What a lovely place!? everytime I visit (and now twice with Manjula) we discover more and more wonderful dimensions to Hampi.
This time we stayed in the Hampi village rather than crossing over to the island. We love both. We actually stayed two nights/three days and didn’t repeat the main ruins listed below as ‘further away’. We did however repeat our visits to the recommended places to eat, at least twice and called in at Anagundi again.
We travelled on an overnight train from Mysore to Hospet and back (Hanuman flew), journey time 12 hours, we took our own food in a Tiffin. The food supplied on the train on our first visit, a year ago, was not so good in the evening but we were happy to order the Dosa in the morning.
Hampi is of course mostly famous for its ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire from 5-700 years ago (don’t challenge me on the facts, I’m not being a guide now!). It does however have a very special feel to the place. The following suggestions for one days are at slow paces, if you’re being manic you can cover it in half the time BUT Hampi is a relaxing laid back, shanti shanti place! Its now a UNESCO site and has already changed a lot and will do some more but its still fab.
Interestingly the Srirangapatnam Island (12kms form Mysore), location of the famous MyCycle Tours, was also the site of the southern outpost of the Vijayanagar Empire. There are no ruins left of that period but still plenty for a Yorkshireman to bore hundreds of people about!
Here’s a small selection of our photos, more are to be found on flickr here.
Best places to eat:
Sagar Hotel, the ladies offering street food breakfast (on street opposite Mango.) I particularly like the small Dosa balls (what are they called again?)
Mango Tree, (now shifted to Hampi Village) great food.
Please note there is no alcohol in Hampi you have to travel across the river via the ferry to the island (aka Israel) or into Hospet to get any.
Usual places to visit:
One (or half if Vittala is covered in auto) ) day
Virupaksha Temple, main Temple in Hampi, check the lovely Temple Elephant (Lakshmi?) who is bathed in the river early (7.30?) in the morning,
Ganesh. Watch out for getting your feet oily.
Hill above Temple for the sunset (there’s another one for sunrise)
Main Ruins: walkable from Hampi Village:
Vittala Temple, including the Stone Chariot and ‘balance’. Head past the ruins in the first picture where there is a Nandi Bull or retrace your steps 200 metres to walk towards the river for a nice riverside walk to Vittala. The police station where you MUST register is on the left jsut before the first pic ruins.
Main Ruins: Further away
Lotus Mahal, Queen’s Bath, Elephant Stables, Narasimha Statue, Mahanavami Dibba, Underground Temple
can be covered in a day on a cycle or auto rickshaw, combined entry to the sites (is it now 500 Rs?) might mean its also worth doing Vittala as part of the same day but you may need Auto for that.
A trip over to the island (if you’re not staying there) takes a few minutes on the ferry and then scooters are for hire just up the path to use to take you to Anagundi village, the lake and the monkey temple (there is another temple a bit further north on the top of a hill and hard to find but with fab views that could be visited with Krishna tomorrow!)
Even more and different places
Krishna (our Auto driver, one of our friends on Stephen or Manjula’s facebook site, we also have his number) took us to a series of quite different places, some on hill tops with fantastic views, some were key locations in the Ramayana story. Well worth it. Madam (aka Maharanai) takes credit for getting Krishna to take us to these places.
We now have a simple file at Mysore Bed and Breakfast with more details of Hampi, guide books etc.
Ani Samten (of the Tibetan settlement) has just visited us at the BnB. She asks how it is for Manj and I holidaying together and how are we treated by Indians. The fact is we choose our accommodation carefully so that we know and expect people will be more liberal towards a couple from different backgrounds. There is of course a whole back story there, check the blog!