Our next stop after Goa was Hampi and to get there we had our first overnight sleeper bus. We didn’t realise when we booked but the bus actually had flat beds so when we got on I thought we would be having a comfy sleep. Turns out top bunk sleepers are squishier and bumpier than normal recliner seats and I ended up only getting about an hours sleep.
It was an experience and we arrived in Hampi which is all that matters so after checking into our hotel we got a rickshaw to take us around town. Our first stop was breakfast and we were taken to a local hotspot – The Mango Tree. It was located right next to the river with low set tables that you sat on the floor to eat at. We had a yummy breakfast looking out to the amazing landscape of a river winding through mountains made of boulders. Next it was on to see the temples that Hampi is famous for.
We first visited the Virupaksha group of temples and ruins that was located in the heart of the city. We wandered through the temple ruins and climbed the boulders that shaped the landscape of Hampi and to look down onto the intricately carved temple. It was the perfect way to get a view of the city and an introduction to the day ahead – as Hampi is pretty much boulders and temples. We then continued on to visit more temples and the Archeological Museum of Hampi before stopping again at the Mango Tree for lunch. After relaxing in the cool breeze by the river for a while we were starting to feel a little tired as a combination lack of sleep and plenty of walking in the sun had worn us out. It was tempting to call it quits for the day and go back and sleep but we decided to power on.
It was so worth it as we were the taken to the Royal Centre that host a few different types of ruins such as a bazzar, Lotus Mahal and old Elephant Stables. It was nice to have a bit of a break from all the temples! The last stop was for sunset and we were taken to the top of one of the mountains of boulders to watch it set over the beautiful scenery. We’ve seen plenty if sunsets over beaches and lakes recently but this one can definitely compete. It felt like we were watching the sun set over Bedrock.
After a long day sightseeing we headed back to our guest house for a rest before dinner. Our guest house was located in the Hampi Bazaar which is home to many guest houses, restaurants and shops. We gathered up enough energy to wander around the shops a little before heading to another restaurant by the river. They have fairly strict rules in Hampi about the consumption of alcohol so we were surprised to see people inside drinking. The manager peaked his head around the door and we thought for a second they were going to get kicked out but then he just jumped down on the mats and joined them. So much for the strict rules!
The next day after much needed sleep we had a whole day before we had to jump on another overnight bus so we took it easy on the sightseeing and decided to head across the river to explore over there. We caught the little ferry across and once we arrived and started walking we weren’t actually sure what was over there. Luckily, as always, there was a rickshaw driver offering his services and he took us to a lake. It was a big resoviur between boulders that looked perfectly blue against the red rocks. He lead us down to a quiet spot where it was easy to swim. Unfortunately we since we didn’t know what our plans were we hadn’t bought our swimmers. I settled for putting my feet in the cool water while James just dived in his jocks.
Unfortunately we had only booked our rickshaw for an hour and a half so we had to wind up at the lake. The rest of our afternoon was spent at riverside restaurants before heading to our bus. It was hard to follow up our time in Goa but Hampi did a pretty good job. The whole place was unlike anything I had ever seen and a place I would totally recommend for people to visit.