It was a 30-minute travel in the bus from Hospet to reach the city of Hampi. The ancient ruins of Hampi started to fascinate me as the bus reached halfway to the main centre. The stone carved structures of Vijayanagara kingdom, dating back hundreds of years stood there with all the elegance. The bus brought me to a different world. Since I had no plan about what to do there, walked just through the busy streets of Hampi. Before starting, one of my friends told about the Hippie village on the other side of the river.
The Virupaksha temple stood tall, capturing all the attraction. It was magnificent with its complex and unique architecture. Decided to find a good place to stay before exploring the city of Hampi. Finding the way to the so-called Hippie village was not difficult. A small road went to the Tungabhadra river bank through the side of the temple.
Boat services are available to cross the river. There were few people waiting, most of them were foreigners with dreadlocked hair and big worn-out backpacks. Only very few tourists mainly the Israelis who are nowadays following the old hippies trails in India comes to visit the Virupapur Gadde village aka the hippie village.
A 5-minute boat ride will take you to the other side- the hippie village. Since the beginning of hippie culture in the 1960s and 70s, this village was the favourite destination in India for travellers around the world. The elements of hippie culture can be still seen here. Upon climbing the step from the bank, entered into a world completely different from the Hampi where I came.
The Hippie Street
This road is the most active place in the village. Often crowded with travellers. We can see tourists on motorbikes and people carrying bed on their back walking towards the hills for bouldering. Bohemian ladies walking the streets with charming smiles. Cafes serving Israeli and Russian cuisines were filled with laughter and chat. Shops selling dream catchers and musical instruments lined both sides of the street. I met Gali Durgappa in one of the shops, playing the didgeridoo. He is a great artist and a prominent personality in Hampi, have a music shop and teaches music to whoever coming to his shop. There will be music sessions in his shop most of the time.
Plenty of huts and shacks are available in the village. They are beautifully set up and maintained. The best place to stay lazy and chill, on a limited budget. Most of the guesthouses also have amazing cafes along with it.
Most days in Hampi are hot and sunny. So it is better to be under the shade during the daytime. Morning and evening are the best time to explore the place
Sunsets in Hampi are the most beautiful. There is a viewpoint within a walkable distance from the main street. It will get crowded with people during the evening. Watching the ancient city of Hampi in the golden gleam of the sun is magical. The sunset point is on the top of a hill with big boulders all around. Don’t miss the sunsets from here.
On a fine morning on my second day in Hampi, decided for a ride through the village. I picked a random direction. Few kilometres I went towards the direction of Anegundi village, on the way saw a temple on the top of a hill. There were steps leading to the top. A little later, on the way to the temple, I was surrounded by monkeys shortly. The steps went up twisted and twisted. Climbed around 575 steps to reach the top. The view from there was amazing in every direction.
Roam around as you wish
The best thing to do here is to take a bike for rent, fill some petrol and just ride through the villages. Many interesting things are waiting for you. There are many ancient structures and temples scattered all around the villages. There won’t be any tourists here compared to the other busy side. You can find your solitude in any of the hills, spend as much time you want. You should visit the village of Anegundi, which has a fort and the ruins similar to that of Hampi.
Some people find the hippie village less interesting as there is nothing specific here. I have seen many crossing the river out of curiosity but going back immediately.
So cross the river with an open mind, get involved in the village life. Take your time, climb the hills, watch the sunsets, enjoy the food, talk to people, listen to your favourite music, relax on the hammocks and definitely you are going to have a good time in “Hippie village”.
Few things to know before going to hippie village;
- The boat service stops by around 5.30 PM every day, so it is better to make sure the timing before going to the village. Ticket rate is Rs.10 for one side
- Motorbikes are available for rent, it will be very useful for your travel in the village. The rent depends on the type of bike you are taking
- Motorbikes rented from the Hampi side is difficult to take to the other side, so take it from the village itself
- No ATMs are functional here, always carry enough money
- The villagers can show you some good places there, so ask them
You can also visit Badami, Aihole and Pattadkal, the ancient Chalukya dynasty cities.
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