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Many of our guests visit Hampi and I have visited a few times. It’s where Manjula and I had our second holiday together. More details can be found on our blog, journal thing: http://www.meandmycycle.com
Here’s a few suggestions from our trip and we’ll add more as we receive them from guests.
I was nicely surprised, this is the first time I’d visited since they (who are they?) had demolished a fair amount of Hampi. They have shifted many people from the place, adversely affecting their livelihoods and in places it looks like a bomb has hit it but Hampi is still a very special place.
In this brief we don’t mention the ruins themselves as they are so well covered in the various guides.
We travelled on the Mysore-Hubli Hampi Express (train No 16592), in first class. It leaves Mysore every day at 18.40 and arrives 07.10 in Hospet. Auto Rickshaw from Hospet to Hampi is 150 Rs less or more depending upon your haggling skills.
The ferry across the river to the other side, known as Israel and is, in fact, an island. I’ve stayed in both places. In Hampi you can get to the hills to see the sunrise and sunset, across the river you can get a beer! The hassle is the ferry stops around six and it does involve some waiting around but then again it is laid-back Hampi.
We hired a scooter when we’d crossed on the ferry. So we scooted around and visited a lovely village (more below). It’s also easy to get to a lake, places for climbing and the monkey temple on top of the hill.
It’s not possible to rent a scooter on the Hampi side. So choose between an Auto rickshaw tour and cycles (the same white ones we use on our Srirangapatnam tour can be hired at a shop, half-way between the Mango Tree restaurant and the gate to the car park.) Some of the sites are accessible by walking but others do require transport.
Places to Eat in Hampi
Mango Tree, established over many years, has now had to shift from its river side venue to the centre of Hampi. It’s just down a back street from the Temple.
A lively, happening family placed frequented by both foreign and Indian tourists. Whatever you choose to eat, you can’t go wrong. They also prepared a parcel (take out) for us for the return train journey.
Sagar is really a street food stall with a couple of tables and benches set up by a group of ladies. Check the delicious Paddu or Dosa balls.
Places to eat across the river.
Top Secret, provide the usual mix of travellers fare: Indian, Mexican, Israeli, juices and much more.
Places to Stay
We stayed across the water and whilst we didn’t stay at Top Secret we would recommend it. Frankly most of the places seemed to be pretty much like each other. We did eat at Top Secret, most evenings and the view is superb. Just don’t ask about how they created the view!
Ros and Paul, previous guests at Mysore bed and breakfast, recommend Rocky’s in Hampi itself.
Bouldering and Climbing
Anegondi, a lovely village to wander around, buy crafts and stay in renovated village houses.
We’re quietly celebrating the ‘festival of lights’ with coloured Rangoli (as seen in the picture), oil lamps at night and gifts of sweets with a backdrop of the cacophony of exploding rockets and fireworks. We wish you a happy day that recognises Ram’s returning with Sita in the Ramayana.
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