Throwback Thursday – Hampi, India

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

Lucy was lucky enough to get a “smooch” from Lakshmi, and I personally don’t think I’ve ever seen Lucy as happy or excited as she was in the aftermath of the smooch!IMG_3274

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!

8 Comments

  1. 24th October 2014 / 9:33 am

    Hi Guys! Love your blog! I was just thinking – do you have any tips for where to go in India please? I’m going to be there in April for 7 weeks, land in Dheli, then did want to go to darjeeling and kerala as well our ‘kinda’ planned route (golden triangle, down to goa, fly out of chennai) – any advice? I’m probably thinking we’ll stick to the West coast as that seems more realistic, but that means no darjeeling :-(!! Any inside info on the practicalities of getting around and what we can realistically fit into 7 weeks would be amazing! Thanks!

    • 24th October 2014 / 11:45 am

      Hi Mirain!! Firstly, thanks for reading our blog – you’re an awesome human being!!
      7 weeks is actually a pretty decent amount of time. We were in India for just over 7 weeks I think, and managed to pack in all the places we’ve written about here…http://twobackpackateers.com/category/destination-travel/india-destinations/
      So, I would suggest that you could do two things. Firstly, hit up Delhi, Agra, then head east to Varanasi. After Varanasi you could head up to Darjeeling. After that I’d say go down to Kolkata and then you could fly over to Jaipur (flights in India are pretty cheap, especially when considering taking the train would take 2 days!). Then have some time in Rajasthan before heading to Mumbai. You could head down the coast to Goa. I would definitely recommend Hampi, as it was my favourite place. Then you can carry on south to Kerala. We flew into Cochin (Kochi) and went up, so you may be able to get a flight from there, depending on where you’re coming from/going to etc…
      Other option is that from Delhi you do the golden triangle and spend some time in Rajasthan (LOVED Rajasthan!) and then head south via Mumbai, Goa, Hampi and down to Kerala. Then….fly up from Cochin to Kolkata, head up to Darjeeling and then fly out from Kolkata. I know it sounds weird doing it that way, but might work out as the most efficient way time wise. Also, loads of flights from Kolkata 🙂
      In terms of getting around and feasibility, we used the train for almost all journeys. The train is brilliant! Such an eye-opening experience first time you do it, but it’s great fun! We have a post on it here…http://twobackpackateers.com/a-guide-to-using-the-wonderfully-mysterious-indian-railways/
      Darjeeling is a tough place to get to! Whichever way yo come, you need to get a train to New Jalpaiguri (NJP). From there, it’s a share minivan up the mountain to Kurseong (Kurseong is great by the way, you can stay with families on the Makaibari Tea Estate http://twobackpackateers.com/days-67-68-the-makaibari-tea-estate/). From Kurseong it’s the epic mini-railway up to Darjeeling (know as the Toy Train).
      Anyway, let us know if you need any more tips or help, we’re always happy to talk about India! And have a great time!!!!
      Oli

      • 31st October 2014 / 9:26 am

        Awesome – thanks for replying!! We’ve actually already booked our onward flight from india, and we’re flying from Chennai – so we have to factor that in also, but your options sound awesome, and realistic – I was worried we were trying to do too much in a short amount of time! Flying sounds like a great idea to cut down time, we’ll see how much our budget stretches! Thanks again!

        • 31st October 2014 / 7:52 pm

          Mirain you will have the BEST time I promise! And make sure you don’t worry about ‘delhi belly’ and eat stacks of street food. It’s the best and it is insanely kind on your budget:) L x

  2. SIGRID
    18th March 2017 / 11:24 pm

    Hello Lucy!
    Life is so amazing. About 2 years ago I stumbled upon your blog while being in Thailand. It seemed interesting, but I thought “no, I can’t follow yet another travelblog”. A couple of months later you popped up again but I remained stubborn. But somehow I’ve always remembered your name and yesterday – after exploring a bunch of rather mediocre Belgian travel blogs – I wondered how you were doing. Today I must have spent hours on your blog and I can say I’m hooked! The fact that India is your favourite country and your rave reports about Hampi – the first place in my travel life where I spent 2 weeks. Just exploring (every inch of) the temples took me 6 days, and of course I had to relax after that – add to your charm; Now I’m really curious about your other India posts, they make relive the dream 🙂
    And after years of reading travel blogs, I can say you are a pretty authentic gem!

    Love from Belgium and keep up the good work!

    • 19th March 2017 / 6:52 pm

      Sigrid this is the nicest comment EVER! I’m grinning from ear to ear at how nice it is! So happy you found me again, and man…..I know what it’s like to be wading through an RSS feed of a gazillion other blogs so I feel pretty awesome you stuck around and like it enough to comment!

      And OMG Hampi is literally the DREAM. I was just saying to my husband how I can’t wait to take the baby to India — it’s the BEST country, right? What was your fave part?

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