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India south Kerala

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

HAMPI

26.2. - 27.2. 2017, travel book part II.

 

Why to go to Hampi

Hampi, [state Karnataka] is a serene village located in a place of a former capital city of powerful Vijayanagar Empire. In its prime time it was a home to more than half a million people and it was the most powerful empire in India. Its downfall was caused by an invasion of Deccan sultanates [including the one from Hyderabad] in 1565. Travelers can expect serene holiday atmosphere, gorgeous temples and breathtaking nature. There are over 3 700 monuments in the surrounding area and Hampi itself is included in UNESCO heritage.

 

How to get to Hampi

I bought my train ticket AC2 for airconditioned coupe in advance online, with departure from Hyderabad's station Nampalla, which was supposed to arrive to Hospet junction, which is about 15 kilometers away from Hampi [how to get train ticket can be found in Tips before travel, 23:10 – 10:10, 1242 INR, 529 km]. I couldn't sleep on the train in the morning so I just watched the views from the window. We arrived to Hospet junction with only twenty-minute delay. I withdrew some fresh money from ATM and managed to miss my bus by seconds [it costs about 25 INR]. Next one was leaving from bus station which was unfortunately 3 kilometers away and I couldn't be bothered to go there, so I waved at a tuk tuk driver and let him take me to Hampi for 200 INR [15 km, 30 min]. While we were on our way, I passed my time by watching locals as they were washing laundry in the river and let it dry on the sun. We were passing herds of goats, women in their colorful saris and jars on top of their heads, palm trees were followed by fields of sugar cane and I was able to get a first peak of ruins and rocks. After half an hour, my driver stopped in front of Virupaksha temple, so right from the start I was completely amazed.

India Hampi Virupaksha temple

Virupaksha temple

 

Acommodation tip

I was staying in Manju Guest House homestay [750 INR, booking.com] right on Hampi Bazaar, near Virupaksha temple. Hampi Bazaar offers countless other choices for accommodation and others are located across the river near rice fields.

 

My experience in Hampi

Hampi really is a tiny village that is very close to Virupaksha temple. It is full of narrow streets without loud tuk tuks, small shops, local restaurants and guest houses. It is guarded from one side by river and surrounded by paddy fields, tall palm trees, granite rocks and ruins of smaller and bigger temples. The biggest advantage is that it can be all covered on a leisurely bike trip.

India Hampi

Around Hampi - view from bazaar

I got checked in and settled around half past eleven and went for lunch to Chillout Rest&Bar, where I observed a 50-meter-high gopuram of a temple from the second floor. After that I went for a walk around the bazaar, together with a herd of cows who were walking lazily around. I borrowed a bike [100 INR] and went to face yet another adventure.

I cycled to a hill above the village to Hemakuta temple, from where I had a great view of Virupaksha temple. I got unwanted attention there from a group of young boys who were trying really hard to show me everything around. They took me to Kadalakalu Ganesha but fortunately for me, they found a different object to torture in a form of an American girl. I could see she wasn't very happy about their companionship and tried to get rid of them. I had to laugh at that.

India Hampi Virupaksha temple

Virupaksha temple

I was walking through the ruins and on one spot I found a numerous family of monkeys. They occupied a good place in the shadow with a luxurious view of Hampi. The fact that it was their favorite spot could be proved by the smell.

India Hampi

Relax in Hampi

I cycled back to the village and continued along the river towards Vithala temple, which is the best-preserved sight in Hampi and possibly the most beautiful. I could see astonishing colorful scenery ahead of me, blue color of the river was blending into the greens of the grass and gold of the surrounding rocks. I wasn't able to cycle all the way to Vitthala temple due to the rocks, so I had to get off my bike, lock it up and continue walking. Slowly but steadily I walked to the temple in the evening but I left the tour itself for another day [ticket costs 500 INR, is valid for only one day and other sights in the area].

India Hampi

On the road from Virupaksha temple to Vitthala temple

In the evening I decided to go for Ayurveda massage with a really good masseuse who managed to complete my 1-hour massage in 40 minutes. After that I went back to Chillout, got comfortable on one of the mattresses that were lying around, got myself a beer and observed other customers. And because the bar didn't have a license, beer cost 250 rupees and it was covered in a paper bag. When they brought it to me, they didn't place it on the table but under it. It was a lively bar, there was music and I was once again hypnotized by the tall gopuram which was spot lit and shined in the dark.

In the night I was disturbed yet again by some crazy barking dog and I was wakened in the morning by starting engines of local bikes. I was awake before seven o'clock and ready to face the Virupaksha temple. It was built in 1422 and is the only temple that still does service.

I walked to the first courtyard and was surprised by an elephant. Not far from that was a group of monkeys that found someone's bag and had to quickly inspect what's in it. I walked through the chapel, observed praying Hinduists and enjoyed the atmosphere.

India Hampi Virupaksha temple

Virupaksha temple

After breakfast I went back for my bike [200 INR], but this time I had a 20-kilometer route planned. At first, I went to Krishna temple and after few kilometers turned left at Queen's bath and continued through Mahavanami Dibba to royal center. Over here is a beautiful Lotus Mahal and not far away is Zezana enclosure and Elephant stables – stables for eleven army elephants.

India Hampi Elephant stables

Elephant stables

When I was finished with sight-seeing, it crossed my mind to cycle to Vitthala temple on the dusty road ahead, however the locals convinced me that it's impossible to conquer this route on a bike. In the end I turned around and continued on my set journey back on the road. I checked maps.me just to be sure that I'm going the right way and after 7 kilometers I arrived at the temple.

India Hampi Vitthala temple

Vitthala temple

Vitthala temple [500 INR] is probably pictured on every photo from Hampi, especially its stone battle carriage.

When I had enough of the beauty of the temple, I continued towards the river where I waited for ferryman [20 INR] and from the other side of the river I headed back to Hampi. I cycled through Anegundi village, which was followed by beautiful countryside with rice fields and beige mountains.

After 20 kilometers I arrived back to Hampi and was trying to find a ferry, but couldn't find any. In the end I realized that there is no need for a ferry as the river was almost dried out. I took my bike, threw it over my shoulder and crossed the river on foot.

I arranged a tuk tuk ride for eight o'clock that evening [250 INR] to take me to Hospet station. Because I wanted to arrive to the train station relaxed, I prolonged my check out for half a day and went for last meal to my favorite Chillout restaurant.

 

VISITED COUNTRIES

zeme 100

37

KM ON THE ROADS

km 100

48 560

DAYS ON THE ROADS

dny 100

397