As architects, we consider every site visit an opportunity to explore the surroundings. Lucky for us, our site happened to be in Hospete the node for travellers heading to Hampi, a heritage site recognized by UNESCO. We took a train to Hospete where our site was (they’ve introduced flights as well since last week.) Once you get there, you will definitely be approached by a bunch of auto guys who’ll quote you a price to cover the entire heritage site. We took a bus instead which was about 20 INR to the Hampi bazaar. There we came across an auto guy who offered us a good deal of 1000 INR for the entire day starting 5am the next morning. We took it, inbox me for his contact number.
We reached Hampi around 4 pm so we thought we’d cover a couple of the temples and reduce the travelling for the next day. I’m not going to go into details of the temples because you’ll have to witness it yourselves. 😄 Very close to the bus stand you’ll find a cluster of homestays. They aren’t fancy but most travelers here are backpackers and they prefer them. Kiran guest house charged us 700 INR per night which was a steal being shared by the two of us. On the same street as our guest house was Chillout Cafe, The most happening eatery here!
You can lay down and take an hour to finish a cup of tea and no one will bother you. We seemed like foreigners here completely surrounded by white people. (We also spotted a few people rolling joints like no big deal in the open here) 😂
For dinner/lunch at about 6.30 pm we ordered a mushroom sizzler and white sauce pasta. Which was super delicious and did not fail us. Now, while doing our research before this trip we were told to make sure we visited Ravi’s Roses Cafe for their “special lassi.” While we were finding WiFi network around we spotted his WiFi and realized it’s just around the corner. A short search later we hunted it down.
It’s interiors were very similar to Chillout but the people here were the kind who made conversations with strangers. In Chillout everyone were in their own zone, so pick whatever suits you. We met a couple here, Aakash and Christina. Both white people, but they knew so much about our country. Aakash asked me if I was a Punjabi lol however he got my travel partners birth place right. I wouldn’t be able to tell which part of their country someone was from so that was an interesting conversation. We had a medium “special lassi” each (leave a comment and I’ll explain what “special lassi” is to you.) And then one strong shared between us. It’s about 400-500 INR each, just for a heads up.
It was 8.30 when we left Ravi’s Roses. With the night still young we took a walk around the block to check out the Hippie stalls. We picked up a loose multicolored kurta and some fancy tribal printed shorts.
Make sure you bargain around here, ask them for half of what they quote. We hoped to see the sunrise the next morning so we headed back to finally get some sleep.
True to his word the Auto guy was at our doorstep at 5.30 am sharp. We barely managed to brush our teeth and rushed out in our pajamas. The sunrise point was at Matanga Hill. Which is a 750m trek up a steep hill in complete darkness. Initially, we were the only ones there but soon joined by white people who overtook us. Man, these people have got some serious stamina. My partner and I took at least 3 breaks where I was flat on my back on some random rock. Interestingly on reaching the view point, there was also a guy who trekked the hill with a flask of tea which he later sold at a hiked up price. Tea and sunrise, I mean who wouldn’t buy that! We didn’t. A good half an hour later the sun finally rose and the effort was oh so worth it.
We then headed back to freshen up and change into socially acceptable clothes. I wore the kurta that I picked up the previous night, after all, dress like you’re a localite, right? For breakfast we went back to our favourite, Chillout Cafe. We got ourselves a chocolate and banana pancake, an aloo paratha and a massive glass of filter coffee.
Super contented with our meal we went on to begin the day’s exploration. As mentioned before, I’m gonna just mention some few places that really caught my eye.
Like this underground Shiva Temple. How often do you climb down a flight of stairs to see the idol in a worship place? The Pushkarni was a heart stealer as well. Just take a look at that beauty! Sadly we weren’t allowed to climb down. But the view from above was more than enough.
Around 4 we had covered all the temples, ending with the very popular Virupaksha Temple. There we bid farewell to the auto guy and promised to promote him among our friends. There’s a small Bazaar street beside this Temple where we got a lot of hippie accessories at throw away prices. The street leads to the ferry point which takes you across the river to Hippie Island. Make sure you have enough time to go to the island and back because the last ferry back is at 5.30 pm.
We spent an hour on the island, I sporting all of the accessories I bought. Lol. The belt is my favorite.
We walked around looking for “special lassi” here as well but were stared at so we settled for a veg sandwich and a masala omelette at the German bakery. However, their croissants were disappointing. Then, we took the last ferry back and headed to the sunset point. Hemakuta hill is a short trek from Virupaksha temple. Found ourselves a spot and settled down to rest our feet. My fit bit said we had walked 10 kilometers by then! (Careful with your belongings here, there are a lot of fidgety monkeys.)
The sunset was a perfect way to end the day. An hour later we returned to our guest house to pack up before going back to Ravis Roses for, you know what. *Wink*
All cafes here only accept cash. So if you run out of cash around here, they have this facility where you can swipe your card at a store and he’d give you the money with a charge of 5%. If you want to avoid that, carry enough cash or visit an ATM in the city during daylight. We had some paneer curry and butter naans for dinner, accompanied by two strong lassis. We also bumped into Aakash and Christina yet again. We took an auto to the old City from there after checking out. Our bus back to bangalore picked us up from there. Try green line travels while returning, they have some fancy sleeper buses at good prices. 🙂
Hope you have a trip as good as ours!