Nowhere else can you find such a profusion of monuments as around Hampi. The magnificent world heritage sites at Hampi and Pattadakkal, the cave temples of Badami the exquisite temples at Aihole and the stately Forts, Domes and minarets of Bijapur resurrect the state's history and cultural affluence. These peerless wonders are eloquent reminders of a rich heritage. Add to this list the Kudala Sangama, Tungabhadra Dam historical town and fortress of Anegundi, unique Sloth Bear sanctuary all of which reflects the regions history and glory
Anegundi promises a classic journey back in time. Anegundi's was the first administrative centre of Vijayanagara, which was an empire epitomizing the golden age of India, Anegundi, which in Kannada means "elephant pit" is said to have been the place where the elephants of the Vijayanagara kings were kept. Anegundi dates back 5,000 years, way before Hampi, and is believed to be the monkey kingdom of Kishkindha of the legendary monkey Prince Sugriva. Anjanadri hill, the birthplace of monkey-god Hanuman, and the mountain Rishimuka are the other places near Anegundi associated with Ramayana.
Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between the 6th and 8th centuries. It was founded in 540 A.D. by Pulakesi I(535-566 AD), an early ruler of the Chalukyas. Badami is famous for its four cave temples - all hewn out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill. Legend has it there were two demon siblings Vatapi and Ilvala, who had a trick by which they could kill and make a meal of mendicants passing by. Their tricks worked until Agastya muni came by and counter-tricked them and brought an end to Vatapi's life. Two of the hills in Badami are supposed to represent the demons Ilvalan and Vatapi.
Aihole has its own historical significance and is called as cradle of ancient Hindu stone architecture. Many temples and caves of historical importance can be found here. Aihole was the first capital of the early Chalukyas. Here they built over 125 temples in various styles and is said to be a laboratory of experiments in rock cut architecture. It is from these temples that the Chalukyas gained their experience and went on to build the great temples. The first phase of temple building in Aihole dates back to the 6th century CE, the second phase up to the 12th century. Some temples were even built as early as the 5th century.
Pattadakal one of the UNESCO's world heritage sites flourished to glory during the reign of the Chalukyan dynasty. Lies on the banks of the Malprabha River it was the second capital of the Chalukyas. The temples here reflects the glorious past and the richness of the architecture of the medieval South Indian rulers especially those of the Chalukya kings. Pattadakal was mainly used by the Kings for any celebration of royal festival or sovereign's consort.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Zoological Park, popularly known as 'Hampi Zoo is located 5 km from World Famous Hampi, Here you can experience Safari and get up close with Big Cats
Daroji Sloth Bear sanctuary is situated very close to Hampi. Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in North Karnataka. It is estimated that about 120 Sloth Bears are living in this sanctuary, apart from Leopards, Hyena, Jackals, Wild Boars, Porcupine, Pangolins, Star Tortoise, Monitor Lizard, Mongoose, Pea Fowls, Partridges, Painted Spur Hen, Quails etc. About 90 species of birds, and 27 species of butterflies have also been identified in this sanctuary in a survey.
TB Dam is the largest dam in Karnataka and is located 5 km from Hospet. It is constructed across river Tungabhadra. This lighthouse is one of the best places to have an eye-catching view of the environment. Recreation facilities in the form of fountains, beautiful walks, a children's park, an aquarium and a musical fountain offer some leisure options at the foot of the dam.
Birdwatchers, wildlife and nature enthusiasts visiting Hampi will be happy to know that 30 km from Hampi at Thungabhadra back waters is a natural bird sanctuary which is not only a roosting place for rare birds but also as a breeding spot. Lake attracts many birds such as the northern pintail, garganey, mallard, terns, storks, pelicans, egrets, herons, comb duck, cormorants, Ibis grebes, and innumerable waders.
34 km downstream of River Tungabhadra stretching from Mudlapura village near the dam in Koppal, passing through the ruins of Hampi till the bridge over the river in Kampli ,Hospet is declared as country’s first ever otter reserve. This is home to a healthy population of smooth clawed otters, the river here has a good number of Eurasian and smooth-coated otters, the famed mahseer fish, fresh water crocodiles and giant soft shelled turtles.