Apart from being a UNESCO site, Karnataka’s ancient village, Hampi used to be the capital of India’s biggest kingdom Vijayanagara at one point of time. It was completely washed out by the Deccan Sultanate in the 16th century. The ruins of the ancient civilization make the town of Hampi captivating and magical. Curly Tales is here with a virtual tour to the marvellous historic town of let y’all experience its old charm to the fullest.
Let’s Start The Tour With The Coracle Boat Ride
We took a direct flight from Mumbai to Belgaum and a 6-hour drive took us to the hotel. After a night’s rest, the next morning we set to visit some of the iconic spots of Hampi that we had bookmarked. The ruins, temples, and most interestingly the Hippie Island, we set out to tour them all. Upon asking some locals, we got to know there are little boats here called Coracle and this ride is a must when you visit the town. So we arrived at the Tungabhadra river and got a guy to ride us across the river.
These boats are handmade and they look like baskets. A single boat can accommodate 6-8 people at a time. We spent our morning rowing across the Tungabhadra amid the serene vibe, hearing the splashing sounds of the oar against the river and passing through little caves created naturally by rock formations. It was quite a unique experience. Next, we headed to the Badavalinga temple.
The Badavalinga Temple
Upon driving to the Badavalinga temple and noticed a shiv ling. This is Hampi’s biggest monolith shiv ling, that is carved from one stone. It is said that this temple was built during the Vijayanagara times. We spent some time here exploring the temple.
Next on our list was an underground shiva temple that is 100 years old. The moment you enter this temple, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a period drama film set. It has a very calm atmosphere inside. The temple is made from stone and therefore we felt quite comfortable walking barefoot. We noticed many intricate carvings on the walls and pillars of the temple.
The Local Cuisine
We requested the driver to take us to a local restaurant and we arrived at the Green Garden Family restaurant. This is a vegetarian restaurant with a forest-like rustic vibe. It has an open-air seating arrangement and it is best known for its thalis. We loved their south Indian thali which comes with hot rasam, lentils, rotis, payasam, curries and pickles. In the end, the super- delicious mango and coconut lassi simply won our hearts.
Also Read: 5 Reasons To Visit Hampi
A Walk Through The Ruins
After a heavy lunch, we thought of heading to a calm place to sit and relax for a while. We drove around and came across a lot of ruins where we spent time taking pictures and just walking around the beautiful natural sun-kissed boulders. For a moment, it seemed like I had gone back to the Flintstones cartoon era. After spending some time on the cold stone boulders, it was time to head for a nice sunset spot. After asking a few locals we got to know that there is a hill by the name Malyavanta, which is famous for its gorgeous sunsets.
An Unmissable Sunset By The Broken Palaces
We had to walk up for 20-minutes, but the view from above was absolutely spellbinding! Ironically, the natural ruins looked more beautiful than a well-constructed city. We spent some time just watching the sunset, staring into the horizon from above. As it got darker, we drove back to our hotel for a night’s rest, as we had something super-exciting awaiting us the next day!
Hippie Island- The Other Side Of Hampi
When you think of Hampi, you do think of the ruins and the heritage sights, but what else do you usually picturise? Backpackers? Trippy vibes? Foreigners? Homestays? Beers and sundowners? Well, that side of Hampi also gets in a lot of tourists and it has a vibe of its own. The next morning, we headed to go to Hippie Island. The place is true to its name. At a 45 minute ride from our hotel, we were beyond excited to see what it holds. The best way to reach the island is via a 5-minute boat ride across the Tungabhadra that’ll cost one just ₹50. You’ll find a lot of backpackers and foreigners in Hippie Island and here, just like in Goa, you can take part in drum circles, or even get dreadlocks made in your hair, to blend in.
We Indulged In A Shopping Spree, Too!
We started off with shopping at some local shops. You’ll find a number of handmade bags, clothes, jewellery and dream catchers here, and even musical instruments. Their prices are a bit higher, considering that these are hand-made and exclusively sold on the island. If you’re a fan of leather bags then on the island you’ll find a lot of options.
The Laughing Buddha Cafe
As the evening approached, we came across the famous Laughing Buddha café. This is one of the most popular cafes on the island and you’ll never know how time passes here with friends. The chilled vibes out here are ideal for letting yourself free on the floor with a glass of beer while watching some mesmerizing views.
Whenever I think of Hampi, I wish to go back there on a solo trip, again. I don’t know when we will get to do that, but till then, we can cherish the memories. We hope you enjoyed travelling with us virtually too. If you wish to see more from Hampi stay tuned for 360-degree clips and images that are soon to be launched by the Karnataka Govt. for you to enjoy this beautiful place from your home. On that note, here’s the journey or Chandana and Sunil who coincidentally met in Hampi, fell in love and got married: