Backpacking Hampi and around

25th Jun 2014
Photo of Backpacking Hampi and around 1/1 by Anshul Akhoury
View of Hampi from top of the hill

Hampi is a small town in Karnataka, a 6 hour drive from Bangalore to Hospet and then 30 minutes from there will bring you to this ancient capital of Vijayanagara empire. While one side of Hampi is covered with marvelous architecture and buildings, the other side for which you need to cross the river is a small laid back village welcoming backpackers from all around the world. There are a lot of stay homes in this village along with some luxury hotels whatever suits your budget. Best part of visiting Hampi along with witnessing the glorious Indian marvels is that you get to meet fellow travelers and have a complete personal time. Also you can go on food trail which is strongly recommended, from bakers shops to Israeli and local cuisines everything here is a must try.

The moment you enter Hampi you'll see ruins and boulders everywhere, its preferred that you arrive Hampi early morning because as the day proceeds it becomes hotter so its preferred to stay on the riverside or in your hotel/stay home. A walk around the old city will take you into the history. You can only wonder how this great city came into existence in an era when there was no huge machines for construction works. Take a stroll from Virupaksha temple to Elephant Stables and then return towards the river crossing it in a ferry or traditional corcoal boats and visit the village (to find a stay mostly)In the evening cross the river and climb up the Matanga hill to view the sunset. Its beautiful. In the evening mingle with fellow travelers, taste the local cuisine, bakery items and 'special drinks' all of it comes for as cheap as it can. Also if you are staying in a stay home then don't forget to try dinner at their place.

Dorji Bear Sanctuary is few kilometers away from Hampi town famous for Sloth Bears. You need to wake up early the next day and after witnessing sunrise from Matange hill take a ride for Bear Sanctuary. The best time to see bears is around 12 in the afternoon so by the time you reach there you'll see sloth bears resting in grass or looking for water.

While returning from Dorji Bear Sanctuary you'll come across Lotus Mahal and the Royal Elephant Stables. Entry to Elephant stables is rs 10 for Indian tourists and is open from 8 AM to 6 PM in the evening. These stables were once used for bringing large rocks to the city that built these massive buildings.

Nearby to Elephant Stables you'll find Lotus Mahal that was built for entertainment of the Royal Women. It lies in the East of the Elephant Stables and the entry fee for Indians is rs 10 and for Foreign Nationals $5.

Hampi Archeological museum is some 5 kms away from Hampi Bazar and that is stays open till 5 PM. This is the best way to end your day and learning about history and culture of Vijayanagara empire.

Anegundi is a much older settlement than Hampi. Its a small village in this area and you can easily spend half of your day here if you are interested in observing simple village life. While returning you can lunch at a local shop that will comprise of traditional South Indian breakfast.

This post is originally published on Unorganised Chaos.

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