Life is all about experiences. And the beginning of this year, i had planned to experience 3 backpacking paradises- Gokarna, Hampi & Puducherry. I experienced Gokarna in July17. Now it was time for Hampi. Nothing could hold me back from covering Hampi since it was always on my list. Neither WL 198 while booking the ticket in LTT Hubli Express nor the jam backed berth where there was no place to even stand properly. The whole boggie reminded me of the train scene in Gadar movie when a train comes from Lahore to India and it has all the corpses. Lol no these people were alive in this train but yea it did feel like that once every once in a while. Well I had never travelled earlier without a confirmed ticket even though I have always been a train fan .Guess I was lucky all the time. But this experience was one of its own and memorable. I got a chance to lie down at 4 am and with less than 3 hours of sleep I found myself sitting next to the window watching the trees run away from me and thinking how small are we in this world. Just couldn't afford to miss that. Well ,we need to cover the earth before it covers us, don't we ?
The journey was ironical in itself. If I had to give a rough headcount of the boggie last night ,it would be easily 250+. And exact headcount after Belgaum was 5 and that includes us .It felt as if the train belonged to us. Man this journey just kept getting better and better !! We got off at Hubbali and changed train for Hospet after having lemon rice and banana chips for lunch :) I met a bong family travelling from goa to hampi and the whole way just passed talking to them about goa and hampi. We reached Hospet at around 3 pm and the adrenaline rush started flowing. Man , we were close now. Without wasting much time , we took an auto who dropped us off to our Siri homestay in Hampi. The journey from Hospet to Hampi was nothing but a treat to the eyes. The humongous boulders and the never ending stretch of the coconut trees gave us a glimpse of what's in store.We reached our home stay, nothing fancy just beds washroom and a very sweet aunt who was more than happy to share her stories of Hampi. We were famished and it started raining . Yes we brought rain to the place which is dry for most part of the year and now it received heavy downpour. We had a rice thaali in our room and without letting the rain get in our way,we took off to cross the river and go to the Hampi island popularly called Hippie island. But since it was raining , we couldn't get the boat and had to take the coracle ride which we were more than happy to take.
A 5 Min boat ride and we were on the other side of the river. It's said that there is nothing which you can't find on the other side ( you know what I mean ). We headed to Nargila, a popular joint serving some amazing food. The place gave literal meaning to the word laid back. You can sleep ,rest ,drink , smoke or play board games or do all together there. We had ginger tea and Pizza which gave us foodgasms. Intrigued by the crowd and the place, we were chilling when we heard someone call us asking, do u play chess ? That's when i made my first friend in the trip , Manny. Andhra guy who had Hampi as second home as he was a regular there. We played chess , shared travel stories and then we realized it was getting late. Late meant it was 8 pm and we had to get back to our side of the river as the price of coracle ride increased dynamically. A geometric progression to be exact, 30 before 6, 50 from 6 to 7 , 100 from 7 to 8 and anything after 8. He charged us 125 per head at 8.30 .We came back to our home stay , dried ourselves and went to the highest rated restaurant on TripAdvisor, the Mango tree. The place had an amazing crowd and that's when i met my favorite person of the trip a French guy and a couple with whom we shared the seating place. The french guy was the sorted sort of guy who was in Bengalauru for last 10 months and the other couple ( presumably ) were also from the same place. We shared lots of talk on country, politics , tv shows, jobs and what not. At close to 11 , when everyone else had left the restaurant, we decided that it was time to call it a night and we came back to our home stays and dozed off.
Aug 26,2017 The next morning, we got up at 5.30 am to see the sunrise on Matanga Hills. We went to the Virupaksha temple firstly and then covered the 320 hill steps to reach Matanga hill which already had lot of people . We were unlucky as the clouds didn't let us see what we came for. Nevertheless we saw some breathtaking view from the top and saw some poets , free hand sketchers, writers on the top doing what they are best at. After the matanga hills, we came back to our homestay and checked out of it and went to Netra guest house. Had puri and yummy dosas for breakfast and then we got in the auto who gave us a package to show all the points. Well there were 20 points and some places needed special mention like Vitthala temple and Raghunatha temple. Rest others had stories histories behind them but if you are not a history buff , you can skip few places. These places are beautiful and undoubtedly Hampi has been recognized as the world heritage site by UNESCO. You have an option of taking a bicycle for 150 bucks a day and see the places by yourself. But considering Hampi is hot and humid through out the year, you can chose as per your comfort. We came back to our homestay in the evening, played chess at the funkey monkey restaurant, had dinner again at mango tree and then called it a night.
Aug 27,2017 The next day was the last day of our trip .We got up early and left the place at 8 , crossed the river and took a scooty for half day. The roads, the view , the boulders , coconut and the lush green paddy..nothing can beat all that. We went to the Sanapur lake and had a long coracle ride for 75 bucks each which was amazing. Then we went to Hanuman birth place..575 tiring stairs to reach the top and see Hampi in a different light.One can spend hours mesmerising the view but Since we didn't have enough time, rushed to Nargilla for lunch. Had good food, relaxed and then left the place with unlimited memories. We travelled in local buses on way back. Hampi --> Hospet --> koppal --> Hubli --> Pune. Can't explain the happiness this road journey gave.I am still smiling thinking what transpired in these 3 days. Couldn't have asked for anything better. Seemed like I was on a whole Karantaka tour while travelling in the local buses.
The amazing part of Hampi was the contrast and the irony. When you see those big goddamn boulders or when you are at top of any hill , you see and think how small you are in this big world. And on the same day , you meet all the people again with whom u shared some conversation. Be it the Bengaluru couple or the french guy or the Andhra guy or Bengali family, we met all these people in different places again only to share a smile again. World is not that big after all. Irony. It was not the smoothest of journeys but definitely memorable one. Hampi will give u peace ,it will relax u and it will give u happiness. So while u can, take the leap ,pack your bags and visit the place. And yesDon't worry, Be Hampi :)