Hampi is a beautiful village in Karnataka and one that has historical significance. Inhabited since pre-historic times, this is a place full of ruins, stone artefacts, pottery shards and rock paintings, making it a dream come true for history buffs.
An ancient rural community in the south Indian state of Karnataka, Hampi has various ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire. A UNESCO World Heritage Site in India located near Hospet town in the Karnataka state in India, Hampi boasts of numerous tourist attractions such as temples and ruins, remains of aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings, enough to keep a tourist or pilgrim busy for four or five days.
Most travellers are spellbound by the magnificent ruins, giant boulders, banana plantations and paddy fields. This World Heritage Site is definitely one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.
Fortunately there are direct flights now from Bangalore to Hampi, so one need not travel for six hours by road. I travelled from Pune to Bangalore and then from Bangalore to Hampi by air. As one reaches the luxurious resort, it’s impossible to not stare in awe owing to it’s grandeur and magnificence. The palatial property manages to cast it’s spell on you.
It’s fascinating how The Evolve Back Luxury Resorts successfully create luxury experiences for travellers while keeping the local culture and ethos intact. Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace; Hampi is a sight to behold with it’s stone paved boulevards, arched hallways and regal chambers. One of the best features of this resort is the vintage Ambassador car which is perfect for a property show around.
On check in, I fell in love with the Nivasa which is a 815 Sq ft suite within the main palace and features a spacious room with separate living, dining and sleeping areas, a bath with a bathtub, a shower cubicle and a balcony with a private jacuzzi.
Dinner was at the Tuluva restaurant where I enjoyed an interesting interaction with Amreeta Banerjee. Next morning I experienced the Abhyanga massage at the spa which is an Ayurvedic treatment. To my pleasant surprise I was upgraded to the Jal Mahal suite which is a Private Pool Villa.
These 2600 Sq.ft. private pool villas located adjacent to the main palace are individual villas that feature a separate living and dining area, a spacious sleeping area, a bath with a bathtub and a shower cubicle, an open-to-air shower, a private pool with a jacuzzi, a romantic gazebo and courtyards.
Apart from Jal Mahal, the resort has some more variations of rooms and suites such as the Zenana Palace Suites which are 1245 Sq.ft suites within the main palace and feature a spacious room with separate living, dining and sleeping areas, a bath with a bathtub and a shower cubicle, a private Jacuzzi and a large private balcony.
The Nilaya are 1100 Sq ft suites within the main palace and feature a spacious room with separate living, dining and sleeping areas, a bath with a bathtub and a shower cubicle, a private Jacuzzi and a large private balcony or terrace.
“At Evolve Back, we strive to provide our guests with true–to–the–land of–origin experiences in every product offering while, at the same time, preserving the purity of nature and culture of the land. We call this our ‘Spirit of the Land’ philosophy.
In keeping with our philosophy, we at Evolve Back, Hampi provide our guests a truly immersive experience. From the architecture, food, service, amenities, ambience, experiences and the location everything is crafted to transport our guests to the glorious days of the Vijayanagar Empire. Our guests do not merely visit Hampi, they relive it” said Joydeep Banerjee- area general manager-south, Evolve Back Luxury Resorts.
While a guest in the resort, I dined at Tuluva restaurant, the multi cuisine restaurant which overlooks the infinity pool and was mesmerized by the ethereal ambience. Executive Chef Shankar created exceptional local food for me to try during my stay. This restaurant is named after the most notable and cosmopolitan dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire of Southern India.
Tuluva was the third Hindu dynasty that ruled the famed empire during the late 15th and 16th Century, attaining its highest glory during the leadership of emperor Krishnadevaraya. The restaurant has such a beautifully unique setting that I often spent time enjoying a cup of tea during the evenings here.
The Bahamani is a restaurant in a regal setting which interestingly gets its name from the Bahamani Sultanate, the Northern neighbour and principal rival of the Vijayanagara Empire. Hyderabadi cuisine originated from this Sultanate which is an amalgamation of Persian and indigenous influences. The art of luxurious dining is what Bahamani showcases owing to its rich décor elements and presentation of food as I experienced during a meal here.
Must see must do
The hotel organized for me to go for The Raya Trail during my stay. This trail takes you back over a hundred years and gives you an insight into the life and times of the Rayas (Maharajas) of Vijayanagara. It is interesting to learn about their lifestyle, culture and the unique social and political dynamics of the period along with the magnificent structures of the royal city.
The Raya trail consists of a visit to the Devaraya’s Palace, Royal Mint, Audience Hall, Secret Chamber, Stepped Tank, Mahanavami Dibba (Great Platform), Hazara Rama Temple, Queens’ Bath and palaces, Elephant Stables and Kamala Mantapa (Lotus Mahal) and it lasts for 3.5 hours. Apart from the Raya trail there are other interesting trails, treks and walks for those who enjoy going for sightseeing.
A stay at Evolve Back Resort Hampi is like travelling back in time to the glorious days of the 14th century Vijayanagara Empire in Southern India which is fascinating as well as exciting! The local cuisine, the beauty and unique architecture of the resort manages to captivate you, creating beautiful memories of a fantastic holiday in a palatial resort.
Address: Kamalapura – P.K. Halli Road, Kamalapura, Bellary District, Hosapete, Karnataka 583221, India
Phone: +91 80 4618 4444