Since there are hundreds of blogs on the internet which provides every piece of information about Hampi, I was little confused regarding what to write here. It took some time for me to finally figure out something and start.
From the moment when I came to know about Hampi, I always wanted to go there. It was a busy week for me at work and I was longing for a break. So on Friday, I called two of my friends, Sanker and Arvind who never say “no” to any travel plans and quickly everything was on the go.
We travel for many reasons and those reasons vary from person to person. So while travelling in a group, the difference in these preferences can sometimes make the journey less satisfactory as an individual. I always consider this while deciding my travel partners and prefer someone who looks out for the same as I do in my journeys.
Reached Hospet on a fine morning. All of a sudden several auto drivers surrounded us. Everyone wanted us to take their auto to Hampi and that too in a much higher fare. They even told us that, there is no bus service to Hampi. But we got a bus to Hampi immediately from the bus station.
Our bus left Hospet and entered the village after some time. This area has a unique geography, large boulders wrap the hills, balancing perfectly against nature for millions of years. Small villages and paddy fields are well placed in between them.
Hampi has a long story, it is a part of history as well as myth. This city on the banks of the river the Tungabhadra was known to the outside world by the trade which flourished during the rule of Vijayanagara kings. Many travellers wrote about the markets of Hampi filled with gold and gemstones. But like most of the other ancient cities in the world, Hampi didn’t have a long life, came to an end by the invasion of Deccan sultanate. They looted the city and the desecrated the temples. The city was abandoned for a long time.
We crossed a stone arch, a board nearby told that we are entering into Hampi. The bus was crowded, Annual Hampi festival was going. People from all neighbouring villages were coming to be a part of the festival. Many cultural events and special shows are part of the festival.
The ruins of Hampi began to appear on both sides of the road. Temples, palaces, markets, civil buildings, fort walls, irrigation channels, godowns, stables, army posts, public baths stood in front welcoming us. Our bus moved through the same street which witnessed Hampi’s history from its beginning.
Hampi is old but she is graceful. With each step forward, Hampi was revealing more and more of her charm hidden beneath the veil of time.
My thoughts drifted to the craftsmen who chiselled the stones to build this city. Even a pillar standing alone on the street is so intricate in details.
Now, Hampi is a world heritage site recognised by UNESCO. More people are coming to this city every day. The streets became more crowded as we moved forward. People were busy taking selfies, they hurried past me to the next place carrying guide books. Walking through the crowd, I could guess what my friends were thinking. We don’t want to rush, let’s take our own time to experience Hampi.
We crossed river Tungabhadra to the “hippie village”, a laid down destination in contrast to the busy side where we came from. The village was a favourite destination for the hippies who came to India during 60’s. Now also many travellers especially foreigners visit this village.
Next day we came back and spend a day exploring the city.
The Hampi what I saw is very little compared to the vast area over which it scatters.
Hampi has more stories to tell and am sure she will call me again.
Travel tips in Hampi
- There is a lot to see in Hampi and it depends on the time you have. So plan accordingly.
- If you have two days, you can explore most of the interesting parts of the city.
- Days are hot, it will be tiring. So mornings and evenings are the best time.
- Some of the places are far from each other, so transportation is a small problem. Motorbikes and bicycles are available for rent.
- Another option for transportation is hiring an auto-rickshaw for a day. Bargain as maximum as possible and fix the fare before starting (we paid 250 INR per person for a day). Ask the driver to take you to the best places.
- With one ticket which costs 30 INR for Indians and 100 INR for foreign citizens, you can visit all the monuments under the care of Archaeological Survey of India.
All the images in this post are taken by my friend Aravind.
I wish to know about your experiences in Hampi. Share your stories with me.
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