Hampi, the beautiful land of ruins is one of the dream destinations for a lot of us and it is certainly not an exaggeration when I say that this is one place which is almost on everyone’s bucket list to be checked off without fail. Traveling to this place always ignites a sense of excitement in me and this time it was all the more as I had decided to cross the river to seek solitude from those touristy and crowded places. Traveling to Hampi in itself is quite a joyous moment for an architecture lover.
After taking a coracle ride in the effervescent Tungabhadra, I reached the other side of Hampi which is apparently known as the “Hippie Island”, a small abode which is totally different from the rest of the Hampi, non-chaotic, quiet and quaint. I definitely recommend people to explore this bit of Hampi because this is where the beauty of real Hampi gets unveiled. There aren’t huge complexes or temples here yet, the silence and the old-world Hampi lies here.
If you are seeking out for complete relaxation and have plans to only disconnect completely from the outside world then, this is a place you must let yourselves be in. There are a lot of resorts and home stays with a beautiful view of the Virupaksha temple and the river available at affordable prices. Most of the westerners and people from other nationalities come to this place and spend a good 3-6 months exploring every bit of this grandeur.
It was close to 12:00 PM after I trekked down from Anjanadri and started off towards the Virupara Gadde. My hunger pangs were at their most active state and they drew me to a nearby restaurant called, “The Laughing Buddha Café”. As I walked inside, I felt like I was walking inside a shack but, when the door opened, it was a gateway to the paradise. I saw vivid people sitting on the mattresses laid on the floor across tables comfortably in the lovely ambiance enjoying the ravishing beauty of Hampi. I settled too amidst these people in one of the tables and sank into a dreamy land looking at the scenic beauty of the massive Virupaksha temple that looked so miniscule from this part. Everything there was so unruffled, the background music which transports you to a world of trance, the lovely ambiance with abstract arts, the delicious food, the lovely people from ious regions and of course, the beautiful postcard view of Hampi.
I dug into a sizzler and gobbled up a portion of yummy Arabiata pasta and French fries along with lemonade. Well, the food was extremely delicious and this restaurant is certainly a must-visit for foodies. They have a plethora of delicacies for both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It was close to 3 PM when I decided to take a leave from this place and learned that these are the places where the hippie parties are usually organized. Apart from this another place where you could party is the Nargila guest house. All these places are located in Virupara Gadde.
Surrounded by the green paddy and sugarcane fields, this place makes it an apt location for those party animals. I bid goodbye to my hosts at the restaurant and picked a few trinkets on my way back before I headed towards my next attraction, the Purandhara Mantapa. This is yet again not a popular attraction as unlike the other places in Hampi but a place which can calm you down instantly. This place is close to the Vijaya Vittala temple and not many people come here hence, this is one of those offbeat destinations at Hampi where you can spend some time away from all the chaos.
This place is dedicated to one of the great poets called Sri Purandhara Dasa and this is just a small pavilion with pillars on the riverside and a perfect spot for those who love meditation. With the melody of the water and the wind combined together; this place makes it a heavenly abode for the ones who enjoy solitude. The last and the most important destination that awaited me was the TB or the Tungabhadra dam for the sunset. Experiencing sunset from this point or atop Anjanadri hills is must when you are in Hampi. The sun went down leaving the sky painted with different hues of orange, pink and red as I sat there admiring the nature’s way of making everyone and everything around her beautiful. Wanderer signing off from Hello Travel!