It was my last day in Hampi and I was determined to see the sunrise. I left at around 4:45 a.m., reached the base point at around 5 and saw – absolutely nothing. It was pitch dark and there was not a single soul in sight.
I didn’t want to venture alone in the dark even though this time I had a torch. I had heard of leopard sightings in the vicinity the previous evening but honestly, in Life I’m more scared of people than animals. I walked back to a place which was lit. Sat on the bench and waited for people. Within half an hour I met another adventure loving solo Indian backpacker. We waited for some more time and started our climb just in time to see sunrise from the top. It was beautiful. It all looked like a movie set, too good to be true.
I wanted to see some other places that I could see from the top and so started my descend early.
While returning I had an interesting conversation with a temple priest who was curious to know why does the place get so many tourists who are not spiritually inclined. Clearly he was blind to be the beauty of the place he was living in like we all usually are.
I had heard about a place on the other side of the river where you could swim and I wanted to give it a shot. I traveled to the other side hitched a ride and luckily ended up with this person who had no plans either. We went to Durga temple, drove around the place, saw the lake but decided not to swim as I could only see some local men swimming there. No travelers at all.
The drive was good anyway.
My german group of friends was leaving that day and I wanted to see them off but I still had some time with me and I was really really looking forward to a swim. On my boat journey, I met a group and happened to ask where are they headed. This is what I got in the reply ‘We have heard of a waterfall this side and just want to go for a swim’. It’s exactly what I wanted to hear. They were okay with me joining them and there started out little adventure.
After haggling with the auto-wallahs, finding a guide, escaping curious eyes, and holding the temptation of dipping in the first water body we found because our guide suggested not to, we finally got to this little paradise. And the best part we had it all to ourselves. It was exactly what I was looking for.
There was one little problem when we came out. I was too late, too late to see off my German friends. I rushed to the bus stand but they were gone. I reached at 5:15 p.m. and they were going to leave by 5 p.m. I decided to take the next bus and head for Hospet station. I recollected they had a train to Mysore from there. I was still taking a chance. I had to be back to Hampi, take dinner at ‘Mango tree’ restaurant, check out from my guest house, and be back to Hospet by midnight to take my bus to Gokarna.
I reached Hospet within half an hour and luckily they were there. I surprised them, spent about an hour with them in my soiled clothes from the swim. My white shorts had managed to absorb all the colors they could from the stones, mould, and probably even the fishes there.
After this adventurous day, I was back just in time to ‘miss’ my last bus. I took an auto and reached the bus station well in advance but only because I was told the last bus is at 11 p.m. when it was actually at midnight which eventually came at 12:20 a.m. though.
There ended my trip to Hampi and began my journey to another place from my list – Gokarna.
Some important pointers for Hampi trip:
- Geography: The place is divided by a river. One side has most of the temples and the other side is known to have all the pot
- Bike on Rent: A bike can be taken on rent for around Rs. 80 (Although I got it for Rs. 150) which is very helpful to take a tour around the place at your own pace.
- Crossing the river: There are government run motor boats that run from both sides of the river very frequently. It costs Rs. 10 per head (without luggage, and with luggage it’s Rs. 20 as far as I remember).
- The government boats run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Before and after that, the means of crossing the river is through these shaky round boats (Coracles) that cost Rs. 100 per person between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and keeps increasing with time.
- Reaching Hospet: The last bus from Hampi to Hospet is at 9 p.m. (Buses cost around Rs. 15 and auto costs Rs. 300 after 9 p.m.)
- Traveling to Gokarna from Hampi: The last bus from Hampi to Gokarna is at midnight. This is a government bus that costs Rs. 300 whereas the private ones cost Rs. 1200 (They take the same time to reach)
- Currency: There is no ATM is Hampi, carry sufficient cash to suffice your trip. The nearest ATM from Hampi is in Kamalapur which is about 5-7 km from Hampi
- Adventure Tip: If you want to go on a little adventure try crossing the river on foot. Something that I missed doing but a friend of mine managed to do this and claimed she didn’t even have to swim to cross it. Walk across the river and find a place where the width of the river reduces.