2 Days Solo Trip to Hampi
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In Vijaynagar, at Hampi, the past comes to life. It takes you on a voyage through the world of monarchs, battles, gorgeous structures, and historical legends.
I didn’t have any arrangements for the upcoming weekend in Hyderabad, so a trip to Hampi by myself sounded like a nice relaxing getaway. Like most of my travel arrangements, this one was also done on the spur of the moment. One afternoon, armed just with a smartphone camera and no set itinerary, I purchased my bus tickets.
Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India located near Hospet town in the Karnataka state, India.
Beautiful temples, palace ruin, aquatic structure remains, historic market lanes, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings, and a seemingly infinite list of other sights may all be found at Hampi. Hampi is both a pilgrim’s pleasure and a backpacker’s utopia.
How to reach Hampi?
- Train – Hospet is the nearest railway station from Hampi (about 12km).
- Bus – There are a lot of buses from Hyderabad to both Hospet & Kamlapur (3km away from Hampi), and it costs approx Rs 800 for a 7 hour journey.
If you’re getting off in Hospet, you can catch a local bus to Hampi for about Rs. 15 that runs every 10 minutes and stops at Hospet. From Hospet to Hampi, a rickshaw would run you between Rs 150 and 200.
Eventually, I began my journey aboard a sleeper bus on a Friday night. Although I detest taking buses, the trip itself was OK.
Day 1 in Hampi!
It’s six in the morning, and I can already make out the boulders in the area. I’m anxious about how I’m going to get about Hampi because I haven’t made any plans. I chose to get here from Kamlapur, which is three kilometres distant from Hampi. As soon as I step off the elevator, a few autowalas are circling the tourists and demanding steep prices for neighbouring locations.
I didn’t have much time to plan my day because it was an impromptu vacation, but I managed to secure a homestay in the Hampi village at a reasonable price. While I was riding in an auto-rickshaw and taking in the scenery, I also learned how to get around and tour the neighbourhood. The autowala was also quite helpful; he offered me lots of pointers and his contact information in case I needed to get around in Hampi.
The best options are buses, which run every 10 minutes and cost about Rs. 8 to get from Kamlapur to Hampi.
Cycling is the ideal method to see Hampi if you’re a solitary tourist or travelling with a group of young people. Renting a bicycle costs Rs 150 per day. Cycling was enjoyable because I went in the rainy season (July). However, I advise having alternative options in the summer because it is really hot here and you can’t enjoy riding a bicycle because you will quickly become dehydrated or feel ill.
Get a map from the Hampi Bazaar and go exploring on your own. I did the same thing since getting lost and having to figure things out on your own is half the fun.
You’ll run into English-speaking rickshaw drivers who will offer to show you around Hampi for the full day. They claim that the temples are so far away and that they’ll show you everything swiftly while charging Rs 800-1000 each day and possibly more.
AVOID THEM! Rickshaw rides are not common among travellers. All of that is intended for aunts and uncles.
It will be a memorable experience to visit the once-grand capital of the Vijayanagar empire. You might anticipate seeing nothing except the ruins of a once-thriving location. Therefore, Hampi is respectfully referred to as the “City of Ruins.”
Virupaksha TempleBelieved to functioning uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD, Virupaksha temple is the oldest and the principal temple in Hampi. This is easily one of the oldest functioning temple in India as well.. Know More
The homestay I chose (Sudha Home Stay) was fortunately only 400 metres from the Virupaksha temple, and the view from the rooftop of my accommodation was really stunning—on one side, you can see the Tungabhadra river, and on the other, it’s just stones and temples. Numerous tiny shops may be found for clothing, antiques, cuisine, bicycles, rentals, and restaurants.
At eight in the morning, I rented a bicycle and began my tour of Hampi. I obtained a local map listing all the must-see attractions in Hampi. I started at the Virupaksha Temple before moving on to the nearby Kadalekalu Ganesha. There are many places in Hampi village that are close together, so you won’t need to commute, but the auto wallas won’t tell you everything.
Kadalekalu GaneshaOn the northeastern slope of the Hemakuta hill, a massive boulder was used to chisel out this enormous statue of Ganesha. The name of this monument comes from the way its belly resembles a Bengal gramme (Kadalekalu in the local tongue).
My next points were Krishna Temple, Badavi Lingam, and Ugra Narasimha.
Krishna TempleThe king (Krishnadevaraya) constructed this temple in 1513 AD to commemorate the conquering of the eastern kingdom of Udayagiri or Utkala (in the present day Orissa state).
The statue of Balakrishna served as the temple’s primary idol (Lord Krishna as infant). This idol is currently on display in Chennai’s state museum. The history of this temple and Ulkala’s conquering is laid out on a sizable slab that was erected inside the temple’s courtyard.
One of the must-see attractions in Hampi is this. The carvings are particularly magnificent, with the Yalis (the mythical lion) on the pillars and stunning carvings of elephant balustrades at the entrances to the temple hall.
Ugra NarasimhaLaxmi Narasimha is seen at the Ugra Narasimha Statue in Hampi. One stone block was used to chisel the statue. Among the entire collection of monuments and artefacts at the site, this one-stone statue of Lord Narasimha is regarded as an important monument. Hampi has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To the south of Hampi is where you’ll find the Ugra Narasimha Statue. The Ugra Narasimha statue at Hampi is 6.7 metres tall. At Hampi, the Ugra Narasimha is situated atop the Hemkunta Hills.
Badavilinga TempleThis is the largest Linga image in Hampi. Located next to the Lakshmi Narasimha statue the Linga is housed inside a chamber with an opening in the front. A close look on this icon can reveal three eyes (depicting the three eyes of Shiva) carved on it. Legend has it that this was commissioned by a peasant woman and hence the name (Badva means poor in local tongue).
You can connect the story these temples and pillars tell with the period when humans must have carved them if you walk alone or spend some quiet time with them.
This area is indeed quite lovely, spotless, and well-maintained by the government. In every ruin there are guards, and Hampi has no trash.
I had more time to appreciate nature and the surrounding beauty because I was riding a bike. Being by myself allowed me to stop frequently for photos and thoroughly investigate my route. The breeze was fantastic, and the weather was great.
After that, I went to see some maintained and royal monuments. It’s odd to see that one of the lovely buildings that was unharmed during the siege of the city is this one.
Lotus Mahal & Elephant StablesAlso known as Chitrangani Mahal and Kamal Mahal, this falls under the secular or nonreligious categories of structures in Hampi. It’s peculiar to note that this is one of the beautiful structures that were left undamaged during the siege of the city.
This long building with a row of domed chambers was used to ‘park’ the royal elephants. There are 11 domed tall chambers; some of them are inter- connected. The center one is specially decorated and big. Probably the musicians and the associated band troupes had been using this during ceremonies involving elephant processions.
I was however anticipating seeing the most anticipated monuments and was daydreaming about their beauty and architecture. There are 85 places to view if you see by name or by Hampi. This extensive list cannot be completed in two days, and the majority of them are so little and close to one another that you are unaware that you have visited so many locations in such a short period of time.
When I made my 3-day reservation last year, it was regrettably cancelled, thus it was on my list of unfinished business. So, this time, I planned a 2-day vacation and was able to see all the attractions.
Stone Chariot was my next stop, and as you can see, both the monument itself and its surroundings are stunning.
Stone Chariot ( Vithala Temple )The “Stone Chariot”, as it is often referred is the flagship tourist attraction of Hampi. This is not a chariot ,as the name suggests, rather a shrine built like a chariot. This is located inside the Vittala Temple campus. You would be visiting the Stone Chariot as part of your Vittala Temple tour.
In mythology Lord Vittala is an aspect of Lord Vishnu (See Gods of Hampi and Mythology of Hampi). Garuda (lord of eagles) is the vehicle (mount) of Lord Vishnu. The Stone Chariot once contained the icon on Garuda, though the shrine is empty now. This shrine is in the axis of the massive Vittala Temple and faces the sanctum of Vittala Temple.
I am almost finished with the day’s tour and decided to take a nap in order to recharge before spending the evening at Hemakuta Hill and waving farewell to the sun:)
It was a lovely day, and I made sure to mention all the noteworthy elements. I intended to see the sunrise from Matanga Hill to start the following day.
Day 2 in Hampi!
I had a fantastic day the day before, so I decided to start my day a little early to see the sunrise from Matanga Hill. I got up early and started walking there at 5:20 in the morning. I had to arrive in time to view the sunrise, and while I kept checking my watch, I noticed that many other kids were also ascending the hill to observe the same thing.
The hilltop requires 600 stairs and a rather precarious path to reach. I took 25 minutes to get there, but it was well worth it because of the magnificent view. I was standing on the temple’s roof, where the Pujari (temple priest), who spoke excellent English, was giving out free water and tea to passersby.
I couldn’t see the sunrise as expected due to the clouds, but the experience of ascending and sitting on top of the hill, the view, the breeze, and the freshness made my morning so energising and motivated. Now, I have a plan for the rest of my day.
In order to explore more intriguing monuments, I rented the bicycle once more and travelled as indicated on the map. My next stop was the Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex, Queen’s Bath, Old Palace, Mahanavami Dibba, Pushkarani, Hippie Island, Coracle Ride, and Hampi Bazaar.
Queen’s BathFor some mysterious reasons this was called as the queen’s bath. But in all probability this was a royal pleasure complex for the king and his wives.
PushkarniPushkaranis are sacred tanks attached to temples. Most of the large temples in Hampi has a tank attached to it. The tanks cater to the ritual and functional aspects of the temple and life surrounding it.
Hippie IslandVirapapur Gadde or also known as Hippie Island in Hampi, is a small place located across the Tungabhadra River, separating the historical part from an area with a smooth rhythm.
Things to do in Hippie Island in Hampi
Backpackers will love Hippie Island in Hampi, a symbol of natural beauty noted for its relaxed atmosphere and the placement of all guesthouses, hostels, or campsites.
The majority of hotels also have restaurants that serve delicious meals and cold beers—both of which are prohibited in Hampi—while providing stunning views of the river, the ruins, or the picturesque rice fields.
You will undoubtedly grow quite attached to this location, whether you choose to live in opulent surroundings or remain in modest huts or rooms, enjoy the flavours of Indian and Western food, or simply relax on any terrace overlooking the river.
Many of these cafes also function as guest hotels, where you may find inexpensive, basic rooms or more opulent ones.
There are plenty of activities to do while visiting this location for a few days, but you should, above all, just rest and do nothing. Here are some ideas for things to do on this hippie island and reasons why you must visit it on your trip to India.
Coracle RideA circular shaped country boat to cross the river. A huge floating basket is a more appropriate description than calling it a boat. They are huge flat craft to ferry people & sheep (yes sheep!). About 6 feet in diameter, coracles are made of bamboo, cane, plastic sheets and a fine coating of bitumen to make it leak proof!
Hemakuta Hill TempleThanks to its architecture these temples are mistaken for Jain Temples. In fact most of them are dedicated to Siva worship. These smart looking compact temples with pyramid-like roofs resemble that of the Jain temples.
Tungabhadra Dam, HospetThe Tungabhadra Dam also known as Pampa Sagar is constructed across the Tungabhadra River, a tributary of the Krishna River.[ The dam is in Hosapet, Ballari district of Karnataka. It is a multipurpose dam serving irrigation, electricity generation, flood control, etc.
Where to Eat in Hampi?
Hampi is a totally vegetarian and alcohol-free location. However, you must travel to the “Hippie Island” if you really want non-vegetarian cuisine or alcohol.
A must-visit in Hampi are the eateries listed below.
- I’ve eaten at the Mango Tree restaurant in Hampi Bazaar for both breakfast and evening. Food that is both hygienic and tasty, as well as a nice location to relax with background music.
- Tibetan Kitchen – All Tribes Coffee Shop: Tourists abound at this coffee and chai establishment. Sadly, I was unable to visit there.
- Open-air dining options may be found in Hampi Island’s guest homes, including Mowgli, Hema, Funky Monkey, Nargila Guest House, etc.
Excellent food, but a little expensive. These eateries are a must-visit if you’re searching for a spot to unwind while reading a book, playing cards, or lying down as soothing music plays in the background.
Why go to Hampi?
- Peaceful place; away from the chaos of city life. Forget 3G, most areas barely any phone network.
- To spend a night in Hampi’s ‘Hippie Island’.
Hippie island is a backpacker’s paradise and is on the list of every wanderlust lover. Come to this island for solace :p
- It’s just an overnight journey from Bangalore/Hyderabad :-
Hampi is probably the best destination in South India for a ‘weekend backpacking experience’.
- For a cycling tour to explore all the ancient ruins, the forgotten marvels, the religious history, and architectural beauty.
- For the open-air restaurants, replete with travellers, where you can sit for however long you want.
Solo travel to Hampi is completely worthwhile, both financially and in terms of the time spent there. For all it has to offer, it’s a location unlike any other. One is sure to wonder about the history of the settlement when they see the enormous boulders and the remnants of the temples and palaces. This location attracts a wide variety of tourists all year long as a result.
II went to Hampi on a hiking trip and fell in love with it right away. Any ardent tourist considering a trip to Hampi will undoubtedly feel the same way.
Highlights of Hampi Solo Trip
- Hire a Bicycle and enjoy the beauty of Hampi and nature
- Best place for photographers
- Camping on the hills are not allowed
- Booze and non-veg are not allowed in Hampi
- Solo trips are very very safe
- Must follow Hampi.in as your guide for any trips
- Best time to visit is September till March, I went in rainy season and I liked it
- Capture as many photos you can take home the memories
- 2 Days are enough to cover every point in Hampi
Now its your turn to visit and experience the kingdom ness of Hampi…