Hampi has a set of annual festivals. Some are religious festivals associated with the temples. The others are cultural festivals. Many of them usually attract huge crowds. Generally the dates not fixed. Every year the exact dates and schedules of the programs are made public. The most popular are listed.
Hampi Festival (November): This is the largest festival at Hampi. Generally they are scheduled for 3 days during the first week of November. The celebrations typically packed with shows of music, dance puppet shows fireworks and a pomp procession as the grand finale showcasing the cultural richness of the place. Of late items like rock climbing, water sports and rural sports also has been included in the schedule. The programs are state sponsored and the admission is free. The celebrations attract are too much crowd for this otherwise low profile town to handle. So if you are planning to visit Hampi during these 3 days be prepared to face the associated troubles (overbooked lodges, overcrowded sightseeing, packed buses& trains etc). Also note that in locale language the Hampi Festival is referred as Vijaya Utsav or Hampi Utsav.
Purandaradasa Aradhana (January/February): This is principally a classical musical festival. The festival is held every year to commemorate the birthday of the ancient poet Purandaradasa who lived in Hampi. The 2-3 days long program is scheduled during the months of January or February. Though not as grandeur as The Hampi Festival, Purandaradasa Aradhana is a feast to the classical music enthusiasts. The venue is typically centered on the Purandaradasa Mantapa located near the Vittala Temple. Sometimes programs are conducted at other places too. Musicians of national and international repute participate.
Virupaksha Car Festival (March/April): Held during the months of March or April (based on the local calendar), this is the largest religious festival in Hampi. The highlight is the procession along the main chariot street in Hampi. The image of the god & goddess is kept of the temple car (the giant wooden chariot) which is the centre of the procession. The festival marks the annual ritual marriage of the god & goddess.
Phalapuja Festival (December): This again is held at the Virupaksha temple to mark the ceremonial betrothal of the divine couple.
Diwali (October): Though not specific to Hampi, Diwali is celebrated in Hampi in a grand way (usually in October). Noisy nights with firecrackers are the hallmark. Hampi Bazaar area is the epicenter of the celebrations. Visit Virupaksha temple to witness some special ceremonial functions during the evening. That includes a local procession where the temple elephant too participate.
Sivaratri (February/March): This is a special festival earmarked for all Siva Temples in general. This nightlong religious offering is held at Virupaksha Temple.
Solders at Hampi Bazaar