The hill top Hanuman temple This hill believed to be the birthplace of Hanuman is located in the center of Anegondi area. You can see this hill from the Hampi side of the river as you trek along the Kampa Bhups’s (the riverside trek) Path.
At the top of the hill is the temple dedicated for Hanuman, the monkey god. According to Hindu mythology he was born to Anjana. Thus Hanuman is also known as Anjaneya and his birthplace as Anjaneyadri (Anjaneya’s hill). You can easily spot this hill from a distance as the temple at the hilltop is whitewashed and a white trail of steps zigzagging all the way to the top.
steps to the hill top The temple is of high importance to the worshipers of lord Rama (and Hanuman). Surprisingly the Ramayana (the story of Rama) recited inside the temple is in Hindi, a deviation from the local language Kannada. Those understand Hindi and in interested in Ramayana , listening to this is a feast. The pundit ( an old man with white beard ) is gifted with the expression to tell the story. There won’t be much of people if it is not a special day for the temple. You can just enter the temple and sat next to him, listen and leave whenever you feel. This is done on a continuous basis.
The temple door is always kept closed (to prevent the cheeky monkeys enter inside, though it’s their General’s temple!). All are allowed inside. Just keep in mind the basic etiquettes needed in a prayer area, if you are new to a Hindu temple. The priest may offer holy water and the vermilion colored powder Hindus wear on their forehead.
The icon of Hanuman is carved on the rock. Also is the small shrine for Rama and his consort Sita inside the temple.
View from the hill top The view from the hilltop is marvelous. Patches of paddy fields looks like a solved jigsaw puzzle, coconut tree plantations and the whole of the ruins sites is visible stretching into the horizon. Looking at the ruins from here you would know the reason why they chose this place as their capital. All around in the horizons are the rugged rocky mountains and at one side in the mighty Tungabadhra river. It was a naturally secluded strategically important location for a capital city.
The way to the hilltop is stepped. It’s quite a climb. There are no shops at the top. So bring water, snacks etc from the base. There are a few small stalls down selling drinks and snacks. From Hampi you can come to this place by first crossing the river by the coracle. The main crossing points are at the Virupapur Gadde (near Virupaksha temple), Kodandarama temple (plus 2 kilometer walk/bicycle ride) or near the Vittala Temple (plus 5 kilometer ride by bicycle). Or if you are already staying at the Virupapur Gadde area, ride along the main road that goes to Anegondi village. The hill appears on your left side.
The best way is to bring your bicycle/scooter also along with you when you cross (See the Coracle Crossing article). The bicycles can be parked at the foothill near the snakes stall and can climb up.
It would take at least 45 minutes to climb up. It all depends your decision on how long would you like to spend on top (having come all the way up, tired, with stunning views down, great unending cool breeze etc). Otherwise the temple can be visited quickly. No admission fee. You may donate some coins in the hundi (donation box). Beware of the monkeys as they keep looking for an opportunity to snatch your bag. The intention is food. Do not try to tease them. They are not pets and can turn aggressive if annoyed. Leave only the footwear out side (which they don’t touch) when you enter the temple.
After the hill visit, you can take the coracle ferry back to Hampi or explore the other attractions in this side of the river. For example the Pampa Sarovar, Bukka’s Aquaduct, Anegondi area etc.
Explore these as part of the Route 5 in Hampi Itinerary