Sunday, December 18, 2011

The only pun I can make out of boulders and hippies involves "getting stoned" so I'll skip that

Hampi is alternately amazing and just nice. The amazing parts are when you walk up a hill and are surrounded by Jurassic Parkesque (or Mordorian) piles of boulders everywhere, or when you're climbing on some rocks and see yet another 500-year-old building. Or when you rent scooters or bicycles to see these things. Two wheels, yes!
View from the Hanuman temple on the North (Virupapur Gaddi) side of the river. Go to this place; it is great.

It's not that I know or am deeply interested in the history of each individual temple; it's just the sort of otherworldly atmosphere here in general.

The nice parts are when it's dark and you retire to the tourist village of Virepapur Gaddi (across the river from the "main drag" of Hampi Bazaar). I guess Hampi is next on the hippie circuit after Goa, so there are lots of folks just hanging out. My guesthouse has no power between 11am and 6pm, or after 10pm, and right now it has no running water, but hey, no worries. There are lots of mosquitos, but on the plus side I get my first experience with Odomos and mosquito nets. (both are wonderful; I have no bites.)

This cute fellow kept my bathroom clean

Some guesthouses have movies or musicians or bonfires. It's a pretty nice environment to relax for a few days. I wonder what it's like for the people running these places.

The only distressing moment happened when I was talking to a diehard Ron Paul/Ayn Rand/uncontrolled-free-markets supporter, and I didn't know what to say. Guess I am way out of touch with politics.

Practical info: you can stay in Hampi Bazaar (maybe half Indian tourists, half white) or Virupapur Gaddi (aka the "other side" of the river, mostly white tourists, more hippie, more relaxed). Your choice will determine where you spend sunsets and evenings, as the ferry stops at 6pm. Both are good; I think there's more going on on the Virupapur Gaddi side. I stayed in the Sai Plaza guesthouse, which was low on amenities (no hot water, sometimes no water at all, sporadic electricity) and a bit high budget at Rs500, but clean and had a good atmosphere. But there are a ton of guesthouses on both sides. Every restaurant serves four hundred different types of food, none are that good. It's frustratingly difficult to find South Indian food here. There is no ATM (since they bulldozed the main street in 2011). You can rent bicycles/motor-scooters everywhere for 40/150 rupees.


  1. I have used Mosquito netting before camping, kind of a pain to put up but well worth it. Not sure what Odomos is, I am guessing a repellant of some sort. the rocks look somewhat interesting, are they just there or a remnant of something. I am wondering if it is warm or cold there as it is winter in Ohio, I suspect warm if your dealing with mosquitos though. Hope your having a good time, i must admit I am a bit jealous of your travels, sounds like a lot of fun. Take care.

  2. Yep, Odomos is a mosquito repellant. It's pretty warm here- never gets below about 60 at night, and maybe 80 or so in the daytime. I guess if I keep going south, I can just skip winter altogether!