Amidst the ruins of the Vijayanagar Kingdom, like a fairy tale, lies Hampi, the land of boulders. Done with the conventional getaways and trips? Then Hampi should be your next hideout – the perfect balance between a backpacking and tourist destination. Nestled on both sides of a lake, Hampi embodies the warmth of the South Indian climate, and the peace of the hippie culture. The moment I stepped into this perfect ‘land of ruins’, I sensed my soul unwinding even before I knew.
If I were to give you a list of places to visit to or of things to do in Hampi, it would beat the very purpose of experiencing the spontaneity that comes with exploring Hampi, and crafting your own experience. A two and half day getaway – (if you want to catch the glimpses of this hippie world and come home rejuvenated) and a week to ten days long vacation – (if you want to soak in every drop of relaxation its sunsets and lakes have to offer) is ideal.
Mopeds + Adventure+ Food+ Heritage + Chill + Sunset + Stargazing: Repeat = Hampi.
(Trying out a moped ride). Photo by Sanket Jadhav
Riding on mopeds through the tiny roads with rice fields on both sides, the transformation of landscape, from ruins to hidden lakes, will leave you bare with nature and with yourself. What better than the banana mango Lassi can soothe you after a hot afternoon in to the wild! Most of the restaurants in Hampi take long to serve food, so you can quickly sneak a nap in these “chill vibe” cafes meanwhile.
Bliss by the Queen’s Bath. Photo by Hiral KP
I took a long time exploring the group of monuments and their intricacies. (Hampi is one of the World Heritage Sites – http://asi.nic.in/asi_monu_whs_hampi.asp). In the confusing narratives of the guide about of these monuments, you can hear the sounds that must have reverberated in these courtyards, in the dances of the queens, and in the music they danced on. These structures immediately teleport you to “another time zone” and place you in the era of palaces and temples. The large dimensions, intricate ornamentation and bold carvings of these structures will give you a close encounter with the great artists of that time and the grandeur of the empire that their designs were inspired by.
(Soaking the sunset hues).
From any corner of Hampi, you have to run and catch this– climb up on the boulders like a monkey and be a part of the huge audience, cluttered excitedly, as if to watch Haley’s comet, and enjoy the simplest event of the day – “the sunset”. Sinking in the magnificence of nature, tiny humans adorn the gigantic boulers; some meditating, some jamming to their own tunes of music and some just trying to grab the perfect sunset selfie. There is a sweet smell of rice farms and incense sticks in the wind that touches your face while you absorb the panoramic view of this boulder planet, far away from the world, in silence, safe to reflect on anything.
The kind and helpful locals live like the fictional and blissful Shiva representing the true spirit of Hampi. They will guide you with your day as well as with specific visits. Hampi truly is a soul-searching and rejuvenating experience.
Don’t miss out on this epic-evoking land at any cost. You will bring home a lot of stories and relaxation.
– Written by Ayushi Limbachiya