Weekend Getaway To The Lost City - Hampi

Tripoto
22nd Mar 2018

Sunset at Anjani Hill

Photo of Weekend Getaway To The Lost City - Hampi by Offbeat Voyagers

Hampi, reminder of our glorious past, an unsullied gem, tucked into nature, is a UNESCO world heritage site. Attracting backpackers, history enthusiasts, photographers, adventurers and anyone who simply wants to relax and kick back. Everything in Hampi, from the ruins to the boulders will leave you spellbound once you lay eyes on it, that makes it worth the visit!!

Getting To Hampi From Mumbai

Mumbai To Hosapete:

We took a VRL semi sleeper bus(The chairs with leg support recline. Pretty comfortable!!) from Mumbai to Hospet. The bus starts its journey from Borivali, although we boarded in Vashi(Vashi old toll naka) as the bus takes a lot of time just to get out of Mumbai and it was easier to get to Vashi. The bus was expected to be in Vashi at 7:15pm, but it got delayed to 8pm. The ticket costed Rs. 1000 per person.

The bus halts in Khopoli at 11pm for a dinner break for half an hour. The restrooms at the food plaza are decent and clean enough to use. We did not have a heavy dinner as a long journey was to follow. We have to say the food items seemed a little overpriced, so for all the people on a budget it would be a great idea to carry your mom's home cooked food that we usually say no to.

The expected time to reach Hosapete was 7:30am the next day, but the bus was late and we reached by 9:30am. Hungry after the long journey, we had a filling breakfast at Shanbhag restaurant for Rs. 150 for two, just a little walk away from where the bus dropped us.

Note:

The ride is pretty comfortable, as the bus mostly stays on Pune-Bangalore expressway which is in a good condition.

There is a provision of bedsheets on each seat in the bus. They also play a movie in the evening for entertainment(common screen for all). We recommend taking an AC bus in summers to avoid the heat. There are no charging ports in the bus(present in sleeper buses).

Most importantly there aren't any designated restroom stops, so keep a check on the amount of water you consume.

Hosapete To Hampi:

Why Hippie Island, well Hampi has all the ruins to explore, but people usually stay on Hippie island or somewhere on that side of the river, as most of the cheap and cozy accommodations are on Hippie island.

So once you are in Hosapete, take a bus to Hampi for Rs. 15, which should take less than an hour. The buses to Hampi are pretty frequent, one every hour. From the bus stop in Hampi, the Tungabhadra river is a 10 minute walk, from where you can cross the river in a boat for Rs. 20 per person(Rs. 30 if you have luggage with you) and reach Hippie island. If your plan is to stay in Sanapur, you could rent a two wheeler on Hippie island and move ahead.

Two Wheeler rent details:

You can rent a scooter(Honda Activa) for Rs. 200 per day(the day ends at midnight). This place is next to VJ guest house. They will ask you the quantity of petrol you would like to fill at the place, which they sell at a higher cost compared to the petrol stations. So if you are on a tight budget, you could fill in a liter and go to the nearest petrol station which is 7 km away. You will have to deposit an identity proof for security(carry something more than license). Moped costs Rs. 150 and Honda Navi costs Rs. 250 per day.

Contact number: Arjun(+91 94807 34305)

Since we had booked our stay in Sanapur, we took a bus from Hosapete to Huligi for Rs. 26 and another bus from Huligi to Sanapur for Rs. 23. The journey took around an hour and a half. We had Arjun arrange transportation for us from Sanapur to Hippie island where we rented the scooter.

Accomodation

As we could not find a good source on the Internet stating the situation of stay in Hampi, we prebooked an airbnb in a village home in Sanapur for two nights that costed us Rs. 1500. The room was spacious for us, and the facilities were decent.

But we would recommend finding a guest house or a hostel on Hippie island, which should cost you around Rs. 200 - Rs. 500 per night, that you can find after getting there as well. You might have to share the place with another person if you are a solo traveler. The benefits of staying at a home-stay is you get to interact with travelers from different places, enjoy live music in the evening and kick back and enjoy a movie night.

Restaurants To Try In Hampi

1. Mango Tree

We went here on the first night after a long chilly ride on the scooter. The restaurant sold itself on the first glimpse. It is a cozy place with mattresses on the floor for seating and has charging points at each table. This is one of the few restaurants that serves local cuisine, which could be a heaven for all the cashew lovers. A must try at this place would be the many flavors of lassi. In addition to all of this, they play really soothing music that will put you in a trance.

2. Gouthami Restaurant

This place is amazing for a breakfast and comparatively light on the pocket. Even the simplest of food tasted good. If you are an egg fanatic, you need to try the omelettes at this place. Being experimental people, we tried

Things To Do In And Around Hampi

Day 2

1. Bouldering On Hippie Island

A shot at Bouldering

Photo of Chinna's Camping Area, hampi island, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers
Photo of Chinna's Camping Area, hampi island, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

Hampi is a great place for bouldering. No matter which direction you look, the one thing you are bound to see are boulders. There are a few places that conduct bouldering sessions for around Rs. 600 per person. As we were on a tight budget we decided to take on this venture ourselves.

The place we bouldered at is around 5 minutes away from the restaurants on Hippie island. As we did not have any equipment we were pretty confused on where to start and how far should we risk it. But pushing and pulling each other up, we did climb a few boulders.

We would not recommend doing this alone, specially if you are new to bouldering, as there could be consequences and the rocks are pretty deserted.

The best time to do this would be in winters, as it would not rain in those months and the weather will be pleasant.

Irrespective of the short comings, we had a new and exciting experience, we hope you have one too. HAPPY BOULDERING!!

The bouldering spot

Photo of Weekend Getaway To The Lost City - Hampi by Offbeat Voyagers
Day 1

2. Sunset At Anjani Hill

One of the prettiest sunsets you will see

Photo of Anjaneya Hill, Hanumanahalli, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers
Photo of Weekend Getaway To The Lost City - Hampi by Offbeat Voyagers

This hill is believed to be the birthplace of Hanuman, the monkey God, is located in the center of Anegondi area and is visible from a lot of places, being the second highest peak in Hampi. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman on top of the hill.

There are more than 550 steps to reach the summit of the hill. The view of the surrounding paddy fields and the Tungabhadra River flowing below offers a mesmerizing sight.

The monkeys gathering to watch the sunset, with the prayer songs playing in the background and the cool breeze cooling us off did make this one of the best sunsets we have ever seen.

Sunset At Anjani Hill

While coming down you could take a different route, but you will end up on the other side of the mountain. We recommend to carry a torch, as it does get dark after the sunset, which reduces the visibility of the steps. We ended the trek with sweet and replenishing coconut water at the base.

3. Cliff Jumping and Coracle Ride

It was a thrilling and adventurous experience. Read more about it on our other blog https://www.tripoto.com/trip/cliff-jumping-off-the-rocks-of-hampi-5ac61cb3de388........

4. Relaxing At Sanapur Lake

As we could not bear the heat during the day, we went out to the lake at night, around 9pm. It was blissful, looking at the shimmering water in the moonlight, listening to the wind whistling through the rocks. We simply sat there looking at the clouds passing by, hiding the moon from time to time.

Note: It is pretty dark around the lake, as there are no street lights, so do carry a torch.

5. Bird watching

We did spot a few birds, but could not click great photos. This place is filled with various animals, insects and birds, that makes it must go for all the wildlife photographers and enthusiasts. For more information refer to this blog(https://footloosein.me/2016/11/02/bird-watching-hampi/).

6. Historical Ruins

This will surely take you back in time. Long back, here stood the imperial city of Vijayanagara, located on the river Tungabhadra. Vijayanagara's fame derives from its role as capital as capital of South India's largest, wealthiest and most powerful kingdom, hence its name, 'City of Victory'. The beauty of these ruins provide you a great opportunity to bring out your inner photographer.

Day 2

i) Virupaksha Temple Complex

The 100 pillar hall

Photo of Virupaksha Temple East Gopura, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers
Photo of Virupaksha Temple East Gopura, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The splendid paintings on the ceiling of the mandapa

Photo of Virupaksha Temple East Gopura, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The main shrine

Photo of Virupaksha Temple East Gopura, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

As the principal destination for most visitors to Hampi, the Virupaksha temple complex makes an obvious starting point. The gopura at the entrance of the temple is more than 50 metres tall. The whitewashed tower gleams in the brilliant sunshine, at night it is brightly illuminated with lights. The gopura leads into a spacious court bounded by high walls. Straight ahead is a much smaller gopura which is an authentic Vijaynagara period structure. There is a 100-columned hall occupying the left rear corner of the enclosure. On moving straight from the entrance you will reach the mandapa that leads to the main shrine. The mandapa is an open spacious hall with sixteen animal piers. The ceiling above is carried on inverted T-shaped beams. It is entirely covered with splendid paintings divided into panels, some of which portray the marriages of Virupaksha and Pampa, and Rama and Sita. In order to proceed to the Tungabhadra from the temple, you need to exit from the gate on the north side known as the Kanakagiri gopura.

ii) Manmatha Tank

The Manmatha tank and Kanakagiri Gopura

Photo of Weekend Getaway To The Lost City - Hampi by Offbeat Voyagers

The Kanakagiri gopura leads directly to the Manmatha tank, once the principal bathing place for the visitors to the Virupaksha complex, but now somewhat dilapidated, with many of the steps partly subsided

iii) End Of Hampi Bazaar Street And Achyutaraya Temple Complex

The gopura at the entrance of Achyutaraya Temple Complex

Photo of Weekend Getaway To The Lost City - Hampi by Offbeat Voyagers

A beautiful tree at the end of bazaar street

Photo of Weekend Getaway To The Lost City - Hampi by Offbeat Voyagers

After visiting the Virupaksha temple complex, we proceeded to the other end of hampi bazaar street where we had a look at the Department Archaeology Museum Photo Exhibition which contained photos of various places in hampi taken around 100 years ago. It is a free exhibition, one you must visit to understand how the place changed over the span of a 100 years.

After we were done looking at the exhibit, we continued towards Achyutaraya temple. The first structure we came across on this path was a mandapa beneath the boulders which houses a colossal Nandi monolith, the head of which is damaged.

Continuing down the path took us over a small hill which lead to Achyutaraya's Temple Complex. The complex, pretty much ruined, was built in 1534. As with the other great religious complexes of this part of the city, the monument stands at the end of a bazaar street, but here this runs north towards the river with Matanga hill to the west. The temple complex is entered through a pair of gopuras. A small doorway in the rear(south) outer enclosure wall of the complex leads to a pathway that runs past an impressive rock carving of Kali. The pathway continues beside a modern channel feeding irrigated fields to the base of a granite staircase that climbs to the top of Matanga hill.

Day 3

iv) Queen's Bath

Though known as the queen's bath, this water pavilion was probably intended for male courtiers and their female companions. The structure presents a severely plain exterior, which contrasts markedly with the interior where there is a delightful arcaded corridor roofed with ornate vaults of different designs running around a square pool. Balconies with arched windows, decorated with delicate plasterwork, project over the pool.

v) Zenana Enclosure

Photo of Zenana Enclosure, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

It is a high walled compound, roughly quadrangular in shape and is defined by slender tapering walls composed of granite blocks with irregular jointing. The interior is dotted with structures of different designs.

vi) Lotus Mahal

The Lotus Mahal

Photo of Lotus Mahal Hampi, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The Lotus Mahal, which dominates the enclosure, is one of the best preserved structures in the royal centre. The pavilion is laid out on a square mandala-like plan with symmetrical projections on each side. The moulded stone basement on which the pavilion is elevated, the double-curved cave sheltering the arches and the cluster of nine pyramidal towers that rise above are all derived from temple architecture.

vii) Elephant Stables

The imposing Elephant Stables

Photo of Elephant Stable, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

A modest opening in the east wall of the zenana enclosure leads to a spacious plaza. This is overlooked from the east by the elephant stables, the most imposing courtly structure of the royal center. The stables comprise a long line of eleven chambers, each of which could accommodate two elephants.

viii) Underground Temple

The entrance to the Underground Temple

Photo of Weekend Getaway To The Lost City - Hampi by Offbeat Voyagers

This temple is called the 'Underground' temple because it was once partly buried, but now it is fully exposed by excavation. Set well below ground level, the temple's somewhat austere interior is usually partly flooded with water from the surrounding fields. It presents something of an architectural labyrinth since it comprises a number of additions to a core sanctuary with a pyramidal stone tower.

ix) Vitthala Temple Complex

The path to the temple

Photo of Vitthala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The interiors of the temple

Photo of Vitthala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The chariot on the Rs. 50 note

Photo of Vitthala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Offbeat Voyagers

The temple complex is around 1 KM away from the entrance of the premise. There are electric buggy's that ply the distance for Rs. 20. But we chose to walk down the path as the buggy was taking a lot of time. The first structure to be noticed on this road is a small mandapa with a central dais, above which rises a brick tower. Continuing along the road, the surviving colonnades of the chariot street start to appear, into which are set a temple on the left and a portico further along on the right. The portico gives access to a large rectangular tank surrounded by steps, with a small pavilion in the middle. Ahead, at the end of the street, can be seen the principal gopura of the temple complex. The temple stands in vast rectangular courtyard with gopuras on three sides. Immediately in front of the temple stands a chariot-like structure with pairs of wheels on the sides and a small shrine with exquisite cutout colonettes above. Another structure in the complex contains musical pillars where you can keep your ear and hit the pillar to listen to the sound produced.

Getting Back To Mumbai

Well this is not rocket science, you just have to retrace the steps. So after riding the scooty for three days, we went ahead and dropped it off, crossed the river to Hampi and boarded the 5pm bus to Hosapete that charges Rs. 15 and takes around 45 minutes. In preparation of the long journey ahead, we chomped on fresh juicy watermelon and pineapple. We took a VRL bus back as well, that costed us Rs. 1200 per person. The bus began it's journey at 6:30pm from Hosapete and made a halt someplace after Belgaum at 11:30pm for dinner. The dinner at the place was affordable and hygienic. Our bus was late by one hour and reached Vashi at 7:30am the next morning.

We hope you have a fun and memorable weekend, just like we did!!

So Don't Worry And Be Hampi!!

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