I celebrated my birthday weekend in Hampi, a heritage village at the northern part of KarnatakaHampi is a temple town with lot of excavated ruins from the Vijayanagara kingdom. It is recognized as UNESCO heritage site.It is spread over 30-40 kms.Hampi is located at the northern part of Karnataka, which is very much accessible through road and rail from Bangalore.
We booked our tickets in train, The Hampi express which was at 10 pm from Bangalore station.It costed us just 245 rs/person for sleeper tickets which I think is cheaper than the bus tickets.The stop to get down is Hospete which is 14 kms away from Hampi.
We took the bus from there to reach hampi. As we enter the Hampi, village, we could see rocks and ruined structures everywhere.We got down at the Hampi bus station and walked towards the river as our stay was booked at the other side of the river.
OK. Let me clear it out here.The village is separated by the river Tungabhadra. One side of the river, the side where we got down is all with the temples, group of monuments and the ruins. You could call it a vegetarian side as well as this side does not serve any non veg food :D.
The other side of the river which can be reached through the motor boats or by coracle ride, is the most happening place for the foreign tourists.It is commonly called as Hampi Island/ Hippie Island. Here you have mainly shack like accommodation with basic facilities and happening cafes all over.
We crossed the river in a motor boat(Rs 10/head) and walked to our stay.There are locals all over the lane ready to ask for bike rentals, rooms, rickshaw rides , drugs 😛 and what not. We ignored everyone and walked away
We Pre-booked the stay at Shanthi Guest House. We checked into our little cottage and took rest for some time. Let me be very honest here. We booked from their own site and they charged Rs 1000 for a night. I was really excited seeing the photos in the site.Trust me guys, never expect so much seeing the photos in the website. Of course the property is scenic, overlooking the rice paddy fields and garden.Cottage had also the basic facilities and a washroom attached. But it was not maintained properly, may for it is off-season. The facilities were basic and we could have got this for half the price we payed.But we were fine with that for now and did not want to spoil our trip thinking about it.
We spent our full day eating from the cafes around the Hampi Island, walking through the paddy fields and resting and playing with the doggy there.
Second day, we planned to visit the group of monuments across the river.We got ready by 11 and crossed the river. Now , there you can get the rickshaws and bicycle for rent to see around the monuments and ruins. We opted for rickshaw, as we thought the bicycle would be tiring.We finalized one rickshaw for the Rs 500 for a ride for 3-4 hours and started our trip.
The place is so mesmerizing. You feel you are walking through some war field with the ruins as you see in some Bollywood movie set. I could totally get that ancient vibe altogether.
For a moment, all the things I have read in my history classes back in my school flashed through my mind. The beautiful carving on the walls, the monolithic idols, stone chariot,the huge wooden doors, the vast market places are a treat to your eyes.
We have covered almost all the important places in 4 hours and the rickshaw guy stopped us at the famous Mango Tree Restaurant, which serves all their delicious cuisines on banana leaf, which was quite interesting. We had our lunch and headed back to our room.
It was a tiring yet an interesting day. We had some beer at night and retired for the day.
Next day was our last day in Hampi. We started our day slowly as there is hardly anything planned.Our train back to Bangalore was at 9 pm from Hospet. We had almost full day to our selves in Hampi.
We had our breakfast from the restaurant at our stay and packed everything checked out from the hotel by 11.We decided to go to the other side of the river. We took a coracle ride and crossed the river.
We explored the Virupaksha Temple at the bank of the river and took the blessing from the temple elephant, which was a scary moment for me 🙂
We walked around the place and the market area and had our lunch. Then we had our lunch and rested for some time and took the bus to Hospet to catch the Train to Bangalore.
This was rather an unusual b’day for me. We din’t cut cake nor did I get much gifts, but was a interesting one.I will cherish this for a long time for sure.
Do visit Hampi when you are around Karnataka.It is going to give you an interesting portrait of the History and make you happy as they say it there “Don’t Worry, Be Hampi” 😀