Hampi is a historic temple town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Karnataka, India. It is listed as the 'Group of Monuments at Hampi'. At its prime in 1500AD - 1565AD ,this capital of the great Vijayanagara Empire was one of the richest and largest cities in the world. Hampi was sacked in 1565 by Sultanate armies and today the ruins lie scattered over 40 sq. kilometres of craggy hills. open plains and granite outcrops of the Tungabhadra River basin in central Karnataka's Bellary District. The Hampi area and nearby Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary provides an ideal getaway for birders who want to mix sightseeing with their passion for birds. It is one of those birding destinations which can be a ideal family holiday spot meeting the expectations of non-birders too!
Bellary district falls in the Deccan plateau and feature a treeless barren plateau, known as the Northern maidan region. The Sandur hills divide the district into eastern and western parts with the Tungabhadra river flowing along the border of the district for about 300 kms. The landscape around Hampi consists of granite & greenstone terrain.
Vegetation is sparse as much of the area is covered by rocky outcrops, boulders and quartzite formations. Dry deciduous scrub and Southern thorn forests occur in the area. Key vegetation includes Albizia amara, Anogeissus latifolia, Calotropis sp., Capparis divaricata, C. zeylanica, Carissa carandas, Cassia fistula,Chloroxylon swietenia, Cocculus hirsutus, Cochlospermum religiosum, Chamaecrista absus, Crotalaria sp., Cryptolepis dubia, Diospyros paniculata, Ficus arnottiana, F. benghalensis, f. Mollis, F. recemosa, Givotia moluccana, Grewia damine, G. tiliifolia, Holoptelea integrifolia, Hyptis suaveolens, Indigofera tinctoria, Ipomea sp,, Melia dubea, Morinda pubescens, M. tinctoria, Maytenus emarginata, Pavetta indica, Phoenix sylvestris, Pupalia lappacea, Sapindus trifoliatus, Senegalia catechu, Syzygium cumini, Tamilnadia uliginosa, Tephrosia purpurea, Vachellia horrida, V. leucophloea, V. nilotica, Withania somnifera, Wrightia tinctoria, Ziziphus jujuba, and Z. mauritiana, Z. rugosa etc.
Yellow-throated Bulubul. More Hampi images by Ramki here
The Hampi area lists over 200 bird species, of which the main draw is the endemic and threatened Yellow-throated Bulbul. Other good birds include Painted Spurfowl, Red Spurfowl, Jungle Bush-Quail, Rock Bush-Quail, Barred Buttonquail, Brown Fish-Owl, Rock Eagle Owl, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Painted Sandgrouse, Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Courser, Montagu's Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Rufous-tailed Lark, Jerdon's Bushlark, White-browed Bulbul, Yellow-billed Babbler, Hume's Whitethroat, Loten's Sunbird and Grey-necked Bunting.
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is spread over 83 sq. km and located 20 kilometres south of the Hampi ruins. There is a watchtower to view bear during the evening at a managed 'sweet lick'. It is also a good place to see Painted Spurfowl and bush-quails.
Contacts: a) The Range Forest Officer, Daroji Bear Sanctuary, Vidyaranya.583 2 76 (Kamalapura), Hospet taluk, Ballari district. Karnataka, INDIA Phone +91-8394-242869.
b) The Assistant Conservator of Forests, Wildlife sub-division, Ranebennur-581 115 Haveri dist Karnataka. INDIA. Ph: +91-8373-860394.
How to reach
By Road: 350 kms (7hrs) from Bangalore via Chitradurga - Hospet - Kamalapur.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Hospet.
By Air: Hubballi Airport (143kms) or Jindal Vijaynagar Airport (38kms).
Where to stay
1. Sloth Bear Heritage Resort is located at the edge of the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary.
Contact Number: 9449597874/9481428680
Resort Number: 9620903133
Email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari Kamalapur
3. Evolve Back Kakalapura Palace, Hampi provides worldclass luxury facilities.
Temperatures: Max 42° C; Min 10° C
Average elevation: 450m
Location: 15°20'01.0"N 76°28'00.0"E
Best season: November to February
Birding locations: Sloth Bear Heritage Resort, Hampi ruins, Thungabadra Right Canal trail and Kamalapura lake.
UNESCO World Heritage List Hampi
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary - Livemint