Let's understand this first. Your tour to Hampi is combination of 'sightseeing' as well as soaking yourself in its mysterious environs.
What this means is a whirlwind excursion would leave you inevitably with that incomplete feeling, though you would feel happy that you went to Hampi.
If you are in a position, keep 2½ to 3 days for Hampi, you'll return satisfied. Of course the meaning of satisfaction is relative. For those who like its charm, even a week spend at Hampi looks too short!
Let's get practical. If for some reason you've only a day to spare for Hampi see the 1 Day Hampi Itinerary on how you can visit the main attractions. It's a bit cramped itinerary. However, let's see how to make the most out of your single day at Hampi.
Now, if you are in a position to add more days... make it into 2 or 3 days agenda. Explore Hampi in leisure. You'll cherish the experience for very many years to come. See the '3 Day Hampi Itinerary' where the 5 routes in Hampi and excursion strategies are discussed in detail. Of course these are just indicative routes. You can make your own version of itinerary - ad hoc or otherwise - as you start exploring Hampi.
Hampi's attractions grouped for easy sightseeing planning.
1 Day Hampi Itinerary
Before we jump into the one day Hampi itinerary, let's understand a few things. The attractions in Hampi is spread around a very large area (25sq km). Accessing these these involve a good deal of walk (trek), cross the river in a coracle, ride a moped or even hire a local taxi (auto rickshaw). Even in the best scenario, you would have walked almost 3-5 hours of the day.
3 Day Hampi Itinerary
The scale and spread of the sites in Hampi demands you to plan for many days to explore Hampi. The following gives an idea on how to plan your Hampi exploration strategy.
This map details the location of Hampi in Karnataka, India. This web site has many maps on the Hampi ruins site. You may be also interested in Distance to Hampi from various places.