Offbeat Hampi

Welcome, fellow wanderers and design enthusiasts, to the architectural adventure you never knew you needed! Brace yourselves for a journey through the whimsical and utterly offbeat Hampi. Trust us, this is not your average travel blog. We’re here to unveil the hidden treasures and mind-boggling structures that make Hampi a veritable playground for architectural nerds (in the most endearing way possible).

Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site, famous for its history and architecture. Virupaksh temple, Vitthala Temple, Mustard Ganesha, Matuga Hill, Anjaneya hill, ancient water systems, and musical pillars. But Hampi is not just about that. This ruined city has its own rhythm, and if you can catch the tune, you will have a brilliant experience here. While Hampi has its own shades each month of the year, the best time to visit Hampi will be from August to March to do these adventures.

So, fasten your seatbelts, and get ready to explore Hampi, where the ordinary becomes extraordinary and architectural dreams are brought to life… with a side of whimsy. Let’s dive into this magical realm where buildings have personalities and the stones themselves seem to tell enchanting stories. Welcome to Offbeat Hampi, where architecture meets history, and exploring becomes the ultimate souvenir.

Cycle across the ruined Hampi city:

Bicycling in Hampi
Bicycling in Hampi

Picture this: a land where boulders play hide-and-seek with lush green banana plantations, and where ruins older than your great-great-great-grandma dot the landscape. Welcome to the extraordinary realm of Hampi, where cycling takes on a whole new level of adventure and architectural exploration!

Pedaling through this offbeat wonderland is like stepping into a whimsical time machine. Forget about traffic jams and car honks, because here you’ll find yourself gliding through the cleanest, crispiest air imaginable, with the occasional breeze caressing your face like a mischievous architectural spirit.

The roads of Hampi are not just any roads; they’re the stuff that cycling dreams are made of. Smooth as butter, they invite you to pedal your heart out while giggling at the sheer brilliance of your surroundings. And fear not, for the people of Hampi are as friendly as can be, ready to greet you with a warm smile and maybe even a silly joke or two.

Oh, and speaking of hydration, there’s no better way to quench your thirst than with not one, but two of those delicious roadside coconuts. Sip on their sweet nectar as you take in the historical wonders that surround you, feeling like a true explorer in search of architectural enlightenment.

So hop on your trusty steed (aka your bicycle) and get ready for a ride like no other. Hampi awaits, with its offbeat charm, architectural marvels, and a coconut-sipping adventure that will leave you thirsting for more. This is Offbeat Hampi, where cycling, comedy, and history collide in the most delightful and refreshing way possible.

Coracle ride in Hampi:

Coracle ride in Hampi

Walk through pillars of Hampi Bazaar, towards Kodanda Rama temple. Follow the cobblestone pavement that cuts through boulders where you will reach Kodanda Rama temple. In front of that, you have to catch the Coracle ride. The small bowl-shaped boats made up of Bamboo will take you on some of the least explored islands in Tungabhadra river. Simply majestic.

As you step aboard these buoyant wonders, get ready for a majestic experience that will leave you in awe. Float along the gentle currents, marveling at the architectural wonders that line the riverbanks. From ancient ruins peeking through the foliage to whimsical structures seemingly defying the laws of gravity, each island unveils a new surprise that will make you laugh, gasp, and appreciate the offbeat charms of Hampi.

So put on your explorer hat, pack your sense of humor, and prepare to be swept away on a Coracle ride like no other. Hampi’s architectural treasures await, and these unconventional vessels are your ticket to unlocking the secrets of the Tungabhadra. This is Offbeat Hampi, where history, hilarity, and Coracles collide to create an adventure you’ll be reminiscing about for years to come.

Sunset from Matunga hill:

Sunset from Matunga hill, Hampi
Sunset from Matunga Hill, Hampi
View from Matunga Hill, Hampi

At the end of Hampi Bazaar, there sits a huge monolith Nandi. Matunga trek starts from there. The climb is easy, but for the last few meters, it’s just slippery boulders. I almost turned back but my wife pushed me forward. Thanks to her, I witnessed one of the most brilliant sunsets of my life.

As the sun gracefully descends on the western horizon, it paints the sky with vibrant hues of orange, bidding farewell to Hampi and casting its warm glow upon the flowing Tungabhadra river. It’s a magical moment, my friend, where time seems to stand still, and you find yourself enveloped in a tranquil twilit zone that soothes your soul.

So, heed the call of the slippery boulders, embrace the unexpected, and get ready to lose yourself in the serene embrace of an offbeat Hampi sunset. It’s a journey filled with history, architectural marvels, and a touch of romance, all wrapped up in the warm glow of the disappearing sun. This is Offbeat Hampi, where slippery slopes lead to unforgettable sunsets and memories that will last a lifetime.

Sunrise from Anjaneya hill:

Sunrise from Anjaneya hill, hampi

Birthplace of Lord Hanuman, is located on the other side or Hippie Island. It will be easy if you are living there, as you have to climb a few hundred steps to reach there. But climbing in the dark has its own rewards.

As the first rays of the sun peek over the horizon, a breathtaking sight unfolds before your eyes. Each moment reveals a new layer of Hampi’s architectural wonders, as if the sun itself is an eager archaeologist unveiling each and every boulder that adorns this magical land. The river, too, seems to awaken from its slumber, shimmering with newfound radiance as if it’s been waiting for this exact moment.

And let’s not forget our feathered friends. The birds of Hampi, still groggy from their avian slumber, stretch their wings and take flight, creating a majestic spectacle against the waking sky. It’s a symphony of nature and architecture, where even the boulders seem to yawn and stretch, coming alive with a vibrant energy that courses through the very heart of offbeat Hampi.

Scootying Hippie island:

This is the age of heavy CC motorcycles with Royal Enfields and KTMs. While we torque our self in life with eyes on the road ahead, sometimes it feels good to slow it down. Riding 90 cc TVS moped is just the speed you need to take you to the wonderland of rice paddy fields, tiny villages hidden in the corners of giant boulders and around ancient ruins. Take the ferry across the Tungabhadra (Or just jump across the river rocks. Yes, we did that to save 15 rupees), and hire a moped and hop on, for one of the most scenic rides of your life. 

Ancient Anegundi:

Anegundi or Kishkindha empire, Hampi
Anegundi or Kishkindha empire, Hampi
Anegundi Potholes, Hampi
Anegundi Potholes

Offbeat Hampi territory holds a special place in the hearts of die-hard Ramayana fans, like myself, as it offers a nostalgic journey through mythological marvels and architectural wonders. Chintan Gumha is located on the Hippy island of Hampi, hidden in the giant boulders.

Step into the hallowed halls of Chintan Gumpha, the cave where legends were forged. Here, Shri Ram and Sugriva, the valiant Vanara king, had their fateful encounter. Let your imagination transport you back to that extraordinary moment, as you stand in the very spot where destiny unfolded and the greatest alliance of Humans and Vanaras was forged.

Next, prepare to witness the echoes of a mighty battle. Follow the footsteps of Bali and Sugriva to the site where their legendary fight took place. Let the air carry the whispers of their struggle and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of myth and history. Just besides the Chintan Gumpha, you will see a tree from where, Shri Ram shot his arrow in the mighty chest of Bali.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there. As you make your way to Padmanabh Tirtha, be sure to keep an eye out for the intriguing potholes that grace the river’s surface. These natural formations are not just ordinary indentations; they hold secrets and stories of their own. Feel the pulse of the river as you contemplate the forces of nature that have shaped this sacred land.

Chill out in Mango tree hotel:

Hotel mango tree is, a hidden gem that embodies the very essence of the spirit of offbat Hampi. it’s the institution femous as any other ancient ruins in the area. Welcome to the most famous eatery in town, where floor sitting, free WiFi, and a laid-back rustic ambiance create an atmosphere that captures the soul of Hampi’s earthy lifestyle and the essence of its hippie heritage.

Under the shelter of a cozy tent, you’ll find yourself transported to a different time and space. The floor setting invites you to embrace the relaxed vibe, allowing you to unwind and connect with the authentic spirit of this extraordinary place. Whether you’re embarking on a day of exploration or you’ve reached the point of exhaustion from your adventures, this eatery has got you covered.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of the brilliant food served here, a true reflection of Hampi’s culinary prowess. Each bite tells a story, connecting you to the rich tapestry of the region’s history and cultural heritage. It’s a feast that not only satisfies your hunger but also nourishes your soul.

Make friends with Lakshmi elephant:
Apart from huge towers, brilliant wall paintings and beautiful craftsmanship of Virupaksha temple, you should meet one of the permanent residents of the temple there-Lakshmi elephant. You can feed her in the temple, and also in the early morning, you can accompany her to the River for a bath. Its pure fun. 

Stargaze on the bank of Tungabhadra:

Tungabhadra river, Hampi
Tungabhadra, just before the Sunset

There is nothing much to do in Hampi outdoors at night. So, after a heavy dinner in the Mango tree, take a stroll towards Ghat. Climb on top of one of those ancient structures and listen to Tungabhadra flowing. Rest your back on the platforms to gaze some stars on a clear sky, with water flowing in background and imagine this ancient city coming back to life. Pure magic.  

Rock climbing in Hampi:

Bouldering in Hampi

Giant boulders scattered all over Hampi makes it perfect for Rock climbing, or, Bouldering. Many shops and hotels on the other side provide assistance, gear on rent and even provide a guide for the climb. You can rent crash mats, chalk powder, and shoes here, and if you are staying in one of these hotels, they will provide these for free in your package. Goan corner, Tom and Jerry’s and Sunny’s Bouldering school are one of the many service providers.

Have breakfast at Mowgli:

Hippie Island, Hampi

Sitting on the floor, right in the middle of lush green paddy fields while the river flows in front of you. You tend to eat more than you need in such conditions. And then, killer tasty food makes you order some more. There are some super laid back, tasty food serving restaurants on the other side as well. Mowgli, Laughing Buddha, and many more are ready to serve you, while you relax.

Shopping in Hampi Bazaar:

Hampi Bazaar
Hampi Bazaar

Let your inside hippie out here, and buy yourself some colorful pants, chappals, earrings, neckless, Oam printed t-shirts or some gypsy styled Lambani handbags. If you are planning to switch on the Kumbaya mode, you can buy musical instruments to play around your bonfire as well. As a memento, you can have some brass artifacts replicating Hampi ruins, gods or some animals. As you make your selections, let each item serve as a cherished memento, a tangible reminder of the memories and experiences woven into the fabric of your offbeat Hampi adventure.

Cliff Jumping:

Hop on the ferry to the other side, hire a moped and drive towards Sanapur Lake, keeping ancient aqueduct on your back. There will be crocodile signs in this area, but you can go ahead and have a blast while swimming. Hampi weather is decent, year around. But summers are harsh, swimming definitely will take down a notch. Get that adrenaline rush, with your sole attention, is on just one thing, living in the moment until you touch the waters. As you land safely, your fear turns into satisfaction, until you climb the cliff again, to jump. 

Explore Virupaksha temple:

Virupakshan temple, Hampi

It’s the only live temple in Hampi, with the tallest structure that can be seen from miles. This seventh-century temple has seen many good bad and ugly days. Spend some time here, observe the devotees sitting in the temple courtyard. Attend Arati in the evenings which starts after Lakshmi parades in the courtyard. 

Hampi from Watchtower:

Yantroddharak Anjaneya Temple, Hampi
Yantroddharak Anjaneya Temple, Hampi

From King’s balance, stroll towards Kodanda Rama temple, and you will come across Anjaneya temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Behind the temple, there is a two-storied watchtower, from where you can see a panoramic view of the place. It is the best place to spend your hot afternoon. very few go there as Yantroddharak Anjaneya temple has few steps to climb.

Musical pillars in Vitthala temple:

Musical Pillars, Hampi
Musical Pillars, Hampi

Vitthala temple is the most iconic spot in Hampi constructed in 1554. Take a guide, he will be worth every penny. Apart from stone chariot, he will explain you the significance of many things that you will ignore otherwise, and musical pillars or SaReGaMa pillars are just one of them. Queen use to perform dance here, while music being played with the beat of Sandal sticks on those pillars.  

History lesson in Hampi museum:

After the queens bath, most of the people will take u turn to come back to Hampi, but do not forget to check out Hampi Archaeological museum or Kamalapur Museum, located in outskirts of Hampi. Consider this museum a mandatory prerequisite for any serious explorer. Here, you’ll embark on a captivating journey through time, delving deep into the mythological, architectural, and historical tapestry of Hampi. Marvel at the exquisite sculptures that adorn the galleries, each one a testament to the incredible craftsmanship of the bygone era.

But the true masterpiece that awaits you is the topographical model of Hampi, a marvel of intricate detailing and craftsmanship. This miniature replica brings the entire city of Hampi to life before your eyes, showcasing its grandeur and scale in a way that words alone cannot capture. From the majestic temples to the sprawling ruins, every nook and cranny of Hampi is beautifully recreated, allowing you to immerse yourself in its rich history and architectural splendor.

So, fellow explorers, do not miss the opportunity to expand your knowledge and deepen your understanding of this offbeat Hampi paradise.

Bare feet on the slopes of Hemakoota hill:

Hemakuta Hill, Hampi
Hemakuta Hill, Hampi

Afternoons are very very hot in Hampi. So, if you are extra adventures, remove your sandals and try to walk bare foot on that hot monolith near Virupaksha temple. While villagers are walking easily, without any footwear and problems, us, the city folks dance here like Basanti, dancing on broken glass in front of Gabbar.

Explore underground temples of Hampi:
Hampi is well known for its tall towers and specious courtyards, there are few temples, hidden underground. Prasanna virupaksha temple is one of them. Chill there during noon time and you wont even feel a scorching sun on your head. Close your eyes, and just be in piece. While in peak monsoon season, temple gets flooded, according to locals, it has outlet, which straight goes to Tungabhadra river. 

Chill out in Elephant stables:
Another unique structure of Hampi is, Elephant Stables.  And everyone knows- A cool elephant is happy elephant. It is said, that water use to be circulated through the walls of this building to keep the elephants cool. Also, do not forget to check out Mahut cabins besides the stables.

What not to do in Hampi:

Rave. Hampi is the lost glory of India. It has immensely rich heritage, culture and religious value. Its the place where two brothers took a stand,  establish an empire to fight foreign invaders. But, as our bad habit of following white folks blindly, we the people, have started behaving like Hippies (Who don’t know any better). Alcohol, weed and other drugs have made their place in Hampi, in the form of rave parties on Hippie Island, straight from Goa. My request is, do whatever you want, but with keeping the appropriate respect to the place.
And one more thing,
Do not forget to send postcard to your family from there.         

For detail information, please visit my Hampi Log:


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