The most convenient train is the Hyderabad-Kolhapur Express (Train No:11303) or the Hyderabad - Vasco/Hubli Express (Train No:17603). On Thursdays you have one more train for Hampi, the Goa bound Hyderabad Vasco Da Gama express (Train No. 17021).
These three trains stops at a station called Hosapete Junction (HPT), a town about 14km from Hampi village. This is your gateway town for Hampi.
The above three trains have 2A, 3A Sleeper (SL) coaches that you can reserve in advance and of course the unreserved coaches where you buy ticket directly at the station.
Hyderabad-Kolhapur Express (Train No:11303) operates from Hyderabad Decan (HYB) station and also stops at Begumpet (BMT), Sanatnagar (SNF) and Lingampalli (LPI) in the outskirts.
Kacheguda - Vasco Da Gama/Hubli Express (Train No:17603) is a slip route train. At guntakal Junction this train is connected to another Hospet bound train.
On Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday the journey time is about 9 hours.You'll reach Hospet Jn by 6.20am. This is the fastest train to Hospet from Hyderabad area.
On these days, the train travels all the way to Goa (Vasco Da Gama), Since the train is attached to the Vasco Da Gama bound Howrah-Vasco Express (Train No 18047)
On other days of the week (ie Monday, Tuesday and Saturday) this train takes 11 hours to reach Hospet Junction from Kacheguda (KCG) station in Hyderabad.
That's because your train halts for over 2 hours at Guntakal Jn, awaiting the arrival of the Hubli bound Amaravati Express (Train Number:17225 ). On these days journey ends at Hubli Junction.
Apart from the difference in the journey duration, do not worry about booking, changing the train etc. As long as you have booked on Train Number 17603 and bordered the designated coach from Hyderabad side.
Whether you arrive at 6am or 8am, depending on the day you chose to travel, it's a most convenient arrival time to use the rest of the day at Hampi sightseeing.
On Mondays,Wednesdays and Saturdays, book the return ticket from Hospet to Kacheguda by Amaravati Express (Train No 17226). The rest of the days in the week book on the Howrah express (Train No: 18048).
Amaravati leaves Hospet by 4.10PM and Howrah Express by 2.50 PM. Both arrives Kacheguda at 5 AM next day.
For return journey, the Kolhapur-Hyderabad Express (Train No. 11304) is more convenient as this train leaves Hospet on by 7PM, leaving you more time on the day to explore Hampi.
On Fridays, you can also consider the Vasco Da Gama - Hyderabad Express ( Train No. 17022)
The Secunderabad-Hubli Express (Train No:17320) travels to Hubli via Badami (BDM) and Gadag (GDG). If you plan to cover Badami,Aihole, Pattadakal also as part of Hampi trip, take this train and get down at Badami.
You can not get a direct train from Badami to Hospet. But if you get down at Gadag Jn, it's on the relatively busy Hubli-Hospet route.
Consider the Hubli Express (Train No:17320) or the return Secunderabad Express (Train No:17319) may be a great option for onward/return travel, if your larger itinerary plan includes places like Badami, Pattadakal or Aihile along with Hampi.
Check the official website, irctc.co.in to get the updated train information, also also to do online reservation. Other travel portals like makemytrip.com, cleartrip.com also do book train tickets online.
Bangalore to Hampi By Road
This is for the folks from Bangalore, still chewing over the idea if to take car or bike all the way to Hampi !