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ELT in Hampi
Hampi which is designated as the most searched historical place in Karnataka is the “Yoda” for all the History lovers as well as Hippies! My Hampi story dates back to the times when I was in Hyderabad and one fine monsoon weekend, my finance and his group of buddies decided to elope to this UNESCO’s world heritage site where at every step you are bound to encounter a story that dates back to the times of terracotta!
We being a large group decided to hire a mini bus and off we were on a road trip to this ancient capital of Vijayanagar Empire. The drive is smooth and also there are several overnight AC sleeper buses operating from Bangalore/Hyderabad/Goa on this route so you may book yourself a ticket in one of those as well.
When in Hampi
We had booked this guest house called “Mowgli” located in the hippie side. Now, for your reference the modern Hampi is chiefly divided into two main sections one I like to call the “Historic Hampi”, this is the side with the main bus station and Bazaar where you enter first on arrival to Hampi and it has got all the famous temples and ruins while the other side I call it “Hippie Hampi” which is more about promenade in paddy fields and Chilling with a “Chillam” in one (or all 😉 ) of the many hippie and hap joints!
Hippie Hampi first
Since, we had our own vehicle we headed straight to our resort. It was a peaceful property chiefly accommodating foreigners/relatively young crowd, almost all conveniently chilling in the beautiful “baithak” or central sitting area with futons and low rise tables and yes the enchanting lamp on top of each seating for that perfect hippie ambiance! I recommend that you book their cottage which comes with a personal swing and view of the paddy fields and the immaculate Tungabhadra River, flowing right across the paddy field just a few meters away from this property. After filling our tummies with some yummy nutella pancakes, the group was all set to hit the “Historic Hampi” for some temple/ruin hunting. BUT, my fiancé and I decided to explore the Hippie side a bit more for the rest of the day so we just stayed back.
A trek to Anjaneya Hill by chance!
We got out of the resort and started walking, meeting the locals on our way and inquiring them about the must see spots in the vicinity. Almost all the locals were excited to narrate to us the significance of this hill called “Anjaneya Hill” and recommended a visit, an auto rikshaw (TUK TUK) will drop you right at the foot of this hill which claims to be the birthplace of our Hindu “Monkey God” aka Hanumanji 🙂 We walked for another 10 mins when we finally spotted a tuk tuk and told the driver where we were headed to. He readily agreed and off we were to trek this mythological mountain! On our way to the hill, we came across an ancient bridge and some other ruins from where the hill was clearly visible. The auto driver stopped there without much hesitation and asked us to take our time exploring the ruins before moving ahead. We started to explore the place and engulfed the majesty of these ancient marvels which though were pretty much ruined but the very thought that these rocks and boulders have witnessed centuries touched our souls!
As we reached the foot of the hill we spotted many small shacks selling chai/pani and some local snacks. We were advised to take water and other stuff for the trek as there is no shop either at the top or enroute once you start climbing. The trek was not easy I would say, there are around 600 zig zag stairs that need to be conquered before you feel the cool breeze and witness the breathtaking Hampi panorama. It took us around 30-40 minutes to reach the Hanuman temple at the top. We quickly took the blessings and then sat down to devour every bit of the exhilarating scene in front of us of this rough and tough yet soul soothing beauty called “Hampi”.
It started raining all of a sudden and we decided to climb down and take shelter in one of the shacks at the foot of hill. We were greeted with a warm heart by the locals and enjoyed a garama garam chai with pakodas and chatted with the friendly locals while waiting for an auto rikshaw to stop and take us back to our hippie abode!
The next day, after breakfast we took a “Boat Taxi” (don’t miss to check these out) to explore the “Historic Hampi”. This side was pretty touristy and was way more crowded than I imagined! To know about the various must visit spots here, you may refer to “Lonely Planet Hampi Guide” that explains it all! We had a meal at this famous restaurant called Mango Tree (very close to Virupaksha Temple) and it was quite sumptuous but the main show stopper was the soothing and welcoming ambiance of this place along with an intriguing sweet fragnance of bananas that lingers in the air!
A tip for those you intend to take a dip in the River
I know, the clean river will fascinate many of you and will force you to take a dip or you might just want to sit at the riverside with your picnic basket gazing the locals canoeing the river while some will be busy washing clothes or Elephants (no kidding!) but BEWARE, the river is infested with crocodiles!
That is all for now my dear travelistas! Ciao and wishing you all a Happy Hampi 🙂
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