Things to do other than the ruins
When you think of Hampi, you probably think of the Hampi ruins? While these are must see attractions, and a big reason to visit, there’s so much more you can experience here! This blog post will share some of the fantastic sightseeing spots & activities in this haven for hippies! If all you want is the ruins, check out our post on our favourite sites.
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Also read: Guide to the Logistics of Hampi
Where to Stay
Wayfarers Hampi – Whilst this hostel is a little out of the way, it’s a sociable and comfortable place with cute little bungalow dorms. There’re beautiful boulders for miles right on the doorstep, making this place perfect to get a feel for the chilled out vibes of Hampi. Hippie Island was the most popular place to stay, and if you still can stay there its probably still great. However, a lot of the area has recently been flattened by the government and we aren’t really sure what’s left of it! If you want to play it safe then we’d recommend Wayfarers. There’s a great bar/ restaurant to meet people and you can hire bikes for cheap so even though its out of the way you can still get to places really easily – Click here to book. Check out our full guide on the logistics of Hampi.
Anjanadri Hill Temple (Monkey Temple)
The perfect spot for sunset, but you’ll have to work it!! A whopping 570 STEEP steps to reach the temple, you’ll be a sweaty mess at the top but, trust us, it’s worth it. Keep your wits about you as the monkeys are very very cheeky (Jordan got punched in the face by one). There’re viewing points all the way around the temple and you can climb over the rocks to the left of the temple to get a great spot for sunset. It’s a little sketchy on the rocks so if you don’t like heights then stick to the viewpoint area…
The trail to this place is a little bumpy and hilly on the bikes but totally rideable and the views of paddies, banana plantations and massive boulders makes for an unforgettable journey! The lake itself looks very brown but that didn’t stop Sam from taking a dip! For the thrill seekers there’s also cliff jumping spots, but if you’re just after a relax then this is also the perfect spot. It’s one of the lesser visited places in Hampi so no restaurants or bars around. Pack a picnic and some drinks and enjoy sunrise or sunset.
NOTE: There aren’t many shaded places around the lake so keep an eye on how long you’re spending in the sun and stay hydrated!
Hampi is known for its picturesque rock formations, which make for a beautiful view and even better climbing spot. Many hostels do trips to good climbing areas, but we had great bouldering access right out the back of our hostel! If climbing isn’t your thing then it’s still great to tag along as you can get some incredible views. If you’ve never climbed before, or you’re looking for people to go climbing with then Thimma Climb bouldering shop came highly recommended by a friend of ours.
We fancied a drink in a local pub (a very hard thing to find in India, let alone the countryside) so asked the locals to point us in the right direction. We ended up going the wrong way a couple of times because the directions they told us just didn’t seem right… they were! We biked through the paddies to pretty much the middle of nowhere, and there in the middle of the field was a tiny shed. It was quite strange but a very funny experience and very peaceful!
As we said, a large area of Hippie Island has recently been flattened by the government as many of the hotels and resorts were built there illegally. The locals weren’t much of a fan as they thought it was an area that promoted drug taking and so owners were refused licenses due to petitions from locals against their businesses. It was a really chill area of restaurants and guesthouses and the perfect place to relax on the river and take in the beautiful views of the Hampi ruins from a distance! We never saw any of the “drug problems”, but that is not to say they didn’t exist. It was so relaxed here that we actually ended up having a nap in one of the restaurants! We’ve included it in the hope that something similar will be re-built soon.
There’re tons of free ways to enjoy your time in Hampi, which is probably why its such a hub for backpackers! You’ll be sure to meet like-minded people to relax with, and its one of the quieter places in India so make the most of your peaceful days. Check out our guide to the Ruins of Hampi for a jam-packed day of sightseeing if you want to take a break from relaxing around.