An incredible place with an atmosphere unlike any other. I’ve yet to meet anyone that didn’t think it was wonderful.
After a week of beach, partying and social life in Goa…I finally moved on. From Goa, most travellers seem to either head north to Mumbai or Delhi, if they are flying home, or maybe more to the south Gokarna or Kerala, I went to the east to Hampi. Everyone I have met in India insists that Hampi is “a place you will want to stay for a while…”, “wonderful”, “magical”, etc. — which sets up expectations which I eventually thought must be thwarted. Not so…
I took my “usual” overnight bus from Goa to Hospet (about 8 hours) the closest town and from there another bus to Hampi.
Hampi really IS a magical place…It is quite unlike anywhere else on Earth. It’s a holy town set in a bizarre landscape of hills made of giant boulders that seem to hang in gravity positions. According to the Ramayana, the boulders were thrown down from the heavens by the Monkey-God in a show of strength. Take one look at Hampi and you’re unlikely to argue: it’s a bewilderingly unearthly landscape.
The landscape is really one of the most perfectly beautiful I have ever seen: piles of enormous round golden boulders form hills separated by perfectly flat valley floors, the brightest possible green rice paddys and banana plantations, watered by an irrigation system created five hundred years ago, and fed by a beautiful and holy river.
I could spend weeks there just wandering through the temple ruins to watch sunsets or watching the monkeys basking in the heat by the Tunghabadra River. Even if you don’t have a religious bone in your body, you’re unlikely not to be struck by the other-worldliness of the place. It’s no surprise that Hampi is venerated as a sacred place. The temples are incredible. And there are hundreds of them. An incredible place with an atmosphere unlike any other. I’ve yet to meet anyone that didn’t think it was wonderful.