There is hardly any mobile network here.. You need to rely on Wifi of the hotel.. Outside of Hampi bazar the network holds good.. You can use your mobile phone maps to navigate and find your location.. Much needed for a solo traveler.. Buy the map if you need to mark completed places.. That map is not to scale and useless..
Make sure you bring along cash with you.. At least 3000INR per head.. At no place will the credit/debit cards work.. The nearest working ATM is at Hosapete.. If you run out of cash, you will be forced to take an auto rickshaw to the ATM at Hosapete.. There are 2 ATM machines on the Hosapate-Hampi road.. But they wont have cash in them.. For foreign tourists, there are money exchange centers in Hampi but it will be cheaper to get these exchanged at the airport or the metro city you come from..
For solo travelers, you must find the cheapest homestay accomodation.. Lot of options on booking.com or goibibo.com .. I stayed first night at Siri homestay for 500inr.. If you hit the wood walls here hard enough, the entire room should come down.. Fan.. Hot water.. Best location.. Secure.. What else do you need..
Night 2 I stayed at Gopi guest house.. a good place to stay at decent pricing..
( In terms of stay I dont speak for female solo travelers.. Please help yourselves with the decent comfort and security as needed )
Best: to be here on a road trip with your personal vehicle..
Thinking of taking a bicycle to roam around? Good idea, but only for strong thighs.. I checked with the auto rickshaw guy.. He said they take max 700inr to tour Hampi.. I believe even 1000inr is a better deal as the auto rickshaw guy will wait for you at all places and drop you where he picked you up.. Make sure you do bargain though.. I took a bicycle from Venkateshwara hotel ( near mango tree ).. I am a never-skip-leg-day guy.. So no issues for me on the high slopes of Hampi-Royal Enclosure road.. Bicycle rate will be higher on weekends.. And please be careful with riding your bicycles.. There are lot of blind turns and slopes.. Take a bicycle only if you are good biker..
Mopeds seem to be banned in 2015 but I saw some new ones with Yellow plate ( only 3-4 of them ).. Not sure of the price at which they are sold.. ( Planning to get a Moped? Contact your hotel guy before coming to Hampi ).. The nearest petrol pump is at Kamalapur ( place after Royal Enclosure ).. So be sure before you take this Moped..
The auto rickshaw charge from Hosapete railway station to Hampi is 200inr.. You can bargain too.. I got it for 180inr..
Bus service is not direct.. Hosapate railway station to Hosapete bus stop there is a bus.. From Hosapate bus stop to Hampi is another bus.. Its your choice..
Sunset / Sunrise point.. Many travelers have mentioned the hike of Matanga hill is very steep..very tiring..bla..bla.. Nothing like that.. Must go here for sunrise.. Hardly 20 min of a trek for a fit individual with a torch at 5.00am..
If you are good at photography, you must start the climb at 5am.. Many people start coming in by 6am..For sunset it depends on what you want in your picture frame.. Too many boulders.. High places.. Rivulets.. Temple domes to bring in your picture frame.. Do go to Royal Enclosure and all other nearby places.. Hazara Rama is really good.. Elephant stable is good.. Do go to Vitthala temple and see the stone chariot here.. Tip.. You wont see sunrise/sunset in monsoon season..
They provide the tourism ticket at Lotus Mahal area.. Its 30inr for Indians and 500inr I guess for rest of the world.. Keep this ticket with you if you plan to visit Vitthala temple.. If you lose it, you will unnecessarily pay again for the ticket.. So in the morning leave for Royal Enclosure and while coming back go see the Vitthala temple.. Important info.. If you are on a bicycle, you will have to park it somewhere near Hampi bazar and go walking to Vitthala temple.. This is a good 1.2km “walk” with ups and downs of hills and unpaved road..
I had dinner at Mango Tree.. Breakfast at Suresh/Venkateshwara hotel.. Lunch at Hampi Island on greener side of the river.. Evening snack at Gopi rooftop.. Dinner at Tibetan Kitchen.. I liked the food at all places I had.. I missed out having breakfast at Shanthi ( even when I had time to ) .. I suggest you go there for steamy idlis to keep you charged for your day tour.. I wont recommend masala dosa at Venkateshwara hotel.. Bad it was! A friend mentioned Sagar Hotel makes good appams.. Non vegetarian food is available at hippie land ( the greener land on the other side of the river ).. Food is reasonable at all places.. Try Goti soda ( if you never have ) while roaming at Royal Enclosure.. Priced 15inr..
They are very friendly.. You can get help and directions from a school kid to an aged man.. They speak english and hindi very well..
The ferry currently charges 10inr per head.. Its a motor boat.. That umbrella like boat: Coracle will charge 50inr per head.. I don’t recommend the Coracle.. You will wet your pants in it ( water seeps in from below ).. For the best Coracle experience! Go to Chitrakoot waterfalls..
Sharing a few shots I captured on my trip