So, Hampi, Karnataka, India was my first trip as a solo traveller.

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I will admit; Hampi was not the first place that popped in my head. I was beginning to take my solo travel seriously and so did a thorough research before landing on a decision. My research included surfing through internet for almost a month about the safe places for solo female travellers and well, Hampi figured in most of them! So, one day I booked a flight to Bangalore, India and a ticket for an onward journey to Hospet (the nearest rail-head for Hampi village). Admittedly, I was a bit nervous.

The most preferred route for reaching is an overnight journey on the Hampi express. I reached Hospet early in the morning and took a bus for Hampi village.

The state-run local buses plying between Hospet and Hampi, Karnataka, India and a tad bit worn out me...
The state-run local buses plying between Hospet and Hampi and a tad bit worn out me…

Hampi is a around 15 kilometers away from Hospet and I just knew I was about to reach the ruins of the Vijyanagar empire.

"Boulders

 

Hampi is basically divided into two areas; the main bazaar and Virupapura Gadde ( locally known as the Hippie island). Both the places are on either side of river Tungabhadra. I had made prior reservations for stay at both sides. It takes a boat ride (either motor boats or small bowl-shaped boats called coracles) to go across the river. I preferred the former.

At the entrance of the Hippie islands, Hampi, Karnataka. It was a long, yet refreshing walk, to the guest house where I had put up.
At the entrance of the Hippie islands, Hampi, Karnataka. It was a long, yet refreshing walk, to the guest house where I had put up.

Since I had not planned anything else ahead, I began exploring. I asked around about the places I can visit during the day and how. I had heard that travellers also explored Hampi on foot but I was not yet ready for that kind of adventure.

So, I rent a two-wheeler and rode all the way to Anegundi village, making a stop at the beautiful Sanapur lake.

Sanapur lake, Hampi, en route to Anegundi.
Sanapur lake, Hampi, en route to Anegundi.

The lake water and the boulders accompanied me pretty much throughout my ride to Anegundi.

Showing the way ahead..... enroute to Anegundi via Sanapur village, Hampi
Showing the way ahead….. enroute to Anegundi via Sanapur village

I could have reached Anegundi taking a smaller and direct route but then, I wouldn’t have had a chance to pass through the roads less taken.

Passing through country roads.... enroute to Anegundi from Hippie Island, Hampi.
Passing through country roads…. enroute to Anegundi from Hippie Island, Hampi.

Anegundi is a small village nearing Hampi and has few places to visit but a lot of places for tourists to put up. The roads were slightly damaged and since it was more or less my first time riding a two-wheeler, I decided to make just one brief stop at a local temple.

Wading my way through upto the temple, Anegundi, Karnataka, India.
Wading my way through upto the temple

My guest house owner had told me to visit some more temples on my way back to Hampi from Anegundi, this time taking the direct route and not the one that goes through Sanapur. In this way, I could get a glimpse of both. The direct route had few temples enroute.

The monkey temple, also famous as a sunset point, is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman from Hindu tradition in India.

View from halfway to the Monkey temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India.
View from halfway to the temple….

Caution: The top could be reached only after a flight of around 600 stairs.

Right at the sunset point of the Monkey temple. Behind is an elevated view of Hampi, Karnataka, India.
Right at the sunset point of the Monkey temple. Behind is an elevated view of Hampi.

A small tea-shop owner suggested to visit Pampa Sarovar (lake), the complex of which also housed two small temples. It is considered sacred according to Hindu theology.

Pampa Sarovar (lake),among the boulders, near Hampi, Karnataka.
Pampa Sarovar (lake),among the boulders.

The next stop was Durga temple, which was not exactly easy to reach. I had to ride ON the boulders to reach the foot of the temple. Walking was not an option as it seemed really far from the road. Admittedly, the ride was slippery and risky.

View from the Durga temple, near Hampi, Karnataka, India.
View from the Durga temple.

Tired, I returned to the guest house late in the evening.

Seating at most eateries restaurants in Hampi in on the floor.
Seating at most eateries restaurants in Hampi in on the floor.

I checked out the next morning and left for the Bazaar (market) area, across the river.

Waiting for my ride to go across. Behind, overlooking the river, is Virupaksha temple.
Waiting for my ride to go across. Behind, overlooking the river, is Virupaksha temple.

Once across the river, I waded and made my way through to the guest house where I had made arrangements to put up during the rest of my trip. The other side was thronged with people; tourists and locals. My first stop was Virupaksha temple, right in front of the Bazaar area.

Patterns at display right at the entrance, Virupaksha temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India.
Patterns at display right at the entrance

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva (Hindu Theology) and is among the famous monuments of Hampi.

Behind the latched doors, Virupaksha temple, Hampi, Karnataka.
Behind the latched doors….

 

The exit of Virupaksha temple, Hampi, Karnataka opens into a step-well (to the left) and wide pathway leading to the main road...
The exit of Virupaksha temple opens into a step-well (to the left) and wide pathway leading to the main road…

 

Architecture of Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, in a gist...
Architecture (entrance) of the temple…

 

Architecture (Exit) of the Virupaksha temple, Hampi, Karnatka, India.
Architecture (Exit) of the temple…

The other part of the temple leads up to the boulders (Hemkuta Hill) and gives an elevated view of Hampi.

Virupaksha temple complex to the left and Market area to the right.
Virupaksha temple complex to the left and Market area to the right.

 

Statue of Lord Ganesha, Hemkuta Hill, Hampi, Karnataka.
Statue of Lord Ganesha, Hemkuta Hill.

An unplanned solo travel often gives rise to the question “what next”. An hour later, I descended the boulders and the same question popped up. To my rescue came a dozen autorikshaw (three-wheeler rides) drivers who handed me a brochure and offered to take me around a dozen temple complexes at Rs. 400/-. Most were situated in Kamalapuram.

The next stop, strictly following the recently created itinerary, was the Lotus Mahal.

Kamal (Lotus) Mahal, Hampi.
Kamal (Lotus) Mahal, Hampi.

Next came the Ranga Temple complex.

Carved out figure of Lord Hanuman, Ranga temple complex, Hampi, Karnataka.
Carved out figure of Lord Hanuman.

 

Ruins at Hazara Ram temple complex, Kamalapuram, Karnataka, India.
Ruins at Hazara Ram temple complex

The Royal Enclosure Hampi, next stop for the day, is spread over a few hundred kilometers and can be covered in an hour on foot.

View from Mahanavmi Dibba, a huge platform inside the Royal Enclosure, Hampi, Karnataka.
View from Mahanavmi Dibba, a huge platform inside the Royal Enclosure.

 

Mahanavmi Dibba or the Dasara Dibba, Karnataka, India.
Mahanavmi Dibba or the Dasara Dibba.

 

Step-well inside the Royal Enclosure, Hampi, Karnataka, India.
Step-well inside the Royal Enclosure.

My last and final stop for the day was the famous Vittala temple complex, spread over a vast area, comprising small temples and structures showcasing vivid architecture and last but not the least, the Tungabhadra river at the end. Another end of the complex gives way to the Matanga Hill near Hampi Bazar area.

A battery-operated vehicle plies to and from the entrance towards the main complex.

Pattern architecture at the entrance of Vittala templex complex.
Pattern architecture at the entrance of Vittala templex complex.

 

Vittala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka.
Vittala Temple.

I ended the day with sunset at the Tungabhadra river.

Wrapped up the day with the sunset, banks of Tungabhadra River, Vittala temple complex, Hampi, Karnataka.
Wrapped up the day with the sunset…

The next day, I visited the Sanapur Lake again, this time to get a closer view.

Candid shots at Sanapur Lake.
Candid shots….

Enroute are found the ruins of an aqueduct.

En route to Sanapur lake from Virupapura Gadde, Hampi.
En route to Sanapur lake from Virupapura Gadde, Hampi.

I had reserved the last day for Tungabhadra dam, located ahead of Hospet (also the railhead for Hampi), at a distance of thirty kilometers from Hampi. I covered the distance from the entrance of the dam complex (also housing a park) to the viewpoint on foot which was admittedly a bit tiring.

View from top of the Tungabhadra dam and a bit worn-out me...
View from top and a bit worn-out me…

I wrapped my last evening in Hampi with sunset at Matanga Hill which can be accessed from Vittala temple complex as well as the main Hampi Bazaar area. I chose the latter since it was nearer to my abode for the time being.

 

Sunset at Matanga Hill, Hampi, Karnataka.
Sunset at Matanga Hill

 

I visited Hampi during the first half of November. It was a tad bit hot. It is an absolutely safe destination for solo female travellers despite the deserted ruins. The entire area closes down pretty early so one has to make arrangements to travel around the area oneself. It also gets difficult to go on either side of the river if it gets too late. There are no ATMs in Hampi, so be prepared. In toto, Hampi was a good first experience for me.

 

4 thoughts on “Rising from the ruins- Hampi

  1. Wish You the best of luck in all of your future prospects…

  2. Amazing Solo Trip. I loved the way you explore each part of your journey and jotted down with such a clearity. It’s phenomenal. Way to go….. wish you good luck πŸ€πŸ‘

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