Hampi – All about love, happiness and peace
A marvelous place with a glorious past. Raised from stones, came to life the city of Hampi. The gem of India that had its name travel across boundaries and nations. A land known for its stone carved temples, statues, diamonds, essential oils, culture and elephants. Hampi was no stranger for travelers, poets, writers, dancers and merchants. She has her soul and heart still beating though her wealth and glory has been taken away.
This is the story of the rise of the lost Kingdom of Hampi brought back from the darkness by people who value happiness, love and peace. Hampi is our expression of love, kindness, yoga and music. From watching the sunrise to sunset, basking in the sun, swimming in the river Tungabadhra, climbing huge boulders and immersing in the silence of Hampi, become one with mother nature.
How to reach Hampi:
Domestic Tourist: Fly to Bangalore and take a train or a bus to Hampi. There is a dedicated train called “The Hampi express” exclusively running to Hospet ( 12 kms from Hampi), this can be booked at I.R.C.T.C website via the link
Post arrival at the Hospet station there are many buses and rickshaws to take you to Hampi town which is just about 12 Kms. The rickshaws will cost you anywhere between Rs 100-200 while the buses are cheaper.
Road trip is a fun idea to consider. Hampi has good road connectivity from almost all cities. A road trip would be amazing.
International Tourist: You will need a Visa, please check with your tour partner about the same or feel free to contact us. You can fly to Bangalore and follow the route mentioned under Domestic travel.
Camera: Pictures were shot on a Canon
Best season to visit is September to January when the temperature is pleasant. Although it has travelers visiting through out the year. Accuweather is a good site that we use to, please find the link below,
We decided to drive to Hampi from Bangalore. Started from Bangalore International Airport, now Kempegowda International Airport, renamed after the founder of Bangalore – Kempegowda. The route take was Bangalore – Chitradurga- Hampi, covering about 350 Kms. This route has lot to explore. Has authentic Punjabi dhabas which reflect Punjab culturally from tables and chairs to lamps and music due to the heavy truck traffic. The truck traffic from Chitradurga to Hospet is hectic, you will have to ensure that the driver has a good relation with the wheels.
Day 1 : Anegundi (Hampi)
We reached Anegundi about 7 AM in the morning. Anegundi is an ancient town on the banks of river Tungabhadra. Hampi and Anegundi are separated by Tungabhadra resulting in multiple differences both culturally and historically, giving them a color and fashion of their own.
Stay @ Bobby’s One Love
We stayed in Bobbys One love. We chose the mud hut to stay. It can easily accommodate two and may be an extra bed could fit in. These huts have thatched roofs and mud floor, all natural and cozy. One Love was managed by Steve ( https://www.facebook.com/steve.spiteri) from Malta, an Island in Europe. An amazing host and a wonderful person. Someone who took care of you like a good friend. He would cook us pasta, the Italian style and share stories and experience he had during his journey from Malta to India.
He was so impressed with the Hampi way of living that he decided to stay here for long. Steve now is not an outsider to Hampi. He takes care of the orphans and poor kids as well. There are many like him who have decided to stay back, to be part of the what we call happy Hampi. I personally thank Steve and other for spending a part off their life here and working hard to do what best they can. Respect and Love.
This ancient village is a hippie town with happy people playing music and basking in the sun, sometimes playing music all night waiting for the sun rise not wanting to miss the first ray that hits the boulders. Land covered by paddy fields surrounded by boulders is a view that is hard to find. Walking through the paddy field is an experience that most urban dwellers have never encountered. Walking on these small mud build narrow pathways need good balance and requires a constant speed giving you an instant adrenalin rush.
We took a walk through the paddy fields. This was the first time I had ever walked through these fields and was shocked to see people from abroad cross them with ease, they also give way in these narrow one feet width pathway. Anegundi is home to many from abroad and India. Crowd here is a mixture of people from America to Japan making Anegundi a multicultural society. This is one of the very few places where “Namaste” is shared with joy, doing justice to the word.
Anegundi has many archaeological ruins. It had bridges made out of boulders, stone carved rest house and jaw dropping temples. The temples here are so designed that scorching heat of summer or noise made outside do not cross the walls of the temple. The stone used in the construction of the temples are such that it retains a cool temperature round the year.
Hanuman Mandir here is situated on top of a stone hill. Named after the monkeys that reside here. Legend has it that Hanuman and Bali were born here.It takes time to climb the Hanuman temple. If you are an early bird or if you can hit the alarm stop button and wake up at 4 AM then I would suggest you take a walk to the temple. A stroll to the temple at 5 AM is the right time to have a deep affair with nature. Reach on top before sunrise to absorb the beauty of Anegundi into your mind and your camera.
The sunrise here is a blessing that can wipe away your sorrows, frees your mind helping you comprehend various dimensions of life that has been a puzzle. Meditating in the Hanuman mandir during the sunrise will cleanse your body and mind. Fresh air and the silence offered by the temple takes your conscience to higher state. A state of recognizing the supreme being, a state of being loved and touched.
Food and beer
Anegundi is definitely a paradise for food and beer lovers. Delicious food for all kind of taste buds is available here. There are many shacks with different themes, some are Indian, some are Israeli and some are European. There is a German Bakery that you would want to try. Also please try the Nutella banana pan cake at the Top secret river view restaurant. The pan cakes here will make you dribble, eating just one is impossible. It’s not just the food Top secret has an impressive view – it overlooks the Virupaksha temple of Hampi across the Tungabhadra river. One of the best located restaurants in Hampi.The food and the view ensures a very pleasant experience. Please find their facebook link below.
Our hotel had a stone hill close by. We walked through the paddy fields, climbed up the hill to watch the sunset. This time of the evening attracts many people to the stone hill to witness the sunset. People sit around talking, singing, some play didgeridoo and some practice yoga, some lie down enjoying a peaceful evening and some choose to stay back. We went back to Anegundi’s main street to have dinner. This place has life, super colorful and busy at night. Most of the telephone network do not catch range here, people end up talking to each other, also if you want a break from work this is the place to go.
Post dinner we went back to our mud hut, we had to cross the paddy field again this time. It was a task during the day and now it’s pitch dark, what are we going to do? We could take an alternate road but that is longer, the paddy field is easier. We walked through the field and it was so much fun. Balance is the key. We reached our hut. Spent some time talking and listening to the sound of the breeze moving through the trees. Tomorrow is Hampi day.
Boat to Hampi
Woke up early morning and rushed to catch the first boat to Hampi. There are few boats that help people cross the river, some also use these boats to transfer their bikes as well.Boats normally charge 10 to 20 Rupees. They are motor boats and will get you across quickly. The reason for my rush was the Temple elephant Lakshmi. I have heard that she comes to the temple to bless people and missing her blessing would be a huge loss.
My boat reached Hampi. Bursting with excitement and happiness I ran up the stairs. The sight of Virupaksha temple from the banks of the river blew my mind. Picked my tickets to the temple and moved in quickly. The minute you enter the temple it cuts off sound from outside. This huge temple made out of stones left me awestruck.
The craftsmanship of sulpturers and their creativity is what makes this huge Temple unique. The ability to give life to stones and say stories through them is wonderful, a skill that has been lost or at the verge of extinction. Every statue here has a story to tell. Virupaksha has enormous stone pillars to hold the heavy structure of the temple. Every pillar has an image carved and these images are characters from Indian mythology. This temple has multiple floors and it’s just the ground floor that is open to the public. Rest of the floors get decorated and are open for prayers and festivals.
Temple elephant – Lakshmi
Now lets meet the most important inhibitant of Hampi “Laksmi – The temple elephant”. Laksmi is a small and cute elephant. Well trained and disciplined. She is so used to humans, she lets travelers give her a bath. She loves people. When you go to meet her do carry some bananas. She grabs bananas real quick and blesses you for getting them.
Though Lakshmi is friendly she sends chills through the spines of many tourists since it’s their first encounter with elephants this close. Unlike male elephants female elephants tend to be more friendly, loving and happy. You can also give her money which goes into her fund. Do consider giving her a bath which truly is a wonderful experience.
The old snake charmer
This old snake charmer had a cobra with him, he was trying to make it dance. Though snake charming is illegal in India it still exists in remote villages. The beauty of this magnificent creature is why we have this picture published. In no way do we support snake charming or even keeping them as pets unless you are trained and are authorized to do so.
Rickshaw ride to the Palace complex
There are many places in Hampi with historical significance and being a UNESCO heritage site it has multiple ruins from the past. We decided to take a rickshaw to take us around. There is another option as well, renting a cycle. This is a good option if you start early morning since the sun can be strong during the afternoon. Riding along the roads of Hampi watching the green paddy fields, ruins of temples, drinking sugarcane juice, eating sour dry mango with chili, picking up grinding stones handmade in Hampi, taking our time clicking pictures and taking a detour is possible only on a bicycle.
Lakshmi Narsimha statue
We had a friendly rickshaw driver who had a good knowledge about every historical site, most of the drivers know a lot about the sites so you could skip a guide if you wish to. We stopped at the Lakshmi Narasimha statue. Narasimha is a combination of two words in Sanskrit, Nara – Man and Simha – Lion. This is a huge monolithic carved statue standing at a height of 6.7 meters. Its one of the most popular and important statues of Hampi, constructed by the the Emperor Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar in 1528 AD.
The Elephant Stable
We then started out to our next location “The Elephant Stable”. The entry to the Royal complex would cost Indians about Rs 10 and is about Rs 250 for foreign nationals. The architecture of this stable resembles most of the construction during the period, very Indo-Islamic. It consists of multiple chambers providing shelter to the Royal Elephants. They are interconnected as well. Being one of the very few ruins of Hampi that is not completely destroyed and also well maintained by the Govt of Karnataka, the elephant stable is a time machine that takes you back to the Glorious times of the Vijayanagar Empire.
We walked towards the Royal center which has the Queen’s bath. Queen’s bath is where women belonging to the royal family took bath. This square building has water canal surrounding it to prevent people from walking in. Has a pond that was once filled with water, essential oils, perfumes and flowers. How I wish we could bring this pond back to life, would be worth the effort. The royal women of Vijayanagar did have a lavish lifestyle. This Kingdom was known for its diamond markets. These markets sold diamond on the streets. It is said that when Vijayanagar Empire fell all its wealth was looted by Neighboring Kings.
Further towards the right is Lotus Mahal. This Mahal was untouched by the war that destroyed Vijayanagar Empire. The Lotus Mahal can tell you the story of Hampi better than anybody. This graceful structure was once the recreational area of the royal ladies. Most of Hampi’s Royal music concerts, dances and royal meetings were held here. Of late, there has been some evidence that it had served as the chamber of the Council.
Palace of the Emperor Krishnadeva Raya
Our last stop here in the Royal complex was the Palace of the Emperor Krishnadeva Raya. This palace is completely destroyed leaving behind the basement and balustrade. The palace walls has fragrant and colorful flowers for aroma. It had medicinal roots on the roofs along with essential oils lit using a lamp to surround the palace with positive energy.
The Palace of Vijayanagar was built by balancing all the five elements of nature. Lifting the spirit of the royal inhabitants by engaging the right amount of Air, Water, Earth, Fire and Life was a key design element of the palace. Though there is not much remaining a good amount of time can be spent here.
We spent some time relaxing after the long walk, sipping on some refreshing local coconut water, which is super tasty and cools your system instantly. We headed towards our rickshaw and were on our way back to Hampi town. It was about 5 in the evening when we reached Hampi town. Spent some time drinking juice and some quick bite at the Mango tree restaurant. There are many stores here with impressive stone jewelleries, harem trousers, hippie clothes, wooden musical instruments, stone statues of Buddha and Ganesh, paintings to footwear at great price.
Back to Anegundi – The fun side
It was about time for the last boat to Anegundi hence we walked back to the banks of the river. Bought our tickets and in less that 10 minutes we were at Anegundi. There are many restos that play Hollywood movies and lot of people come together to watch them.We found a Cafe that had live cricket. Rest of the night was well spent eating Nutella banana pancake ( https://www.nutella.com/en/in ) with some good chilled beer and watching cricket. This is our last night here in Anegundi. Resisting sleep and having fun, being Happy Hampi.
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