My first trip of the year 2019, Hampi. It’s a magical, mystical land. The aura of the town is captivating and savage. The vibe is bewitching and made me linger longer enough . It is a Unesco World Heritage Site located across the Tungabhadra river. There are two sides of Hampi. One is in the village side, which is in the shadow of the Virupaksha temple. This side has lots of boulders and ruins. The other side is the lush green paddy field. Also known as the Hippie island. The two very different and vibrant sides of the town is divided by the Tungabhadra river. There is no bridge to cross the river rather you need to hire a boat to cross it, which makes it even more interesting.
How to reach Hampi
I travelled to Hampi with one of my coolest friends by bus from Bangalore. We got down at Hospet and took a rickshaw to Hampi. By bus it took us 5 hours.
Things to do in Hampi
1. Breakfast at the German Bakery
German Bakery is one of the best places to have breakfast in the hippie island. They have an amazing menu of not only just the breakfast but the danish and almond cakes are equally delicious. And when it comes to breakfast they have different cuisines of breakfast. My favourite is hands down the Spanish breakfast.
2. Coracle ride and cliff jumping at the Sanapur Lake
Hampi is known for it’s Coracle rides and I don’t second doubt it. It’s very different from the usual boat rides and it’s a must in Hampi. Sanapur Lake also attracts lots of tourists for cliff jumping.
3. Sunset Hill
There are couple of sunset points in Hampi. But the one near the paddy fields in the hippie island is my favourite. It’s very peaceful to just sit down and do nothing except to watch the sunset. The lush green paddy fields turns golden with the sun rays.
4. Achyutaraya Temple
Hampi is so untouched by modernity in the 21st century and it’s a wonder in itself. All the ruins in this temple are surrounded by the giant boulders.
It is a stepped well. The geometry of the well is an architectural wonder. This well was used for ritual bathing.
6. Chariot Temple
Have you seen the new Rs 50 note? It’s the same chariot. The place gets very crowded during the day and also it’s really hot. The best time to visit this temple is early in the morning. Unfortunately I didn’t get to click a single picture with the famous Chariot of Hampi because it was never left alone.
7. Hanuman Temple Sunset Point
Hanuman temple is a well known sunset point in Hampi unlike the one mentioned above.We climbed 600 odd steps to reach the hill top and the view was worth it. The hill dwells on a different spiritual energy. Watching the sun goes down from the hill top is an amazing thing to experience. Although it’s little crowded compared to the hill near the paddy fields.
8. Sunset at the bank of Tungabhadra river
On the day of our return we just sat down on the bank of the Tungabhadra river and watched the sunset. It was equally amazing as watching it from the hill top. The rays of sun touching the river and making it shimmer in it’s glory. The view was captivating.
9. Dinner at the Mango Tree
Mango Tree is known for it’s ambience and thalis. It is at the temple side of the town. Although it was really early for us to have dinner so we ended up eating appetisers and lemon, ginger and honey with hot water.
10. Musical Meditation
This was my most favourite in the entire trip. It’s also known as sound healing. There’s only one place in the hippie island where this is done, Gali’s music shop. The musician, Gali, played all the instruments while we were lying down on the floor of an open ground surrounded by the paddy fields. It was really soothing and relaxing.
11. Morning Walk by the Paddy fields
The boat service to cross the river starts at 8:00 AM hence we decided to take a walk around the paddy fields early in the morning and we didn’t regret it. The air was so fresh and the greenery all around was mesmerising.
12. Hampi Market
This market is in the village side near the Virupaksha temple. Mostly you will find handmade stuff like bags, belts, anklets, harem pants, bangles etc. And the shops are usually run by the ladies.
1. Plan to see the ruins early in the morning or at least before noon. Even though we went during winter by the time sun is over the head it gets really hot.
2. To commute within the city you can hire bikes but if you’re not a rider like us rickshaws are good too. But remember to bargain. Bargain at the Hampi market as well.
3. Be careful of the monkeys. We got mugged by a monkey in the Hanuman temple.
4. Carry toiletries, sunscreen and keep yourself hydrated.
5. Network and connectivity is really poor in Hampi. Thankfully our hotel had wifi so we could make calls on WhatsApp. We stayed at the hotel Nargilla which was a really chilled out place.
6. There’s a shortage of ATMs in Hampi, so please carry enough cash in hand.
7. Don’t plan to see every ruins possible in Hampi. Figure out the ones you really want to see and then go for it. We hired a rickshaw to go for Achyutaraya temple, Puskarini and the Chariot temple.
Budget for one person:
Bangalore ⇄ Hampi = Rs 2000
Stay at hotel Nargilla – Rs 2000 for two nights and 3 days inclusive of tax.
Rickshaw from Hospet to Hampi = Rs 300
Rickshaw from Hampi to Kamlapura = Rs 300 (Our bus to Bangalore was from Kamlapura, near the police station)
Boat ride to cross the river ⇄ Rs 50
Rickshaw from hippie island ⇄ Sanapur Lake = Rs 350
Coracle ride = Rs 400
Rickshaw for the temple and ruins = Rs 500 (to and fro)
Musical Meditation = Rs 200
Food per day = Rs 700