Hampi has a carefree soul. It’s a place where ‘doing nothing’ and simply absorbing the local atmosphere comes naturally. However, there are a lot of things to see and do in Hampi, which you should not miss if you ever make it there.
My first day in Hampi was pretty average. I didn’t do anything to speak of. To be honest, I thought Hampi wasn’t as great as it’s made out to be. But, that was just an impression, which was far from the truth. When I allowed my curiosity to shake hands with Hampi’s essence, I discovered a place that just keeps getting more and more enchanting.
So, here’s a mini guide to Hampi -
Let the majestic ruins of Hampi beguile you.
There is something about the ruins of Hampi that it’s hard not be impressed. The fact that they are 700-800 years old makes them even more fascinating. There is a sense of stillness and a feeling of awe when you walk amidst them.
Do a bit of temple hopping.
Hampi is a haven of ancient temples. I paid a visit to a few prominent ones – Vittala temple, Virupaksha Temple and Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple. What I liked the most about these temple complexes that they are not mere temples, but they have their own characteristic ambiances.
Soak up the nonchalant spirit of Hampi’s countryside on a bicycle.
Most tourists prefer motorbikes over bicycles for exploring Hampi. The former is available for INR 200, while the latter can be hired for only INR 50 for the entire day. The joy of bicycling through the rustic countryside of Hampi is something else.
Embrace the laid-back vibe of Anegundi Village.
Anegundi Village is only 6-7 kilometres from Hampi. It’s known to be even older than Hampi, which makes it more interesting. It looks clean and well-organised. Since I went there in the afternoon, I could feel its relaxed and ‘do-nothing’ atmosphere.
Check out Anegundi’s handmade products shop and meet Meera.
As you take a round of Anegundi homes, you will find a handmade products shop by the name of Anegundi Bananafibre Craft showroom, which is run by Tikav Handicraft women artisans Anegundi group.
While I was snapping a few pictures of the women engaged in knitting, Meera, the lady who supervised the shop, entered the room and inquired politely about my photography. She was just curious to know what I would do with the pictures. She was happy to learn that I was a travel blogger. Then she told me a bit about her that she’s originally from Belgium and was Michelle before being Meera. She migrated to India 30 years ago and never went back. She lived in an Ashram and seemed to be quite content with her life in Hampi.
Bathe in the sunset and sunrise hues.
Although I could manage to see only one sunrise out of the four mornings that I spent in Hampi, sunsets were easily the highlight of my trip. Fortunately, I got to enjoy sunsets right from where I stayed - Shanthi Guest House. There is a river near the guest house, in which you can see the beautiful reflection of the setting sun. However, the best sunset is witnessed from Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple. See more photos here.
Enjoy noshing at multi-cuisine restaurants.
I did not eat any local speciality of Hampi, because I was too preoccupied with the exotic food choices available. I enjoyed eating at Shanthi, where I stayed. Also, I had a sumptuous breakfast at Goutami Restaurant, which had a nice German bakery too.
Besides all the good food that I gorged on, I also had a ‘food disaster’ while I was returning from Anegundi village – there’s a small coconut water stall right opposite Hanuman Temple (you need to climb 500 steps to reach the temple). The man who runs the stall apparently stops tourists to have coconut water and pursues them to have lunch at his stall. I was one of the tourists who got duped by his sweet smile and hospitality. You know what he served? Plain rice with Kurkure, watery curd and something that merely looked like a veggie - It was the weirdest food I had ever eaten in my life!
Watch the day go by at Tungabhadra River.
The funniest part of my stay in Hampi was taking a ferry and paying 10 bucks every time I wanted to cross the river. Apparently, they don’t want to build a bridge in order to preserve the heritage of Hampi. Anyway, it’s fun to see the life at the river – women washing laundry, people chilling out, kids chirping around and the usual buzz through the day.
Wander aimlessly and discover the quirky corners of Hampi.
Hampi has a lot of quirky elements – colourful shops, old doors, ‘hello’ crazy locals (every local says ‘hello’ to every tourist) and the bathing elephants. It’s like the more you walk the more you get to unveil Hampi’s charming uniqueness. Strolling along the array of shops, guest houses and restaurants across the river is a good way to savour the 'hippie' vibe of Hampi.
How to reach Hampi: Hampi is 13 km from Hospet Railway Station. The auto guy charges INR 200 to drop you till Hampi.
Where to stay in Hampi: The guest houses across Tungabhadra River are nice. I stayed at Shanthi Guest House that cost me INR 3000 for 3 nights.
Does Hampi sound like a place you’d like to visit?
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