I have heard so much about the rich cultural heritage of Hampi. The ruins, the history and the people. A few years later I heard more about how it had changed into the land of hippies. The food included Israeli, Italian, etc and people travelled around in cycles. This was when I decided I must see this place for myself!
I landed in Hampi in October. There was no direct bus, we get off at Hospet and then take a bus to Hampi. Avoid the autos, they overcharge and the buses are literally next to them! As I entered the land, I was surrounded by these beautiful ruins of temples and forts. I felt like I was in a Bahubali movie!
The weather was hot during the day, don’t expect it to be cool or even warm. We had to cross the river to get onto Hippie Island. We headed to our guest house which was called Murali’s Guest House. It was a small basic room but the hosts were lovely people. After settling down, we headed out to explore the place.
There is a bustling market area with shops selling jewelry, leather goods, palazzo pants and ‘Om’ and ‘Namaste’ t shirts. The street is lined with restaurants and cafes where you can spot people from different countries smoking or relaxing with a book.
Most of the restaurants have Israeli food which I suggest you try. After we had a delicious lunch we headed back to our guest house. It was later that evening when we stepped out again.
The lake is one of the special features of the island. It’s clean, cool and surrounded with rocks. You can take a dip or just sit on the rocks and breathe in the clean air.
Then next day, we set out to explore all the tourist spots. These places are absolutely beautiful! The Vijaynagar palace, The Lotus palace, Sunset spot, etc. Avoid crossing the river after 6 p.m due to the price hike, we ended up paying 100 rupees each as we were late. I suggest you hire an auto and the auto driver takes you everywhere as they know about the spots to visit. But ensure you do your own research to avoid being taken for a ride! You can contact 9448678729, Mr Paul. He is a helpful auto guy.
After a long day of sight seeing. We rented bikes and explored places close to the island. The Hanuman temple required you to climb 600 steps to the top, yes 600! But the view is beautiful. You can witness the entire city from the top. There are several temples after the Hanuman temple amidst the rocks.
We settled in for dinner at another estaurant called Nargila. The hummus and pita bread was quite nice but the best part was a desert called Hello To The Queen. Delicious scoops if ice cream, nuts and chocolate.
The next day was our last day there so we headed to German Bakery which had some delicious food. It’s a popular spot where you can see some psychdelic paintings and tapestries. I would recommend picking up some really colorful hippie pants at the market and some cool diaries.
As the night approached us, I was sad to leave usch a relaxing place. Our host entertained us with stories of the Ramayan that happened on this land and why it’s so significant. We let go of our bikes and made our way back to Hospet where we stumbled across Hotel Malligi that serves some amazing Akki Roti and Dosas! After a happy meal we said our goodbyes and vowed to come back.
If you are in Karnataka for a trip, Hampi should be on your bucket list!