I love Hampi! That place has such an unique vibe to it. A small town in the state of Karnataka, a UNESCO world heritage site, abound with boulders and temples and yet has a side to it where you can relax and have an adventure at the same time.
For me, Hampi was time-travelling and like being transported to another era, being cut off from the world (also literally as most parts do not get cell reception) and getting the opportunity to choose your own path and explore this low key sleepy town. The town has like full-on medieval vibes kind of. I also love walking so I was just going from one site to the other on foot but it was also so cool that I could just wander around without worrying about anything at all.
Not a map person like me? Hampi will surely bring out the hidden Indiana Jones! I wasn’t keen on buying a local book but couldn’t say no to this persistent albeit polite kid and indulged him by being his ‘first’ buy of the day. And that book had a map at the end of it and as bad as I am in finding my way and directions, I realized by looking at it that Hampi has so many places that are intriguing that even if you happen to lose your way you will end up exploring something! And the best way to explore is by foot, so ditch the rickshaw and get off on your adventure!
This bustle and maze of temple structures, desolated yet beautiful monuments are all on one side of Hampi. The Tungabhadra river runs right between the town and a short motorboat or interesting coracle ride brings you to the calm, relaxing side of Hampi; enhanced with the availability of alcohol and non-vegetarian food! With quite a few accommodations along the banks of the river; the river view and paddy fields are a welcome sight and makes you want to laze, chill, read a book and just let time pass you by.
It may not be as easily accessible but it definitely is worth the extra effort. Spend a minimum of three days in Hampi, however the more the merrier. The first day would just be downtime after a tiring journey, the second day you should set out exploring and the third day you can start with a trek to watch the sunrise, either Matanga Hill or the Hanuman temple depending on which side of the river you are staying at. So yeah, Hampi should definitely be on your travel list and don’t forget; it is best explored on foot or even a bicycle!