Just to get away from monotonous office life, me and mine best buddy decided to go on a trip for weekend. Being only two of us, we searched for tour packages from Chennai to Hampi and finally got one. With my first trip with so many unknown faces around, we boarded the bus arranged by our tour operator by 6pm. The talks started with introduction and the guide sharing their previous trip experience. We stopped by for dinner and were briefed about the next two plans. It was a 15hr drive, we checked in to our homestay by 10am and got ready to see hampi.
The city was to be explored on cycles, post breakfast we picked the cycles and tons of sunscreen lotion. There was a guide to explain about the city history and significance of each monument.
Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site located in east-central Karnataka. It was capital of Vijayanagara Empire in 14th century and was prosperous, wealthy and grand city till defeated by Muslim sultans and their after remained in ruins. The sculpture can be witnessed from the huge shiv linga, narshima, ganesha and the Chariot at Vitthala Temple and Virupaksha temple. The ruined city even attracts you with its finely carved monuments.
After going around the city, we headed to coracle ride in Tungabhadra river. After crossing the river and few km walk we reached Vitthala Temple. We got late and temple was closed, climbing the mountain we could see the big chariot and the beautiful orange sky cast by setting sun. Way back to homestay and now its time to explore another side of Hampi called as ‘Hippie Island’ on other side of river. Crossing the river on till knee water was in itself a achievement, the stones were slippery due to stagnant water some members slipped and fall. This side of the city was totally different with people singing and playing guitar lost in themselves, away from the complications of life.
Next day we hit the shopping areas, you find leather purses, harems, beautifully embroided laces and bed covers. There is a small street to shop but everything you see, you wanna get it. After shopping spree we headed to the birth place of hanuman, the Anjani hills. It takes 45min to climb up to the temple. We stopped by at the lake for lunch and then started our journey back to Chennai.
The nearest railway station is Hospete and it is connected by road from major cities like Chennai, Bangalore and Pune, many private buses ply between the city. There are homestays in both sides of Hampi and can be booked online. There are quiet many and good travel planners who take a small bunch of people, you not only discover a new place but also do make new friends.