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While tourist flock to Hampi to gauge at the ruins of the Vijayanagar Kingdom, not many know that Hampi is equally rich in its biodiversity and birds. Often seen as an excellent spot for historical and architectural ruins from the by gone era, Hampi is steadily being recognized as a bird lover’s paradise too. Just a couple of hours here and one can be surprised to see the flourish of the winged creatures, some that are common, whereas others that are very endemic to this area alone. It is estimated that Hampi is home to about 230 bird species.
Hampi is situated on the banks of the River Tungabhadra and along with the scrubland and rocky outcrops it provides an ideal setting for birds and other wildlife to thrive.
What to see
This historical land of remains and rocks is home to the endangered and rare white ear and yellow throated bulbuls. Besides, one can also see the chestnut bellied sandgrouse, painted sandgrouse, Indian rock eagle, ashy crowned sparrow larks, red munias, owls, francolin, cormorant and more. Near the town is also the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary from where you can spot these unkempt creatures.
Things to do
Hampi is one of those tourist sites that can keep you busy for long. Besides clicking the birds, you must definitely keep an extra camera roll aside to capture the city of ruins. You can just walk about the lanes and terrain and keep exploring every structure along the way. Some of the sites worth visiting are the Vittala Temple, Anjanadri Hill, Sanapur Lake, Malyavanta Hill and the Archeological Museum at Kamalapura. It is needless to say, that while visiting the lakes and hills, keep an eye open for the birds. You are sure to spot them everywhere you go. The Hampi village is across the river from the Hampi ruins and taking a ferry and crossing over to the village side is also a great way to explore the rural setting. The locals are more than happy to show you around.
How to reach
Hampi located in the Bellary district in northern Karnataka, is a popular tourist destination and hence accessible from any part of the country. Rail – Hospet is the nearest railway station at 12 km. Air – The Hubli airport (160km) is the closest airport to the town. Road – There is a good network of roads connecting Hampi to Hospet, Hubli, Bangalore and also from cities outside Karnataka such as Mumbai, Chennai and Pune.
Day 1 – Arrive at Hampi by noon and post lunch we venture out into the town to explore its ruins and wildlife. Keep your camera handy and ready for whichever species you find amongst grasslands, rocks and ruins.
Day 2 – We cross over to the village today and explore the monuments, interact with locals and take pictures of more birds. Post lunch we start paying a visit to the surrounding Sanapur Lake and the Anjanadri and Malyavanta Hill. Arrive at the hotel by early night before calling it a day.
Day 3 – We start out early in morning into the town for our last calling with the birdlife. Post lunch you
can depart for your next destination.
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