Hampi, home for all

The ancient city of Hampi has something for everyone: age-old ruins, adventure sports, a serene river and more, writes Ruchi Shrivastava

Tungabhadra river, Hampi

As vacations begin, everyone starts to look around for a ‘suitable’ holiday plan. You research on the internet, go back to your bucket list (probably created ages ago), or sometimes look out for your friend’s recent trip pictures for inspiration. Amidst all the hoopla of planning and selecting your perfect destination, you unknowingly tag yourself with a ‘traveller tag’. A traveller tag is nothing to feel chaos about, but is simply putting the diverse group of travellers into different bucket types. You might be the one who wants to explore the entire city on Day 1, or you might just want to slow down and explore the place.

Hampi is one such place which, irrespective of your traveller type, has a lot to offer. It’s a special destination that will give you an experience of a lifetime.

The Tourist

You like your holiday to be a very well-planned and organised sightseeing trip so that you do not miss out on any popular destination. The first thing you do after you arrive in the city is to grab a local guide. You prefer to hire a professional & trained guide who will help you learn about the place. Your idea of a stay involves easy, hygienic and economic hotels near the tourist spots so that not much time is wasted in travelling.

Hampi for You

In Hampi, you can get plenty of information from tour guides, hotel staffs and auto-walahs to plan a detailed and exhaustive itinerary. Plan your stay in Hampi itself so that you get ample time to explore. Do guided sightseeing to see the same sites that you saw in the photographs and read about in the books. Professional guides are easily available at each tourist spot.

Get professional photographs at the spots, visit the museum to learn more about history, and finish your day with souvenir shopping.

Things to do

* With myths and stories in every nook and corner of the city, the entire stretch of Hampi ruins is yours.

* Take a tour of the Museum of the Vijayanagara Empire.

* Visit Virupaksha Temple (Lakshmi, the temple elephant, bathes at 8.30am, if you want to go watch and get blessed).

* Take in the view from Anjanadri Hill.

* Visit Hemakuta Temple, which has a monolithic sculpture of Narasimha.

* Click selfies with the Nandi.

* Visit Vittala Temple, which is from the 1500s, was a space for music. This is where you’ll see the famous Stone Chariot. You need a ticket here.

* Wildlife enthusiasts can club a Hampi vacation with a visit to Daroji Bear Sanctuary, situated 20 km away. 

The Appreciator

You appreciate a well-planned itinerary where you can experience the variety of the place. Even though you like to see a tour company’s suggestions as inspiration, you like to make your own activity selection. You want to explore the destination, but at the same time, you do not want to get yourself roasted. Your idea of stay is a nice resort with delicious food. You expect to be fully relaxed and pampered after a day of exploration.

Hampi
Stone Chariot, Hampi

Hampi for You

Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site which offers the best of tourism and hospitality. You can book your stay in resorts near Hosapete, which is 12 km away. You can ask the hotel to help you rent a car or two-wheeler. While you drive to the tourist spots, you have the leverage to stop and indulge in the many facets of Hampi.

Things to do

* To get as much from Hampi, start your trip from the magnificent Hemakuta Hill, which offers the best view of the gigantic ruins.

* Coracle-ride across Tungabhadra river. It’s allowed only if there is enough water in the river, otherwise, they have engine boats.

* While returning back to the hotel, drive through Kamala Lake. Relax at the lake watching the sunset. The ambience around the lake has a character that you will definitely savour.

The Traveller

You are someone who chucks out the old school checklist plan and likes to immerse yourself in the magic of the city. You want to spend hours in coffee shops having casual conversations with the locals. You look out for stories and information which no guide book offers. A very strict itinerary makes you fear that you might miss the opportunities of local experience. Your idea of a stay is homestays or AirBnB, which let you roam free-spirited. At the end of the day, you wish to return with a heart full of stories.

Hampi for You

There is something magical about Hampi which is sure to turn any traveller into a storyteller. To experience the local side of Hampi, book your stay in one of the many homestays near the riverside, and the view would make you fall in love with the place every morning. Rent a bike and ride across the surreal boulder-strewn landscapes and emerald paddy fields. Your every ride will not only surprise you with views and details but will also make you crave for more. Do not miss the boat-ride across the Tungabhadra river to get a glimpse of the thread that links history to the modern world today.

Hampi
Hampi

Things to do

* Experience a laid-back evening watching the magical sunset at Matanga Hill; it might just help you find deeper meanings behind travel and living.

* Rent a bike to ride to Sanapur Lake for a little cliff-jumping.

* Test your physical mettle through bouldering (a form of rock climbing on boulders), which is a rage in Hampi, with people from all around the world taking part in this.

* Try trekking in Matanga Hill & Hemkunta Hill, with beautiful sunrises and sunsets for company.

* Spend an evening at the coffee shops across the river which are the best places to start casual conversations and meet people from the other ends of the world.

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Hampi, home for all

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