My decision to backpack to Hampi was an out of the blue thing for most of my friends, mainly that it was a solo trip. But I can say it was one of the best trips I have had in my lifetime.
To reach Hampi, the easiest and the most preferred way is via Hospet. Hospet has road and rail connectivity to most cities of India. I reached Hospet at around 8 pm and took an auto to Hampi. The auto driver was so friendly and kind to tell me about all the places that needed to be visited there. Finally he dropped me to the home-stay where I had booked a room. Hampi has a lot of home-stays which makes the stay affordable and worthy!
So with an overall image i got from him and also from a friend who had been to Hampi before, I set out to explore the long lost empire with my new found freedom.
The day started with heading to the Tungabadra river and while I waited for the boat that will take me to the Hippie Island, I got the opportunity to see the beautiful sight of an elephant enjoying the cool waters. She belongs to the Virupaksha temple from what I heard. I enjoyed dipping my feet in the river for sometime and then took the first boat which came towards us. Usually they charge 30 Rs per ride, but based on the demand and hours they increase the charges.
The first thing I did after reaching the Island was rent a bicycle. A lot of locals will approach asking if you need to rent scooters/bicycles for the day (Rs 200-250 for scooters and Rs 150 for bicycles), which would be the most sensible thing to do to roam around, since auto drivers charge way too much. Another thing to keep in mind is the lack of mobile network. Most of the time only option would be using the WiFi of the restaurants you visit.
The main places to visit in the island is the Anjaneya Hill (also called the monkey hill) and the Sanapur Lake. So I climbed the Anjaneya Hill which was approx. 570 steps up the hill, but the view was worth it (watch out for a lot of monkeys!).
Then I left out to Sanapur lake which was in the opposite direction, but the best part was enjoying the greenery and the boulders on the way while I rode my bicycle ahead. The cold breeze and the clean air felt so refreshing.
Close to the river in the island there are many cafes where people just chill out and enjoy music. Also at a walkable distance there is a sunset point at the Hippie hill, where I saw many foreigners play music (mostly trance) and enjoyed the sunset along with them.
The morning sunrise from Matanga hill was mesmerizing. Even though some bouldering is required, the view is worth the climb. There is a temple at the top of this hill, where the friendly priest offers tea to everyone after the climb. After enjoying the view, I set out to explore the real Hampi, the long lost affluent Vijayanagara empire that had a lot of stories to unveil.
The architecture of all the temples and what was left of in the ruins were so magnificent that I lost track of time even looking at them.
My trip ended with yet again another beautiful sunset from the hippie hill.
My first solo trip could never have been any better. Thanks to all the warm-hearted and friendly people of Hampi. Will go back there for sure.