India. Just saying the word India makes me think of people, million of people. And million of cars, motorcycles and bicycles. Loud honking . Pollution. Street vendors. Cows. Dirt and garbage. Makes my head spin. That’s what India is making to you. She makes your head spin. But there are some places in India that make inside of your head calm. Places that are so peaceful. Making your heartbeats beating slow. One of those places is Hampi.
Just by saying the word Hampi makes me think of beautiful boulders, millions of boulders. Stacked on top of each other. Looking like someone very strong and bored has stacked them artistically for us to wonder how they got up there. So many of them as far as the eye can reach. So much energy oozing out of them, if you belive in that kind of thing. If not, you will feel it! These boulders what make Hampi so special.
The people. Not millions but only hundreds. Smiling and waving people. And very kind people. And people who loves to have a photo taken. Kids that run towards you when they see you and making you feel like home.
The colors. The color of the sunrise and sunset hitting the boulders. The multicolored sari. Hampi makes me think of green. Green from the rice paddies and palm trees that blend in so well with the blue sky and the reddish boulders. Making a perfect match for the eyes to see.
What to do in Hampi
If you are getting bored with laying on the hammock on your hostel and do nothing then Hampi has a lot of things to offer.
There are two clean and peaceful reservoir where you can swim with beautiful surrounding. You can rent a scooter or a bicycle to get there. You will see a sign where it’s written ” No swimming, crocodile!” just ignore it. There’s no crocodile.
The best way to really take benefit of the boulders are doing some bouldering. There are several places where you can rent the shoes and the mattress. If you are a beginner you can hire someone to show you where and how to climb and get around the boulders. Most of the time you won’t get higher up more than 4-5 meters but it can be more tricky than it looks like. David wears 47-48 size in shoes and the biggest they had was 42. He was in very much pain!
4.Visiting the temples and the ruins
You can ride a bike or scooter and visit the sites or negotiate with a tuk-tuk driver to drive you around. Best time to visit the beautiful ruins and the temples are the early morning or late afternoon. Our favorite is the Monkey temple.
5.Explore the area
We really loved our days on scooter exploring the nearby area. It was never-ending boulders as far as the eye can see.
Don’t ever miss the sunset in Hampi. There are many places in Hampi from where you can see a sunset; Matanga Hill, Hematuka Hill and Malyavanta Hill. Or just climb on one of the many boulders and enjoy!
7. Movie nights
Just walk along the “hippie road” where there are most of the hostels and you will see some of the restaurants and hostels organise movie nights. We saw ” Life of Pi” in one of the restaurant.
8. Bathing Lakshmi the Elephant
Lakshmi the elephant of Virupaksha temple is quite famous and you can find the elephant taking bath in the Tungabhadra riverfront early morning around 7 o’clock. Apart the Elephant you get to see the locals getting themself ready for the day. Some are bathing in the river and some are washing the clothes.
8. Meet the locals
What make Hampi so lovely are the locals. India has great people everywhere but we feel that people in Hampi are genuinely friendly. Really friendly. Talk with them. Especially the kids. They love hanging out with you.
9. Dress like the locals
Sari is my favorite traditional wear because of the colors and it is kind of sexy in a discrete way. When the owner of the hostel where we were stayed at told us about his daughter coming over to visit I asked him if it was ok if she could help me to get dress in one of her sari so I could walk around and feel beautiful. No problem he said!
10. Taking a boat ride
The exact name of this bowl or a floating basket is Coracle. One of these can transfer between 15-20 person!
Where to stay in Hampi?
We stayed at the “hippie” side of Hampi, Anegundi. It’s other side of the river from the main village Hampi where all the ruins are. Along the main street of the “hippie road” you can find many hostel and restaurant. I can’t remember the name of our hostel but the restaurant itself gave me nausea with all the psychedelic images.