Hampi again

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.


Top Tips

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



One day

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.





One day

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!)


One day

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.

Farrell Factoid

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!

We’re off….

We don’t get out much.

We’re off to Hampi for a short break before the big rush sets-in at Mysore Bed and Breakfast.

  It’s just an ordinary trip, our second to Hampi in about a year. It is however, a bit of an adventure. The NEW escalator, at the station, the very first in Mysore, outside the shopping Malls, is actually working. Hooray!! Yes my life is so mundane, the working escalator is a highlight!

When it first opened people fell off it, not knowing how it worked so they appointed guardians to help people work it out. All seems to be hunky dory today. Manjula, for one is sooooo experienced at this.

We’re on platform three for the overnight sleeper train to Hospet. At the door of our coach a couple of young foreign women were reading the list of passengers posted on the outside and exclaiming in English in load squeaky voices that there are lots of men in the 50’s due to travel on the train. What about me I’m 59? It’s seems I was acceptable as they were concerned about travelling with Indian men. I have No comment!




Manjula made some supper. Wonderful!

The sleep and journey was pretty uneventful except Manjula says for the snoring, phone ringing and loud voices of the INDIAN men in their 50’s.

Then she breaks out laughing at the people having a poo beside the rail track. Well coffee has arrived so all is good with the world.


My beef is that nobody seems to have a volume control. Says the quiet, reserved Yorkshireman!

So it’s now 6.30 am and we’ve just stopped at the station which we think is the one before ours.

CRASH BANG… what the hell! The curtain and its rail for ours and the next section falls to the floor. A man burst in between Manjula and I to reach through to yank the emergency cord. He definitely looked as if he might have been in his 50’s




Well guess what? He’d only missed his stop, no real emergency and you know that in India, things sort of work out, in the end, well the emergency stop cord didn’t stop the train, so we weren’t stuck explaining why our emergency stop cord had been pulled! Then again, don’t rely on it in an emergency folks.



but rest assured there is a socket to recharge smart phones, laptops etc. Priorities are sorted.



I’m getting a bit slow with the camera, so you’ll have to imagine…the next one.

We’ve just passed a simple old station, stencil painted on the buildings that are no longer used, instead of the usual word: ABANDONED it said ABUNDANT. Classic!

Hampi madness here we come!

Holidays in India

In India, until recently, holidays were visits to one’s family or for religious pilgrimages. Some might say… not much of a holiday! But as with everything in India, it’s changing.

A sign of these times is the growth of the middle classes and the idea of holidays as ‘leisure’. Take the Kerala Backwaters as an example: ten years ago the vast majority of those hiring the converted rice barges for an overnight trip would be white tourists from abroad, nowadays the majority are middle-class Indians.


Manjula is a good example. She’s travelled a fair amount in India: Calcutta, lived in Mumbai, even out of the country to Nepal but it always related to visiting family, work or worship. Her first leisure holiday was only recently to Kannur Beach.


IMG_3848On holiday, she was like a young girl, almost shrieking (in her quieter, slightly reserved, dignified way) like a young child at the first experience of the waves tickling her toes.



P1030011We stayed with Rosi at Kannur Beach House with a good friend Frances and her daughter Alex. Many of our guests at Mysore Bed and Breakfast also stayed there.


Retail Therapy? actually buying sheets for the bed and breakfast




It’s been quite difficult to get Manjula to take a holiday but once she’d ‘bit the bullet’ and had a great time, within just a few weeks, we’re on the overnight train (first class, I’ll have you know) to Hampi.








I think her family thinks she’s won the the lottery, maybe she has!


We stayed at what is jokingly referred to as Israel, the more traveller/backpacker orientated place on the other side of the river from Hampi. Our recommendations include eating at Mango Tree and visiting Sagar for a breakfast or snack. Most of the accommodation across the river is much of a muchness but ‘Top Secret” has great food and wonderful views back over to Hampi.

We’ll post our and guest recommendations on our main web site at http://www.Manjulasmysore.in

Well, we both had a wonderful time and so there is no doubt that the holidays will continue, let’s see where our adventures take us!


Hopefully not falling into the Paddy field water again, as this muppet did in Hampi!