For regular readers, you will be bored of hearing about Hampi, and how much Lucy and I loved our time there. To be fair, we do tend to bang on about it. But when asked last weekend by some friends we haven’t seen since we came back, Hampi was again rolled-out as our favourite place. And then it reminded us of how amazing it was.
The town itself is pretty small, and there seems to be a guesthouse/restaurant/shop on every corner. It is pretty tourist-ready, and there are the obvious drawbacks associated with that, mainly people badgering you day-in day-out for you to buy their over-priced goods.
But Hampi rises above the annoying street sellers, and the calm, relaxed atmosphere permeates the air. By the way, at this point, it’s worth adding that the air is also permeated with the smell of cow faeces. Because, as everyone knows, cows are sacred in India, the cow has the unique ability to sit wherever it damn well pleases. And as such, it has the ability to defecate wherever it damn well pleases!
Moving on! The area around Hampi is absolutely stunning. There are hundreds of ancient ruins, and the remains of previous cities, outposts and villages dot the countryside. It’s a reasonable cycle around, made difficult by the weather (did I mention it rarely dips below 32C, and in the summer gets up to 45C?), but you’re rewarded by some breathtaking vistas which make you feel like you’re Indiana Jones discovering a new desert-dwelling civilisation.
Of course, Lucy’s absolute favourite was the gorgeous Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the temple elephant, who blesses you for a little money, but who also trudges down to the river every morning for her bath. It became a ritual for us in Hampi that we’d wake up, pop down to see Lakshmi having a bath, and then head back to get some breakfast before starting the day properly.
There’s so much to do around Hampi, that we stayed in this tiny little village/town in the middle of the desert for a week and never got bored. Also, it was great for our health as because it’s a holy place, no alcohol is served, meaning that we had an accidental detox. Two birds, one stone!