This is a treasure trove for the archaeologists, a paradise for hippies and a campers dream in India!
There are very few places which are left in India where peace can still be found. This is one among them, a place where you can go back in time and live the stress free life. Where the expanse on nothingness amazes you.
There are boulders, boulders and boulders everywhere. There is so much to soak in yet there’s nothing, there’s so much to do yet nothing!
The time just comes to a still and the fast paced maniac city life takes a seat back. There are a ton of cafes to savor your taste buds and also keep your health on the right track. This place by far, has the best healthy options, all the cafes are mostly bent towards a healthy lifestyle and also the homegrown organic food served here, is at it’s best.
You can stay here for months together exploring the intense history and yet will have a ton more things to learn about it. You can finish a dozen of books here, yet your hunger will be insatiable.
This is a place where you can be yourself and this guide will probably help you do that! Well, how exactly will be yourself if you follow a guide! In that case, you can look at this as a compass which will give you a little direction where to head. I have done the historical tour before and I will be posting that in another post; maybe! But this one will probably take you places which are a little off the trail. A little more than a school’s outing, a little more than a guided tour, a little more of exploring and a lot more of being laid back!
First simple rule that I followed here was to let go of control and I let myself to be lost. Initially there was a lot of fuss about camping grounds, where to camp and where to head. The local are quite helpful (At least when I had visited, they were!) They told me to keep it low as there were a few people who camped near site for a month and made a huge mess out of the place. Sigh, when will people start treating our places with a little respect. But since I knew the local language, I was a little more relaxed about the situation and did not let it intervene me.
I drove up to the Island first. Ok what? There’s an island?
No, there isn’t!
It’s just addressed as an island. Maybe because the easiest way to get there is by a boat, where you take a boat ride from Virupaksha temple and in 5 minutes you are across. Initially the approach to the island through Road was real far away, but there is a new bridge over the river that connects you to the “Island” quite easily now.
The best way to explore Hampi in true sense would be to take a public transport and also a cycle/gearless scooter to go around!
Well, however I drove. The place is actually known as virpapura gadde and the roads are non existent and truly is country side. You can see a beautiful confluence of different worlds here, to the left you will find rice fields and to right are cafes! There are makeshift stalls which rent out high end bouldering equipment. The place would take you back in bollywood movies where the hippies are walking on streets while puffing on bum bhole’s prasad. The beauty of being around hippies is everyone’s cheap, everyone’s free and looking at their freedom you might wonder have you been pulled by the complicated, complex world driven by consumerism and conglomerates! Perhaps we are just puppets in this world!
Which makes me wonder
“Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everyone is gonna die.”
Well, yeah wubba lubba dub dub! Yeah you got it right Rick and Morty are far more superior than we are!
So, getting back to hampi! The easiest landmark other than the Hampi island is to ask for the road which takes you to kishkinta resorts, there’s a huge arc and a little narrow street next to it. The road is in bad shape but can be easily negotiated. The rod is pretty narrow and will be occupied by street hawkers and a lot of cafes with the Indian tuk tuks parke randomly at their will! But keep calm as this is the same street where you will be looking for parking too. Go to the end of the road where the road opens up and you can probably find a decent space to park to the left which leads to mutanga hills. The place is filled with resorts and cafes. Certainly did not look safe but then I was already taken by the hippie soul and I decided what the hell let’s leave it on chance! I parked my car there and was on my own with the back pack along my tent. I explored the cafes here where people were having wholesome meals while a few sipping on their morning beer! However, after a pizza and coffee at the german bakery I was set to leave the crowded cafes and go as farther as possible to camp.
I wandered into the rocks and bushes around mutanga hill, there were many amazing spots to camp at! However since I was alone they were not an option. As I still wanted to collect the firewood and water, to camp.
Farther away I wandered and got approached by a guy looking like a baba. He did not speak the local language nor did he know the colloquial english! He snubbed me with his brit accent and I was baffled by the baba looking figure with that accent!
Few minutes later I get to know he’s an indian born brit who gave up his job in England to settle here for the karmic and spiritual well being and was the owner of the private property I ventured into by mistake! He told me to go further down where I would have a remote yet safe and convenient place to camp! Where there was a running stream, a cafe across and the boulders which would protect me from the winds!
The bare minimum which I camp with, the tent specially is the best I have used until now :
A few meters hike and I was sure I wanted to camp there. I could walk to the cafe across the stream, yet keep an eye on my tent. I could make my own food, yet I could opt for a meal at the cafe. The place was isolated yet not isolated!
I met interesting set of people here, I could share a fire at night. Also was offered a green tea infused with lemon and ginger in middle of nowhere! This german chap was way friendlier than the germans are portrayed to be and the nights felt short. With the stories he had to share! Little is what these guys need, a hammock with his little backpack is what he was on for the past three weeks!
The following day was a little more lazier, with loads of books and tea to sip on!
A lot of firangees who knew about the Indian calendar and following them to attain spiritual knowledge. Morning yoga sessions with hike to hanuman temple and exploring the hidden cafes in middle of the jungle!
A lot strangers becoming friends and a lots of love from unknown people, a lot more lone travelers like myself! Stories to binge on, talks to debate on and a fun filled night with songs to touch your heart. All the people from around the earth sharing a fire in middle of nowhere under the moonlight sky!
Things which I absolutely hate here :
Management letting people do, what they do – Vandalize and spoil the structures!
Things one can do :
Take a hike to see the bears in wild!
Bird watching :
Or just hike around and get amazed by the ancient history in every corner of the place! Quite literally
This and a lot more of things which will make you wonder, if you really are uptight lost in life, if you even know the purpose or the reason for existence.
Take a leap of faith and find it all, for yourself. Rather find yourself.
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