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A Brief Guide to Hampi, Karnataka

Author:

Priyanka Dalal

I have been solo traveling in India from the last 3 to 4 years. Mainly around South India I have explored the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu well. In the North I have been to Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Kashmir. 

Most of my trips are long ones from 15 days to 1 month, as I can work virtually off my laptop. So one of my unique speciality would be a long trip where you can work and travel at the same time. It is loads of fun! 

Read more about my travel adventures: travel.priyankawriting.com

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A Brief Guide to Hampi, Karnataka

With mixed reactions I entered Hampi but at the end of my 3 days I thought the place was fantastic! Here is what you will find in Hampi, and why it will probably delight you completely!


Ruins


From the moment you enter Hampi you can see picturesque ruins dotting the surroundings. On tops of the far off hills, on the street side, the river bank and the Virupaksha Temple tower is visible from almost every where. Some of the rocks lying around have carvings on them making you realise that they are part of so much history.


Virupaksha Temple, Hampi

VIRUPAKSHA TEMPLE, HAMPI – MAIN TEMPLE WITH SHIVA DEITY



The place takes on a surreal feel as history blends with the present.


Riverbank


I usually gravitate to the water spot in any place, I guess this is because I have grown up very close to the sea in Mumbai. Sitting at the riverbank in Hampi with the ruins scattered in and around the river was a lovely experience. Families giving a ritual bath to their infant in the auspicious waters of Tungabhadra, a man trying to swim in the swift river current, groups having a great time taking a dip in the cool water, hawkers selling their wares – the riverbank is full of activity. Boats pass from one bank to the other, to and fro, as there is no bridge, probably another effort by the tourism board to keep the place as is.


Tungabhadra River, HAmpi

TUNGABHADRA RIVER, HAMPI



Tungabhadra River, Hampi

TUNGABHADRA RIVER, HAMPI – RUINS SCATTERED ALL AROUND AND SO SCENIC!



Traditional coracal boat can be taken from one side to the other for 50/- one journey, at least thats what they charged me. Group boats are available for 10/- per seat. Some kind of weird stuff happening in the boat management because there are three different boat services. One coracal and two group boat ones. Each of these has specific routes – you can only take them from a particular spot to a particular spot. Funny.


Traditional Coracal Boat, Hampi

SMALL ROUND BOATS MADE OF BAMBOO I GUESS… NICE.. QUITE COMFY. SITTING IS A BIT ODD BUT GOOD FUN! DON’T LET THE SIZE FOOL YOU, I SAW TWO FOREIGNERS BOARD THE LITTLE CORACAL WITH TWO MOPEDS!



Birds


I was guided to see some of the ruins when I get free time (I was working most of the time, as I am a digital nomadic traveller) but I decided first I want to go on a long walk to get the lay of the land. I was in for a pleasant surprise, especially cause I had visited Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary near Mysore a few days earlier and hadn’t seen too many birds. I crossed the river to the opposite bank, Virupapur Gadde and the view of the farms, hills was magnificient. There is a small region of reserve forest with a lake and fields around it. Its so picturesque! The birds were a complete surprise! Egrets, sparrows, kingfishers, cuckoos, bee-catchers, fly-catchers were all as common as crows are in the city. I also saw a hoopoe – which was such a delight and a myriad of other birds I am yet to identify. It was brilliant. I walked with a big smile on my face.


Birds, Hampi

DON’T HAVE A CAMERA CONDUCIVE FOR BIRD-PHOTOGRAPHY SO ONLY CAUGHT THIS ONE ON SCREEN!



“Nice to meet you”


The locals were interesting. A lot of them had learned some English. So the typical conversation goes like “Hi, I am” holds out the hand to shake.


Me: Hello


“Nice to meet you”


Me: Hahah nice to meet you too!


After this they may ask other questions in broken English but the above two sentences everyone knows pat. One lady with her two daughters – all carrying a bundle of sticks on their heads. Even her daughter started a similar dialogue with me. I of course replied happily and the girl was so stunned she dropped her bundle of sticks. heheh I also met the funny, con artists the Magic Babas who started talking in a similar manner – maybe the government has English classes for them? Lots to find out here about their place management.


Apparently not all outsiders are nice, I saw two extremely obnoxious western girls completely ignoring the locals and seriously misbehaving.


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