The magnificent ruined city of Hampi, Karnataka once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire (One of the greatest empires in the history of India), comes alive during the festival of dance and music, held in the first week of November.
Organized by the Government of Karnataka, the Hampi festival includes Dance, drama, music, fireworks; puppet shows and spectacular processions, all combined to recreate the grandeur of the bygone era.
The Dussehra festivities of the Vijayanagar kings were celebrations of great religious fervour and were held with incredible pomp and show. Today, it is that same ecstatic outpouring feeling that magically revives a bygone splendor and brings life to the ancient city. Varieties of folk artists and their traditional skills are on display. Shops do brisk business with rural artifacts. Colour, gaiety and excitement follow the long and spectacular processions which wind their way to the sounds of pipes and trumpets.
The Hampi festival typically held for 3 days during the first week of November every year. Most of the venues are in and around the Hampi ruins, generally within walking distance from one to another. Generally the programs start early evening and last until midnight. That means, you can spend time during the day sightseeing and still watch the performances in the evening.
The light and sound show called "Karnataka Vaibhava" (The Glory of Karnataka) is the prime attraction among the programs. Dozens of artists perform in a fast moving sequence spanning a series of open stages.
Apart from local and national artists, folk artists from Sri Lanka, Mauritius and South Africa are also scheduled to perform in the Hampi Festival.
An exhibition-cum-sale of local products is also arranged as part of the Hampi Festival. However these stalls will be functioning for 15 days (3rd November to 18th November). The location is close to the Kadirampura Village on the Kadirampura-Hampi Road as well as the venue for the wrestling competition.
The grand finale on the third day is Janapada Kalavahini , a colorful procession of folk artists.