At the top of the hill is the temple dedicated for Hanuman, the monkey warrior 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.
The temple is of high importance to the worshipers of lord Rama (..and Hanuman). 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.
The view from the hilltop is marvelous.
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 (coracle ferry + 2 kilometer walk/bicycle ride) or near the Vittala Temple (coracle ferry + 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 ). The bicycles can be parked at the foothill near the snacks 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 Aqueduct (Stone Bridge), Anegondi area etc.
Anegondi was the capital of the region, before it was moved to Hampi. In fact this was the core of a tiny kingdom that eventually expanded into the Vijayanagar Empire covering the whole of south India. Currently Anegondi is sleepy village with a principally farming community inhibiting it.
Tungabhadra is a major river in the south Indian peninsula. Hampi is located on the south bank somewhere in the middle of this river’s path. In this area the river takes a number of twists and turns owing to the rocky terrain.
The river has immense significance in forming the political & religious history of Hampi. The river along with along with the boulder-strewn hills formed the northern barrier of the capital. It was not easy for an invading army cross the river without the fate of a sure defeat.
Domingos Paesa a Portuguese traveler visited Hampi 500 years back wrote "...People cross to this place by boats which are round like baskets.Inside they are made of cane, and outside are covered with leather; they are able to carry fifteen or twenty persons, and even horses and oxen can cross in them if necessary, but for the most part these animals swim across. Men row them with a sort of paddle, and the boats are always turning round, as they cannot go straight like others; in all the kingdom where there are streams there are no other boats but these..."
They are exactly as it is today as it was five centuries back, except probably the PVC sheets has replaced leather, and motorbikes too are added to its cargo list!