With a one way ticket to the 1st destination and a super ambitious mental map of the next 15, I left home with my loaded backpack, only to return close to 3500 kms later with a better understanding of the country & the greater world around me, Tamil, Malayalam & Kannada, and who I am. (And the fact that you seldom find Indians backpack in India)
Mumbai – Hampi – Mysore – Coorg (Bylakuppa, Madikeri) – Kodaikanal (& Vatakanal) – Munnar – Kochi (& Fort Kochi) – Varkala – Kanyakumari – Pondicherry (& Auroville) – Chennai – Mumbai.
You, of course, are here to read about the ruins of Hampi , so go on.
Getting to Hampi
If you’re coming by Bus/Train, you should get to Hospet and then catch a local bus which takes about a half hour and drops you to Hampi bus stop. (Or a rickshaw, cost anywhere between 150-200 bucks).
If coming by air, catch a flight to Hubli, and then get onto a bus or a cab (Hampi is about 150 kms away) to get there.
Now then, What is Hampi?
Hampi is dreamy. Hampi is movie-like. Hampi is awesome. Hampi shouldn’t have been the first place I visited on this month long journey. But it was, and it raised expectations.
Hampi has two sides, these, separated by a river (Tungabhadra) flowing casually in the middle of the two.
I. One side, lets call it the temple side, (Here is the bus stop) has more than 500 structures ageing back to as long as 1500 A.D – ruins of temples, royal palaces, monuments beautifully created and carved in stone. There is really tall temple in the centre, this side of the city called Virupaksha temple, and you just cannot miss it. While you’re here, your excitement may know no bounds if you’re into history, architecture & art – even otherwise.
II. The other side (Let’s call it the hippie side), is, beautiful island, which has
- A lake, which one can chill by or where one can jump off rocks as high as 2-3 storeys into the water
- Beautiful long stretches of rice paddy fields (which you can check out on a rented scooty or bike)
- The famous Hanuman (Great Indian god, known for his physical strength) temple which is also known to be his birth place (its a beautiful sunset point and gives you spectacular views of the entire city)
- A bunch of really chill cafes where you eat some great food and enjoy some mad views.
…..and of course few other things which you will come across later in this post.
I. Temple side
Has a lot of guest houses and home stays. Walk around for a bit and ask for cheap rooms, and you will find anything between Rs. 200/- to 800/-. I met a rickshaw guy there who took me to a couple of places to have a look at the rooms. I eventually chose one 50 metres from “Funky Monkey” (This cafe is fairly famous, just get here and ask for rooms around – Oh and they have good Wi-fi)
Ph. no: Vij: +91-8297912778 (Call him when you get there and he might hook you up with something)
I ended up staying here for a night, because early next morning I woke up (at 5 am) and went to Matanga hill, for an epic sunrise – and I wasn’t disappointed.
II. Hippie Island side
a) Top Secret Riverview Guest House: This place is no “top secret” because they have advertisement boards everywhere. Ironically though, this place is real chill. Mad view of the temples and the river, big open spaces with BnB’s costing around Rs. 1500-2000/- and tents (with beds and a pillow) costing between Rs. 200-500/-
This is the one I stayed at, and I loved it!
Ph no: +91-94489 70753
Check it out, here.
b) Mowgli Guest house: Check it out here.
c) Gouthami Guest house: Check it out here.
Things to do in Hampi! (And what I did)
The backdrop is like no other – vast stretches of boulders, unique temples, ruins of palaces, street markets and massive paddy fields!
(I am going to lure you into checking out the next post by putting up a couple of pictures here)
Click here: Let’s go!
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