Hampi is a very touristy place and more than likely you will see two kind of tourists there. First group ”I want to see everything in one day” – tourists that stay in Goa for 2-3 weeks and buy Hampi tours from travel agencies. They comie here on night train, do sightseeing during a day and come back to Goa on night train again. They travel over 430 miles in total in uncomfortable train. We do not recommend that, you will be knackered after journey and then visiting Hampi in the middle of the day is a little nightmare too. In hot season temperatures rise above 40 C. Second group of tourists are ”long term travellers” that stay in Hampi for weeks or even months. We were there one week and this is absolute minimum to feel a litttle bit of Hampi and see surrounding areas.
We travelled from Munnar to Hampi in 8 days. Places worth to see on the way we described here: Things to see between Munnar and Hampi.
Hampi is the place in an old capital of Vijayanagar Empire. It was established in 1336 by the Tungabhadra river. After muslim invasions and their looting nothing left but some temple ruins and few buildings. Some buildings survived in good condition, some others were rebuilt. From 1986 Hampi is on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites, but it is not about the ruins only. Village spread across hilly lands with huge monolith rocks. Place brought back memories of our stay in Tafraoute in Morocco. Hampi is totally different comparing with rest of India, calm and quiet, very romantic! Vehicles has no access to the village, so we could rest a little bit off noise of klaxons overused by locals.
Hampi on foot and by bike
The best to be on the move in the village and around is to do it on foot or by push-bike. Ruins cover over 26sq km, but there are two main parts: Hampi itself and 2 miles south from the river. First days we spent on morning and late evening walks around rocks and ruins near village. We had to do it in the early mornings or late evenings, because temperatures in the middle of the day weren’t possible to cope. 45C in the sun with no wind at all to cool you down! 37.4C is the highest-ever temperature in Britain that has been recorded, try to imagine 45C… Our friends we met in Munnar advised us to buy umbrella to have shadow with us all the time. During the afternoons we were hidding in our room cooling ourself under a warm shower (no cold water in the tap!).
One of our last days we wanted to see ruins further away, so we took bikes. Old and heavy, seemed like bikes were made out of cast iron, but still fun and better than rickshaw.
Hotels with crazy monkeys
Most of the rooms have views over the river and hills. Prices start from 200 rupiees (£2) for double room. Monkeys living on the balcony were for free. 🙂 Monkeys in Hampi are very noisy, but not dangerous. We had to keep in mind to not leave anything on the balcony as they were stealing everything they could grab. We had them in the room couple of times. We lost bannanas and… wet face wipes. 😀 Once they stole over 1kg of bannanas. We were coming back from the shop, Anna carried bag full of fruits. On the way back to our hotel something pulled the bag from behind… We didn’t even had time to react and monkey was sitting on the roof enjoying food. When we wanted to get it back, monkey was showing fangs. We had to come back home without fruits. 🙁
More travels stories from our 2-months long journey through India here: Travelling in India