After nearly 2 months of wondering where all of our fellow travellers were, upon reaching Hampi we found where they had been hiding.. In the many ‘chill-out’ cafés, with low tables and futons instead of chairs, there they all were reclining; sharing stories and complaints about travelling. And what brings everyone to Hampi? Lots of temples, lots of boulders and most importantly; lots of the aforementioned chill-out cafés.
Looking at temples is one of the favourite pastimes of travellers. You can see why when you first gaze up at the towering structures of carved stone-work, and you think wow – that is a magnificent temple/elephant stable/tower-to-imprison-women/palace. But after a while – they all blur into one great big mass of stone, that you don’t know who built or why, and the only thing you care about is whether they provide enough shade to shelter from the blazing heat. This is a slightly unfair representation of the amazing ruins of Hampi, but I was suffering from the dreaded disease they call “temple fatigue.”
Luckily I had some interesting boulders and a river to look at to make me feel better. These boulders were scattered everywhere throughout Hampi, stacked precariously on top of one another and the only apparent explanation as to their presence, was that they were thrown down to Earth by a demon king… Whilst some travellers enjoyed climbing over these in their spare time, I favoured lying on mattresses in cafés as I was served pancake after pancake, and pondered that great question in life; should I have banana or Nutella as a topping? NB. The answer was normally banana, as one of the other perks of Hampi was that the parts that weren’t covered with temples or boulders were covered by banana trees. The trees made for a beautiful green landscape and a wide variety of banana centred treats. Other scenic-delights included a river which could be traversed by being rowed in a huge upside down spinning coconut (as strange as it sounds).
On our last night, I managed to drag my full stomach up Matanga hill to watch a sunset and enjoy an aerial view over the vast complex of the ruined city and appreciate it’s full splendor before realising it was now too dark to get back down…
Hampi has everything a traveller needs; historical sights, beautiful views and a lot of fellow travellers from all over the world to share stories with. Not to mention some beautiful sunset points atop hills; where the only disturbance is the many humping dogs that scatter the horizon.