One tip – don’t go by the local people’s suggestion on places to visit. They might end up sending you to the ‘touristy’, crowded sites which are assumed to be most famous. Hampi has layers of storytelling experiences in every corner which are best discovered with an open mind and imagination. We ended up finding the least crowded places to be the most interesting ones.
It is the largest monolith statue in Hampi with a height of 6.7m. The Mughal vandalism has left the statue with a damaged face giving it an angry look and hence was misunderstood as Ugra Narasimha when in fact it is a Lakshmi Narasimha – goddess Lakshmi’s right hand embracing the Lord visible but her statue missing.
There is another huge monolithic structure is of Ganesha with a huge round stomach resembling Bengal Gram.
Spice market/Hampi Bazaar was another of my favourite places. No archaeological marvel as such, the market has some of its parts completely destroyed while some stand solid to almost have you imagine hawkers settling down and countrymen shopping in those lanes.
Places to Eat
The demarcation of the river becomes even more prominent for the foodies. Stay on the temple side for local vegetarian cuisine or travel to the other side for non-vegetarian food and hippie cafes.
Mango Tree – Mentioned on top of any food blogs about Hampi, it is a decent place flocking with all Indian and International tourists. Good ambience, good food, buttermilk to kill for after the scorching heat. Overall, overrated.
Almost all cafes here have a very elaborate menu offering Israeli, Spanish, English, Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine. They make their own versions of whatever the menu states, but its all nice.
Gouthami – They boast of organic produce. The food, service and ambience all gets a thumbs up from us
Laughing Buddha – Go here for the view of the river, preferably in the daylight
Mowgli – This is where we stayed and had almost everything on the menu. I have 4 pages of bills to prove that! Try their hummus and falafel plate, thanks me later.
Good to know
Pack light, there is some walking required through tiny lanes which are not friendly for dragging suitcases
Not so great network – all cafes claim free wifi but they hardly work
It is hot almost at all times, better to carry comfortable cotton clothing
Reading about history and mythology can really helps
We missed out on the Coracle ride, add that to your list
Back in time, back in pace, if that adds up as a perfect vacay idea, Hampi is the place to be.
Another one of my bucket list! What’s next?