariff: ₹1,500-2,300), near the Bus Stand, has neat rooms. One can never go wrong with food at Udupi, the place that is said to have given birth to the Indian fast-food versions. There are lots of good eateries here. Try Mitra Samaj, on Car Street, one of the oldest establishments here. It offers authentic Udupi oota(meals, or food) for lunch, among other things.


In Maravanthe:The Turtle Bay Resort(Tel: 08254- 265422, Cell: 09611000777; Tariff:₹3,000-3,750) is the best accommodation option for tourists.Sagar Kinara(Tel: 265401, Cell: 09448724861; Tariff:₹600-800), is basic. A similar option is theSunlight Resort(Cell: 09901390129; Tariff:₹500-1,600). The Turtle Bay Resort is good for seafood.Trasi Royal Durbar Dhabais a small restaurant right next to Sagar Kinara. They serve coastal and Punjabi cuisine. Sagar Kinara serves simple vegetarian food on prior notice.RNS Residency(Tel: 08385-268901-03; Tariff:₹3,583-8,360) has a pool, gym and vegetarian restaurant.Naveen Beach Resort(Tel: 260415;Tariff: ;₹2,500) boasts sea-facing rooms. The in-house restaurant serves excellent seafood preparations. ;Kamat Yatri Niwas ;(Tel: 260871; Tariff: ;₹1,000-3,000) on Temple Road and ;Games Yatri Nivas ;(Cell: 097021 75252; Tariff: ;₹1,000-2,000) are the budget options. ;Panchvati Guest House ;(Tel: 268565; Cell: 09448757061; Tariff: ;₹550-650) is a sea-facing guesthouse. ;Naveen Seaside Restaurant, near the temple, serves delicious South Indian vegetarian fare, as does ;Kamat Restaurant ;on Temple Road. ;Nisarga Residency’s two restaurants, Hotel Nisarga for non-vegetarian dishes and Sharavathy for vegetarian food, are other options. Visit ;Murudeshwar Ice Cream Parlour ;for Karavali’s most loved dessert called Gadbad ice-cream.


On ;Kudle Beach: Most cafés such as ;Dragon Café, ;Dancing Waves ;and ;Sunset Café, offer accommodation besides food for as little as ;₹80 per head, per night. ;Hotel Gokarna International Beach Resort ;(Cell: 08884741005; Tariff: ;₹2,000-3,500) has rooms facing the sea. On Om Beach, ;The SwaSwara Resort ;(Tel: 08396- 257133; Tariff: ;₹1,40,000, per person for 5N/ 6D, with meals and Ayurveda treatment), is part of the CGH hotel chain.
At ;Half Moon and Paradise: ;Om Shanthi Café ;and ;Paradise Café ;on the southern-most stretch of Paradise Beach are nice (Tariffs from ;₹100). ;In the ;Town: ;Hotel Shivaprasad ;(Tel: 257032; Tariff: ;₹1,000-2,500), on Main Road, has neat ;rooms. ;Hotel Gokarna International ;(Tel: 256622; Tariff: ;₹700-1,800) is pleasant, as is ;Hotel Shri Sai Ram ;(Tel: 257755; Tariff: ;₹800-1,300). Just outside the town, on ;Bangle Gudde, is the ;Om Beach Resort ;(Tel: 257052; Tariff: ;₹2,736 per person), which has rooms set amidst a garden. Try the popular ;Pai restaurants ;(one on Main Road and the other on Car Street) for crisp ;dosas ;in the mornings. Hotel Gokarna International’s ;Purohit Restaurant ;also serves great ;dosas. Just off the street leading to the Gokarna Beach from the Mahabaleshwara Temple is the ;Brahmana Parishat, where one can relish simple, but tasty Brahmin meals served for free. ;Prema Restaurant, at the end of the street where Parishat is located, is popular with foreign tourists. ;Maitreyee Juice Centre ;on Car Street serves excellent lassi, cold coffee and ice-creams. The cafés on the beaches serve everything from Italian to Chinese food. ;Sunset Café ;and ;Dragon Café ;on Kudle Beach offer good breakfast. Fish for lunch is a good bet at any of the beach cafés.


The Devbagh Beach Resort ;(Tel: 08382- 221603; Tariff: ;₹5,300, per person) offers beautiful views. ;Hotel Bhadra ;(Tel: 225212; Tariff: ;₹990-1,350) is located close to Kali Bridge. ;Hotel Premier ;(Tel: 229925-27; Tariff: ;₹990-1,600) on Green Street, ;Hotel Sai International ;(Tel: 229956; Tariff: ;₹650-1,350) on Main Road and ;Hotel Navarathna ;(Tel: 226927; Tariff: ;₹750- 1,500) are budget options. ;Devbagh Resort ;has great food. Hotel Bhadra’s ;Pavilion Bar and Restaurant ;serves superb seafood. Hotel Bhadra’s ;Udupi Café ;offers ;idlis ;and ;dosas ;for breakfast. ;Hotel Amrut ;on Main Road is the best restaurant in town. ;Hotel Sai International ;and Hotel Premier serve coastal and North Indian dishes. ;Ashirwad Ice Refreshments ;on Kaikini Road has ice creams and milk shakes.


Hotel Mandar Regency ;(Tel: 0836- 2741639; Tariff: ;₹850-1,800) on College Road is the best option – it is bright, modern and friendly with reasonable rates. ;Hotel Central Park ;(Tel: 2440797; Tariff: ;₹675-1,200), part of a small shopping mall called Shankar Plaza, has plush room with faux wood floors and panelling, and a terrace garden restaurant. ;Hotel Hoysala ;(Tel: 2445627-29; Tariff: ;₹832-1,038) on PB Road, opposite Kittel College, is one of Dharwad’s older hotels, and serves the special ;benne ;(butter) ;dosa ;in its restaurant. Go to ;Basappa Khanavadi ;on College Road, opposite the Civil Court, for unlimited servings of ;jowar rotis, ;idigai ;and ;kalu pallya ;– distinctive preparations of vegetables and ;dal– and a range of hot chutneys. Subhash Road has a number of pure vegetarian restaurants, including ;Kamat ;and ;Megh Darshini(the ‘Brahmins’ Tea Club), where the service is efficient and the food is uniformly good and cheap. Hotel Hoysala, opposite Kittel College on PB Road and ;Brindavan Lodge, both offer similar food at a somewhat higher price, while ;Hotel Mandar Regency ;has a fancier multi-cuisine restaurant.


In ;Hampi Bazaar: Hampi has basic homestay options for travellers, all situated in and around the Hampi Bus stop. ;Rahul Guest House ;(Tel: 08394-241648, Cell: 09449349768; Tariff: ;₹1000) offers sight-seeing tours. ;Padma Guest House ;(Tel: 241331; Tariff: ;₹1,000-2,500) has a homely atmosphere. ;Rocky’s ;(Tel: 241951; Tariff: ₹1,200-2,500) offers Internet facilities to its guests.

In ;Virupapura Gadda and Sanapur: In Virupapura Gadda, which is across the river, there are ;Sri Laxmi Golden Beach Resort ;(Tel: 08533 287008-09; Tariff: ;₹1,500-6,000), ;Mowgli Guest House ;(Tel: 287032-33; Tariff: ;₹1,250- 1,575) and ;Shanthi Guest House ;(Tel: 325352, Cell: 09449260162; Tariff: ;₹1,200-1,650). There is also ;Kishkinda Heritage Resort ;(Tel: 287034-36; Tariff: ₹1,600-5,400) in Sanapur.

In ;Kamalapura: Right near the Hampi ruins and close to Queen’s Bath, is the KSTDC’s ;Mayura Bhuvaneshwari ;(Tel: 08394-241574; Tariff: ;₹1,800-4,500). Also here is ;Jungle Lodges’ Sloth Bear Resort(Cell: 09482053354 Tariff: ₹3,968-6,467, per person, with meals).

In ;Hospet: About 13 km from Hampi, Hospet has several budget options. ;Hotel Malligi ;(Tel: 08394-228101; Tariff: ;₹2,900-5,500) is close to the bus stand. Or try ;Shanbag Towers International ;(Tel: 225910-17; Tariff: ₹830-1,600).

Where to Eat: Mango Tree Restaurant, located in one of the local homes, is among the better eateries in Hampi. Head for the Tungabhadra and go west for about a kilometre, till you come across the sign announcing its presence. En route you will pass the ;Goan Corner, popular with visitors. The most popular eatery, however, is the ;Venkateswara, in Hampi Bazaar. Authentic Lingayat meals are available in ;Shankar Hotelon the main road.

Driving Tips

If you want to expand or contract this drive, do so along the coast, where the distances are short and roads good. The big chunks (Bengaluru Mangalore, Panjim-Dharwad, Dharwad-Hampi and Hampi- Bengaluru) will take 7-9 hrs each. Trying, for example, to go straight from Panjim to Hampi might be exhausting, though it’s feasible to skip straight from Mangalore to Gokarna or Karwar. If you would like to visit Jog Falls, then after Maravanthe, you can turn off NH17 at Honnavar, onto NH206; the waterfalls are located at a slight deviation from the highway, about 60 km from Honnavar.