Monday, 8 December 2014

Being ‘Solo’ In Hampi

I had read somewhere that Hampi was one of the ideal destinations for solo travel. So, when I went there I was pretty confident that I would be comfortable exploring it on my own. And, as I began my trip, I did feel that everything was rolling smoothly. I’d say it was even better than my previous solo travels.

Solo in Hampi
  
I often get asked about solo travel that ‘how to do it’ and ‘where to go’. After travelling solo to so many places – Rajasthan, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Mumbai, Matheran and now Hampi, I have only one thing to say that solo travel is as normal as travelling with a companion. In fact, travelling alone has so many pluses. The only flipside of it is that there is nobody to click your pictures. You have to ask strangers to do the favour, which is okay as long as they are good photographers.

Strangers turn your photographers

Hampi is a fabulous place for solo travellers. As far as female solo travellers are concerned, being cautious is the basic rule to follow in any part of the world. Yes, Hampi is pretty safe. I didn’t feel any kind of anxiety anywhere. The locals are respectful. It seems they enjoy the fact that Hampi receives so many tourists, especially foreign.

However, I wouldn’t say that a woman travelling alone should be too carefree. Hampi has many deserted places across the Tungabhadra River. You can wander wherever you want, but always look around and try to comprehend your surroundings. It’s basically a quiet and peaceful place, where you can relax and do your own thing. So, enjoy the laidback atmosphere. But, while you walk alone, make sure to look back and see who’s coming behind you. I think that’s something you would do in your hometown also. 

On my way to Anegundi village

I bicycled my way to Anegundi village, which I would say was one of the highlights of my trip. It was definitely fun with a dash of adventure here and there. A couple of local men, riding on a bike, said a mischievous Hi baby to me and touched my bicycle as they passed by. It was a bit of a nuisance, but I guess they were harmless.  

Also, I lost my way while returning to my guest house. Thanks to a buffalo shepherd, who had sensed that I had come beyond the familiar area and thus, guided me to go a kilometre back to get to my guest house. At first, I doubted his intentions and refused to believe him. In a little while, another local guy also stopped by to confirm that I was going the wrong way. That’s when I called up my guest house manager to get the real picture of where I was. By the time I realised my mistake, the shepherd had left. I couldn’t thank him for saving me from a bigger trouble.    

Shanthi Guest House
    
I stayed at Shanthi Guest House. I’d say that it’s quite a nice accommodation for solo travellers. The manager and the staff are helpful and polite. Being a female solo traveller, I didn’t feel any kind of discomfort. The best part was that even the fellow guests at the guest house were nice. I believe a girl or a woman should never stay at a place just because it’s cheap. You never know what kind of people are staying there! It’s always better to pay a little more and stay safe.

Meeting Sana at Shanthi Guest House

My solo stay at Shanthi Guest House got even better when I met some lovely fellow travellers - I bumped into Sana, a tour guide from Mumbai, who led a group of foreign tourists. While I was amazed to see a girl conduct tours, she was pleased to know that I travelled alone and blogged about it. We formed a mutual admiration society.

Foreigners embracing Indian culture

Sana’s guests were zesty and friendly too. They belonged to different parts of the world – Australia, Scotland, England, Germany and Russia. I had a wonderful time with them as I joined them for dinner (at Sana’s behest). The most fun part was that they all got dressed in traditional Indian clothes to experience Indian culture.

By the time my trip was about to end, I had a faint urge to stay a little while longer. Hampi grows on you. Now when I am back, I can say that it’s indeed an ideal place for solo travellers.

Have you been to Hampi alone? What was your experience like?

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38 comments:

  1. You have a very good blog Renuka. Overall content of your blog/site (images, writing, tips) very good. Thanks for sharing information about Hampi this time. Being someone from North India, I wasn't much aware about this place. But from your last 2 posts, I got to know how beautiful this place is and there is lot to explore there. Keep sharing your travel experience with readers :)

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    1. Thank you, Vishal :-) I'm glad you found my blogs helpful. Yes, Hampi is a wonderful destination for solo travelers.

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  2. Before you posted about your Hampi trip, I had little idea about its touristic charm. After reading your post, I am sure it would prove to be a great escape for all those who want to enjoy holidays without being a part of crowd at other popular/conventional destinations.

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    1. True. Hampi is certainly an offbeat destination. It has an unusual charm about it.

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  3. Nice! I also stayed at Shanti and loved it :)

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  4. After traveling solo for past 5 years I have come to a conclusion - I have traveled to places that are very common among travelers but yes, I gained knowledge a lot and enhanced traveling experiences. But now-onwards it is better to have a travel partner who believes to be on road most of the time. Tough wish. Else no point to travel. I am done maybe.
    Shanthi Guest House is good. How much the tariff and food cost approx.

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    1. You can visit their website for the tariff -- http://shanthihampi.com/

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  5. Hampi is absolutely mesmerising. Was in Hampi last year on a solo trip, and it was memorable.

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    1. Yes, Hampi is truly mesmerizing! I am missing it a lot.

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  6. India is half of Beautiful earth. I am so inspired.

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    1. That's so beautifully put! Yes, India is a paradise on earth.

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  7. I love reading all your posts, Hampi is definitely a place to go and explore solo, and you did a good job :) Btw, which all cuisines did you try?!

    http://wanderingjatin.wordpress.com/

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    1. Hampi is a great place for solo travelers as well as group of friends and couples. I didn't try any local cuisine. Most of the restaurants serve western cuisines - Israeli, Spanish, Italian, etc.

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  8. beautiful post written by beautiful gal ! :-)

    Liked shanti guest house , looks Ecofriendly.

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    1. Thanks Mahesh Divya! :-) Yes, Shanti Guest House Is quite eco-friendly.

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  9. I just came across your blog and I have been reading all your past posts....amazing content. As for Hampi, I have been there 2 times already and I still want to go back again :)

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    1. Thanks Soujanya! :-) Even I want to go back to Hampi! It's so fascinating!

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  10. I love that you give confidence to people who are unsure about travelling alone. It's such a fantastic thing to do, and so much of the problem is just taking the first step - once you start, you never look back!! Keep travelling, writing and smiling - you do it well!

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    1. Thanks Tim! Yes, taking that first step is all you need to do! Traveling alone is fun and enriching.

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  11. Good pics..looks like u had a fun time
    Great post!
    Would u like2follow each other on GFC ?

    www.ananyatales.com

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    1. Thanks Ananya! Yes, I had lots of fun. Hampi is wonderful.

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  12. Very informative post. Would be there, hopefully, early next year.

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    1. That would be great! I'm sure you will enjoy Hampi.

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  13. Nice post n pics too!! i hv never been to Hampi. looks so calm n peaceful.

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    1. It is! Hampi is a great place to just relax and enjoy doing nothing! :-)

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  14. very nice trip, love to hear about your next trip soon

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    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post!

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  15. Great post Renuka. Hampi sounds like a great place to visit. I like how you gave tips for solo female travellers who are thinking of visiting Hampi. Lovely photos too!

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    1. Thank you, Christine. :-) Yes, Hampi is a great place for solo travelers.

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  16. Looks beautiful. Those two stones are spectacular!

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    1. Yeah, these rocks (or boulders) are the highlight of Hampi.

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  17. Hi Renuka.. I am going for a solo trip for the first time.. I am thinking of going to hamphi and presently i am in hyderabad .Any suggestions ?? And is hampi safe and good place to go for a person like me who is going for the first time

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    1. Yes, Hampi is safe and very tourist friendly. You can go there alone. Just make sure you research well and make your accommodation arrangement in advance. Please feel free to read my posts on Hampi to get help on planning your trip. All the best!

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  18. Hi Renuka,
    can you send me contact info for the guest house you stayed at? thank you :)

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    1. Address: Cross the River from Hampi, Virupapur Gaddi, Dist Koppal, Sanapur, Karnataka 583234
      Phone: 083943 25352

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  19. I can also agree with Renuka that it's great for solo travellers. Safe for women and if you want to be alone that's fine but if you want to meet new people that's also fine. It's a really easy going and relaxed atmosphere. Don't worry be Hampi.

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