Present Purpose of Celebrating Hampi Festival
Currently, the Karnataka Government takes the initiative to organize the celebration of Hampi Festival with the aim to draw visitors to the world heritage site, Hampi, thereby making Hampi popular. Thus, the Hampi Festival can be called a tourism product of Karnataka. This festival is also celebrated to recreate the festivity of Vijaya Utsav, celebrated during the rule of Vijayanagar Empire. This festival also serves as a medium for depicting the rich culture of Kannadigas to the world.
Celebration of Hampi Festival
The Hampi Festival is celebrated during the month of November. More specifically, it is scheduled for 3 days during the first week of November. Monuments across the 15 km of Hampi ruins on the banks of the River Tungabadra are adorned by special lighting. This festival is characterized by dance, music, drama, puppet shows, vibrant, long and spectacular processions and fireworks. Classical dances are performed during the festival along with performances by classical vocalists. Musical instruments such as pipes and drums are played to create an aura or atmosphere, which may mesmerize the visitors. A concert of folk songs called the ‘Janapada Kalavahini’ is considered to be a special attraction of the festival introduced recently. Other defining features of the Hampi Festival are the decorated elephants, horses and men dressed in the military fashion of the Golden Era of the Vijayanagar Empire. They are posted underneath the red, yellow, blue and white cloth called Gopuras. This festival is also a medium to exhibit bright coloured handicrafts and leather puppets. The skill of making these handicrafts and leather puppets has been transferred by the traditional craftsmen to their present generation. This festival also recreates the once world famous open trade in diamonds, gems and gold of the Golden Era. Thus, the traders would offer tokens of gold coins and diamonds during the festival. Rock climbing, water sports and rural sports have also been added recently in the festival. The programs are state sponsored and the admission is free. Though the celebration of the Hampi Festival will fill its visitors with joy and happiness, but it may be a source of disturbance and discomfort also as Hampi is packed with a plethora of tourists during this time. Overbooked lodges, overcrowded sightseeing, packed buses and trains may vex people.
Nearest airport to Hampi is the Hubli airport. It is located at a distance of about 160km west of Hampi. The Belgaum airport is located further northwest of Hampi at a distance of about 270 km. But flying to Bengaluru and taking the Hampi Express is considered to be a more practical option. Bengaluru is connected with all major cities of India by airlines. Also, Bengaluru has many international connections. As far as railway is concerned, a direct train connection from far places to Hospet Junction (HPT) is advised. Hampi is connected to Hospet town via buses. Some of the direct trains are the Hampi Express, Amaravathi Express, Garib Nawaz Express, Haripriya Express and the Hyderabad - Kolhapur Express. The state run KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) runs a number of schedules from Hospet to various towns and cities in Karnataka. The cities of neighbouring states (Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra) are connected by a few interstate services. A number of private operators too run regular long distance bus service to Hospet and to Hubli, a major town 3 hours west off Hospet.
Indian Regional Festivals
Festivals of Karnataka
Indian Temple Festivals
Indian State Festivals