And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.
The above quote sums up my Hampi trip from Bangalore last week. But for you to know the whole story of how and why this Hampi trip happened I will have to start from the beginning.
So for my best friend and me, a trip to Hampi has been like a trip to Goa, you know how you always start planning for it but never end up going? And why Hampi, you might ask? Well, I had heard such hype surrounding the place and how there’s so much to do there I decided I just had to go see it for myself. And thanks to Adventuresome our trip finally happened!
The Hampi Trip Begins
We started our Hampi trip from Bangalore on a Friday night around 11 pm . As soon as we boarded the bus we couldn’t stop talking about all the things we wanted to do in the next two days! I think no one expected the bus journey to be quiet and sleepy, we interacted with our fellow travelers and ended up singing and listening to songs from a spectrum of music genres. 7 hours and several tea stops later we finally reached Hospete around 7 am in the morning. The view as we entered Hospete was breathtaking! You could see a beautiful lake on your left and nothing but greenery and hills on the right. I was mesmerized!
The Cardio Test — An Adventurous Day 1
We reached our hotel in Hospete and after freshening up and having breakfast we set out for the adventure in our Hampi trip! We reached Hampi Bazaar near Virupaksha Temple to pick up our bicycles. It took a few minutes for us to get used to riding a bike after so many years but we got the hang of it! The agenda was to explore all the places along the perimeter of Hampi.
And hence we started our exploration with adventure in our hearts!
We explored multiple ruins and temples. We awed at the beautiful architecture of Lakshmi Narsimha temple, Queen’s Bath and Underground Shiva Temple. The Shiva Temple is famous for the idol being underground after a series of steps and since it had just rained the area was filled with water and was pitch dark! We however, did not stop! We stepped through the water and a series of bats (literally!) and finally saw the idol. We then spent some time recharging our exhausted batteries from all the cycling with a glass of refreshing lime soda and moved forward.
Next, we reached the Hampi museum. The museum contains artifacts which give you a glimpse of how Vijayanagar Empire used to be. I really liked the miniature model of the city of Vijayanagar when it was at its peak. The museum also contains a miniature model of Hampi in the current state indicating the location of various ruins and temples.
We then went for lunch at the Pink Mango Restaurant opposite to the museum. The lunch was delicious! We tasted the famous ‘Banana Flower Curry’ of Hampi. After lazying around about how full we were after the amazing lunch we then continued on the second leg of our exploration.
We took an off road way to keep our excitement going.
We first went to Royal Enclosure. The Royal Enclosure contains the ruins of several palace bases, water tanks, temples, ornate platform and canals and many other structures. We also found a secret underground chamber here. It is believed that the king conducted secret meetings here with his most trusted subjects.
We then visited the beautiful Lotus Mahal. The uniqueness of this ruin is that its construction was started by Hindus but completed by Muslims. Nevertheless, it is so beautiful!
We then visited the huge Elephant’s stables of Hampi. The grasslands in front of these stables felt so peaceful that all of us simply lay down on the grass and ended up taking an afternoon nap under the blue sky!
Sky Above, Earth below and peace within
After our unexpected but much needed power nap, we continued our Hampi trip towards Vijjaya Vittala Temple. It was almost sunset when we reached the temple and the temple’s architecture looked exquisite under the golden sky.
We then took an off road way to Virupaksha temple which was the final stop for the day. We rode and sometimes carried our bicycles across the rocky terrain next to the Tungabhadra river. We paused midway to enjoy the golden sunset.
After visiting Virupaksha Temple we went back to Hampi Bazaar to return our bikes. We explored Hampi Bazaar and bought a few souvenirs from Hampi and then headed back to our hotel in Hospete.
We all took the much needed shower after reaching the hotel and then headed for dinner. We had dinner at the Rooftop Restaurant which had quite a chilled ambiance. We then came to the hotel and played a few games until we couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore!
It was a tiring yet an exciting and unforgettable Day 1 at Hampi.
Finding Our Zen — Day 2 of Hampi trip
Day 2 began and we freshened up and had breakfast as usual. We had plans of going for an early sunrise trek but unfortunately we couldn’t make it (because we were tired and sleepy xD). We then decided to hike to the famous Matanga Hill of Hampi. The hike seemed easy at first as it was only a series of steps. But soon, the climb got steeper and our challenges began. After finishing every water bottle we had we reached the top of Matanga hill and my instant thought was “it was worth it”. We spent hours looking at the breathtaking view of Hampi from the top and simply relaxed. We spent so much time just looking at the view, feeling the wind on our face and letting our thoughts flow through us.
We then began our descent. We went to explore a cave we found. Trust me, you can go with any travel company you like but only Adventuresome will encourage you to go on and explore such weird yet adventurous things. We continued through the darkness of the caves and finally ended up in a place where we could sit and see some light. We spent some time laughing and talking and then continued our decent from the hill.
Next, we visited the other side of Hampi popularly known as “Hippie Island”. To reach hippie island we had to cross the river so we took a boat. We then explored a little bit of Hippie island and went to the Laughing Buddha Cafe. The cafe had a good ambiance with a river view but the food was average. My advice is not to always trust Google reviews when visiting Hampi. Next, we had to make our way back to the other side but it was already late and the boats had stopped. We crossed the river on foot with the help of the villagers nearby and it was an amazing experience. Nobody else would have had the guts to do this but Adventuresome motivated us to try it.